The High Sheriff's Chaplain
A High Sheriff must provide themselves with a Chaplain who traditionally would have delivered the Bidding Prayer or preached a sermon at a Service on the opening day of the Assizes.
The Following is a traditional form of Bidding Prayer often used at the opening of Assizes:
Ye shall pray for Christ's Holy Catholic Church, that is, for the whole congregation of Christian people dispersed throughout the world, and especially for the pure and apostolic branch in this Realm.
And herein I require you especially to pray for the Queen's most excellent Majesty our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of the Dominions and Territories of the British Commonwealth beyond the seas, Queen, Defender of the Faith, over all persons, in all causes, as well ecclesiastical as temporal, throughout her Dominions, supreme; ye shall also pray for Philip Duke of Edinburgh, Charles Prince of Wales, and all the Royal Family.
Ye shall also pray for the ministers of God's Holy Word and Sacraments, as well Archbishops and Bishops, as other Pastors and Curates, and especially for the Most Reverend Right Honourable Dr Rowan Williams, Lord Archbishop of this Province and the Right Reverend Michael Perham, Lord Bishop of this Diocese.
Also ye shall pray for the Queen's most honourable Council, for the High Court of Parliament, and for all the Nobility and Magistrates of this Realm; and upon this occasion ye are more especially bound to pray for the learned and reverend Judges of this Assize, for the High Sheriff of this County, for Her Majesty's Lieutenant and Justices of the Peace of the County of Gloucestershire, and for the Worshipful the Mayor of this ancient Town; that all and every of these, in their several callings, may serve truly and diligently to the glory of God and the edifying and well governing of His people remembering always the account they must one day give, before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Also ye shall pray for the whole Commons of this Realm, that they may live in the true faith and fear of God, in humble obedience to the Queen, and in brotherly charity one to another. And that there may never be wanting a succession of persons duly qualified for the service of God in Church and State, ye shall implore His blessings on all places of religious and useful learning, particularly on our Universities and Theological Colleges, that true religion and sound learning may for ever flourish and abound.
Pray ye also for all prisoners and captives that in all their troubles they may put their whole trust and confidence in God's mercy, and evermore live diligently and soberly according to His Holy Word.
To these your prayers ye shall add unfeigned praises for mercies received; for our creation, preservation, and all other blessings of this life; but above all for the inestimable love of God in the redemption of the World by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
Finally, ye shall praise God for all those who are departed out of this life in the Faith of Christ, and pray that we may have grace to direct our lives after their good examples, that this life ended, we may be made partakers with them of the glorious Resurrection in the Life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In earlier times, if a capital murder case was being tried the High Sheriff's Chaplain was required to attend. This was necessary because the Chaplain was required - in the event of sentence of death being pronounced - to say 'Amen'; at the end of the sentence. The High Sheriff was responsible thereafter for seeing that the sentence was carried out.
The High Sheriff has appointed The Revd Martin Short to serve as his chaplain for 2013/14.