Concerning the abolition of the mass and the punishment of all that hears or says the same

Item, our sovereign lord, with advice of [James Stewart, earl of Moray], his dearest regent, and three estates of this present parliament, ratifies and approves the act underwritten made in the parliament held at Edinburgh, 24 August 1560, and of new in this present parliament statutes and ordains the said act to be as one perpetual law to all our sovereign lord's lieges in all times to come, of the which the tenor follows: The which day, forasmuch as almighty God, by his most true and blessed word, has declared the reverence and honour which should be given to him, and by his son Jesus Christ has declared the true use of the sacraments, willing the same to be used according to his will and word, by the which it is openly and perfectly known that the sacraments of baptism and of the body and blood of Jesus Christ have been in all times past corrupted by the popish kirk and by their usurped ministers, and presently, notwithstanding the reformation already made according to God's word, yet nonetheless, there is some of the said pope's kirk that stubbornly persevere in their wicked idolatry, saying mass and baptising according to the pope's kirk, profaning through this the sacraments aforesaid in quiet and secret places, thereby neither regarding God nor his holy word; therefore it is statute and ordained in this present parliament that no manner of person or persons, in any time coming, administer any of the sacraments aforesaid, secretly or in any other manner of way, except those that are admitted and have power to that effect; and that no manner of person nor persons say mass, nor yet hear mass, nor be present thereat, under the pain of confiscation of all their goods, moveable and immovable, and punishing of their bodies at the discretion of the magistrate within whose jurisdiction such persons happen to be apprehended, for the first fault, banishment from the realm for the second fault, and justifying to the death for the third fault; and ordains all sheriffs, stewarts, bailies and their deputes, provosts and bailies of burghs and other judges whatsoever within this realm to take diligent suit and inquisition within their bounds where any such usurped ministry is used, the saying of mass or those who are present at the doing thereof, ratifying and approving the same, and take and apprehend them to the effect that the pains above-written may be executed upon them; and therefore of new decrees and ordains the contraveners of the same in any time hereafter to be punished according to the pains of the aforesaid act above-rehearsed.

  1. The Actis of King James the Sext, printed by R. Lekprevick (Edinburgh, 1568), ff.10v-11r. Bound with earlier parliamentary material at NLS, Black Acts, 1566-94, H.33.c.21, Scots Acts of Parliament, H.33.c.23 or Scots Acts, H.33.c.25. Back