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Last in a series of articles on the historical background of By-Laws of the Manual of The Mother Church by the Research staff of The Mary Baker Eddy Library. Look for a new series from the Library staff beginning in the January issue.

Coda and Invitation

The Appendix of the Manual of The Mother Church

From the December 2009 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Many Christian Scientists have had occasion to consult the last section of the Manual of The Mother Church known as the Appendix. It includes sample applications for Mother Church membership, Orders of Service for Christian Science churches and Sunday Schools, and several legal documents relating to the establishment of The Mother Church. But most of us are probably not very familiar with its history. Why is there an appendix? Was it there from the beginning?

A week before the Manual first made its appearance on September 10, 1895, Mary Baker Eddy received a letter from Septimus Hanna, Editor of the Christian Science periodicals and the Church's First Reader. Hanna was a member of the committee appointed to put the already existing By-Laws of The Mother Church into book form. His letter indicated that there had been problems getting into the Manual all the By-Laws intended for it, and he apologized: "I supposed all the by-laws had been included. I should have known it. Tried to be vigilant, but Satan seems to have caught me napping" (Septimus Hanna to Mary Baker Eddy, September 3, 1895, Incoming Correspondence File, The Mary Baker Eddy Collection, The Mary Baker Eddy Library).

Later that month Mrs. Eddy wrote: "I see no way but appendix and this will be requisite for the second edition showing the rapidity of growth will it not?" (L05113, Mary Baker Eddy to Septimus and Camilla Hanna, September 23, 1895, The Mary Baker Eddy Collection). It may well be that she was thinking of an appendix as a place where additional By-Laws could easily be published.