Thursday, August 17, 2006
C.B. Moss on the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Anglican tradition:
"[T]he Anglican [Church]. . .is unwilling to go beyond its knowledge in honoring our Lord’s Mother. We know nothing about her except what is told us in Holy Scripture or may be proved from the Bible. There are many legends about her but they have no historical value; even the oldest of these come from the Apocryphal Gospels, which are certainly fictitious. That she is “in glory” is more than we know. No doubt she is in the highest condition of honor possible for any human being who is not also Divine. Without claiming to be certain about things so far beyond our knowledge, we think that human beings will be given new bodies at the Last Judgment and that they will not be in glory until they are clothed with the resurrection body. Since there is no evidence for the legend of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, we have no reason to suppose that she differs in this respect from all other human beings. We have no doubt that she prays for us, but we do not know whether she can hear our requests to her to do so and we have no right to ask her for anything but her prayers. For this reason there are no direct addresses to the Blessed Virgin, or to any other saint, in Anglican public services. Those who do not feel certain that she can hear what we say ought to be free not to address her directly. Those who think she can hear our prayers may freely address her in private, but they have no right to compel others to do so."
See also the following post from "The Patristic Anglican"--