Sunday, August 13, 2006

The glorious company of the Apostles : praise Thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets : praise Thee.
The noble army of Martyrs : praise Thee.

Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Houston Texas
A Reformed Episcopal Church in the Anglican Tradition

From the parish web page:

"St. Thomas is dedicated to the preservation of the traditional worship, music and conservative biblical theology of the Church of England, which was brought to these shores by the earliest settlers and perpetuated in the original Protestant Episcopal Church established by our nation's founding fathers."

"It is part of One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church established by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As such it upholds a tradition, which is timeless and unchanging. Episcopal worship and theology is at once both Catholic and Reformed. It is Catholic in that it upholds the beliefs of the primitive, undivided church: "That which has been believed by all men everywhere since the beginning" ~ St. Bonaventure. It is Reformed in that it embodies the great truths of the Reformation, chiefly that "Holy Scripture contains all things necessary for salvation.""

"Worship at St. Thomas of Canterbury is Christ centered and formal. It is firmly planted in biblical and historic Christianity as brought to these shores by the earliest English settlers.
All services at St. Thomas' Church are taken from the classic Book of Common Prayer (1549-1928), one of the monumental theological and literary works of the English speaking world."

"St. Thomas is neither "Anglo-Catholic" nor "Low Church", as emphasis is given to the Holy Scripture, Biblical preaching, holy worship, and congregational singing. The great hymns of the Church are sung, and a classical choir provides music suitable for the worship of a Holy God.
The worshipping Christian thus feels spiritually fulfilled and has an anchor in which a living faith for today is rooted in the teaching of the Church as it has been received, preserved and passed down to us through the ages. "


Rev. Dr. Hassert said...

The sanctuary of St. Thomas might appear a little more "high church" if the sancturary appointments were in dark wood. Most late 1800s churches with similar styles are dark wood. A Laudian frontal also results in a much more "catholic" feel.

It is a traditional set of appointments--notice the altar is set for the celebration of the Eucharist. The pulpit and lectern are also on the traditional sides (Gospel and Epistle).

As to Dix, you might want to consult with The Patristic Anglican about this as well. He seems to have opinions on this with a deeper foundation. Bromily's "Thomas Cranmer, Theologian" discusses Cranmer's eucharistic theology in a manner contra Dix (although I'm not sure if he addresses Dix directly). There is an essay in "Thomas Cranmer, Churchman and Scholar" which addresses this issue as well. Outside of works that confront the notion that both the 1549 Mass and the 1552 Communion were both "Zwinglian" I'm no expert.

The recent activity on the blogs praising Dix (in my opinion) has come largely from Anglican converts to Roman Catholicism who now seem to want to undermine the text of the Book of Common Prayer. Sometimes the comments may come from people whose only scholarly introduction to liturgy comes from Dix and they now feel a certain expertise on the matter. Dr. Dunlap's blog has some comments on this topic.

I'd suggest reading "Doxology" and "The Study of Liturgy" by Wainwright as well.

Rev. Dr. Hassert said...

A couple of more comments on the sanctuary--in the "catholic" column it must be pointed out the altar is arranged for an eastward facing Eucharist.

A more "low church" feel is given by the candelabra on reredos behind the altar.