Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I am a Catholic Christian. I believe in Christ as my Lord and Savior. I believe in the teachings of the Nicene Creed. I believe in the Christological teachings of the ancient and undivided Church: I believe in the teachings of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. I believe that the Word and Sacrament are to be kept together and not torn asunder. I believe that the historic Books of Common Prayer teach the Catholic Faith in worship.
I am not an Anglo-Papalist nor Anglo-Romanist; while I have read the works of Benedict and John Paul I do not long for the shores of Rome. While I've studied the theology of Thomas Aquinas I do not desire to force his views on others as dogma. If there is ever to be a union with the Roman Catholic Church it must be a union based on honesty: Rome has erred.
I am a Protestant (or Reformed) Catholic, as the Anglican divines of old used the terms together--this is based on the obvious assertion that Roman has erred. I do not and cannot hold Purgatory, nor Indulgences, nor pious beliefs about the Blessed Virgin Mary to be things "necessary to salvation." They are demonstrably late additions to the thinking of the Western Church and had no place in the East, therefore they are not "Catholic" and it is right to protest against teaching them as such. Those who wish to impose such things on Anglicans as "the teachings of the Church" really mean the Roman Church, not the ancient Catholic Church. I believe the Articles of Religion to be a concise and accurate statement of where Anglican teaching differs from the teachings of the Church of Rome and the (ana)Baptists.
I am not an Anglo-Calvinist: His teachings may be interesting and he may be right on many things, he cannot be taken as the last word on theology. His ideas need to be compared to the belief and practice of ancient Christendom (just in the same way the beliefs and practices of Rome do as well). However, Anglicans can read him and judge for themselves what they may agree or disagree with him on. They cannot read his teachings and pronounce something he has said as "this is the teaching of the Church" unless it has backing from the Scriptures what the Fathers concluded from those same Scriptures. Likewise, I am not an Anglo-Lutheran either, but likewise one can read Luther profitably yet critically in the same way one may read Aquinas or Calvin. That being said, it must be realized that the theology of the Anglican Reformation is a manner of thought that desired to bring both Calvinists and Lutherans to the same table based upon the truths of the ancient Catholic Faith. Being a son of the Western Church and the Anglican Reformation I am most definitely Pauline and also a bit Augustinian.
I am definitely not an Anglo-Baptist--the Prayer Book and the Articles have addressed those issues, and those within Anglicanism who desire to "rethink" the practice of infant Baptism should try and find a liturgical Baptist church.
I am an Anglican. I will always try and uphold the principles of the Anglican Reformation because I believe them to be Christian and true, a correct middle way between the error of deleting from the Christian Faith and the error of obscuring this same faith with superfluous and heretical additions. If I were the last priest on earth with the moniker "Anglican" I would gather a few together each Sunday to preach the gospel and celebrate the Eucharist. For the sake of conscience I could do nothing less nor nothing more.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Posted: November 17, 20031:00 a.m. Eastern
From WorldNet Daily
by Vox Day
The idea that he is a devotee of reason seeing through the outdated superstitions of other, lesser beings is the foremost conceit of the proud atheist. This heady notion was first made popular by French intellectuals such as Voltaire and Diderot, who ushered in the so-called Age of Enlightenment.
That they also paved the way for the murderous excesses of the French Revolution and many other massacres in the name of human progress is usually considered an unfortunate coincidence by their philosophical descendants.
The atheist is without God but not without faith, for today he puts his trust in the investigative method known as science, whether he understands it or not. Since there are very few minds capable of grasping higher-level physics, let alone following their implications, and since specialization means that it is nearly impossible to keep up with the latest developments in the more esoteric fields, the atheist stands with utter confidence on an intellectual foundation comprised of things of which he knows nothing.
In fairness, he cannot be faulted for this, except when he fails to admit that he is not actually operating on reason in this regard, but is instead exercising a faith that is every bit as blind and childlike as that of the most unthinking Bible-thumping fundamentalist. Still, this is not irrational, it is only ignorance and a failure of perception.
The irrationality of the atheist can primarily be seen in his actions – and it is here that the cowardice of his intellectual convictions is also exposed. Whereas Christians and the faithful of other religions have good reason for attempting to live by the Golden Rule – they are commanded to do so – the atheist does not.
In fact, such ethics, as well as the morality that underlies them, are nothing more than man-made myth to the atheist. Nevertheless, he usually seeks to live by them when they are convenient, and there are even those, who, despite their faithlessness, do a better job of living by the tenets of religion than those who actually subscribe to them.
Still, even the most admirable of atheists is nothing more than a moral parasite, living his life based on borrowed ethics. This is why, when pressed, the atheist will often attempt to hide his lack of conviction in his own beliefs behind some poorly formulated utilitarianism, or argue that he acts out of altruistic self-interest. But this is only post-facto rationalization, not reason or rational behavior.
I am saying nothing new here. It is an ancient concept. More than 2,000 years ago, the first atheist martyr, Socrates, declared "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." Being fully aware of the repercussions of this teaching, he also argued that it was necessary to keep such virtuous knowledge to the elite.
"I mean, I replied, that our rulers will find a considerable dose of falsehood and deceit necessary for the good of their subjects ... these goings on must be a secret which the rulers only know, or there will be a further danger of our herd ... breaking out into rebellion."
The Romans, ever practical, understood this as well. Seneca the Younger wrote: "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful." It is more than useful for a civilized society, though, it is a downright necessity.
Even the great champions of reason accepted this bitter truth. Alvin Bernstein writes of Voltaire: "He regarded belief in God and in an afterlife of rewards and punishments as requisites of ethical behavior ... Voltaire was convinced that the lower classes must fear God in order to be ethical. His religious outlook ... is a stepping-stone toward a full secular outlook in which moral judgments have nothing to do with religious and spiritual abstractions.
This is not to say there are no atheists who are rational, that there are none who are true to their godless convictions. Friedrich Nietzsche is the foremost example, but there are certainly others who do not fear to determine their own moral compass. Today, we call them sociopaths and suicides.
Without God, there is only the left-hand path of the philosopher. It leads invariably to Hell, by way of the guillotine, the gulag and the gas chamber. The atheist is irrational because he has no other choice – because the rational consequences of his non-belief are simply too terrible to bear.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Over at The Continuum a repost of my essay on the intent of the Eucharist has sparked a debate over the adoration of the Eucharist. My position has been that of Lancelot Andrewes: We do not adore an "it," we adore "Him." We worship Christ who is made present to us via the sacramental elements, we do not adore the elements of bread and wine. Even if we go down a Thomist road, we still cannot say we adore the "accidents" or "forms" of bread and wine. We adore Christ. Therefore, talk of "adoring the Sacrament" is a bit confusing and misleading, and very much against our Prayer Book, homilies, Catechism, and Articles.
However, Father Chad of the blog Philorthodox countered with the assertion that the Orthodox do worship the elements, and indeed many Orthodox authors assert this, while other authors say that such a practice is unnecessary and goes against Christ's command to "take and eat," in that He did not say "lift up and pray to." The consensus position seems to be that while indeed the Bread and Wine simply are the Body and Blood of Christ (without philosophical elaboration), there is no need for separate services set aside for "adoration" of the elements.
As a defense of the view that the Orthodox view the Sacrament exactly as the Romans do, the pronouncements of the Synod of Jerusalem (1672) are often used. Indeed, in these documents the theology of Thomas Aquinas is reproduced writ large. More troubling to the Anglican mind is the adoption of the Roman view of Purgatory (rejected in almost every Orthodox dogmatic text I've read).
In order to place this in a broader context I've reposted below a treatment of the topic from the blog "Conjectures of a Guilty Seminarian."
"A question came up today about the Jerusalem-Bethlehem Synod of 1672, an Eastern Synod which affirmed transubstantiation (and Purgatory--my addition here, AC+). The Synod has often been claimed as a victory for the Roman Catholic position, some going so far as to claim that the Eastern Church actually taught the doctrine. The Patriarch of Jerusalem at the time was Dositheos, who was under the influence of French Jansenists living in the Holy Land. He wanted to refute a work called Confession of Orthodox Faith, by Cyril Lucaris (the Patriarch of Constantinople in the 1620s), which seemed to teach most of the body of Calvinist teaching, claiming that Calvin's teaching adequately teaches Eastern doctrine (especially in reference to the Fathers). The Synod was affirmed in the Russian Church until recently, with the rejection of Scholasticism. Mostly, I think we can relegate the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 to realm of Roman manipulation of the East.
Judith Pinnington writes in Anglicans and Orthodox:
"In Covel's view, the Bethlehem-Jerusalem Synod (so-called) was framed by Dositheos on Nointel's advice, as the ambassador himself had admitted before witnesses in his own hand. So although there may have been a document, there had not been - nor was there intended to be - synodal deliberation and free choice. In any case, the Turks would never have allowed Synod to go on long enough to deliberate without monetary penalties. Dositheos was therefore the sole author of the document and he, Nointel, had said in writing that the Patriarch had "fully satisfied that which we had desired of him." The fact that Dositheos had had to take responsibility for the textual details because the Ambassador understood no Greek nor Dositheos Latin or French was beside the point. Covel was convinced that the whole thing was a French stitch-up in collusion with sympathetic Catholic diplomats. The Jesuits in the Ambassador's train had done all the preparation and supplied Dositheos with statements to make about Claude and Bellarmine which were quite beyond him to judge. He, Covel, had obtained confirmation of this from Dionysios as an unwilling accessory in a process which ran counter to Orthodox canonical procedures. Modern scholars keep an open mind as to whether the synod was wholly 'synthetic'; but it is easy to see how Covel, knowing the principles as he did, could have come to this conclusion, given his general estimate of Greek ecclesiastical character and the capacity for influence which the western diplomats possessed."
Nointel was the French Ambassador in Jerusalem at the time and it becomes clear that the decretals of the Synod were dictated by the Jesuits. The statement is clearly Roman:
"Further [we believe] that after the consecration of the bread and of the wine, there no longer remaineth the substance of the bread and of the wine, but the Body Itself and the Blood of the Lord, under the species and form of bread and wine; that is to say, under the accidents of the bread." This, a clear repetition of Trent. Thus, the extremism of Lucaris was met with the opposite - transubstantiation.
All the while, the Non-Jurors, Jeremy Taylor, and company were holding (to the) Via Media, confuting both the Roman position as well as that of Continental Calvinism, which is a great testimony to the. . .scholarship of the English Church."
And here I agree with the writer of the aforementioned blog: The best Anglican minds of this period maintained a patristic position, while one portion of the Orthodox Church adopted the teachings of the Roman Church. While as an Anglican I see myself bound by the teachings of the ancient and undivided Church, I do not see myself bound by the pronouncements of the Synod of Jerusalem, especially if they embrace transubstantiation and Purgatory.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
The Anglican Cleric has been added to the list of "favorite blogs" over at the Continuum .
I only mention it because I'm honored to be on their list of favorites. I've enjoyed the articles over there by Father Hart for some time. Once I get a little more savvy on the technical front I'll fix some of my broken links and add a new list of blogs.
Over on Stand Firm (which I do not frequent often, unless someone else mentions something of note) there is a "debate" about infant Baptism. To which I say, "You must be joking, right?"
From time to time, in such contexts, I hear the well-worn and inaccurate phrase that the Reformed Episcopal Church "rejected baptismal regeneration." Suffice it to say that it is largely an inaccurate statement on historical and theological grounds. The doctrine of the Articles of Religion was not the matter of debate (how the Articles define "regeneration"); what was in question was 1) did regeneration mean being "born again" in a modern evangelical sense? and 2) Could regeneration come to a believer apart from the Sacrament?
The answer to the first question, for Bishop Cheney was "no," being baptized did not mean one would immediately feel "an ardent desire after God and elevated affections," "born again" in the way many use the term. As to the second question, Cheney believed one could have these things apart from the Sacrament. So, we have 1) both parties (High Church and Evangelical) misusing the term, hence Cheney's rejection of it (whereas the Free Church of England--the REC of England--continued the use of the term but clarified what it meant, i.e., read the Article on Baptism), and there being some insistence that if you said one could have any sort of regeneration apart from the Sacrament you were rejecting its efficacy. Below is a quote from Richard Hooker that should clarify the debate somewhat.
I'm sure Cheney would have agreed wholeheartedly with Master Hooker on this issue:
"A few statements will make clear the kind of necessity involved in baptism. First, we must understand what is meant by necessity, and then we must see in what sense baptism is necessary. Those things are called necessary which are either the source of some great good or the means of avoiding some grievous evil. If regeneration were not in this sense necessary for eternal life, would Christ have said to Nicodemus, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God"? [Jn. 3. 3.] Christ’s next words are, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." [Jn. 3. 5.] By these words he shows us that the Spirit is as necessary for regeneration as regeneration is necessary for eternal life.
These words also prove to us that just as the Spirit is the inward cause of our regeneration, so water is the outward means of our regeneration. If baptism by water were not in some sense necessary, why is our new birth spoken of as "of water" as well as "of the Spirit"? [Ibid.] Why is it that we are taught that God sanctifies and cleanses his Church "with the washing of water by the word"? [Eph. 5. 26.] Why does one Apostle of Christ call baptism "the washing of regeneration" [Tit. 3. 5.] and another advise men to receive outward baptism "in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of Sins"? [Acts 2. 38.]
There is a kind of necessity about baptism, but it is not an absolute necessity. That would only be true if baptism were a condition without which regeneration could not come to be. In that case baptism would have such natural or supernatural power in itself that regeneration would not take place without it, and then nobody would ever receive grace before baptism. If you do not first have the cause, you do not have the results that necessarily spring from it. Thus, if baptism were absolutely necessary for the reception of grace, no man would receive grace without it. In many cases we know that this is not so, but in other cases, although we do not make baptism the necessary cause of grace, yet we do recognize that grace given in baptism has a dependence on the outward sacrament. God wishes us to use the outward sacrament not only as a sign or token of what we receive, but also as an instrument or means by which we receive grace. Baptism is a sacrament instituted by God in his Church as a means of incorporating us into Christ; and thus by his most precious merit we obtain that grace which takes away all former guiltiness, and that divine virtue of the Holy Spirit which gives to the powers of the soul their first inclination to a future newness of life."
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Organs to be taken without consent.
At the moment I'm teaching a two week interim class on bioethics. We'd just watched the film Coma from the late 1970s, in which a hosptial has decided to put people into comas in order to harvest their organs (they're now brain dead, you see) for profit. After the film we discussed the current system, which assumes that the patient has to actively and explicitly express their desire to voluntarily donate their organs (or else relatives must express their consent). This new system turns that concept on its head.
Thankfully a brave Church of England bishop has spoken out against the policy in a principled way. Ok, not really. . .his statement actually lacks any firm set of foundational principles.
As Victor Frankenstein comments in the Kenneth Branagh film version of the novel: "Raw materials, nothing more."
Monday, January 14, 2008
From the 1549
Book of Common Prayer
Adapted for American use
¶ A Psalm, Hymn, or Anthem may be sung when the Minister enters
or, after a sentence of Scripture, the Minister may say,
Minister: The Lord be with you.
Answer. And with thy spirit.
Minister. Let us pray.
¶ Then shall be said the COLLECT FOR PURITY following.
ALMIGHTY God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Then, all standing, shall be said or sung together the GLORIA IN EXCELSIS,
GLORY be to God on high,
and on earth peace, good will towards men.
We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee,
we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory,
O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.
O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord
God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the
sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away
the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest
at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.
For thou only art holy; thou only art the Lord; thou only,
O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of
God the Father. Amen.
Minister: The Lord be with you.
Answer. And with thy spirit.
Minister. Let us pray.
ALMIGHTY God, whose kingdom is everlasting and power
infinite; Have mercy upon this whole land; and so
rule the hearts of thy servants, [N ], the President of the
United States, [N ], the Governor of this State (or Commonwealth),
and all others in authority, that they, knowing
whose ministers they are, may above all things seek thine
honour and glory; and that we and all the people, duly
considering whose authority they bear, may faithfully and
obediently honour them, according to thy blessed Word
and ordinance; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with
thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth ever, one God,
world without end.
¶ Then shall be read the EPISTLE Lesson, the Reader first saying,
The Reading (Lesson) from the Epistle_____ , chapter _____ , beginning at
the _____ verse. The Epistle being ended, the Reader may say, Here
endeth the Epistle, or,
Reader. This is the Word of the Lord.
People. Thanks be to God.
¶ Here may be sung a Hymn or an Anthem.
¶ Then, all the people standing, the Minister appointed shall read the
GOSPEL, first saying, The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according
to St. _____ , chapter _____ , beginning at the _____ verse. In response
to the announcement of the Gospel shall be said,
Glory be to thee, O Lord.
¶ And after the Gospel, the Minister shall say, The Gospel of the Lord,
the people then responding,
Praise be to thee, O Christ.
¶ Then shall be said the CREED commonly called the Nicene, or else
the Apostles’ Creed; but the Creed may be omitted, if it has been said
immediately before in Morning Prayer; provided, That the Nicene
Creed shall be said on Christmas Day, Easter Day, Ascension Day,
Whitsunday, and Trinity Sunday.
The Nicene Creed
I BELIEVE in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of
heaven and earth, And of all things visible and
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of
God, Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God,
Light of Light, Very God of very God, Begotten, not made,
Being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things
were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came
down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of
the Virgin Mary, And was made man, And was crucified also
for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried,
And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures,
And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand
of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge
both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver
of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, Who
with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
Who spake by the Prophets. And I believe one holy
Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism
for the remission of sins. And I look for the Resurrection
of the dead, And the Life of the world to come. Amen.
¶ Then shall be declared unto the people what Services are in the week
following to be observed. And here also (if occasion be) shall notice
be given of the Communion. And nothing shall be proclaimed or
published in the church during the time of Divine Service, but by
¶ Here may be sung a Hymn or an Anthem.
¶ Then shall follow the SERMON or Homily.
¶The Offertory may be placed here.
Priest: The Lord be with you.
Answer: And with thy spirit.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
Answer. We lift them up unto the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
Answer: It is meet and right so to do.
IT is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God.
¶ Here shall follow the PROPER PREFACE, according to the time, if
there be any specially appointed; or else immediately shall be said
or sung by the Priest,
THEREFORE with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name; evermore praising thee, and saying,
¶ Priest and people.
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory: Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Glory be to thee, O Lord in the highest. Amen.
Let us pray for the whole state of Christ’s Church.
ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make prayers, and supplications, and to give thanks for all men; We humbly beseech thee most mercifully to receive these our prayers, which we offer unto thy Divine Majesty; beseeching thee to inspire continually the universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord: And grant that all those who do confess thy holy Name may agree in the truth of thy holy Word, and live in unity and godly love. We beseech thee also, so to direct and dispose the hearts of all Christian rulers, that they may truly and impartially administer justice, to the punishment of wickedness and
vice, and to the maintenance of thy true religion, and virtue.
Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops, Pastors, and Curates, that they may, both by their life and doctrine, set forth thy true and lively Word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments.
And to all thy People give thy heavenly grace; that, with meek heart and due reverence, they may hear, and receive thy holy Word; truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life.
And we most humbly beseech thee, of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succour all those, who in this transitory life are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity. And especially we commend unto thy merciful goodness this congregation, which is here assembled in thy Name, to celebrate the commemoration of the most glorious Death of thy Son.
And here we do give unto thee most high praise, and hearty thanks, for the wonderful grace and virtue, declared in all thy saints, from the beginning of the world: And chiefly in the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of thy son Jesus Christ our Lord and God, and in the holy Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs, whose examples (o Lord) and steadfastness in thy faith, and keeping thy holy commandments, grant us to follow. We commend unto thy mercy (O Lord) all other thy servants, which are departed hence from us, with the sign of faith, and now do rest in the sleep of peace: Grant unto them, we beseech thee, thy mercy, and everlasting peace, and that at the day of the general resurrection, we and all they which be of the mystical body of thy son, may altogether be set on his right hand, and hear that his most joyful voice: Come unto me, O ye that be blessed of my father, and possess the kingdom, which is prepared for you from the beginning of the world. Grant this, O father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our only mediator and advocate.
O God, heavenly Father, which of thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus
Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation,
and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue,a perpetual memory of that his precious death and sacrifice,
until his coming again; Hear us, O merciful Father, we beseech thee; and with thy Holy Spirit and Word vouchsafe to bless (+) and sanctify (+) these thy creatures of bread and wine, according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood: who, in the same night in which he was betrayed, took Bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is my Body which is given for you: Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise after supper he took the Cup; and, when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for this eis my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins: Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me.
W HEREFORE, O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the institution of thy dearly beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, we, thy humble servants, do celebrate and make here before thy Divine Majesty, with these thy holy gifts, which we now offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son
hath commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed passion and precious death, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension; rendering unto thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same.
AND we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching thee to grant that, by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we, and all thy whole Church, may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion. And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee; humbly beseeching thee, that we, and all others who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion, may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son Jesus Christ, be filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, and made one body with him, that he may dwell in us, and we in him. And although we be unworthy (through our manifold sins) to offer unto thee any Sacrifice: Yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service, and command these our prayers and supplications, by the Ministry of thy holy Angels, to be brought up into thy holy Tabernacle before the sight of thy divine majesty; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Christ our Lord, by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the holy Ghost: all honour and glory be unto thee, O father almighty, world without end.
Let us pray.
AS our savior Christ hath commanded and taught us, we are bold to say.
Our father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Then shall the priest say.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
Answer. And with thy spirit.
The Priest. Christ our Paschal lamb is offered up for us, once for all, when he bare our sins on his body upon the cross, for he is the very lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world: wherefore let us keep a joyful and holy feast with the Lord.
Here the priest shall turn him toward those that come to the holy Communion, and shall say.
YOU that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins to almighty God, and be in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways: draw near and take this holy Sacrament to your comfort, make your humble confession to Almighty God, and to his holy church here gathered in his name, meekly kneeling upon your knees.
Then shall this general Confession be made, in the name of all those that are minded to receive the holy Communion, either by one of them, or else by one of the ministers, or by the priest himself, all kneeling humbly upon their knees.
ALMIGHTY GOD father of our Lord Jesus Christ, maker of all things, judge of all men, we acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we from time to time, most grievously have committed, by thought, word and deed, against thy divine majesty, provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us, we do earnestly repent and be heartily sorry for these our misdoings, the remembrance of them is grievous unto us, the burden of them is intolerable: have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful father, for thy son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, forgive us all that is past, and grant that we may ever hereafter, serve and please thee in newness of life, to the honour and glory of thy name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall the Priest standing up, and turning himself to the people, say thus,
ALMIGHTY GOD, our heavenly father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them, with hearty repentance and true faith, turn unto him: have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and bring you to everlasting life: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall the Priest also say,
HEAR what comfortable words our saviour Christ saith, to all that truly turn to him.
Come unto me all that travail, and be heavy laden, and I shall refresh you.
So God loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, to the end that all that believe in him, should not perish, but have life everlasting
Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, that Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners.
Hear also what Saint John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins.
Then shall the Priest turning him to Gods board kneel down and say in the name of all them, that they receive the Communion, this prayer following.
WE do not presume to come to this thy table (0 merciful Lord) trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies: we be not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table: but thou art the same lord whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood in these holy Mysteries, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood. Amen.
Then shall the Priest first receive the Communion in both kinds himself, and next deliver it to other Ministers, if any be there preset, (that they may be ready to help the chief Minister,) and after to the people.
And when he delivereth the Sacrament of the body of Christ, he shall say to every one these words.
THE body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.
And the Minister delivering the Sacrament of the blood, and giving every one to drink once and no more, shall say,
THE blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.
Then the Priest shall give thanks to God, in the name of all them that have communicated, turning him first to the people, and saying.
The Lord be with you.
The Answer. And with thy spirit.
The Priest. Let us pray.
ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou hast vouchsafed to feed us in these holy Mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious body and blood of thy son our Saviour Jesus Christ, and hast assured us (duly receiving the same) of thy favour and goodness towards us, and that we be very members incorporate in thy Mystical body, which is the blessed company of all faithful people, and heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of the most precious death and passion of thy dear son. We therefore most humbly beseech thee, 0 heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works, as thou hast prepared for us to walk in: through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the holy ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
Then the Priest turning him to the people, shall let them depart with this blessing.
THE peace of GOD, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of GOD, and of his son Jesus Christ our Lord: And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always.
Then the people shall answer.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
THE ORDAINING OF PRIESTS
(from the AMiA "green book," largely the result of the work Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon of the American Prayer Book Society).
On the appointed day, the Service shall begin with Morning
Prayer which shall be followed immediately by a Sermon or
Exhortation, in which the duty and office of those who are to be
ordained Priests shall be declared, the necessity of the office of
Priest in the Church of Christ explained, and how the people of
God ought to esteem those who are made Priests, stated
After the Sermon or Exhortation, a senior Minister shall present
unto the Bishop (sitting in his Chair near to the holy Table) those
who are being presented for ordination and who are appropriately
dressed for the occasion.
Reverend Father in God, I present unto you these persons
to be admitted to the Office of Priest.
The Bishop shall reply,
Have you made sure that these persons whom you present
to us are truly suited and prepared, by their knowledge
of Holy Scripture, sound doctrine and holiness of
life, to exercise their ministry for the glory of God and the
building up of his Church?
A Senior Minister shall reply,
I have examined them and I believe that they are suited
and prepared for this Office.
The Bishop addresses the congregation
Brothers and Sisters, we intend, God willing, to receive
today these persons into the holy Office of Priesthood ( or,
the Presbyterate). After examining them we find that they
are both lawfully called to their Ministry and fit to enter
into it. But if any of you knows a reason why any of these
persons ought not to be received into this holy Ministry,
come forward in the Name of God and make known that
If any serious objection is alleged against a candidate, the
Bishop shall postpone that person’s ordination so that proper
investigation can be made.
The Bishop proceeds by commending to the prayers of the congregation
all those against whom no objection has been lodged.
Thus here shall be said or sung the Litany (see above pp.93).
After the Litany the Service of Holy Communion shall begin with
this Collect, followed by the Epistle and Gospel.
Almighty God, giver of all good things, who by your Holy
Spirit have appointed various orders of Ministry in your
Church: Look in mercy upon these your servants now
called to the Office of Priesthood (or, the Presbyterate);
and so fill them with the truth of your teaching, and
adorn them with holiness of life, that, both by word and
good example, they may faithfully serve you in this office,
to the glory of your Name, and the building up of your
Church; through the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now
and for ever. Amen.
The Epistle. Ephesians 4. 1-7
The Gospel. Matthew 9. 36-38 or John 10. 1-16
Sitting in his chair the Bishop says to those about to be ordained,
My brothers in Christ, you have heard both beforehand
in your private examination and now in the sermon and
Scripture readings of what dignity and great importance
this office is, to which you are called. In the Name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, I urge you to keep in mind the nature
of this office. You are called to be messengers, watchmen
and stewards of the Lord; to teach and to warn, to feed
and nurture the Lord’s family; to seek for Christ’s sheep
scattered abroad in the evil world, so that they may be
saved through Christ for ever.
Always have printed in your memory what a great
treasure is committed to your charge. For the people
whom you serve are the flock of Christ, which he purchased
with his death and for whom he shed his precious
blood. The church and congregation is both Christ’s
Bride and his Body. Thus, if the congregation itself, or
any member of it, is hurt or hindered as a result of your
negligence, God will surely discipline or punish you for
this sin. Bearing this in mind, remember what God has
called you to be and to do. Never cease your work, care
and diligence, until you have done all that you can
possibly do, as is your duty, to bring all those under your
pastoral care, to a true knowledge of God, unity of faith
and maturity in Christ, so that there is no place available
for erroneous belief and immoral behavior.
Since this office is both so excellent in nature and so
difficult in its exercise, you see how most carefully and
studiously you ought to apply yourselves to this Ministry,
so as to prove yourselves dutiful and thankful to the
Lord, who has placed you in such a dignified position;
and also to take care neither to offend nor to cause others
to do so. It is only God himself who can give you the
intention and ability to do these things. Therefore, you
ought and you need to pray earnestly for his Holy Spirit.
And, bearing in mind, that you cannot accomplish so
important a work relating to the salvation of man, except
by using teaching and exhortation taken our of the Holy
Scriptures, and by living a life agreeable to the same,
consider how seriously you ought to study and learn the
Scriptures, and order your own life and that of your family,
according to the rule of the same Scriptures. For the
same reason, you ought to forsake and set aside, as
much as you can, all worldly cares and studies which
hinder you doing your duty.
We are persuaded that you have carefully weighed and
pondered these things for some time, and that you have
clearly determined, by God’s grace, to give yourselves
wholly to this office, into which it has pleased God to call
you, so that, to the extent of your ability, you will apply
yourself wholly to this one thing, and draw all your concerns
and studies towards the fulfillment of this ministry.
We are also persuaded that you will continually pray to
God the Father, by the mediation of our only Savior Jesus
Christ, for the heavenly assistance of the Holy
Spirit; that, by daily reading and considering of the
Scriptures, you will grow stronger in your ministry, and
endeavor to sanctify and shape your lives and those of
your families according to the rule and teaching of Christ,
that you may be wholesome and godly examples and patterns
for the people to follow.
And now, in order that this congregation of Christ’s
flock may also understand your minds and wills in these
things, and in order to strengthen your resolve to do your
duty before God, you shall plainly answer the questions
which we, in the Name of God, and of his Church, now
Do you genuinely think that you are truly called,
according to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the
canon law of this Church, to the order and ministry of
priesthood [or, the presbyterate]?
Answer. I do think so.
Are you persuaded that the holy Scriptures contain sufficiently
all doctrine that is necessary for eternal salvation
through faith in Jesus Christ? And are you determined
to teach the people committed to your pastoral
care from those Scriptures, and to teach nothing as
required or necessary for eternal salvation except that
which you are persuaded can be proved from the
Answer. I am persuaded and will do so, by God’s grace.
Will you always make every effort faithfully to provide the
doctrine, the sacraments and the discipline of Christ, as
the Lord has commanded and this Church has received
them, according to the commandments of God; so that
you may teach the people under your pastoral care diligently
to keep and observe the same?
Answer. I will do so, with the Lord’s help.
Will you be ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish
and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary
to God’s Word? And will you use private warning
and public exhortation, both to the sick as well as to the
healthy within your congregation, to accomplish this?
Answer. I will do so, with the Lord’s help.
Will you be diligent in prayers, in reading of the Holy
Scriptures, and in such studies as assist in gaining a
fuller knowledge of them? And will you at the same time
lay aside worldly study and private pursuits?
Answer. I will do so, with the Lord’s help.
Will you strive to frame and fashion your own selves, and
your families, according to the teaching of Christ? And
will you make both yourselves and them, to the best of
your ability, to be wholesome examples and patterns to
the flock of Christ?
Answer. I will do so, with the Lord’s help.
Will you maintain and promote, as far as you are able,
quietness, peace and love amongst all Christian people,
and especially among those that are or will be under your
Answer. I will do so, with the Lord’s help.
Will you reverently obey those who are set above you in
the Church, and gladly and willingly accept their godly
advice and judgments?
Answer. I will do so, with the Lord’s help.
The Bishop stands and prays,
Almighty God, who has given you the will to do all these
things, grant you strength and power to perform them;
that he may complete the work that he has begun in you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
During a period of silence the congregation shall be urged to pray
for those to be ordained. Then, as all those to be ordained kneel,
the Bishop shall lead the singing of Veni Creator Spiritus in an
appropriate English translation. On occasion, a suitable alternative
may be sung.
All shall continue in prayer as the Bishop says,
Let us pray.
Almighty God and heavenly Father, by your infinite love
and goodness towards us, you have given to us your only
and most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ, to be our
Redeemer and the Author of everlasting life. After he had
completed our salvation by his death, and had ascended
into heaven, he sent into the world his Apostles,
Prophets, Evangelists, Teachers, and Pastors, by whose
labor and ministry he gathered together a great flock in
all parts of the world to proclaim the eternal praise of
your holy Name. For these great benefits of your eternal
goodness, and because you have graciously determined
to call these your servants to the same office and ministry,
which is appointed for the salvation of mankind, we
give you our heartfelt thanks, and we praise and worship
you. And we humbly pray that through your Son, you will
grant to all, who both here and in other places, call upon
your holy Name, the commitment to show ourselves continually
thankful to you for these and all your blessings;
and that we may increase daily in the knowing and
believing in you and in your Son, by the Holy Spirit.
Further, we humbly pray that by these your Ministers,
and by those over whom they shall be appointed as pastors,
your holy Name will be for ever glorified, and your
blessed kingdom enlarged; through the same your Son
Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reign with you in
the unity of the same Holy Spirit, now and for ever.
The Bishop, with the Priests present, shall lay their hands upon
the head of each of the candidates, as in turn they kneel before
the Bishop, who says,
Receive the Holy Spirit for the office and work of a Priest
[Presbyter] in the Church of God, now committed to you
by the laying on of our hands. Whosoever’s sins you forgive,
they are forgiven; and whosoever’s sins you retain,
they are retained. And be faithful in the teaching of the
Word of God and in the administration of his holy
Sacraments, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Then the Bishop shall give to each a Bible, saying to him,
Take authority to preach the Word of God, and to administer
the holy Sacraments in the congregation to which
you are lawfully appointed.
When the ordinations are completed, the Nicene Creed shall be
said or sung in either the traditional or contemporary version,
and the Order for Holy Communion shall continue. Those who
have been ordained shall receive Communion first and together.
After the last Collect and before the final Blessing, these two
Collects shall be said.
Most merciful Father, we earnestly ask you to send upon
these your servants your heavenly blessing, that they
may be clothed with righteousness, and that your Word
spoken by their mouths may have such success that it
may never be spoken in vain. Grant also that we may
have grace to hear and receive what they shall proclaim
and teach from your most holy Word as the means of our
salvation, and grant that in all our words and deeds we
may seek your glory, and the increase of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Go before us, Lord, with your most gracious favor and
accompany us with your continual help, so that in all
our works begun, continued and ended in you, we
may glorify your holy Name, and finally by your
mercy obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.
If on the one day some are to be made Deacons and others
Priests, those to be Deacons shall first be presented, and then
those to be Priests. The Litany shall be said or sung once but the
Collect for Deacons and that for Priests shall both be used. The
Epistle shall be Ephesians 4. 7-13.and immediately after the
Epistle shall be the examination and ordination of the Deacons.
Then, after one of them has read the Gospel (Matthew 9. 36-38;
or Luke 12. 35-39) those to be ordained Priest shall be examined
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Contemporary English Services
based on those in
the Book of Common Prayer and
in their English 1662 ,
American 1928, and
The aim of this prayer book is to make available in contemporary language the doctrine, devotion and structure of classic Anglican Common Prayer, as these are provided in the historic editions of The Book of Common Prayer. It is designed for use primarily with the
English Standard Version of the Bible, but the Revised Standard Version and other conservative translations will work also.
It is intended in the first place for the congregations in the networks of The Anglican Mission of the Americas; but; it is expected that it will also be used within other parts of contemporary Anglicanism, especially by churches in the Common Cause Partnership, and English-speaking congregations abroad.
The aim is not to replace the standard, traditional editions of The Book of Common Prayer authorized in England, U.S.A. and Canada, but to build a bridge towards them by presenting their basic theology, spirituality and reformed catholic ethos in a form of language that a majority feel is now the only real option—contemporary English.
It may be recalled that most of the forms of service designed for use since the late 1960s in western Anglicanism have sought to set aside the pattern and doctrine within the historic Book of Common Prayer, and replace them with a shape and theology that is a mixture of ancient shape and modern theology. Even where some of the historic content has been preserved, as in Rite One services of the 1979 Prayer Book of The Episcopal Church, it is made to fit into the “shape” of the modern Rite Two, and further, there is not sufficient traditional material within the 1979 Book to be consistently traditional (e.g., the Psalter uses inclusive language and there is no traditional Baptismal Service). Therefore, there is a real need in contemporary Episcopalianism and Anglicanism for the availability of classic Common Prayer in a way that is acceptable and usable by those who currently use Rite Two, or the Canadian 1985 Book, or the like. There is an open space developing for the experimental (and then continuing) use of traditional services in contemporary English, where the doctrine and devotion of the historic Anglican Way are present, known and received.
The Christian Year
Morning and Evening Prayer
The Athanasian Creed
The Collects and Eucharistic
Visitation of the Sick
Burial of the Dead
Interment or Scattering of
The Making of Deacons
The Ordination of Priests
The Consecration of a Bishop
The Articles of Religion
An Anglican Prayer Book is published for The Anglican Mission in the Americas by The Preservation Press of the Prayer
Book Society on February 1, 2008. ISBN: 978-1-879793-13-2 and 1-879793-13-X. It has 240 pages and is in hardback.
Individual copies are $15.00 including S & H; multiple copies for congregations are $10.00 each, including S & H. Available from: The Prayer Book Society of the U.S.A., P.O. Box 35220, Philadelphia, PA. 19128-0220. 1-800-PBS-1928. Checks to “The Prayer Book Society.”
Very soon after February 1, 2008, individual copies only will be available at www.anglicanmarketplace.com for purchase with a credit card in a secure system.
Monday, January 07, 2008
In the disjointed world of classical Anglicanism, the one tie that usually binds is the use of and affection for the orthodox editions of the Book of Common Prayer (1549-1928 English; 1928 American, 1962 Canadian and derivations thereof). I have visited numerous Anglican parishes in many jurisdictions and the services have, thankfully, been rooted in the classic Prayer Book. Ceremonial and vestments may differ from place to place (surplice and stole in some places, alb and chasuble in others; there may be bowing in some churches and genuflection in others; the sign of the cross may be made more often here and less often there, etc.), but the theology of the Prayer Book prayed devoutly is the great golden thread that runs through time and across fragmented groups.
However, the situation is different in the new grouping of Anglicans that are now departing the mainline Episcopal Church. Many have never encountered the 1662 or 1928 Prayer Books or used them in a worship setting, despite affirmation of the theology of these books. Instead, many put together liturgies culled from a variety of sources, using the 1979 ECUSA book as the framework and starting point. This presents the interesting fact that some Anglican parishes have a designated "liturgist" to draw up the service, while most traditional Anglican parishes simply select hymns based on the liturgical season. It is a happy occurrence then that one of the groups newly separated from ECUSA, the Anglican Mission in America, has produced a book of services in the modern language that simply updates the contents of the 1662 and 1928 books--this is a step firmly in the right direction, drawing those who profess Anglican orthodoxy to the services and theology of actual historic Anglicanism, the reformed Catholicism of the Anglican Way. Many traditionalists balk at the notion of "modern language" services, but it must be realized that--as I mentioned--many seeking to leave the mainline church body have known nothing else except modern language services (often expressing heterodox doctrine). I believe it is much better to have prayers used that are in line with the substance of what Archbishop Cranmer actually set forth.
In the Common Cause Partnership (encompassing Forward in Faith, many Episcopal dioceses, CANA, AMiA, and the Anglican Province of America and the Reformed Episcopal Church) one of the 800 pound gorillas standing in the corner, glowering, is the issue of Prayer Book "revision." This word means something quite different than it does when applied to the 1970s "revision" of the classical Cranmerian-Laudian text. In the 1970s we saw something completely new created, something that looked quite unlike anything that had come before. In my humble opinion, few in the APA and REC will accept anything but minor variations on the 1662 and 1928 texts. A conservative and faithful modern language counterpart to these volumes could possibly bridge that gap. Common Prayer means common theology; without this Anglicanism is lost. The other 800 pound gorilla in the corner is the ordination of women. If this is not addressed, little hope can be had for any full union of the Common Cause Partners.
That being said, it is with equal sadness that I read months ago of some parts of the Continuum approving the old Roman Mass, without restrictions, for use at the Eucharist. Many would ask "What's wrong with that? Is there something wrong with that Canon?" That is actually beside the point. Just as with the stitched together services coming from the newer departees from ECUSA, the use of the Roman Mass moves one further away from classical Anglican theology and Common Prayer. It effectively makes one an Old Catholic, and there is nothing really wrong with that, but when one goes to an Anglican church one would expect an Anglican service, not the old Roman one. I would just hope such bodies or congregations would accurately label their worship services, and sign on to the 14 Old Catholic Theses as well.
There is no need for a brand new (or brand new old Roman) liturgy. We have a fine liturgy. And there is no need for a brand new liturgist. We had an excellent liturgist. His name was Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.