Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
"ALMIGHTY God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness, and live; and hath given power, and commandment, to his Ministers, to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the Absolution and Remission of their sins : He pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel. Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him, which we do at this present; and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure, and holy; so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord."
"And because it is requisite, that no man should come to the holy Communion, but with a full trust in God's mercy, and with a quiet conscience; therefore if there be any of you, who by this means cannot quiet his own conscience herein, but requireth further comfort or counsel, let him come to me, or to some other discreet and learned Minister of God's Word, and open his grief; that by the ministry of God's holy Word he may receive the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly counsel and advice, to the quieting of his conscience, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness."
"Here shall the sick person be moved to make a special confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter. After which confession, the Priest shall absolve him (if he humbly and heartily desire it) after this sort:
OUR Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences: And by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."
--1662 Book of Common Prayer
With these things in mind I am posting one of the best (in my humble opinion) pieces on the ministry of Confession and Absolution available from the traditional Anglican perspective. Many texts written on this topic can have a tendency to simply mimic Roman practices and the theological justification for them. Other authors ignore what the Prayer Book and the Anglican divines have to say on the topic entirely and offer no guidelines as to its use at all.
Again, I hope this volume will be useful to priests and laity.
The Ministry of Absolution : An appeal for its more general use with due regard to the liberty of the individual
Cyril Bickersteth, M.A. of the Community of the Resurrection
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Let me turn to the good Father Moss for a fuller explanation (from Answer Me This):
When one is confused as to the use of these terms, they ought to be clearly explained. Some will argue (as Moss actually does) that the term Protestant has changed so much that we should omit its use all together (many Lutherans argue likewise, in that the old use of the term Protestant only referred to Anglicans, Lutherans, and Presbyterians; now that it refers so loosely to almost anyone not Roman Catholic it has become meaningless). However, the same could be said of the term "Catholic," since almost everyone means Roman when they say "Catholic" in the United States: Let's just stop using the word since it is so easily misunderstood. In my opinion we should follow the language of the Anglican divines, using both terms correctly and explaining the meaning in a clear manner to avoid confusion.
Is Anglicanism Protestant or Catholic? Ideally it is both, in the best sense of both terms.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
When one holds the Prayer Book one holds nearly half a millennium of religious and literary heritage that guided a nation and helped bring many nations to faith in Christ. When one holds a Book of Common Prayer in the classic lineage (1549-1929 editions for the Church of England) one holds a volume that united a nation in worship and inspired magnificent cathedrals and humble parish churches. We in the Anglican Church in North America and in the Continuum are now entrusted with this heritage of faith and the culture it produced in the British and English Churches; in this sense we are like the Christian peoples of Eastern Europe, whose faith and worship have been suppressed by Islam and Communism in turn and now by Islam again. Many of these people have immigrated to the West and preserve their faith and culture in the United States, sometimes outnumbering those they left behind in the "Old World." Often this is the reason one will see in this country Armenian Churches (their people slaughtered by the Turks in the first genocide of the 20th century), Coptic Churches (now a minority in Muslim Egypt and under increased threat to their existence in that land) and various other Orthodox Churches that suffered under Communism. I feel for these people and sympathize with their attempts to preserve what was in danger of being destroyed from without. Similarly, we now see "Anglican" (a word that conveys an ethnic and cultural heritage) parishes rather than simply Episcopal (a word that describes polity) parishes. Sadly, the Anglican Church and its preservation is being done because the West has largely destroyed this tradition from within, perverting the ancient faith and defacing the traditional worship of the English Church and her sister Churches.
Know the history and faith of the Christian Church, especially the Church of the British and English peoples, know the devotions of the English divines, know the music of the English Church—know what it is you are “Continuing” in and why, know why the Anglican Church in North America came into existence, so that you may faithfully preserve it for your children and your children’s children.
As the Anglican Church in North America develops a new Book of Common Prayer let us pray that it keeps in mind the great heritage with which it has been entrusted.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
I had begun to believe that blogging had gone by the wayside--what with Facebook and other forms of social media--so I had made a mental excuse for not posting all that frequently. However, the system that I'm using gives me some useful statistical information that tells me that people still stop by fairly frequently to read, most of the readers being from the United States and the United Kingdom. For those who are going back through the archives of this blog I hope that you've found some useful and inspiring content. I hope to add to that content more frequently in the future.