Monday, March 01, 2010

The Need for Unity

It is a self-evident fact that the Continuum is divided into a large number of small and even smaller jurisdictions, as a result of both human error and human pride. During this Holy season of Lent we re-read St John's Gospel, one of whose characteristic foci is unity - with Christ and with one another. The prayer "that they may be one" comes from the High Priestly prayer in St. John 17, and it is something that we should reflect upon as we look upon the state of the Church this Lent.

Whilst it is utterly inappropriate for anyone to go about apportioning blame when it comes to the events of 1977-82 that led to the original Anglican Church of North America (Episcopal) fragmenting into the ACC, APCK, and UECNA, it is appropriate is that we all pray for a reunion of these groups, and for the coming together of Continuing Anglicanism as a whole. However, this is not going to be achieved by harping upon old controversies and old injuries, but rather by looking forward and trying to recapture what Geoffrey Rowell described in his book of the same title as "The Vision Glorious," which I read for the first time in the course of a four and half hour bus ride from Dublin to 'Derry. The vision glorious that Bishop Rowell describes is that of Catholic Anglicanism.

Whilst it is still fashion in some circles to describe the Oxford Movement as some sort of revolution, it did, in fact, draw on the pre-existing High Church and Non-Juring traditions. It was, first and foremost, a theological movement that exalted Sacrament, Scripture, Spirituality, and the quest for Personal Holiness over the dominant rationalism of the day. Some writers - for example Geoffrey Faber in his "Oxford Apostles" and W S J Pickering in his "Anglo-Catholicism" - have attempted to define the Oxford Movement in terms of a Romantic reaction against the rationalism of the comparitively liberal Noetics and the Broad Churchmanship of the "Five Tutors." To do this ignores the theological focus of the movement, and attempts to make it largely cultural.

When asked in the 1840s what made a Tractarian, Pusey replied that a Tractarian had a high view of Holy Scripture, the three Creeds, the two Dominical Sacraments, the Apostolic Ministry, and the need for personal holiness. His answer was deliberately bland, but it also pointed out the fact that the Tractarians did not stand for anything new, but they express accepted truths in startling ways, so as provoke opposition from those who saw the Church of England as a "national, Protestant Church" rather than the English expression of the Church Catholic, reformed according to the teachings of Holy Scripture and the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church.

By the 1970s, when it became necessary for faith Anglicans to "continue" the Faith in North America, the battle in favour of the Reformed Catholic understanding of Anglicanism that had been largely won, particularly in North America, was being lost in the face of an attack by the Mongol hoards of Revisionism. This desire to maintain the Reformed Catholic heritage of Anglicanism led to the "Affirmation of St Louis" which received an all but unanimous vote at the 1977 Congress. For those of us who wish to restore Continuing Anglican Unity, it should serve as a pattern as to what we need to conserve and promote, and also as a reminder of the issues we can safely leave to personal taste and good sense.

The first thing that the Affirmation is absolutely clear about is the deposit of Faith. The foundations of Anglican orthodoxy are:


Holy Scripture

The Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds

The first Seven Ecumenical Councils

The writings and teachings of the Early Fathers


The St Louis Congress was also clear about embracing the mainstream of Anglican heritage, namely the following:

That within the perameters set above the Anglican Formularies; the BCP, the XXXIX Articles and the Homilies remain authoritative.

That the 1928 BCP (PECUSA) and the 1962 BCP (Canada), and by extension the last orthodox Prayer Book of the representatives of each Province that comes into the Continuum represents the standard of Faith.

A special, historical status is granted to the 1549 BCP.

This both places Anglicanism within Christendom as a reformed Catholic Church, but also sets the boundaries of what is theologically and liturgically important. Too many of our subsequent disagreements among ourselves have been due to arguments about matters of secondary, or even tertiary importance. It is therefore undesireable to erect any other standard of orthodoxy within the Continuum than the Affirmation of St Louis and the broad heritage of Anglican Faith and Practice to which it appeals. If one parish uses the Missal, and another the Book of Common Prayer that should not be a cause for internal wrangling because we are upholding and maintaining the same faith once delivered to the saints. All the "more Catholic than thou," and "more Anglican than thou" games that have been played over the last thirty years should cease because they distract us from making the vision glorious incarnate. One thing I know we all agree on - that the world needs the unequivocable witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed to and through the one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

So how does unity come about? I believe it was a Fr. Pearse, who made much use of the phrase "the family that prays together stays together" in his radio and TV campaigns of the 1940s and 50s. It is also a truth that Continuing Anglicans need to embrace that idea so that the clergy and laity of the various jurisdictions can meet together and lose their unarticulated fear that somehow that "other lot" are somehow stranger than we are. There is also a need for the clergy, especially bishops, to meet together to pray and talk honestly about the trifles that divide us with the absolute intention of finding our way past them. Unity is Our Lord's will for His Church, and I would hope that in the next decade Continuing Anglicans will recover theirs.

If the three churches directly descended from the St. Louis Congress were to come together, the position of the Continuing Anglican Church in the United States would be immeasurably strengthened because the energy we currently put into maintaining our denominational structures could be freed up for Mission and Evangelism. In addition to this we could rationalize our diocesan structures, establish more efficient seminaries and reading for orders programmes, etc..

There is a pressing need to do this. America is rapidly following much of Europe in becoming a post-Christian society. We need to be mindful that the Church needs to be ready to meet the challenges that preaching the Gospel in that unfriendly environment presents. So far in a largely, if inarticulately, Christian culture we have frequently been given a free pass for our unnecessary divisions, but that is not going to be case in the future. We need to remember that in order for humanity to reach its fullest potential it needs to hear, believe, embrace and live the one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen, +Peter--very well said!

Doubting Thomas

Death Bredon said...

Bishop Robinson,

I agree with everything you write up and until the statement that "if one parish uses the Missal, and another the Book of Common Prayer that should not be a cause for internal wrangling because we are upholding and maintaining the same faith once delivered to the saints." Indeed, I find this statement perplexing because, depending on one views the Missals, the statement is either radical or, in alternative, fairly unremarkable.

Indeed, to myself and many, the Missals are simply and utterly and unequivocally outside of, and incompatible with, orthodox Anglican litrugical tradition. Hence, to me and many, your above-quoted statement seems to imply that, at least when it comes to liturgical standards, the Continuum need not be particularly Anglican, but may adopt non-Anglican liturgical norms as long as they meet some as yet undefined, broader test of catholicity. Read thusly, your statement seems quite radical as, at least in principle it seems to entails the compromise of Anglican liturgical identity to both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Roman Rites, which some English and American Anglo-Catholics respectively prefer, or even to the Eastern Rites, which admittedly only enjoy extremely small support in the Continuum.

So my question is in two parts, (1) do you consider the Missals to be sufficiently part of traditional and orthodox Anglican patrimony such that their use would not constitute an abandonment at all of Anglican liturgical patrimony in the Continuum; or (2) do you really support in the name of peace allowing the dilution of traditional and orthodox Anglican liturgical particularity within the Continuum?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Death Bredon:

I had a premonition you wouldn't like that part. On that score, you are fighting a losing battle. Mostly, the Missal (as used) does nothing but dress up a Prayer Book service; do you object to hymnals too?

I do believe that the Missal (in either edition) can be misused, especially when BCP rubrics are not followed because priests fail to consider their canonical authority (such as the Decalogue at least once a month-required not suggested). And, I will never celebrate some of those "saints(?)" (Joan of Ark? Charles Borromeo?), whose canonization have no place in our history at all.

Nonetheless, whereas I criticize parts of the Missal, I can see no harm in using it to supplement and dress up a service, as does a good hymnal.

charles said...

Fr. Hart, again you are saying "I"... How does it play out in communion?

Death Bredon said...

Fr. Hart,

I am reminded by Percy Dearmer's tract, "Loyalty to the Prayer Book," that every conceivable good that can be achieved by use of the Missals as if they were Hymnals, i.e., mere supplements, can already be achieved by (1) use of the 1962 Canadian BCP for Introits and Grails; (2) the 1549 BCP Ordinary for a Sarum order of service; and (3) the Ornaments Rubric for enhanced ceremonial.

It strikes me that the purpose of retention of the Missals is for the use of (1) Roman introits and grails; (2) interpolation of, or replacement of, the Scots or English Canon; (3) adoption of Counter-Reformation feasts and saint days; and (4) mimicry of the Tridentine Mass.

Indeed, anyone with an ounce of loyalty to Anglican patrimony and a dash of gumption, who naturally and understandably wants worship to excel the naked Prayer Book when practicable, does not now, and never has, needed recourse to the Romish Missals and Ritual Notes.

* * * *

Still, I would love to hear from Bishop Robinson because, as is, I am unaware of requirement that the Missals be used with sense of restraint or attempt to maintain a sense of Common Prayer with those who actually use traditional editions of the BCP. Is the Continuum to be merely optionally Anglican?

Allen Lewis said...

o far in a largely, if inarticulately, Christian culture we have frequently been given a free pass for our unnecessary divisions, but that is not going to be case in the future.

That is not really the case now. Whenever the subject of why join not join the Continuum rather than the ACNA (which tolerates WO), the subject of our past divisions and petty squabbles is always brought up

We need to get beyond that if we are ever going to grow and flourish. The last foolishness in the UECNA was most unfortunate and lends credence to the accusation of "purple fever" within the Continuum. This needs to stop if we are ever to make any progress and have a chance at growth.

Along those lines, we also need to stop re-living the battles of the last 30 or so years. It is time to look forward (while maintaining the tenets of the St. Louis Accords.

Shaughn said...

I would be quite interested in learning the canonical status of the Missals / Prayer Books in our sister churches.

In the ACC, for example, the canons explicitly allow the 1549, the 1962 Canadian, the 1928 American, the S. African (I forget the year -- 1954, maybe?) and the Indian prayer books, as well as all of the Missals -- English, Anglican, American.

I'm mostly a live and let live sort of fellow on the matter, within reason.

Anonymous said...

"That the 1928 BCP (PECUSA) and the 1962 BCP (Canada), and by extension the last orthodox Prayer Book of the representatives of each Province that comes into the Continuum represents the standard of Faith."

Would that be the 1662 or 1928 Proposed Book in the UK?

Fr Edward

Fr. John said...

Fr. Hart is exactly correct. When we say, "1928 BCP service", that is not false advertising.

Once again, and again, and again, and again, please tell us where you, and others who think the missals are a departure from Anglicanism, have seen these things that you describe occur. If you are withholding that vital bit of information "just to keep the peace" you are doing the Anglican Continuum Churches no favour. I do not mean to impugn anyone's integrity, but just as in a discussion of historical events, you must cite your sources. It is not enough to say you have personal knowledge, and that the rest of us will just have to take your word for it.

I am calling all of you out. Put up or shut up. Demonstrate where these things take place in the Continuum. Several people have commented that this is a matter of discipline, and jurisdictions like the ACC should move to root out such practices, help us accomplish that, if you can.

I have never been to a Mass in the ACC where the Creed is recited after the homily. I know of no parish where the Decalogue is not recited on the first Sunday of every month. The 1928 BCP is in every parish, and one does not need a missal to follow the service.

If your objections run to post communion collects, and the number of candles on the holy table/altar (the 1928 BCP uses both terms)then you are truly wasting your time here, and the "many" that you cite to be in agreement with you should form their own jurisdiction so we can all see just what sort of appeal this type of Anglicanism has. And by type, I mean one that enforces a rigorous liturgical conformity. BTW, how do you view the 1940 Hymnal? Nothing in the prayer books about a hymnal, the 1928 BCP has hymns in it, why use a hymnal?

My inclination is to not respond to anymore of these baseless assertions about liturgical abuses in the Continuum churches, but as long as the blog management publishes them, and if something totally misleading is posted, I might be tempted to refute it.

I just don't believe you.

veriword is nonsi

John said...

A fascinating discussion.,. for those who adhere to "sola 1928 BCP", how do you address the 1928 approach to Ash Wednesday (pg 60-63) which has no rubrics/prayers involving ashes?

Fr John Westcott ACC

AFS1970 said...

Missals and Prayer Books and Churches OH MY. This is a subject that I know I need to learn more about.

I grew up in a continuing church, that used the 1928 BCP and the Missal. The Missal was up on the altar and used by the Priest, while we in the congregation followed along in our BCP's. I never really saw this as anything other than the right way, but I also lacked any other frame of reference.

As an adult looking into these things, I have become more confused. The Affirmation says (about the BCP)that no other standard for worship exists. That would tend to me to discount the missal however, I grew up fully recognizing that these two books were not all that different. I have always wondered why the writers of the Affirmation did not include the Missal. Then again, maybe it was because they didn't see there as being much of a distinction.

However these differences are an impediment to true unity. We can talk of agreements and treaties but as long as some of us really believe that some others are not really being Anglican, we will never have that elusive unity. Many smarter men than me have sat down and tried to define what exactly is or is not Anglican, and we see all the jurisdictions that have come from such decisions.

Just about the only thing I think we all can agree on, at least I hope so, is that the last thing we need are more new jurisdictions.

Anonymous said...

Fr. John,

My parish at St. John's (Pompano Beach, FL) does chant the Creed after the homily every Sunday. What's the problem with that? I'm only asking because it's all I've ever known in my Anglican experience (limited as that may be).

Thanks in advance!

St. Worm

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr. John:

I assume you were addressing Death Bredon.

Anonymous said...

Let me chime in to support Fr John about the harmlessness of the Anglicaan and American Missals. What Bible-believing Protestant could find a sensible objection to additional Scriptural material in the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia Verse or Tract, Offertory and Communion Antiphons? By the way, these are perfectly legal if one reads the BCP 1928 rubrics carefully. Who could object to a devout priest praying quietly during the Offertory and as he prepares to administer Holy Communion? Death Bredon's incessant use of the Missals as some kind of neo-Puritan whipping boy has become boring. Please, Death, find another little hobby horse to ride.

Shaughn: The Affirmation of St Louis. gives all the authorization anyone needs for use of the Missals. In fact I could question the loyalty to the Affirmation of anyone like Death who constantly brings up this complaint.

As far as the Decalogue is concerned, our local usage is to read it during the four Sundays of Advent and the three -gesimas.
LKW

Fr. Steve said...

The church I serve as the assistant at uses the missal. Personally, I would love to see an altar version of one of the Sarum Missals as translated into English supplant the Anglican Missal on the altar. But that's just me. The Book of Common Prayer came from the Sarum Missal, and I think it should be what is looked to for additional ceremonial if one wishes to add it.

Of course, my parish is a special case, and would be a long story to put here.

Death Bredon said...

I see two comments by Frs. John, and I am uncertain whether they are one in the same. And, although I am not a "sola BCP" man, but rather and Anglican- or English-Use man, in contrast to a "Romanizer," I I shall nevertheless endeavor to answer the questions presented in each Fr.-John comment in turn.

1. With regard to the request for a Bill of Particulars regarding Missal abuses, I shall hopefully submit a substantive response in the next few days. I should warn the good readers in advance that the Bill of Particulars is long, and I shall use my time to shorten it and cut directly to the matters of principle.

2. With regard to the Ash-Wednesday question, please allow me to direct the good readers to the following post over the wonderful Comfortable Words Blog: http://www.comfortablewords.com/comwords/diary/?p=1260

Anonymous said...

Not sure what 1928 BCP you have but clearly states Here may be sung a Hymn or Anthem rubrics p 70.

I fail to see the Hymnal as a good analogy to the Missal. I recognize the frame of the 28 within it but I can't avoid associating it with Roman form. It ius entirely unnecessary if morning Parayer is conducted in conjunction with Holy Communion as the Psalms and OT lessons get their rightful place.

John
Veri: vatigrin

Fr. John said...

St. Worm wrote:"My parish at St. John's (Pompano Beach, FL) does chant the Creed after the homily every Sunday. What's the problem with that?"

I don't know if it's a problem, but what rubric directs it? The 1928 BCP and the missals all direct that it be recited after the Gospel and before the announcements and homily.

Fr. John said...

Father John Westcott and I are not one and the same.

Anonymous said...

Fr John: When you say "Missal" the first thing which comes to MY mind is the Missale Romanum. It had no rubrical provision for a sermon at all! As you would surely know, the old-fashioned RC practice was to deliver the sermon usually after the Gospel and before the Credo. Occasionally, however, it was delivered at other points, such as after the priest's communion and before the people's communion. Our Anglican/American Missals were simply obeying the BCP order, instead of conforming to RC practice. Isn't that funny!
LKW

Death Bredon said...

LKW,

I fear that you misunderstand me--I have no hatred for the Tridentine Missal. In fact, in many ways, I admire those under Roman obedience who prefer it to the Novus Ordo.

As for my "hobby horse," i.e., my faithfulness to the Book of Common Prayer, please forgive me it annoys you. You must keep in mind, after all, that I am an Anglican.

Indeed, my only purpose for commenting here in response on Bishop Robinson's excellent post is not to whip anything or anyone, but rather to have the good bishop clarify whether he thinks the Missals are a sound part of Anglican liturgical tradition or instead that sound Anglican liturgical tradition is merely optional in the Continuum?

Sean W. Reed said...

Father Hart wrote:

"...I had a premonition you wouldn't like that part. On that score, you are fighting a losing battle. Mostly, the Missal (as used) does nothing but dress up a Prayer Book service..."

Of course, places like our parish used that argument many many years ago to justify using the Missal, but I don't think it holds true 100% of the time.

There is different theology, and one of the most striking examples would be in the Requimen Mass propers from the Missal. While I support what they say, I wonder if we can really say that so called "Classical Anglican" theology is compatible with them?

While I think few would argue that the Offertory in particular of the Roman Missal (Extra-ordinary form) is making reference to purgatory, it does not quite ring true to say the same collect in the Anglican Missal does not speak of that "Romish Doctrine" but only means the intermediate state in the Anglican understanding.

The collect is the same in both places, and we did not come up with it first.

While I support theology we find in the Missal, I don't see how a classical Anglican can make a wholesale endorsement of it.

Use it yes to "dress up" a prayer book service, but when used completely, it does more than that, it seems to me.

Father, do you or others here find many exceptions to using it? How do you rationalize the Calendar when picking and choosing what feasts from the Missal to observe? Do you not find the 3rd seasonal collect in Lent and the 3rd Post Communion problematic?

SWR

Anonymous said...

Fr. John,

Our pattern has always been Gospel, Sermon, Creed, then Announcements, at least for the 8 years I've been at this parish.

The parish priest's impeccable history and service at St. John's in the ACC (who, by the way, in on the commission of ministry), is a testimony to the approbation of such a use.

+ Peter said...

This is really a "painful fruit of experience" answer. So no-one is going to like it.

My experience of the Continuum has been that there are very few dedicated Romanizers. The few there are tend to use the Anglican Missal or the English Missal and substitute the Gregorian Canon for that given in the BCP. That to me is clearly playing fast and loose with the idea that the 1928 BCP is the standard text.

What is less clear is whether heavily supplementing the BCP by using the Missal is a similar infraction of the idea of Common Prayer. I would tend to say "no" but with three provisos:

1. The complete BCP text should be present.

2. No significant deviation be made from the order of the BCP is made.

3. That where the rubrics of the BCP and Missal differ, those of the BCP be followed.

Personally, I am much more comfortable with the Parson's Handbook/Alciun Club type of ceremonial, and enriching the BCP from Anglo-Norman sources such as the Sarum and Dominican Uses. I do wish more priests would consider following what Dearmer latterly called "the Anglican Use." After all it is derived from the same Anglo-French tradition as the pre-Vatican II Dominican and Carmelite Uses. Given that line of development even the most ardent Anglo-Papalist would be pushed to declare it uncatholic!

I also think that being a little more enthusiastic about our liturgical patrimony might give a clear signal that we are serious about our rejection of theological innovations both Papalist and Puritan. However, I don't want to push that one too hard for fear of starting another firestorm.

+PDR

+ Peter said...

Fr Edward,

My preference would be the proposed book of 1928, but strictly speaking, it should be 1662 as that is the last BCP authorized by both Church and Parliament.

I know both the 1662 BCP and the 1928 DBCP give the ACC heartburn thanks to the revised version of the "Black Rubric" which repudiates the notion of a corporal presence. Perhaps the best idea for Great Britain would be for the Continuum to use the 1929 Scottish BCP which has both the Non-Juror Liturgy as revised in 1764, 1912, and 1929, and the "English Communion Office" of 1662, but without the offending rubric.

Anonymous said...

Sean Reed is correct in his claim that there is a different theology in the Missals. The Missals have many references to Merit, Purgatory, and Marian dogmas which are in conflict with the theology of classical Anglicanism. This is why the Missals are used, for the most part, rather selectively. It is also why the American Missal frequently makes these things optional rather than mandatory, with rubrics such as "if it be the custom of the place," or such like.

But I am puzzled over why Sean would bring this up, considering his anxiety to join a Church which dumped the Mass 30 years ago in favor of the Novus Ordo, a rite far more Protestant than any edition of the Book of Common Prayer.

I totally concur in the principles laid down by Bishop Robinson; if fact, hat is pretty much how things are done in the parish where I serve. We do not even have the Missal on the Holy Table (although a large American Missal gathers dust in the sacristy). But we do sing the Gloria after the Kyrie.

LKW

Fr. John said...

(Truly)Anonymous wrote: "Our pattern has always been Gospel, Sermon, Creed, then Announcements, at least for the 8 years I've been at this parish."

You've lost me. That's exactly what I wrote that the BCP and Missals call for. St. Worm wrote that his parish "chanted the Creed after the sermon." If that is what they do, I have no problem with it, but it is Roman custom, not Anglican, and in my experience not customary.

AFS1970 said...

While this seems to have become a liturgy thread, it is also a unity thread. One of the biggest barriers that I have heard to unity, is the different standards for Holy Orders.

Recent thoughts on this matter seem to be preoccupied with differences between Rome and the world of Anglicanism, but there are differences within our own continuum, that pose a problem. The main problem would be when one sees their own orders as valid, and another does not. The first cannot submit to further ordinations and the other will not accept the previous ones.

Some of these differences are based on theological issues, such as WO/HO, and who by & when such innovations were accepted. I have long heard tales of divorce and annulments within the clergy of various jurisdictions. Other differences are on educational standards. Was a formal Seminary required or did a candidate need a Bachelor's degree to even apply?

To those that maintain the strictest of standards these are likely walls that can not be breached. To those with more liberal interpretations, they probably think the orthodox are being unreasonable. Either way, unity is not reached.

I do not know the answer, but I know that the answer must be found. The goal is of course unity, but as we have seen with the ACNA, it can not be unity for it's own sake without any real agreement. I know where my opinions sit on most of these matters, but my opinion is of no official weight in these discussions.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr.John:

You've lost me. That's exactly what I wrote that the BCP and Missals call for.

Did you read that carefully? The order is Gospel, Creed, announcements, sermon. Although, in some places saying the Creed after the sermon may serve as a necessary corrective measure. It is for the best that the modern Episcopalians have it in that order.

+Peter wrote:

I know both the 1662 BCP and the 1928 DBCP give the ACC heartburn thanks to the revised version of the "Black Rubric" which repudiates the notion of a corporal presence.

The irony is no one, who knows anything, believes in corporal presence. I think many take the Black Rubric to indicate a rejection of Real Presence, which it really does not; furthermore, I don't believe anyone can explain Real Presence, which makes it quite a perfect fit for one of the Mysteries.

I believe that Fr. John Hollister presented advice to Fr. Edward (an English priest) concerning the 1662 BCP, making use of a canonical provision in the ACC, which I hope to see done, and which I hope to see succeed.

John A. Hollister said...

Bishop Robinson wrote, "I know both the 1662 BCP and the 1928 DBCP give the ACC heartburn thanks to the revised version of the 'Black Rubric' which repudiates the notion of a corporal presence."

From the discussions I have heard when these questions have come up at ACC Synods, I would have to agree with the good Bishop. What puzzles me, however, is why it should be so. The 1962 Canadian BCP has been authorized under the ACC's Constitution since that document was first adopted but the 1962 Canadian Eucharistic Rite has no essential differences from the 1662 English one, "bobtailed" Canon and all. It even includes the "Black Rubric".

So where we already have within our tent these features, what is the big objection to having two authorized BCPs that contain them instead of only one?

Of course, virtually no one in the USA uses the service so beloved of our brethren north of the Border, so perhaps these inconvenient facts are simply unknown down here.

The mind of the Synod delegate is a deep mystery, wrapped in obscurity, and hidden from profane view.

And that might be Fr. Edward's answer, too: Use the Canadian BCP and he will have, for all practical purposes, the 1662 BCP with a botched Psalter.

John A. Hollister+
"biomoner"

David Gould said...

It is a shame that the debate herein has strayed a little from what Bishop Peter has urged the continuing Anglicans in the US - and the world beyond the United States of America, because the Church is present on every continent which is the issue of divisions within the continuum.

I do not subscribe to the view that we need to wait for cantankerous prelates to leave their body and head for their heavenly reward before something is done about this.

We have Canterbury Anglicans sneering at our ecclesiastical jurisdictions naming some as vagante sects.

What I believe is needed is unity - one Council of Bishops, one college of priests and deacons and one Primate or Metropolitan of the Anglican Catholic continuum throughout the world. And no, I do not mean an Anglican Pope either. If one looks at the eastern Churches we see collegiality, we see patriarchs or presiding bishops as first among equals, perhaps more honored in dignity, as much by the antiquity of their see as anything else.

To that end I pray that the TAC move to convert to the Roman Church will hurry up and happen, because their Anglicanism lacks the self-confidence, the servanthood and the mission that remains the vision of Anglicans who remain committed to orthodoxy, to the faith of the fathers of the English Church.

RC Cola said...

AFS1970,

Several months ago we had a heated debate about education standards in the Continuum. It is, indeed, a problem.

The Diocese of the South an extremely challenging Bibliography with which a postulant may Read for Orders. It is so challenging that it would probably be easier to do a degree program. I cannot vouch for other dioceses' or other continuing church's standards.

There are a few reliable RC distance MA programs in Theology, and Christendom College has a summer program that is convenient for men who are teachers or professors to study theology.

Some protestant schools may offer reliable distance degrees also, but I have not had as much luck tracking those down. So far I have found all fundamentalist schools. Since there are probably a couple hundred more schools out there, I'll keep looking.

Nashotah House has an interesting program in which you go to Nashotah for a week and finish the course on-line. MA in Ministry can be completed in 2 years.

The problem is that by demanding a certain standard would, at this point, serve to alienate. In some cases that might actually be a good thing (ha ha ha) but I'm sure there are good priests out there who have not had formal theological training (in the sense of a brick-and-mortar seminary) and yet are serving the needs of their flock well.

RC Cola said...

Indeed, anyone with an ounce of loyalty to Anglican patrimony and a dash of gumption, who naturally and understandably wants worship to excel the naked Prayer Book when practicable, does not now, and never has, needed recourse to the Romish Missals and Ritual Notes.

Death, the Sarum Use to which you had referred earlier in this post was a Roman Rite, and England was, even at its most Anglo-Saxon, a Roman Church. The Church came to Britannia during the Roman Empire with St. Alban. Spread to Ireland (meaning that the much vaunted "Celtic Church" as separate from and united against the Roman Church on the continent is a myth) and when England was largely re-paganized Ireland sent missionaries back to England and they were followed shortly by the Gregorian mission. No matter which way you turn, or how you try to spin it, the English Church has always been, and will always be, a roman church. It is inescapable. Even Lutheranism and Calvinism cannot escape their roman origins, even if they reject Romanism.

This doesn't mean one needs to be a slavish copycat of all things Roman, but to write off everything Roman as being foreign and offensive to Anglicanism is not sound ecclesialogy, theology, and least of all history. I would say that to attempt a 100% divorce from Rome and everything "Romish" takes gumption and bespeaks a lack of loyalty to Anglican patrimony.

Sean W. Reed said...

KLW wrote:

"...But I am puzzled over why Sean would bring this up, considering his anxiety to join a Church which dumped the Mass 30 years ago in favor of the Novus Ordo, a rite far more Protestant than any edition of the Book of Common Prayer..."



First where do you get "anxiety?" To say we stand ready to be among the first who enter the Ordinariate is true - but no anxiety about it, as that term is commonly understood to mean. Our Blessed Lord bade us not to be anxious about anything, and certainly not about becoming a fully integrated part of The Church He founded, and promised the Gates of Hell will not prevail against.

You obviously don't know a thing about our parish. We have no interest in the NO per se, and won't be seeing it used.

Two Mass Liturgies are already approved in advance, and other liturgies may be used after approval.

While the NO is one of the two, the Extra-Ordinary Form (Yes, gasp, in LATIN) is the second most used Mass in our parish. In fact, at 9am CST this morning, like every Wednesday morning, the Low Mass will begin:

P: In nomine Patris, (+) et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.

P: Introibo ad altare Dei.

S: Ad deum qui laetificat Juventutem meam. ...


You nay sayers can speculate all you want, but we will have a Missal to use, very similar to that we are accustomed to. If we were going to be required to use only the BCP and nothing more, that would be more of a problem than the NO, not that the New Order of the Mass would be our first choice, but it does not include as much ambigious language that can be interpreted in a manner to please both Catholics and Protestants. Ambigious language does no one a favor, unless you believe in the failed concept of the "big tent" having merit.

Besides the whole concept places an importance on the expression of the Liturgy we bring to the family.

SWR

John said...

As to the placement of the Creed and the Sermon, during my VTS 1979 education, I was taught that having the creed after the sermon permitted the congregation to compare the contents of the sermon with the declarations of the creed. Thereby no matter how heretical or gospel denying the sermon might be, by reciting the creed directly afterward the congregation is reminded of the Truth before proceeding to the "Holy Communion". Of course, one could argue that the creed said before the sermon should remind a priest of his duty to preach the Gospel.

I am honored to be confused with Fr John, let me be known as Fr John3+

William Tighe said...

"The irony is no one, who knows anything, believes in corporal presence."

All orthodox Lutherans do; they use the phrase "bodily presence" (see Hermann Sasse's magnum opus *This Is My Body* or those online translations into English of the late Swedish Lutheran scholar Tom Hardt's writings on the Eucharist). So did Pope Paul VI in his 1966 encyclical on the Eucharist, whose name escapes me at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Fr. Hart. I was going to redirect Fr. John to what he wrote.

St. Worm

P.S., I'm thinking of dropping my alias if it's confusing to the course of conversation. I've just had this alias online since 1996, so it's a hard habit to stop.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Sean Reed wrote:

...and certainly not about becoming a fully integrated part of The Church He founded, and promised the Gates of Hell will not prevail against.

If that is how you describe converting to Roman Catholicism, then it is good, as David Gould said, that you go quickly-though I will not say it as in, "that thou doest..." Anyway, we are discussing unity among Continuing Anglicans, and your comment demonstrates why that does not include the TAC anymore.

+ Peter said...

The central point that I was trying to make in the initial posting was that the Continuing Church needs to get away from its obsessive preoccupation with the minutiae. It has, in my opinion, a good understanding of what is its central mission and purpose is, but we also have a sad history of falling out over inessentials. The old Anglican Way was to gentle enforce the basics, allow a generous liberty in non-essentials (such as ceremonial), and leave the rest to God.

The basic plea is "please stop sweating the small stuff! Unity is more effective witness to the theological integrity of Anglicanism." In the USA, the Anglican tradition is in danger of greying out because we do not but enough effort into mission and evangelism. The anecdotal evidence is that conservative/traditional churches and parishes are the ones that are doing well as Christianity moves from being mainstream to being counter-cultural. Anglicanism in the USA should be riding that wave quite effectively, but it is not. Why? I suspect the major reason lies in our lack of unity and ineffectiveness in getting the message. As my old bishop used to put it, "being the frozen chosen" is not a good mission strategy."

+PDR

Death Bredon said...

RC Cola,

Of course Old Sarum, and other English Usages, are part of the larger Latin Rite of the Western Church, just as Rome has always had its own Usage with the Latin Rite. Which only goes to show (1) that, traditionally, English and Roman usages were never meant to be the same even when England was under the Roman thumb; and (2) that insisting on a rough uniformity between the two now, after the English Reformation an the Counter Reformation have placed a wide theological gulf between the two, is more misguided and artificial than it ever!

Death Bredon said...

Mr Tighe makes an excellent point about the idea of corporeal presence. While some in the medieval Latin tradition have glossed away in academic journals and treatises any notion of a carnal real presence, that view has not disappeared, and Counter-Reformed liturgies such as the Extraordinary Roman Use (Tridentine Mass) or an 'Anglican' Missal Mass according to Ritual Notes, especially if followed by Benediction and Exposition, are extremely patient of a carnal real presence doctrine. In sum, if the neighboring parish has a different liturgy, it probably has different beliefs too.

Death Bredon said...

Bishop Robinson,

Of course majoring in minors is a fruitless task. But is that why the Continuum has had no appreciable growth 40 years?

Perhaps the real problem is that we have been minoring in majors--i.e. glossing over the differences between the English Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, the Articles and Trent, and the Book of Common Prayer and the American Missal.

In any case, even former Episcopalians digested with (P)ECUSA, and now the TEC, have CONTINUED to staying away from the Continuum in droves. [As an interesting, and perhaps telling, parallel, I would point out that the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholics are staying away from Extraordinary Rite parishes in droves.]

Anonymous said...

+ Peter said: "Fr Edward,

My preference would be the proposed book of 1928, but strictly speaking, it should be 1662 as that is the last BCP authorized by both Church and Parliament.

I know both the 1662 BCP and the 1928 DBCP give the ACC heartburn thanks to the revised version of the "Black Rubric" which repudiates the notion of a corporal presence. Perhaps the best idea for Great Britain would be for the Continuum to use the 1929 Scottish BCP which has both the Non-Juror Liturgy as revised in 1764, 1912, and 1929, and the "English Communion Office" of 1662, but without the offending rubric."

Amen to that! Where is the UECNA in the UK?

Fr Edward

Canon Tallis said...

Well, here we are at it again. As Bishop Haverland wrote the laity were prayer book loyalists while the clegy were "partisan" Anglo-Catholics, although to many of us they were less Anglo-Catholics than Anglo-papists because if there was anything they could do more Romano that would be outside obedience to the rubrics of the classical prayer books and especially of the Ornaments Rubric, that precisely is what they were going to do. And are doing.

Father John (whom I believe to be a very good man and a good priest) wrote: "we have the Church that we want," but is it the Church that the laity want or one that they must simply tolerate if they want a faith as close as possible to that of the prayer book.

The rubrics of our American prayer book require the use of Ten Commandments at least once a month. And most do, even the folks who use the missal. But what we really need is a canon that requires all the priests and bishops in the Continuum to celebrate at least once a month in complete accordance with the prayer books with the Ornaments of both the Church and the ministers being in complete accordance with the Ornaments Rubric.

I find it extremely if painfully amusing that most of the clerics in the Continuum could do a high mass in complete accordance with Fortesque and O'Connell's Ceremonies of the Roman Rite, but have very, very little if any idea of what a complete Anglican service is supposed to look and sound like in terms of what Bishop Cosis and the Council of Nicea alike meant when they said "Let the ancient customs prevail."

And here, let me be clear, I absolutely believe Father Hart when he says that he uses the missal in terms which "conform" to the prayer book with the exception of putting Gloria at the beginning and 'tarping.' I also believe him when he says that he sees no harm in it, after all he like another entirely excellent priest does a completely prayer book conforming service before it every Sunday. But the elephant in the room at this moment is what is happening with ACA/TAC. Rome has been made the real authority for so long that they are not taking the next illogical step, submission.

Those determined to play papists or papist light with The Book of Common Prayer have not heard and probably will not hear. They are enjoying themselves too much which seems to be their only if not most important consideration. But while I know that they will not do it, I would recommend that they sit themselves down this Lent and read themselves through the sequence of classical prayer books, every word, every page. And then think or pray about what they are doing to their people and the Church.

Fr. John said...

My apologies on the confusion over the placement of the Creed. It was late when I was writing.

On another thread one poster had complained that some Continuum priests were reciting the Creed after the sermon. My point was that both the Missals and the Prayer Books direct that the Creed be recited after the Gospel and before the announcement and the sermon.

Now that I read back over St. Worms remarks, and (Totally) Anoymous's later post (I assume that it is St. Worm) stating "Our pattern has always been Gospel, Sermon, Creed, then Announcements, at least for the 8 years I've been at this parish." That is yet another order with the announcements being totally separated from the sermon.

At any rate, it is a small thing in my estimation, but in every ACC parish I have attended the Prayer Book rubrics are followed in this matter.

Fr. John Westcott, thank you for your kind words. I, too, am honored to be in your company.

Shaughn said...

Bishop Robinson,

My bad for hopping right back in with the liturgical squabbles. If our disagreements are largely liturgical, rather than doctrinal (which seems to be the case), then I don't understand why we cannot mostly agree to live and let live within certain boundaries and move forward.

I'm quite interested in engaging in evangelism. Part of this activity means going where people are -- college campuses, Fellowship of Christian Athlete programs in secondary schools, and so forth, which is something we seem reluctant to do. Near as I can tell, many of us (and this isn't just Anglicanism, but American church life in general) tend to prefer the "Here we are. We're friendly. Ya'll come." approach to evangelism, which doesn't empower our congregants to seek out people and bring them to church.

It's an activity that would require, in my mind, comprehensive participation of both laity and clergy. It seems like a simple point, but at the end of the day, one priest can be at one place at one time. 50 parishioners can be at 50 places at one time. I know phrases like "empowering the laity" are often scary; I would think of it more as commissioning the laity with shared obligations.

It would also mean engaging "them" -- those people out there who may be totally unchurched, or are between churches, in a way that would require us to show Christian charity first and foremost, rather than how we're better and how someone else is incorrect.

I find the call for evangelism important and encouraging.

charles said...

Someone earlier commented Anglicans cannot reject everything that comes from Rome. So, which parts of Rome, Sarum, fathers, and other segments of England's history does Prayer Book worship reflect?

Here is a quote from Dearmer which provides ready food for thought, "The English Church happens to base herself in a special manner upon history–she appeals to the Scriptures and primitive antiquity for her theology, [* Articles VI., VIII., etc.] to the ancient Fathers for her ritual, [* The Preface Concerning the Service of the Church, Article XXIV., etc.] to Catholic tradition for her ceremonial; [* The Preface Of Ceremonies, Canon 30 (1603), Canon & (1640), etc.] she refers us to the second year of Edward VI for her ornaments, [* The Ornaments Rubric] and to the later middle ages for the arrangement of her chancels. [* "And the chancels shall remain as they have done in times past." (First inserted in 1552.)] [24/25] Her formularies, therefore, cannot be understood without a good deal of historical knowledge. Some people may object to this, and may ask–-Why should they be bound by documents that are two or three hundred years old? But the fact remains that they are so bound, whether they like it or not; and that the whole intention of the Reformers, as shown from end to end of the Prayer Book, Articles, and Canons, was to bind them to principles that are nearer two thousand than two hundred years of age. Nor will they be released from this bondage to historic continuity till the same authority that imposed it shall have removed it,–which will not be for a long time to come. The attempts that have been hitherto made at throwing off this light yoke have not been so conspicuously successful in their results as to encourage us to proceed. Therefore I ask Churchmen to renounce those futile experiments of private judgment, and to throw themselves into the task of realising in its entirety that sound Catholic ideal which the defenders of the English Church preserved for us through the most troublous period of her history. “– Dearmer, Loyalty to the Prayer Book

The way out of the ditch we've dug is sticking to our own formularies. The PB is an instrument of revival. If anyone hasn't read 'Loyalty to the Prayer Book', please click here:
Loyalty to the Prayer Book

To help answer those questions which the Prayer book seems silent on (without going Roman), look up these books:
F.H. Dikinson, Missale and Usum Sarum
C.S. Cobb The Rationale of Ceremonial 1541-3.

Here's another wonderful quote, found in the Winter 2010 Mandate, by an American episcopal, reminding where our cues come from (not Rome):

"Richard Channing Moore (1762-1841), the evangelical bishop of Virginia who brought religious
awakening to his diocese prior to the Civil War, wrote to a presbyter under his charge: “As I know from experience, the temptations to aberrate from the Liturgy with which you will be assailed; you must pardon me, in requesting that you resist them all. We have solemnly promised to conform to the discipline and worship of the Church upon all public occasions; and however agreeable a departure from our obligation may be to some,
still men of principle will venerate and respect us for our fidelity, and be pleased to see in us a scrupulous regard to our ordination vows.”

Isn't this (our vows) what it's all about?-- keeping God's Name Holy so He might be Glorified? I don't see that as trivial or hairsplitting at all.

RC Cola said...

Wait...I can't believe I missed this one about corporeal presence.

I think what is confusing here are the terms. Are we using "corporeal" as a synonym for "physical"? I'm not sure if we can do that.

If we believe that the Eucharist is the Body of Christ, we are saying--by definition of Body--that there is a corporeal presence, hence the "Body of Christ" Corpus Christi. One cannot believe in a Body and reject corporeality--a bodiless body? Now someone could counter that they've never heard of a non-physical body, so I'm making an artificial distinction. (Ah! The scholastic stink!)

Now this is not to say that Christ is physically present. What is physically present is Bread, and we recognize it by its accidents that remain: bland, flat, round, whitish, about the size of a quarter, derived from wheat, etc.

Sadly, I am too much of a newbie to know much about the infamous Black Rubric, and so I cannot rightfully express an opinion about that in particular. I just am not ready to equate corporeality with physicality.

I'm running into one of those problems where I need to sit down and read before writing more because I know what I want to say but I'm having a tough time putting it to words. For now, let me say that having a body is of the nature of a human person, and thus even if we don't have the physical body after death, it exists metaphysically because our soul is act, not potential, and since embodiment is of human nature, that body must also be in act, not mere potential. Part of the horror of death is that by removing our body from our soul, we cannot exist according to our nature. Thank God that by rising from the dead, we will be as we were meant to be.

Forgive me. I am a sinner by nature. A Thomist by training. And a hack in intellectual and literary ability. If I can work it out what I want to say, I'll send Fr. Hart an MS Word file.

Dr. Tighe, you are thinking of Mysterium Fidei from 1965.
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_03091965_mysterium_en.html
I think you are referring to Paragraph 46.

+Peter, great thread you started. You are right: don't sweat the small stuff. The Enemy loves to divide and conquer, and the small stuff is his favorite tool.

Veriword: phronst
Onomatopoeia of blowing one's nose.

Brian said...

Great link, charles. Thank you for posting it.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

...that there is a corporeal presence, hence the "Body of Christ" Corpus Christi.

RC Cola:

You have noticed the problem with the word; nonetheless, what is meant is impanation.

John A. Hollister said...

RC Cola wrote: "What is physically present is Bread, and we recognize it by its accidents that remain: bland, flat, round, whitish, about the size of a quarter, derived from wheat, etc."

I once heard a learned priest say, "The greatest act of faith in the Christian religion is not accepting that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Our Lord, it is accepting that the little wafer of fish food is really bread!"

John A. Hollister+
"ghwagra"

Sean W. Reed said...

Fr. Hollister wrote:

"...I once heard a learned priest say, "The greatest act of faith in the Christian religion is not accepting that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Our Lord, it is accepting that the little wafer of fish food is really bread!"


It is an interesting thought, but I wonder how he might reconcile with with what Cyril of Jerusalem had to say, writing in 315 AD:

"What was formerly bread is bread no more...and what was formerly wine is wine no more."

Sean W. Reed

Fr. Robert Hart said...

It is an interesting thought, but I wonder how he might reconcile with with what Cyril of Jerusalem had to say, writing in 315 AD...

Talk about a tough audience.

Death Bredon said...

Cyril likely wouldn't find this a laughing matter at all. Instead, he would surely say that the wafers (azymes) we use under are not in fact bread (artos), which is specified for the Eucharist by the plain language of Scripture, the actual institution of our Lord, and the consistent practice of the most early Fathers. I would note that we couldn't be the crux of a bad joke were to follow the Anglican tradition of offering bread, not Roman unleavened wafers.

RC Cola said...

Now this is not to say that Christ is physically present. What is physically present is Bread, and we recognize it by its accidents that remain: bland, flat, round, whitish, about the size of a quarter, derived from wheat, etc.

I wanted to go back and correct myself:

...What are physically present are the accidents of bread that remain after it becomes the Body of Christ: bland, flat, round,...