Friday, January 24, 2014

The Telling Omission in "Angican Use"

It would be pointless to emphasize the similarities between the real Book of Common Prayer tradition and the "Anglican Use" liturgies of the Roman Catholic Church. Far more telling are the differences, above all the omission of this very Biblical portion:

"Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who 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..."

 This is very clearly based on Scripture.

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Hebrews 9:27,28)."

"Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10:9,10)."

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (I John 2:1,2)."

One thing is clear from the combination of these passages, that is that the many are the whole world. That whole world is every human being whoever lived, lives or will live, other than the One Man Jesus Christ.

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all...and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors (Isaiah 53:6, 12)."

See in those words that the many are also all of us.

"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous (Romans 5:18, 19)."

So far, from these portions of the Scriptures, we can see that Christ's death was the Propitiation for everyone else. "Many" means the many who are redeemed by the One. If there is any doubt about the fullness and sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice, let it be answered by understanding the meaning of His own statement, "It is finished (John 19:30)." The Greek original for those three words is only one word, teleo. This word was written on all receipts to mean "It is paid in full."

Obviously, we will have more to say about this when we write our chapter on Article XXXI. But for now, I will add this important question. Is it not an issue of Christology? If we believe that the Son is One with the Father and the Holy Spirit, equal as God to the other two Persons of the Trinity, can we even dare to imagine that His death was less than a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world? Can we imagine that some time in a punitive purgatory remains? Can we imagine that "merits" of the saints are either necessary or possible, as if God owed something to mankind on account because of merely human righteousness?

So why does the Roman Catholic Church find it necessary to omit so bold and excellent a Gospel proclamation in its so-called Anglican Use liturgy? Do they have a problem with the Biblical doctrine of Atonement and Propitiation? Here we see yet another telling reason why we are not a mission field for those who think their communion is the One true Church. Without a clear proclamation of the Gospel, the Church cannot be all that God has commissioned her to be.


Anonymous said...

Great post and would love to hear your thoughts on Orthodoxy's Western Rite?

An Awkward Aardvark said...

Dear Continuum

I agree. A very good post. Can you explain, in more detail, they significance of this omission?

I think you're saying something important, but I don't quite follow you.

Jane Smith

Anonymous said...

It is probably worth noting how often, from the first chapter on, in the course of the Twenty-Second Session of the Council of Trent (17 Sept. 1562) references like this occur: "He, therefore, our God and Lord, though He was about to offer Himself once on the altar of the cross unto God the Father, by means of his death, there to operate an eternal redemption; nevertheless, because that His priesthood was not to be extinguished by His death, in the last supper, on the night in which He was betrayed,--that He might leave, to His own beloved Spouse the Church, a visible sacrifice, such as the nature of man requires, whereby that bloody sacrifice, once to be accomplished on the cross, might be represented, and the memory thereof remain even unto the end of the world, and its salutary virtue be applied to the remission of those sins which we daily commit [...] offered up to God the Father His own body and blood" (Waterworth trnalation as posted at

While some formally in communion with the Pope might like to treat it as such, 'Trent' is no dead letter, and others are fervent in promoting awareness of that fact and of what 'Trent' teaches.