Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Revised Litany

I thought I'd post my attempt at revising the 1662 BCP for American soil. As I've stated elsewhere on this blog, I think it is the best Anglican liturgy out there and I hope it can be published and revised, minimally, so that more Anglicans can experience it.


The Litany is appointed to be sung or said after Morning Prayer on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and at other times appointed by the Ordinary.

O GOD the Father of heaven:
have mercy upon us miserable sinners.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the world:
have mercy upon us miserable sinners.
O God the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son:
have mercy upon us miserable sinners.
O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three Persons and one God:
have mercy upon us miserable sinners.
Remember not, Lord, our offences, nor the offences of our forefathers; neither take thou vengeance of our sins: spare us, good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood, and be not angry with us for ever.
Spare us, good Lord.
From all evil and mischief; from sin, from the crafts and assaults of the devil; from thy wrath, and from everlasting damnation,
Good Lord, deliver us.
From all blindness of heart; from pride, vain-glory, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness,
Good Lord, deliver us.
From fornication, and all other deadly sin; and from all the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil,
Good Lord, deliver us.
From lightning and tempest; from plague, pestilence, and famine; from battle and murder, and from sudden death,
Good Lord, deliver us.
From all sedition, privy conspiracy, and rebellion; from all false doctrine, heresy, and schism; from hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word and Commandment,
Good Lord, deliver us.
By the mystery of thy holy Incarnation; by thy holy Nativity and Circumcision; by thy Baptism, Fasting, and Temptation,
Good Lord, deliver us.
By thine Agony and bloody Sweat; by thy Cross and Passion; by thy precious Death and Burial; by thy glorious Resurrection and Ascension; and by the coming of the Holy Ghost,
Good Lord, deliver us.
In all time of our tribulation; in all time of our wealth; in the hour of death, and in the day of judgement,
Good Lord, deliver us.
We sinners do beseech thee to hear us, O Lord God: and that it may please thee to rule and govern thy holy Church universal in the right way,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to bless and preserve our Rulers and Magistrates [especially __________], giving them grace to execute justice and to maintain truth;
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to illuminate all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, with true knowledge and understanding of thy Word; and that both by their preaching and living they may set it forth, and show it accordingly;
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord. 

That it may please thee to send forth laborers into thy harvest;
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to bless and keep all thy people,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to give to all nations unity, peace, and concord,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to give us an heart to love and dread thee, and diligently to live after thy commandments,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to give to all thy people increase of grace, to hear meekly thy Word, and to receive it with pure affection, and to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to bring into the way of truth all such as have erred, and are deceived,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to strengthen such as do stand; and to comfort and help the weak-hearted; and to raise up them that fall; and finally to beat down Satan under our feet,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to succour, help, and comfort all that are in danger, necessity, and tribulation,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to preserve all that travel by land or by water, all women labouring of child, all sick persons, and young children; and to shew thy pity upon all prisoners and captives,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to defend, and provide for, the father-less children, and widows, and all that are desolate and oppressed,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to have mercy upon all men,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, and to turn their hearts,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to give and preserve to our use the kindly fruits of the earth, so as in due time we may enjoy them,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to give us true repentance; to forgive us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances; and to endue us with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, to amend our lives according to thy holy Word,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
Son of God: we beseech thee to hear us.
Son of God: we beseech thee to hear us.
O Lamb of God: that takest away the sins of the world;
Grant us thy peace. O Lamb of God: that takest away the sins of the world;
Have mercy upon us.
O Christ, hear us.
O Christ, hear us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

OUR Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

O Lord, deal not with us after our sins.
Neither reward us after our iniquities.
Let us pray.

O GOD, merciful Father, that despisest not the sighing of a contrite heart, nor the desire of such as be sorrowful: Mercifully assist our prayers that we make before thee in all our troubles and adversities, whensoever they oppress us; and graciously hear us, that those evils, which the craft and subtilty of the devil or man worketh against us, be brought to nought, and by the providence of thy goodness they may be dispersed; that we thy servants, being hurt by no persecutions, may evermore give thanks unto thee in thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us for thy Name's sake.

O GOD, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have declared unto us, the noble works that thou didst in their days, and in the old time before them.

O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us for thine honour.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.
From our enemies defend us, O Christ.
Graciously look upon our afflictions. Pitifully behold the sorrows of our hearts.
Mercifully forgive the sins of thy people. Favourably with mercy hear our prayers.
O Son of David, have mercy upon us. Both now and ever vouchsafe to hear us, O Christ.
Graciously hear us, O Christ; graciously hear us, O Lord Christ. O Lord, let thy mercy be shewed upon us;
As we do put our trust in thee.
Let us pray.

WE humbly beseech thee, O Father, mercifully to look upon our infirmities; and for the glory of thy Name turn from us all those evils that we most righteously have deserved; and grant that in all our troubles we may put our whole trust and confidence in thy mercy, and evermore serve thee in holiness and pureness of living, to thy honour and glory; through our only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ our Lord.

A Prayer of Saint Chrysostom.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee; and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name thou wilt grant their requests: Fulfil now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen.

2 Corinthians 13
THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thanksgiving after a Storm

Jubilate Deo. PSALM 66

O BE joyful in God, all ye lands : sing praises unto the honour of his Name, make his praise to be glorious.
Say unto God, O how wonderful art thou in thy works : through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies be found liars unto thee.
For all the world shall worship thee : sing of thee, and praise thy Name.
O come hither, and behold the works of God : how wonderful he is in his doing toward the children of men.
He turned the sea into dry land : so that they went through the water on foot; there did we rejoice thereof.
He ruleth with his power for ever; his eyes behold the people : and such as will not believe shall not be able to exalt themselves.
O praise our God, ye people : and make the voice of his praise to be heard;
Who holdeth our soul in life: and suffereth not our feet to slip.
For thou, O God, hast proved us : thou also hast tried us, like as silver is tried.
Thou broughtest us into the snare : and laidest trouble upon our loins.
Thou sufferedst men to ride over our heads : we went through fire and water, and thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
I will go into thine house with burnt-offerings: and will pay thee my vows, which I promised with my lips, and spake with my mouth, when I was in trouble.
I will offer unto thee fat burnt-sacrifices, with the incense of rams : I will offer bullocks and goats.
O come hither, and hearken, all ye that fear God: and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul.
I called unto him with my mouth : and gave him praises with my tongue.
If I incline unto wickedness with mine heart : the Lord will not hear me.
But God hath heard me : and considered the voice of my prayer.
Praised be God, who hath not cast out my prayer : nor turned his mercy from me.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Confitemini Domino. PSALM 107

O GIVE thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious : and his mercy endureth for ever.
Let them give thanks whom the Lord hath redeemed : and delivered from the hand of the enemy;
And gathered them out of the lands, from the east and from the west : from the north and from the south.
They went astray in the wilderness out of the way : and found no city to dwell in;
Hungry and thirsty : their soul fainted in them.
So they cried unto the Lord in their trouble : and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them forth by the right way : that they might go to the city where they dwelt.
O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness : and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men!
For he satisfieth the empty soul : and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
Such as sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death : being fast bound in misery and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of the Lord : and lightly regarded the counsel of the most Highest;
He also brought down their heart through heaviness : they fell down, and there was none to help them up.
So when they cried unto the Lord in their trouble: he delivered them out of their distress.
For he brought them out of darkness, and out of the shadow of death : and brake their bonds in sunder.
O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness : and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men! For he hath broken the gates of brass: and smitten the bars of iron in sunder.
Foolish men are plagued for their offence : and because of their wickedness.
Their soul abhorred all manner of meat : and they were even hard at death's door.
So when they cried unto the Lord in their trouble: he delivered them out of their distress.
He sent his word, and healed them : and they were saved from their destruction.
O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness : and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men!
That they would offer unto him the sacrifice of thanksgiving : and tell out his works with gladness!
They that go down to the sea in ships : and occupy their business in great waters;
These men see the works of the Lord : and his wonders in the deep.
For at his word the stormy wind ariseth : which lifteth up the waves thereof.
They are carried up to the heaven, and down again to the deep : their soul melteth away because of the trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man : and are at their wits' end.
So when they cry unto the Lord in their trouble: he delivereth them out of their distress.
For he maketh the storm to cease : so that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad, because they are at rest: and so he bringeth them unto the haven where they would be.
O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness : and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men!
That they would exalt him also in the congregation of the people : and praise him in the seat of the elders!
Who turneth the floods into a wilderness : and drieth up the water-springs.
A fruitful land maketh he barren : for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
Again, he maketh the wilderness a standing water : and water-springs of a dry ground.
And there he setteth the hungry : that they may build them a city to dwell in;
That they may sow their land, and plant vineyards : to yield them fruits of increase.
He blesseth them, so that they multiply exceedingly : and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.
And again, when they are minished and brought low : through oppression, through any plague or trouble;
Though he suffer them to be evil intreated through tyrants : and let them wander out of the way in the wilderness;
Yet helpeth he the poor out of misery : and maketh him households like a flock of sheep.
The righteous will consider this, and rejoice: and the mouth of all wickedness shall be stopped.
Whoso is wise will ponder these things : and they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Collects of Thanksgiving.

O MOST blessed and glorious Lord God, who art of infinite goodness and mercy: We thy poor creatures, whom thou hast made and preserved, holding our souls in life, and now rescuing us out of the jaws of death, humbly present ourselves again before thy Divine Majesty, to offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, for that thou heardest us when we called in our trouble, and didst not cast out our prayer, which we made before thee in our great distress: Even when we gave all for lost, our ship, our goods, our lives, then didst thou mercifully look upon us, and wonderfully command a deliverance; for which we, now being in safety, do give all praise and glory to thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Or this:

O MOST mighty and gracious good God, thy mercy is over all thy works, but in special manner hath been extended toward us, whom thou hast so powerfully and wonderfully defended. Thou hast shewed us terrible things, and wonders in the deep, that we might see how powerful and gracious a God thou art; how able and ready to help them that trust in thee. Thou hast shewed us how both winds and seas obey thy command; that we may learn, even from them, hereafter to obey thy voice, and to do thy will. We therefore bless and glorify thy Name, for this thy mercy in saving us, when we were ready to perish. And, we beseech thee, make us as truly sensible now of thy mercy, as we were then of the danger: and give us hearts always ready to express our thankfulness, not only by words, but also by our lives, in being more obedient to thy holy commandments. Continue, we beseech thee, this thy goodness to us; that we, whom thou hast saved, may serve thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

A Hymn of Praise and Thanksgiving after a dangerous Tempest.

O COME, let us give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious : and his mercy endureth for ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; let the redeemed of the Lord say so : whom he hath delivered from the merciless rage of the sea.
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion: slow to anger, and of great mercy.
He hath not dealt with us according to our sins: neither rewarded us according to our iniquities.
But as the heaven is high above the earth : so great hath been his mercy towards us.
We found trouble and heaviness : we were even at death's door.
The waters of the sea had well-nigh covered us: the proud waters had well-nigh gone over our soul.
The sea roared : and the stormy wind lifted up the waves thereof.
We were carried up as it were to heaven, and then down again into the deep : our soul melted within us, because of trouble;
Then cried we unto thee, O Lord : and thou didst deliver us out of our distress.
Blessed be thy Name, who didst not despise the prayer of thy servants : but didst hear our cry, and hast saved us.
Thou didst send forth thy commandment : and the windy storm ceased, and was turned into a calm.
O let us therefore praise the Lord for his goodness: and declare the wonders that he hath done, and still doeth, for the children of men.
Praised be the Lord daily : even the Lord that helpeth us, and poureth his benefits upon us.
He is our God, even the God of whom cometh salvation : God is the Lord by whom we have escaped death.
Thou, Lord, hast made us glad through the operation of thy hands : and we will triumph in thy praise.
Blessed be the Lord God : even the Lord God, who only doeth wondrous things;
And blessed be the Name of his majesty for ever : and let every one of us say, Amen, Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

2 Corinthians 13.
THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Forms of Prayer to be Used at Sea

Prayers to be used in Storms at Sea.

O MOST powerful and glorious Lord God, at whose command the winds blow, and lift up the waves of the sea, and who stillest the rage thereof: We thy creatures, but miserable sinners, do in this our great distress cry unto thee for help: Save, Lord, or else we perish. We confess, when we have been safe, and seen all things quiet about us, we have forgot thee our God, and refused to hearken to the still voice of thy word, and to obey thy commandments: But now we see how terrible thou art in all thy works of wonder; the great God to be feared above all: And therefore we adore thy Divine Majesty, acknowledging thy power, and imploring thy goodness. Help, Lord, and save us for thy mercy's sake in Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

Short Prayers in respect of a Storm.

THOU, O Lord, that stillest the raging of the sea: hear, hear us, and save us, that we perish not.

O blessed Saviour, that didst save thy disciples ready to perish in a storm: hear us, and save us, we beseech thee.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

O Lord, hear us.
O Christ, hear us.

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, have mercy upon us, save us now and evermore. Amen.

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.

When there shall be imminent danger, as many as can be spared from necessary service in the Ship shall be called together, and make an humble Confession of their sin to God: In which every one ought seriously to reflect upon those particular sins of which his conscience shall accuse him: saying as followeth.


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 are 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, if there be any in the Ship, pronounce this Absolution.

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them that 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.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Articles in Question: What are the Articles of Religion?

I'm going to begin a series on this blog about the Articles of Religion. This will be an adventure for me, because I will attempt to get out of my "comfort zone" and do a bit of theology and interpretation on the Articles. Bear with me, I am not a trained theologian nor does it interest me in the way that historical issues do (well, the thrust of this blog has been historical theology, but that's beyond the point). I see the need for such a series after reading continuous rejection and misinterpretation of the Articles online and in person. Many of these misinterpretations arise from Newman's faulty logic found in Tract 90 (and as I have written about elsewhere). Secondly, this series will not address all the Articles or the issues raised therein, but rather deal with the "hot topics" in the Articles, or the ones that I feel are most misinterpreted. The Articles included in this list are: 6, 11, 17, 19, 22, 29, 31. Respectively dealing with these issues: The Authority of Sacred Scripture, the Justification of Man, Predestination, The Church, Purgatory and other abuses, "Of the Wicked, which eat not the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord's Supper," and of the Eucharistic Sacrifice and abuses of it. I feel these issues are often most confused in modern Anglican discussion and a clear doctrine of these issues needs to be reasserted.

Briefly, this introductory post will introduce the reader to the Articles of Religion, though not in an exhaustive way. The 39 Articles of Religion are the culmination of a process of reform in the Church of England which occurred simultaneously with the reform of the liturgy. The history of the Articles actually begins fairly early on in the Henrician reformation. In 1536, the Ten Articles were released (this was after the Act of Supremacy in 1534, remember), which gave a theological vision for the reformed Church, according to the bishops and Henry at the time. Here is a list of things the Articles allowed:

1. That Holy Scriptures and the three Creeds are the basis and summary of a true Christian faith.
2. That baptism conveys remission of sins and the regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit, and is absolutely necessary as well for children as adults.
3. That penance consists of contrition, confession, and reformation, and is necessary to salvation.
4. That the body and blood of Christ are really present in the elements of the eucharist.
5. That justification is remission of sin and reconciliation to God by the merits of Christ; but good works are necessary.
6. That images are useful as remembrancers, but are not objects of worship.
7. That saints are to be honored as examples of life, and as furthering our prayers.
8. That saints may be invoked as intercessors, and their holydays observed.
9. That ceremonies are to be observed for the sake of their mystical signification, and as conducive to devotion.
10. That prayers for the dead are good and useful, but the efficacy of papal pardon, and of soul-masses offered at certain localities, is negatived.

(Taken from:

As you can see, this is a fairly conservative document, however, it does correct some abuses and limits (or does not address) the number of sacraments at three (baptism, eucharist, penance). The goal of this post is not to examine these articles in detail, but I thought it important to include them to show where the Articles of Religion began. Later in 1537, the Bishop's Book was released, generally thought to have a more "reformist" flavor, meaning that it desired further reform than what was found in the 1536 Ten Articles. In 1539, the Six Articles were released by the House of Lords, in a summary, they affirmed:

1. transubstantiation,
2. the reasonableness of withholding of the cup from the laity during communion,
3. clerical celibacy,
4. observance of vows of chastity,
5. permission for private masses,
6. the importance of auricular confession.

(according to the Wikipedia article:

Although many commentators view them as more conservative than the Ten Articles, it appears that Henry was in negotiation with a group of German Lutherans about a unity agreement between the Church of England, that group of Germans, and the Eastern Church. The last confessional document under Henry was the King's Book of 1543. Under Edward VI's reign, Cranmer released the 42 Articles of Religion, which, together with the 1552 BCP, moved the Church of England in a more reformist direction, although the outcome of the combined articles and liturgy was aborted with the death of Edward and the ascendancy of Mary Tudor. After her death, Elizabeth I, issued the 1559 BCP and the first edition of the 39 (really 38) Articles of Religion, which were based on the 42 Articles but edited slightly. Significantly missing was Article 29, being the one most offensive to Catholics, "Of the Wicked, which eat not the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord's Supper." In 1571, after Elizabeth's excommunication from the Church of Rome, the 29th Article was reinserted, despite the protestations of Bishop Guest (who held to the Lutheran view).

The history of the Articles in England ends there for they have no been altered since their final revision in 1571, a test to their effectiveness! However, they were adapted and revised when the Protestant Episcopal Church organized in the 18th century. Curiously, though, they were not released until 1801 and the PECUSA never required submission to them by the clergy, like was the case in England. The PECUSA did more than just "locally adapt" the Articles when they revised them in 1801. They made a few changes beyond that of the political reality, changes which also occurred in the Prayer Book and are reflective of the Latitudinarian spirit of the early Protestant Episcopal Church.

The most notable change occurs in Article 8, of the Creeds. In the original, all three apostolic creeds are affirmed, however, in the 1801 Episcopal version, only the Apostle's and Nicene are affirmed. This reflects a change found in the 1786 and 1789 Prayer Books which originated in the 1689 Liturgy of Comprehension. The whole of Article 21, "Of the Authority of General Councils" is ommited, which reads,

"General Councils may not be gathered together without the commandment and will of Princes. And when they be gathered together, (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God,) they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture."

The first part rightly was removed but the latter part speaks to an essential aspect of Anglicanism, in that it denies infallibility to councils. Although, this is affirmed elsewhere in the Articles, it often needs repeating. The 1801 Version adds this addendum to Article 35, "Of the Homilies,"

"This Article is received in this Church, so far as it declares the Books of Homilies to be an explication of Christian doctrine, and instructive in piety and morals. But all references to the constitution and laws of England are considered as inapplicable to the circumstances of this Church; which also suspends the order for the reading of said Homilies in churches, until a revision of them may be conveniently made, for the clearing of them, as well from obsolete words and phrases, as from the local references."

The 1801 Version also changes Article 36, "Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers,"

"The Book of Consecration of Bishops, and Ordering of Priests and Deacons, as set forth by the General Convention of this Church in 1792, doth contain all things necessary to such Consecration and Ordering; neither hath it any thing that, of itself, is superstitious and ungodly. And, therefore, whosoever are consecrated or ordered according to said Form, we decree all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered."

The original reads,

"The Book of Consecration of Archbishops and Bishops, and Ordering of Priests and Deacons, lately set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth, and confirmed at the same time by authority of Parliament, doth contain all things necessary to such Consecration and Ordering: neither hath it any thing, that of itself is superstitious and ungodly. And therefore whosoever are consecrated or ordered according to the Rites of that Book, since the second year of the forenamed King Edward unto this time, or hereafter shall be consecrated or ordered according to the same Rites; we decree all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered."

The 1801 Version rightly changes Article 37, "Of the Power of Civil Magistrates,"

"The Power of the Civil Magistrate extendeth to all men, as well Clergy as Laity, in all things temporal; but hath no authority in things purely spiritual. And we hold it to be the duty of all men who are professors of the Gospel, to pay respectful obedience to the Civil Authority, regularly and legitimately constituted."

The original reads,

"The King's Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other his Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign Jurisdiction. Where we attribute to the King's Majesty the chief government, by which Titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended; we give not our Princes the ministering either of God's Word, or of the Sacraments, the which thing the Injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen do most plainly testify; but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all godly Princes in holy Scriptures by God himself; that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evil-doers.

The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England.

The Laws of the Realm may punish Christian men with death, for heinous and grievous offences.

It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars."

Which reflects an essential difference between the Church of England and the Episcopal Church, that of establishment. In England, the Monarch is head of Church and State, rightfully so, for the Monarch is a quasi-sacramental office ordained by God for the welfare of the Church. However, in the Protestant Episcopal Church ,there was no Christian King to submit to, therefore, the Church becomes spiritually independent of a secular state. It is unfortunate that the Episcopal Church did not reflect this thought in other aspects of the liturgy.

One perennial problem with the Articles in Anglicanism is that they are habitually ignored, at least they have been since the Oxford Movement. Another problem is that they are not read in their grammatical sense (as exemplified by Newman) but rather by a curious form of eisegesis, they are mangled and twisted to mean something which they expressly dismiss. Luckily for us, the Articles of Religion are prefaced by a declaration from King Charles I, exhorting churchmen to subscribe and folow the Articles.

Charles (it's important to remember his churchmanship), in his Declaration, first, bluntly states the reason for the Articles,

"Being by God's ordinance, according to our just title, Defender of the Faith, and Supreme Governor of the Church, within these our dominions, we hold it most agreeable to this our kingly office, and our own religious zeal, to conserve and maintain the Church committed to our charge, in the unity of true religion, and in the bond of peace; and not to suffer unnecessary disputations, altercations, or questions to be raised, which may nourish faction both in the Church and Commonwealth. We have, therefore, upon mature deliberation, and with the advice of so many of our bishops as might conveniently be called together, thought fit to make this declaration following..."

Firstly, the Articles were drawn up to maintain uniformity of doctrine in the Church of England and alleviate disputations among churchmen. This gives them a limiting character or something which narrows the acceptable opinions. Contrary to popular belief, the Articles do not authorize a "free for all" approach to Christianity nor Anglicanism. They are comprehensive in the sense that they do allow more liberty than other reformed Confessions. But they are restricting in that they limit Anglican comprehensiveness, which is often abused to get away with believing, frankly, anything. Charles then explains that the Articles contain the teaching and doctrine of the Church of England,

"That the Articles of the Church of England (which have been allowed and authorized heretofore, and which our clergy generally have subscribed unto) do contain the true doctrine of the Church of England agreeable to God's word: which we do therefore ratify and confirm, requiring all our loving subjects to continue in the uniform profession thereof, and prohibiting the least difference from the said Articles; which to that end we command to be new printed, and this our declaration to be published therewith..."

Again, the Articles contain what it means to be an Anglican. Clergy are required to subscribe to them and laity exhorted to "continue in the uniform profession thereof," it is thoroughly un-Anglican to allow the Articles to go into disuse. Charles has already expressed the need to adhere to the Articles, but in what sense? Can the Articles mean anything according to how they are interpreted? Next, Charles exhorts the plain, literal, and grammatical interpretation of them,

"That therefore in these both curious and unhappy differences, which have for so many hundred years, in different times and places, exercised the Church of Christ, we will, that all further curious search be laid aside, and these disputes shut up in God's promises, as they be generally set forth to us in the Holy Scriptures, and the general meaning of the Articles of the Church of England according to them. And that no man hereafter shall either print, or preach, to draw the Article aside any way, but shall submit to it in the plain and full meaning thereof: and shall not put his own sense or comment to be the meaning of the Article, but shall take it in the literal and grammatical sense."

This excludes the "word game" where certain "code words' are looked for in the Articles to dig out a special meaning of them which is not in the text. Quite simply, the Articles are not confusing, they are precise and punctual. It takes a great deal more effort to confect some interpretations of the Articles than it does to simply read them. Lastly, there is a warning against adding to or teaching contrary to the Articles,

"That if any public reader in either our Universities, or any head or master of a College, or any other person respectively in either of them, shall affix any new sense to any Article, or shall publicly read, determine, or hold any public disputation, or suffer any such to be held either way, in either the Universities or Colleges respectively; or if any divine in the Universities shall preach or print any thing either way, other than is already established in convocation with our royal assent; he, or they the offenders, shall be liable to our displeasure, and the Church's censure in our commission ecclesiastical, as well as any other: and we will see there shall be due execution upon them."

Now, some of you might complain and say that focusing on the Articles is not a very "high church" thing to do. On the contrary, the Articles are essential for High Churchmen, in conjunction with the Prayer Book as badges of our catholicity. A faithful and serious attempt to understand the doctrine of the Articles is needed in North American Anglicanism and I hope this series sparks discussion on this often neglected summary of our Faith.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Laudian Theology of the Lord's Supper

The Laudians, being the group of scholars and High Churchmen during the reign of King Charles I, are often associated with a theology of the Eucharist which they never espoused. These accusations come from people who are claiming alliegance to them (Anglo-Catholics) and those who want to dissociate from them (Evangelicals). However, the Laudians never espoused a Roman theology of the Eucharist.

Laudian Churchmen always condemn the erroneous Roman doctrine of transubstantiation, for example, Laud says, "Transubstantiation …. was never heard of in the primitive Church, nor till the Council of Lateran, nor can it be proved out of Scripture; and, taken properly, cannot stand with the grounds of Christian religion," reminiscient of the language of the Articles. Thorndike states, contrary to the doctrine of transubstantiation, "that the bodily substance of bread and wine is not abolished nor ceaseth in this Sacrament by virtue of the consecration of it." Taylor defines the doctrine of the Church of England agains that of Rome, “We say that Christ’s body is in the sacrament, ‘really, but spiritually’. They say it is there ‘really, but spiritually’. …. Where now is the difference? Here, by ‘spiritually’ they mean ‘present after the manner of a spirit’; by ‘spiritually’ we mean, ‘present to our spirits only’; that is, so as Christ is not present to any other sense but that of faith and spiritual susception; but their way makes his body to be present no way but that which is impossible, and implies a contradiction; a body not after a manner of a body, a body like a spirit; a body without a body; and a sacrifice of body and blood without blood: ‘corpus incorporeum, cruor incruentus’. They say, that Christ’s body is truly present there, as it was upon the cross, but not after the manner of all or any body, but after that manner of being as an angel is in a place: - that it is there spiritually. But we, by the real spiritual presence of Christ, do understand Christ to be present, as the Spirit of God is present in the hearts of the faithful, by blessing and grace; and this is all which we mean besides the tropical and figurative presence." Cosin reiterates that the Church of England rejects, “… the fable of Transubstantiation” and “the repeated sacrifice of Christ to be offered daily by each priest for the living and the departed.”

There are two aspects of the Eucharist which need to be explored, that of the nature of the real presence and the relationship between Christ's sacrifice and the Eucharist.

In view of the first question, some Laudian theologians appear to say things about the Eucharist when taken out of context but upon further investigation they clarify what they are saying. For example, Laud says of a "conversion" of the elements in consecration, "The conversion of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ is substantial, but after a secret and effable manner, and not like in all things to any natural conversion whatsoever," however, Laud clarifies later as to the exact meaning of his assertions, " in the most blessed Sacrament the worthy receiver is by his faith made spiritually partaker of the ‘true and real body and blood of Christ, truly and really’, and of all the benefits of His passion," thus putting him more firmly in the "Reformed" camp in eucharistic theology. Thorndike echoes language of Calvin, using terms like instrument and sacramental union, “when the name of Christ’s body and blood is attributed to the bread and wine of the Eucharist, … God would have us understand a supernatural conjunction and union, between the body and blood of Christ, and the said bread and wine, whereby, they become as truly instruments of conveying God’s Spirit, to them who receive as they ought, as the same Spirit was always in his natural body and blood." Thorndike also links it to a worthy reception, “ … the body and blood of Christ should be sacramentally present in and under the elements (to be spiritually received of all that meet it with a living faith, to condemn those for crucifying Christ again that receive it with a dead faith), can it seem any way inconsequent to the consecration thereof by virtue of the common faith of Christians, professing that which is requisite to make true Christians, whether by a living or a dead faith?” Taylor defines the doctrine of the Church of England on the real presence, “The doctrine of the church of England, and generally of the protestants, in this article is, - that after the minister of the holy mysteries hath rightly prayed, and blessed or consecrated the bread and the wine, the symbols become changed into the body and blood of Christ, after a sacramental, that is, in a spiritual real manner: so that all that worthily communicate, do by faith receive Christ, really, effectually, to all the purposes of his passion. ….. The result of the doctrine is this: It is bread, and it is Christ’s body. It is bread in substance, Christ in the sacrament; and Christ is as really given to all that are truly disposed, as the symbols are; each as they can; Christ as Christ be given; the bread and wine as they can; and to the same real purposes to which they are designed; and Christ does as really nourish and sanctify the soul, as the elements do the body.” Taylor again uses "receptionist" language to describe the Eucharist, “Christ’s natural body is now in heaven definitively, and no where else; and that he is in the sacrament as he can be in a sacrament, in the hearts of faithful receivers as he hath promised to be there; that is, in the sacrament mystically, operatively, as in a moral and divine instrument, in the hearts of receivers by faith and blessing." Cosin defines the real presence yet still uses language of worthy reception, “The result is that the body and blood of Christ are sacramentally united to the bread and wine in such a way that Christ is really presented (exhibeatur) to believers, yet not to be considered by any sense or by the reason of this world, but by faith resting on the words of the Gospel. Now the flesh and blood of Christ are said to be united to the bread and wine because in the celebration of the Eucharist the flesh is produced and received together with the bread, and the blood together with the wine. … The papists hold it an article of faith that in the Eucharist the substance of the bread and wine is annihilated, and that the body and blood of Christ takes its place. … The Reformed are of very different mind. Yet no Protestant altogether denies the conversion or change of the bread into the body of Christ, and similarly of the wine into His blood. For they know and acknowledge that in the Eucharist by virtue of the words and blessing of Christ the bread is wholly changed in condition and use and office; that is, of ordinary and common, it becomes our mystical and sacramental food; whereby they all assert and firmly believe that the real body of Christ itself is not only signified and represented in a figure, but is also presented (exhiberi) in actual fact, and is received in the souls of those who communicate worthily.”

A lengthy quote from Cosin demostrates some of the principles of the reformed Churches in relation to the real presence,

“The reformed Churches place the constitution (formam) of this Sacrament in the union of the sign with the thing signified, that is, the presenting (exhibitione) of the body and blood of Christ, the bread remaining bread and being dedicated to sacramental uses, whereby these two so become one by the appointment of God that, although this union is not natural or substantial or personal or local (by the one being in the other), yet it is so well adjusted (concinna) and real that in the eating of the consecrated bread the real body of Christ is given to us, and the names of the sign and of the thing signified are reciprocally changed, and what is of the body is attributed to the bread, and what is of the bread is attributed to the body, and they are together in time, though separated in place. For the presence of the body of Christ in this mystery is opposed not to distance but to absence; and absence, not distance, prevents the use and enjoyment of the object. Hence it is clear that the present controversy between the reformed and the papists can be reduced to four heads: first, concerning the signs; secondly, concerning the thing signified; thirdly, concerning the union of the signs and the things; fourthly, concerning the participation in them. As to the first, we differ from them, because they make the accidents only to be the signs, while we regard the substance of bread and wine as the signs in accordance with the nature of Sacraments and the teaching of Scripture. As to the second, we do not say that which they through misunderstanding our opinion ascribe to us. For we do not say that only the merits of the death of Christ are signified by the consecrated symbols, but that the real body itself which was crucified for us, and the real blood itself which was shed for us, are both represented and offered, so that our minds may enjoy Christ no less certainly and really than we see and receive and eat and drink the bodily and visible signs themselves. As to the third, since the thing signified is offered and presented (exhibetur) to us as really as the signs themselves, in this way we recognise the union of the signs with the body and blood of the Lord, and we say that the elements are changed into a different use from that which they had before. But we deny the assertion of the papists that the substance of bread and wine disappears, or is changed into the body and blood of the Lord that there is nothing left but the bare accidents of the elements, which are united with the same body and blood. Further, we deny that the Sacrament outside the use appointed by God has the nature of a Sacrament so as to make it right or possible for Christ to be reserved or carried about, since He is present only to those who communicate. Lastly, as to the fourth point, we do not say that in this holy Supper we are partakers only of the death and passion of Christ, but we join the ground with the fruits which come to us from Him, declaring with the Apostle, ‘the bread which we break is a Communion of the body of Christ, and the cup a Communion of His blood’, yea, in that same substance which he took in the womb of the Virgin and which He raised on high to heaven; differing from the papists in this only, that they believe this eating and union to take place bodily, while we believe it to be not in any natural way or in any bodily manner, but none the less as really as if we were joined to Christ naturally and bodily. … The assertion of the papists that Christ gives His body and His blood to be taken and eaten with the mouth and teeth, so that it is devoured not only by the wicked who are devoid of real faith but also by mice, - this we wholly deny with our mouths and our hearts and our minds.”

In reference to the relation of sacrifice to the Eucharist, Laud enumerates three types of sacrifices,

"As Christ offered Himself up once for all, a full and all-sufficient sacrifice for the sin of the whole world, so did He institute and command a memory of this sacrifice in a Sacrament, even till His coming again. For, at the end of the Eucharist we offer up to God three sacrifices: One by the priest only, that is, the commemorative sacrifice of Christ’s death, represented in the bread broken and wine poured out. Another by the priest and the people jointly, and that is the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for all the benefits and graces we receive by the precious death of Christ. The third, by every particular man for himself only, and that is the sacrifice of every man’s body and soul, to serve Him in both all the rest of his life, for this blessing thus bestowed on him. Now, thus far these dissenting Churches agree, that in the Eucharist there is a sacrifice of duty, and a sacrifice of praise, and a sacrifice of commemoration of Christ. Therefore, according to the former rule (and here in truth too) it is safest for a man to believe the commemorative, the praising, and the performing sacrifice, and to offer them duly to God, and leave the Church of Rome in this particular to her superstitions, that I may say no more.”

Thorndike uses language of "sacrificial feast, "Having showed the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist because it is appointed that in it the faithful may feast upon the sacrifice of the cross; we have already showed by the Scriptures that it is the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross in the same sense and to the same effect as it containeth the body and blood of Christ which it representeth; that is, mystically and spiritually and sacramentally (that is, as in and by a Sacrament) tendereth and exhibiteth. For seeing the Eucharist not only tendereth the flesh and blood of Chirst, but separated one from the other, under and by several elements, as His blood was parted from His body by the violence of the cross; it must of necessity be as well the sacrifice as the Sacrament of Christ upon the cross," but also calls the Eucharist a commemorative sacrifice, "Those species, set apart for the celebration of the Eucharist, are as properly to be called sacrifices of that nature which the Eucharist is of (to wit, commemorative and representative) as the same are to be counted figurative under the Law from the time they were deputed to that use. This is then the first act of oblation by the Church, that is, by any Christian that consecrates his goods, not at large to the service of God, but peculiarly to the service of God by sacrifice; in regard whereof the elements of the Eucharist before they are consecrated, are truly counted oblations or sacrifices.”

Taylor classifies the Eucharist as a commemorative sacrifice yet uses language of Christ "perpetually offering" his sacrifice in heaven to the Father,

“For when Christ was consecrated on the cross, and became our high priest, having reconciled us to God by the death of the cross, he became infinitely gracious in the eyes of God, and was admitted to the celestial and eternal priesthood in heaven; where, in the virtue of the cross, he intercedes for us, and represents an eternal sacrifice in the heaven on our behalf. …. And therefore, since it is necessary, that he hath something to offer so long as he is a priest, and there is no other sacrifice but that of himself offered upon the cross, - it follows, that Christ, in heaven, perpetually offers and represents that sacrifice to his heavenly Father, and, in virtue of that, obtains all good things for his church.”

It is true that Cosin uses language of "propitiation" but he qualifies it and contrasts his understanding with that of Rome,

“We do not hold this celebration to be so naked a commemoration of Christ’s body given to death, and of His blood there shed for us, but that the same body and blood is present there in this commemoration (made by the sacrament of bread and wine) to all that faithfully receive it: nor do we say that is so nude a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving but that our prayers also added we offer and present the death of Christ to God, that for His death’s sake we may find mercy, in which respect we deny not this commemorative sacrifice to be propitiatory. The receiving of which Sacrament, or participating of which sacrifice exhibited to us, we say is profitable only to them that receive it and participate of it; but the prayers that we add thereunto, in presenting the death and merits of our Saviour to God, is not only beneficial to them that are present, but to them that are absent also, to the dead and the living both, to all true members of the Catholic church of Christ. But a true, real, proper, and propitiatory sacrificing of Christ, toties quoties as this Sacrament is celebrated, which is the popish doctrine, and which cannot be done without killing of Christ so often again, we hold not, believing it to be a false and blasphemous doctrine, founding ourselves upon the Apostles’ doctrine, that Christ was sacrificed but once, and that He dieth no more.”

One final note, the Puritans disliked the ceremonial attached to the celebration of the Eucharist as done by Laudian clergy. As we have seen in other posts on this blog, this consisted of the use of the cope, bowing to the table and at the name of Jesus, facing east, and some other usages. Laud defends the ceremonies attached to the Eucharistic feast,

"One thing sticks much in their stomachs, and they call it an Innovation too. And that is. Bowing, or doing Reverence at our first coming into the Church, or at our nearer approaches to the Holy Table, or the Altar (call it whether you will) in which they will needs have it, that we worship the Holy Table, or God knows what. To this I answer. First, that God forbid we should worship any thing but God Himself. Secondly, that if to Worship God when we enter into his house, or approach his Altar, be an innovation, ‘tis a very old one. For Moses did reverence at the very door of the Tabernacle, Num 20. Hezekiah, and all that were present with him, when they had made an end of offering, bowed and worshipped (2 Chron. 29: 29). David calls the people to it with a Venite, O Come let us worship, and fall down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker, (Psalm 95: 6). And in all these practices (I pray mark it) ‘tis bodily worship. Nor can they say, that this was Judaical worship, and now not to be imitated. For long before Judaism began, Bethel, the House of God, was a place of Reverence (Gen. 28: 17 &c.) Therefore certainly of, and to God. …. Therefore even according to the Service Book of the Church of England, the Priest and the People both are called upon, for external and bodily Reverence and Worship of God in his Church. Therefore they which do it, do not innovate. And yet the Government is so moderate (God grant it be not too loose therewhile) that no man is constrained, no man questioned, only religiously called upon, Venite, Adoremus, Come, let us worship. For my own part I take myself bound to worship with Body, as well as in soul, when ever I come where God is worshipped. "

Friday, August 19, 2011

The American High Church Tradition (Part One)

The history of the Episcopal Church and Anglicanism in the United States begins with the arrival of English colonists in the new world, obviously. However, Anglicanism was not the only tradition to come with colonial settlers. New England, for instance, was dominated by Puritans who had fled from England in pursuit of a place to live out their vision of the Church.

The story begins with the first English settlments in the New World. The 1559 Prayer Book was used on American soil in the Roanoke colony which was later deserted The arrival of Anglicanism is usually dated at the foundation of the Jamestown colony in 1607. Important things in England were happening contemporaneously with the establishment of Anglicanism in the American colonies. First, the 1604 Book of Common Prayer had just been published a few years before the arrival of English colonists. Secondly, the King James Bible or Authorized Version was in the works at this time. Third, the internal strife in the Church of England were polarizing and simmering for a rapid boil later in the 17th century.

The majority of English colonists were not members of the Church of England but Noncomformists or Puritans. However, the Church was established in some of the colonies, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, although in Georgia and North Carolina, that status meant next to nothing for Anglicanism nearly died out there. The areas where the Church was established tended to be low church while in areas where Anglican presence was small tended to be high church, especially in the Puritan-dominated New England.

Throughout the colonial period, the Protestant Episcopal Church had the unique problem of being a bishopless episcopal Church. There had been attempts throughout the colonial period to secure an American episcopate from various groups within the Church and the SPG. However, there was no bishop until Seabury later on. Also, curiously, in Virginia and South Carolina, where the Protestant Episcopal Church was strongest, the desire for bishops was weakest. Vestries had long been the form of government in those areas of the Episcopal Church, often controlled by wealthy gentry and not representative of the common people. These vestries did not want a bishop meddling in their affairs. Bishops were also regarded as agents of the Crown, both by colonists and the English. Likewise, most Noncomformists did not want there to be an American episcopate because it brought up images of William Laud in their minds, "Let all mankind know that we came into the wilderness because we would worship God without that Episcopacy, that Common Prayer, and those unwarrantable ceremonies with which the land of our forefathers' sepulchres has been defiled" (Addison, 56). Likewise, to the English mind, colonial America was too "rough" for bishops of the Church of England. Addison notes the 18th century notion of a bishop to Englishmen, "Though a bishop was regarded as a successor of the Apostles, be was not supposed to be an apostle. He was an official of State with a large income drived from endowments, with a palace, a coach, and a corps of servants. He was expected to live in style, and this expectation was seldom disappointed. His functions and status were appropriate to an Established Church in an ancient and settled social order. The last thing a bishop was thought to be, or would have wanted to be, was a missionary pioneer" (55).

When the American Revolution was completed and the British defeated, the colonial Church was in shambles and near to extinction. The Church in Virginia, once the stronghold of Anglicanism in America, was in rapid decline and near extinction. The future of the Episcopal Church looked bleak and hopeless and, in fact, many non-Episcopal Americans hoped it would die out, for it was seen as a remnant of British control. At this point, it is important to realize the significance of what had happened in America. The American Church now stood as an independent episcopal Church, severed from its source of life, the Church of England. However, it is important to remember that the American Church was not the first episcopal Church to be independent of the English Church. The Nonjurors had refused to swear an oath of allegiance to William III in 1688 and were subsequently removed from their sees. However, this group of Nonjuring bishops, clergy, and laity had continued to operate in England and Scotland. The Nonjuring church continued through the succession of bishops by the hands of the Nonjurors and was still operating at the time of the departure of Samuel Seabury in 1783. Seabury had departed from Connecticut in order to seek consecration by English bishops. However, Parliament would not authorize any consecration of a bishop who would not swear allegiance to the Crown. Seabury, seeing that he would not be consecrated in England, head to Scotland to seek consecration from Scottish bishops. The Scottish bishops who were not tied to the Crown, were more than willing to consecrate Seabury as bishop. On November 14, 1784, Seabury was consecrated by the Bishop of Aberdeen, the Bishop Coadjutor of Aberdeen, and the Bishop of Rose and Moray. Seabury returned to Connecticut in 1785 and presided over the diocesan convention as bishop, ordaining four men to the diaconate.

Meanwhile, while Seabury was abroad seeking consecration, William White was organizing the structure of the national church. The first convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church was to be assembled on September 27, 1785. Although the response to the convention was not enthusiastic, White was busy working to organize the national church. White was seeking consecration of several bishops for the American Church from English bishops while Seabury was in Scotland being consecrated by Scottish bishops. White and others began work on revision to the Prayer Book to be used in the new American Church. With the Proposed Book, as it was later called, and a list of candidates to be bishops of New York, Pennslyvania, and Virginia, Samuel Provoost, William White, and David Griffith, however, because of lack of enthusiasm for an episcopate in Virginia, Griffith was never consecrated. The Proposed Book was a radical document for its time for it shows markable influence from the 1689 Liturgy of Comprehension because White was a Low Churchman, in the latitudinarian sense. White was in communication with Parliament and the English bishops seeking consecration. The English bishops, however, were displeased with several alterations in the Proposed Book, such as the omission of the Nicene and Athanasian Creed, changes to the Baptismal office, and the Articles of Religion. Given that the Book was unpopular in America, it was easy to secure further revision and subsequently White and Provoost were consecrated on November 2, 1786.

There were now three Protestant bishops in America but there was no union in the Protestant Episcopal Church. The Church in New England was thoroughly High Church and had organized itself along the lines of the Nonjuring Church in Scotland. The laity did not have much power in terms of the running of the Church and the clergy were mostly ex-Tories and their bishop ordained by Jacobite Nonjurors. The New England clergy did not like the Proposed Book at all and furthermore, Seabury had promised Scottish bishops that he would use their prayer of consecration instead of the English and try to persuade the Church in America to do the same. Meanwhile, dioceses in middle and southern colonies tended to be low church (latitudinarian) and generally gave much more power to laymen in the form of vestries. It seemed that there would be no national Episcopal Church in America but a series of regional churches. That was until the General Convention of 1789.

General Convention began on July 28, 1789, in Philadelphia and consisted of two sessions whereby the unity of the Church was established and a Prayer Book authorized for use in the Protestant Episcopal Church. White presided over the meeting and contributed to the unity of the Church vastly. First, the status of Bishop Seabury was included in the constitution and granted him equal authority with bishops consecrated in England. Secondly, the General Convention was split into two houses, the House of Deputies. This sought to alleviate the differences in government between New England and other dioceses. Once the support of Seabury and the New Englanders had been gained, constitutions and canons were passed and work on the Prayer Book commenced.

The work on the Prayer Book sought to start from scratch and not use the Proposed Book as a model. The preface to the book maintains that, 'This Church is far from intending to depart from the Church of England in any essential point of doctrine, discipline, or worship; or further than local circumstances require." Although, it seems that the revisers had some changes in mind when they went in to revising the liturgy. There were, of course, political changes to reflect the new nation, there were grammatical changes to update the language, and some other curious revisions. Addison lists the changes:

(1) The omission from the Calendar of sixty-nine saints' days and other days... persons subsequent to New Testament times or events not based on New Testament evidence. (2) The omission of the so-called "Ornaments Rubric..." (3) In Morning Prayer the omission after the Creed of a second Lord's Prayer and of four sets of versicles and responses, and the addition of the Prayer for All Conditions of Men and A General Thanksgiving... (4) In Evening Prayer, the unfortunate omission of the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis, which were restored in 1892... (5) The omission of the Athanasian Creed... (6) In the Catechism the sentence, “the Body and Blood of Christ… are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord’s Supper,” is amended to read “spiritually taken and received.” (7) The Solemnization of Matrimony is improved by the omission of various references to carnal lusts, procreation, and fornication, and is shortened by dropping a psalm, four prayers, and a long exhortation. (8) A change distinctly doctrinal in character is to be found in the Office for the Visitation of the Sick, where the revisers leave out the rubric directing that the sick person be urged to confess, and omit the subsequent Absolution… (9) The omission of the Office entitled, “A Commination, or denouncing of God’s anger and judgments against sinners…” (10) The addition of [several] offices.’ (71)

Interestingly, the Church did not adopt the Articles of Religion until 1801 and never required subscription to them.

The years from 1607-1811 are generally regarded by historians as one unit of history for the Episcopal Church for in this period the colonial church lived and died. By 1811, the spirit of the colonial church was largely gone and Anglicanism’s future looked bleak. However, around this time the Church experienced a revival which resulted in growth and expansion. This post is not a history of the Protestant Episcopal Church but I wanted to provide you with a brief overview of the beginning of the Church and so you could see the influences which guide it from that point on.

Our story here is concerned with the High Church tradition in the Protestant Episcopal Church, which leads us to one influential bishop. We have already discussed Samuel Seabury, one of the two high church bishops, the other being John Henry Hobart. As Seabury’s influence was waning (because of age, he died in 1796), Hobart was just beginning his career. Born in Philadelphia in 1775, Hobart initially taught at Princeton College but was later ordained deacon by Bishop White in 1798. He was later ordained priest and became rector at Holy Trinity in New York in 1803. He was an ardent supporter of educational societies and was involved in a number of societies in New York. On May 29, 1811, Hobart was consecrated as Bishop of New York, succeeding Bishop Provoost and Bishop Moore, who had been of saintly character but lacked administrative abilities to lead a diocese. However, Bishop Hobart was exactly the kind of man to be bishop of New York. He travelled over 2,000 miles to different parishes in the diocese and confirmed over 1,000 people. During his time as bishop, the diocese of New York doubled in number of clergy and the number of missionaries expanded too. He is most known for his commitment to theological education and his support of the General Seminary in New York City. He was opposed to the American Bible Society (like the Hackney Divines were opposed to the British and Foreign Bible Society) and likewise disliked the non-liturgical churches’ promotion of ‘enthusiasm” (again, similar to Hackney Divines). Bishop Hobart was a friend of the Hackney Divines, although they disagreed with him on his views of establishmentism.

The High Church tradition as exhibited by Hobart reflected an indigenous, Anglican spiritual tradition based on the Anglican formularies and older High Church tradition as practiced by Laud and the Caroline Divines. A High Churchman, “is distinguished by the great stress which he lays on the sacraments, ordinances, and ministrations of the Church” (Hobart), Addison adds this explanation of the High Church tradition, “The High Churchman expresses his loyalty to the Anglican Communion by stressing the Catholic element in it… [by magnifying] the importance of those characteristics which the Church possesses in common with other Catholic Churches – for example, episcopacy conceived as of apostolic descent; a strong emphasis upon the Sacrament of the Eucharist; a relatively elaborate ritual; and in general a tendency to express the corporate side of Christianity and the objective aspect of religion” (89). Addison adds some observations about both parties (as there was no real “broad church” then) reiterating that both believed in the verbal infallibility of the Bible and generally held to Protestant theology, he adds, “The High Churchman was not then greatly concerned with ritual, and he was vigorously anti-Roman” (90). Holmes adds, “A High Churchman in the tradition of Lancelot Andrewes [and] William Laud … Hobart believed the episcopate, the priesthood, the sacraments, and the visible church to be the appointed channels for God’s grace” (61, 62). However, all historians are clear, the High Churchmen of this period were not ritualists and were rigorously anti-Roman. However, they, “emphasized the distinctiveness and superiority of the Episcopal Church – “the church” – over all other denominations” (Holmes, 62), Holmes also adds that High Churchmen of this variety were often called, “Hobartian churchmen,” “old-fashioned high churchmen,” and “evangelical high churchmen.”

The High Church Tradition of Hobart is unique in, “rejecting equally Papal corruptions and Protestant errors, he adheres in all essential points to the faith, ministry, and worship, which distinguished the apostolic and primitive Church, and particularly to the constitution of the Christian ministry under its three orders of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.” He believes the liturgy of the Church to be reformed and catholic and reflective of apostolic tradition and witness. Hobart lists several ways in which the High Churchman agrees with Protestants and against Romans:

“It is this doctrine of justification and salvation only through the free grace of God in Jesus Christ, his divine Lord and Redeemer, which the CHURCHMAN daily and constantly cherishes as the only solace of his wounded conscience, and the only ground on which he can hope for acceptance at the tribunal of his Almighty Judge, and for advancement to the celestial glories which infinitely transcend the merit of his best works.

“He rejects, with horror, the idea of bowing, with the Romanist, to created intercessors, to saints and images; and of invoking, in epithets of celestial dignity and sovereignty, the [11/12] intercession of the virgin mother of the Saviour, in derogation of the sole and all-sufficient mediation of her divine and blessed Son”

However, Hobart states some grievances with the language of “imputed righteousness,” which he believes can lead to antimonianism, if misunderstood,

“But in respect to the mode by which the merits of Christ are applied to the justification and salvation of the believer, the Churchman differs from some of his Protestant brethren, rejecting the phraseology of the imputed righteousness of Christ, not because always exceptionable in meaning, but always liable to a dangerous application. For if, as in the language of some Protestants, the righteousness of Christ be imputed to believers, so that they are clothed with it, and that God views and accepts them only as invested with it, then the Antinomian doctrine is an unavoidable inference, that God can see no sin in believers; and that, therefore, they need not obey the moral law. This dangerous inference the Churchman avoids when he expresses the sole efficacy of the merits and grace of Christ to his salvation in the unexceptionable language, that the imperfect obedience of the believer, performed in the exercise of faith, and through the influences of divine grace, are accepted only on account of the merits and intercession of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; or, that "we are accounted righteous before God only for the merits of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

He is also distinguished, “by the great stress which he lays on the sacraments, and ordinances, and ministrations of the Church,” however, “He is very far, indeed, from the impiety and absurdity of supposing, with the Romanists, that the sacraments, and ordinances, and ministrations of the Church are available to salvation, opere operato, on account merely of the performance of them, in virtue of the work itself, and the intention of the administrator,” yet,

“But still viewing the Church as the divinely constituted body of Christ, to which he applies the merits of his blood, and the efficacy of his grace, and considering the sacraments, in the language of his Church, as "a means whereby he receives, and as a pledge to assure him of," all those spiritual blessings which Christ's merits purchased, and his grace confers; and, considering further, that Christ set over this Church ministers to celebrate its sacraments and ordinances, he would think that he hazarded his salvation if he refused or neglected to receive these means and pledges of the divine favour. Sincere repentance and lively faith producing obedience to the divine commands, qualify the believer for acceptance through the merits of his Redeemer. But, surely, it would be difficult for him to establish his claim to salvation on Gospel principles, while he rejects or neglects those sacraments, ordinances, and ministrations which are "a means whereby he receives the same, and a pledge to assure him thereof."

High Churchmen disagree with the principle of ex opera operato, yet the sacraments are still means of grace for those who receive in faith. High Churchmen believe of baptism, “In accordance with this sentiment, and with Scripture and the faith of the primitive Church, the CHURCHMAN considers baptism as the sacramental commencement of the spiritual life, and the entrance into that fold of the Redeemer, the mystical body of Christ, in which he enjoys a title to the blessings of salvation,” yet he notes on the meaning of baptismal regeneration,

“When the Churchman, in the language of Scripture, of primitive antiquity, and of the articles and liturgy of his Church, calls baptism regeneration, he does not employ the term in its [15/16] popular signification among many Protestants, to denote the divine influences upon the soul in its sanctification and renovation, in abolishing the body of sin, and raising up the graces and virtues of the new man. The term regeneration is used by him in its original, and appropriate, and technical acceptation, to denote the translation of the baptized person from that state in which, as destitute of any covenanted title to salvation, he is styled "the child of wrath," into that state which, as it proffers to him in all cases, the covenated mercy and grace of God, and in the exercise of repentance and faith actually conveys to him these blessings, is styled a "state of salvation." [* Catechism of the Church.] It must be obvious, that the sacramental commencement of the spiritual life in the regeneration of baptism, and the subsequent sanctification of the principles, the powers, and affections of the new man by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, are distinct acts and operations; the former leading to the latter, which, without it, is wholly inefficatious to salvation, on the contrary, increases the condemnation of the despiser of the gifts and calling of God.

And, therefore, the CHURCHMAN insists on the necessity of that spiritual change denoted in Scripture by the terms sanctification, renewing of the mind, renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

The High Churchman wholeheartedly rejects the Roman doctrine of transubstantiation, yet he affirms of the Holy Communion,

“On this authority our Church directs the Priest, in her Communion office, to bless the bread and wine, to be symbols of the body, and blood of Christ, and thus to make a solemn oblation of them to the Father, beseeching him that they who worthily receive them may be partakers of his body and blood… The Churchman then maintains the oblation in the Eucharist of the bread and wine as symbols and memorials of the body and blood of Christ. He will not be tenacious of the term sacrificeas applicable to the offering of the consecrated elements. For in the appropriate application of the term it doubtless denoted those offerings only in which there was shedding of blood. Neither the liturgy of his Church, nor the primitive liturgies, apply this term to the bread and wine of the Eucharist. All due significance is given to this most sacred ordinance when there is a solemn oblation made by God's authorized minister of the consecrated bread and wine, as symbols and memorials of the body and blood of Christ; assuring to those who worthily receive them all the blessings of his meritorious cross and passion.”

I will include a lengthy quote from Bishop Seabury describing High Church theology of the Eucharist based on the Scottish Communion Office,

“For the command, "This do in remembrance of Me," relates not barely to eating bread & drinking wine in remembrance of Christ, as the Socinians teach, and some ill-informed Christians suppose, but to the whole transaction. By it the Apostles were enjoined, when they administered the Holy Communion, to do as Christ then did--take bread and break it, and offer it up to God, by thanksgiving and prayer, consecrating it to be His mystical Body --the memorial or representative of that Body which Christ in the institution willingly offered up and devoted to God, a sacrifice and propitiation for the sin of the world; and which, in consequence of His offering, was soon after slain upon the cross for our redemption--the Body of Christ in virtue and efficacy. They were then to distribute it to the Christians who attended the Holy solemnity, as Christ distributed it to them. Likewise they were to take the cup, and offer it up to God, by prayer, thanksgiving, and blessing, consecrating it to be the sacramental Blood of Christ--the representative, or memorial of His Blood which Christ devoted to God to be shed for sin--the Blood of Christ in virtue and efficacy to all worthy receivers. They were then to give it to all the Christians present to drink of it in remembrance, or for a memorial of Christ. So that all they who received the sacramental Body and Blood--i. e. the bread and wine thus blessed and consecrated by Christ's authorized minister--with true penitence and faith, might, at the same time, receive, in a spiritual and mysterious manner, the life-giving Body and Blood of Christ, i. e. all the benefits of His passion, death, and resurrection… As we are to commemorate and confess Christ before men, and gratefully to acknowledge the wonderful works of love and mercy He has done for us; so we are to make a commemoration or memorial of His precious death and sacrifice before the Almighty Father, and plead before Him the merits of His dearly beloved Son dying for the sin of the world: Not that God will forget, unless we refresh His memory; but because, in so doing, we use the means that Christ has appointed to convey to us the benefits of that sacrifice which He offered for sin. To refuse, or neglect the Holy Ordinance of the Eucharist looks as though we had no grateful sense of Christ's love in dying for us; or that we did not fully trust to His merits for pardon of our sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and eternal life in the kingdom of God… For when God's Priest offers up the elements of bread and wine upon the Holy Altar, they are thereby made God's property; and being blessed and sanctified by prayer and thanksgiving, they become, through the operation of the Holy Ghost, the Body and Blood of Christ in power and effect. They are then returned by the hand of God's minister, and distributed among the Communicants as a feast upon the sacrifice: And all who partake of them with true faith and repentance are fed with God's food, and eat at God's Table; and are thereby assured of His favour and goodness towards them; and consequently must obtain remission of all past sin, otherwise they could not be in favour with God.” (Seabury – “An Earnest Persuasive to Frequent Communion”)”

He affirms the ministry of absolution which Christ has given to his priests, “In the service of the Church the CHURCHMAN recognizes the power of authoritative absolution in the Christian ministry, founded on the declaration of Christ to his apostles, and through them to their successors to the end of the world--"Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." [* St. John xx. 23.] While he acknowledges this power in the due administration of the sacraments and of ecclesiastical discipline, he considers it as also exercised in the sentence of absolution in the daily worship, by which he maintains God certifies, to those who truly repent and believe, the pardon of their sins.” Yet, he equally condemns the Roman errors associated with penance and confession, “The Churchman only considers a general absolution as an edifying and consolatory part of public service. The Church of Rome makes auricular confession--the private confession to the Priest by every individual of all his sins of thought, word, and deed--an indispensable condition of forgiveness. The Churchman justly deems auricular confession and private absolution, an encroachment on the rights of conscience, an invasion of the prerogative of the Searcher of Hearts, and, with some exceptions, hostile to domestic and social happiness, and licentious and corrupting in its tendency.”

As much as the High Churchman emphasized the importance of adherence to the Prayer Book, he did not insist on ritual innovations beyond what was prescribed in the Prayer Book. Holmes includes a description of Anglican worship during the 18th century, which was remarkably different from today. Essentially, Anglican worship was a “service of the Word,” on most Sundays, consisting of Morning Prayer, Litany, and Ante-Communion. They initially only sang metrical psalms, yet later on, hymns became more standard. “Visual symbols, even the cross, were lacking altogether, and ceremonial minimal. [Eucharistic] vestments were unknown, the use of incense in church unheard of, candles rare, and holy communion three times a year considered sufficient in most parishes” (Holmes, 103).

Up to this point in history, the American Church developed two traits which would later make the Church more receptive to the Oxford Movement. One, the American Church was independent of the State, unlike it was in England. Second, the American Church had a native and indigenous High Church tradition which was active and alive when the Tracts for the Times arrived in America. In the next installment, I will look at how the Oxford Movement and Ritualism changed the Protestant Episcopal Church forever.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Ornaments Rubric and How It Was Interpreted in the Elizabeth Church

One hears much talk of the Ornaments Rubric and the vestments and ceremonies it supposedly allows. This article attempts to address how the Rubric was interpreted in the Elizabeth Church by giving examples of the apparel of clergy and churches during that time.

Perhaps the best place to start is with the rubric itself, which reads,

“The Morning and Evening praier shalbe used in the accustomed place of the churche, chapel, or Chauncell, except it shalbe otherwise determined by the ordinary of the place: and the chauncels shall remain, as they have done in tymes past.

“And here is to be noted, that the Minister at the time of the communion, and at all other tymes in hys ministracion, shall use suche ornamentes in the church, as wer in use by aucthoritie of parliament in the second yere of the reygne of king Edward the .VI. according to the acte of parliament set in the beginning of thys booke.”

The rubric intends to deal with two issues, that of the ornaments of the church and the ornaments of the minister. The rubric is actually two rubrics in that they are separated and deal with (related) but different topics. I note that the former does not refer the read to any acts of Parliament when the part dealing with the ornaments of the minister does refer to Parliament.

The Ornaments Rubric was introduced into the 1559 Book of Common Prayer. The historical context of Anglicanism and England at this time is crucial in understanding the purpose of the Ornaments Rubric. The first Prayer Book was released in 1549 and revised in 1552. Then Mary Tudor ascended the throne and brought England back under the authority of the Papacy. Elizabeth I ascended the throne in 1558 and reverted the nation back to the position under Henry VIII and declared herself supreme governor. Elizabeth I had a number of threats to her reign included Roman recusants in the North, who wanted the English church to return to the Roman fold and reformists, who wanted to further reform the Church to be like the Calvinists in Geneva. It was in such an environment that the 1559 BCP with Ornaments Rubric was published. This was several years before any doctrinal statement was released for the Church of England. The spirit of compromise for the sake of peace permeates from the words of the rubric and the whole 1559 BCP.

The first two BCPs had been much more specific when addressing this concern over what the minister was to wear. For instance, the 1549 BCP says,

“Upon the day, and at the time appointed for the ministration of the Holy Communion, the Priest, that shall execute the Holy ministry, shall put upon him the vesture appointed for that ministration, that is to say: a white Albe, plain, with a vestment or Cope. And where there may be many Priests or Deacons, there so many shall be ready to help the Priest in the ministration, as shall be requisite; and shall have upon them likewise the vestures appointed for their ministry, that is to say, Albes with Tunicles.”

These directions resemble the priest in medieval Catholic services. However, with the publication of the 1552, a more “reformed” rite, the minister is directed to vest as such,

“And here is to be noted, that the minister at the tyme of the Communion and all other tymes in his ministracion, shall use neither albe, vestment, nor cope: but being archbishop or bishop, he shall have and wear a rochet; and being a preest or deacon, he shall have and wear a surplice onely.”

The 1552 BCP was not used long as Mary ascended the throne in 1553. After her reign, Protestant Elizabeth revived the Acts of Uniformity and Supremacy which were in place under her father and brother. The Act of Uniformity deals with the issue of ornaments, with similar language as in the Rubric itself,

“Provided always and be it enacted, than such ornaments of the church and the ministers thereof shall be retained and be in use as was in this Church of England, by authority of Parliament, in the second year of the reign of King Edward the VI, until other order shall be therein taken by the authority of the Queenʼs Majesty, with the advice of her Commissioners appointed and authorized under the great seal of England for causes ecclesiastical, or of the Metropolitan of this realm”

The Act of Parliament resembles the Rubric, except that it adds, “until other order shall be therein taken…” this is alluded to in the Rubric itself when it says, “as wer in use by authoritie of parliament,” this is significant because it subjects the interpretation of the Rubric to the authority of Parliament. This clue offers a clarity in the interpretation of the rubric.

Early Elizabeth Injunctions offer interpretation for the Rubric, by ordering,

“Item. In the ministration of the Holy Communion in cathedral and collegiate churches, the principal minister shall use a cope with gospeller and epistoller agreeably; and at all other prayers to be said at that communion table, to use no copes but surplices.

“Item. That every minister saying any public prayers, or ministering the sacraments or other rites of the Church, shall wear a comely surplice with sleeves, to be provided at the charge of the parish.”

Elizabeth’s Injunctions show a care for the welfare of chancels in parish churches throughout her realm. Iconoclasm was a major issue at that time and many precious statues, etc. were smashed by over-zealous puritans. “Item. That all chancels be clean kept and repaired within as without, in the windows and otherwhere,” shows one example of an Injunction which sought to care for the state of chancels. Archbishop Parker in his visitation articles of 1562 asks of parishes in the dioceses, “Whether your churches and chancels be well adorned, and conveniently kept without waste, destruction, or abuse of any thing. Whether the rood-loft be pulled down, according to the order prescribed; and if the partition between chancel and church be kept.”

I will divide the next sections of the article into two parts, dealing with the ornaments of the church and the ornaments of the minister repesectively.

Ornaments of the Church

This section of the article deals with the first half of the Ornaments Rubric,

“The Morning and Evening praier shalbe used in the accustomed place of the churche, chapel, or Chauncell, except it shalbe otherwise determined by the ordinary of the place: and the chauncels shall remain, as they have done in tymes past.”

The term “ornaments of the church,” deals with the adornments of the chancel such as the holy table, chalice, paten, alms bason, Communion plates, linens, etc. The English Reformation sought to do two things in the reformation of liturgy and the ornaments of the church. First, it sought to remove unbiblical doctrine from the confession of the Church, which was accomplished in the Book of Common Prayer and Articles of Religion. Secondly, it sought to remove ornaments and practices from the Church which suggested or implied those unreformed doctrines. One of the first moves of the reform was to provide biblically-sound homilies to be read in parish churches where the minister was not licensed to preach. In fact, preaching was one of the means by which doctrinal and ceremonial reform was to be accomplished, for example, as is required by this Injunction,

“III. Item, that they, the persons above rehearsed, shall preach in their churches, and every other cure they have, one sermon every month of the year at the least, wherein they shall purely and sincerely declare the word of God, and in the same exhort their hearers to the works of faith, as mercy and charity especially prescribed and commanded in Scripture; and that the works devised by man's fantasies, besides Scripture (as wandering of pilgrimages, setting up of candles, praying upon beads, or such like superstition), have not only no promise of reward in Scripture for doing of them, but contrariwise great threatenings and maledictions of God, for that they being things tending to idolatry and superstition, which of all other offences God Almighty doth most detest and abhor, for that the same most diminish His honour and glory.”

Likewise, superstitious shrines and other things associated with them are to be removed so as to erase their errors from the mind of the people,

“XXIII. Also, that they shall take away, utterly extinct, and destroy all shrines, coverings of shrines, all tables, candlesticks, trindals, and rolls of wax, pictures, paintings, and all other monuments of feigned miracles, pilgrimages, idolatry, and superstition, so that there remain no memory of the same in walls, glass windows, or elsewhere within their churches and houses; preserving nevertheless, or repairing both the walls and glass windows [58]; and they shall exhort all their parishioners to do the like within their several houses.”

However, the English Reformation was not an iconoclastic binge which sought to destroy every image and ornament in the church. While simultaneously seeking to rid the church of superstitious beliefs and practices, the English Reformers sought to keep those things which were practiced by the church throughout the centuries but which were not contrary to the plain teaching of Scripture. This can be observed, especially in the Queen’s Private Chapel.

The Queen's Chapel

The Queen was noted to have kept in her private chapel many things which were discontinued in most parish churches throughout her realm. We learn of what was going on in her chapel from Puritan complaints. The Puritans were a mixed group of people who wanted further reform in the Church of England, to different degrees. However, mostly, they disagreed with the Established Church’s adoption of the normative principle of worship, which taught that only things contrary to Scripture should be removed from the Church’s public ritual and worship.

The Queen took seriously the Rubric in the Prayer Book calling for the chancels to be as they had in times past. Elizabeth is noted for keeping a crucifix and two candlesticks on the altar, “The Altar [in the Queen’s Chapel] is furnished with rich plate, two fair gilt candlesticks with tapers in them, and a massy crucifix of silver in the midst thereof.” Another observer notes in 1560, “March 6th, Dr. Bill, Dean of Westminster, preached in the Queen's chapel: where on the table standing Altarwise was placed a cross and two candlesticks with two tapers in them burning.” Reformists or puritan writers complain about the Queen’s private, religious opinions, seeing her religious preferences as indicating their cause for reform was a dream which would never be actualized. “What can I hope, when three of our lately appointed bishops are to officiate at the Table of the Lord, one as priest, another as a deacon, and a third as subdeacon, before the image of the crucifix, or at least not far from it, with candles, and habited with the golden vestments of the papacy; and are thus to celebrate the Lord’s Supper without any sermon? (1560)” It is unclear in this context what the writer means by “golden vestments of the papacy,” it could be the Eucharistic vestments or a golden cope, which was required by the Injunctions and Act of Uniformity, the writer does not indicate either way because the Puritans disliked either. Other writers and observers share the same sentiments, “The Queen still to this year kept the crucifix in her chapel, as appears by a letter written to Secretary Cecil by a zealous gentleman, earnestly persuading him to use his interest with her Majesty to have it removed, as tending too much to idolatry (1565).” Another author describes the full ornaments of her private chapel in the same year, 1565,

"The said chapel, both before and behind the stalls to the ground, was hanged with rich arrays, and the upper part, from the Table of Administration to the stalls, hanged with like stuff, which said Table was richly garnished with plate and jewels, as followeth. First, to the wall was set in a row, five gilt basons, and afore them another row, and in the middle a gilt cross between two great gilt cups covered, garnished with, a stone, a ship or ark (vessel containing incense), likewise, garnished with a mother-of-pearl, and a pair of gilt candlesticks; afore that, another row, in the middle whereof was set a rich bason and ewer, gilt raided over with gold, between two great maudlin cups with covers, two great lavers, two cruets, and a pax, all gilt; and over the said Table on the wall upon the arras was fastened a front of cloth of silver, embroidered with angels of gold, and before the said Table to the ground, a front of the same suit."

However, it does appear that later on the Queen removed her crucifix for some time, only to bring it back later in 1570, “The crucifix, which had been before removed out of the Queen's chapel, was now of late brought in again,” it is unclear whether she removed it again.

Likewise, Bishop Andrewe’s private chapel, reflected a “higher” ceremonial than one would find in the average parish church,

"Two candlesticks with tapers. The bason for oblations; the daily furniture for the Altar. A cushion for the service-book. The silver and gilt cannister for the wafers, like a wicker basket and lined with cambric laced. The Tonne (flagon) upon a cradle. The Chalice, having on the outside of the bowl CHRIST with the lost sheep on his shoulders; on the top of the cover, the wisemen's star, both engraven; it is covered with a linen napkin (called the Aire) embroidered with colored silks. Two patens. The Tricanale, being a round ball with a screw cover, whereout issue three pipes, and is for the water of mixture. A sier (side) table on which, before the Communion, stand the Tonne and cannister with wafers, upon two napkins. A bason and ewer, to wash before consecration. The towel appertaining. The kneeling-stools covered and stuffed. The foot-pace, with three ascents covered with a Turkey-carpet, of fir boards. Three chairs used at Ordinations, or by prelates communicant. The septum, with two ascents. The pulpit. The music table with three forms. A Triquetral censer wherein the clerk putteth frankincense at the reading of the first lesson. The Navicula, like a keel of a boat, with a half cover and a foot out of which frankincense is poured. A foot-pace, with three ascents, on which the lectern standeth covered, and thereon the Great Bible. The faldstory wherent they kneel to read the Litany. The chaplain's seat where he readeth the service. A seat with a canopy over it for the Bishop.

How do other churches in the realm compare with the Queen’s chapel? It appears that throughout the realm, many churches were similar in appearance to Her Majesty’s chapel. There seems to have been an internal debate about the placement of candlesticks on the holy table and again for lighting them during divine service. For instance, there was an injunction of Henry VIII which ordered, “Item. . . shall suffer from henceforth no torches nor candles, tapers or images of wax to be set afore any image or picture, but only two lights upon the high altar, before the Sacrament, which for the signification that Christ is the very true light of the world,” however, later injunctions from Edward state,

“That all parsons, vicars, and curates omit in the reading of the Injunctions all such as make mention of the Popish Mass, of chantries, of candles upon the altars, or any other such like thing. Item for an uniformity, that no minister do counterfeit the Popish Mass, as . . . . setting any light upon the Lord’s board at any time; and finally to use no other ceremonies than are appointed in the King’s Book of Common prayers.”

However, as I noted in my previous article, there continued to be candles on the altars of England throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. We learn of the ornaments of the churches through injunctions, which is what was expected of them, observer reports, where individuals report on the activity or decoration of a parish, and parish expenditure reports, where the purchases of the parish are recorded. For example, we know that some parishes were buying hangings and carpets for the chancels, "The carpet of velvet for the Altar at S. Paul's at the obsequies of Henry II of France, cost £16, 13 s., 4d. The hangings, covering the ground in the Chancel, £48 4s. 4d" (1559) Injunctions and advertisements from the same period confirm the expectation, "Item, that they should decently cover with carpet, silk, or other decent covering, and with a fine linen cloth (at the time of ministration), the Communion Table" (1560). The expectation continues in the Canons of 1604, "The same Tables shall from time to time... be covered in the time of Divine Service with a carpet of silk, or other decent stuff, thought meet by the Ordinary of the place, if any question be made of it, and with a fair linen cloth at the time of ministration.”

Two Elizabethan injunctions deal with the care and upkeep of chancels, they also reflect the spirit of compromise for the sake of peace which echoes throughout her injunctions,

“Whereas her Majesty understandeth, that in many and sundry parts of the realm the altars of the churches be removed, and tables placed for the administration of the Holy Sacrament, according to the form of the law therefore provided; and in some other places, the altars be not yet removed, upon opinion conceived of some other order therein to be taken by her Majestyʼs visitors; in the order whereof, saving for an uniformity, there seemeth no matter of great moment, so that the sacrament be duly and reverently ministered; yet for observation of one uniformity through the whole realm, and for the better imitation of the law in that behalf, it is Ordered, that no altar be taken down, but by oversight of the curate of the church, and the churchwardens, or one of them at least, wherein no riotous or disordered manner to be used. And that the Holy Table in every church be decently made, and set in the place where the altar stood, and there commonly covered, as thereto belongeth, and as shall be appointed by the visitors, and so to stand, saving when the Communion of the Sacrament is to be distributed; at which time the same shall be so placed in good sort within the chancel, as whereby the minister may be more conveniently heard of the communicants in his prayer and ministration, and the communicants also more conveniently, and in more number communicate with the said minister. And after the Communion done, from time to time, the same Holy Table to be placed where it stood before.”

"We, furthermore understanding in sundry churches and chapels, where Divine Service, as prayer, preaching, and ministration of the Sacraments, be used, there is negligence and lack of convenient reverence used towards the comely keeping and order of the said churches, and especially of the upper part, called the chancel, that it breedeth no small offence and slander to see and consider, on the one part, the curiosity and costs bestowed by all sorts of men upon their private houses; and the other part, the unclean or negligent order, or sparekeeping of the house of prayer, by permitting open decays and ruins of coverings, walls, and windows, and by appointing unmeet and unseemly tables, with foul cloths, for the communion of the Sacraments, and generally having left the place of prayers desolate of all cleanliness and of meet ornament for such a place, whereby it might be known a place provided for public service, having thought good to requrie you our said commissioners... to consider, as becometh, the foresaid great disorders, in the decays of churches and in the unseemly keeping and order of the chancels, and such like, and according it to your discretions to determine upon some good and speedy means of reformation" (1560).

Elizabeth also expected rood-screens, steps, and other aspects of the chancel to remain as they had been,

“For the avoiding of much strife and contention that hath heretofore arisen among the Queen’s subjects in divers parts of the realm, for the using or transposing of the rood-lofts, fonts, and steps, within the quires and chancels for every parish church. It is thus decreed and ordained that the rood-lofts, as yet, being at this day aforesaid, untransposed, shall be so altered that the upper part of the same with the soller quite taken down, unto the upper parts of the vautes, and beem running in length over the said vautes, by putting some convenient crest upon the said beam towards the church, with leaving the situation of the seats (as well in the quire as in the church) as heretofore hath been used.

“Provided yet, that where any parish, of their own costs and charges by common consent, will put down the whole frame, and reedifying the same again the same in joiner’s work (as in divers churches within the city of London it doth appear) that they may do as they think agreeable, so it be to the height of the beam aforesaid.

“Provided also, that where in any parish church the said rood-lofts be already transposed, so that there remain a comely partition between the chancel and the church, that no other alteration be attempted in them, but be suffered in quiet. And where no partition is standing, there to be one appointed.

“Also, that the steps which be as yet at this day remaining in any cathedral, collegiate, or parish church, be not stirred nor altered, but be suffered to continue, with the tombs of any noble or worshipful personage, where it so chanceth to be as well in the chancel, church, or chapel.”

Answering for the status of the roods was also required in her Visitation articles for the Archdeanery of East Riding of York,

“First, whether is the body of your church or chapel, or the chancel thereof, in good reparation, decent kept as well within as without, &c.

“Is there a partition between the body of the church and the chancel? and if not, when, and by whom, and by what authority, was it taken down? Whether you have a font of stone, with a comely cover, set in the ancient and usual place; a little faldstool, or desk, with some decent carpet over it, in the middle alley of the church, whereat the Litany may be said?”

Also notable ornaments in this injunction are the font and faldstool. These were also required by the 1604 canons. The Advertisements of Elizabeth in 1564 and later Visitation Articls of Archbishop Parker require a font in the, “ancient and usual place,”

"Item. That the font be not removed, nor that the curate do baptize in parish churches in any basins, nor in any other form than is already prescribed"

"Item. Whether your curates or ministers, or any of them, do use to minister the Sacraments of Baptism in basins, or else in the font standing in the place accustomed. And whether the said font be decently kept."

Elizabeth also issued strong statements against the defacing or destroying of images in the churches,

“Her Majesty chargeth and commandeth all manner of persons hereafter to forbear breaking or defacing of any parcel of any monument, or tomb, or grave, or other inscription and memory of any person deceased, being in any manner of place; or to break any image of kings, princes, or nobles, estates of this realm, or of any other that have been in times past erected and set up for the only memory of them to posterity, in common churches, and not for any religious honour; or to break down or deface any image in glass windows in any churches, without consent of the Ordinary, upon pain that whosoever herein shall be found to offend, to be committed to the next gaol, and there to remain without bail”

But at the same time, her injunctions speak out strongly against superstitious images, both in church and in private homes,

2. “Item. Whether in their churches and chapels all images, shrines, all tables, candlesticks, trindals or rolls of wax, pictures, paintings, and all other monuments of feigned and false miracles, pilgrimages, idolatry, and superstition be removed, abolished, and destroyed.”

9. “Item, whether they use to declare their parishioners anything to the extolling or setting forth of vain and superstitious religion, pilgrimages, relics, or images, or lighting of candles, kissing, kneeling, or decking of the same images.”

Ornaments of the Minister

As I quoted earlier, the Elizabethan Injunctions supply the official interpretation of the Ornaments Rubrics in her reign. I will supply them again,

“Item. In the ministration of the Holy Communion in cathedral and collegiate churches, the principal minister shall use a cope with gospeller and epistoller agreeably; and at all other prayers to be said at that communion table, to use no copes but surplices.

“Item. That every minister saying any public prayers, or ministering the sacraments or other rites of the Church, shall wear a comely surplice with sleeves, to be provided at the charge of the parish.”

There was intense debate within the Church as to whether or not these provisions were adequate. The reformists or puritans wanted further reform and less vestments, traditionalists wanted more vestments. It appears thought that Elizabeth was not interested in changing this policy. Likewise, the standard seems to be followed by most parish churches, cathedrals, and collegiate churches, with only a few exceptions here and there, and, of course, complaints from Puritans.

One way where we see evidence of the continued use of the surplice is through some writers writing against a controversy in preaching in the surplice. Many Puritans disliked this idea. Bishop Guest writes, “Because it is sufficient to use but a surplice in baptizing, reading, preaching, and praying, there it is enough also for the celebrating of the Communion.” Likewise, another writer describes an Evening Prayer service in 1564, “The Evening Prayer in winter is between three and four, in summer between four and five of the clock in the afternoon. At which prayers Mr Dean, when he is here, and every of the prebendaries are present every day once at the least, apparlled, in the choir, and when they preach, with surplices and silk hoods.”

Elizabethan injunctions also required the cope in cathedral and collegiate chapels. If the surplice irritated the Puritans, the cope downright infuriated them. Archbishop Parker asks those places in his diocese, if, “In the ministration of the Communion in cathedrals and collegiate churches, the executor, with the Epistler and Gospeller, minister the same in copes,” in 1564. Later Advertisements, from the same year, reflect the same sentiments,

“Item, In the ministration of Holy Communion in cathedral and collegiate churches, the principal minster shall use a cope with Gospeller and Epistoler agreeably; and at all other prayers to be said at that Communion-table, to use no copes, but surplices.
"Item, That the dean and prebendaries wear a surplice with silk hood in the quire; and when they preach in the cathedral or collegiate church, to wear their hood.
"Item, That every minister saying any public prayers, or ministering the Sacraments or other public rites of the Church, shall wear a comely surplice with sleeves"

Although the rules did not require copes at other services, there is record of copes being worn for evensong at some places, like King’s College chapel and in 1588 for the service of thanksgiving for defeating the Armada. Some cathedral inventories show that they had copes to be worn during divine service, for example, St. Benedict’s Grace Church, although not a cathedral, had several copes,

"One cope of cloth of gold
"A cope of red silk, fringed with godl
"A cope of blue damask. A cope of satin with blue birds
"Another old green cope
"A vestment with lions of gold
"a vestment of red velvet with lily-pot
"a vestment of blue satin of Bruges"

And likewise St. Margaret’s Westminster,

"One vestment of blue cloth of tissue, with the tunicles for deacon and sub-deacon,
"Item. One cope of crimson cloth of tissue, and two coarse-copes of blue tissue.
"Item. One cope of purple cloth of tissue, one other cope of crimson velvet with scallop shells of silver, and one other cope of crimson velvet with flowers of gold.

This parish had some of the old vestments, it remains unclear from this context if they were worn for divine service or not, although it is possible. Below is a description of the consecration of Archbishop Parker, in 1559, giving a description of the ornaments of the church and the ministers simultaneously,

"The Chapel (of Lambeth Palace) on the east part was adorned with tapestry, and the floor being spread with red cloth, and the Table used for the celebration of Holy Communion, being adorned with a carpet and cushion, was placed at the East. Moreover, four chairs were set to the south of the east part of the chapel, for the Bishops, to whom the office of consecrating the Archbishop was committed. There was also a bench placed before the chairs, spread with a carpet and cushions, on which the Bishops kneeled. And in like manner a chair, and a bench furnished with a carpet and a cushion, was set for the Archbishop on the north side of the east of the same chapel. These things being thus in their order prepared, about five or six in the morning for the Archbishop entereth the chapel by the west door, having on a long scarlet gown and a hood, with four torches carried before him, and acompanied with four bishops who were to consecrate him... Sermon being done, the Archbishop, together with four Bishops, go out of the chapel to prepare themselves for the Holy Communion; and without any stay, they come in again at the north door thus clad: the Archbishop had on a linen surplice, the elect of Chichester used a silk cope, being to administer the Sacrament, on whom attended and yielded their service the Archbishop's two chaplains, Nicholas Bullingham and Edmund Guest, the one Archdeacon of Lincoln, and the other of Canterbury, having on likewise silk copes.”

A description of the celebration of St. George’s Day in 1561 concurs with the vesture of royal chaplains,

"The same 23rd of April, being S. George's day, the festival was kept solemnly at court in this manner. All her Majesty's chapel came through her hall in copes, to the number of thirty, singing, "O God, the Father of Heaven, etc.' the outward court and the gate round that being strewn with green rushes. After, came Mr. Garter and Mr. Norroy, and Master Dean of the chapel, in robes of crimson satin, with a red cross of St. George. And after, eleven Knights of the Garter in their robes. Then came the Queen, soverign of the order, in her robes, and all the guards following in rich coats.”

An observer notes the manner of celebrating divine service in 1560,

"The liturgy was celebrated every day in the chapel with organs and other musical instruments, and the most excellent voices, both of men and children, that could be got in all the kingdom. The gentlemen and children in their surplices, and the priests in copes as often as they attended divine services at the holy altar.”

Likewise, at Canterbury Cathedral, in 1564,

"The Common Prayer daily throughout the year, though there be no Communion, is sung at the Communion-table, standing north and south, where the high altar did stand... The Holy Communion is ministered ordinarily the first Sunday of every month throughout the year... The Priest which ministereth, the Epistler and Gospeller, at that time wear copes"

Copes also featured at coronations, consecrations, and funerals, most notably, Elizabeth’s,

"Gentlemen of the chapel in copes; having the children of the chapel in the middle of their company, in surplices, all of them singing"

It is interesting to read of Puritan complaints about Elizabethan vestments, “These Bishops never appearing publickly but in their rochets, nor officiating otherwise than in copes at the holy altar,” shows one example. Another author writes,

"It is to be lamented that even amongst us who profess the gospel, there were some... who, being deceived with the fair and glittering show of the Babylonish garments, brought them, as Acan did, into the tents of Israel. For why do they command a cope and surplice to be used at the divine service, or a tippet and square cap to be worn daily, but because they think it is of some authority with the people, and bringeth some estimation to their office?"

It seems the Puritans at the Savoy Conference thought the rubric authorized Eucharistic vestments,

"Forasmuch as this rubric seemeth to bring back the cope, alb, &c. and other vestments forbidden by the Common-prayer book and so our reasons alleged against ceremonies under our eighteenth general exception; we desire it to be wholly left out"

In relation to this point, I have found a few references to albs being worn, especially at episcopal consecrations, such as that of the enthronement of Bishop Walton in 1660. However, the evidence is scant and I generally think the Puritans were mistaken in their interpretation of the Rubric. However, I could be wrong and if anyone has contrary evidence, please present it to me. I did find this reference in 1566, “You think that the small number can excuse them: as who they say were so few as you would have them seem to be. Cope, surplice, starch-bread, gospellers, pistlers, kneeling at Communion, crossing at baptism, baptism of [by] women, cap, tippet, and gown. Item, by authority of Parliament, albs, altars, vestments, &c,” and another from the same year, “By the former Book of King Edward (whereto the Act of Parliament referreth us) an alb is appointed with a vestment, for a cope, for the administration of the Sacrament, and in some places the priest at this weareth an alb.”

Puritans during Elizabeth’s reign shared in their contempt for copes and all ecclesiastical vesture,

“In the second volume of the Homilies it is said thus: that the costly and manifold furniture of vestments of late used in the Church is Jewish, and maketh us the more willing (in such apparel of Christians) to become Jewish. If I do so subscribe to this, how can I subscribe to the ceremonies in the cathedral churches, where they have priest, deacon, and sub-deacon in copes and vestments, all as before?”

Interestingly, referring to the Archbishop of Canterbury as “Pope,”

“The Pope of Lambeth, with his bishops and clergy, hath commanded his idol garments, as cap, cope, tippet, surplice, &c. to be worshipped, for without they be first received and obeyed, the gospel shall not be preached; and therefore an idol is more esteemed of them than the gospel of CHRIST; and therefore proved by CHRIST to be an abomination in the sight of the Father, Luke xxi. 15”

However, it seems that the laity favored the vestments,

“Do not the people, with the greater part of the inferior magistrates, everywhere think a more grievous fault is committed, if the minister do celebrate the Lord’s Supper or Baptism without a surplice or cope, than if the same through his silence should suffer an hundred souls to perish, and many of his parishioners to die naked with cold for fault of garments?”

The Canons of 1604 and Elizabethan Injunctions were concerned with the appearance of clergy,

”First, that all Archbishops and Bishops do use and continue their accustomed apparel.
“Item, That all Deans of Cathedral churches, Masters of Colleges, Archdeacons, and other dignitaries in Cathedral churches, Doctors, Bachelors of Divinity and Law, having any ecclesiastical living, shall wear in their common apparel abroad, a side gown with sleeves straight at the hand, without any cuts in the same; and that also without any falling cape; and to wear tippets of sarcenet, as it is lawful for them by that act of Parliament…
“Item, that all Doctors of Physick, or of any other faculty, having any living ecclesiastical, or any other that may dispend by the Church one hundred marks, so to be esteemed by the fruits or tenths of their promotions; and all Prebendaries whose promotions be valued at twenty pounds or upward; wear the like apparel.
“Item, That they and all ecclesiastical persons, or other having any ecclesiastical living, do wear the cap appointed by the Injunctions, And they to wear no hats but in their journeying.

74. Decency in Apparel enjoined to Ministers.
THE true, ancient, and flourishing Churches of Christ, being ever desirous that their Prelacy and Clergy might be had as well in outward reverence, as otherwise regarded for the worthiness of their ministry, did think it fit, by a prescript form of decent and comely apparel, to have them known to the people, and thereby to receive the honour and estimation due to the special Messengers and Ministers of Almighty God: we therefore following their grave judgment, and the ancient custom of the Church of England, and hoping that in time newfangleness of apparel in some factious persons will die of itself, do constitute and appoint, That the Archbishops and Bishops shall not intermit to use the accustomed apparel of their degrees. Likewise all Deans, Masters of Colleges, Archdeacons, and Prebendaries, in Cathedral and Collegiate Churches, (being Priests or Deacons,) Doctors in Divinity, Law, and Physic, Bachelors in Divinity, Masters of Arts, and Bachelors of Law, having any Ecclesiastical Living, shall usually wear Gowns with standing Collars, and Sleeves strait at the hands, or wide Sleeves, as is used in the Universities, with Hoods or Tippets of silk or sarcenet, and square Caps. And that all other Ministers admitted or to be admitted into that function shall also usually wear the like apparel as is aforesaid, except Tippets only. We do further in like manner ordain, That all the said Ecclesiastical Persons above mentioned shall usually wear in their journeys Cloaks with Sleeves, commonly called Priests' Cloaks, without guards, welts, long buttons or cuts. And no Ecclesiastical Person shall wear any Coif or wrought Night-cap, but only plain Night-caps of black silk, satin, or velvet. In all which particulars concerning the apparel here prescribed, our meaning is not to attribute any holiness or special worthiness to the said garments, but for decency, gravity, and order, as is before specified. In private houses, and in their studies, the said Persons Ecclesiastical may use any comely and scholar-like apparel, provided that it be not cut or pinkt; and that in publick they go not in their Doublet and Hose, without Coats or Cassocks; and also that they wear not any light-coloured Stockings. Likewise poor beneficed Men and Curates (not being able to provide themselves long Gowns) may go in short Gowns of the fashion aforesaid.

That concludes our section on the ornaments of the minister. I believe the evidence is strongly against Eucharistic vestments and I must say that this surprises me. I thought I would embark on this study and find that Eucharistic vestments were widespread in Elizabethan England, however, if they are, there is little evidence of them being used. I have come to the conclusion that they are not part of the Anglican heritage and should be eschewed in favor of the so-called “choir dress” of Anglican history. That would mean, for normal parish clergy, a cassock, surplice, tippet, and hood (if he has a degree), and a cope if he ministers in a collegiate chapel or cathedral (maybe in richer parish churches too), and a bishop to be vested in cassock, rochet, chimere, and tippet, and a cope it applies. Street dress would include the cassock and Canterbury cap.

Some other comments about the practice of worship in the Elizabeth Church…

Elizabeth appears to have wanted the Prayer Book liturgy to be sung, as she explains in her injunctions, “That there be a modest and distinct song so used in all parts of Common Prayers in the church, that the same may be as plainly understanded, as if it were read without singing.” Incense was used in various churches throughout her realm, most notably by Bishop Andrewes in his private chapel. However, it appears that this was only used as a fragrance and not used to cense things, another parish which used incense was St. Mary’s at Cambridge and St. Augustine’s, Farrigdon-within London, which bought, “Two pounds of frankincense to burn in the church.” Lent was religiously observed and violators of the fast who, “did kill any flesh that time of Lent, he should forefit £20 for each time he did so.” Some Puritans even complained of some, “crossing themselves in their prayers.” Elizabeth’s injunctions also require the Litany to be said,

“Immediately before the time of communion of the Sacrament, the priests with other of the quire shall kneel in the midst of the church, and sing or say plainly and distinctly the Litany, which is set forth in English, with all the suffrages following, to the intent the people may hear and answer; and none other procession or litany to be had or used, but the said Litany in English, adding nothing thereto, but as it is now appointed. And in cathedral or collegiate churches the same shall be done in such places, and in such sort, as our commissioners in our visitation shall appoint.”

Elizabeth also required reverence to the name of Jesus as the later 1604 canons would require,

“Whensover the name of JESUS shall be in any lesson, sermon, or otherwise in the church, pronounced, due reverence be made of all persons, young and old, with lowness of courtesy, and uncovering of heads of the mankind, as thereunto doth necessarily beong, and henceforth hath been accustomed.”

One final quote from a Puritan writer reveals the spirit of the Elizabethan Church (and really the later Carolines and 18th century High Churchmen). This particular writer lists the things he finds objectionable in the Church of England,

“13. The Epistler, that doth read some patch of the Epistle. 14. The Gospeller, that doth read some piece of the Gospel, 15. The Quirister. 16. The Quire, or Cage, wherein they do separate themselves from the congregation, and cause the word not to be understood of the people… 41. Putting off the caps at the NAME OF JESUS. 42. Crossing the corpse with linen cloths and such like. 43. Ringing the handbells in many places… 46. Ringing of curfew on hallw evens… 50. Offerings at burials and offering the woman at her churching.”

In conclusion, I think the practice of the Elizabethan Church fits in well with the points I made in the post, “Moderate Ceremonialism,” and I think it offers us some alternatives to the advanced ritualism which permeates Anglican churches today. Older High Churchmen placed the emphasis on theology and ritual secondary, which is something which we need today in modern Anglicanism, where we have cultivated an “anything goes” culture in our church. When we get our theology right, ceremonial follows to accompany it. I think the Elizabethan and later Caroline divines were right in abandoning vestments which suggested a theory of the Eucharist and sacrificial aspect thereof which was rejected by the Church of England.