Friday, December 28, 2012

A Question of Identity

Anglican identity has become a buzz word, perhaps even a type of science, that being trying to actually understand what it is.

It's interesting that the word "Anglican" isn't quite as ancient as some would hope or perhaps expect, in the sense of having a theological implication. As Nockles summarizes, "'Anglican' took a long time to acquire and -ism" (40). Besides having purely geographical connotations, pertaining to membership in the reformed Church of England, the use of "Anglicanism" in the (somewhat) modern sense has been traced to Edmund Burke in 1797, however, even in Burke's usage, it had little theological connotation, other than referring to members of the reformed Church. What is of particular interest is that the theological association came with none other than Newman, who began to associate the term "Anglicanism" with his dubious concept of via media in 1837 in the Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the Church. The term "Anglican" began to acquire a particular association, not with the Church of England, in general, but, rather, with a particular school within that Church. In the beginning that was with general High Church sentiments but over time came to be associated with Tractarianism. Conversely, the "Anglican" badge was also adopted by traditional High Churchmen as a badge of differentiation from the new Tractarians and their mangling of the true nature of Church of England. However, this was more of a re-appropriation of the Newmanian designation of "Anglican" as a marker of Tractarian identity (interestingly enough, "Anglo-Catholic" was originally a designation of all members of the Church of England and not a party term). Overall, the term "Anglican" has an interesting history and has been (for the most part) a party word, designating either the new Tractarian party or the traditional High Church party, not that this is necessarily a bad thing but it is to be noted as this article proceeds. In addition, it is primarily a geographical term, referring to the nation of England and her Reformed Church.

This line of thought and investigation into the history of the term "Anglican" has led me to ponder if modern attempts at defining Anglican identity have focused on the wrong things. However, before considering that thought, I'd like to explore some of the alternative terminology utilized in the past to describe the Anglican tradition. "Anglican" was not, apparently, the preferred terminology to describe just what this Church of England and her daughter churches were (and are). Other terms were used equally. One of the more popular terms it seems was Protestant Episcopal, which is also the name of the Province of the Church in these United States. This name was utilized because it accurately and precisely defines what it means to be part of this Christian family. We are a Protestant Church, unlike most other episcopal Churches, such as Rome and Constantinople, because we proclaim the unadulterated and pure Gospel. However, unlike many other Protestant communions, we have maintained the historical episcopacy, an ancient and desirable form of polity. I like this terminology because of its efficiency. Other terms which were commonly used were "Reformed Catholic" and "Reformed Episcopal" both of which were attempts to define what it meant to be an Anglican, using theological and ecclesiastical terminology, instead of the geographical word Anglican.

Returning to the point made in the last paragraph about the (perhaps) misunderstanding of Anglican identity or attenuation of the wrong things as constituting Anglican identity. The focus of these types of discussions tends to rest on the episcopacy, liturgy, and perhaps some stylistic preference for the choir dress of clergy. Now, these are all splendid things, things which I love and cherish and do promote, however, I do not think that they (alone) define Anglicanism. The real identity of Anglicanism is the proclamation of biblical truth in a particular setting, that being the English setting. These things need not necessarily be the same in all places but the universal proclamation of the Gospel does not change due to time or place, like these secondary matters can.

Perhaps it's time to begin to reconsider what it means to be an Anglican.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Stranger in His Own Land

One would hardly believe that a Protestant Episcopalian would find himself unwelcome in an institution by the same name, much as if a Democrat felt isolated at the Democratic National Convention, yet, strangely, this is the case in the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.  It's rather more of a puzzle to the average Episcopalian or member of another Anglican church (lest the realignment crowd think that they have solved any problems in this arena) to try and decipher what exactly a "Protestant Episcopalian" is.  "Conservative" and "orthodox" are liberal code words for Anglo-Catholicism among progressive Episcopalians and breakaway Anglicans.  Really, it's not rather all that surprising that Protestant Episcopalianism has all but died off in its native land, save for a few wells that have not dried up due to the scorching heat of liberalism and Tractarianism.  Following the secession of Bishop Cummins and the Reformed Episcopal Church in 1873, traditional churchmanship, of all varieties, was stamped out in PECUSA in a hostile takeover, that of the Tractarians and Ritualists, both of which imposed their agenda upon this Protestant Church and took it away from its roots.  Little by little, traditional High Churchmanship was engulfed by Tractarianism, which was initially perceived of as a friend by traditional High Churchmen, but later opposed, due to its doctrinal innovations.  The Evangelicals in PECUSA were scared off with Cummins or slowly withered away to become the neuter "Low Church Party" of the early 20th century, the vestige of Evangelical piety in PECUSA.  The 20th century fared little better for traditional churchmen, of all stripes.  Tractarianism continued full blast in its hostile takeover of the Protestant Episcopal Church, introducing strange and delusional heresies, such as the "non-communicating Mass" and other wishful fables.  Likewise, gone was the simple dress of the Anglican minister and introduced was the garments of the Roman priests, in their colors, to the Church.  Little by little the doctrinal standards of our Church were withered away to nothing.  First, it seemed harmless, removing the Homilies, then the Articles of Religion, then the Creeds, then the Bible, and now in 2012, we have the blessing of same-sex unions.  The trajectory in PECUSA all flows the same stream.

For this reason the Protestant Episcopalian is a stranger in his own land, a vagabond without home, a wandering island.

What sort of churchman is this Protestant Episcopalian?  He is one who acknowledges the absolute and infallible authority of the Holy Scriptures over the Church.  He is one who believes that justification comes by faith alone by the imputation of Christ's righteousness and our accounting thereby as righteous by God Almighty by Christ's, "one oblation of himself once offered," and thereby made for us a "full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world" (BCP).  He is one who says in confidence that we are saved only by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God, and there is no other name under heaven or earth by which man can be saved. 

He sees no more than two sacraments in Holy Scripture, Baptism and Holy Communion, which are not magic emblems but effectual signs and instruments of the grace of Almighty God to faithful recipients.  He sees no reason to ascribe to these sacraments powers that they do not have.  By Baptism, he understands that the recipient enters into a new state of relation or covenant with Almighty God, yet the waters of Baptism do not morally change a man.  The moral change in a man's soul results from the trust in Christ's one sacrifice for the sins of mankind.  The effects of baptism are only received in faith.  Likewise in the Supper of the Lord, whereby our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, feeds his people with his own body and blood, not by some carnal absurdity but through the operation of the Holy Ghost and through the holy mean of faith.  The wicked do not receive Christ but receive condemnation for their wickedness in receiving the holy food of the people of God.

He knows the Church to be a divine society of all those baptized and believing members, united to their Lord, Jesus Christ.  He knows that the Scripture is the only infallible rule of faith for this body called the Church and that the only infallible leader is our Divine Head, Jesus Christ, no man or body of men can possess such authority in and of itself, besides declaring the plain teaching of the Scripture.  The Protestant Episcopalian looks to Scripture and the early Church and sees a solid foundation in the three-fold ministry of bishop, priest, and deacon, and even sees this historical succession as a link to us and the earliest community of believers, yet, sees no direct command from Scripture to mandate this form of government on all temporal organizations of the divine society of the Church.  He eschews all Popish superstition with no scriptural warrant.  He directs his prayers to our blessed Lord alone and to no human being, living or passed into glory.  He looks to the glorious return of Jesus to reign in glory forevermore.    

Such doctrines all lost popularity some time ago in the Protestant Episcopal Church and among those who left her, either due to women in the ministry and the 1979 Prayer Book or due to the election of homosexual bishop of New Hampshire.  Those of us who have stumbled upon this sound system of doctrine are forced to live in obscurity and under the suspicion of our fellow Anglican friends as those strange fellows who accept all the Thirty-Nine Articles without question, those who take seriously the Reformation heritage of the Church, which we would subsequently identify as the Catholic heritage of this Church.  Yet, the Protestant Episcopalian continues on, resting in this firm foundation, perhaps quietly or in obscurity, but never in vain.     

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Worship Woes 3: The Consecration

As I was sitting in church today, during Divine Service, I happened to think upon something during the Consecration which, to me, seems a theological inconsistency.  This stems from two sources, first, is a misrepresentation of Anglican, eucharistic theology in (most) North American contexts, I won't spend too much time on this subject, since it has been explored, in depth, elsewhere on this blog.  The second is a misunderstanding of the American Eucharistic tradition.

What I'm referencing is the practices that accompany the acts of consecration (other aspects of the Communion Service were discussed in Worship Woes 2).  Specifically, I mean to discuss the actions of elevating the elements during the Words of Institution and other accompanying acts.  First, as readers of this blog will know, these actions imply a Eucharistic theology alien to our tradition, that being that the elements are substantially changed into the body and blood of Christ.  Anglican Eucharistic theology acknowledges that the faithful recipient does truly receive Christ's body and blood but the means by which we receive him are not the elements but, rather, by faith (see Article 28 & 29).  The consecration of the elements is a setting apart by the minister for special and holy use (which justifies the oblation in the American tradition, from my perspective) but there is no substantial change in them, i.e. they remain just as much bread and wine before the consecration as after.  The actions that usually accompany the Words of Institution are not Anglican and usually not rubrical either.  A common repertoire is to pick up the elements individually, sometimes make a sign of the cross over them, and then elevate them.  Afterwards, the celebrant either genuflects or bows towards them.  Neither of these actions are products of the Reformation, but, rather, a deformation of the biblical and catholic faith of the English Reformation.  In addition, these actions are not rubrical, by any rite.  The 1928, following the 1662 directives, says for the priest to take the bread and wine "into his hands" after which he is to lay hands upon the bread and the vessels containing wine to be consecrated (additionally breaking the bread at this point, instead of later in the 1979 rite).  The 1979 rite gives permission for the celebrant to either "hold" the bread and wine or "lay hands upon it", neither of which permits an exaggerated elevation (obviously, if a priest is going to "hold" something it will be slightly elevated above the table, but this is the literal definition of "holding" the sense of elevation I am using here is to lift it high, usually above the celebrant's head).  The actions of either genuflecting or bowing upon placing the elements back on the table are likewise troubling.  I can see how someone could manipulate the rubrics to perhaps justify elevation, although it would still be against the literal sense of the rubrics, I don't see how a genuflection or bow can be justified rubrically.  Moreover, all of these actions point away from classically Anglican theology and undermine the deaths of the Reformers.

The second reason why these actions make no sense has more to do with logic than theology, although, it is a theological inconsistency.  This stems from a historical reality in which we, as the American Church of the Anglican Communion, find ourselves.  As readers of this blog will certainly know, the American Church acquired its first bishop through the Non-Juring Scottish Episcopal Church when Samuel Seabury left to acquire consecration as a bishop in England.  The English bishops could not consecrate him, due to the oath of allegiance in the English rite to the King.  He found support from the Scottish bishops, who consecrated him, on the condition that he would do several things, one of which was to introduce the Scottish Communion Office to the American Church.  Now the Scottish Office is remarkably different from the English Office in that it includes an epiclesis, or a calling down of the Holy Ghost upon the elements, to set them apart for holy use.  The epiclesis comes after the Words of Institution in the Scottish and American Offices, meaning that the consecration occurs after the Words of Institution in our rite.  If one were to misunderstand our theology and disregard the rubrics, it would be much more consistent to do so at the epiclesis, not during the Institution Narrative.

The present authors values and respects consistency and begs that if our theology isn't going to be followed nor our Prayer Book observed, that at least the chaos that is American Anglicanism be somewhat internally consistent.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Question of Loyalty

And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. - 1 Samuel 15:22-23
 The Hackney Hub writes with some dismay about the current state of affairs in the American Church, by which I mean in the Episcopal Church particularly and in other Protestant bodies generally.  This is a matter of which the present author feels strongly, largely out of a great deal of personal reflection on the lives of the saints in former times and upon meditation upon Holy Scripture.  These two sources have led the author to the conclusions presented in this article.  

The witness of Scripture seems abundantly clear, at least to the author, that Christians are bound to obey those in authority over them.  "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well" (1 Peter 2:13-14), "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you" (Hebrews 13:17), "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God" (Romans 13:1), and "Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work" (Titus 3:1), for a start.  

The author sees a noticeable lack of obedience and loyalty in American religion, particularly among Anglicans, the alleged "loyalists" of Protestantism.  The problem being that, especially among Anglicans, the notion of maintaining the apostolic ministry of bishop, priest, and deacon, without actually obeying those in authority is ludicrous, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers" (Ephesians 4:11), however, what good is it if the people of God don't follow those appointed leaders?  The argument follows that if these leaders become heretical or apostate, they no longer are God's chosen leaders.  I don't see a particular way of arriving at this interpretation from the words of Scripture (more about apostasy and heresy later).  The leaders of the Episcopal Church are anything but a biblical representation of leadership or of Christian orthodoxy, however, they are still our leaders and we are bound to follow them (save only if they mandate us to do something contrary to Scripture).  The logic that is used to justify schism is understandable but not ultimately satisfying, of course, in my opinion.  That logic being the notion that heretical leadership abdicates a God-given office of leadership.  The problem with initial schism is that it breeds further schism and discord in the Body of Christ (see the Anglican Mission [and now South Carolina] for evidence).  The duty of believers, in this instance, is not to leave, but to stand up against false teaching and preach the Gospel from where we are, that being for us the Episcopal Church, leaving solves no problems, but, rather, creates a host of new, unanswered questions.  

"As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:9), "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 3-4).  In fact, what is happening is something believers should be expecting, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils" (1 Timothy 4:1, c.f. Matthew 24:12, 2 Timothy 3:1-9).  The answer, however, is not to break away, but, rather, to rest in Christ, "Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life" (Jude 24).  

For those who may think that their leaving the Church will somehow change things for the better, remember, that the judgement of others is in the hands of God.  I would not want to be Katharine Jefferts Schori on the day of judgement, for, as the Lord has said, "To me belongeth vengeance and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste" (Deuteronomy 32:35), I think all we, as faithful Christians, need do is remain faithful to the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ, God Himself will take care of those who have openly betrayed Him and His Word.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thomas Cranmer and an Exhortation to Faithfulness

Sadly, as many readers will be aware of, there has been further disintegration in the Anglican world in these United States.  If the reader is unaware, disciplinary action has been directed against Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina, charging him with abandonment of the "doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church."  This action from the national Church has triggered a response from the Diocese, automatically disassociating the Diocese from the General Convention.  The writer does not presume to weigh in on the apparent rightness or wrongness of the actions of the Presiding Bishop nor of the Diocesan Bishop, his Standing Committee, or Diocese.  However, one cannot think that the Presiding Bishop did not know about these diocesan canons and the effect of her and the Disciplinary Board's actions against Bishop Lawrence.  While the writer certainly shares the views of the Diocese of South Carolina (and it does remain as such, regardless of its stance with General Convention), I cannot help but lament the future pain this series of actions has already caused and most certainly will cause in the near and distant future.  Fortunately and unfortunately, this is the consequence of the abandonment of biblical faith and practice by our national Church and the only remedy is to repent and return to the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.

However, the situation as it is leads us to conclude that such repentance will not occur.  The question inevitably arises in the mind of a faithful Christian, what to do in times such as these?  Regrettably, in times such as these, one can visibly see the rise in dissent in our parishes and clergy, who sincerely (and justifiably) think that leaving the Church is the best response to the problems facing us from all fronts.  On the contrary, I think that in times such as these, the exact opposite is true.  The best weapon against heresy and tyranny is faithfulness coupled with the courage to stand up against such atrocities.  The problem with dissent is that it causes confusion and ultimately brings about the normalization of schism in our ecclesiastical culture.  Which is better, I ask you, ten competing jurisdictions preaching different party platforms, or one united people of God, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Another problem with dissent is a faulty understanding of the Church.  To be a dissenter, one must hold (to some extent) to a purist notion of the Church (read Anabaptist).  The historic church has always had weeds mixed in among us.  When a group of Christians leaves the Church over some issue, be it homosexuality, women's ordination, or whatever it is, they will have to eliminate the possibility of that particular error arising in their own ranks which necessitates some form of purism.  The problem is that a puristic Church is an impossibility, at least biblically speaking.  The Church is flawed and it has always been.  Moreover, it always will be a flawed body until our Lord returns in glory.

A source of inspiration in my own life has been none other than Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, an exemplar for loyalty to one's national Church.  Some might seem puzzled at this selection at first glance, however, upon explanation, I hope you will see my point.  Why would Thomas Cranmer, the Reformation Archbishop of Canterbury, be the best example of remaining faithful to the Episcopal Church?  Did he not "break" from Rome?  No, he did not, King Henry VIII did remove the Church of England from the tyranny of Rome, yes, but this is not schism, this is restoring the Church of England to its rightful place, and second, Cranmer did not initiate this action, the King did.  In other words, Cranmer left to the King's decision what was in the King's power.  Christian bishops don't go about causing schisms, at least orthodox ones don't, this is not in their realm of authority.  Cranmer remained loyal to his Church, in good and bad times.  For example, Cranmer remained loyal to the Church of England throughout the reign of Henry VIII, when the unreformed mass remained the norm, the Gospel was not articulated and the people were not instructed in the vernacular language.  Cranmer remained in the Church when the times were good under Edward VI, when his reforms were finally realized.  Most importantly, Cranmer remained in the Church of England, when Mary Tudor assumed the throne and re-subjugated England to Papal tyranny.  This is crucial because Cranmer had the option to leave, like other Reformers did, but chose to stay with his Church and be martyred for the Gospel.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Worship Woes 2: The Canon

Today's worship post will reveal the "by the book" nature of the author, when relating especially to the administration of the Lord's Supper.  In this piece,  I will address the problems I see with the current practices I see in the Canon or the Eucharistic prayer.  This has historically been one place in the liturgy that tends to "clutter" or tack on extra ceremonial for no real reason other than to amplify perceived "sanctity", usually due to poor sacramental theology.  

Historically, Anglicanism had been pretty strict in following the ceremonial of the Prayer Book, which is noticeably minimal, in comparison with its Roman counterpart (for good reason).  There has been noticeable deviation from the prescriptive norm, though, throughout Anglican history.  The Laudians were champions of eastward facing celebration, bowing at the name of Jesus and towards the altar, and a few other practices.  A quite frequent occurrence (in the days before modern liturgies) was the "elevation" of the offerings and the preaching of a sermon in the Morning Prayer Service (which is only authorized in the Ante-Communion).  

I will briefly describe the actions allowed by the Prayer Book, in both 1928 and 1979 forms and then discuss some of the aberrations that I find troubling.

1928 Communion Service

Starting with the Offertory, the priest is to "offer, and shall place upon the Holy Table, the Bread and the Wine", without discussing the merits or significance of "offering" the bread and the wine, this is all that is prescribed for the priest to do at this point (with the notable deletion of any sentences or prayers to be said when "offering" the elements).  After turning to the people for the Sursum Corda, the priest is to "turn to the Holy Table, and say," which in the 1928 could either be North end or Eastward facing.  Then beginning the Canon, "standing before the Holy Table," the priest should have already " ordered the Bread and Wine, that he may with the more readiness and decency break the Bread before the People, and take the Cup into his hands."  The next set of instructions comes at the Consecration of the Elements in the Institution Narrative, which we are all familiar with.  First, when speaking of the bread, the priest is to "take the Paten unto his hands."  Then he is "to break the Bread," presumably while still holding it.  And subsequently he must, "lay his hand upon all the Bread."  Concerning the wine, the priest is to " take the Cup into his hand" and then " lay his hand upon every vessel (be it Chalice or Flagon) in which there is any Wine to be consecrated."  The next act prescribed by the Book is the kneeling of the priest at the Prayer of Humble Access, before receiving Communion himself and distributing it.  The next portion is important, after Communion, " the Priest shall return to the Lord’s Table, and reverently place upon it what remaineth of the consecrated Elements, covering the same with a fair linen cloth."  

1979 Communion Service

The 1979 Prayer Book is less prescriptive than the 1928 in dealing with ceremonial (and presumes a lot of Novus Ordo practices).  However, this follows the discernible ceremonial actions envisioned by this Book.

Beginning again with the Offertory, "Representatives of the congregation bring the people's offerings of bread and wine, and money or other gifts, to the deacon or celebrant.  The people stand while the offerings are presented and placed on the Altar" (Ironically, this brings 1979 closer to 1662 than 1928, compare, "he Priest shall then place upon the Table so much Bread and Wine, as he shall think sufficient" with "presented and placed" with 1928 "offer and place").  1979 gives explicit instruction for the presbyter or bishop to face the people (wondering what starting position they have in mind?).  After the Sanctus, the priest is to face the Holy Table and begin the Consecration.  1979 gives the following instructions concerning the bread and wine, "At the following words concerning the bread, the Celebrant is to hold it, or to lay a hand upon it; and at the words concerning the cup, to hold or place a hand upon the cup and any other vessel containing wine to be  consecrated."  The next ceremonial action is the breaking of the bread after the Lord's Prayer, just before the distribution of the elements.  


After having studied the ceremonial actions permitted by rubric, now let us consider some common variations on the simple service provided for in the Prayer Book.  Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the 1928 services as I have only been reared in the 1979 tradition.  I can presume on some things but if someone would like to comment with additional observations that would be helpful and beneficial for further discussion.

First, the Offertory is often cluttered to the point of no recognition.  A common practice that has no warrant in the rubrics is the blessing of the offerings of the people.  All of the Prayer Books direct the offerings of the people to be "presented and placed" on the Holy Table, not crossed and stashed away.  The Prayer Book tradition includes the alms and oblations of the people with the elements of bread and wine as offerings.  This is also attested in the early church, when the peoples' offerings were also offered up at the Offertory with the elements.

Secondly, the Offertory is cluttered with so many people, it's tough to remember who's doing what and why.  I know that acolytes are a valuable ministry in the Church but I am not in favor of creating ceremonial chaos to give kids a role in church.  I think the acolytes should serve as chalice bearers or torch bearers (especially if younger kids) but let the clergy place the elements on the Table.  It de-clutters things, for one, we don't need to pass along the elements in an assembly line.  Second, it can speed things along and alleviate chances of spillage or confusion.  The lavabo often occurs at this point in the liturgy, I really don't have any gripes towards it (Andrewes is known to have practiced it) but I don't think it necessary part of the service.  Thirdly, just a side note, the addition of water to the wine was deemed acceptable by the Lincoln Judgement in 1890, but only in a non-liturgical manner, i.e. before the service.  That being the case I think it would be more suitable to add water to the wine in the sacristy before the service.  That being said, I don't really mind it at this point, considering it was one of the usages of the Scottish Episcopalians.  It's not rubrical though and shouldn't be regarded of as essential to the celebration of Holy Communion.

Moving along in the service, there is a tendency to multiply the actions of clergy and acolytes in the service (which partially makes sense, if you have seventeen people "on stage'" they need to be doing something).  One of the practices that I don't particularly care for, for good reason, in my opinion, is the Sanctus bell.  The bell was used in the medieval Church to signal the point in the liturgy when the host and chalice had become the body and blood of Christ and because the service was in Latin, the people needed a cue to adore the Eucharist (not receive it according to Christ's commands).  I'm not particularly fond of this practice because of the theology it harkens to symbolically.  Another tendency is the multiplication of acts performed by clergy such as bowings, crossings, and kneelings or genuflections.  Again, I frown upon bowing or genuflecting towards the elements after the Words of Institution because it symbolically represents a theology alien to our tradition.  The "big bad" of the Canon is the Elevation, which is expressly forbidden by the Articles of Religion, 'The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped" (Art. 28).

During the Eucharistic prayer, there is a tendency to perform various actions.  I have come to agree with Archbishop Robinson of UECNA, when he describes the following uses of the early church as such: 1) taking the bread and wine into the hands; 2) extending the hands over the elements in the epiclesis; 3) elevating the elements at the final doxology, I think there is one more but memory fails me at this point.  The point being, for me, these are acceptable variations in the ceremonial of the liturgy (but not necessary for a valid celebration and I would in fact prefer the simple actions of the Prayer Book).  The sign of the cross is variously added at differing points in the liturgy, which is acceptable but adds to ceremonial complexity which eats away at Cranmer's vision for a simple, understandable, biblical liturgy for the Church of England (and subsequently her daughter Churches).

I will continue reflecting on the Communion Service next week..

Friday, October 19, 2012

Anglican Myths 10: Nothing "Peculiar" Here

The inspiration for the title of this post comes from the (infamous) quote from Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher of Canterbury, from 1945 to 1961.  The quote in its entirety follows:

"The Anglican Communion has no peculiar thought, practice, creed or confession of its own. It has only the Catholic Faith of the ancient Catholic Church, as preserved in the Catholic Creeds and maintained in the Catholic and Apostolic constitution of Christ's Church from the beginning." It may licitly teach as necessary for salvation nothing but what is read in the Holy Scriptures as God's Word written or may be proved thereby. It therefore embraces and affirms such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the Scriptures, and thus to be counted apostolic. The Church has no authority to innovate: it is obliged continually, and particularly in times of renewal or reformation, to return to "the faith once delivered to the saints."
(Note, a commentary on the text -- I believe the first quoted portion comes from Archbishop Fisher and the latter text was drafted by the ACNA theological group.  I cannot find the text without both pieces so I assume that they go together.  I will be commenting mostly on the first portion, lines 1-4, which I believe to be Archbishop Fisher's actual words.  But in the case that I am misunderstanding the punctuation of the text, I will comment on the latter portion as well.)

This idea has gained some traction in "conservative" Anglican circles over the past few decades.  It is especially pertinent now since it is featured on the ACNA webpage ("About Us").  It is included with the theological statement adopted by ACNA (which is loosely based on the Jerusalem Declaration).  It is safe to say that this statement is presented in Introductory Anglicanism courses in many parishes in North America and elsewhere.  The question remains, does it accurately present the teaching of Anglicanism?  In particular, does it present a clear understanding of the nature of authority in Anglicanism, especially in relation to the early Church?

I believe the problems with this line of thought are wrong on two accounts.  I divide the statement into two halves.  The first half being the first sentence and the second half being the second sentence simply.    I will address the second half first and then the first.

The second half of Fisher's statement reveals an ignorance of the Anglican formularies, in the sense of Anglicanism's acceptance of the early Church Fathers, Creeds, etc.  The Church of England (and consequently her daughter Churches) accept the teaching of Scripture and the doctrine contained therein, because "Holy Scriptures containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation." (Article 6).  The universal truth of Scripture is consequently particularly applied in various national contexts, one of which is in England.  The Reformed Church of England does not base its authority off of the teaching of the Fathers or the Creeds, by themselves, but on the authority of the Holy Scripture.  These lesser authorities are only accepted insofar as they agree with the teaching of Holy Scripture.  For instance, "The three Creeds... ought thoroughly to be received and believed; for they may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture" (Article 8), the Creeds have no inherent authority of their own and are only to be accepted because they present the universal truth of Scripture.  Again, Article 20 seriously limits the authority of the Church, especially in comparison with the claims made by the Romish Church, for the Church is the "keeper of Holy Writ" but is bound by it and cannot teach anything contrary to it or count anything as binding that is not contained therein:

The Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies and authority in controversies of faith; and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything contrary to God's word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ: yet, as it ought not to decree anything against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce anything to be believed for necessity of salvation.
The subsequent Article (21) limits the authority of General (or Ecumenical) Councils by first declaring them to only be licitly called together by Christian princes, not the pope.  Secondly, Ecumenical Councils may and have erred, such as the Seventh Council, Article 19 extends this possibility of error not only to Ecumenical Councils but also to particular Churches, "As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch have erred: so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith."  Not only that, the Articles list in several places specific errors of the Churches and Councils.  For example, works of supererogation "cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety" (Article 14); purgatory, pardon, the veneration of saints, images, and relics, as well as the invocation of saints are " fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture; but rather repugnant to the word of God" (Article 22); holding services in Church in a language not understood by the people is "plainly repugnant" (Article 24), etc.  Thirdly, their authority is only relevant insomuch as they present and uphold the teaching of Scripture:

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 sometime have erred, even in things pertaining to 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. 
 Consequently, Article 34 details the authority of particular or national Churches to regulate its own ceremonial life, for example, England chose to celebrate Pentecost Day but Scotland did not.  Each particular Church has the right to these types of decisions so long as nothing contrary to the truth of Scripture is promoted by a Church:

It is not necessary that traditions and ceremonies be in all places one or utterly alike; for at all times they have been diverse, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's word. Whosoever through his private judgement willingly and purposely doth openly break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church which be not repugnant to the word of God, and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly that other may fear to do the like, as he that offendeth against common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the magistrate, and woundeth the conscience of the weak brethren.
    Every particular or national Church hath authority to ordain, change, and abolish ceremonies or rites of the Church ordained only by man's authority, so that all things be done to edifying.
The first half of Fisher's statement presents a set of problems as well, though less severe than those of the second half.  "The Anglican Communion has no peculiar thought, practice, creed or confession of its own."  This cheapens the Church of England and her daughter Churches, at least in my opinion.  The statement has a nugget of truth wedged in it in the sense that there is no "Cranmerianism" or "Hookerism" but I think it is far-fetched to deny any peculiarities to the Anglican tradition.  One must remember that there was no "Calvinism" in 1563 either.  The Church of England preserved a unique combination of the retention of episcopacy, liturgy, some ceremonies, and Reformed doctrine, not to mention the most important aspect of English Christianity, the sacral monarchy (which is often overlooked).  The notions of passive obedience, non-resistance, and the divine right of kings is a key aspect of Anglicanism which, although not unique, its application and life in Anglicanism has been unique in comparison to other Churches.  The high doctrine of presence in the Eucharist, virtualism, is a unique contribution of Anglicanism to the understanding of Christ's presence in the Sacrament.  Waterland's regeneration/renewal distinction is a unique way of understanding the relation of the effects of baptism to the soul.  The understanding of ecclesiastical election was a popular alternative to Arminianism and Calvinism, especially in the Protestant Episcopal Church.  All of this to say that Anglicanism has contributed uniquely to the development of Christianity. 

The crux of the issue is that this is another attempt to erode the doctrinal standards in the historic formularies.  The problem with this line of thinking is that it directly leads to liberalism.  It's not that far of a stretch to say that Anglicanism has no peculiar doctrines to saying that Anglicanism has no doctrines.  Anglicanism does have particular and peculiar doctrines which are found only in Sacred Scripture.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

"Anglo-Reformed" Additional Thoughts

After several curious interactions with alleged leaders of the "Anglo-Reformed" movement in the US, I want to take this chance to further, publicly, distance the author, content, and readers of this blog from this dangerous movement.  I think the movement's supposed representation of Cranmer's theology and vision is dubious at best and downright deceptive in actuality.  Nothing in their platform represents the theology of Cranmer, or the English Reformation.  In addition to this, their "leaders" have a faulty and misinformed understanding of the history of Anglicanism and a poor understanding of the theological intricacies of Protestant High Churchmanship.

For this reason, I wish to clarify further some of my comments on this blog to insure a proper understanding by the readers of this blog and to insure that the author not be confused with sectarianism.

When I claim, as I still do wholeheartedly, that the Church of England is a Reformed Church, I mean that it is a Reformed Church.  That seems a silly statement but when you consider that both "sides", church papists and church puritans, both claim that it, in fact, isn't a Reformed Church.  Church papists or recusants, claim that the Church is, in essence, a continuation of medieval religion, with modest political reformation and restructuring to avoid late superstitions but with real little alteration of the substance of the faith.  This viewpoint disregards the real theological and liturgical changes that occurred, first in the publication of the Book of Homilies, in the reform of the liturgy, and in the publication of the Articles of Religion, all of which fundamentally and drastically altered the doctrine of the unreformed Church to that of a Reformed Church.  A serious student cannot truthfully examine the formularies of our Church and deny its Protestantism unless he enters with the specific purpose of disproving the Protestantism thereof, which, of course, isn't serious study.  The church papist also errs in viewing the reform of doctrine and liturgy as some negative.  Rather, the reform of doctrine and liturgy brought back to England (and subsequently her daughter churches) the true, Catholic faith of the early Church and Holy Bible.

Likewise, church puritans neither believe the Church to be a Reformed Church.  They err in similar ways to the church papist in that they fail to grasp the purity of our doctrine and liturgy.  The tragedy of the matter is that the church puritan claims to represent the "spirit" of Cranmer, yet, represents a figment of his imagination.  The formularies of our Church are sufficient in the manner in which they exist now and need no "tinkering" to be counted among the Reformed confessions.  Any alleged churchman who believes them insufficient is really no churchman at all.

Perhaps "Reformed" is a word that has been tainted by this brand of lunatic who sadly ruins a good word by his sectarianism.  I would say that orthodox churchmen should own this word, rather than letting it be ruined by a few madmen.  Charles Bartlett, at Anglican Rose, proposes to add a clarifying adjective, such as "early", which I view as a good alternative.  This opens the possibility if associating the English Church with the broad spirit of the early Reformed movement, which included the Genevans, but also reformers such as Bucer.  This also limits us from Dortian dogmatics, which were never adopted by the Church of England (although our formularies do not exclude such views -- they do not require them either).

I also wish to clarify that by "Anglo-Reformed", I mean a certain variety of American "churchmen" (who does not attend an Anglican parish) and wish not to include English Evangelicals, who are churchmen, in this remonstrance.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Worship Woes 1: "Into Their Hands"

In these "Worship Woes", I will be presenting short thoughts on things in modern, Anglican worship that trouble me.  This post is a bit different than what I plan the future posts in this series to be about but this one practice is probably one of the more frustrating things to me, as a blatant rejection of what Anglicanism plainly teaches.

Let me first describe a familiar situation.  You are seated in a lovely parish church, worshipping according to the Prayer Book, in any of its forms.  You come to the moment of the administration of the Lord's Supper.  You leave your pew and approach the table.  You kneel, in good fashion, at the Communion rail, waiting for the minister to deliver unto you the elements of bread and wine.  The priest comes by with a host or piece of bread and you receive the bread into your hands and consume it (ignoring "intinction" for now).  Then the chalice bearer or deacon comes by with the wine and "guides" the chalice to your lips and you take a sip of it but you're not "supposed" to take the chalice into your hands, only "guide" the bottom.

This practice of not letting go of the chalice is really irritating to me, for several reasons.  I'm not sure if it's done for practical purposes but if it is, there has to be a better way of doing it.

The practice raises superstitious thoughts about the nature of the sacrament.  First, it implies that something has happened to the wine, which is not true according to the Articles of Religion and Prayer Book.  There is no substantial change in the elements of bread and wine.  This is not to mean that they shouldn't be treated with respect as the holy signs that they are but they should not be given superstitious reverence which is denounced in the Black Rubric.

Secondly, handing the cup to the laity is a right of a Christian man and one that the Reformers died for. One of the main points of the Reformation universal was the restoration of the cup to the laity.  Even though technically the Reformation principle is being lived out by offering the wine to the laity in our Episcopal parishes, the spirit is not there.  In essence, we are implying that regular lay people are not "special" enough to actually hold the chalice.

Thirdly, this practice is in direct opposition to the rubrics of all classical prayer books, including the beloved 1928 BCP.  What follows is the rubric before delivering Communion:

Then shall the Minister first receive the Communion in both kinds himself, and then proceed to deliver the same to the Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, in like manner, (if any be present,) and after that to the people also in order, into their hands, all meekly kneeling... (1662)
Then shall the Priest first receive the Holy Communion in both kinds himself, and proceed to deliver the same to the Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, in iike manner, (if any be present,) and, after that, to the People also in order, into their hands, all devoutly kneeling... (1928)
 My point with this "woe" is that it subverts the true identity of Anglicanism by a simple action, one that most parishioners probably don't even think about on a regular basis but when the laity are "denied" the cup, in this sense meaning to hold it, this action promotes an unscriptural understanding of the real presence and also spits in the face of our Reformers and their martyr deaths.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Anglican Myths 9: "Anglo-Reformed"

This ninth post in the series "Anglican Myths" begins to expose myths on the "other side" of Anglicanism.  In former posts in this series, the thrust of energy has been directed at "Anglo- Catholicism" in its varying forms.  I do not think that Tractarians are the sole possessors of myths in contemporary Anglicanism.

The term "Anglo-Reformed" is a rather new term (from what I can tell).  It implies a conservative, "Evangelical" identity (depending on how you define that term) and what was known as "Low Churchmanship".  This group is generally set on the 1662 BCP or at least saying that publicly.  It is a small group in the American continent.  Obviously there are varying shades of this type of churchmanship, as there are on the "Catholic" side.  Generally speaking, and I might get this wrong, please correct if so, Anglo-Reformed are five-point Calvinists, Low Churchmen, in the sense of either adopting the classical Anglican ceremonial system and vesture (I would agree with them that this is right and proper) or ditching classical ceremonialism for "pop religion", which, granted, is more of an issue in Britain than the Americas.  There can be "conforming" Anglo-Reformed, meaning those who are communicants of one of the Churches of the Anglican Communion or "non-conforming" Anglo-Reformed who "sojourn" in Baptist or Presbyterian churches.  I don't intend to comment on the pros and cons of these ideas.

Now, I wish to present what I understand English Reformed Christianity to be.  English Reformed Christianity is, quite simply, the Church of England.  It is "Reformed" for two reasons.  First, it is a reformation of the late medieval Church in England, in this sense it did not begin a new church or sect, as later Dissenters did.  In the second sense, it generally followed the Swiss Reformation rather than the German (although with initial Lutheran influence).  This is mostly ascertained through the doctrines of the Church of England, as found in the Articles of Religion and Prayer Book, which generally follow Swiss patterns over German, especially in sacramental theology.  It is important to remember that "five-point Calvinism" is a 17th century development and not naturally descriptive of all Reformed Christianity.  Secondly, it is important to remember that genuine Reformed Christianity adopts a "bene esse" approach to church polity, meaning that each national Church has the right to order itself appropriately.  That is to say, neither the English Church, with bishops, or the Church of Geneva, with presbyters, "unchurched" each other for having the "wrong" government.  Divine Right Presbyterianism/Episcopalianism came much later.  It is also important to remember that the retention of bishops is not a solely English (or Reformed) practice.  The Churches in Hungary and Poland both retained bishops and are both Calvinistically Reformed.  The Church of Sweden also retained bishops as a Lutheran church.  This is not to de-value English episcopacy but to show that most Reformation Christians have viewed church polity as a matter of adiaphora.  To clear up matters, what I understand English Reformed Christianity or Anglicanism to be is this: the national, episcopal Church of England.  This Church is a non-ritualistic, liturgical Church of the Reformed tradition, adopting Reformed sacramentology, a normative approach to worship, retaining episcopacy, and generally predestinarian but not officially "five-point Calvinist".  To define further, much has been made of 'Anglican comprehensiveness" in the past century.  I agree that there is a certain degree of comprehensiveness to our formularies but this is not a universal comprehensiveness but a Protestant comprehensiveness, meaning it comprehends varying shades of Magisterial Protestant belief, excluding Anabaptists.

Anglo-Reformed types ironically err in similar ways to Anglo-Catholics, not by erring in doctrine but in agreeing with Anglo-Catholics that the English Church and her daughters is not a Protestant and Reformed Church.  How so?  Anglo-Reformed types harp on the fact that Anglicanism is Reformed but what they understand "Reformed" to mean and what English Reformed Christianity (=Anglicanism) is are two radically different things.  Because they do not actually accept English Reformed theology, they subscribe to the myth that Anglicanism is not Protestant and Reformed by passively agreeing with the Tractarian assertion.  Another way of viewing this problem is to say that Anglo-Reformed types do not necessarily (although sometimes) err doctrinally, meaning, they generally accept what the Articles of Religion teach, although going beyond what they teach in some respects.  However, I would say that Anglo-Reformed generally err prescriptively, meaning they admire and desire the forms of liturgy proposed by Geneva and consequently prescribe these forms on English Reformed Christianity as some "test" of genuine Reformed Christianity and consequently give strength to Tractarian criticisms of English Protestantism.

Essentially, both sides misunderstand respectively what "Reformed" is and what "Catholic" is and, consequently, gravely misunderstand what Anglicanism is.  Anglo-Catholics err in linking Catholicism with recusancy, Romanism, or Easternism, and not linking it to the primitive doctrine of the early Church as proclaimed by the Reformers and enshrined in our Formularies.  Anglo-Reformed err in limiting Reformed Christianity to only one shade, that of Geneva, and prescribing this form on Anglicanism.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Worship Woes: Introduction

This post is the launch of a new series on the Hackney Hub (yes -- I know there are already too many!).  I intend it to be a companion to the Anglican Myths series, in that it will address potential problems of Anglican worship, as I see it (again, I am not "authority", these are my opinions, which I try to base on solid, historical research, to my capability).  I won't attempt to just address problems in Anglican worships but also positive traits and trends I see, as well as thoughts on changes, etc.

The idea from this series stems from a trend I have noticed in attending Episcopal parishes, that being a very inconsistent approach to worship, especially the theology surrounding it.  I've noticed a mishmash of ritual and ceremonial that doesn't necessarily accompany the theology of the rector or parish.  It's a bit difficult to explain and I will lay out a foundation for my objections to some of these practices below.  However, for a brief example, how many Episcopalians know why acolytes carry torches?  I understand that this act is a way of encouraging laity participation, which is good thing, however, I hope this example will demonstrate that I think worship has become cluttered and inconsistent.

One accusation that I would like to answer first is that I want to return to the practices of X century.  This is not the point that I am after here.  I do not want to preserve some form of museum religion.  In fact, you will find in a few weeks that I will be talking about "non-liturgical services" and that I am in favor of them, in certain contexts.  This is not about preserving some form of ceremonial that I think is adequately Anglican.  I have explained some of my thoughts on ceremonial in the piece, Moderate Ceremonialism.  While personally I would like to see a certain "counter-ritualist" movement emerge, I think that the approach I have taken in "Moderate Ceremonialism" is the better way forward.  The point being that worship must have a purpose and the ceremonies therein must serve some Gospel purpose in teaching the Christian religion.

In the Anglican Myths series, I maintain that Anglicanism, or the Church of England rather, is a Protestant and Reformed Church, and it is.  Now (and I will be discussing this further in Myths #9), this does not mean that Anglicanism is a Dortian Calvinistic, regulative principle, presbyterian body.  The Church of England historically adopted the normative approach to worship, that being that things which were not contradictory to the Word of God are acceptable in worship, such as the sign of the cross in baptism.  However, this does not make the Church of England a "ritualistic" (read: "ceremonially rich") Church.  In liturgy there is ritual and ceremonial.  Ritual are the words that are spoken by the assembly, in this case contained in the Prayer Book, in this sense the C of E is very "ritualistic" in that it prescribes the exact words for service.  However, popularly speaking, "ritualism" means the actions of worship, which in technical jargon is the ceremonial of worship, or what we do in worship.  The Church of England is not a ceremonially rich Church.  There are few prescribed ceremonials or actions in the Liturgy, and at least classically speaking, it was not envisioned that ministers would go about adding ceremonial as they saw fit (which is sadly the case today, via the Ritualist Movement).  One could view this new series as the Worship Myths.  If the Anglican Myths series shows ways in which people try to weaken, avoid, or reinterpret the Protestant and Reformed Nature of our Church, the "Worship Woes" will show ways that people try to change the liturgical nature of our Church, that being non-ritualistic (=non-ceremonialistic) liturgy.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

1662 & 1962: IV. The Lord's Supper (Part One)

This is the fifth in a series by Consular on the 1662 BCP and the 1962 Canadian BCP. Read the first article here for an index.
I. Up to the Comfortable Words
RED denotes passages omitted from 1662.
BLUE denotes additions by 1962.
GREEN denotes large passages unchanged by 1962.

¶  denotes a rubric.

The 1662 BCP stipulates that: there shall be no Celebration of the Lord's Supper, except there be at least three persons resent to communicate with the Priest.

The 1962 BCP reduces the requirement to one person.

[The 1962 is here similar to the old Roman rite of 1570-1962, which stipulates that only a priest and server are necessary for the service.]


¶  The Table at the Communion-time having a fair white linen cloth upon it, shall stand in the body of the Church, or in the Chancel, where Morning and Evening Prayer are appointed to be said. And the Priest standing at the North-side of the Table, shall say the Lords Prayer, with the Collect following, the People kneeling.

[The location of the altar or holy table is not specified by 1962.]

[The famous North-end celebration rubric is removed in 1962, making it unclear whether there is an expected liturgical orientation.]

[An Introit may be sung or said as the Priest proceeds to the holy Table in 1962. The introit is a Psalm verse or verses proper to Sundays and festival days.]

                                                            (THE LORD'S PRAYER)

[The Lord's Prayer is changed in 1962 from "which art in Heaven" to "who art in Heaven"]

                                                       (THE COLLECT FOR PURITY)

¶ Then shall the Priest, turning to the People, shall rehearse distinctly all the TEN COMMANDMENTS; and the People still kneeling, shall after every commandment ask God mercy for their transgression thereof for the time past, and grace to keep the same for the time to come, as followeth.

["Turning to the people" becomes "facing the people" in 1962.]

[In 1962 it suffices for the second and fourth Commandments, to read only the first paragraph of each.]

[In 1962, this Preface precedes the first Commandment: "Hear the Law of God which was given to Israel in old time."]

                                                     (THE TEN COMMANDMENTS)

[The rehearsal of the Commandments is only obligatory once a month in 1962.  The Two Great Commandments of the Law, a much shorter declaration combining Mark 12:29-31 with Matthew 22:37-40, may be said in place of the Ten Commandments.]
[1962 adds an optional triple invocation after the Ten Commandments: "Lord have mercy upon us, Christ have mercy upon us, Lord have mercy upon us", echoing the post-Gregorian reform of the Roman Eucharist from the A.D. 590s, used by Rome up to the present day.]

[1962 optionally allows "The Lord be with you; and with thy spirit." to be said here, as in the Roman liturgy and others.]

¶ Then shall [1962: may] follow one of these two Collects for the King/Queen, the Priest standing as before, and saying,

[Note that loyalty to the governing authorities by prayer for them is only optional in 1962.]

("Almighty God, whose kingdom is everlasting, and power infinite...")

[The second Collect for the Monarch is omitted in 1962, though it is moved, unchanged, to a section of general prayers outside the Communion service unchanged.]

¶ Then shall be said the Collect of the day. And immediately after the Collect, the Priest shall read the Epistle, saying "The Epistle [or, the portion of Scripture appointed for the Epistle] is written in the ____ Chapter of ____ beginning at ____ verse." And the Epistle being ended, he shall say "Here endeth the Epistle."

[1962 directs the priest to pray the Collect of the day, "together with any other Collects appointed to be said".]

[1962 specifies that the people shall be seated for the Epistle.]

Then shall he read the Gospel (the people all standing up), saying "The Holy Gospel is written in the ____ Chapter of ____ beginning at the ____ verse." And the Gospel ended, shall be sung or said the Creed following, the people still standing, as before.

[1962 allows a Psalm (for Sundays and Holy-days) or Hymn to be sung between Epistle and Gospel, much like the then-future reformed Roman rite, of 1969.]

[1962 directs the people to sing or say "Glory be to thee, O Lord" before the Gospel, and "Praise be to thee, O Christ" after the Gospel - mirroring the Roman rite, and similar to some other ancient rites.]

                                                           (THE NICENE CREED)

[1962 directs the minister to omit the Creed at his discretion on weekdays, unless they are "Holy-days".]

¶ Then the Curate shall declare unto the people what Holy-days, or Fasting-days, are in the week following to be observed. And then also (if occasion be) shall notice be given of the Communion; and Briefs, Citations, and Excommunications read. And nothing shall be proclaimed or published in the Church during the time of Divine Service, but by the Minister : nor by him any thing, but what is prescribed in the Rules of this Book, or enjoined by the Queen, or by the Ordinary of the place.
[1962 omits the announcement of excommunications, in light of which we can see the modern decline of that practice.]

Then shall follow the Sermon, or one of the Homilies already set forth, or hereafter to be set forth, by authority. *
[* 1962 merely says "THE SERMON", giving no mention of the Homilies.]

¶ Then shall the Priest return to the Lord’s Table, and begin the Offertory, saying one or more of these Sentences following, as he thinketh most convenient in his discretion.

[1962 does not direct the minister to say the Offertory sentences as he thinks most convenient, but rather assigns most sentences to certain liturgical seasons. Of the 20 original sentences present in 1662, 8 are present in 1962.]

                                                              THE OFFERTORY

"Let your light so shine before men..." [Matthew 5:16] is has the superscription "Epiphany" in 1962.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon the earth..." [Matthew 6:20-21] has the superscription "Ascension Day" in 1962.

[This Sentence in 1962 does not include the negatives, but the positives: "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...", including "for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also",  shifting the Sentence from 20-21 to 21-22. This is characteristic of 1962, which consistently shifts emphasis away from negation and denial.]

"Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you..." [Matthew 7:12] has the superscription "Whitsunday" in 1962.

"Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord..." [Matthew 7:21] has the superscription "Trinity" in 1962.

"He that soweth little shall reap little..." [2 Corinthians 9:6-7] has the superscription "Rogation and Harvest" in 1962.

"While we have time, let us do good unto all men..." has the superscription "Advent" in 1962.

[This Sentence in 1962 changes "While we have time" to "As we have opportunity", moving away from the urgency and time-limit on our charity, toward a lackadaisical opportunism. 1962 here does not present the fact that Christ may come again at any moment and demand an account.]

"To do good and to distribute forget not..." is of general use in 1962, as in 1662.

"Blessed be the man that provideth for the sick and needy..." is of general use in 1962, as in 1662.

[This Sentence in 1962 changes "the man that provideth for the sick and the needy" to "he that considereth the poor and needy", moving away from the urgency of helping the sick (who may be in danger of death!) toward the general "poor". Also, 1962 swapping "provide" with "consider" may be interpreted as inviting mere prayer for the poor, rather than active provision.]

1962 adds these new verses:
General use ~ Psalm 50:14, Exodus 35:21, Psalm 96:8, Acts 20:35
Christmas ~ 2 Corinthians 8:9
Lent ~ Romans 12:1
Passiontide ~ Ephesians 5:2
Maundy Thursday ~ John 13:34
Easter and Festivals ~ Revelation 5:12

Whilst these Sentences are in reading, the Deacons, Church-wardens, or other fit person appointed for that purpose, shall receive the Alms for the Poor, and other devotions of the people, in a decent basin to be provided by the Parish for that purpose; and reverently bring it to the Priest, who shall humbly present and place it upon the holy Table.*

[1962 makes no mention of deacons here, which is actually a reversal of the ancient practice of Deacons taking in alms, faithfully continued by the 1662.]

[* 1962 adds that the Priest may have the bread and wine brought up to him by Churchwardens or other representatives of the people, if he so desires.

These instances of "may be" & "if so desired" are characteristic of 1962. There is clearly an effort to reconcile Ritualist and Evangelical factions with a very broad, loose commonality.]

¶ And when there is a Communion, the Priest shall then place upon the Table so much Bread and Wine, as he shall think sufficient. After which done, the Priest shall say, *

[* 1962 says:
¶ the Bread shall be the best and purest wheat bread, whether leavened or unleavened, and the Wine pure grape wine, with which a little water may be mingled. Then shall one of the Ministers ask the prayers of the people, using always either the first or the last of the following Biddings, together with one or more others if so desired; and he may provide short periods for silent prayer.]

[1962  allows the following to be said or sung before the Intercession: "Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel, for ever and ever. All that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine. All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." 1 Chronicles 29:10-11, 14

The first verse is used at this point in the 1969 reformed Roman Eucharist.]

1962: "Let us pray for Christ's holy Catholic Church."
1962: "Let us pray for peace on earth and for the unity of all Christian people."
1962: "Let us pray for our missionaries at home and abroad."
1962: "Let us remember before God those of our brethren who have departed this life and are at rest."

1662 & 1962: "Let us pray for the whole state of Christ's Church militant here in Earth."

[Note the clear encouragement in one of the options of 1962 to pray for the whole Church, militant and triumphant; also, note the ambiguity of the call to "remember" the dead.]

"ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make prayers, and supplications, and to give thanks for all men; We humbly beseech thee most mercifully [* to accept our alms and oblations, and *] to receive these our prayers, which we offer unto thy Divine Majesty; beseeching thee to inspire continually the Universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord: And grant, that all they who do confess thy holy Name may agree in the truth of thy holy Word, and live in unity, and godly love.

[* 1662 here says: If there be no alms or oblations, then the words ["of accepting our alms and oblations"] be left out unsaid.

This caveat is not present in 1962; the phrase "alms and oblations" is part of every Communion service.]

We beseech thee also to save and defend all Christian Kings, Princes, and Governours [1962: to lead all nations in the way of righteousness; and so to guide and direct their governors and rulers, that thy people may enjoy the blessings of freedom and peace]; * and specially [1962: and grant unto] thy Servant N. our King/Queen; that under him we may be godly and quietly governed: And grant unto him whole Council, and to all that are put in authority under him, that they may truly and impartially administer justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of thy true religion, and virtue.

[1962 again removes most references to punishment, wickedness, and vice as regards both to prayer and civil government.]

Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops and Curates [1962: All Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, and specially to thy servant N. our Bishop,] that they may both by their life and doctrine set forth thy true and lively Word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments. * And to all thy people give thy heavenly grace; and especially to this congregation here present; that, with meek heart and due reverence, they may hear, and receive thy holy Word; truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life. And we most humbly beseech thee, of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succour all those [1962: them] who, in this transitory life, are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity +. ++ And we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear [1962: for all, who in life and death have glorified thee]; beseeching thee to give us grace so to [1962: that, rejoicing in their fellowship, we may] follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom. Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our only Mediator and Advocate +++. Amen.

[* 1962 here interjects: "Prosper, we pray thee, all those who proclaim the Gospel of thy kingdom among the nations."]

[+ 1962 here adds "especially those for whom our prayers are desired", which is a curiously superfluous addition to a General Intercession.]

[++ 1962 prefaces this section with: "We remember before thee, O Lord, all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear: and we bless thy holy Name..."]

[+++ 1962 here appends a doxology: to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end.]

[Note: in 1962 the departed servants of God do not merely glorify God in life, but now in death also.]

[Note: we no longer merely ask to follow the good example of the saints, but ask that we may have fellowship with them. Everywhere in this book, we are edged closer to veneration of saints and prayer to the dead, but never pushed over the edge.]

                                                   EXHORTATION AND CONFESSION

[Note: The following exhortations, present here in 1662, are printed after the conclusion of the service, in 1962. The two exhortations to receive Communion are spliced together in 1962.]

¶ When the Minister giveth warning for the celebration of the holy Communion, (which he shall always do upon the Sunday, or some Holy-day, immediately preceding,) after the Sermon or Homily ended, he shall (1962: may) read this Exhortation following:

"DEARLY beloved, on ----- day next I purpose [1962: I intend], through God’s assistance, to administer to all such as shall be religiously and devoutly disposed the most comfortable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ [1962: to celebrate the Lord's Supper]..."

[Note: 1962 only requires the first paragraph of the four-paragraph exhortation to be read, at the Minister's discretion, so long as ¶ he read the whole Exhortation on some Sunday before Christmas Day, Easter Day, and Whitsunday, all the people all standing. This is a drastic reduction in usage.]

¶ At the time of the Celebration of the Communion, the Communicants being conveniently placed for the receiving of the holy Sacrament, the Priest shall say this Exhortation.*

[* 1962 specifies that this exhortation to repentance shall immediately precede the Sermon or come before the General Confession following. Its use is optional, except it must be said at least one Sunday in Advent, and one Sunday in Lent.]
"DEARLY beloved in the Lord, ye that mind to come to the holy Communion of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ, must consider how Saint Paul exhorteth all persons diligently to try and examine themselves, before they presume to eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup. For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy Sacrament; (for then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood; then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us;) so is the danger great, if we receive the same unworthily. For then we are guilty of the Body and Blood of Christ our Saviour; we eat and drink our own damnation (1962: condemnation), not considering (1962: discerning) the Lord’s Body; we kindle God’s wrath against us; we provoke him to plague us with divers diseases, and sundry kinds of death. * Judge therefore yourselves, brethren, that ye be not judged of the Lord... [etc.]"

[* Note the omission of the solemn warning to those who would receive unworthily, in 1962.]

¶ Then shall the Priest say to them that come to receive the holy Communion,*
[* 1962: ¶ Then shall the Priest or one of the Ministers say:]

EXHORTATION: ("YE that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins...")

¶ Then shall this general Confession be made, in the name of [1962: by] all those that are minded to receive the holy Communion, by one of the Ministers, both he and all the people
kneeling humbly upon their knees, and saying, [1962: both priest and people humbly kneeling.]

"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."

[* Note what is omitted. Shall the repentant sinner have no chance to learn the grievous nature of sin throughout the entirety of this service?]

¶ Then shall the Priest (or the Bishop, being present,) standing up, and turning himself to the people, pronounce this Absolution.

ABSOLUTION: ("ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father...")

¶ Then shall the Priest say,

"Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all that truly turn to him.

'COME unto me all that travail [1962: labour] and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.' (St. Matthew 11:28)

'So God (1962: God so) loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' (St. John 3:16)

Hear also what Saint Paul saith.

'This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.' (1 Timothy 1:15)

Hear also what Saint John saith.

'If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins'." 1 St. John 2:1-2

                                                                  Here ends the first part.