We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Avant le déluge

One thing I never cease to be thankful for is the fact that I managed to learn about Anglicanism in a Prayer Book Catholic parish just before the present tide of Revisionism started to wash over the Church of England. This Prayer Book Catholic tradition had, in that particular parish, succeeded to the old Protestant High Churchmanship of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries giving it a very definite sense of having been there always.

Prayer Book Catholicism is the moderate strand within the nineteenth century Catholic Revival within the Church of England. Unlike Anglo-Papalism which looked longingly to Rome for guidance both in theology and liturgy, Prayer Book Catholics looked to the Early Fathers for their theology and to the mediaeval English Uses when it wanted to deduce the proper ceremonial to use with the Book of Common Prayer ...

Paradoxically, it the the Prayer Book Catholic tradition that gets the shortest shrift from both the Continuing Churches, the "Neo-Cons" in ACNA, and official Anglicanism. Continuing Anglicanism being of American origin seems to have little room for something so "English" though it is the one group that might be able to bridge the gap between Anglo-Catholics, and traditional Broad Churchmen. The bulk of the Neo-Cons in ACNA are too enamoured of the liturgical movement, the charismatic movement and various other movements to be much interested in it; besides which it seems "old hat." Lastly the official Anglican Communion seems to like its catholic style of worship, but [has] absolutely no use for its theology - after all, humanity is all grown up now and we don't need Christian Orthodoxy anymore. Yeah right!

Given that so many folks think they have no use for Prayer Book Catholicism, and perhaps because it takes the catholic nature of Anglicanism so seriously, it is perhaps the one movement that needs to come back in a big way.

Old hat. So, what's next?

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