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)

Monday, January 26, 2015


Peter Toon:

First of all, I believe that the study of the history of Anglicanism makes reasonably clear that there are in essence three types of Rite for Holy Communion. The first and the most common one is that of the 1552/1559/1604/1662 Books. This has the Prayer of Consecration, containing the words of Institution, as its center. It is a simplification of the Western Rite in the light of the biblical and pastoral concerns of the Reformation. The second is that of the 1637/1762/1789/1928 Books of Scotland and America. This is an attempt to take the essentials of the Eastern Rites and make sure that the Anglican Rite has them. In this sense it is anti-Roman. It contains the Memorial, the Invocation and the Oblation all in the one prayer. Finally, there is the third, the way of the Missal, which is to add to the Anglican Rite from the pre-Vatican II Roman Rite, so that it looks like the latter, and is unmistakably Western. Between the three types are variations of them (e.g., the taking of a little from the Missal for use with the 1662 and 1928 Rites, and the Eucharistic Prayer of the Canadian 1959/1962 Book).

The new Rites of the new Prayer Books of the Anglican Communion contain a new type – the ecumenical or post-Vatican II type. This Order can be filled with sound, orthodox doctrine, ceremonial and devotion, but even when this occurs (and it is becoming rare) it is not Anglican. In the supermarket of religion it is a “generic” product; thus it has no distinctiveness as a particular or unique means of the worship and service of Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Anglican Way claims to exist as a small part of the One Church of God seeking unity without uniformity. Even as there are seven colors to the rainbow, with each color being a genuine color but the seven as one being the rainbow, so there is unity without uniformity in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Aspects of the modern ecumenical movement seem to exist to crush genuine variety in the search for uniformity.

Therefore, in the second place, I think that there is or ought to be a legitimate variety and limited comprehensiveness to Anglicanism as a movement and as a Communion of Churches. In other words, Anglicanism is wide enough to embrace the low-church evangelical, who uses the 1662 BCP, the high-church catholic, who uses the Missal, based upon the BCP, and the one who uses the new Service Books in as near an orthodox way as possible. This means that the movement called the Anglican Way tolerates a variety of views of the Eucharistic Presence, the Eucharistic Offering, Ceremonial and Vestments, not to mention devotional practices. Also it accepts the “extras” of charismatic worship, even as it accepts the extras of the Missal, and the free prayers of the evangelicals! There are too few of us to be divided where we need not be!

However, this width must also have depth and this entails, I think, a commitment to what is known either as the Chicago or Lambeth Quadrilateral – the four principles being: (1) the Holy Scriptures as containing all things necessary to salvation; (2) the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds; (3) the two Sacraments ordained by Christ himself, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord; and (4) the Historic Episcopate, locally adapted according to the varying needs of nations and peoples. The last principle means in practice that only episcopally ordained men ought to serve in the Anglican Communion of Churches as bishops and priests.

No comments:

Post a Comment