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)

Friday, June 5, 2015


The new rites of the ACNA are "decidedly unreformed Catholic." Everything from a Dominus Vobiscum to the specific Words of Distribution are chock loaded with unpleasant "theological freight."

I've come to appreciate 1662 which, of course, is strikingly different from USA's 1928. But the adherence of "evangelicals" to 1662 is mostly a sham, for two reasons.

First, if we are going to have a prayer book, it must be 1662: but, in reality, we want no prayer book at all. Like the Puritans, these people secretly desire no set liturgy but instead seek its wholesale replacement by "comprehensive rites and services that embrace the entire spectrum of conservative Anglican thought and are geared to the conditions on the North American mission field and the needs of frontline congregations." Plug in those amplifiers: It's show time!

Second, if they were really true to their principles, they would insist on 1552. But let's look at what changed in the intervening 110 years (these points following collated from the Wikipedia article, hyper-linked below):

  • The Ornaments Rubric;
  • At Holy Communion, the words from the 1549 book, "the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ" etc. were combined with the words of Edward's second book, "Take eat in remembrance" etc.;
  • The Black Rubric was first removed and then significantly changed, on reappearance. It now declared that kneeling in order to receive communion did not imply adoration of the species of the Eucharist nor "to any Corporal Presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood";
  • Thanksgiving -- but not intercession -- for the dead returns to the Prayers of the Church;
  • Partial restoration of the Offertory. This was achieved by the insertion of the words "and oblations" into the prayer for the Church and the revision of the rubric so as to require the bread and wine to be placed upon the table;
  • The so-called "manual acts", whereby the priest took the bread and the cup during the prayer of consecration, which had been deleted in 1552, were restored; and an "amen" was inserted after the words of institution and before communion, hence separating the connections between of consecration and communion which Cranmer had tried to make; and
  • After communion, the unused but consecrated bread and wine were to be reverently consumed in church rather than being taken away for the priest's own use.

It may very well be that: "By such subtle means were Cranmer's purposes further confused, leaving it for generations to argue over the precise theology of the rite." But that is what we are arguing about: theology. If their view were obvious, these changes would never have been made.

Anglicanism is neither Catholicism without a Pope nor Presbyterianism yet with Bishops. But a lot of people just didn't get that memo, it seems. (It is also not the Church of Cranmer, either.)

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