Friday, April 29, 2011

Anglican: open Bible, pastoral priesthood, common worship

Ruminating on the wedding, Cranmer writes this which conveys something important about the character of Anglicanism:

"The occasion brings to mind that on 28th May 1533, His Grace declared the marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn to be good and valid. As a consequence, both His Majesty and His Grace were abruptly excommunicated by the Pope. The Church of England then split from Rome more for political than theological reasons, and through centuries of controversy, social upheaval and cultural change, we are where we are today: another royal wedding in Westminster Abbey in accordance with the distinctly Anglican Book of Common Prayer and the asymmetrical fusion of Scripture with reason and tradition. Two billion people – a third of the planet – will today witness and experience something of the Reformed Catholic faith which asserts that Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: the Bible is open, the priesthood is pastoral and worship is common."

I like that phrase "the asymmetrical fusion of Scripture with reason and tradition."

Then this description of our Reformed Catholic faith "which asserts that Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: the Bible is open, the priesthood is pastoral and worship is common."


Mark Harris said...

great quote indeed.

Mark Harris said...

great comment indeed.

liturgy said...

Greetings Peter

With Mark I raise my Amen!

What then of a province where, although the Bible is open and the priesthood is pastoral, worship is not common?

Reformed this may be, but is this catholic? Or Anglican?

[Please refrain from the refrain that we need a (the!) Covenant to be able to reflect on this]

As someone once said similarly, "holding to the outward form of Anglicanism but denying its power." This one went on to say, "Avoid them!"

[any province spring to your mind...]

Christ is risen!


ps. Have you considered setting your number of comments in your sidebar to more than 7 - I don't know what variations blogger provides there, but, with such good commenting happening here, 7 often does not cover daily visitors, let alone rarer ones...

Peter Carrell said...

I am afraid, Bosco, that with my Covenantal arms tied behind my back, I cannot make any kind of meaningful response to your comment ... :)

I am not sure that I can think of anyone holding to the outward form of Anglicanism while denying its power ... but I can think of some who think it a more powerful way to deny the outward form of Anglicanism (though informal services etc) ... again, :)

Will see if I can tweak the comments ... I understand that under the Covenant I will not incur the wrath of anyone if I do this.

PS Which part of the common worship of the C of E was last night's wedding liturgy, or does that church, like ours offer choice under the rubric of 'common worship'?!?!?

Brother David said...

According to a post on The Lead, Peter;
"The liturgy is taken from what is known as "Series One" revisions which are derived from the proposed-but-rejected 1928 Book of Common Prayer. Most of the rites in that book were authorized in 1966."

It is amusing that you call it last night's liturgy when I got up at 4:50 am to see it!

Paul Powers said...

I'm going to hazard a guess that Bosco Peters is referring to ACANZP. But does common worship mean absolute uniformity in worship? Are the differences in worship among the three katanga mainly stylestic or are there substantive differences as well?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Paul,
Bosco (as I understand him) is referring not so much to the fact that our three tikanga (or cultural streams) use different forms of worship (not least, in different languages), but to the wide variation in forms of service within Tikanga Pakeha (NZ European stream). Generally Tikanga Maori and Tikanga Pasefika follow service forms as written down in approved service books. In Tikanga Pakeha a tourist travelling through NZ visiting a different Anglican church each Sunday is likely to encounter "just about anything." However, in my view and experience, there is a high probability that a Pakeha service chanced upon by the tourist will follow a written service form authorised by our church.

Paul Powers said...

Thanks for the clarification, Peter. And apologies for confusing ACANZP streams and Congolese provinces.

liturgy said...

Yes, David is correct, Peter, it is Series 1. There's a link from my post about it & I'm working on another post post-wedding. Thanks for increasing the number of comments in the sidebar - we both have the same number of comments showing now (though you have the higher proportion of comments...!) Paul - you guessed! And I have fond memories of Congolese Anglican worship. Peter is right, it is pretty difficult to run a service which would not be authorised in our province - though people do manage it! That is also an intended future post of mine...

pps. RC conforming to Vatican II also fits your quote...

Christ is risen


Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bosco,
I agree that post V2 RCism has much in common with Anglicanism as defined here.

Andrew Reid said...

Hi Peter,
I'm wondering if "asymmetric" is a strong enough word to describe how we combine Scripture with reason and tradition in the Anglican church? Asymmetry suggests some level of equality or only marginally reduced importance. I would want to use words like "subordinate" or "secondary".

When we develop our theology, it's not that we do a 40-30-30 weighting between Scripture, reason and tradition (or any other weighting). We use reason and tradition as tools for interpreting Scripture, and to assist us in areas where Scripture is silent. But Scripture is still the primary authority and over-rules the other two if there is a conflict.

Best wishes,
Andrew Reid

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrew
I would call a triangle whose angles were 10, 20, 150 "asymmetric". So, no, I do not agree with you re whether asymmetric is strong enough to say what you then go on to say!