Down Under we see things differently. Nihil unquam memini me legere deterius, lectuque minus dignum!
One of the striking things about Anglicanism and even Catholicism to a lesser extent that struck me when I first encountered it was how essentially the entire congregation takes communion every Sunday as a matter of course, which leads to taking it for granted Whereas in our tradition we were taught to prepare for it with confession and fasting - in fact in my childhood we even had clothes that were reserved for Church this even included underwear, shoes and socks.For an everyday person the rule I was taught was to take communion rarely but to take it properly and not to take it for granted - the only time you should take it for certain would be Pascha "With fear and faith and love draw near"
I think you will find, Andrei, evidence in the Scriptures that, in the Early Church the Presence of Christ was celebrated on a daily basis in the Eucharist. This fits in with the idea of our constant need of forgiveness, refreshment and renewal in the Body of Christ. Ths is the reason, too, for the provision of a rite of Confession and Absolution in the Mass. I find I need more frequent examination of conscience and the enmpowerment of the Eucharist than just once a week. But then, I am a sinner for whom Christ died and Who provided this wonderful and unique remedy for sin.
Fr Ron we are not talking about the frequency of the celebration of the Eucharist, in your terms, nor about the frequency of attending this service which should be at least weekly if possibleWhat we or I was talking about was receiving communion as a layperson and what might be desirable to do in order to prepare for receiving it beforehand.This being the matter raised in this postAnd my original comment referred to the way I was brought up to think about it - which aligns with but is somewhat stricter than that suggested in the linked post
In other words, as much seriousness in preparation for as regular participation in the eucharist as possible (at least according to our tradition's understanding of regularity).Also, in other words, relative to the linked post: our confession in the service itself should be preceded by self-examination and penitence (even oral confession), so that the prayer is not words we say and mean a bit, but words which conclude, sum up and offer up our state of distress at our sin and earnestness of intention for amendment of life.
"In other words, as much seriousness in preparation for as regular participation in the eucharist as possible (at least according to our tradition's understanding of regularity)."You might rephrase that as "according to our tradition's understanding of participation"All who are there are participating in the Liturgy regardless of whether or not they receive communion - this is not something done by the clergy alone but by the body of Christ - the ChurchAlso I am fairly sure that one difference between Eastern and Western Christianity is that a Priest cannot celebrate the Eucharist without at least one other person being present and that conceptually when it is celebrated it is conceived as being celebrated with all other Christians celebrating it past and present
Hi AndreiAnglican priests may not celebrate the eucharist alone.I think Roman priests are permitted to do so.
"Also I am fairly sure that one difference between Eastern and Western Christianity is that a Priest cannot celebrate the Eucharist without at least one other person being present and that conceptually when it is celebrated it is conceived as being celebrated with all other Christians celebrating it past and present" - Andrei -As a sacramentalist as well as a priest I confirm Peter's note that in our tradition (Anglican) there must be at least one other person as well as the officiating priest for the Eucharist to be celebrated. In circumstances where the priest only turns up, s/he may not preside at the Eucharistic Celebration, but may receive Holy Communion from the Reserved Sacrament, where it is available.Regarding your point, Peter, about the necessity of understanding and living the meaning of the words we say in the General (or private) Confession before receiving the Eucharist, you are right. The words said at that time have exactly the same degree of importance as those said by the priest in the actual Prayer of Consecration. They are either recited as a matter of conscience, or they may be just meaningless or even invalid. Disregard for the deeper meaning of the words we say or sing in worship could be considered to be blasphemous. This is why some hymns which express doubtful theology can be deleterious of our understanding of the worship of God.
From the linked OP-- Liturgical rhythm and sacramental encounter - it is precisely the type of insight and reflection missing from much (not all, but much) contemporary evangelical Anglicanism. And precisely the type of liturgical practice abandoned by much (not all, but much) contemporary evangelical Anglicanism.As a footnote, it is possible that [James K. A.] Smith has partially identified why this might be so. His Letters to a Young Calvinist is strongly critical of the Westminster Confession, unfavourably contrasting it with the continental Heidelberg Catechism - the former an "arid desert", the latter a "nourishing oasis":"...this Westminster stream diminishes the catholicity of the Reformed tradition, so the 'Calvinism' that it articulates is just the sort of slimmed-down, extracted soteriology that can be basically detached and inserted across an array of denominations (and 'non-denominations')."And there, perhaps, we have one reason why much contemporary evangelical Anglicanism is indeed an "arid desert" - too much Anglo-Saxon Puritanism, not enough John Calvin.* * *I have no dog in that fight, except to agree that the Heidelberg Catechism is indeed worth study. Among other parallels to the Oxford Movement was the contemporary Mercersburg Theology among German Reformed in America who followed the Heidelberg Catechism. Indeed, Anglicanism might have been healthier today if its catholic revival had been closer in spirit to that of John Williamson Neville and Philip Schaff. Anglicans here are healthier insofar as they engage the conservative Lutherans who are plentiful in this land. As the whole Communion inexorably becomes evangelical, its future will be a better one if it recognises the fullness of its Protestant identity in the most catholic of the Reformers.Bowman Walton
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