Frequently Asked Questions
Coming to any new church can be intimidating, we get that. It can be especially challenging when looking for a church that emphasizes liturgy and tradition while rejoicing in the truth of God’s Word. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions that might help. If you don’t see your question, please Contact Us–we’d love to hear from you!
Frequently Asked Questions
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Why do we call ourselves Anglican? Are we part of the Anglican Communion?
We call ourselves Anglican because our prayerbook tradition orginates from England. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in the sixteenth century compiled the 1549 and 1552 Books of Common Prayer. Now, this was not a new religion but simply a return to the Early Church. So, in this way we are part of the Church Catholic (Universal).
We are Anglicans, but we are not a part of the Anglican Communion in the sense that we are in communion with Canterbury. (It’s complicated, but we aren’t).
Why do you use the 1928 Book of Common Prayer?
We use a prayerbook (aka BCP) because it give us all a common liturgy in our vernacular tongue, English. This way one can know that we are not making things up as we go, but rather we stick to a traditional liturgy that has been handed down to us through the centuries. It also includes offices (sets of prayers and readings) that you can do at home as well with your families and talk about the Christian Faith with your children. The BCP has been a formative part of Christian life for centuries, and we rejoice in its wonderful content of prayers and Scripture throughout the church year.
Now, why the 1928 BCP? You may have heard of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, or perhaps another version. There are many reasons for churches using a different prayer book, but if you look at it then you will see that it is a very different book from its predecessor. We believe that the 1928 BCP was the last faithful prayer book to the historic Christian faith, and so that is what we use.
Can I receive communion at this parish?
If you are baptized and receive at your home church, then you are welcome to receive here provided that you are in right fellowship with God and your neighbor.
If you would like to become a member here, then you would need to be confirmed by thr bishop on one of his episcopal visitations to our parish. However, if you have recieved communion then you would not need to stop. The prayerbook is clear in this regard.
It is not our practice to admit children to communion until the age at which they are confirmed. However, any child or person who is not baptized is welcome to come forward with their arms crossed and receive a blessing.
Why is the priest not facing me during mass?
This is a great question as it has become a custom for hte priest to be facing ad populum (Towards the people). The simple answer is that we follow that which has always been done. There is a long history of Ad Orientem (Eastward facing). Ad orientem is the term used to describe when the priest faces the altar. Our altars are always in the east.
What is the Real Presence? Is it the same as Transubstantiation like my Roman Catholic friends believe?
In St. John 6, we see that Jesus says we eat his flesh and drink his blood. This is biblical and so we beleive, as the Early Church did, that Christ is present in the Eucharist. This is the definition of Real Presence, Jesus tells us in this chapter that it is real body and real blood. So, the Church has always taught that He is indeed present.
When one says that they beleive in the Real Presence it is common to associate this with Transubstantiation. Transubstantiation is Real Presence but Real Presence is not necessairly Transubstantiation. We do not require any member to have a prticular view, as long as they beleive in Real Presence. There are many viewpoints, such as consubstantiation and mysterium tremundum( Great Mystery).
Do you worship Mary?
This is a common misconception about the idea of veneration. We honor Mary because our Lord honored her. For example, see St. John 2. It has been a tradition of the Church to honor her. So, we continue that tradition. The Society of Mary would be a great place to start to learn more about the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Why do we use "older" language?
This is a common question. One issue is that modern language is not as strong as the older form. For instance, liveth and livest. The first one is the suffix for the third person and the second is the suffix for the second person. In addition, the older style gives us beautful meaningful words like “sundry,” “vouchsafe,” and many others. These words are much stronger than their modern counterparts. Also, the prayerbook has great poetry to it. The Coverdale Psalter for example is so beautiful, whereas modern language attempts have not done it justice. These prayers, the psalter, and even the King James Bible provides a beautiful rendering that makes our worship a joyful sound to the ears of Almighty God. If it was good enough for our ancestors, it should still be good for us.
Do you accept the doctrine of the Trinity?
Yes, as Christians we realize that the trinity is presented throughout all scripture as the nature of God. God exists in three distinct persons: The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. St. Tertullian wrote a work on this and has been accepted by the Church Catholic since the beginning.