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Anglicanism

Roots

As much as we’d love to say that we are an “angelic congregation,” the truth is that the word “Anglican” simply means related to, or coming from, England. Anglican churches draw their identity and historical roots from the early arrival of the Gospel in England, which took its current shape during the Reformation as it sought to unite the Protestant and Catholic traditions and theologies. Anglicanism is known for its "both, and" values, holding together differing theological perspectives while adhering to the essential Christian teachings.

What does it mean to be Anglican?

Connection

Over time, the Anglican Church expanded globally to become what is known as the Anglican Communion, the third largest Christian body in the world behind the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. This means we are related to nearly 85 million brother and sister Anglicans around the globe – especially in the developing world where faith is vibrant and the church is growing rapidly, making the “average Anglican” a young man or woman from Sub-Saharan Africa. Here in North America, our congregation is connected to other Anglicans through the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

 

Identity

Throughout its existence, the Anglican Church has been known as a middle way. Anglicans share many principles and beliefs with protestant denominations such as Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and other Evangelical and Charismatic churches. Yet, by retaining much of what has been handed down to us in worship and tradition, we share much with the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and other ancient Churches.

 

Worship

Worship in an Anglican Church is liturgical, coming from an ancient Greek word meaning public duty or service (the reason most churches everywhere use the term “Church Service”). The Anglican Liturgy is a beautiful, traditional, and holy experience with two parts. The first is the Liturgy of the Word, which focuses on the reading of Scripture and the preaching of God’s Word. The second part is the Liturgy of the Sacrament, which focuses on the Lord’s Table (Communion), a weekly reminder of our redemption by the cross of Christ.

 

Prayer Book

Anglican worship and prayer are centered on the truth of the Bible and expressed through the Book of Common Prayer, which can be described as the Scriptures arranged for worship. This book dates to the early 16th century and provides helpful resources for everything from personal daily devotions to large public gatherings of worship. It includes prayers for every season of life. To understand what and how Anglicans pray is to understand what we believe. 

In summary, being Anglican means being a Christian, connected with a global Church family of evangelical, catholic, reformed, Spirit-filled brothers and sisters, redeemed by the blood of Christ, seeking to live in submission to Scripture in a context of the tradition of the ancient Church.

 

 

Resources

Alex Wilgus & Stephen Gauthier

Lectionary

Prayer Book

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