of the Week
is the Anglican Church's understanding of sin? Can sin in our
life affect our relationship to God?
is "the seeking of our own will instead of the will of God,
thus distorting our relationship with God, with other people, and
with all creation ... Sin has power over us because we lose our
liberty when our relationship with God is distorted." [Book of
Common Prayer, 1979, Episcopal (USA)]
most definitely has an affect on our relationship with/to God
because it pulls us away from that closeness we have with God when
all is right. When we sin, we change: our outlook changes; our
way of viewing God and the world changes. Once sin has
occurred we cannot simply go back to the way things were by
repentance and reception of forgiveness. We are indeed
welcomed back into relationship with God, but we will never see
things exactly the way we did before. That is a consequence of
sin. However, God's gift of forgiveness of sin through the
atoning act of Jesus on the cross, promises that our relationship
with God will be healed, if we repent, or turn around, change our
ways with intentionality of heart. Repentance must be sincere.
there such a thing as "Just War"?
of just war theory claim that violent force should be used to
protect innocent persons from attack. In contrast, pacifists
maintain that war can never be just. Just war theory concerns
the moral principles that indicate the justification and limitation
of violent force. Drawing upon Roman ideas of just war,
Ambrose and Augustine in the fourth and fifth centuries were the
first Christian writers to develop a just war theory. A
coherent theory based on cases that had been considered was first
developed by Gratian in the twelfth century. This theory
became the basis for international law. The criteria for going
to war (jus ad bellum) include just cause, just authority, right
intention, last resort, public declaration, probability of success,
and proportionality. A favorable evaluation of proportionality
means that the good to be achieved is greater than the evil to be
suffered and inflicted. In addition, justice in the waging of
war (jus in bello) has focused on two principles: proportionality in
regard to the means of warfare rather than the ends; and
discrimination or noncombatant immunity in regard to the damage to
be caused by warfare. Contemporary Christian pacifism,
including much pacifism in the Anglican Communion, comes not from
absolute pacifism but from the judgment that modern warfare
necessarily violates just war principles, particularly those of
proportionality' and noncombatant immunity."*
definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New
York, NY, (AlI Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary
of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,"
Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
is a difficult question to answer, as the Anglican Church of Canada
has not, in the past while anyway, done published work on this
particular topic. The Episcopal Church in the USA has
commissioned a study on Just War Theory in the 21st Century as the
"face of war" has changed so much and the traditional
markers of war no longer seem to be in place. Throughout the
centuries, "Just War' has been acknowledged but the Church's
reaction to this theory has been varied and it is recognized that
Just War Theory, like the circumstances that draw it into play are
dynamic and not static. .
is the status of the 39 Articles (of Religion) in the Anglican
39 Articles of Religion were written by Church of England
theologians in the 16th century and were made part of the Book of
Common Prayer (BCP) and are still a foundational part of most of the
Anglican Dioceses in the worldwide Anglican Communion. They present
to Anglicans a concise presentation of what we believe and where our
beliefs come from.
Canon (one Bible), two Testaments, three Creeds, four General
Councils, five centuries and the series of Fathers in that period
determine the boundaries of our faith." - Bishop Lancelot
39 Articles of Religion are still very much a part of the Anglican
Communion. At the 1968 Lambeth Conference, the bishops voted
strongly for the proposal that each Province of the Communion should
"(a) consider whether the Articles needed to be bound up with
the Prayer Book; (b) no longer require assent to the Articles from
its ordinands and (c) ensure that subscriptions to the Articles
should only be given in the context of the full range of the
inheritance of faith and within their historical context." (The
Study ofAnglicanism, 1995, p 142)
While many people in today's Anglican Church are not familiar with
the Articles of Religion, these statements are still a foundational
part of who we are, where we come from and help to determine where
we will go. The Anglican Church of Canada does not lean as heavily
upon presenting doctrine as a major factor in our way of being, as
do some other denominations, and while that can lead to wonderful
dialogue, opportunities for further growth and discernment and an
inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, there are times when it would
appear that a clearer, more intensive understanding of Anglican
theology and expectations would be helpful for both "cradle
Anglicans" and newcomers, as well.
new resource for those interested in better understanding the 39
Articles of Religion is the book Forty Days with the Thirty-nine
Articles of Religion: A Devotional Guide, written by Robert G.W.
Langmaid, and Anglican Clergyman in the Diocese of Yukon. This book
also includes a "modern" version of the Articles for
the Anglican Church what must I do to avail myself to receive the
salvation offered by God?
Anglicans we recognize that baptism is the sacramental act through
which we receive the salvation offered to us by God. "Baptism
is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby
Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened, but
it is also a sign of Regeneration or new Birth, whereby, as by an
instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the
Church; the promises of forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to
be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed;
Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto
God." (Article of Religion XXVII).
As Christians offered salvation by Christ's sacrifice and
resurrection, we also avail ourselves of the sacrament of Holy
Communion. "The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the
love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another;
but rather is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death;
insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive
the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of
Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood
of Christ. " (Article of Religion XXVIII).
short, to avail ourselves of the salvation offered to us by God, as
Anglicans we must be baptized. However, to be baptized calls upon us
to commit ourselves to a life lived intentionally in Christ. We
worship in community; we pray; we participate in the sacraments,
particularly through Holy Communion. Once we have been given the
gift of eternal salvation through baptism, it is incumbent upon us
to live our lives in such a way as show integrity of that promise
made in baptism.
Augustine said: "For if I doubt, I am." God said:
"I am that I am." In juxtaposition, how are these
two sentences to be interpreted?
having studied St. Augustine -yet! -I am providing a purely
speculative "answer" to the question, and I am hoping
that, as with any good Q&A, this will simply lead to more
discussion. So, here goes ...
said, "I am that I am," or, even more simply, "I
AM." The essence of God is God's "is-ness." God has
been. God is. God will be. We cannot prove God's being or the
reality of God. We cannot comprehend God. Our belief or disbelief in
God does not determine or sway the actuality of God. God exists
fully independently of humanity. God does not need, nor does God
depend upon God's created order or creations.
beings, however, whether we choose to accept this reality or not, do
depend upon and need God. Our existence is a one-way street, with
God at its beginning and, miraculously, God also at its end. Because
God "is" and has invited us "to be", we
"are." St. Augustine's statement, "For if I doubt, I
am"· is in some ways a fallacy. Even if we do not doubt, we
are. Our consciousness of self does not create the self, it simply
helps us to recognize the self. So, on one hand St. Augustine is
the other hand though, he is on to something. God did not create us
to be automatons. For whatever reason, God chose that we might not
simply have existence but also essence and awareness of such. God
gifted people with self-awareness, the ability to both reason and
feel, and the option of choice. The Great "I AM" created
us with our own human version of "I Am-ness", which allows
us glimpses, at best, of what "is".
cannot ever fully comprehend the Great I AM, nor can we ever fully
comprehend our own existence or essence. God has given us the gift
of "somewhat knowing" what it is we do not know and the
ability and desire to be curious about that which we cannot know.
While seems to lead to a great gulf between God and humanity, maybe
it is not such a great distance after all. It is in our very
questions, doubts and ponderings that we are often granted an
"aha" moment when we may not comprehend or understand, but
we somehow "know". Those are moments of growth in faith
and they will not come if we haven't somehow asked a question,
raised a doubt, even if it is only a tiny, passing thought.
don't know if it is in doubt that I find my own "is-ness".
I think that it is in doubting that I open myself to the opportunity
to encounter God as the Great "I AM" and when I encounter
"I AM", I am then able to recognize myself, my being, as
part of God's. creation. So, maybe it is in doubt that I
encounter God and then in God I encounter my own "I am".
Easter Sunday there have been extra small candles beside the altar.
Why and what do they represent?
Easter Season is the most glorious season of the Church year and it
extends for the 50 days following Easter Day, ending at the Feast of
Pentecost. All too often it seems that church-goers are led to
believe that "Easter" is only one day and should be
celebrated as such. However, as Easter is a whole season, it should
be marked or highlighted as a season of feasting and celebration.
One way to mark such a celebration is with decoration. The pavement
candles from the Chapel are being used, in addition to the regular
Church candles, to bring attention to the festive nature of this
season. That is why we also have the glorious superfrontal on the
altar and the white veil on the cross. At the end of the Easter
season these extra decorations will be removed until next year.
is also a candle lit and sitting on the Tabernacle. Whenever there
is consecrated sacrament - the body or blood of Christ - present in
the Tabernacle, a candle should be lit to tell the world that Christ
is present. When the Tabernacle is empty and there is no Reserved
Sacrament present, the candle is extinguished. It is merely
coincidence that this practice was resurrected here at the Easter
Vigil. Even after the Easter season has ended this candle will
is the Mozarabic Rite?
Mozarabic Rite is a Eucharistic form that was developed out of the
Iberian peninsula (latter part of the 6th century) by Visigoths who
had been driven out of France and began converting from an Arian
tradition to the Latin-Catholic tradition. It is very close to the
Celtic and Gallican rites that were in use at that time. It would
appear that it was also heavily influenced by Syriac rites of the
Greek speaking Byzantine Empire. The word Mozarabic applied to
Christians who did not flee from Muslim invaders into the northern
parts of Spain with what was left of the Visigothic kingdom. These
Christians adopted the Arab dress, language and customs while
maintaining their Christian faith. Currently it is the primary
sacramental liturgy of the Anglican Communion's Spanish Reformed
Episcopal Church in Spain rather than the more common Anglican rites
used in the Anglican Communion.
we, or should we, distinguish between sin (or estrangement) as a
state of our essence versus sin as a state (or perhaps consequence)
of our existence?
is Mothering Sunday? And what about Simnel Cake?
earliest beginnings of Mothering Sunday go back to the time of the
early Christians in England who celebrated a Mothers festival on the
4th Sunday of Lent in honour of Virgin Mary. The continuing
evolution of Mothering Sunday can be traced to the fact that in
early times, people in England as a tradition visited their nearest
parish called, "Daughter Church" on every Sunday. Also, by
the 1600's, children after the age of 10 left their homes for jobs
as apprentice or domestic servants. It was considered important by
the people that these children were given a leave by their employers
to visit their "Mother Church" or Cathedral of their
hometown. On their visit to their homes these children brought along
gifts, flowers and special cakes for their mothers. These visits
thus became a time for family reunions, and, over a period of time,
this holiday meant for the return to Mother Church was stretched to
include all mothers and was named Mothering Sunday.
Cake is a rich fruit cake with a layer of almond paste on top and
also in the middle. The cake is made with 11 balls of marzipan icing
on top representing the 11 disciples (Judas is not included). As
Mothering Sunday was also known as Refreshment Sunday (halfway
between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) because the fasting rules for
Lent were relaxed on that day, Simnel cake was shared to break the
fast and celebrate.
are taught that we are children of Adam and Eve. How can this
be when there was the great flood when all but the Ark and Noah were
destroyed? Why not say that we are children of Noah?
is the Columbarium in the Chapel and who is it for?
Columbarium is generally a sepulchral building containing many small
niches for cinerary urns - the cremated remains of a person.
The term is derived from the Latin columba ("dove" or
"pigeon"), and it originally referred to a pigeon house or
dovecote. It later acquired its more common meaning by
association. Our Columbarium offers a quiet, sacred space in
which loved ones may be interred. While our columbarium has
many niches accounted for, there are still several available for
individuals or families who wish to have their final resting place
within the walls of the Church. For more information, please
speak to Jean Bradley. Please feel free to visit the
columbarium found inside All Souls Chapel.
is supposed to say the Collect of the Day, the Prayer over the Gifts
and the Prayer after Communion in the Eucharistic Rite of the Book
of Alternative Services?
these prayers have been traditionally printed in the St. James
bulletin, these are considered to be "priestly" prayers
and are intended to be said by the priest on behalf of the
Congregation. In some cases, an effort has been made to change
the Service of Holy Eucharist to be as participatory as possible.
When we gather to worship, we must remember that we always place God
first and foremost. By listening and not saying all the
prayers, the members of the congregation are encouraged to remember
and experience the fact that some things are being mediated for
them. The priest. and the specifically "priestly" parts,
are reminders of the relationship that God has established with
Christ and the Holy Spirit as the bridge between God and God's
people. The priest has traditionally represented the conduit
or the need for the bridge that allows us communion with God.
is the proper posture to receive Holy Communion?