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Source: (consider it) Thread: Eccles: Anglo-catholicism for beginners
Newman's Own
Shipmate
# 420

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quote:
Originally posted by babybear:
But thankfully a third group is forming, one in which people can appreciate that Jesus is both! (human and divine)

So Chalcedon was not wasted, after all. sigh

...now, off to ponder the deficiencies of the concept of mini-Incarnation...

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn


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Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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quote:
Originally posted by Newman's Own:

...now, off to ponder the deficiencies of the concept of mini-Incarnation...

it's when you get a very small Saviour...

--------------------
"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."


Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fiddleback
unregistered


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quote:
rachelwrote
I am after all a GLE, we read our bibles to the point of distraction at times - but how do you get from there to this idea really?

Are you sure about that? I thought GLEs only read small bits of the Bible to distraction, and then only as interpreted by John Stott.


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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
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quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
Are you sure about that? I thought GLEs only read small bits of the Bible to distraction, and then only as interpreted by John Stott.

As opposed to GLACs who only read the bits in the prayer book, you mean?

--------------------
Narcissism.


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Fiddleback
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The Bible's only an anthology of quotations from the English Missal, as anyone knows.
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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
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quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
The Bible's only an anthology of quotations from the English Missal, as anyone knows.

LOL. Ahhh well, one inaccurate stereotype only deserves another.

(Besides, you living in Wales and all, you know very well that GLEs have nothing to do with John Stott. It's Martyn Lloyd-Jones all the way. Shame on you for not knowing that. )

--------------------
Narcissism.


Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
babybear
Bear faced and cheeky with it
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Yoi! Fiddle and Wood, shut up would you. If you want to trade stereotypes then get yourselves over to Hell. You derailing the thread!

Thanks to Joan for getting it back on track.

bb


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Amos

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Rachel--one thing that hasn't quite come up here is that A-C liturgy done properly has the intention and the effect of making the servers, yes, and the sacred ministers, less conspicuous. They are, as it were, to be unobtrusive, almost, as it were, transparent, so that, for the whole congregation, only the rite is visible. In A-C worship, the personalities of all the vested and cotta'd folk utterly vanish---their piety is to do the liturgy plainly and devoutly, self-effaced. This is why for some of us the Anglo-Catholic way of worship is easier to walk in off the street to than a more evangelical style where the personalities of the people leading the worship tend to be more visible.

--------------------
At the end of the day we face our Maker alongside Jesus--ken

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Chapelhead*

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Firstly, many thanks from the bottom of my (deeply Prot) heart to JtD and S3 for some posts that have not only had me LoL but have also given me a far greater appreciation of life at your end of the candle than any number of "the angriest person on the board wins the argument" rants (not that either of you would indulge in such things).

One thing that the sources I have found on the web have not answered about AC and RC practice is the theological significance (if any) of addressing priests as "Father". Is this simply a term of respect, or does it have some deeper significance. As a "so low church I have nearly fallen off the bottom" type I have trouble with this. Following Matthew 23:9 ('call no man father except your father in heaven') I don't feel able to call anyone on earth father, but being a good Anglican I don't want to offend anybody.

In a Baptist church I used to attend we got round the problem of what to call the minister by calling him "Rabbi". I presume that this would not be acceptable practice in AC circles.

--------------------
Benedikt Gott Geschickt!


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Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
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I don't tend to call anyone 'Father' unless I'm being sarcastic, but that's just me. I think it's part of the whole 'family' thing - brothers and sisters in Christ, reverend fathers and mothers for those 'higher up the heirarchy' etc. I hate it, but for entirely personal reasons so not an argument

NB Chapelhead, if we follow Jesus' words, what ought we to call our biological dads??????

--------------------
"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."


Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Benedictus
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quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
Oh my, S3, that's priceless!!!! Are the egg-shaped things assuming the server bodily into heaven?

I wondered the same thing; it seemed to be either an assumption or billowing clouds of incense, followed by the disappearance of the celebrant, from which I conclude that he is now passed out behind the altar.

As for the rest, as a long-time AC, I second everything JtheD said. I wish I could have said it as well myself.

--------------------
Resentment: Me drinking poison and expecting them to die


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Stephen
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My thanks to Joan for her contributions.....I was searching for words to try and keep this thread on track as it threatened to get derailed on secondary questions.The fundamental question is that of spirituality.....try as I would I could not define it to my satisfaction,so thanks Joan...I thought you started at least to give Rachel some beginnings of an answer.
The other thing is that I do have a life outside work and SOF.I can only briefly post lunch-times,usually only frivolously and I'm involved in two organisations on Monday and Thursday evenings so I can only usually post last thing,which doesn't do one any good.
Thanks too Amos.....I thought you put the ideals of liturgy very well.As a server I only wish I could attain those high standards however one can but try

--------------------
Best Wishes
Stephen

'Be still,then, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations and I will be exalted in the earth' Ps46 v10

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Chapelhead*

Ship’s Photographer
# 1143

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quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
Chapelhead, if we follow Jesus' words, what ought we to call our biological dads??????

As mine got cremated about twenty years ago, I might call him dusty (with apologies for the poor taste).

It's a good question though. I suppose if I had to try to give a good answer (surely not) I might suggest that the original line was only talking about non-biological fathers, but I'll admit it's not a great answer.

--------------------
Benedikt Gott Geschickt!


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the famous rachel
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OK. Be warned. This post is VERY long. It has taken me an hour to write (I lost half of it once), so I do hope someone will read it….

There are some jokes, I promise….

quote:
Originally posted by Iakovos:
The Lord be with you.
People And with thy spirit.
Celebrant Lift up your hearts.
People We lift them up unto the Lord.
Celebrant Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
People It is meet and right so to do.
....
was clearly used by the early Church. And the
Eucharist was clearly central to worship.


I know the bit of liturgy you reference - it's one bit that the evos didn't throw out at any point!

However, when you talk about the Eucharist being central to worship, we start to diverge. As is clear from the following passage from Acts 2, the breaking of bread was central to both the early Christian community, and their worship:

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43
Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
44
All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45
Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
46
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
47
praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

What I don't understand is how we get from what I see here - the breaking of bread as part of a meal, at someone's home, with the fellowship - to a big, posh, ceremony. This is, for me, the missing link!

quote:
Originally posted by Iakovos:

Take a look at the imagery
of the throne of God in the Book Revelations...Incense! Bowing! No happy-clappy stuff here! [Rev ch. 8]

Please tell me you're taking the mickey! Or do you seriously expect me to believe that you have a perfect interpretation of perhaps the most complicated book in the Bible. I've read this passage/passages, and I also see waving of palm branches, shoutings of Hallelujah, and fallings down onto faces in awe - all of which strike me as pretty happy-clappy to be honest.

Seriously there is awe, in our hearts, and in our worship you know. It may not be so obvious, but it's there.

quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
1) Basically from Jesus' words at the Last Supper (see Matthew 26:26-8). He says 'Take this and eat; this is my body' and 'Drink from it, all of you. For this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.'

2) Is it fun? I'm not sure, but then again I'm not an Anglo-Catholic. I can see that it could be very easy to get so caught up in the mechanics of it that you lose sight of the centre, this is particularly a problem for servers I suspect, but the visual nature is I think a very great strength. Protestantism is very much a literate religion (which is not necessarily


I may be Evo, but I'm not dim . I know what Jesus said at the last supper. Can I have some theology about different interpretations from someone?

quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
Yes, some Anglo-Catholics do look down on evos, but then again many evangelicals are very unsure whether Anglo-Catholics are Christians at all, so there are faults on both sides. We all need to accept that there are different ways to worship and these different ways appeal to different people and enable them to express their worship. We need to value the diversity and accept each other.

I think I may have misphrased this question. What I meant was this:

Does the idea of the Real Prescence, and the awe and wonder that implies make the evangelical way of doing communion sacreligious in the eyes of a true AC? Or, would a true AC not see our communion as communion at all?

quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
One further point about the prescribed roles is that liturgy ceases to become something that you say and becomes something that you are - you are a part of the liturgy, liturgy is much more than words, it is sights and smells and actions, very multi-sensory and very rich. I find this especially when I'm serving: my movements and actions in themselves are prayer.

First Joan, thankyou for your very erudite and helpful explanations throughout this thread, and particularly in your most recent post.

Secondly, I found what you said about your movements and actions becoming worship/prayer particularly interesting. Now, I am a genuine nutty Charismatic, although from the less nutty end of the spectrum - and this, amongst other things, means I move a lot, during worship. You may all laugh, but I do dance and wave my arms about. I also, often, kneel or bow. I don't generally go in for prostrating myself - but that's cos I'm too British and hence feel a leetle embarrassed about the whole thing. I do, often, feel an immense sense of awe and wonder at the greatness and goodness of God, and this is part of how I express it.

Now, I do wonder if, in this way the two opposite ends of the Anglican church - the ACs and my lot, are actually closer together than we think. You guys use your whole selves in worship - but in a ritualised way. We use our whole selves in worship, but in a slightly chaotic way. In many ways the gestures etc you guys make sound very natural to me - even if the shiny stuff, smelly stuff etc doesn't. Maybe we're not all that far apart - we just look at each other via the lot in the middle, who neither bounce around nor move symbolically, and hence the differences are emphasised over the similarities. What does anyone else think?

quote:
Originally posted by Fiddleback:
Are you sure about that? I thought GLEs only read small bits of the Bible to distraction, and then only as interpreted by John Stott.

OK. We have actually discovered in another thread, that since I believe in evolution, rather than the 7 day creation, I am in fact a naughty evangelical, and not good at all. I am finding this revelation very stressful . Please don't tell me that I'm not a GLE for other reasons too. It may shake the whole fabric of my existence .

Seriously - not all that keen on John Stott. Find him slightly patronising. Prefer to do my own thinking where possible.

quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
Martyn Lloyd-Jones all the way. )

Who?

Oh dear I seem to be getting to be a W&WLE (worse and worse)!

quote:
Originally posted by Amos:
Rachel--one thing that hasn't quite come up here is that A-C liturgy done properly has the intention and the effect of making the servers, yes, and the sacred ministers, less conspicuous.

.....

In A-C worship, the personalities of all the vested and cotta'd folk utterly vanish---their piety is to do the liturgy plainly and devoutly, self-effaced. This is why for some of us the Anglo-Catholic way of worship is easier to walk in off the street to than a more evangelical style where the personalities of the people leading the worship tend to be more visible.



I actually like this idea. The cult of personality surrounding people like Matt Redmann does annoy me intensely .

Oh dear – getting worse by the second, aren’t I?

quote:
Originally posted by Chapelhead:
Firstly, many thanks from the bottom of my (deeply Prot) heart to JtD and S3 for some posts that have not only had me LoL but have also given me a far greater appreciation of life at your end of the candle than any number of "the angriest person on the board wins the argument" rants (not that either of you would indulge in such things).

Vote of thanks seconded - the attitudes of JtD and S3 among others is precisely why I started this thread here.

OK. Tonight’s extra question:
Everyone has stressed the importance of awe and reverence in AC worship. I have in recent times been to both a Catholic mass – complete with what I believe may have been a monstrance – and an AC evening service. Now, I know this isn’t a big sample, but it’s all I’ve got. In both cases the Priest absolutely rattled through the liturgy as if the only thing on his mind was to get out and get some gin. The congregation – during there bits – seemed to be racing him to be out the door. In the RC mass, the liturgy was not even spoken together cos some people were going so fast. Is this common? It stuck me as highly irreverent! The one charge that I most frequently hear levelled at High worship is that it is empty ritual. Is that ever the case, and how can it best be avoided?

All the best,

Rachel.
(World’s worst GLE, but still hanging in there)

--------------------
A shrivelled appendix to the body of Christ.


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Carys

Ship's Celticist
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quote:
I may be Evo, but I'm not dim

Sorry didn't mean to imply that you were. And looking back at your post I realise I didn't read it properly. You said you knew about the Last Supper.

Actually I've been thinking about your question

quote:
What I need to know is when did God promise to be in the bread.
some more today and think that I want to turn it round. To me it's not a matter of God being in the Bread and Wine but the Bread and Wine becoming the Body and Blood of Christ, if you see the distinction which I'm trying to make.

As to Wood's comment

quote:
It's interesting that churches which promote literalist interpretations of Scripture tend to take this symbolically, while A/C churches (which often don't have literalist interpretations of scripture) take this literally.

I think the answer is tradition . Within the sola scriptura tradition it is taken symbolically whereas withing the catholic tradition it is more than symbol.

quote:
would a true AC not see our communion as communion at all?

Possibly not. I remember a sermon from an evangelical Anglican priest whereby he criticised some of those whom he trained with for making comments which questioned the validity of non-conformist communion, however in doing so he almost mocked the beliefs of those with higher Eucharistic theology and assumed that everyone present would agree with him - made me and a couple of friends feel very uncomfortable, despite the fact we didn't necessarily agree with the view of non-conformist communions expressed. Aargh, I'd forgotten about that until just then and I don't really want to go there but I failed to resist the chance to post it.

quote:
both cases the Priest absolutely rattled through the liturgy as if the only thing on his mind was to get out and get some gin.

That really really bugs me too. If you're going to use liturgy say it as though you mean it please.

Carys

--------------------
O Lord, you have searched me and know me
You know when I sit and when I rise


Posts: 6896 | From: Bryste mwy na thebyg | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Corpus cani

Ship's Anachronism
# 1663

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Oh please come and see a traditional liturgy! You can choose to ignore the ideas of bells, smells, choirs and all, but consider the theology of theatre:

Man separated himself from God so many times over the generations. God chose to rectify that problem by sending His Son to redeem us.

High Mass - the action happens far away, behind a closed gate. Having confessed our sins and sought God's forgiveness, we approach that gate in penance. We kneel before it - the closest we deserve to come to God; kneeling in penance before a closed gate and what happens? The body of Christ passes over that physical barrier; God reaches out beyond the barrier of our sin that holds us away from God and draws us into Himself.

Hate to sound dismissive of "eucharists in the round", for that is not what I mean to do, but I cannot easily dismiss the huge value of the imagery involved in a traditional mass. Mass in the round? Yeh, fine. It emphasises that Christ is amongst us, but so does the old way of doing it - I just find the "new way" a bit more shallow. If others find that the way to draw near to God - fine, but that's no reason to shut off we more image-based kinds.

I say all this because I figure "image-based" is what A-C-ism (how awful that sounds) is more about. Our differences are less in how we see God, and more in how we feel more comfortable in coming close to God. (Please note that I have avoided using the ghastly term "accessing God"!!!, like His Social Secretary is busy just now and can you call back...)

--------------------
Bishop Lord Corpus Cani the Tremulous of Buzzing St Helens.


Posts: 4435 | From: Trumpton | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hooker's Trick

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# 89

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First of all, can someone tell me what is a GLE (I am assuming it does not mean Gay and Lesbian Evangelical).

Second,

quote:
Now, I do wonder if, in this way the two opposite ends of the Anglican church - the ACs and my lot, are actually closer together than we think

The answer is yes. At the risk of making a huge oversimplification of the theological differences, you have a hit a fundamental similarity -- A/Cs worship with their bodies, and so do you.

One way is formal and ritualised, one way is informal and spontaneous.

Please avoid words like empty. There are a lot of High churchmen who see the low church as a preserve of empty emotionalism.

One final thought. The Eucharist (or, if you like, the Mass) is prayer. The best prayer there is. I think the key to understanding Anglo Catholicism (or High Churchmanship in general) is not to think of the Eucharist as a complicated ritual, but to think of it as a way of praying.

HT (who is High Church, but not Anglo Catholic)


[who also cannot type!]

[ 07 December 2001: Message edited by: Hooker's Trick ]


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Iakovos
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quote:
Originally posted by rachel_o:

I know the bit of liturgy you reference - it's one bit that the evos didn't throw out at any point!



Oops! I see I misunderstood something. You see in the U.S., this HAS been thrown out by evangelicals like Baptists and others. And the Lord's supper is celebrated once a quarter . Looking back at your original post, I see that you are currently attending an Anglican church. Forgive me for seeming pedantic then. I clearly don't know what "evo" means in British slang. Two nations separated by a common language!

quote:


Please tell me you're taking the mickey! Or do you seriously expect me to believe that you have a perfect interpretation of perhaps the most complicated book in the Bible. I've read this passage/passages, and I also see waving of palm branches, shoutings of Hallelujah, and fallings down onto faces in awe - all of which strike me as pretty happy-clappy to be honest.



I would never presume such a thing! I guess I
was trying to show there is ample precedent for incense and other such trappings of A/C in the Bible. I didn't mean to imply it was the ONLY way to worship. As I had hoped the
ending of my post made clear...I appreciate many forms of Christian worship...from Baptist Gospel services all the way to A/C high Mass. The church
I was a member of in California was Lutheran,
and celebrated liturgy in the round in a small redwood church. We used the Lutheran Book of Worship, the Book of Common Prayer, and several folk liturgies in rotation. I would never presume to say one is "better" than the other.

I am so used to Baptists telling all Catholics that they are going straight to Hell that I felt compelled to defend some
of the A/C practices.

-Iakovos


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Iakovos
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# 623

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quote:
Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:

[qb] The answer is yes. At the risk of making a huge oversimplification of the theological differences, you have a hit a fundamental similarity -- A/Cs worship with their bodies, and so do you.

One way is formal and rutualised, one way is informal and spontaneous



Yes! Think of high mass as a beautiful, formal dance of praise. It IS a dance when done with feeling and care.

The more charismatic forms of worship are a dance too...perhaps more akin to modern dance.


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John Donne

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quote:
Originally posted by Chapelhead:
One thing that the sources I have found on the web have not answered about AC and RC practice is the theological significance (if any) of addressing priests as "Father". Is this simply a term of respect, or does it have some deeper significance. As a "so low church I have nearly fallen off the bottom" type I have trouble with this. Following Matthew 23:9 ('call no man father except your father in heaven') I don't feel able to call anyone on earth father, but being a good Anglican I don't want to offend anybody.
As a GLE (gay and lesbian evangelical, thankyou HT - it is actually evangelical self-parody for 'good little evangelical'), I direct you to the biblical precedent of St Paul in 1 Co 4:14-16.

'I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.'


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Cosmo
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# 117

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I've quite deliberately stayed off this thread but it has seemed to confirm what I have thought for a while and that is Anglo-Catholicism suffers by parody, misunderstanding and want of explanation.

We live in such a literalist world, a world where we demand scientific and conclusive proof and explanation for everything that the notion of symbolism is a difficult one to get across. Thus the most common charge against Ritual is that it is empty and formulaic, a means to pretend to worship God whilst not actually having to think it about it because it's all in a book (preferably Fortescue but Ritual Notes will do just as well).

What has happened in Anglo-Catholicism is that we have lost the realisation that the normative mass is the High Mass; that all the other sorts of masses and their different rituals come from the High Mass.

The High Mass is not a Low Mass with accretions but vice versa. The Low Mass is the High Mass with bits and pieces left out. We have lost this realisation for several reasons; partly a false modernism, a false notion of what 'partcipation' actually means, partly an inverse intellectual and cultural snobbism but also because it is difficult to do the High Mass well. It takes time, effort and manpower. And if the High Mass is done badly then it looks, sounds and comes across as awful and artificial.

If the High Mass is done well and the newcomer to the Mass is caught up in the beauty, ritual and symbolism of the Mass then it is much easier to explain why and how we do certain things and what they mean. It also makes the Low Mass (as well as things like Solemn Evensong and Benediction) much more understandable.

I'm sometimes criticised for explaining what the ritual means rather than the theology. The thing is that the two are inter-linked. If you explain why we do something (a gospel procession for example) in terms of ritual you also find you are explaining it theologically as well as without the theology there is no ritual. Joan and Sacredthree (although occasionally veering dangerously towards the liturgical and theological post-modernism which has dogged catholicism since the sixties) are quite correct when they talk of the Mass and the Ritual as being the vehicle of faith. Whilst the Mass can stand alone without widespread faith (after all it is Christ who offers himself at the mass upon the altar - we are not offering him up) we should recognise the mass as the prime act of the Church, the prime act of the Body of Christ. It also helps when the priest looks as though he believes it.

Cosmo


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Old Fashioned Crab
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# 1204

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Cosmo (or anyone). One thing which I love about the Anglo-Catholic tradition is that it has a long history of standing alongside the most unfortunate in society. The 'slum priest' is a stereotype with a high degree of truth behind it. Would you say that Anglo-Catholicism has in many places lost this mission? Or perhaps it is just that this still happens but goes unnoticed, and so people are tempted to say about all the symbolism "Well, judge it by its fruits" (if you'll excuse the pun there).

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O dear white children casual as birds,
Playing among the ruined languages,
So small beside their large confusing words,
So gay against the greater silences
Of dreadful things you did

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Amos

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# 44

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Not where I am it hasn't!

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At the end of the day we face our Maker alongside Jesus--ken

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Old Fashioned Crab
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# 1204

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Hasn't what? Hasn't got a history of social conscienciousness, or hasn't abandoned it.

Incidentally, I'm not stating anything as truth, just asking.

--------------------
O dear white children casual as birds,
Playing among the ruined languages,
So small beside their large confusing words,
So gay against the greater silences
Of dreadful things you did


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the famous rachel
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# 1258

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quote:
Originally posted by Corpus cani:
Oh please come and see a traditional liturgy! You can choose to ignore the ideas of bells, smells, choirs and all, but consider the theology of theatre:

I will come and see - at some point very soon. And now that I understand a bit better, I will probably get more from it. It is, in fact, surprisingly difficult to find out what it's all about in understandable terms. I have actually tried before - before I found this Ship - by asking RC or AC friends, and have got basically nowhere in my attempts to understand the reasons for the ritual. This is helping me a lot, guys. Thankyou!

quote:
Originally posted by Hooker's Trick:
Please avoid words like empty. There are a lot of High churchmen who see the low church as a preserve of empty emotionalism.


HT - would you and others please note that I did not say that I thought the ritual was empty. I said this was a charge I had heard levelled against AC-ism. Now, I know that for many of you the ritual is not empty at all, but full and rich in many ways. What I wanted to know was this:

If the participants in the ritual start to perform it out of habit - rather than out of love for and awe of God - does it then still have any meaning, or does it become empty? If I wave my arms around, jump up and down or whatever in Charismatic worship because (a) everyone else is and (b) I feel like a bit of action, then my movements are outwardly the same as those of someone who is really enthused and joyous about God, but inwardly empty. Is the same thing not possible in AC worship? If so how can one prevent this?

(I think how we may prevent emptiness in Charismatic arm-waving me be material for a different thread!)

quote:
Originally posted by Cosmo:
I've quite deliberately stayed off this thread but it has seemed to confirm what I have thought for a while and that is Anglo-Catholicism suffers by parody, misunderstanding and want of explanation.


Trying to solve that is the reason I started the thread Cosmo. I do hope that I haven't worsened the situation!

quote:
Originally posted by Cosmo:

Whilst the Mass can stand alone without widespread faith (after all it is Christ who offers himself at the mass upon the altar - we are not offering him up) we should recognise the mass as the prime act of the Church, the prime act of the Body of Christ. It also helps when the priest looks as though he believes it.


First - thankyou Cosmo, for your comments, which were most helpful.

Secondly, on this particular point - do you mean that if the rituals of the mass were "walked through" without faith they would not be meaningful, but with faith - or some or all of the participants - they become meaningful? Or am I misunderstanding you?

All the best,

Rachel.

PS… I may not be able to post very frequently over the next few days as I will be busy. Please do not think I have abandoned the thread.
R.

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A shrivelled appendix to the body of Christ.


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Amos

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# 44

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The question of the habitual is complicated, Rachel, largely, I think, because we are incarnate souls. An action becomes habitual when it becomes ingrained in the actions of the body and the unconscious mind. We can't rightly say that all habitual action is bad. To assume that what we do out of habit is necessarily empty can be to give complete priority to the actions of the conscious mind---which can create a sort of spiritual works-righteousness of the sort that drove Martin Luther nuts.
And then there are the situations when you absolutely do not feel like going through the liturgy, but you do it, out of habit as your duty, and your habit and your dutiful action become a way to God for someone else. Or you begin because this is the thing you do, saying the offices for instance, and as you kneel and pray, out of habit and duty, you are caught up to God.
I'd almost be inclined to say that it is habit that takes us to heaven or to hell.

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At the end of the day we face our Maker alongside Jesus--ken

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Rachel_o:
Martyn Lloyd-Jones all the way.

Who?

Oh dear I seem to be getting to be a W&WLE (worse and worse)!


Don't panic, Rachel. Martyn Lloyd Jones was a Welsh preacher who died, IIRC in the early 80s and who is to Welsh GLEs (particularly your 'chapel people') what people like John Stott etc. are to English GLEs.

Only much, much more so.

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Narcissism.


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ChastMastr
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# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
Matzo's use other stuff - salt etc.

Not the
ones I use (see top) -- I'm salt-sensitive.

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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I'm also Anglo-Catholic doctrinally (I believe in Real Presence, Apostolic Succession, etc.) and less High Church (tat) -- I do like High Church stuff ("thees and thous" rather than what the priest wears, which I hardly notice unless it's unusual) to some degree but it's the theology which matters most to me (see my post on "Catholic virgins"). I'd have no problem being dressed (or not at all! ) for a service if the priest were in Apostolic Succession, etc. and the context were appropriate.

I used to use specially coloured candles and incense and faced east and so on when I did my prayers at home a few years back, but I don't anymore, not least of which because smoke and scents in general (apart from vanilla candles, or one brand anyway) seem to affect me adversely.

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity


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Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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First I must defend myself from a scandalous slur upon my good name. My dear Reverend Father in God, Cosmo sweetie just because I think different bits of reality are important from the ones you want to deal with does not make me a postmodernist. I am, after all, a Good Little Realist.

Rachel - yes, 'whole body' worship is a similarity. However, there are differences - spontaneity can have down-sides just as rigidity can. Taking part in ritual worship can do as Amos says - subsume the self into the corporate, which I said before is important for a church. Evo hand-waving is different because if everyone is waving as the Spirit moves them then they are not taking part in a bigger corporate action in as obvious a way.

The major difference though is - I would say - one of health and safety. If you fling yourself around as you wish then you have no idea as to when it stops being spiritual experience and becomes (potentially damaging) emotivism. People aren't 100% sane. People can't tell with 100% accuracy the difference between having a non-rational experience and acting irrationally. Having a liturgical tradition gives some guidelines on healthy spiritual behaviour, within which it's OK to worship God, you're not going to go potty

I feel quite strongly about this after two experiences in particular. The first was watching my mother dress up a mental breakdown as a spiritual crisis and doing some seriously insane things at various evo churches, which went along with what she said was happening. That was out of control in a BIG way, and God was not in control. The second is the last six months, when I've concurrently (and interlinked) had a breakdown and a strong experience of God. When the latter started I did not want to do anything about it because I was convinced that I was simply screwing with my own head and that it didn't come from God. Having a tradition and its liturgy has helped a lot to give me guidelines about what came from God, and what sort of actions are OK to do because people for hundreds of years have found that they're good and useful and not harmful or indicative of a disordered mental state. So I'm able to think it's OK to prostrate etc at the relevant bits, I'm not going OTT or nuts, so it actually frees me to be MORE demonstrative than if I was in a tradition that used spontaneity.

Did that make any sense? I'm aware of not having the words for most of what I'm saying on this thread (I'm completely untrained theologically, so I'm having to invent my own descriptions often).

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."


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Newman's Own
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# 420

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quote:
Originally posted by Old Fashioned Crab:
Cosmo (or anyone). One thing which I love about the Anglo-Catholic tradition is that it has a long history of standing alongside the most unfortunate in society. The 'slum priest' is a stereotype with a high degree of truth behind it.

I fully agree with you, Crab - in fact, I cannot imagine a truly Catholic commitment without this. (I am not suggesting, of course, that it is exclusive to those who
serve in poor parishes - but the concern for the unfortunate, expressed either in directly working with them or in supporting their needs and rights, is essential.)

I must add that, in modern times, the Roman Catholic concept of subsidiarity, concern for the labouring classes, statements regarding social justice, and the like were wonderful and highly progressive. This, joined to a centuries-old tradition of the Church's caring for the poor, sick, elderly, et al, is , I believe, an important part of every ministry. Intending no disrespect to the Reformed traditions - it seems to me that, where they placed emphasis on moral reformation of society, it was too easy to slip into a very "individual" concept of responsibility. We are a Church - as a whole - and trying to give the example of a devout or moral life is not enough. Concern for the needy, and some active response to this, is a part of our faith. (Quite a contrast to the idea that people will not allow themselves to be needy if they know they'll die in the street if they do...)

Of course, this working class kid does sometimes smile at the naivete of some of the early Anglo-Catholics, who came from more prosperous backgrounds. Their intentions were the best, but... well, people whose children were working in factories hardly wanted this to be the case, but survival had demanded it - so just making that illegal did not solve the problem.

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn


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Stephen
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# 40

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To be honest with you Rachel,those services you went to would have irritated me too.There are few things I dislike more than having someone rattling through a service.I completely agree with Carys here
A fixed liturgy can become mechanical...you know going through the motions.It need not be so though and one of the advantages I find with a fixed liturgy is that it enables me to prepare myself for what is going to happen.I think the person taking the service,be it priest reader or whatever should be very aware of the words in the liturgy and the fact that they mean something.....
Liturgy at its worst is truly awful.Liturgy at its best is truly aweful,ie awe-inspiring,and a means to worship God.However I realise that this approach is not for everyone and one of the advantages of Christianity is that it's so broad.
I do not think that looking down one's nose at Evangelicals or Anglo-Catholics is acceptable....
Incidentally I was interested to read of your views re evolution.Learning is not a one-way process
Right- off to read a thread on William of Ockham....!!

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Best Wishes
Stephen

'Be still,then, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations and I will be exalted in the earth' Ps46 v10

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Newman's Own
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# 420

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Rachel,
Were you interested solely in the forms of worship, or in points of theological emphasis that are generally more Catholic? Actually, I think the latter are more distinctive, but I don't want to mention these at any length unless you're interested.

Incidentally, some of the Anglicans I know (including some priests) who are the most Catholic in their thinking are not particularly inclined towards tat. (I'm "low to moderate tat" myself - so in love with Christ as King of Kings that I am crazy for incense, for example, but not one likely to give much thought to folded chasubles or maniples.)

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn


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Edward Green
Review Editor
# 46

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quote:
Originally posted by Cosmo:
Joan and Sacredthree (although occasionally veering dangerously towards the liturgical and theological post-modernism which has dogged catholicism since the sixties) are quite correct when they talk of the Mass and the Ritual as being the vehicle of faith.

Thank you Cosmo, although I wouldn't describe myself as veering towards post-modernism, or even embracing post-modernism, rather as embodying post-modernism ...

It was after all my post-modernism that attracted me to the catholic tradition in the first place.

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blog//twitter//
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John Donne

Renaissance Man
# 220

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[I make the sign of the cross as one does when confronted with anything particularly evil]
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babybear
Bear faced and cheeky with it
# 34

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quote:
Originally posted by Newman's Own:
Rachel,
Were you interested solely in the forms of worship, or in points of theological emphasis that are generally more Catholic?

I was in contact with Rachel yesterday, and she said "I have discovered that what I really need is a Beginners Guide to AC theology, rather than to AC tat".

I have mentioned it because she has also said that she will not be able to check on this thread for a couple of days.

NO, (and others) please feel free to take this thread more into the theology. If you can, please try to keep the language fairly ordinary rather than theological.

I am finding this a very fascinating thread. Thanks to all who have been taking part.

bb
----
MW Host


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Newman's Own
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# 420

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With the caveat that my explanations may be awkward, perhaps setting forth a few points may be helpful. I am not suggesting that all Christians who are not of a Catholic set would hold the views I mention below - I am merely referencing elements of certain varieties of Reformed theology or viewpoints I have encountered. And I must add that one well may meet individual Catholics whose attitudes do not coincide with the underlying theology which I shall mention.

Some Reformed theology sees mankind as basically wicked (as a result of the fall, however one defines that.) In the extreme, all of creation is somewhat dangerous - if not wicked in itself, holding the potential to draw us away from God. The earthly life is a test of sorts - and a singular event of being "saved" is the way that one will avoid damnation.

In a Catholic perspective, we are weak and sinful, but still possess a longing for God. Contrary to what one may think, the focus is not at all on avoiding hell (or hoping for heaven, not that we do not!), but on intimacy with God that begins here. (Even in the Middle Ages, when the idea of purgatory was so dominant, there actually was more fear of some sort of purifying punishment after death than of eternal damnation.) There is a very strong sense of the Church encompassing not only what is on earth but what there is in heaven. (Obviously, this would make those who think we are "nowhere" until the Last Judgement shudder.)

If a Catholic asks the intercession of saints, for example, this is by no means any sign of thinking one needs "mediators," or that one cannot "approach God directly." Just as love includes praying for others during this life, our friends in heaven do the same. The Church is timeless, and even our worship does not unite us only with those in the pew but with all of those before.

Even the most prolific theologians could not have pondered the points they did without the underlying knowledge that our vision is limited - in the end, God's ways can never fully be grasped by us. We cannot say "those who didn't accept Christ are damned," nor "we know everyone is saved," just to borrow ideas that, actually, are far more popular in some Protestant circles. We need to respond to God's love, certainly with integrity, with what we believe, but cannot limit our perception of how divine grace may work.

Catholics emphasise sacraments - but neither see them as magical formulae nor believe that those with another emphasis are less holy than we are.

"Holy" is another key word. (No, we do not think we necessarily are holy - only trying... sometimes very trying!) Perhaps the largest point of confusion during the Reformation and beyond was that over "justification." There is no question that we are united to God through His grace, not by our own actions. But we are not called to just "salvation" (too often reduced to merely avoiding a fiery destiny in popular thought) but to holiness. God made us free, and, while His grace is what gives us the capacity for love, love involves a free response to be genuine. Our "works" are not a means to obtain salvation, but a way of sharing the love and removing obstacles which we place in the way of the intimacy with God. (Only God forgives sin, for example, but we seldom do not need to change things in our own lives to set them back in line with the gospels.)

One key Catholic point is that, while Scripture is primary (and, indeed, sacramental... but I'd best not get off on that tangent), divine revelation is dynamic. The Incarnation, for example, was not some far off event, but continues for eternity. Christ continues, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to reveal truth through His Church. (Roman Catholics would say through the magisterium - Anglicans would not have a clear "how," but revelation does end in the first century.) Certainly, the very first Christians, from a Jewish background that had no concept of Trinity as one example, did not have this truth announced to them on the first Easter - divine revelation requires some allowance for our human limitations. From the beginning, what happened in the time of the gospel was not all that a Christian could believe.

Catholicism does not see one's prosperity (health, worldly goods, whatever) as an indication of divine favour or its lack. This is important in the commitment to the disadvantaged which Crab referenced earlier. One's poverty, health, or circumstances are in no way signs of one's relationship with God. (Not denying, of course, that some suffering in any life is the consequence of sin - whether one's own or that of others.) Nor are we "here" merely to be concerned about our own salvation. I would say that the hallmarks of Catholic theology are both that "we're all in this together," and that the "kingdom of God", however more intense it may be in an afterlife, is also present here!

The commandments, an aspect of divine revelation, are certainly important,and there is no question that much of the intimacy is hampered by our own sinfulness. However, creation is good, and its enjoyment is as well. It is far from the concern that some of the Reformation era had that we were so basically wicked that even having leisure would lead us to become rowdy, drunken rogues.

I shall stop here, because I've already written quite enough. I hope that it has been fairly clear.

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn


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Newman's Own
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# 420

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Nunc,
Here is one brief quote from Macquarrie, just to whet the appetite. In this context, he is referring to the Eucharist, and "this material world as one in which God, as its author, uses the things of the world to mediate his presence and grace." It is on page 156 of the book I previously mentioned:

"It is the kind of world in which a wafer can be the sign, or perhaps I should say the shrine, of Christ's presence. Whatever theory of presence we hold - transubstantiation, transvaluation, transignification, even Tillich's theory of symbolism which allows the participation of the symbol in the reality which it symbolises - as long as it remains within the eucharistic context and the eucharistic community, that bread is for us the bread that comes down from heaven for the life of the world. And this...is not merely something for our contemplation. Christ is not confined to the eucharistic bread or even to the church. He is not the 'prisoner of the tabernacle.' ...George MacLeod used to watch the grain ships bringing their cargoes of wheat into Liverpool harbour, and he reflected that the wheat has the potentiality of becoming the body of Christ. This is (where) sacramental theology spills over into the market place. Bread is not a mere commodity; things are not mere bits of matter. We can learn some of this from natural theology, but we learn it above all from Jesus Christ, the bread of God which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn


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Stephen
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# 40

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quote:
Originally posted by sacredthree:
Thank you Cosmo, although I wouldn't describe myself as veering towards post-modernism, or even embracing post-modernism, rather as embodying post-modernism ...

It was after all my post-modernism that attracted me to the catholic tradition in the first place.


It's possible though isn't it to be an A/C or even moderately High without being a Post-Modernist?
Although from what I know (admittedly little) Post-Modernism does seem to make points worth noting,I do get the impression that there is an element of a "flight from reason" which I find a bit worrying......
On another note I think that what Rachel probably does need are posts of a theological nature, rather than "tat",an expression I'd not come across outside SOF before.It's only too easy to get bogged down in arcane details of ceremonial,interesting though they are....

--------------------
Best Wishes
Stephen

'Be still,then, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations and I will be exalted in the earth' Ps46 v10


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Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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Oh, hang on, are we talking ontological or epistemic postmodernism? FWIW, Cosmo's only insulted me if he was calling me an ontological postmodernist

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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Okay, I'm confused. Rachel starts a thread asking about Anglo-Catholicism, and folks discuss tat and the theology of tat.

Then Hooker's Trick says he's high church but not Anglo-Catholic -- pardon my ignorance as one who has been an Episcopalian for only eight years and who hasn't been to a lot of different Episcopal churches, but I honestly have always gotten the impression that high church and Anglo-Catholic were synonymous.

Then Chastmastr says Anglo-Catholicism has to do with theological things like the real presence and high church has to do with tat. But I was taught (in my apparently woefully inadequate confirmation class) that belief in Christ's presence in the elements of the eucharist is standard Anglicanism; though Anglicanism is rather vague about just how this happens, it happens. And now I'm told that Anglicans don't believe this? Since I do believe in the real presence I'm Anglo-Catholic? Despite the fact that I'm in a parish that only has incense on major feasts (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, the feast day of our patron saint, maybe a few others)?

If anyone knows of an Episcopal parish in the Los Angeles area that is very properly high church, please let me know and I'll go visit -- that might clear up some of this for me.


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Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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To clear up your first point, Ruth you forget this is MW: all threads become discussions about tat sooner or later .

On a slightly more serious note, tat is the visible, public side of AC'ism, so if you're not into linear exposition (I'm not - that's what I meant that 'epistemological postmodernism' is not an insult to me ) then it makes a good entry place into explaining the whole shebang.

And Rachel asked about tat in her second post and it kinda went from there .

--------------------
"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."


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Newman's Own
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# 420

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Ruth has raised an excellent question, and one I think very worth pursuing. I must admit that, when I read some of the threads here (and there is no salt in my saying this), I'm not even sure that I'm Anglo-Catholic by some definitions. (Of course, since I can never resist an opportunity to be a little silly, I'm tempted to say that one who is "merely" High Church would name himself after Richard Hooker, where one totally Catholic would name herself after Newman... and that, where the Catholic think the 39 articles were aimed at the Puritans, the low churchmen think they were aimed at us.)

Actually, Ruth, where the (very heated!) discussions (a mild term!) over "High," "Low" and "Catholic" had huge distinctions (with which there was involvement at the highest levels...) a century or even forty years ago, there really are not such clear-cut distinctions any longer, nor do practises have the implications they once had (religious or political). It's all the more confusing since much of the Roman Church is no longer "High," and since (why do I sense I'm going to be at least whacked for saying this?) the ARCIC led to much agreement between Canterbury and Rome on such matters as the sacraments. (I make my share of jokes about the fathers of the Oxford Movement, but admire them greatly - they were equally placed on the rack, often enough, by those in their own sister church and by Romans.)

I've already defined my Catholicism a bit (lots of ecclesiology there) - but I am very interested in hearing others explain what distinction they see.

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn


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Jus
Apprentice
# 1783

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How does one define high church? Is it liturgy or theology that makes a particular communion high/low? I am asking this because Newman's Own said that much of the RC Communion is no longer considered high. This seems to me then that the distinction of high/low would be liturgy rather than beliefs because I don't think that our beliefs vary considerably from high CoE, but one can usually find "folk" masses and congregational singing at the majority of RC parishes whereas Palestrina and plainchant and solemn vespers tend to be confined only to certain places Westminster Cathedral and Brompton Oratory.
Posts: 18 | From: London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Spike

Mostly Harmless
# 36

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
If anyone knows of an Episcopal parish in the Los Angeles area that is very properly high church, please let me know and I'll go visit -- that might clear up some of this for me.

Try St Thomas Hollywood. VERY high, loads of tat and a superb choir too

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"May you get to heaven before the devil knows you're dead" - Irish blessing


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Stephen
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# 40

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
,
.....I honestly have always gotten the impression that high church and Anglo-Catholic were synonymous.

No,not necessarily.18th century High Church people were not Anglo-Catholics
I tend to think of it - no doubt frivolously - of A/C ism being table d'hote whereas High Church is a la carte

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Best Wishes
Stephen

'Be still,then, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations and I will be exalted in the earth' Ps46 v10


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Newman's Own
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# 420

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Stephen, your definition is wonderful. I suppose one matter under discussion currently is whether either is at the bishop's table.

Incidentally, my question is quite close to that of Jus. Do we define ourselves as Catholic based on liturgy or theology?

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Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn


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Stephen
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# 40

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I think that's a difficult one.I think I would be inclined to say that theology comes first and liturgy comes out of that theology but not always the case as in Low Roman Catholic churches who would have a thorough acceptance of transubstantiation - although I suppose the reverse could happen.....if a RC parish went for "Low" practices I suppose that would be reflected in its theology.....
In my case although I would regard myself as leaning towards High Anglicanism,I would hesitate to call myself an A/C.A la carte again!Likes vestments,crosses oneself not too keen on incense.Doesn't feel the need to ask for the prayers of saints but thinks they're important as an example and thinks their feast days should be observed when possible.Believes in consubstantiation rather than transubstantiation.Has reservations over some Marian doctrines [to put it kindly].Look,what is this the confessional???
I think the difference between a Catholic (Anglo or RC)and a High Anglican is that the Catholic is more inclined to accept doctrine as a unity.....the High Anglican is more sceptical perhaps and inclined to ask questions over such and such rather than accepting tradition in its entirety?

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Best Wishes
Stephen

'Be still,then, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations and I will be exalted in the earth' Ps46 v10

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Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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I tend to use the terms as High Church meaning the use of bells-and-smells type liturgical practice, and Catholic as describing a spirituality and a way of tackling theological issues. Catholicism can lead to high-church worship and to acceptance of the various dogmas (woof woof) - but IMHO not necessarily.

My own view is that I'm a high church person who's become a Catholic (through being initially snared by high-church worship). I find it a way of worship and spirituality that is very useful to me. I don't accept it all 'in a lump' (this is, I think, one of the strengths of Anglo-Catholicism - you don't have to go for full-on transubstantiation and Marian devotion if you don't want to, but you're still an AC. IMHO ) - I take what's useful, and not the rest. I regard the richness of the tradition as saying "these are all the things that people in the past have found good and useful and not harmful. See which ones work for you". It's like someone whose opinion you trust recommends something, so you try it and persevere for a bit and see if it rings your sanctus bell.

So what do I see as particularly AC in theological method and spirituality? Method is what I set out before - dear old Scripture, reason (incl experience) and tradition. As I've said elsewhere, this is the theology version of the model of rational truth-seeking that I use in all areas of my life (eg my work - physics).

Spirituality is more complicated, and I'm still very much a baby as far as it's concerned. It's very much tied up with the idea that Christianity encompasses the whole of your life - work, leisure the lot. The whole of you is on a journey, you're growing and changing, and your perception of God is going to grow and change to. A lot of traditional stuff is to help on this journey, even when looking just at theology says it's unnecessary. Confession is the primary example - AC's don't have to, and the General Confession in any service carries the same amount of weight, so what's the point? But my goodness is it useful to some people (me included). Spiritual direction is another thing there to help us grow and develop. Personal devotion (rosary etc) are there if we need structure in prayer.

I'm not sure if I can put this next in a non-insulting way, but this point is important for me so I'll try. This is all IN MY EXPERIENCE/OPINION. I'm not out to upset people, it's that this is how things come across to me. Is that enough caveats?
Basically, I find Catholic spirituality to be grown-up spirituality, calm, experienced, wise and with depth. It meets people where they are - God is a God of unbearable pain as well as joy, knowing all sides of life. We don't have to be happy-clappy with God, being in God's presence doesn't magically make everything better. It meets us where we are with love rather than judgement, helping us to get closer to God starting at where we are, rather than condemning us for not being perfect and saying there is no chance of change. It recognises that our lives are dynamic, and that the aim is to get better than we are, in the knowledge that we can always be better, rather than forever grinding us down by yelling at us for not being there already. Ultimately, God is a God of love, not judgement. Which is the God I read about in the Bible, and the God I perceive.

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."


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Amos

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# 44

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The traditional understanding is that our prayer and the way we pray precedes and underlies our theology, not the other way round. Can someone whose Latin is better than mine provide the precise Latin?----Something about "orandi" and "credendi" as I recall.

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At the end of the day we face our Maker alongside Jesus--ken

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