The British Monarch as Governor of the Church: A Rookie Anglican Guide

For the seventy years of her reign, Queen Elizabeth II served as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Now that Charles III has ascended to the throne, he takes the same role, and like Elizabeth promises to “maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine worship, discipline, and government thereof, as […]

By |2022-09-29T08:13:38-05:00September 19th, 2022|Categories: Anglicanism, History|2 Comments

The History of the Holy Week Collects

In this post we outline the history of the Holy Week Collects, which are found on pages 607-609 of the Book of Common Prayer 2019. In researching this topic, we drew especially from commentaries by Massey Hamilton Shepherd, Jr., Marion J. Hatchett, and C. Frederick Barbee and Paul F. M. Zahl.

What is a collect? A collect is a short, […]

By |2022-04-12T11:22:30-05:00April 10th, 2022|Categories: Anglicanism, History, Liturgy & Worship|Tags: , , |0 Comments

The Historical Dictionary of Anglicanism by Colin Buchanan (Brief Book Review)

The 2015 second edition of Bishop Colin Buchanan’s Historical Dictionary of Anglicanism, published by Rowman & Littlefield, is an extraordinarily comprehensive and informative resource for getting a grasp on the historical breadth and depth of the Anglican tradition.

Yes, the book is expensive, but it would be well worth the expense for an Anglican […]

By |2021-02-10T16:56:25-06:00February 10th, 2021|Categories: Anglicanism, History|Tags: , |0 Comments

The “Perfect” Christmas Eve Sermon??

Christmas Eve is rough on preachers; at least for this one.

The atmosphere for a truly great sermon is all there: scenery, families, music, lighting, Scripture, attendance, joy, and a holy hope in every heart and on every face. But my Christmas Eve sermons (33 and counting) are never equal to this setting. They always seem weak […]

By |2020-12-14T16:49:55-06:00December 12th, 2020|Categories: For Pastors, History, Preaching|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

The Apocrypha: What Is It? Why do Anglicans Read It?

Many people coming into the Anglican tradition have been told that the Apocrypha is bad, that its books are pure mythology, or that they distract from the aim of Scripture.

Yet, upon closer examination, there seems to be a place for the Apocrypha. The New Testament contains allusions to the Apocrypha, and these writings enjoyed a prominent place in the early […]

By |2022-08-19T08:03:16-05:00September 12th, 2018|Categories: Anglicanism, History|Tags: |4 Comments

Want to Learn More about Anglican Collects? Check out These Resources

Blog Posts about the Collects

Here at Anglican Compass, we’ve got a series of reflections on the weekly Collects of the Christian Year. It’s called “Collect Reflections,” and you can read those posts here.

If you’d like to dive even deeper into the rich content and history of the Anglican Collects, then I suggest you start with my introductory post,

Scripture in the Anglican Tradition

Charles Simeon once said, “The Bible first, the Prayer Book next, and all other books and doings in subordination to both.” Anglicans love the Bible. In fact, when most people attend an Anglican church, the first thing they notice is the central role of the Bible. Each Sunday, there are usually four readings of Scripture: one from the Old Testament, […]

By |2019-01-07T10:15:46-06:00May 22nd, 2018|Categories: Anglicanism, History, Liturgy & Worship|Tags: |1 Comment

Anglican Worship: Where Does It Say In the Bible to Do That?

As an Anglican Priest, I’m often asked where in the Bible some Anglican worship practice is commanded. The assumption is that we should only do what the Bible expressly commands us to do.

The thinking goes: If the Bible doesn’t say to burn candles, then we shouldn’t burn candles. If the Bible doesn’t tell us to wear vestments (ceremonial robes), then […]

By |2022-03-21T11:45:08-05:00May 3rd, 2018|Categories: Anglicanism, History|9 Comments

What is Confirmation?

What is Confirmation?

Confirmation is a church practice that falls into the category of what the Anglican Catechism calls “rites and institutions commonly called sacraments.” Along with Confirmation, there are four others like it: Absolution (confessing one’s sins and receiving forgiveness in the presence of a priest), Ordination, Marriage, and Anointing the sick.

These practices, or rites, are deeply charged “sites” of […]

By |2019-01-08T13:57:24-06:00March 8th, 2018|Categories: Anglicanism, History|Tags: , |8 Comments

Whatever happened to the Anglican Via Media?

Reclaiming the Via Media

The Via Media stands as one of Anglicanism’s greatest gifts to the world. However, as I view the North America context, it seems that much of Anglicanism here has lost its Via Media lately. Too often contemporary Anglicanism feels politicized and polarizing, leaving little room for those of us in the middle, but as we look to both the past and the […]

By |2020-05-19T14:12:51-05:00January 30th, 2018|Categories: Anglicanism, History, Theology|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Schism, Revival, and Alphabet Soup: The Anglican Communion Today – by Hunter Van Wagenen

This post is a part of Rookie Anglican, a blog dedicated to Making Anglicanism Accessible.

One of the things that makes explaining Anglicanism so hard for North Americans is the fact that there are […]

By |2019-01-08T17:06:46-06:00February 23rd, 2017|Categories: Anglicanism, History|Tags: , |4 Comments

New Monasticism in the Anglican Church

Monasticism in Anglicanism: A Very Brief History
The Anglican church has had a rich history of monks and monastic orders of both men and women from its earliest days. By the 7th century, religious orders were well developed and organized, having performed missionary work for centuries. However, Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1536 and, for about 300 years, the rich […]

By |2019-01-08T13:57:29-06:00September 19th, 2016|Categories: Anglicanism, History|3 Comments

What the First Christians did about Terrorism

Note: Georgette Forney of Anglicans for Life contacted me a few months ago and ask me to write a series of short essays  on any of the readings from the Lectionary for the month of September. I was asked to provide thoughts, insights, and understanding of the text and any application as it had to do with […]
By |2019-01-10T16:55:26-06:00September 11th, 2016|Categories: Anglicanism, Daily Office & Prayer, History|Tags: , |1 Comment

Ancient Anglican Evangelism

There is a perception that Anglicans in North America don’t have our own history of evangelism. Or at least not one that comes from within our own tradition. Not true! The church in England began by a powerful evangelistic mission that followed Jesus’ commands in Luke’s Gospel. So the Anglican tradition has within itself a powerful story of evangelism and […]

By |2022-03-21T11:45:18-05:00July 21st, 2016|Categories: Anglicanism, History|Tags: , , , |7 Comments

What They Are Saying About the Resurrection

Why did Christianity arise, and why did it take the shape it did? The early Christians themselves reply: We exist because of Jesus’ resurrection. … There is no evidence for a form of early Christianity in which the resurrection was not a central belief. Nor was this belief, as it were, bolted on to Christianity at the edge. It was the […]

By |2019-03-08T14:45:22-06:00March 26th, 2016|Categories: Anglicanism, History|Tags: |0 Comments

What is All Saints Day?

Knowing Our Family

We’ve always been curious about our ancestors, to know where we came from and who we are. We’ve also wanted to gain wisdom from the experience of the past, both successes and failures. And we’ve desired communion and reunion of some sort.

I know of a family that discovered an brother/uncle that no one knew about until he was a […]

By |2022-03-21T11:45:31-05:00October 30th, 2015|Categories: Anglicanism, Church Year, History|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

Anglicans and Roman Catholics

Anglicans are sometimes said to be “a little bit protestant and a little bit catholic.”  That’s probably true to some extent, as a description of what people see in a worship service. However, even though the Roman church owns the domain extension .catholic, we Anglicans see ourselves as both fully catholic and as a church of the reformation at the […]

By |2022-03-21T11:45:32-05:00October 15th, 2015|Categories: Anglicanism, History|Tags: , , |23 Comments

Anglican vs. Catholic? Is Anglicanism Catholic, Reformed, or Protestant?

(Roman) Catholic? Reformed? Protestant?

Most American evangelicals experience a church world that is either protestant/reformed or catholic. You have to be one or the other. For many ‘catholic’ means “Roman Catholic”; ‘reformed’ means “Calvinist”; ‘Protestant’ means “Not Roman Catholic.” The Orthodox churches are kind of silently off to the side in most of these schemes.

Anglicanism, however, had a unique history that wreaks havoc on […]

By |2022-03-21T11:45:40-05:00June 11th, 2015|Categories: Anglicanism, History, Theology|Tags: , |31 Comments

Common Prayer: The Origin Story

Author and theologian J. I. Packer says of the Book of Common Prayer’s influence on the British people, “Long before the age of fish and chips, the Book of Common Prayer was the Great British invention, nurturing all sorts and conditions of Englishmen and holding the church together with remarkable effectiveness.”

Before the Book of Common Prayer, the prayers and worship […]

Getting Catechesis Back on Track

A series by Fr. Lee Nelson, special for Anglican Pastor. 

PART 1: Recovering the Lost Tools

The Church Father Gregory of Nyssa once remarked in the middle of the Arian controversy of the 4th Century, “If you ask anyone in Constantinople for change, he will start discussing with you whether the Son is begotten or unbegotten. If you ask about the quality […]

By |2019-01-08T13:57:46-06:00January 28th, 2015|Categories: History|Tags: |8 Comments

Where is God when Bad Things Happen? 

by Winfield Bevins.

With the rise of persecution against Christians in the Middle East, we are reminded that we live in a world full of pain and suffering. In the midst of a bad economy, natural disasters, and the growing risk of international terrorism people are seeking real answers to tough questions. Many people feel alone […]

By |2019-01-07T10:18:36-06:00September 10th, 2014|Categories: Anglicanism, For Pastors, History, Pastoral Ministry|0 Comments

Michael Ramsey, Conversion, and Christian Reunion


by Jonathan Warren

Introducing Michael Ramsey

One feature of Anglican church history I am especially interested to highlight in these essays is the role that the Archbishop of Canterbury has played in crafting the temper and […]