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Anglican Compass is your guide to Anglican life. We're here to help you navigate the Anglican tradition with clarity and charity.

Behind the Hymn: It Is Well

“It is well” is a hymn of sorrow and faith, written by a father grappling with natural disaster and death.

Horatio Spafford was a Chicago lawyer and friend of evangelist Dwight Moody. In 1873, to visit Moody’s preaching campaign in England, he planned a trip for his family to Europe, and sent his wife Anna and daughters […]

By |2022-09-29T09:51:11-05:00September 28th, 2022|Categories: Miscellaneous|0 Comments

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

Holy Cross Day: A Rookie Anglican Guide

Each year, on the 14th of September, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Cross. Known as “Holy Cross Day” in much of the Anglican Communion, this major feast of the Church reminds us to boast in nothing “except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). It is clearly […]

By |2022-09-29T08:13:07-05:00September 14th, 2022|Categories: Church Year|1 Comment

The Lambeth Conference: A Rookie Anglican Guide

Every ten years, Anglican bishops from around the globe gather in England for the Lambeth Conference. The conference takes its name from Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, which housed the first conference of 76 Bishops in 1867. Since 1978 the conference has been held in Canterbury, but retains its original name.

The […]

By |2022-08-22T08:52:35-05:00August 21st, 2022|Categories: Anglicanism|12 Comments

Daily Office Booklet 2022: May through August

Editor’s Note: The first version of this volume contained an error regarding the dates and readings for Ascension and Pentecost. This error has been corrected.

We’ve completed the latest edition of the Daily Office Booklet. This “volume” will take you from May through August 2022. Click the links below to download!

By |2022-05-12T07:24:13-05:00April 28th, 2022|Categories: Daily Office & Prayer|7 Comments

The History of the Easter Week Collects

Easter is a long season of feasting, lasting a full 50 days. And the celebration is especially pronounced in the first week after Easter, often called Easter Week or Bright Week. For more on the season of Easter, check out our Rookie Anglican Guide to Eastertide.

In this post we outline the history of the Easter Week Collects, which are […]

By |2022-04-23T22:49:23-05:00April 23rd, 2022|Categories: Miscellaneous|0 Comments

Ecstasy at the Empty Tomb

The Empty Tomb

All four gospels depict the surprise of the women when they find the empty tomb. But Mark gives the most specific and intense description of the women’s emotional response:

And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid (Mark 16:8).

Moreover, Mark was […]

By |2022-04-17T14:51:33-05:00April 17th, 2022|Categories: Theology|0 Comments

Behind the Hymn: Ah, Holy Jesus

One of our deeply moving Holy Week hymns is “Ah, holy Jesus.” The text was written by Johann Heerman, a 17th century Lutheran pastor and poet, as a translation and paraphrase of a medieval Latin devotion. Anglican poet Robert Bridges, in turn, translated the hymn to English, reducing it from fourteen stanzas to five. Bridges included it in […]

By |2022-05-21T13:08:50-05:00April 11th, 2022|Categories: Behind the Hymn, Sacred Music|5 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 Way of the Cross: An Invitation to Holy Week

Holy Week is the high mark of the church’s liturgical year. In it we celebrate Jesus’ final week in Jerusalem, from his arrival on Palm Sunday to his death on Good Friday, to his resurrection on Easter Sunday, with all the momentous events in between. There are many ways to commemorate the week, from personal reading of scripture, to family […]

By |2022-04-12T11:22:38-05:00April 9th, 2022|Categories: Liturgy & Worship|0 Comments

All Things Anglican by Throup (Review)

Marcus Throup’s All Things Anglican offers anyone who seeks to know more about this particular tradition within the Christian faith an excellent overview and place to start. 

What is unique about Anglicanism is the different nuances and beliefs that many who adhere to such a title hold, and as such, when trying to figure out where you […]

By |2021-08-12T14:19:25-05:00August 16th, 2021|Categories: Anglicanism, Miscellaneous|Tags: , |2 Comments

Walking in God’s Wisdom: The Book of Proverbs by Quinn (Review)

Most books of the Bible have an obvious internal coherence. It’s easy to understand why an unfolding narrative or the argument of an epistle is presented as a book in our Bibles. But, for many of us, the book of Proverbs evades this sort of analysis. 

The book of Proverbs seems to be a collection […]

By |2021-08-12T14:17:08-05:00August 13th, 2021|Categories: Miscellaneous|Tags: , |0 Comments

There is a Future: A Year of Daily Midrash by Bornman (Review)

Poet, writer, artist, and designer Amy Bornman’s first book, There Is a Future: A Year of Daily Midrash, explores Scripture narratives through the lens of midrash. “Midrash,” Bornman reminds us, “is a practice in study and imagination.” The rabbinical tradition “honors the text by wondering about it.” As such, this book is her grand vehicle for traversing […]

By |2021-08-19T09:05:23-05:00August 12th, 2021|Categories: Miscellaneous|Tags: , |0 Comments

The City is My Monastery by Richard Carter (Review)

Whether it’s Benedictine, Franciscan, Augustinian, or any other monastic spirituality, each one has a book called a Rule of Life. These Rules spell out each order’s unique character and practices, such as the balanced life of prayer and work that the Benedictines are famous for, or the holy poverty embraced by the Franciscans. These Rules date back to […]

By |2021-08-12T14:03:10-05:00August 12th, 2021|Categories: Miscellaneous|Tags: , |1 Comment

An Outline of an Anglican Life by Tarsitano (Review)

I regret not having come across this book earlier in my exploration of Anglicanism. For those of us who come from contemporary or non-liturgical church settings, our first encounter with Anglicanism can be confusing. But here, in a concise 185 pages, is a book that answers literally scores of questions about this form of the Christian faith. It […]

By |2021-08-19T09:13:02-05:00August 12th, 2021|Categories: Anglicanism|Tags: , |0 Comments

Reading the Times by Jeffrey Bilbro (Review)

People who know me in real life consider me to be an “anti-social media” evangelist. I not only am unabashed in my attempt to encourage people to leave these websites (or at least severely diminish their time on them), but I also have grave concerns regarding the way these websites encourage us to speak and relate to one […]

By |2021-08-09T13:49:02-05:00August 9th, 2021|Categories: Miscellaneous|0 Comments

Living in God’s True Story: 2 Peter (Review)

Have you ever stopped to consider what “story” you are living in? What we believe is true about the world, or “the story” of the world, profoundly shapes how we live. 

Living in God’s True Story: 2 Peter by the Rev. Dr. Donald L. Morcom seeks to challenge what we believe to be the […]

By |2021-07-06T15:28:54-05:00July 7th, 2021|Categories: Miscellaneous|Tags: , |0 Comments

Worshiping with the Reformers by Karin Maag (Review)

When I began Worshiping with the Reformers by Karin Maag, I expected a history lesson and perhaps a further introduction into more of the details of the Anglican tradition. What I did not expect was the book captivating me in such a way that I found myself sitting in worship with my eyes watching the liturgy playing […]

By |2021-07-06T13:38:10-05:00July 6th, 2021|Categories: Liturgy & Worship|Tags: , |1 Comment

Transformed In Christ: 1 Corinthians (Review)

Transformed In Christ: 1 Corinthians is a concise, easily accessible summary of the apostle Paul’s first letter to the young church in Corinth, a large, prosperous, Greek city. Authors Ron Elsdon and William Olhausen lead us, through an examination of specific questions that Paul answered in his letter, into a rich understanding of the struggles faced as […]

By |2021-06-29T11:19:32-05:00June 29th, 2021|Categories: Miscellaneous|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Creative Worship in a Time of Coronavirus

In 2020, COVID-19 challenged our churches’ production and practice of congregational worship. The isolation resulting from quarantines and shutdowns raised questions about discipleship and the practice of worship in our homes and daily lives. 

Yet, in response to these questions, creativity sprouted from the absence of familiar traditions associated with liturgical worship. I went on […]

By |2021-03-26T05:58:10-05:00March 26th, 2021|Categories: Miscellaneous|Tags: , |0 Comments

How to Make Disciples at Home: Use the Creeds!

In giving the Great Commission, Jesus does not call us to make converts, nor does he call us to make professional theologians. He calls us to make disciples. Then He plainly tells us the “Who” – all nations – and the “How” – baptize and instruct in the teachings of Christ. This is both a manageable and weighty […]

By |2021-03-14T17:35:14-05:00March 14th, 2021|Categories: Miscellaneous|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Don’t Miss Your Lent Lifeline: Reclaiming Lost Time During Lent

It has been nearly one year since our parish last gathered together for worship without any COVID-19 restrictions in place. We had an Ash Wednesday service together, but only a few weeks later we were holed up in our respective homes and celebrating Holy Week on Zoom. Our great joy at the resurrection of Christ was overshadowed by […]

By |2021-02-18T15:32:38-06:00February 18th, 2021|Categories: Church Year|0 Comments

Praying the Stations of the Cross: A Devotion of Suffering During a Year of Lent

In November of 2019, I sat in our priest’s office at church with my ministry partner, Jessi, as we naively discussed small group plans for 2020. It had been a discouraging season in ministry, but we had finally found a topic to get excited about. We would spend the beginning of the year […]

By |2021-02-15T16:39:01-06:00February 10th, 2021|Categories: Church Year|Tags: , |2 Comments

Too Tired to Pray: What I Learned About Prayer When Words Wouldn’t Come

The day no words would come

Whenever I’m with my family and I make a dumb joke, my parents like to roast me by saying that they look forward to eventually writing in my baby book the first time I tell a good joke. If this mythical baby book that has been dangled over […]

By |2021-01-14T14:54:27-06:00January 14th, 2021|Categories: Daily Office & Prayer|1 Comment