Recently, a Lutheran pastor asked me a simple question. He was thinking of affiliating with either the Anglican Communion or the Roman Catholic Church. He wanted to know how we (Anglicans) understand Apostolic Succession. I am assuming he wanted to be in a church that had an unbroken line of succession to the first Apostles, namely to Peter and finally, […]
There is a rather common saying that the Book of Common Prayer is composed of 85% bible passages. It is true. As J.I. Packer once said, “The Book of Common Prayer” is the Bible arranged for worship. I like that.
Hello, my name is Ethan, and I am a recovering expressive individualist.
You are familiar with “expressive individualism,” even if the term isn’t familiar. I’ll define and describe it below, but phrases like “be authentic” or “follow your heart” capture the idea to a tee.
I became an Anglican to “be authentic” […]
A liturgy makes it easier to pray with others, and to pray with the church—past, present, and future. Liturgical prayers are not the only kind, but there is something special about them. These prayers can be etched on your heart, taught to your children, and remembered at the close of life. For Anglicans, these prayers are found in […]
In 2008 Phyllis Tickle made the important observation that about every 500 years, a significant transformation takes place in the Church. She points to the arrival of Jesus in the first century, the collapse of the Roman empire five-hundred years later in the late 5th century, the Great Schism five-hundred years after that in 1054, and finally the […]
Can Anglican priests get married? What about deacons? Bishops?
As a married Anglican priest myself, I’m happy to report that the answer is “Yes“!
As Article 32 of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion puts it:
Of the Marriage of Priests
Bishops, priests and deacons are not commanded by God’s law, either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage; therefore […]
One of the first things I knew about my husband was that he had been accepted to two different seminaries. The following conversation was all about how he had spent the past year trying to discern what God was calling him to do. At the time, he thought God was calling him to become a counselor; I wouldn’t […]
We just published Simply Anglican by Winfield Bevins. Winfield graciously agreed to answer some questions about the book’s backstory and what he hopes it will accomplish!
What prompted you to write this book? Why do you think it’s important that this book exists?
I remember it as clear as yesterday. Ahmet had left Islam and decided to follow Jesus. In the Middle Eastern country where I served, this was not illegal, but it also wasn’t easy. After a few months of walking with Jesus, Ahmet approached me and said, “Chris, now that I’ve become a Christian, tell me what our religious […]
The “Anglican” movement in the sixteenth century was a return to the pure and simple faith of Christianity as embodied in the Holy Scriptures. —W. H. Griffith Thomas
What we believe shapes our identity, and ultimately, who we are. Singer-songwriter Rich Mullins affirmed this in an older song called “Creed.” In the words of […]
Where did Christ descend to?
If you worshiped in an Anglican Church between 1552 (when the Creed was first printed in full in the Prayer Book) and 1979 you would answer “he descended to hell” because in the Apostles’ Creed as you would have learned it, that is what it says: “[He] was crucified, dead, […]
From its inception in 1549, the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) has always been a text intertwined with the text of the Bible. Many of the prayers utilize phrases that have been extracted from the Bible. Verses of the Bible are quoted directly (for example, Opening Sentences in the Daily Office and Offertory Sentences in the Eucharist service) […]
I was a new Anglican, trying to participate by watching everyone else. I heard a voice shout “Please stand” and then “Blessed be God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!” As a cross passed, some people bowed their heads.
Parade of Clergy?
Everyone stood up as we sang a hymn. […]
During a tumultuous year where much of our interpersonal interaction has been relegated to online spaces, many of us have found ourselves at odds with others on Facebook groups, Twitter threads, or any myriad of blog comment sections. Lively discussion about important matters should not be discouraged whenever there is a possibility of mutual growth and flourishing. At the same […]
What does quality pastoral care look like? How many pastors, priests, and deacons receive training that adequately equips them to aid healing rather than add new wounds to the emotional and spiritual lives of people in their care?
As a priest’s wife and an observer by nature, I could offer a little perspective. But as someone who has experienced dire need […]
Since the beginning of the modern era, westerners have typically divided the world into two categories: natural and supernatural. The natural world is thought to contain everything that can be proven by science, can visibly be seen; it’s the world of evidence, facts, and reality. In other words, it’s the “real” world. The supernatural is then considered the realm of […]
Days of fasting and prayer in the midst of a feast season seem counterintuitive. However, Rogation Days remind us that our lives and seasons are in God’s hands.
What does “Rogation” mean?
“Rogation” comes from the Latin noun rogatio, meaning “asking” (the verb is rogare, “to ask”).
When are the Rogation Days?
The Sixth Sunday of Easter (the fifth Sunday after Easter […]
What does “Anglican” mean? This is a great, common, complicated question!
First, let’s get this out of the way: It’s “ANGLican,” not “ANGELican.” We don’t worship angels!
“Anglican” Means “English”
Next, let’s go to Merriam-Webster. On its own, the word “Anglican” simply means “English”—“of or relating to England or the English nation.” When applied to a segment of the Christian Church, it means […]
Jesus teaches us how to pray by example and by explicit teaching. Embedded within the Sermon on the Mount written in the Gospel according to Matthew, there is an instruction from Jesus that seems to speak directly against repeating our prayers to God.
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray […]
What Do Anglicans Believe about the Sacraments? (Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Ordination, Marriage, Absolution, Anointing of the Sick)
From The ACNA Catechism
The following is an excerpt from the Anglican Church in North America’s catechism, To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism (Crossway, 2020), pp. 55–63.
You can download a PDF of the entire catechism here.
121. What is a sacrament?
A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and […]
I am all about believers’ baptism. Dunk ‘em. Let’s do it. A couple weeks into my time as assistant rector at my local parish, we celebrated as a church family when the father of one of our members was baptized as an adult Christian believer.
I am also all about infant baptism. Sprinkle that child. Let’s […]
Why do Anglicans make the sign of the cross? When do they do it? How do they do it?
Often this is followed by “Isn’t that superstitious, like the baseball players who sign themselves before batting? Isn’t it a dead, rote ritual?” Sometimes folks don’t feel it’s rote or superstitious, but […]
This post about Anglican vestments first appeared on June 29, 2016. Updated on August 21, 2018.
Anglican Vestments Can Be Confusing
I knew almost nothing about Anglican vestments when I first visited an Anglican church. My only experience of robes was graduations—and that one time my dad wore a hilarious robe with colorful puffies glued onto it by a friend, as […]
(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 […]