Category : Eucharist

(WSJ) Francis Rocca–The Pope and the Divorce Question

For better or worse, change is not coming next month. This year’s synod is supposed to prepare the agenda for another, larger synod in October next year. That second gathering will then make recommendations to the pope, with whom the final decision on any change will lie.

Pope Francis could choose to leave the work of mercy in this area to a commission he established last month for the purpose of simplifying and streamlining the marriage-annulment process. The pope has suggested that as many as half of all Catholic marriages are actually invalid, “because people get married lacking maturity, they get married without realizing that it is a lifelong commitment, they get married because society tells them they have to get married.”

Focusing on reform of the annulment process could be appealing to a leader who, for all his innovations, has declared himself a “son of the church” on moral teaching. As the pope has said regarding contraception, “the question is not whether to change the doctrine, but to go deeper and make sure that pastoral care takes account of situations and of what each person is able to do.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Eucharist, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Guideposts) Buzz Aldrin Tells the little-known story of Communion on the Moon

For several weeks prior to the scheduled lift-off of Apollo 11 back in July, 1969, the pastor of our church, Dean Woodruff, and I had been struggling to find the right symbol for the first lunar landing. We wanted to express our feeling that what man was doing in this mission transcended electronics and computers and rockets.

Dean often speaks at our church, Webster Presbyterian, just outside of Houston, about the many meanings of the communion service.

“One of the principal symbols,” Dean says, “is that God reveals Himself in the common elements of everyday life.” Traditionally, these elements are bread and wine””common foods in Bible days and typical products of man’s labor.

One day while I was at Cape Kennedy working with the sophisticated tools of the space effort, it occurred to me that these tools were the typical elements of life today. I wondered if it might be possible to take communion on the moon, symbolizing the thought that God was revealing Himself there too, as man reached out into the universe. For there are many of us in the NASA program who do trust that what we are doing is part of God’s eternal plan for man.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Eucharist, History, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Science & Technology, Theology

A Tom Wright Pentecost sermon

Pause on Ascension for a moment. The Ascension, frustratingly, is often radically misunderstood. The Ascension is not about Jesus going away and encouraging his followers to look forward to the time when they, too, will leave this sad old earth and follow him to heaven. The angels do not say to the watching disciples, ”˜This same Jesus, whom you have seen going into heaven, will look forward to welcoming you when you go to join him there,’ but ”˜this same Jesus, whom you have seen going into heaven, will come again in the same way as you saw him go into heaven’. And the point of that so-called ”˜second coming’, or ”˜reappearance’ as several New Testament writers put it, is not that he will then scoop us up and take us away from earth to heaven, but that he will celebrate the great party, the great banquet, the marriage of heaven and earth, establishing once and for all his rescuing, ransoming, restoring sovereignty over the whole creation. ”˜The kingdom of this world,’ says John the Seer, ”˜has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he shall reign for ever and ever.’ Amen, we say at the Ascension. This is the real Feast of Christ the King, and the sooner we abolish the fake one that has recently been inserted into our calendar in late November the more likely we shall be to get our political theology sorted out. And, boy, do we need to sort it out right now. If at a time like this we cannot think and speak and act Christianly and wisely and clearly and sharply into the mess and muddle of the rulers of the world we really should be ashamed of ourselves. Jesus is already reigning, is already in charge of this world. ”˜All authority,’ he says at the end of Matthew’s gospel, ”˜has been given to me in heaven and on earth.’ When he returns he will complete that work of transformative, restorative justice; but it has already begun, despite the sneers of the sceptics and the scorn of the powerful, and we celebrate it with every Eucharist but especially today at Pentecost.

Why especially today? Because at Pentecost we discover, as in last week’s Collect, that the Holy Spirit comes to strengthen or comfort us and exalt us to the same place where our saviour Christ has gone before. In other words, the Spirit is the power of heaven come to earth, or to put it the other way the Spirit is the power that enables surprised earthlings to share in the life of heaven. And, to say it once more, the point about heaven is that heaven is the control room for earth. The claim of Pentecost, from Acts 2 and Ephesians 4 and Romans 8 and all those other great Spirit-texts in the New Testament, especially John 13””16, is precisely that the rule which the ascended Lord Jesus exercises on earth is exercised through his Spirit-filled people. No doubt we do need ”˜comforting’ in the modern sense of that word, cheering up when we’re sad. But we need, far more do we need, ”˜comforting’ in the older sense of ”˜strengthening’, strengthening-by-coming-alongside. Just as, in human ”˜comfort’, a strange thing happens, that the sheer presence, even the silent presence, alongside us of a friend gives us fresh courage and hope, how much more will the presence alongside us and within us of the Spirit of Jesus himself give us courage and hope not simply to cheer up in ourselves but to be strong to witness to his Lordship, his sovereign rule, over the world where human rulers mess it up and ignorant armies clash by night.

So being ”˜exalted to the place where Jesus has gone before’ is precisely not about being snatched away from this wicked world and its concerns. On the contrary, it is to be taken in the power of the Spirit to the place from which the world is run.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Eucharist, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Salvation (Soteriology), Theology: Scripture

Douglas Farrow on the Meaning of the Ascension for Ascension Day

Ascension theology turns at this point to the Eucharist, for in celebrating the eucharist the church professes to know how the divine presents itself in our time, and how the question of faithfulness is posed. Eucharistically, the church acknowledges that Jesus has heard and has answered the upward call; that, like Moses, he has ascended into that impenetrable cloud overhanging the mountain. Down below, rumours of glory emanate from the elders, but the master himself is nowhere to be seen. He is no longer with his people in the same way he used to be. Yet he is with them, in the Spirit.

–Douglas Farrow, Ascension Theology (New York: T and T Clark, 2011), p. 64

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ascension, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Peter Moore–A Fateful Day: March 21, 1554

It was March 21, 1554, and the weather wasn’t particularly good. The sermon the Archbishop was about to hear would have been preached outdoors, but instead it would be preached in Great St. Mary’s, the University Church. The scene is depicted in a famous etching in John Foxe’s book Acts and Monuments, published in 1563.

Dr. Henry Cole, the Provost of Eaton, was the preacher for the occasion, and his message revolved around the theme of repentance and judgment. Cole pointed out that although King David had greatly sinned, and repented, he still needed punishment.

The Archbishop listened carefully to the sermon, with considerable solemnity. After all, he was the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was, furthermore, a very learned scholar and a man who, for nearly thirty years, had spearheaded a major reform within the Church of England. Thomas Cranmer was his name, and he was not in particularly good health at this point. In fact, he was emotionally exhausted from months of questioning by various papal scholars and bishops who did not share his Reformational views. He had spent time in the Tower of London, and then he had been imprisoned in Oxford for several months, most of it in solitary confinement.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Eucharist, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Lord George Carey's 2014 Maundy Thursday Sermon

Most people miss the point of the [Babbette’s Feast] film. It is not essentially about eating and food; it is about giving to others, it is about loving others, it is about reconciliation.

So it is with the Maundy Thursday meal that Jesus shared with his disciples. The food was important ”“ but the event was more significant than food. Jesus brought forward the Passover meal from the Friday to the day before. Jesus knew that this was truly his last meal. He would be dead by Passover. So his last supper, with his imperfect friends, was a Passover meal in which he was the lamb. He was giving himself away completely.

And like Babette, Jesus approached the meal as a servant. His is outer robe is taken off, Jesus vests himself with a towel and washes his disciples feet. They must have been completely overwhelmed and amazed, no one did that, except the lowliest servant, and Jesus was their leader. He did it when they were least expecting it, at the beginning of the meal, not when they entered the house as was the custom.

What he did was deliver a lecture about what his ministry meant, without saying a word.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Eucharist, Holy Week, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

In British Columbia, Anglicans and Catholics debate the Eucharist

When Anglicans and Catholics recently gathered to discuss their differing beliefs about the Eucharist, the atmosphere was notably friction-free.

“It’s awkward to talk about our differences because we can’t do anything about them in terms of resolving them,” said Christophe Potworowski, Redeemer Pacific College theology professor. “It’s not really in our hands. The point is really how to live with those differences.”

He and the Rev. Richard Leggett of St. Faith’s Anglican Church shared their ideas about communion with about 100 hundred people March 23. Much of what they discussed covered areas of mutual agreement.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Eucharist, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Did Archbishop Bernard Longley say that the ban on giving Communion to Anglicans may be relaxed?

Archbishop Longley, wanting to sound positive, says that he could “imagine and foresee one of the fruits of our ecumenical engagement as moving towards a deeper understanding of communion and a deeper sharing between our churches ”¦ which perhaps would lead to a reconsideration of some of the circumstances.” That’s all very well-meaning: but since the chances of prelate-speak of this kind being misunderstood by the secular press are about 100 per cent, it really would have been better not to have said it….Archbishop Longley’s fantastical notion that there has been a “deeper theological understanding of one another’s Churches”, presumably because of the work of ARCIC, requires a little more attention. What theological understanding would that be? The trouble with ARCIC always was (as a former Catholic member of it once explained to me) that on the Catholic side of the table you have a body of men who represent a more or less coherent view, being members of a Church which has established means of knowing and declaring what it believes. On the Anglican side of the table you have a body of men the divisions between whom are just fundamental as, and sometimes a lot more fundamental than, those between any one of them and the Catholic representatives they face: they all represent only themselves.

Read it all from William Oddie in the Catholic Herald (emphasis his).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Media, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Catholic Herald) Ordinariate unveils new Mass text that draws on Cranmer

A new text for the Catholic Mass which integrates centuries old Anglican prayers into the Roman Rite was officially introduced in a London church on Thursday.

The new liturgy, known as the Ordinariate Use, has been devised for the personal ordinariates ”“ the structures set up by Benedict XVI to allow Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Pope, while preserving elements of their distinctive Anglican liturgical and pastoral traditions.

The Mass, at the church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, was celebrated by the leader ”“ or Ordinary ”“ of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Monsignor Keith Newton. It was offered in honour of the patron of the Ordinariate, Blessed John Henry Newman, whose feast was on October 9.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Church of Ireland Gazette–Vatican's rules on eucharistic sharing may be further relaxed

The Roman Catholic Co-Chair of the Third Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) has expressed his personal view that, seeing how in 1993 certain relaxations were made in the Vatican’s rules on eucharistic sharing, further relaxation is possible.

Speaking last week to the Gazette editor following a joint session of the National Advisers’ Committee on Ecumenism of the Irish (Roman Catholic) Episcopal Conference and representatives of the Church of Ireland’s Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue, at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, the Most Revd Bernard Longley – Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham and ARCIC III Co-Chair -referred to the changes in “specified circumstances” set out in the 1993 Ecumenism Directory.

He commented, “Given that that represents a change, and a very significant shift away from the impossibility to the limited possibility, then I could imagine and foresee one of the fruits of our ecumenical engagement as moving towards a deeper understanding of communion and a deeper sharing, a deeper communion between our Churches which perhaps would lead to reconsideration of some of the circumstances.”

Read it all and please note the audio link at the bottom for those interested.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Christopher Howse–A Roman Catholic Mass, with words by Thomas Cranmer

Something extraordinary is happening in English churches. Imagine you arrived at an unfamiliar church just as the service was starting and you heard: “Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid”¦” Right, you’d think, CofE, Book of Common Prayer.

But this is the beginning of a Catholic Mass, a Roman Catholic Mass. It is a liturgy approved by the Pope, and it takes lumps of the Holy Communion service from the 1662 Prayer Book. I find the general effect pleasing but distinctly unsettling.

Two questions arise, depending on the direction from which one is coming. A member of the Church of England might wonder why Catholics should want to use the Book of Common Prayer compiled by Archbishop Cranmer (pictured here in 1546). A Catholic might ask: but is it the Mass?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Christian Century) John Buchanan on World Communion Sunday–Shared meal

World Communion Sunday is one of the best ideas Presbyterians ever had. The idea originated in the 1930s, a time of economic turmoil and fear and the rise of militaristic fascism abroad. Hugh Thomson Kerr, a beloved pastor in the Presbyterian Church, persuaded the denomination to designate one Sunday when American Christians would join brothers and sisters around the world at the Lord’s Table.

The idea caught on. Other denominations followed suit and the Federal Council of Churches (now the National Council of Churches) endorsed World Communion Sunday in 1940. But though the day is still noted in some denominational calendars and program materials, it doesn’t seem to be considered as important as it once was.

Of course, every Sunday is in a sense World Communion Sunday insofar as many churches celebrate the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. But we do not welcome one another at the Lord’s Table….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Globalization, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Anglican Ink) New Sydney archbishop will not authorize lay celebration of the Eucharist

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Zenit) Pope Francis' Message to the German National Eucharistic Congress

“Lord, to whom shall we go?” With this question, in the face of many who misunderstood Jesus, who wanted selfishly to profit from him, St. Peter is the spokesman of his faithful followers. The disciples do not seek the worldly payoff of those who were satiated (cf. John 6:26) and who, nevertheless, worked for bread that does not last (cf. John 6:27). Of course, Peter too knows hunger; for a long time he was unable to find the bread that filled him. Then he met the man from Nazareth. He followed him. Now he knows his Master not only from hearsay. Being with him every day Peter has developed a trust without reservations. This is faith in Jesus; it is not without reason that Peter expects the longed for “life in abundance” from the Lord (cf. John 10:10).

“Lord, to whom shall we go?” We too, who belong to the Church today, pose this question. Even if it is more hesitant on our lips than on Peter’s, our answer, like that of the Apostle, can only be the person of Jesus. Yes, he lived 2000 years ago. But we can encounter him in our own time when we listen to his Word and are near to him in a special way in the Eucharist.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Eucharist, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Mark Henninger: Alfred Hitchcock's Surprise Ending

[My friend] Tom asked whether on Saturday afternoon I would accompany him to celebrate a Mass in Hitchcock’s house.

I was dumbfounded, but of course said yes. On that Saturday, when we found Hitchcock asleep in the living room, Tom gently shook him. Hitchcock awoke, looked up and kissed Tom’s hand, thanking him.

Tom said, “Hitch, this is Mark Henninger, a young priest from Cleveland.”

“Cleveland?” Hitchcock said. “Disgraceful!”

After we chatted for a while, we all crossed from the living room through a breezeway to his study, and there, with his wife, Alma, we celebrated a quiet Mass….
Weighing one’s life with its share of wounds suffered and inflicted in such a perspective, and seeking reconciliation with an experienced and forgiving God, strikes me as profoundly human. Hitchcock’s extraordinary reaction to receiving communion was the face of real humanity and religion, far away from headlines . . . or today’s filmmakers and biographers.

One of Hitchcock’s biographers, Donald Spoto, has written that Hitchcock let it be known that he “rejected suggestions that he allow a priest . . . to come for a visit, or celebrate a quiet, informal ritual at the house for his comfort.” That in the movie director’s final days he deliberately and successfully led outsiders to believe precisely the opposite of what happened is pure Hitchcock.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eucharist, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Roman Catholic Diocese says Blended RC/Episcopal parish must hold separate services

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond has told the nation’s only blended Catholic and Episcopal parish it must change its worship services so Catholics and non-Catholics meet in separate rooms for Holy Communion.

The parish, Church of the Holy Apostles, is led by Catholic and Episcopal co-pastors and has worshipped together for more than 30 years.

It’s an arrangement, parishioners say, that over the years has allowed families in mixed marriages to worship side by side and has helped build bonds that transcend denominational boundaries.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Christian Century) Charles Hefling on the Communion of the Unbaptized–Who is communion for?

“This is the Lord’s Table. It is not Grace Church’s table. All are welcome to receive communion.”

It is not unusual to hear or read these or similar words””with the local parish or its denomination named””at a service of worship in which the Eucharist will be celebrated. Such an announcement reflects the practice commonly called “open communion.” To say that a church has an open communion policy has generally meant that persons who are not formally members of that church are nevertheless allowed or encouraged to share in the eucharistic meal.

Open communion in that sense is not universal, of course, and never has been. Some denominations as a matter of principle allow only their own members to commune and in practice take pains to ensure that the restriction is observed. But among churches of the Reformation, open communion has long been a custom widely accepted and fairly uncontroversial. Hence the invitation.

Lately, however, what is or might be meant by open communion has shifted….

It is imperative that we keep our terms clear and I have noted before it is curcial that we NOT call the increasingly common practice of TEC of inviting anyone no matter what their situation to communion open communion but instead communion of the unbaptized. With that said, read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Baptism, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(First Things) Edward Peters–Fencing the Altar

The Eucharist is central to the identity, doctrines, and practices of the Catholic Church. As canon 897 of the Code of Canon Law puts it, “The most august sacrament is the Most Holy Eucharist in which Christ the Lord himself is contained, offered, and received and by which the Church continually lives and grows. The eucharistic sacrifice . . . is the summit and source of all worship and Christian life, which signifies and effects the unity of the People of God and brings about the building up of the body of Christ.”

Canon 898 adds: “The Christian faithful are to hold the Most Holy Eucharist in highest honor, taking an active part in the celebration of the most august sacrifice, receiving this sacrament most devoutly and frequently, and worshiping it with the highest adoration….”

Participation in Holy Communion is achieved by two related but distinct acts: the action of a member of the faithful in seeking Communion (reception) and the action of the minister in giving Communion (administration). These two actions are not only performed by different persons, they are governed by different canon laws. Virtually all confusion over Communion can be traced to the failure to keep these two actions distinct.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Eucharist, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

A Discussion on Communion of the Unbaptized in the Diocese of Connecticut

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

An Important Anglican Ink Article on the House of Bishops Communion w/o Baptism Discussion

The level of support for C029 when it was presented to the House of Bishops on 12 July 2012 was markedly different. The Rt. Rev. William Gregg, Assistant Bishop of North Carolina, was the first to rise and offered a strong statement of rejection of the resolution.

It was “not up to one denomination” to change the universal church’s teaching on baptism, Bishop Gregg said.

The Bishop of Southern Ohio, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, agreed the issue needed further study and urged defeat of the resolution….

The Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon, Bishop of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, urged his colleagues not to refer the matter to committee but to vote for adoption. There were large numbers of non-baptized people in Europe, he noted, and by recognizing the need for pastoral sensitivity this permitted bishops to address local needs. Without this recognition the hands of bishops were tied, he said….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Gen. Con. 2012, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, TEC Bishops, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

New Text of Communion Without Baptism Resolution [C029] as Amended and Sent Back to HoD

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that The Episcopal Church reaffirms that baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion and that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and
baptize all peoples. We also acknowledge that in various local contexts there is the exercise of pastoral sensitivity with those who are not yet baptized.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Resolution C029 on Communion for the Unbaptized Passes House of Deputies on a vote by orders

(It is very important that you read the previous thread on this as well as the comments there first). Here again is the full text–

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 77th General Convention direct the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies to appoint a special commission charged with conducting a study of the theology underlying access to Holy Baptism and Holy Communion in this Church and to recommend for consideration by the 78th General Convention any amendment to Title I, Canon 17, Section 7, of the Canons of General Convention that it deems appropriate; and be it further Resolved, That the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance to consider a budget allocation of $30,000 for the implementation of this Resolution.
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that The Episcopal Church reaffirms that baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion and that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and baptize all peoples. We also acknowledge that in various local contexts there is the exercise of pastoral sensitivity with those who are not yet baptized.

You can find a copy of it here. Please note that in the House of Deputies debate today there was an attempt at an amendment that failed. The vote totals as announced were–Lay Order 85 yes, No 16, divided 9; Clergy 70 Yes, No 24, Divided 16.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Pastoral Theology, Sacramental Theology, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Whats Happening with the Communion of the UnBaptized?

Here is the latest from the committee–amended C029–

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 77th General Convention direct the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies to appoint a special commission charged with conducting a study of the theology underlying access to Holy Baptism and Holy Communion in this Church and to recommend for consideration by the 78th General Convention any amendment to Title I, Canon 17, Section 7, of the Canons of General Convention that it deems appropriate; and be it further Resolved, That the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance to consider a budget allocation of $30,000 for the implementation of this Resolution.
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that The Episcopal Church reaffirms that baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion and that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and baptize all peoples. We also acknowledge that in various local contexts there is the exercise of pastoral sensitivity with those who are not yet baptized.

You can find a copy of it here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Pastoral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Diocese of Texas) William Treadwell on Communion w/o Baptism: Pastoral Theology vs. Doctrine

I am reminded of what I was taught by the Rev. Dr. Marion Hatchett: “never break a rubric unintentionally”. I think most priest have given communion to an unbaptized person. Hospitality and compassion may require it. But the doctrine of Baptism remains.

A personal example may be helpful. When I was ordained a priest, my father, an ordained Baptist minister, preached at my ordination. When the time came for the ordination, the Episcopal clergy gathered around to lay hands on my head along with the Bishop. My father remained in his seat, because there is no agreement between the Episcopal and Baptist churches on ordination. Just before the Bishop said the words of ordination he stopped, removed his hands from my head, and motioned for my father to come over and lay his hands on my head as well. This was contrary to the teaching of both the Episcopal and Baptist churches. This was poor doctrinal theology, but it was perfect pastoral theology. Bishop Patterson was a good bishop, and my dad was a good Baptist pastor. And yet, the doctrine remains.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Gen. Con. 2012, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Theology

TEC Gen. Con. 2012 Evangelism Commission rejects Communion of the Unbaptized outright

I consider this a moment of sanity and light–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

An Interesting Blog Post from July 2007–How widespread is Communion Without Baptism?

Read it all (and there are over 50 comments as well).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(ENS) ”˜Water first, or table?’ Committee hears ”˜open table’ testimony

(Please note the headline is ENS’ not mine, I intensely dislike the Open Table language and use Communion of the Unbaptized [or Communion without Baptism] instead–KSH).

Emma Grandhauser, from Minnesota, a member of convention’s official youth presence, testified that she didn’t attend church until she was six, and she was baptized at 13.
“I still remember my first Sunday in church at St. John the Evangelist in St. Paul,” she said. “It’s a church with their own open table policy.
“I was blown away by how welcoming the community was,” she said. “They didn’t just tell me about God’s love, they showed me that God’s love is for everyone….

But the Rev. Jason Wells, a deputy alternate from the Diocese of New Hampshire, said that to the unbaptized he offers a blessing at the altar rail “and prepares them for baptism, to make their first communion immediately after that. I don’t do that because there’s a canon on the books. I do it for the theological and biblical rationale. To remove this one line from our canons does not change what my practice would be in the church.”
He called the resolution’s language “confusing and somewhat self-defeating.”

Read it all.

Update: An Anglican Ink article on this may also be found there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Res. C040, Called "Open table" resolution, but really Communion for Unbaptized, Has Hearing Today

Word is there are a large number of speakers trying to address this matter. The hearing began at 7:30 est.

Make sure to be aware of the text of the resolution and go back also to reread this earlier blog thread on the subject.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Second day of International Eucharistic Congress begins

The president of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress Archbishop Diarmuid Martin paid warm tribute to other Church leaders in Ireland today for the support they had shown him in his role as Archbishop of Dublin….

“Relations between the churches are extremely good here in Ireland,” Dr Martin said, “and the amount of personal support I have received from Archbishop John Neill (retired Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin), Archbishop Jackson (the current Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin) and the other church leaders has been astounding.”

He said: “We are doing things together. We are, literally, walking together.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Globalization, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Cardinal Ouellet–The Ecclesiology of Communion, 50 Years after the Opening of Vatican Council II

It is important to stress here that the ecclesiology of communion promoted by the Council takes its inspiration from the Eucharistic ecclesiology of the Orthodox, especially Afanassief, who is cited in the texts. The Council’s ecclesiology is thus of great ecumenical import. The intervention of John Zizioulas, the Metropolitan of Pergamon, at the 2005 Roman Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist, testifies to this: “The ecclesiology of communion promoted by Vatican II and deepened further by eminent Roman Catholic theologians can make sense only if it derives from the eucharistic life of the Church. The Eucharist belongs not simply to the beneesse but to theesseof the Church. The whole life, word and structure of the Church iseucharistic in its very essence.” Walter Kasper agrees wholeheartedly and holds that “eucharistic ecclesiology has become one of the most important foundations of the ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches.”

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, England / UK, Eucharist, Ireland, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology