Friday, August 12, 2016

Fancy Clothes

Members and followers of Anglican Evangelicals
may have noticed reference to, and sometimes
postings from, a variety of independent churches
describing themselves as Anglican or Episcopal.

None of these are in the Anglican Communion,
nor are they in fellowship with one another,
except belonging to a loose-knit federation
that doesn't meet or accomplish anything.

They should all be considered Anglo-Catholic,
inasmuch as their worship service, Holy Eucharist,
is very similar to a Catholic mass, in which
only priests in clerical collars officiate.

The reform strain, or low church worship of
Anglicanism seems to have vanished, gone
since the aborted attempt by the Anglican
Communion to achieve recognition by the Vatican.

These little independent sects sponsor a
hierarchy that rivals the Vatican in titles.
Many bishops are consecrated; often
all their parish clerical heads are bishops.

What really distinguishes the Anglican churches
are the fancy clothes that clergy like to wear.
Some of these outfits rival the flowing robes
once worn by the early bishops.

All the priests are called Father.
Ordination of women is not permitted as a
practice of most independent Anglican groups.
A few may be found in free Episcopal churches.

The guiding principles of the independents
are adherence to the traditional orthodoxy of
the Thirty-nine Articles of Faith, and
rejection of the heresies of The Episcopal Church.

Caught in  the maelstrom of contemporary culture,
independent Anglican and Episcopal churches
may have to give up their local quirks and
find in unity the strength to survive.

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