“And we thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us [the Apostle Paul and others], you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you believers” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation [Greek: koinonia; meaning communion, fellowship, sharing] in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:16-17).
The eyewitness testimony of two men on the road to Emmaus: “They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he [the Risen Lord] talked to us on the road, while he opened the scriptures to us?’…Then they told what had happened on the road, and how Jesus was known to them in the breaking of the bread” (The Gospel According to St. Luke 24:32 & 35).
"For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate…took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the word of prayer which comes from him, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus” (St. Justin Martyr, 150 AD).
A Second Century Description of Christian Worship on the Lord’s Day:
“…For all that we receive we bless the Maker of all things through his Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. And on the day which is called the Sun’s Day [i.e., the Lord’s Day] there is an assembly [Greek for "Church"] of all who live in the city, towns or the country; and the memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read [the Readings], as much as time permits. When the reader has finished, the celebrant [i.e., Bishop or Priest] gives a discourse [Sermon], admonishing us and exhorting us to imitate these excellent examples. Then we all rise together and offer prayer [Prayers of the People]; bread is brought and wine and water; and the Celebrant offers up prayers and thanksgiving [in Greek, “eucharist”] and the people assent with “Amen.” Then follows the distribution of the Eucharistic gifts and the partaking of them by all; and they are sent to the absent by the hands of the deacons…We hold our common assembly on the Sun’s Day because it is the first day on which God put to flight darkness and chaos and made the world; and on this day *Jesus Christ our Saviour rose from the dead…He appeared to his Apostles and Disciples and taught them these things, which we have handed on to you” (St. Justin Martyr, 150 AD).
“The Body and Blood of Christ are Sacramentally united to the Bread and Wine, so that Christ is truly given to the faithful; and yet is not to be here considered with…worldly reason, but by faith, resting on the words of the Gospel…In the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the Flesh [of Christ] is given together with the Bread, and the Blood [of Christ] together with the Wine. All that remains is, that we should with faith and humility admire this high and sacred mystery, which our tongue cannot sufficiently explain, nor our heart conceive” (John Cosin, 17th C.).
“To a Christian man there can be nothing either more necessary or profitable, then the knowledge of holy Scripture, forasmuch as in it is contained GODS true Word, setting forth his glory, and also man’s duty…And there is no truth nor doctrine necessary for our justification and everlasting salvation, but that is (or may be) drawn out of that fountain and Well of truth…Therefore as many as be desirous to enter into the right and perfect way unto GOD, must apply their minds to know holy Scripture, without the which, they can neither sufficiently know GOD and his will, neither their office and duty [as Christians]…And as drink is pleasant to them that be dry, and meat to them that be hungry: so is the reading, hearing, searching, and studying of holy Scripture, to them that be desirous to know GOD or themselves, and to do his will. And their stomachs only do loathe and abhor the heavenly knowledge and food of GODS Word, that be so drowned in worldly vanities, that they neither favor GOD, nor any godliness: for that is the cause why they desire such vanities, rather than the true knowledge of GOD.”
Divine worship transcends that which is earthly or ordinary. It is heavenly and extraordinary; a meeting place between God and man, the Creator and his creation, the infinite and the finite, the eternal and the temporal, heaven and earth. “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it…How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven’” (Genesis 28:16). Thus, worship is participation in the Divine Life, the Incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the whole of God’s Story of salvation. Worship is no ordinary thing. – Fr. Michael J. McKinnon
Although worship dramatizes an event that happened long ago, it brings that event into the present [Greek, anamnesis] by the power of the Holy Spirit. In each worship experience, I am present in the actual event…On Christmas I am present at the birth of Christ; on Epiphany I am there at the presentation of Christ; on Maundy Thursday I am present at the Last Supper; on Good Friday I am taken to the cross and put into the tomb; on Easter I stand at the empty tomb; and on Pentecost Sunday I receive the Holy Spirit.” Robert E. Webber, (Worship Is a Verb: Celebrating God's Mighty Deeds of Salvation Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishing, 1992), 119-120.
Firstly: We believe, profess, and celebrate what we have received from the Holy Scriptures as God’s Living Word, acknowledging that in the Holy Scriptures, God has fully revealed all that is necessary for man’s salvation. Secondly (and subject to the Holy Scriptures): We believe, profess, and celebrate the Faith and Order – without addition or deletion – of the undivided Catholic Church as established in the writings of the early Church Fathers (with a theological emphasis on the first five hundred years of Christianity and especially where the early Church Fathers speak with one heart, mind, and voice), the seven ecumenical councils as traditionally received in Anglicanism (i.e., with emphasis on the first four such councils and the Christological clarifications of the latter three), the Faith articulated in the ancient liturgies (Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi), and that which the whole Church - East and West - received under the authority of Holy Scripture; this being the definition of that which is Catholic. Furthermore, we believe, profess, and celebrate what has come down to us from the witness and writings of the English Reformers of the 16th century; the Anglican Divines of the 17th century; the evangelical and catholic movements of the 18th century; and especially the Anglican Formularies (i.e., the 1662 BCP, the 1662 Ordinal including the Preface to the Ordinal, and The 39 Articles of Religion); also the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral; and the Theological Statement of, and the Jerusalem Statement received by, our Province (the ACNA) in accordance with the Holy Scriptures as God’s Word written. This is our Faith. This is the Biblical and Catholic Faith and Order of the Church that we have received. This is the Faith and Order that we will pass on to our posterity without addition or deletion. We will share the Truth of God’s eternal Word in love (1 Peter 3:15; 1 John 3:18; Ephesians 4:15) with and in every generation, and from it we will not waiver. Truth in love! This is the Anglican Way.
- Fr. Michael J. McKinnon
Embracing Early Christianity For Today’s World: The first 500 years of Christianity was an age wherein, “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude verses 3-4), that is, the Faith and Order revealed by God in the Person of Jesus Christ, His holy Apostles, and in the Holy Scriptures (Old and New Testament) was fleshed out without change to the essence of Divine revelation and solidified in the both the Christian East and West; from Jerusalem to Antioch, to Alexandria, to Rome, to ancient Briton and the Celtic Lands, to Constantinople, etc. Orthodox Anglicans, that is, Biblical Anglicans, offer ancient Christianity for today’s world. We claim no Holy Scriptures, Sacraments/Worship life, Creedal Faith, Ecumenical Councils, or Orders of Ministry of our own. Rather, we continually receive, embrace, and celebrate the same Holy Scriptures, Sacraments/Worship life, Creedal Faith, Ecumenical Councils, and Orders of Ministry as that of the undivided Catholic Church. Also, our moral convictions are grounded in the Holy Bible as God’s Living Word and therefore are not subject to the changing times and contemporary thought.
The Ecclesia Anglicana: Biblical Anglicanism is a fellowship of the greater Catholic Church of the first Christian millennium; i.e., the one Church founded by God (beginning with His Covenant established with Abraham – some 1800 years before Christ - and fulfilled in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, see John 8:56-58, and established/built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). No new Church was founded as a result of the actions of King Henry VIII or at any time during the English Reformation. Anglicanism is not an innovation, a novelty, a compromise, or even a denomination per se. Rather, Anglicanism a tradition and fellowship of the greater Catholic Church, embracing the God intended place of Holy Scripture over and within the Church.
The Continental (or Protestant) Reformation and The English Reformation: The English Reformation, is related to, but remains distinct from the Continental Reformation. Anglicanism is both fully reformed in character and is fully Catholic in nature. That is, no new Church was created or intended by the likes of Thomas Cranmer (Archbishop of Canterbury at the time of the English Reformation), John Jewel, Richard Hooker, the 17th Century Caroline Divines, the 18th Century evangelicals, and the Oxford Fathers/Tractarians. The principle of the English Reformation was/is to return the Church in England, and those subsequently born from her, to the Faith and Order of the undivided Catholic Church under the UNDISPUTED authority and primacy of the Holy Scriptures as God's Word written (See Canon A5 of the Church of England, and Canons 1-4). Thus, while we receive the Faith and Order of the ancient Catholic Church, we do so under the authority of the Holy Bible as God's Word. It is not enough that something is Catholic, that is, received by the whole Church - East and West - it must also be, if it is to be required of the Faithful, Biblical. Thus, Anglicans are the "Bible-Catholic Church."
The Via Media: The Via Media, the Middle Way, is NOT a compromise between Catholicism and Protestantism, but is the result of a clear desire by the English Reformers to return the Church in England to the Faith and Order of the ancient Catholic Church, under the indisputable authority of the Holy Bible as the Word of God (please see the works of Henry McAdoo, Primate of Ireland, including, The Unity of Anglicanism: Catholic and Reformed). When the English Reformers set sail to return the Church in England to the Faith and Order of the ancient/Patristic Church, that which is clearly Biblical and Catholic, it naturally found itself steering a path between the additions of the Medieval Church of Rome and the greater extremities of the Protestant Reformation. Anglicanism is not “Catholic Light.” Rather, by attempting to return to the Faith and Order of the ancient Church under the authority of Holy Scripture, it is becoming, ever more fully, “Catholic Strong;" i.e., truly Catholic. Blessed Lancelot Andrewes, 17th Century Anglican Divine, writes, "One Canon [of Holy Scripture] reduced to writing by God himself, two Testaments, three Creeds, four general Councils, five centuries, and the series of Fathers in that period – the centuries that is, before Constantine, and two after, determine the boundary of our faith.” Blessed Thomas Ken would later write, "I die in the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith, professed by the whole Church before the division of east and west. More particularly I die in the Communion of the Church of England as it stands distinguished from all Papal and Puritan Innovations. . .”
Time Travel?: A Christian man living in the year 500 AD would know: One Canon of Scripture (i.e., the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible as the Word of God); one Sacramental life (with an emphasis placed on Holy Baptism and Holy Communion as participation in Christ Jesus' Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection, etc.); one form of worship on the Lord's Day (i.e., the Holy Eucharist); one Faith (articulated in the Nicene Creed); Four Ecumenical Councils; and one Ordained Ministry (i.e., Bishop, Priest and Deacon ordained by Bishops going back to Christ Jesus and the Apostles). If that man were to get into a time machine and travel to our church on Sunday morning for worship, he would not know that he had traveled through time. Why? Because we offer the same Scriptures, Sacraments, form of Worship on the Lord's Day, Faith, Creeds, Councils, and Ordained Ministry as the once undivided Church in the earliest centuries. Looking to experience the ancient Church? Please join us for worship - Fr. Michael J. McKinnon
Music is essential to Anglican worship. The Church of the Advent seeks an experienced and qualified pianist/organist to lead us in our songs of praise and thanksgiving. Interested musicians should contact Fr. Michael using the chat button below.