Altar Rails?

Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by Tuxedo America, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I can speak a bit on this, as I know CANA well because they hold their national synods on the East Coast and not too far from me, so I'm frequently there. I can say that when the national CANA gets together the divine service is nothing if not exceptionally reverent, and kneeling at Holy Communion is mandated. Both Bishop Julian Dobbs (CANA East) and Felix Orji (CANA West) firmly espouse traditional Anglicanism with kneeling as a part of it.

    You may have had a misfortune to be near some new congregation where Bishop Orji has not yet instilled the proper Church Discipline, but with a church name like "Three Streams" Anglican you should've known better than to ever set a foot there. Caveat emptor!
     
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  2. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a cradle Anglican. I didn't know what 'three streams' was all about until I ran across that bunch. And the lot fell to them because the local ACC parish was such an unreliable joke (ie. seven old people who had a Mass sometimes, when a few could make it out). Oh, and the rector of Three Streams Anglican is Bp. Felix's Canon Missioner. That still doesn't answer for C4SO or even some of the locals to Coastal Virginia.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
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  3. Magistos

    Magistos Active Member Anglican

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    I attend an ACNA church in Atlanta, and we also stand. We are renting space from a Christian school, we set up and take down every week, the room serves as a gathering space during the week and has a concrete floor (which we break up with rugs we lay out each week) and there is no possible provision for kneeling.

    As an aside, I've visited several in Atlanta, and they all stand. Again, temporary spaces - one is even a very successful coffee house the other days of the week (independent, and the coffee store owner is also the ordained priest for the church, so the coffee store is basically the church). Some are C4SO, some are ADOTS. Since it's Atlanta, I know that Archbishop Foley has his church is Loganville, which I'd like to visit, but that's a good hour and a half drive, both ways, and I know they have a permanent building, but I've no idea what they do for Communion.
     
  4. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    My experience as an Anglican growing up was that altar rails were the norm. Since then I have experience Anglican Churches with and without them. From a design perspective the absence of altar rails does reduce the separation between the congregation and the sanctuary. On the other hand taking communion whilst kneeling does provide a mini quiet time at the altar as against standing in another queue. Reverence and awe, transcendence and immanence, are the issues, it is our encounter with God which is central. Standing or kneeling is perhaps not so much the key issue so much as decently and in order. I know we all have experience, tradition, and preferences, however I see this as a matter of local practice.

    I feel that Article 34 is most relevant to this issue. http://forums.anglican.net/threads/article-34.1941/

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I appreciate the non-cradle Anglicanism point. Neither am I...

    There is no question that there is a ton of work to do in the new ACNA in terms of catechesis. Bp. Julian's Canon Missioner is also not the most liturgical of men; I would imagine their policy with appointing canon missioners is people who are the most energetic in church-planting, not the ones with the deepest understanding of the reverence and liturgy.

    Anglican mission over the last 20-30 years seems to have happened (and is happening) by degrees: first we get you with the energetic low-church zealot, then you settle in, then you graduate into mature Anglicanism where we explain how the rules an the liturgy and the rubrics work. I make no comment on this paradigm, as it can have both upsides and downsides.

    However at least I can say that we have missioners; a lot of them. Many of those who criticize this approach sit from the protection of a walled garden which is going extinct.

    Anglican mission territories around the world are growing, rapidly, and the plan of 1000 church-plants that Archbishop Duncan announced has resulted in an existing, actual, plants of over 500 churches in that last 6-7 years all across the United States territory. This is an insane amount of new churches and (to me at least) immensely hopeful. I choose to view it as an opportunity, where the rest of us with a stable understanding of the liturgy should now reach out to the powers that be, and start to involve ourselves within the missionary programs, to make sure they "end" on traditional reverential Anglican doctrine, piety, and practice.

    Some can view it as a scandal that this isn't imported from day 1, but again, such people and churches are about to go extinct in the next 10-20 years. If this is the way we have to do things from now on, then okay. I am not scandalized, so long as we (the community here, and others) follow upon the Missionaries' foot steps, and insist on involving ourselves with the Catechetical training of the new plant, so that its roots and DNA are firmly planted on Anglican soil.
     
  6. TemplarKnight40

    TemplarKnight40 New Member

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    I go to Noon time Holy Eucharist services at a Anglican Cathedral. They have Altar rails to receive Holy Communion. I find it sacred and reverent when I receive the Eucharist. I was a once a Roman Catholic, and I never experience this in any Catholic church.
     
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  7. Br. Monty Pitts OSB

    Br. Monty Pitts OSB New Member

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    I'm sure that within American Anglicanism there are very small parishes, or parishes that inherited the building from other denominations, who have no altar rail or stand for reception of the Holy Eucharist. but they are either financially poor, or are rebels. I have personally never been in an Anglican church that does not have a communion rail, or where the people stand for communion- the only exception being those who are physically unable to kneel before the Lord.
     
  8. peter

    peter Active Member

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    Here is another aspect to consider: I have often seen older people who are a bit unsteady on their feet struggling to either kneel down and get up again or even just stand still while waiting to recieve. An altar rail is actually then a very inclusive piece of furniture, as such individuals can use it to steady themselves if nessecary.
     
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  9. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    I agree it is right and proper to kneel when receiving communion. Therefore altar rails are a practical necessity for this.
     
  10. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    Of course this is not a universal experience for Catholics. In places where communion can be received standing an indult has been granted for this. The Roman Catholic Church still sees kneeling for communion as normative. I believe if Benedict XVI had had more courage he would have restored kneeling throughout the Roman Catholic Church.
     
  11. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    Yes in most Anglican churches I have been in the altar is attached to the wall. Many have now copied the Roman Catholic Church and put another altar in place so the priest can face the people. I believe you will probably find ad orientem more common in Anglican churches than the Roman Catholic Church.
     
  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I am not so sure about this; perhaps it depends upon regional norms. In the local RC parish where I grew up, the rail was removed somewhere around the late 1960s; I recall kneeling at the rail for my first communion in '65, but sometime after that the priest switched us to receiving the host while standing at the head of one's line (center aisle, 2 lines), then stepping left or right to one of the two chalice bearers where we again received while standing upright. The other RC church in town did the same, somewhere around the same time, and any other RCC I attended from then on (while attending college, when going to weddings, etc.) followed this same pattern. BTW, a good many of those churches also got rid of the kneelers; when they consolidated the two parishes in my home town and built a new church building, sometime in the '80s, the new circular structure had ordinary chairs rather than pews, and no kneelers; attendees surround the altar on 3 sides.

    Perhaps in the UK they kept the railings? In the US, I don't think they did.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  13. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    These changes in the Latin Church happened in the wake of Vatican II, which invoked a number of changes in the liturgy, including the Vulgar Tongue, Ad Populum (facing the people), the addition of many Nave or chancel altars, communication of the laity in both kinds, and Novus Ordo. Anglicans have followed suit in a number of these changes, and many our recent rites have something of the shape of Novus Ordo, without selling out the classic Anglican things like the Collect for Purity. We had been in the vulgar Tongue for 400 years, though some might argue that more recent rites have been more vulgar. Communication in both kinds had been our general practice for 400 years, and we had managed it with Altar Rails quite well. We moved many Altars off the back wall, or added a new altar, depending on the architecture - given the Anglican likelihood that the altar was more like a table than a part of the wall, we moved more out than Rome did. Most Anglican Churches communicate the faithful 'meekly kneeling' however there is a trend in a number of places to communicate standing as it is regarded as more efficient from a time perspective, and easier on those for whom getting down was not so much a problem as getting up.
     
  14. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    I do not understand this post. As fas as I can tell it does not answer my post which you quoted.

    Yes, altar rails were moved in many RC churches in the UK.

    That does not change what remains the RCC's official position. Kneeling to receive communon is normative. Indults to allow standing may have been granted in many places, perhaps even the majority. However, that does not chnage the RCC's official position. It does, of course, seem a little ridiculous to maintain that position if it allows standing in most places.
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    If we are consider "the RCC's official position" on kneeling versus standing, I refer to an article from the Madison Catholic Herald (Madison, Wisconsin, USA):
    In 1967, the Sacred Congregation of Rites promulgated an instruction entitled Eucharisticum Mysterium, which stated that “the faithful may receive Communion either kneeling or standing.” It went on to say, however, that one or the other posture was to be chosen by the conference of bishops to be the norm for their territory. The USCCB decided that the norm for the dioceses in the United States would be standing, which is reflected in article 160 of the GIRM as adopted for this country. (emphasis added by me)​

    This policy was further reinforced by a subsequent 2004 document from the Congregation for Divine Worship entitled, Redemptionis Sacramentum, which said: “The faithful should receive Communion kneeling or standing, as the Conference of Bishops will have determined.” Therefore, the statement that (in the RCC), "kneeling to receive communion is normative" might not be accurate. It would have been an accurate assessment prior to 1967, however.
     
  16. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    I do not know any official policies from the RCC. I was basing what I said on what I have heard from Roman Catholics.
     
  17. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Catholics receiving Communion should do so with reverence, Pope Francis said, whether kneeling or standing. His comments, delivered during his weekly audience on March 21, appear in tension with those made last month by his liturgy chief, who questioned the common practice of Catholics standing to receive Communion in their hands.

    “According to the ecclesial practice,” the pope said during a reflection on the Mass, “the faithful approach the Eucharist normally in a processional form, as we have said, and, standing with devotion or kneeling, as established by the Episcopal Conference, receive the sacrament in the mouth or, where permitted, in the hand, as preferred.”

    https://www.americamagazine.org/fai...while-receiving-communion-can-be-act-devotion
     
  18. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    After a number of things Francis has done I would not consider him to be orthodox. Plus papal statements and comments do not theology make or alter.
     
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