Bowing to the altar

Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by kestrel, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    I agree.
     
  2. mark1

    mark1 Active Member

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    My family bows towards the alter (which should be the focus of the Eucharistic service) when we enter the church before sitting.

    Objection seems to come to those who do not want to seem Roman (that strange view that is part of the traditions of so many) or that nothing really special happens at the alter (no Real Presence. Ritual is part of Church Tradition. We are not part of Church that tries to eliminate ritual.

    I am fascinated by the Anglican idea that we do whatever feels good to us. This seems so American and so 21st Century,

     
  3. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Thankfully, mark1, the "do what feels good" error is Christianity-wide. Anglicans may be very visible exponents of it, but practioners exist across the Church. We have no special monopoly on stupidity.

    Your commentary about Anglicans refusing to do what seems Roman, or what is associated with Romanism, is very apt. I tend to do that myself, and need to repent. It is a perennial problem.
     
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  4. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    The altar is a symbol of Christ. It is where the Eucharist is celebrated. It is a sacred thing.

    Bowing to the altar is just a recognition that this is not an ordinary table like the ones you have at home.
     
  5. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I would agree with this, even though it doesn't go far enough!
    I have either bowed or genuflected towards the altar all my Church life because it is where the Body of Christ is laid during the Eucharist!
    As far as I can remember it was ordered so by an injunction of the 1640 Synod, just before the deluge!
     
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  6. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    And before more scrupulous minds wonder: no, bowing to the altar doesn't mean we're worshipping a created thing. We're merely showing reverence for a most sacred thing used in the service of the Lord.
     
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  7. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said.
     
  8. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    That is not true but, then again, how would you know?

    The very infallible source of dogmatic truth which is the Bible you have classified as a man-made document used to control people. Dawkins himself couldn't have said it better.
     
  9. brjohnbc

    brjohnbc New Member

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    To Old Christendom: If you believe in the "literal" truth of the bible then you might remember this quote:
    Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV)
    Judging Others

    7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
    3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
     
  10. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Bowing towards the altar never quite died out in England.[1] It is thus commended by Canon 7 of 1640: ‘We therefore [i.e. on account of the “pious,” “profitable,” and “edifying” nature of outward acts] think it very meet and behoveful, and heartily commend it to all good and well-affected people, members of this Church, that they be ready to tender unto the Lord the said acknowledgment, by doing reverence and obeisance both at their coming in and going out of the said churches, chancels or chapels, according to the most ancient custom of the Primitive Church in the purest times, and of the Church also for many years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth.’
    With regard to bowing at the Holy Name, Canon 18 of 1603 orders: ‘When in time of Divine service the Lord Jesus shall be mentioned, due and lowly reverence shall be done by all persons present, as it hath been accustomed.’ This was revived again by Convocation in 1662.]

    The Parsons Handbook. Rev., P.Dearmer. http://anglicanhistory.org/dearmer/handbook/1899/chapter05.html
     
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  11. brjohnbc

    brjohnbc New Member

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    I have always bowed to the Altar, Crossed myself and Genuflected before the Blessed Reserved Sacrament and before entering the pew. The canon say's .. as you have stated "think it very meet and behoveful, and heartily commend it to all good and well-affected people" .... It should be noted however .. that "heartily commend" is only a suggestion, not a canon unto itself. People should not be forced by tradition or dogma .. they should feel it in their heart.
    Does that make any sense?

    I grew up nosebleed high church therefore it comes as second nature to me!
     
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  12. CatholicAnglican

    CatholicAnglican Active Member

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    The Altar or Holy Table should be reverenced by a bow of the head or a shoulder bow. It is where the Holy Eucharist (Holy Mass) is celebrated and where Jesus indeed feeds us with His Body and Blood. As a place where the Holy Sacrifice takes place, indeed we should give it reverence. But you should only Genuflect towards the Altar if the Blessed Sacrament is reserved there, sometimes the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in an Aumbry on the north side of the holy sanctuary. If a church does not reserve the Blessed Sacrament then there is no need to genuflect.
     
  13. Fr. Bill

    Fr. Bill Member

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    Still a newbie, wandering in here about 20 months later ...

    Some of my Anglican friends insist (as Calvin did) that Christ is in heaven, at the right hand of the Father. And, so, we should never bow, genuflect, nod, or otherwise behave toward the altar as if He were "there." On the other hand, if one believes in the real presence of Christ where the consecreated elements are present AND there is reserved sacramental bread in the altar area (in a tabernacle, aumbry), then making some sort of "pious behavior" toward the presence seems appropriate.

    In connection with the puzzlement attending these two points of view, I point to the Old Testament's comfortableness with God's ominipresence (cf. Psalm 139:7-10) and God's presence between the cherubim in the Holy of Holies (cf. Ps. 80:1, 99:1, Isa. 37:16). The two ideas were not, evidently, contradictory to the OT saint, and so should not be so for us.
     
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  14. CatholicAnglican

    CatholicAnglican Active Member

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    In my church, since the Tabernacle is on the High Altar, we always genuflect towards it, because Jesus Christ is truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament.

    I am no longer Anglican, but am a Traditional Roman Catholic.
     
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  15. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    CA! You have been sorely missed. It's wonderful to see you posting here again.

    May God bless you with His peace in your new Church home.

    May I ask what caused you to move to Rome? And could you explain to me what exactly makes one a traditional catholic? Do you reject V2? Do you believe that all outside of communion with the Pope are outside of salvation? Do you recognize the current Pope? Not trying to stir pots, just curious what "traditional" means in the RCC. I have a feeling it's probably as diverse as traditional Anglicanism, but would like a view from the inside.
     
  16. Rev2104

    Rev2104 Active Member

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    I attend church at the feet of calvery. His body and blood is upon the alter as if it where that friday long ago.
    I kneel cause the extra consecrated hosts are upon the alter, his body and blood. That alter is the throne of ou Lord Jesus. I kneel also cause of the crucifix hanging there. The sacrifice for my son offered up by Christ .
    Not to kneel to me is paramount of denying the reality of ancient faith.
     
  17. Rev2104

    Rev2104 Active Member

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    Traditional catholic means i bet he is in communion with rome, and uses the 1962 roman missal(which i own a smal collection of old missal beautiful works). Attends a latin mass and if he is lucky gets sacraments by the older form.
    Also like a proper catholic takes communion on the tounge. My hands are unclean t touch the host so i won't take in the hand still.
    I hope you enjoyed the swim to rome. I have many great memories of my time there, but i swimmed away. Too hot and muggy in the summer.