Calvinism-Zwinglianism in the 1662 Communion Rite

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by Invictus, Jun 2, 2021.

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  1. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    The rubrics for the Communion of the Sick contain the following:
    This seems like a pretty clear endorsement of the "Reformed" view of the sacraments. How should we interpret these words today, living as we are in a time when we cannot turn the clock back to a time before the Tractarians?
     
  2. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    How is that anything to do with Reformed theology? That’s just plain Patristic doctrine of the Sacraments. St Cyril says that those who were baptized, and then fell away, weren’t baptized in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
  3. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    In general I would argue that the Reformational doctrines most represent the Church Fathers, while the tractarian ethos represents the Middle Ages.

    So for example, the Anglican doctrine of Spiritual Real Presence is pretty much the doctrine you have among the Fathers (which is why they never lifted or reverenced the elements), but after the medievals confused the sacraments and made everything physical, the Tractarians under the confusion of what “Catholic” means promoted the physicalism of the sacraments also. To them the actual patristic doctrine of the sacraments would’ve been shockingly “Protestant”.

    Another example is the reception of the Eucharist. The tractarians chastized receiving in the hand as a dismal low-church disrespect of the sacraments (since middle ages to them were THE church). Whereas scholarship is unanimous that the blessed Sacrament was received in the hand for the first 700-800 years. So the further back in time you go, the more you find communion in the hand, no physical Eucharist, no images in churches, Scripture as THE thing, justification by faith as THE thing. The fathers were Reformational, or more accurately, the English Reformers were completely patristic.

    It would be an error to confuse all that with anything Reformed though, especially with zwinglianism which is a gnostic heresy. In a few things the Calvinists did echo patristic convictions, but in other things they so completely diverged from the ancient faith that most Anglicans (and most Lutherans) often say that they feel the Church of Rome is actually closer to where they are than most of what counts as Protestantism of today.

    It’s confusing, which is why I tend not to use words like Protestant or Reformed, since they don’t have stable meanings any longer.

    Then again the Church of Rome has become more Zwinglian than many Protestants of today, which leaves only Anglicans and Lutherans as the last high church bodies. And since most Lutherans don’t have episcopal orders, that leaves Anglicanism as the only high church tradition in all of Western Christianity.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
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  4. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I guess what I'm asking is how we reconcile such statements as the one I quoted from the 1662 Prayer Book (itself taken from the 1552 version), with the work of more modern Anglicans, such as Dix. They're both authentically Anglican, aren't they? I'm asking how they're supposed to fit together.
     
  5. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Dix has had a very checkered legacy in the 20th century. In the 1950s when there wasn’t yet the overt orthodox/liberal split in the Episcopal Church, he was of great authority. In retrospect however, under the work of Peter Toon and the Prayer Book Society, it became recognized just what a destruction one man wrecked on the Episcopal Church. He single-handedly discredited the august and noble 1928 Prayer Book, and used his influence to usher in the 1979 Revision which every single orthodox and traditional-minded Anglican has cursed ever since. We know just how central the liturgy is to the constitution of the Church. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi. The 1979 Prayerbook unraveled the Episcopal Church, and Dix in the 50s and 60s was the architect of the 1979 Prayerbook.

    He is analogous to Annibale Bugnini in the Roman Catholic circles who single-handedly unraveled the RC’s latin mass; and thereby unraveled the whole Roman church. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

    So if you find Dix making some argument against the venerable Prayerbook tradition as found in the 1928 and 1662 BCPs, I beg you to ignore it, as it is inevitably based on misrepresentations (he’d never portray the Reformation in the patristic undertones as I did above).

    Now as for moving “past” him, there is the difficulty. You in the Episcopal Church are really stuck with him, because there the 1979 is the Prayerbook they consider venerable (of course now they’ve moved past even the 1979). In ACNA, on the other hand their first major Prayerbook released recently is a great step forward in undoing the damage done by the 1979 BCP and by Dix’s faulty scholarship. The ACNA Prayerbook isn’t completely rid of the 1979 influence, so that will be left to some next revision hopefully in the future if the bishops will allow it. Conversations like this help to move the ball forward with that. And of course everyone in ACNA is canonically allowed to use the 1928, or even the noble 1662 itself. That incidentally is what my own parish uses.

    So to make a long story short, don’t worry about reconciling anyone or anything with Dix. The Church is trying to move past him and pretend like he never existed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
  6. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I think completely writing off Dix with a hand-sweep is a little harsh. Undoubtedly he has had a profound influence, particularly in the liberal catholic sphere of Anglicanism, and was no doubt in play during Vatican II, outside the Anglican Communion. The clarity with which he spoke of the principle Eucharistic actions (take, offer, break, and bless), and the obvious paradelles they have to Christian Life, has been a blessing to many. I have no trouble with disagreeing with him, the is the wholesale dismissal as 'nothing of value' that causes me trouble.
     
  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Ah, but what's life without a little hyperbole, eh? :laugh: Overly broad, sweeping statements are so dramatic! Best when taken with a pinch of salt and a pint! :cheers:
     
  8. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I have never understood the hostility to the ‘79. Can you explain the reason(s) for opposition to it?
     
  9. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    1. Alien to the tradition
    It’s radically different from the entire Prayerbook tradition which preceded it. It is only with a stretch that one can say that the two belonged to a common Prayer book tradition. The 1979 might as well be from some altogether unrecognizable church tradition, rather than a mere revision, of the already widely beloved 1928/1662 BCP tradition that was by that point centuries old.

    2. Judging the tree by the fruits
    It validated the fears of traditionalists that it would lead to a deformed Anglicanism in those who became spiritually formed under it.

    3. Faulty scholarship
    It actually did not have the grounding of scholarship to support it, which was its purported claim to fame, and the justification for its such sweeping hostility toward the prior Prayerbook tradition. We now recognize that the 1928 and the 1662 Prayerbooks are far closer to the ancient church than the 1979.
     
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  10. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I think a side-by-side comparison of (for example) the Daily Office between, say, the 1662 and the 1979 would reveal substantial similarity between the two. The Confession/Absolution, Venite, Psalms, Lessons, Canticles, Creed, Our Father, Collects, General Thanksgiving, Prayer of St. Chrysostom…they’re all there. And that part of the book is where a devout Anglican will spend the majority of the time.
     
  11. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I actually recently had a chance over a course of several years, to observe a TEC liturgy on a nearly daily basis (long story). And I can tell you that at least where I was, they offered their “rite of communion” on a daily basis. This would obviate a need for the daily office, especially considering that TEC removed the canonical requirement for the daily office from their priests long ago. So just like with the 39 Articles, the daily office may be relegated to the heap of “historical documents” for many TEC clergy today.

    But even if they did both the office and communion every day, arguably the liturgy of Holy Communion is more important because there you’re dealing with the Body and Blood of the Lord. And the liturgy I saw had nothing in common with a familiar Anglican or a Sarum liturgy; or even a generic presbyterian/lutheran/roman order of service. In words, in the order of things said, it seemed to more resemble a Unitarian service.

    Another difference from the 1928/1662 is the entirely altered lectionary, with a very different emphases, and all of the “hard sayings” removed from the familiar memory of most of the TEC clergy.

    Another is an altered calendar of commemorating the saints: in what I saw, 40-50% of the commemorations were retained for the traditional saints, while the remainder was given to commemorating leftist political activists, radical revolutionaries.

    No joke, it wasn’t uncommon to see a “Unitarian” style liturgy, about the God of “stars and planets”, with a commemoration of some Roman mystic, or a social justice or communist TEC priest or bishop from the early 20th century.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2021
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