Do Anglicans Canonize Saints?

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by BrethrenBoy, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. BrethrenBoy

    BrethrenBoy Member

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    Do Anglicans canonize people as Saints like the Catholic and Orthodox churches? If not, what are the more modern people who have a Feast day on the litergical calendar to be called?
     
  2. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Active Member

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    We have new "saints," but nobody really places them on the level of the old ones. And almost nobody calls them St. So-and-so, as they do with the old ones. Basically, we never officially canonized anybody after the split with the Catholic Church. Anglican leadership didn't think that we had the authority to do so. We have commemorations for some new individuals. They are optional feast days that don't really feel...well, real to me. We observe the older Saint feasts (Apostles and Evangelists, for example) on their traditional days, and they are considered Major Feasts. The nature of these new, lesser feasts is sort of open to interpretation.
     
  3. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, King Charles I was formally canonized as a saint in the Church of England around the mid seventeenth century.
     
  4. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    Not really. King Charles the Martyr was canonized in some sense but the modern calendars don't go about canonizing anyone.
     
  5. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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    Modern calendars don't go canonizing people but Charles the Martyr was fully canonized in an official sense.
     
  6. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    We may want to clarify what is meant by "like the Catholic and Orthodox churches"? From what I understand the canonization processes are not similar. The Catholic practice requires the Vatican to ratify the canonization of any saint of the church while the Orthodox method is much more organic (and much closer to the method of the early church) where local congregations began referring to someone as a saint and local leaders making determinations. In fact, from what I've heard some orthodox jurisdictions may call someone a saint and other ones may not. I may be wrong about this though, perhaps one of our orthodox friends here on the forum can give us more information.

    I was told that the reason Anglicans abandoned the title "saint" on someone's name comes from the reformation idea that any baptized, believing individual was a saint, not just dead miracle workers.

    Just call me lowly St. Layman
     
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  7. BrethrenBoy

    BrethrenBoy Member

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    Thank you for the information. Why doesn't the church think it has the power to canonize Saints? Isn't it essentialy doing that by adding feast days for people to the calendar?
     
  8. BrethrenBoy

    BrethrenBoy Member

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    Thank you as well. I know the Catholic and Orthodox practices of canonization are very different from each other, but the end result of both is the same. A person is declared by the church canonizing them to be in heaven, they are from then on commemorated in the liturgy of the church, and people may pray for their intersection. I am asking if Anglicans have a process to do this. I have heard that the Episcopal Church has given C. S. Lewis a feast day, so would it be appropriate for an Anglican to call him St. C. S. Lewis?
     
  9. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    The Anglican Church officially condemns invoking the saints in prayer, in any form, although some Anglicans openly disregard this teaching, like some RCs openly disregard their church's teaching on contraceptives, it doesn't change the teaching. This might have to do with the Church's unwillingness to "canonize" new saints.

    It would not be appropriate to call him "St. CS Lewis" in the traditional sense of the term. Yet, he is a saint, by virtue of baptism.
     
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  10. Lux Christi

    Lux Christi Active Member

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    Just call them by their name, or even "blessed" (just like RC style) if it is a Memorial or Commemoration (but especially for Commemorations). In Canada, we have three levels of celebration regarding the Saints: Feast Days (these are seen in high regard, and thus sometimes celebrated at Anglican parishes... for example, my parish will be celebrating the Assumption of Our Lady on August 15th; otherwise elsewhere it is just seen as a simple feast for the Blessed Virgin Mary); Memorials, which are Saints who are seen as important, but may pertain moreso on a local or individual level; and Commemorations, which are people who are holy and can be regarded as saintly, but are minor remembrances.

    The updates to the local Anglican Calendars help us remember that we are so surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. ;)

    In the Anglican teachings, as far as I know, there are several levels of sainthood. The first one is being part of the 'priesthood of all believers;' where anyone who is baptised is among the saints, or the holy ones of God. We all share in the holiness promised to us as heirs of Christ's divine nature. The second part of sainthood is that the Christian Church has always commemorated and remembered those holy Christians who have gone to Heaven before us as the Church Triumphant.

    We don't ask the Saints for miracles or amulets of protection, but we should ask them to pray for us here on Earth, and to receive their blessings. We should never disregard the Communion of Saints, of the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph the Most Noble Spouse, and of all the Saints. They are there to help us to become holier, not to be worshipped as gods and goddesses, but rather honoured as co-heirs of Christ's mercy, love, and divinity.

    Some Anglicans just celebrate the Feast Days simply by a remembrance. In Anglo-Catholic circles, we always ask for their intercession. We do not worship them, but we venerate them, and pray with them!

    God bless!
     
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  11. BrethrenBoy

    BrethrenBoy Member

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    Thank you for the wealth of information! Coming from an Anabaptist background, the whole practice is still quite foreign to me, but the more I research it the more I have grown to appreciate it. I have discovered my family is named after St. Brigid of Kildare, so I have tried to learn as much about her is I can. I am also found of St. Francis and St Tomas Becket.
     
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  12. Lux Christi

    Lux Christi Active Member

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    No problem, hun! ^-^;

    I came from a Roman Catholic background, so when we take Confirmation (the Sacrament of being blessed with Apostolic power), some parishes let their children adopt a Saint to be their 'guardian in Heaven', lol. I was blessed under Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, and I still wear her medal to this day. She is an Aboriginal saint who converted to Christianity, even when she was made fun of by her local village. She attended Mass faithfully, and prayed the Rosary all the time. She died at 23, her last words being "Jesus, I love you". I know that she is watching me from Heaven (lol, blame my Catholic upbringing!)

    You get earthly godparents when you are baptised as a baby in the Roman Catholic Church; and you get a heavenly godparent at Confirmation!

    Yeah, it's part of our Christian heritage. Whenever I read about the Saints, they always inspire me a little more in my Christian path.

    Some prayers (in contemporary English; I prefer traditional English, lol) from the Episcopal Church to honour Saint Brigid of Kildare (February 1), Saint Francis of Assisi (October 4), and blessed Thomas Becket (December 29). Generally we say their prayers on their Feast Day (aka their heavenly birthdays!), but one can pray them any time for inspiration.

    ~*~*~*~

    EVERLIVING God, we rejoice in the fellowship of your blessed servant Saint Brigid, and we give you thanks for her life of devoted service. Inspire us with life and light, and give us perseverance to serve you all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    MOST high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant your people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of you delight in your whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    O GOD, our strength and our salvation, you called your servant Thomas Becket to be a shepherd of your people and a defender of your Church: Keep your household from all evil and raise up among us faithful pastors and leaders who are wise in the ways of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ the shepherd of our souls. Amen.

    ~*~*~*~

    In traditional English:

    EVERLIVING God, we rejoice in the fellowship of thy blessed servant Saint Brigid, and we give thee thanks for her life of devoted service. Inspire us with life and light, and give us perseverance to serve thee all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    MOST high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant unto thy people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of thee delight in thy whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    O GOD, our strength and our salvation, who didst call thy servant Thomas Becket to be a shepherd of thy people and a defender of thy Church: Keep thy household from all evil and raise up among us faithful pastors and leaders who are wise in the ways of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ the shepherd of our souls. Amen.

    Saint Brigid of Kildare, pray for us.
    Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
    Blessed Thomas Becket, pray for us.
    +
     
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  13. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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    That doesn't sound accurate to me. We don't call Archbishop Secker a Saint but we do refer to St. Paul as Saint Paul. The use of the word Saint is abundant in our liturgies. I believe only the strongly Low Church afficionados have tried to drop the title of "Saint," in an attempt to merge us with Protestant Evangelical groups.
     
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  14. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    The retention of the use of "Saint" with biblical and some post-apostolic figures is an example of English conservatism. There is no developed theology of canonization. The Homilies will go on to condemn that sort of thinking as well as the invocation of them in prayer. They are referred to as St. Paul or St. Augustine because they were referred to in that manner in the 16th c.
     
  15. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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    How would you explain the canonization of Charles the martyr?
     
  16. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    An irregularity. I'd have to do further research, I'm not even sure he was canonized in any real sense. I don't seen to recall him referred to as "St. Charles" in the official liturgies for his commemoration.
     
  17. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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  18. Lux Christi

    Lux Christi Active Member

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    In the Anglican Churches, a very holy Christian does not need to be 'canonised' to be considered saintly. Saints have arisen in the Church both locally and universally, from those who reside in the status of angels and archangels, to those who are women and men a tad bit holier than ourselves! We need not fret concerning the Communion of the Saints, and we could all use their prayers for us from Heaven!

    "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2, NRSV)
     
  19. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    King Charles the Martyr is no longer celebrated by the C of E, it was removed by Queen Victoria. I'm well aware of his position in the calendar before her removal of his commemoration. I really do not know enough about the supposed "canonization" to comment on the matter. From both positions, "catholic" and Reformed, it doesn't make sense, from the "catholic" position because it lacks conciliar authority and from the Reformed because the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law, i.e. the Church of England, does not believe in a special category of saints other than every baptized believer.
     
  20. Lux Christi

    Lux Christi Active Member

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    I am not sure why in the Church of England (he is still commemorated in Common Worship), but in the Anglican Church of Canada, he is still in both our old calendar and in the current one, both in the Book of Common Prayer 1962, as well as our newer liturgical resource, For All The Saints (copyright 2007). Here are some excerpts of his propers from the latter. His is a Commemoration, which is basically a third degree lesser feast, and thus can be celebrated simply and optionally.