High and low perspectives

Discussion in 'Church Strands (Anglo-catholics & Evangelicals)' started by anglican74, Jun 12, 2022.

  1. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    1,324
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    I am more and more coming around to the idea that the high/low church divisions were a mistake (and just a historic blip, on the church radar)… so now it comes to us to heal them, or rather to overcome and move beyond them

    I found this on Twitter which was inspiring
    https://twitter.com/barukalas/status/1535986582578143232

    “It, moreover, is to be observed that the high and low schools are not in principle antagonistic, but are supplementary to each other... The two aspects do not exclude one another. The truth lies in their combination.”

    –The Rt. Rev. Charles C. Grafton

    5425F4EB-55B5-4DA7-9DE5-FF3B131B91F0.png
     
  2. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    There are many forms of churchmanship in Anglicanism. Even those going under the same name often represent different theologies. For example, there are Anglicans who label themselves Anglo-Catholic and say women should not be ordained. Other Anglo-Catholics claim women's ordination is acceptable; indeed, there are women priests who self-identify as Anglo-Catholic and like to be called Mother N. N.

    I think it would, therefore, be a good idea to provide definitions of what you mean by 'high' and 'low'. I have even seen arguments where these two terms are considered dated.
     
    Bert Gallagher likes this.
  3. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,036
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I don't want to start a new thread, nor derail this one. Here's is a question about last Sunday: how many of your parishes inserted Quicunque Vult, the Athanasian Creed, into the Sunday service on Trinity Sunday?
     
  4. Upward Trajectory

    Upward Trajectory New Member Anglican

    Posts:
    7
    Likes Received:
    7
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Our parish uses the Quicunque Vult on Trinity Sunday. We are Anglo-Catholic, use incense liberally, and practice a very moderate form of Marian devotion. In the past, I was a member of a "low church" Evangelical parish and we used the Athanasian Creed on Trinity Sunday. The Quicunque Vult is indeed a pristine and forthright declaration of the orthodox/catholic/conciliar doctrines of the Trinity and Incarnation.
     
    Shane R likes this.
  5. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,081
    Likes Received:
    2,333
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    The last time I recall the Athanasian Creed being used on Trinity Sunday was at a Mission School in Papua New Guinea where the 500 boys did not have the virtue of a Prayerbook, so the priest uttered one line, and the boys repeated the line in response. So we got:

    God the Father, incomprehensible,
    God the Father, incomjdfhalkurhnvbtn
    God the Son, incomprehensible,
    God the Son, incomjdfhalkurhnvbtn
    God the Holy Ghost, incomprehensible,
    God the Holy Ghost, incomjdfhalkurhnvbtn
    Yet not three incopmrehensibles but one incomprehsible
    Yet not three incomjdfhalkurhnvbtn but one incomjdfhalkurhnvbtn
    And the who bloody thing incomprehensible
    And the whole bloody thing incomjdfhalkurhnvbtn

    From that day forward we uses the Nicene Creed.


     
  6. Bert Gallagher

    Bert Gallagher New Member

    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    12
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Our low-church in Texas used the Athanasian Creed on Trinity Sunday. We use the Nicene Creed and the Apostles Creed every Sunday as it is in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer for Morning/Evening Prayer and Holy Communion Services.
     
    bwallac2335 and Shane R like this.
  7. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,653
    Likes Received:
    923
    Religion:
    ACNA
    We have never used the Athanasian Creed at my parish.
     
  8. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    1,324
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    Back to the OP, Ji packer speaks about the obsolescence of 20th century categories, and the need to return to an organic whole that has always been Anglicanism:

    Ji Packer, ‘Heritage of Anglican Theology’ -

    "The one thing I ask you to adjust right at the start---before we get into any of the nitty-gritty ---is the notion that real Anglican theology is the Protestant evangelical tradition without any input from the world of High Church theology or the world of rational divinity. My friend, it ain't so. We would like it to be so; we would like to think that Anglican theology is not this kind of hybrid animal. We would like to think that it is simpler, clearer, and purer than it is. But it is this kind of animal, and those of us who are Anglicans have to come to terms with that.

    So, realize that I am calling into question the assumption that Anglican evangelicalism has already spoken the last word on God's truth. It hasn't."

    From Dr. Packer's mouth to God's ears!

    I agree, those terms are dated, and no longer refer to stable categories (if they ever did, on their emergence in the 19th century)...

    'high' and 'low' seem to refer entirely to the ceremonies... Even if conducted by a liberal woman priest, but if the ceremony is highly ornate with historic flourishes, pomp and circumstance, then it will generally be considered 'high church'; conversely absence of ceremony is considered 'low church'
     
    bwallac2335 likes this.
  9. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    I have never known its use in any parish where I have lived or attended.
     
  10. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    I believe, IMHO, that misses out quite a lot of parishes. The one where I grew up and was an altar server would not have considered itself low church. We were certainly not high church like a number of other local parishes. We were classed a middle-of-the-road. I believe many parishes would consider themselves to be in that group. The high churches near us would use all the vestments including the chasuble, more than two candles on the altar, would use incense, have statues of saints in their church, etc. Several low churches near us would only use cassock and surplice, had no candles on the altar, of course never used incense, etc. One even refused to have tombolas at parish events or to have bingo because gambling was 'evil'. At our church we had two candles on the altar, the priest wore alb and stole but not chasuble, he genuflected to the sacred species on the altar after the consecration, we never used incense.
     
  11. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    1,324
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    I agree, which is why I think labels like 'high' and 'low' are less and less relevant to the world we're moving to in the future... For example I know of some 'low church' Anglicans who have more crucifixes in their home than any Roman Catholic... If I ask him, does he prefer ceremony or no ceremony, he's always onboard with ceremony ("I'm an Anglican" he responds).. So he doesn't fit the previous sense of an evangelical or a low churchman, but verbally he identifies with that

    So I guess what I'm saying is, the old meanings for all these categories are losing relevance to the next generation of the church... The debates and struggles we're heading into are about gender, male and female, the stability or fluidity of the Christian deposit... No one will count how many candles the priest has on the altar, or know how to relate that to some ritualist controversy in 1873....

    So what you may have are 'evangelicals' who use crucifixes, 2, 4 or 6 candles on the altar
    And you'll have 'anglo-catholics' who fully commit themselves to Scripture and the 39 Formularies

    The camps seem to be fusing and merging
     
  12. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    I really don't think it's that simple or it's not that simple here.

    I know a church that definitely identifies as evangelical and who parishioners get almost apopleptic if you use the word 'altar'.

    On the other hand I know churches which you'd mistake for Traditionalist Roman Catholic Churches.

    Anglicanism has always been a mixed bag and I think it will always be so.
     
    Botolph and Annie Grace like this.
  13. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    1,324
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    In the UK I know it is much worse than in the rest of the Anglican world... some places have "presbyterians in vestments," and the "quasi-papalists," all vying for the same Anglican label.... It's because England was the place where the liturgical schisms were first manifested in the 19th century, so if anyone will be radicalized, it's there... But in the US it's a very different picture, as I've said; you have "traditionalist roman catholic church" Anglicans who are signing on for the 39 Articles! In Nigeria you will find "evangelical" Anglicans in pristine vestments with birettas.... This is how Anglicanism looks in many of the non-UK parts of the world


    https://guardian.ng/sunday-magazine...iocese-of-enugu-ordains-7-deacons-11-priests/

    Emmanuel-Olisa-Chukwuma.jpg


    http://owerrianglican.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-anglican-bishop-of-owerri-rt.html

    20181231_122307.jpg
     
  14. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    984
    Likes Received:
    766
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Religion:
    Church of England
    I do not believe "it is much worse" in the UK. I think you see the various strands in Anglicanism being a number of discrete pigeonholes and that every Anglican can be readily slotted into one. I think it is different and that the various expressions of Anglicanism are on a spectrum with individual Anglicans being anywhere on it.

    From the second picture you post I wouldn't be quick to jump to conclusions. The bishop (I hope he's a bishop) is wearing a rochet and wrist bands. Then over that he's got a stole on - an unusual mix. He's wearing a biretta which would suggest in the West 'high church' but perhaps we shouldn't jump to conclusions about other cultures. Looks like he's got a mitre matching his stole on the altar and a mitre with rochet is unusual. The altar has no candles on it which you'd expect in a 'high church' setting. I think it would be a serious error to view this photo through Western eyes.
     
    Invictus likes this.
  15. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,036
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Good points. Our Nigerians are very low but they've all got birettas. It seems to be the most available style of clerical headgear in Nigeria.

    I've got a request sitting on my desk from the DRC and Angola in advance of episcopal consecrations in October. They can't find a tailor they can afford who makes any type of clergy cap. So the Archbishop agreed he'll take them zuchettos when he goes to the consecrations. When we were last in S. America some of the bishops didn't have copes, only chasubles. Sometimes it's about what they can get ahold of more than any particular preference.
     
  16. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    1,324
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (ACNA)
    And that's partly what I am saying here also... we don't need to see this through Western eyes, because right now the Western eyes are broken, and we need to recognize that the Anglican dualities (t-shirts and fiddleback chasubles) are broken too

    I am not saying that the Nigerians are becoming one of the old Western camps (Anglo-Papalists or something), but I am saying that they're moving past the need of orienting themselves by those categories altogether! The categories of 'low' and 'high' which we've experienced in the West are going away... These are messed up categories anyway, made up by Victorian Romantics only a century and a half ago

    These 'high' / 'low' dualities don't deserve to be a part of our Church for the next thousand years; but how do we get around them, or past them? This is how- we take our cue from people who were never burned by the civil wars of Victorian England... These are people who want all the gospel, all the vestments, all the sacramentology, all the evangelism... They're asking why must they have only one half of the Anglican patrimony?
     
  17. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    759
    Likes Received:
    645
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    ACNA
    I confess that I'm one of those evangelicals who dislike the word 'altar'. We do not ritually sacrifice our Lord every Sunday. We go to a table and partake of the Supper in remembrance of him, as he commanded us to do.
     
  18. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,036
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican
    "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle." - Hebrews 13:10

    And the altar is a recurring figure in the Apocalypse.
     
  19. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    759
    Likes Received:
    645
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    ACNA
    Hebrews 10:10: "And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

    It is in part the Scriptural quotation in Heb. 10:10 that informs Article XXXI of the 39 Articles:
    So says Cranmer, and I agree.

    Christ's sacrifice on the cross was once for all. It should not be re-enacted every Sunday. The Lord commands us to remember his sacrifice by going to the table and partaking of the bread (symbolizing his body which was broken for us) and the wine (symbolizing his blood which was shed for us).
     
  20. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,653
    Likes Received:
    923
    Religion:
    ACNA
    Even Cramner at his most radical form, and lets be honest their were a lot of Cranmer forms, never just saw the bread as just a symbol or the wine as just a symbol. In fact no one for the first 1500 years thought that either.
     
    mark fisher likes this.