High and low perspectives

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

  1. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I have never been in a TEC or RC parish that upholds the custom of the priest facing away from the congregation. Only the Orthodox still do that. My experience in TEC has been somewhat more restrained than what you described, e.g., bells at the Words of Institution, but no genuflecting.
     
  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Only because in recent centuries it got associated with Roman superstitions... On its own there's nothing wrong with those gestures; think about it, so what if the priest raised the sacrament? We raise the cross, we raise the scriptures in procession, and I'm not even advocating for raising the sacrament, but nor am I advocating against it... I'm simply allowing myself to be totally flexible to the future of the Church as outlined in this thread

    As Romanism changes into liberalism, and stops being a competing variant of orthodox Christianity, then a whole host of in-themselves innocent ceremonies become viable again, because less associated with them, I am thinking of chasubles which have come back into use, but I don't mind, because not associated with Romanism any longer
     
  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Actually some of the artwork in the catacombs suggests that facing the congregation predated facing east when celebrating the Eucharist. It doesn't really bother me which happens, in my parish we do both. The high altar has room behind it between the altar and the reredos. The Lady Chapel has no space so the priest faces East. One symbolises a father at a family meal, the other symbolises a commanding officer at the head of a battalion of troops.
    One symbolises Christ in the midst of us, the other symbolises God, Almighty, transcendent and distant as the sun rising in the east and all of us appealing to Him.
    .
     
  4. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I especially get fed up when the Greeting of Peace becomes 'intermission'!
     
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  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Isn't the elevation with accompaniment of bell-ringing suggestive that one has witnessed the moment of substantial change into the Body (or Blood) of Christ, and isn't it thereby suggestive of some sort of supernatural power inherent in the priest's recitation of the words of consecration? isn't it all too easy for the genuflection and continued bell-ringing to take on the appearance of worship of the host and the chalice contents? I agree that you and I associate this sort of thing with RC error, and for good reason; I think it lends itself to wrong impressions in the minds of many attendees. It can be misleading and potentially harmful. Just because you and I know our Eucharistic theology well enough to not be misled, quite likely you, I, and others on this forum are much better informed and grounded in the word of God than the average attendee.
     
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  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Good discussion. We need to think of where we’re going, not only where we’ve been.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2022
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  7. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I agree in principle, but in practice it’s probably fair to suspect that many, perhaps most, people don’t know to make those connections. I don’t see any need to ape Catholicism, and I’m not in favor of fostering superstition, but at the same time I do see positive value in preserving some liturgical traditions that may not align precisely with our current theology.
     
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  8. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    No, you have not. You have been putting words into my mouth. You're not even correctly paraphrasing points I have made. I had tired of this thread but am not sitting by while you say false things about me.
     
  9. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Is this simply your opinion? If not, by what means do you justify this claim.
     
  10. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    What is your actual evidence that this is what the church of England focuses on and that there are not different theological schools in the other churches in the Anglican Communion?
     
  11. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. What most people want from the liturgy is comfort, familiarity, and the music they like.
     
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  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Oh, me. I think you nailed it!
     
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  13. DadHocHypothesis

    DadHocHypothesis Member

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    Now the question is, what do we do with that insight? How do we translate it into action, into being the Church and contributing specifically what Anglicanism does best, in the 21st Century West, where every liturgical structure is equally alien to most people?

    One option, perhaps the most Anglican one, is to keep worship the way the current parishioners are accustomed to, letting Prayer Book, rector, and vestry call the shots. Meanwhile, holy living and presence in the community must be promoted and nurtured in the people from the pulpit and in parish life: it's the Summary of the Law, after all. This will rely on the people to do the evangelism, not through door-knocking or gimmicks, but through "letting their light shine before men" by being unambiguously Christian and unambiguously normal people. "You can find them in trains, or at shops, or at tea, For the saints of God are just folk like me." The human connections between parishioners and newcomers must be responsible for providing the comfort and familiarity, and for easing any liturgical culture shock.

    Are there viable alternatives, perhaps if one's congregation is very small, very old, or both?
     
  14. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Nothing at all WRONG about all that theatricality unless those that insist upon it all are thinking it is essential to make the whole ceremony work. That would be superstitious nonsense and that is the danger that low church adherents seek to avoid by leaving it all out. It is all about whether the 'audience' and the 'cast' in the 'opera/ballet' all understand the 'production' and 'get the message' that is really the important aspect of it all. Jettisoning it and replacing it all with just holy words and songs and ordinary clothes will not, of itself, get people to understand 'the message' of the 'opera' and probably will have made the whole show rather less entertaining and more boring. All of it is symbolism and metaphor, no 'magic' is involved, God is still everywhere to exactly the same extent as before it all happened, and unless we, the audience, understand the reason and purpose of the choreography it is nothing but soundings of gongs and clashing of cymbals.
    .