Last things

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by Rev2104, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Rev2104

    Rev2104 Active Member

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    I have been wondering more about the last things, mostly due to my daughter asking questions about death as she is getting older.
    I feel like I might still be caught up too much in catholic thought.
    Just was wondering what is a common Anglican view of this?
    What happens between now and the resurrection?
    Why do we pray for the dead?
    Lots of questions really.
     
  2. JonahAF

    JonahAF Moderator Staff Member Typist Anglican

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    While we are still working to bring online the treatises on the Four Last Things, you might find valuable here the Anglican commentaries on the article in the Creed that deals with the "the Resurrection of the Dead." Other churches repeat the creed as we do, but no one else really seeks to ground their theology upon the text of the Creeds, or the other dominical formularies.

    As can be seen already, several important works of Anglican theology were done not through a stand-alone treatise, but through commentary on one of the dominical formularies: the Creeds, the Commandments, and the Lord's Prayer. In these works, the effort is not to generate some sort of new theology, but rather to expand all of the theology that is already packed into the forms of our faith.

    So here is the commentary on the Resurrection article of the Creed, by bishop William Beveridge:
    https://www.anglican.net/works/william-beveridge-church-catechism-explained-1720/#p4-9

    And here is the same article of the Creed as explicated in the Catechism of dean Alexander Nowell:
    https://www.anglican.net/works/alex...institution-of-christian-religion-1572/#p5-13

    Nowell also has an entry on the last Judgment of the world:
    https://www.anglican.net/works/alex...institution-of-christian-religion-1572/#p5-10
     
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  3. Rev2104

    Rev2104 Active Member

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    And yet again thank you
     
  4. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    "And we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear; beseeching thee to grant them continual growth in thy love and service, and to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom. Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen."

    This, to me, is the most interesting petition in the Prayer for the Whole State of Christ's Church. Some see it leaving open room for the doctrine of Purgatory. Some liturgies have chosen to ignore or eliminate this paragraph. It is difficult, yet hopeful.

    My daughter, too, asks me about the last things in a very rudimentary way because she is 3. Her mother died in April. "But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

    Is there an intermediate state? Yes. We can learn this in the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, in St. Paul's several instructions about those who 'sleep' but will resurrect at the same time as the living, and in St. John's various descriptions in the Apocalypse/Revelation of those before the throne, awaiting triumph. And the thief on the cross, "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." Paradise is not exactly the same as the new Heaven.
     
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  5. Rev2104

    Rev2104 Active Member

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    That Petition always stood out to me on Sundays. I am really trying to understand it as not about purgatory, purgatory is from all I can tell not biblical and not a universal teaching of the church. Thou how else can you read it right? So I have always wondered if this was a left prayer that should of be changed or edited, but doubted that. So I am in the camp that I just don't understand it correctly.
    I am sorry about her mother passing away. It is so hard on children, my daughter has had some close people pass away, but nothing like her mother.

    So is the intermediate state just the place we wait tell the Resurrection? That the Resurrection of the dead is the true heavenly reward we await for?
     
  6. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    The thanksgiving for the faithful departed in the final paragraph were the occasion of much strange and useless controversy from the first issuance of the Prayer Book, until satisfactorily settled by the last revision. In the 1549 Book this paragraph consisted of a commemoration of 'high praise, and hearty thanks, for the wonderful grace and virtue, declared in all thy saints,' with a petition for all other departed servants of God, that He would grant them 'mercy and everlasting peace.' In this inclusion of the 'Church Triumphant' in the prayerful memory of the Church on earth the first Prayer Book was only following the unbroken and universal tradition of the Church's worship since primitive times, particularly in the Eucharistic liturgy. But many of the Protestant Reformers had strong scruples against 'prayers for the dead,' because they recalled the medieval abuses associated with the doctrines of Purgatory and the Invocation of the Saints (cf. Article XXII). Moreover they considered that there was too slight a Scriptural basis for the custom, since prayers for the dead are specifically mentioned only in the apocryphal Book of 2 Maccabees (12:44-45). To mollify uneasy consciences in the matter Cranmer removed from the 1552 Book every vestige of commemoration of the saints and prayer for the departed, and to make this exclusion emphatic he added to the bidding of this prayer for the Church the phrase 'militant here in earth.'

    The Scottish Book of 1637 returned to the 1549 form of thanksgiving and commemoration of the saints, but did not restore a specific petition for the other faithful departed. The distinction between saints and other departed servants of God is in any case a dubious one and cannot be defended by reference to the teaching of the New Testament. The prayer as it now stands is derived from the 1662 Book, whose wording was drawn not from the 1549 rite but from a bidding Queen Elizabeth's Injunctions of 1559. However, it contained no actual petition for the departed. This intercession -'grant them continual growth in thy love and service'- is an addition of the 1928 American Book. The thought of 'growth' in the life beyond is characteristic of the newer prayers for the departed in the American Book. The South African and Ceylon liturgies have revived the more traditional petition for God's 'mercy, light, and peace.' The English 1928 and the Scottish forms content themselves with the thanksgiving and commemoration of the 1637 liturgy.

    It is entirely fitting that in the Eucharistic action, in which the temporal Church associates its offering of praise and thanksgiving with 'Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven,' the congregation of the faithful upon earth should not forget those in the life beyond who surround and sustain us not only by their 'good examples' but also by their continuing prayers and intercessions for us. To what extent our prayers for them may help and assist them is a mystery we cannot fully understand. But of this we may be certain: death does not divide the fellowship of Christ's beloved from any way of worship or service one with another.
    -The Oxford American Prayer Book Commentary,
    Massey Hamilton Shepherd Jr.

    Yes. This is consistent with Paul's word of comfort to the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 4:13-18) and a number of different allusions that St. John makes in Revelation. Most of the American Evangelical world has given up the doctrine of the bodily resurrection and the average pew-warmer has some fuzzy idea of becoming an angel or a disembodied spirit in heaven upon death. That is not the picture given by Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament and it is not the doctrine of the Creed.
     
  7. Phoenix

    Phoenix Moderator Staff Member Anglican

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