Saints

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by Scottish Monk, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    I read and reflect upon the lives of the Saints in my daily rule. Below are the resources I use. My rule also includes praying The Divine Office, reading Scripture, and reading other writings.

    Please post a reply if the Saints are a part of your daily rule.

    ...Scottish Monk

    Foley, L., & McCloskey, P. (2009). Saint of the Day: Lives, Lessons, & Feasts (6th rev. ed.). Cincinnati, OH: St. Anthony Messenger Press.


    Farmer, D. (2011). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (5th rev. ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.


    Ellsberg, R. (1997). All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time. Crossroad Publishing Company.
     
  2. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    Question for the Anglican historians...

    What has been the role of the Saints in Anglicanism?

    ...Scottish Monk
     
  3. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Scottish Monk, my devotion regarding the Saints is limited to reflecting on their lives throughout Mattins & Evensong, but especially the latter. During Evening Prayer, the Magnificat is a perfect summation of the life of every saint, as God has worked through him or her.

    Every saint had a soul which continually mangified the Lord, and even in the darkest night they rejoiced in God, their Saviour. Through the saints, God (among other things) filled the hungry, and rebuked those obsessed with riches, sending them away empty when they had hoped for a pious blessing. Perhaps if the saint of the day was particularly dedicated to the poor, I may indeed focus on "He filleth the hungry with good things" in Magnificat, or if another saint was known for fiery preaching, gently or strongly sending "the rich empty away", I may focus on that line.

    Through the most saintly individuals of history, God has fulfilled what He promised to Abraham, multiplying that Patriarch's seed forever, spiritually. This saint or that saint, this Apostle or that martyr, lived the counsels perfectly and was able to say "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace", "for mine eyes have seen thy salvation". Seeing the same Jesus Christ in all men which Simeon saw in the baby, the saints prayed, thought, and acted accordingly at every moment. The very Anglican service of prayer can bring us to meditate on their lives, commemorating them as I believe the old Church of England ever did.
     
  4. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    I read the biographies of the saints in Lesser Feasts and Fasts to reflect upon their lives.

    Historically, Anglicanism was one of the only Reformation Churches to maintain the sanctoral calendar. Liturgically, only biblical saints and apostles were commemorated liturgically (red letter days), however the Calendar contains many medieval saints, which were not commemorated liturgically (black letter days). Anglicanism forbids the invocation of the saints, Anglican prayers are always directed to God asking Him to give us grace to follow the example of the saints. The American Church deleted the black letter days from the Prayer Book. Black letter days were commemorated by the 1900's, notably with Dearmer's book of collects for them (That's the first that I am aware of). The Church of England does not normally canonize saints (or any Anglican churches for that matter -- we add new names to the Calendar but we do not canonize the persons), the exception being King Charles the Martyr.
     
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  5. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    Excellent summary by Hackney.

    The majority of Collects in the BCP were in use before the Reformation and are derived from 3 ancient Sacramentaries:

    The Leonine Sacramentary - Pope Leo the Great, 440-461
    The Galasian Sacramentary - Pope Gelasius, 492-496
    The Gregorian Sacramentary - Pope Gregory, 590-604

    ++Cranmer and the Reformers translated some of them very closely and literally, others were paraphrases or adaptions. When it came to the Collects for Saint's Days, the majority were new compositions for 1549 because the old ones would have invoked the Saints.

    It's possible that a number of Saint's Days were retained because sittings of courts of law were partly regulated by these days and events were dated from them in legal documents and historical records. Some days were associated with local fairs or with festivals of particular guilds or trades. ++Cranmer was quite conservative in some areas.
     
  6. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    I follow the feasts as part of the Daily Office SSF, it includes the Marianne, and Franciscan feasts. e.g. last Saturday was the anniversary of the death of St. Clare of Assisi of the Poor Clares. This coming Wednesday is the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
     
  7. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Not so sure what to do for August 15, since the Assumption was first invented by gnostics and was only accepted by the Church around A.D. 500. It's on festival-days such as that, along with feasts for obscure saints who might not even have existed, that I begin to be wary of such things.

    If God did indeed assume Mary into Heaven, it would be good to conditionally praise His honour, glory, and majesty. ;)
     
  8. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Hi brother I don't believe anyone would expect you do anything it is entirely up to you. As a Franciscan the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary appears in our table of feasts as a Class I* feast, the asterisk means it is SSF Franciscan feast which means it has special significance within our Order.
     
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  9. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Source?
     
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  10. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Missed that one - source would be great given we believe in the communion of saints.... :)
     
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  11. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Well, Franciscan practice didn't exactly have a foothold in reformed Anglicanism until the late 19th century. I think we can call it a bit of an addition after 300 years. :p If I thought it idolatrous to invoke saints, I should be against it regardless of who does it. Franciscan, Jesuit, Dominican, or regular person, it still stands as it stands.

    Anna, you won't be receiving a source on that for a while; Hackney is taking a bit of a rest from the forum, I understand.

    I think Articles 12-14 are germane to the topic of saints. Good works, works before justification, and especially works of supererogation are the golden key. We only pray to the saints because we believe they have more clout with God, after all. Why is that, except that they have more grace than we do? Article 14 denies supererogation, or works that benefit others after you. If the saints are "unprofitable servants" as much as any man, and only Christ's work truly saves our fallen nature, the merits of the saints are as useless as our own. Article 15, on Christ alone without sin, points to His uniqueness as an advocate. Were He sinful as the saints were in life, He could not have achieved our salvation. The saints cannot achieve our salvation.

    I dare say it's mostly a logical supposition, after Christ-alone, toward forbidding invocation to the saints - i.e. not an Articular specific.

    A clause that was added to the Apostles' Creed after A.D. 400, given that neither Rufinus nor Augustine mention it... very interesting...
     
  12. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    XXII. Of Purgatory.
    The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.

     
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  13. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Like, like, and a thousand times like!

    The Gloria pronounces it perfectly: "For thou only art holy... Jesus Christ". Saint Jesus, Sanctus Iesus. He is our saint and our idol. :)
     
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  14. Joan Lucia-Treese

    Joan Lucia-Treese Member

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    I don't consider honoring the saints as idol worship. Rather we commerate their lives and for some, to learn from the saints to incorporate in our lives. As a Benedictine Oblate, I obviously follow the Rule and Life of St. Benedict.
     
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  15. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    There's nothing wrong with commemorating their lives, thanking God for them, and learning from their histories! Why, if we had to forbid those things we'd have to forbid reading the Acts & Epistles, which are lives and works of the first saints.

    Commemoration, remembrance, and thanking God are not the same as invocation, though... :)
     
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  16. Robert

    Robert Active Member

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    Well I have seen members of this forum qoute the Early Church Fathers as a defense of their positions. Why not look to them on this matter.

    As this, O Lord, is the command of your Only-Begotten Son, that we share in the commemoration of your saints... through whose prayers and
    supplications, have mercy on us all and save us, for the sake of your holy name, which is called upon us._ Basil the Great Doctor of the Church.

    Then we commemorate also those who have fallen asleep before us, first Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, that at their prayers and
    intercessions God would receive our petition. Then on behalf also of the Holy Fathers and Bishops who have fallen asleep before us, and
    in a word of all who in past years have fallen asleep among us, believing that it will be a very great benefit to the souls, for whom the
    supplication is put up, while that holy and most awful sacrifice is set forth.
    CYRIL OF JERUSALEM, Catechetical Lecture 23:9 [A.D. 315-386

    For he that wears the purple himself goes to embrace those tombs, and, laying aside his pride, stands begging the saints to be his
    advocates with God, and he that hath the diadem implores the tent-maker and the fisherman, though dead, to be his patrons.
    JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, Homily on 2 Corinthians, 26

    Now that we have the perspective of the Fathers... My question is if the Creed expounds what Christians believe and we recite that we believe in the Communion of the Saints doesn't the Creed trump any and all of the Articles? If we place this Article above the Creed aren't we at the very least violating lex orandi, lex credendi?
     
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  17. Joan Lucia-Treese

    Joan Lucia-Treese Member

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    I believe we have the freedom of invocation for those who believe it or desire it. One of the beauties of Anglicanism is the free use of our intellect to discern what traditions and beliefs we hold to be true. Transubstantation is not endorsed by all, yet I am free to say yes. Whatever brings a person closer to their faith and to live a goodly life is what's important to me.
     
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  18. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Ma'am, what do you think of Article 22, On Purgatory, quoted by The Hackney Hub? There doesn't seem to be any freedom allowed us in this matter by that article.

    What is the source for the Basil quote?

    Note that Cyril says we join in the commemoration, and ask God to hear the prayers of those who have fallen asleep. Cyril does not say we speak to/invoke the dead themselves, only ask that God will mercifully hear them.

    The Chrysostom quote is the only reliable and clear text I've found in the Fathers arguing for positive invocation of the dead. One man's opinion does not constitute "The Fathers", however.

    Be careful which translation of "Communiorum Sanctorum" you use. The R.C. translation is "the communion of the saints"; the Anglican translation is "the communion of saints". The R.C. translation indicates that there is a certain set of the saints - namely, those in Heaven - who we are in communion with. The Anglican translation indicates that there is a community and connection between all saints.

    The Anglican one seems more in line with Biblical theology, to me, since Paul calls all living Christians "the saints". The meaning of "holy, saved people in heaven" is a later definition which restricts Christian "saint"hood to those already saved.

    We have three commentaries of the "Apostles' Creed" from ancient days: Cyril in the 360s, Augustine around 410, and Rufinus (probably after Augustine). Augustine's commentary is on the creed used at Carthage, Rufinus' in Aquilea, and Cyril's in Alexandria. If you're going to quote Cyril of Jerusalem's Catechetical Lectures in favour of praying to saints, then please quote his commentary on the Creed in the same lectures, which does not feature the phrase "Communion of the/of Saints".
     
  19. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    We don't jsut quote the Fathers at random nor do we accept what they teach on their own merit -- but, rather, where they agree with Scripture.
     
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  20. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Quite right, and the only 'scripture' which contains prayers for the dead or to any saints, I believe, is 1 or 2 Maccabees. The only person who actually speaks to a dead individual in the genuine Old Testament is Saul, who gets the Witch of Endor to conjure up Samuel's soul. There's hardly a positive light cast on the situation.