Stance on Mary?

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by CuriousBeliever, Dec 12, 2017.

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  1. Anglican04

    Anglican04 Active Member Anglican

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    You mean a chapel named "Our Lady of...."? Anglicans name churches and chapels in honor of saints, not to glorify or praise them (although some Anglicans do).
     
  2. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    Many CofE churches also have Lady Chapels. They are side chapels/altars dedicated to the BVM and are generally used for mid week celebrations of Holy Communion. (Eucharist/Mass) Where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the Cof E, it's quite often reserved in an aumbry in the Lady Chapel. An aumbry is a small safe built into the wall to the side of the altar. Anglo-Catholic churches may follow Roman practice for reservation and have a Tabernacle which may be on the Lady Chapel Altar or High Altar.

    The parish church I attend is 'middle of the road' but we have a Lady Chapel with aumbry for reservation and a rather plain, discreet statue of the BVM. We also have modern stained glass in Medieval style depicting Mary as Queen of Heaven. Anglo-Catholic churches may have a more shrine-like Lady Chapel with ornate statuary and votives.
     
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  3. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    By this definition, the mere act of asking anyone other than God, from my dear Aunt Matilda to St Elsewhere, to pray for me on any issue would be an act of blasphemy and would inescapably lead my supplanting God in my heart and mind as the object of my worship. I do love my dear Aunt Matilda very much and I do sincerely appreciate her prayers but I do not now nor have I ever had trouble mistaking her for the Holy Trinity. I suspect that those who ask the BVM for prayers are generally the same way about her. I think your stance is overly strict on this point, my friend.

    However, if you believe that praying to Mary would lead to make an idol of her, then in all sincerity I counsel you never to do it. It is a balancing act to be sure. But to those who in good conscience believe they can thread the needle, I am in no position to stop them. I see it as the freedom they have in Christ.

    I guess my opinion then about forms of private prayer and devotion that are neither commanded nor condemned by scripture is that all can, some shouldn't, none must.
     
  4. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Good points all, and it would make sense except that when we ask our friends to pray for us, we do not make the outward and inward gestures that belong to the worship of God

    There are two things, you see?
    1. outward/inward gestures of reverence
    2. requests for supernatural assistance

    With God we perform #1 and #2, whereas with our fellows we may perform #2. The prayers to BVM have the trouble of ALSO receiving #1 and #2. There is no way to distinguish the prayers to the BVM from the prayers to God!

    On the other hand if you asked your friend Bob to pray for you, you would just walk over to him, poke him, and say, would you pray for me? The trouble we historically have had with the invocation of the BVM is this insufficient (nonexistent!) distinction between approaching a limited and finite being, and approaching an infinite almighty maker of the universe...

    IF, indeed, the way we 'invoked' the BVM was, without any outward ablutions, no inward piety toward her, but just, 'Hey Mary, would you pray for me?' then I suspect no one would have any difficulties with it!

    In addition to that, as I mention above,
    1) the trouble with the cult of the BVM is that people believe her prayers are more effective than asking someone nearby; @Tuxedo America had raised the standard RCC apologetic, of making her the Queen of Heaven... If she were literally just like your neighbor Bob, except in heaven, then sure, you could ask her to pray for you, could ask Bob to pray for you, neither would have any variance in effectiveness... And if you did it without marks of worship towards Bob or the BVM, then the historic Anglicans would be 100% in favor of it!

    2) On a deeper level regarding prayers to anyone in heaven ... How can the BVM hear everyone's prayers, when she is a limited finite being that isn't present everywhere in the universe simultaneously?
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  5. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Then we have discovered a way forward.
     
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  6. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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  7. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    I see, thank you Symp
     
  8. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Friend, you can't possibly know what's in our hearts. There's no Marian "cult" but there is devotion to Her because She is Our Blessed mother and mother of Christ who is assumed into Heaven body and soul. She is totally human but the most perfect human after Our Blessed Lord. Christ is the second part of the Trinity. God made man who died and rose from the dead so that we may have everlasting life. Wholly God and wholly man , and Our Blessed Mother , of which we are fully aware, is the woman who bore, gave birth to Him and broken hearted watched Him die. So enough of the slanderous accusations that we worship Her because we never have and never will and such accusations are hurtful and anyone worshipping Our Lady is not Roman Catholic
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  9. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Abp Sheen said, "There are not a hundred people in the world who hate the Catholic Church for what it truly is but what they perceive it to be"
     
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  10. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    I don't think anyone on here hates the RC church. I do think there are people here who may strongly disagree with some of its doctrines and dogmas. Expressing firm disagreement with a stance does not equate to hating something.

    As I stated in another thread, this is an Anglican forum. The default views are of Anglicans here- by nature they will disagree with some viewpoints from other church bodies. I hope people can remain charitable in disagreements.
     
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  11. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    I understand that you are saying that you do not worship the BVM and that it is not a RC teaching to do so. However, it must be said that sometimes, to outsiders at least, the procession of Mary statues, the offering of flowers, rosaries, the kissing of statues etc.. does look like worship to some people. You may think that these actions do not constitute worship, but not everyone shares that viewpoint.

    Some may find the action in this picture to be worship:
    http://media.gettyimages.com/photos...-statue-in-the-capilla-de-picture-id535023882
    Others may not. I would say that it has many elements which I would constitute as worship.

    As an outsider of RC doctrine and viewpoints, I feel that the emphasis put on apparitions, prophecies, visions from Mary is excessive. Although it may be an official church teaching to not worship Mary, parishioners do not always abide by official doctrines of a church. Then what you may deem excessive veneration or worship of Mary would not seem that way to them.

    Lastly, there are some Anglicans who hold similar views of Mary as to the RC church. I would offer that the same tensions are there between the "low church" evangelical views and the Anglo-Catholics. It's not a stance against the RC church with regard to some Marian dogmas, but people also have disagreements over these doctrines within the Anglican communion itself.
     
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  12. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    IDE, thank you for sharing this beautiful image in which a woman performs an act of love and humility. A person who doesn't understand the faith may indeed see this like an act of worship. However it's not an act of worship as anyone can find out with a little investigation.
     
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  13. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Oh I know, that's why I say I don't judge based on what's in anyone's heart, only on the objective inclinations to sin which are incumbent upon depicting Mary (or anyone else) in a Godlike form
     
  14. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    Aidan, you maintain this is not worshiping Mary but that outsiders of the RC do not understand these practices they are wrong in their viewpoint. So perhaps you can explain how this is not worship of Mary based on an insiders perspective of the RC church and doctrines?

    I would say that it has many elements of worship to an outsider:
    It appears to be sit in a church (or in a spot of importance and focus at least given that it is indoors and art is on the walls)
    There is a statue
    A statue adorned with clothing
    A statue adorned with a gold crown
    A woman kissing the hand of the statue in a similar manner as one may reverently kiss the hand of high official of the Church.
    There are other people in line who appear to waiting to do the same

    I am not trying to be contrarian, but am genuinely looking for an explanation as you stated people here simply don't understand the nuances of RC doctrine on this matter. In pointing out these elements of the picture, I hope that I have shown why some may think this is worship of Mary and that it may be inappropriate. But, again, I am asking for your clarification to explain why they are mistaken.
     
  15. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member Typist Anglican

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    Hello everyone, it has been brought to our attention that the Roman Catholic perspective is being pushed too hard in this and other threads. Remember that we are here to learn and study the Anglican perspective. In the reports we have seen, this thread has not had a single "post discussing the BCP, or the classical Anglican approach" on the topic of Mary. (While we have a score of classical Anglican works online, there are lots more left to be discovered!)

    Let us reframe our conversation and look at what the ancient Anglican theologians have written on Mary and the other issues raised in this thread. Where does the Prayer Book stand on this question? Let us be about learning together, instead of debating.
     
  16. DivineOfficeNerd

    DivineOfficeNerd Active Member Anglican

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    The Divines, especially Lancelot Andrewes, recognized (rightly) Mary as theotokos, even saying in one of his letters to Cardinal Perron "Neither are we unmindful to bless Thee, for the most holy, pure, highly blessed, the Mother of God, Mary the eternal Virgin, with all the Saints."

    Another Divine with an "higher" Marian doctrine would be Mark Frank, who said in his homily on the Annunciation "Give we her in God’s name the honour due to her. God hath styled her ‘blessed’ by the Angel, by Elizabeth; commanded all generations to call her so, and they hitherto have done it, and let us do it too. Indeed, some of late have overdone it; yet let us not therefore underdo it, but do it as we hear the Angel and the first Christians did it; account of her and speak of her as the most blessed among women, one ‘highly favoured,’ most ‘highly’ too. But all the while give Dominus tecum all the glory, the whole glory of all to him; give her the honour and blessedness of the chief of the saints, - him only the glory that she is so, and that by her conceiving and bringing our Saviour into the world we are made heirs, and shall one day be partakers of the blessedness she enjoys, when the Lord shall be with us too, and we need no angel at all to tell us so."
     
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  17. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I am not certain that the Prayer Book specifically addresses much of what has been discussed thus far regarding the Virgin Mary, , but I know from my own studies of classical Anglicanism that the Caroline divines did not advocate praying to saints (including Mary). Archbishop Laud stated the following, in his famous debate with the Jesuit, Mr. Fisher:

    "And for invocation of saints, though some of the ancient Fathers have some rhetorical flourishes about it for the stirring
    up of devotion (as they thought), yet the church then admitted not of the innovation of them, but only of the commemoration of the martyrs, as appears clearly in St. Augustine. And when the church prayed to God for any thing, she desired to be heard for the mercies and the merits of Christ, not for the merits of any saints whatsoever. For I much doubt this were to make the saints more than mediators of intercession, which is all that you acknowledge you allow the saints. For I pray, is not by the merits more than by the intercession ? Did not Christ redeem us by his merits ? and
    if God must hear our prayers for the merits of the saints, how much fall they short of sharers in the mediation of redemption? You may think of this. For such prayers as these the church of Rome makes at this day, and they stand (not without great scandal to Christ and Christianity) used, and authorized to be used in the Missal. For instance, upon the feast of St. Nicholas you pray: " that God, by the merits and prayers of St. Nicholas, would deliver you from
    the fire of hell." And upon the octaves of St. Peter and St. Paul, you desire God " that you may obtain the glory of
    eternity by their merits." And on the feast of St. Bonaventure, you pray, " that God would absolve you from all your sins by the interceding merits of Bonaventure." And for adoration of images, the ancient church knew it not. And the modern church of Rome is too like to paganism in the practice of it, and driven to scarce intelligible subtleties in her servants writings that defend it ; and this without any care had of millions of souls, unable to understand her subtleties or shun her practice."

    A relation of the conference between William Laud, late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury and Mr. Fisher the Jesuit ; by the command of King James of ever blessed memory,
     
  18. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I would remind our Roman Catholic friends that there is a non-anglican discussion area that may be more appropriate for discussions pushing or defending those beliefs.
     
  19. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    An excellent point. I think the remainder of this thread is well served by focusing on the Anglican tradition. A sister thread can be started in that sub-forum if others are interested in pursuing a side conversation.

    As for Mary in the Book of Common Prayer, there are a few prayers in the U.S. 1979 which are Holy Days of the Blessed Virgin Mary :

    Saint Mary the Virgin August 15

    O God, who hast taken to thyself the blessed Virgin Mary,
    mother of thy incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been
    redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of thine
    eternal kingdom; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our
    Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the
    Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

    The Visitation May 31

    Father in heaven, by whose grace the virgin mother of thy
    incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed
    in keeping thy word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her
    lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to thy will;
    through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth
    with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


    The Annunciation March 25
    We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts, that
    we who have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ,
    announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross
    and passion be brought unto the glory of his resurrection;
    who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy
    Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

    Can anyone advise as to the origin of these prayers? I know that many of the collects in the prayer book are often taken from older texts. I think that these prayers continue to give Mary respect and honor, but maintain the focus on Jesus Christ as our salvation.
     
  20. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    The Collect for the Annunciation BCP, finds some sense of origin in the Angelus, and whilst that history may be a bit fury, that probably puts it back to at least the time of William the Conqueror and his Archbishop of Canterbury, Lanfranc. Whilst also possibly relevant to this period is the apparition of the BVM at Walsingham in 1062, which gives rise the the Shrine at Walsingham till is destruction around the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, and returned the service in the lat 19th century and very much part of Anglican things in the current age.

    Given the substantive strength of the message of the Incarnation in Anglicanism, it makes perfect sense that Mary would have a proper space in that, and as with all things to do with Mary, we know that everything leads to the Son. Mary's role in all of the history of salvation is the point us to Jesus. This is beautifully expressed in the Collect for the Annunciation, and we should all treasure it.
     

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