Sacrament - Anglican Teaching

Anglican Teaching

Main article: Anglican sacraments

Anglican sacramental theology reflects its dual roots in the Catholic tradition and the Reformation. The Catholic heritage is perhaps most strongly asserted in the importance Anglicanism places on the sacraments as a means of grace and sanctification while the Protestant tradition has contributed a marked insistent on "lively faith" and "worthy reception". Anglican and Roman Catholic theologians participating in an Anglican/Roman Catholic Joint Preparatory Commission declared that they had "reached substantial agreement on the doctrine of the Eucharist".

Article XXV recognises only two sacraments (Baptism and the Supper of the Lord) since these are the only ones ordained by Christ in the Gospel. The article continues stating that "Those five commonly called Sacraments ... are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel ....but have not the like nature of Sacraments with Baptism and the Lord's Supper, for they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained by God." These phrases have led to a debate as to whether the five are to be called sacraments or not. A recent author writes that the Anglican Church gives "sacramental value to the other five recognised by the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches .... " but these "do not reveal those essential aspects of redemption to which Baptism and Communion point." Some Anglicans maintain that the use of "commonly" implies that the others can legitimately be called sacraments (perhaps more exactly "Sacraments of the Church" as opposed to "Sacraments of the Gospel"); others object that at the time the Articles were written "commonly" meant "inaccurately" and point out that the Prayer Book refers to the creeds "commonly called the Apostles' Creed" and the "Athanasian" where both attributions are historically incorrect.

Anglicans are also divided as to the effects of the sacraments. Some hold views similar to the Roman Catholic ex opere operato theory, that is that when the outward ceremony is duly performed the inward grace is necessarily given unless the recipient puts some obstacle in the way (non ponere obicem). Article XXVI (entitled Of the unworthiness of ministers which hinders not the effect of the Sacrament) states that the "ministration of the Word and Sacraments" is not done in the name of the minister, "neither is the effect of Christ's ordinance taken away by their wickedness," since the sacraments have their effect "because of Christ's intention and promise, although they be ministered by evil men." As in Roman Catholic theology, the worthiness or unworthiness of the recipient is of great importance. Article XXV states: "And in such only as worthily receive the, they have a wholesome effect and operation: but they that receive them unworthily purchase to themselves damnation,..." and Article XXVIII on the Lord's Supper affirms "to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ;..." In the Exhortations of the Prayer Book rite, the worthy communicant is bidden to "prepare himself by examination of conscience, repentance and amendment of life and above all to ensure that he is in love and charity with his neighbours" and those who are not "are warned to withdraw".

This particular question was fiercely debated in the 19th century arguments over Baptismal Regeneration

Read more about this topic:  Sacrament

Famous quotes containing the words teaching and/or anglican:

    Like a prophet, you are possibly teaching us about the workings of the divine mind, but in the process you are ruining the human mind, dear friend.
    Franz Grillparzer (1791–1872)

    The Anglican Church is marked by the grace and good sense of its forms, by the manly grace of its clergy. The gospel it preaches is, “By taste are ye saved.” ... It is not in ordinary a persecuting church; it is not inquisitorial, not even inquisitive, is perfectly well bred and can shut its eyes on all proper occasions. If you let it alone, it will let you alone. But its instinct is hostile to all change in politics, literature, or social arts.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)