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Anglican Worship

18/09/2011

Just listening to an Anglican service on BBC. It’s a modern version of the old service from the Book of Common prayer, which I remember so well from my youth.

I always misunderstood it. I remember as a boy hearing the minister recite the Anglican service, and reading, early in the service, the passage from Matthew 22, where Jesus tells us that we are love the Lord our God with all our hearts and souls and minds, and our neighbour as ourselves.

I heard that spoken every Sunday morning, and I knew in my own heart that I fell well short of that requirement. Truthfully, God did not have possession of my whole heart and soul and mind. At that point, wouldn’t it have been good if someone had explained to me that the condition that I was experiencing was common to all mankind – that all have sinned and come short of God’s glory. That we are all sinners, and that pleasing God by our own sinful works is impossible. That the law, and Christ’s words summarising it, were intended to demonstrate this, show is that we fall short of God’s righteous requirements and drive us to Christ, who fulfilled the law for us, and took the punishment for sin for us at Calvary.

Perhaps then, when I said the General Confession (Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from our ways…) I could have caught on that admission of sin, and heartfelt repentance always lead to forgiveness for those who call upon the Lord.

Isn’t that the problem with Anglicanism? There is so much in Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer that is evangelical and faithful, but because it is reduced to a continuing ritual it loses its impact, is never expanded or explained, and rarely applied to people’s souls.

From → Editorial

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