Sunday, December 3, 2017

Traditional and Modern Advent Celebration

The church year began today with the first Sunday of Advent. Dec. 3 is the latest possible day for Advent 1 — producing Advent 4 as the morning before Christmas Day. (The earliest possible Advent 1 is Nov. 27).

Advent Lectionary: the First Four Centuries

As with other aspects of his two prayer books, Thomas Cranmer adapted his lectionary from the Sarum Missal (the Salisbury variant of the Roman Catholic rite). The standard summary of the 1979 US prayer book notes:
Cranmer retained the Sarum lectionary, for the most part, though he made some substitutions, lengthened some lessons and abbreviated a few. (Hatcher, 1995: 325).
Those changes did not included the Advent season. From the first Book of Common Prayer in 1549, today’s communion service for Advent 1 uses the same collect and readings. Using the 1662 spelling of the collects:
ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Since 1662, the BCP has stated that the Advent 1 collect “is to be repeated every day, with the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas-Eve.”

Meanwhile, the Advent 1 lessons from 1549 to 1662 remained unchanged with Romans 13:8 and Matthew 21:1-13. Those were the lessons we used this morning out of the 1928 U.S. Book of Common Prayer, when from the NKJV we heard about the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, followed by his driving the moneychangers out of the temple:
Gospel lesson today
at St. Matthew’s Church, Newport
1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”

4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:

5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. 8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest!”

10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”

11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”
In this most famous book, Charles Wheatly — an English clergyman and onetime fellow at St. John’s College — wrote:
The Collects for the first and second Sundays in Advent were made new in 1549 being first inserted in the first Book of King Edward VI. That for the third Sunday was added at the Restoration, in the Room of a very short one not so suitable to the time. The Collect for the fourth Sunday is the same with what wee meet with in most acient Office, except that in some of them it is appointed for the first Sunday.

The Epistles and Gospels appointed on these Days, are all very ancient and very proper to the Time: They assure us of the Truth of Christ's first Coming; and as a proper means to bring our Lives to a Conformity with the End and Design of it, they recommended to us the Considerations of his second Coming, when he will execute Vengeance on those that obey not his Gospel(s). (Wheatly, 1770: 209; spelling modernized).

The Three Year Lectionary

After Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church developed a new three-year lectionary for the Sunday readings. This proved the basis of a series of three-year lectionaries over the past 50 years, including two from the ecumenical Consultation on Common Texts: the Common Lectionary (1983) and the Revised Common Lectionary (1992).  The three years are customarily termed Year A (emphasizing readings from Matthew), Year B (emphasizing Mark) and Year C (emphasizing Luke).

For the Episcopal Church, a three year lectionary was used in the 1979 US prayer book, while in 2006 it officially adopted the RCL. Meanwhile, for its new liturgy (beginning in 2013), the ACNA in 2016 adopted its own lectionary based on the 1983 CL rather than the 1992 RCL.

The Matthew 21 reading of 1549 (and 1928) is nowhere to be found in the CL/TEC/RCL/ACNA lectionaries for the Advent Sundays. Instead, they present variations on Christ’s eschatological warnings from the synoptic Gospels. Those using the ACNA lectionary today heard the Advent 1 lesson for Year B, which is Mark 13:24-37. From the ESV:
Gospel lesson today
at St. Matthew’s Church, Newport
24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
This is the same lesson heard on Advent 1 by ECUSA or others using the RCL (except that the former tend to use the NRSV). Last year, the ACNA used Matthew 24:29-44 (RCL, verses 36-44) in Year A, with Luke 21:25-33 (25-36 for the RCL) next year in Year C. The ACNA’s reading from Luke exactly matches the 1549 (and 1928) Gospel reading for Advent 2.

The Roman Catholic church and most of the liturgical Protestants have stuck with the three year lectionary, which makes that the popular ecumenical option. The exception is the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, which provides the option of both the three year lectionary (with Mark 13:24-37) or the one year lectionary (Matthew 21:1-9).

However — as with all other liturgical reform — the creation of liturgy committees means that “progress” is an ongoing process without end. Meanwhile, the Continuing Anglican churches (and the Reformed Episcopal Church) retain continuity with more than four centuries of Anglican worship dating back to the 16th century.

References

Hatcher, Marion J. 1995.  Commentary on the American Prayer Book, New York: HarperOne.

Wheatley, Charles. 1770. A Rational Illustration of the Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, According to the Use of the Church of England, London: Bettesworth & Rivington. Available at Google books: https://books.google.com/books?id=XIUxAQAAMAAJ

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Celebrating Reformation Sunday

Tuesday marks the 500th anniversary of when Martin Luther wrote (and perhaps posted) his 95 Theses in Wittenberg. This anniversary has spurred a range of commemorations, ranging from historical retrospectives to promotions for given church or German tourist destination. Searching Twitter for #ReformationSunday and #Reformation500 showed a range of responses, as well as some angry denunciations of Luther as a heretic. (Last week, Lutheran pastor Peter Burfeind posted “Five Ways to Not Celebrate the Reformation’s Quincentenary,” which he explained in an Issues Etc. interview Friday.)

The Sunday before Oct. 31 is normally the celebration of “Reformation Day,”  In Germany, the actual Reformationstag is a government holiday for five of the 16 German states. In America, judging from my brief Lutheran period, the Sunday observance appeared to be an excuse to schedule (and sing) Luther’s greatest hit.

In honor of the date, I thought I’d briefly review the impact of Lutheran theology and worship upon Anglican hymnody.

Direct Influences

Even Catholics granted Luther’s impact on liturgy: increased use of scripture, scripture and liturgy in the vernacular (in his case German), and a shift away from the liturgy as something done by the priest for the congregation as opposed to something done by all assembled Christians together. As with the Anglicans, many of these translations were in a direct line with medieval Catholic practice, including singing the ordinary in the hearer’s native tongue. Although rejected at the Council of Trent, these principles were largely incorporated into Catholic worship after Vatican II.

Behind his practices, Luther believed that sacred music was a “good gift”, and articulated a theology of music that remains with us today. A few quotes from my recent seminary paper on sacred music.

In the preface to his 1529 Large Catechism, Luther wrote
we should constantly teach [doctrine] and require young people to recite word for word. Do not assume that they will learn and retain this teaching from sermons alone. When these parts have been well learned, you may assign them also some psalms or hymns based on these subjects, to supplement and confirm their knowledge (Leaver, 1992: 132-133). 
In his preface to a 1545 hymnal compilation, Luther wrote:
There is then a better service in the New Testament whereof the Psalm [96] speaks, ‘Sing unto the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth.’ For God hath made our heart and mind joyful, through his dear Son whom he hath given for us, to redeem us from sin, death and the devil. He who earnestly believes this can not but sing and speak thereof, with joy and delight, that others also may hear and come (Lambert, 1917: 15).

Lutheran Hymns

In thinking about (and pulling down books from my library on) early Lutheran hymn writers, a few 16th and 17th century names come to mind:
Many of these (particularly Praetorius) wrote their own tunes. Other accompanying tunes include those by 
  • Johann Crüger (1598-1662): the tunes to “Ah, holy Jesus” and (what we sang this Sunday) “Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness”
  • Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612): the tune to “O sacred head sore wounded” 
  • Melchior Teschner (1584-1635): the tune to “All Glory, Laud and Honor”
No discussion of German hymnody would be complete without the great Lutheran Kapellmeister, J.S. Bach, who contributed more tunes to Hymnal 1940 than the entire Wesley family (and as many as Vaughan Williams, music editor of The English Hymnal).

Of course, there were also Scandinavian (and later American) Lutheran hymn writers, but (AFAIK) they had less direct impact on the Anglican church, and more impact on American Protestant hymnody through immigration and cultural borrowing.

Our Great Mediatrix

No discussion of the Anglican use of Lutheran hymnody would be complete without mentioning Catherine Wikworth (1827-1878), the author of several hundred translations from German, particularly from her Lyra Germanica.

In his late 19th century encyclopedia of hymns, John Julian (1892: 1287) wrote:
Miss Winkworth, although not the earliest of modern translators from the German into English, is certainly the foremost in rank and popularity. Her translations are the most widely used of any from that language, and have had more to do with the modern revival of the English use of German hymns than the versions of any other writer.
She is credited with nine translations in The English Hymnal (1906), seven in Hymnal 1940, ten in Hymnal 1982 — and even four in Worship III (1986), the third edition of the popular post-Vatican II American Catholic hymnals.

Conclusions

The influence of Luther and his followers on Anglican church music over the past five centuries seems like it could be the subject of a Ph.D. dissertation, although I am thus far unaware of any such thesis. Still, Luther’s ideas of singing in the vernacular, using texts to teach, and making singing accessible to the masses permanently changed the role of music in the Christian church. For that, all Western Christians can be grateful.

References

Julian, John, Dictionary of Hymnology,  New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1892

Lambert, James Franklin, Luther’s Hymns. Philadelphia: General Council Publication House, 1917.

Leaver, Robin A., “The Chorale: Transcending Time and Culture.” Concordia Theological Quarterly 56, 2-3 (1992): 123-144.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Future of the Continuing Anglican church

This month’s Jt. Synod was a historic event for the Continuing Anglican movement, after four decades of both standing on Anglo-Catholic principles and also seemingly endless schism. The hope is that this event — and the intercommunion agreement announced there — will mark the eventual reunification of the Continuing churches into a single jurisdiction, as originally envisioned 40 years ago.

The history of the Continuing movement is recounted in The Day-Spring from on High, a first person memoir published earlier this year by the Rt. Rev. Paul Hewett. Bp. Hewett was involved in the movement since the beginning and since 2006 has been bishop of the Diocese of the Holy Cross. The book was for sale at the synod — while I bought mine in Kindle format in July, after meeting and sitting with Bp. Hewett at this summer’s Forward in Faith assembly.

How We Got Here

In September 1977, nearly 2,000 Anglicans gathered at the Congress of St. Louis to reject doctrinal changes recently approved by the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. The following January 28, four new bishops were consecrated in a ceremony led by retired ECUSA bishop Albert Chambers. As Hewett explained:
We divided the United States into four quadrants, such that Robert Morse was consecrated for the Pacific West, James Mote for the Rocky Mountain States, Peter Watterson for the Southeast, and Dale Doren for the Northeast. 
However, conflicts soon arose among the four men. Hewett continued:
In October of 1978, the Anglican Church in North America had a Synod in Dallas, Texas, to vote on canons and a new name. The fault line that had been widening finally broke open. One side would call itself the Anglican Catholic Church, led by Bishops Mote and Doren. The other side consisted of two Dioceses, Christ the King, and the Southeast, led by Bishops Robert Morse and Peter Watterson.
The two factions eventually split. Today, the Continuing Anglican jurisdictions formed after St. Louis include:
  • 1978: Anglican Catholic Church (ACC), founded by Doren and Mote
  • 1978: Anglican Province of Christ the King (APCK), founded by Morse; meanwhile, Watterson later left for the Roman Catholic Church
  • 1981: United Episcopal Church of North America (UECNA), founded by Doren after splitting from the ACC
  • 1991: Anglican Church in America (ACA), formed by splitting from the ACC and joining with the American Episcopal Church (established 1968 by splitting from ECUSA)
  • 1992: Episcopal Missionary Church (EMC) formed from the ECUSA
  • 1995: Anglican Province of America (APA), formed by splitting from the ACA
  • The Diocese of the Holy Cross (DHC) (according to Hewett’s book) separated from ECUSA in 1989, joined the EMC, left the EMC for the APCK in 1995, then left the APCK in 2003 to become an independent diocese
At one point or another, all were involved or represented in the Fellowship of Concerned Churchmen (FCC, est. 1973), and most in the Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas (FACA, est. 2006). Additional insight into the first three decades of the Continuum can be found in a 2009 conference paper by longtime FCC president Wally Spaulding.

Reunification: Now and Future

On October 6, the ACA, ACC, APA and DHC signed an intercommunion agreement. They have announced plans to move towards full ecclesial integration, including common canons, hierarchies and merged dioceses. These jurisdictions share the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, and a common understanding of Holy Orders (i.e. opposition to women’s ordination).

As participants (unofficially) acknowledged, this cooperation was made possible by the retirement of the first generation of Continuing bishops. In Bp. Hewett’s book, these clergy come across as charismatic, visionary and stubborn — none more so than Bp. Morse (1924-2015), his former mentor and head of the APCK from 1978-2008.

The “G-4” (as they call themselves today) represent 217 parishes in the U.S., according to a joint prayer list posted in February.  Other major non-ECUSA Anglican groupings in the US include:
  • Within the Continuing jurisdictions, the G-4 have prioritized three jurisdictions totaling 94 parishes: the APCK with 43, the EMC with 26, and the UECNA with 25 parishes (according to their current websites). The FCC website lists numerous other smaller jurisdictions, including the American Anglican Church, Anglican Church International Communion, Anglican Orthodox Church and United Anglican Church. 
  • The largest grouping of Anglicans in the US and Canada outside ECUSA is the Anglican Church in North America, formed in 2009 which (according to Wikipedia) had 1,019 parishes in June 2017. It has its own liturgy, a modified version of the 1979 Rite II. Overall, the majority of dioceses do not (today) ordain women, but disagreements over this practice have been a source of tension within the ACNA.
  • Within the ACNA, approximately 150 parishes are members of the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC, est. 1873). The REC has much in common with the G-4 churches: it is a member of FACA, has many parishes that use the 1928 BCP (while others use their own prayer book similar to the 1928 BCP), and it shares a common view of women’s ordination. However, its history emphasized a more Presbyterian (i.e. Reformed) view of Anglicanism — as do numerous REC parishes today — explicitly rejecting the Anglo-Catholic movement.
  • Other non-ECUSA jurisdictions include the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) and the Charismatic Episcopal Church (CEC), but neither use the 1928 BCP or could be conceivably considered to be Anglo-Catholic.
These churches both cooperate and compete for attention, parishioners and resources. The biggest challenge for consolidation of the Continuing Anglican churches is the proliferation of purple shirts, suggesting that some changes may depend on retirements of the existing bishops.

Still, there is no denying that the Continuing movement is now more unified and coherent than at any time since 1978. We pray that this cooperation continues to grow, strengthening the traditional Anglican alternatives to ECUSA.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Continuing Anglican Liturgy in Atlanta

Liturgy was at the center of this month’s Jt. Synod of four major Continuing Anglican jurisdictions — the ACA, ACC, APA and DHC. My own experience suggested both the potential and challenges of integrating this “G-4” in terms of practice, if not ecclesiology.

The heart of the Jt. Synod was the intercommunion agreement signed by the G-4 bishops, followed by a joint mass. But long before Atlanta, Continuing Anglicans have been defined by the Congress of St. Louis, their use of the 1928 BCP and rejection of the 1979 prayer book, one the late Peter Toon termed a “Book of Alternative Services.”

G-4 jurisdictions represented at this month’s Joint Synod both agreed to intercommunion, and also repeatedly worshipped together One of the things I enjoy most about'

Joint Worship at the Joint Synod

The culmination of the Jt. Synod was the “Solemn High Mass for Christian Unity” on Friday October 6. However, it was proceeded by twice daily services from October 2-5, with each day beginning with a Morning Prayer and Mass, and ending with an Evening Prayer. The worship took place in one of the hotel ballrooms, with an altar set up on a raised platform. The earlier services had a capacity of around 250 people, while for the high mass, the capacity was more like 750 (I guessed about 400-500 were in attendance).
Evening Prayer, Wednesday October 4
Fighting jet lag after the trip from California, I was unaware of the Wednesday MP, but attended the Wednesday EP, Thursday MP & Mass and joined the opening hymn of the Thursday EP. The jurisdictions took turn leading these services — the last three being led by the APA, the ACA, and the DHC. (I have uploaded scans of these service booklets for posterity).

Insights into Congregational Practice

There are often variations in the congregational practices of any liturgical church between parishes. These are generally smoothed out over time, as people get used to the culture and other norms of their home parish. Thus, joint worship with no dominant constituency highlights some of the differences in practice — and, I would argue, some of the challenges faced by newcomers to traditional Anglican worship.

We were told to bring our prayer books — but for the Daily Office a slight majority of us were reciting the familiar prayers from memory. (I would guess for communion it was over 80%). Prayer books were not needed for the closing High Mass, which had a detailed nine-page as well as a ten-page musical insert.

The greatest confusion was over standing, sitting and kneeling. There were times when the congregation was split among all three. As in other churches, the degree of kneeling was greatest on key prayers — such as on the confession. Also — as in many storefront churches — I suspect that the kneeling (on the hotel carpet) was less than might have happened if there were pews and kneelers. Still, for the psalm at the Wednesday EP, many of us remained standing until we noticed that so many others were sitting.

Another interesting variation was the congregational response bracketing the reading of the Gospel, which (fortunately for those of us who go to ACNA or FIFNA events), includes the same “Glory be to thee, O Lord” beforehand and “Praise be to thee, O Christ” afterward. The rubric in the 28 BCP (p. 70) says
Then, all the People standing, the Minister appointed shall read the Gospel, first saying, The Holy Gospel is written in the — Chapter of —, beginning at the — Verse.
Communion at the October 5 morning service.
Some in the congregation started the “Glory be” before the introduction was completed — suggesting at their parishes the deacon omits the chapter and verse — and perhaps even the author of the Gospel.

While the congregation was consistent in making than the threefold sign of the cross before the Gospel, there was also significant variation in the bowing and crossing at other times during the service. Lacking a communion rail, the Eucharist was (of necessity) administered standing up, although some clergy (or seminarians) knelt on the carpet — either to receive the elements or because (at least in the final service) they were being administered by the princes of the church.

Variations in the Liturgy

The worship reflected many common variations among 28 BCP parishes. Perhaps the most theologically significant is the Gloria, which in the service — as in the BCP — was recited after the Eucharist. In Rite I (of the 79 prayer book), the Gloria is said near the beginning, immediately after the Kyrie; this is also the practice of our parish (and many other California 28 BCP parishes).

Another variation is in the Prayer of Humble Access and post-communion prayer, which the 28 BCP commands to be said by the priest, but are congregational prayers in the 1979 prayer book. Many 28 parishes have adopted the latter practice — which I believe to be an improvement — and this is also what we did at the Thursday morning mass. I am guessing this practice must be common, because the booklet for Friday’s mass says “Celebrant Only” after the Prayer of Humble Access.

After carefully following the prayer book, the High Mass included two non-prayer book additions that seem common at Anglo-Catholic parishes. One was the threefold prayer “Lord I am not worthy” that references the centurion’s statement of faith in Matthew 8:8. While the prayer is a standard element of the Roman rite (Domine, non sum dignus), and also included in early 20th century “Anglo-Papalist” practice in England, it does not appear anywhere in the 28 BCP.

The High Mass also included the Last Gospel (John 1:1-14) of the Roman rite, but read in King James English rather than the Latin of the Tridentine Mass.

Finally, most of the services I attended did not use an altar bell, but it wasn’t clear whether it’s because they didn’t have one, they didn’t have an acolyte ready to ring it, or they didn’t believe it was an appropriate practice.  Although common in today’s Anglo-Catholic parishes, it’s nowhere mentioned in the BCP, but rather a medieval Roman practice codified in the Tridentine Mass and largely abandoned after Vatican II. (As a musician, I happen to like the sound — and also missed it because because at our parish the second bell helps signal when we should cross ourselves).

Unity in Ecclesiology and Worship

The G-4 are working towards a common hierarchy, one they hope will eventually include other groups as well. The Continuing churches are united by a common liturgy, even more so than the Anglicans going back to Cranmer’s day, but the reality is that today there are numerous deviations from the nearly 90-year-old American BCP. It seems as though most of these differences could be handled (for now) by supplemental rubrics.

In doing so, I think it would also good to write down and disseminate congregational practices such as standing, kneeling, crossing, ringing and genuflecting. Over the long haul, I'm hoping that parishes will indicate these into the seat booklets, particularly since word process and web pages can easily include unicode symbols (e.g. ✠, ✣) that are instantly recognizable and self-explanatory. Certainly agreeing on a supplemental document would be a better way to kick off a joint committee on liturgy than to start with the more complex (and contentious) issue of a prayer book revision.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Reflections on the 2017 Joint Synod

Last week I attended the Joint Synod of four Continuing Anglican jurisdictions, held Oct. 2-6 in Dunwoody, an Atlanta suburb. The complete program is uploaded here.

The event was timed to a few weeks after the 40th anniversary of the Congress of St. Louis, the largest of the 20th century schisms from the Episcopal Church. The 1977 congress created an Anglican Church in New America — followed by the 1978 consecration of the first four continuing Bishops by Albert Chambers. But the groups fractured repeatedly over the next decades, showing that (as often in the last 500 years) Protestants have demonstrated a unique talent for fragmenting.

Joint Communion Agreement

This month’s event featured four of the seven major continuing (pre-80s schism) Anglican groups: the Anglican Church in America, the Anglican Catholic Church, the Anglican Province of America and the Diocese of the Holy Cross.

The most significant event was the formal agreement for intercommunion, which stated:
We acknowledge each other to be orthodox and catholic Anglicans in virtue of our common adherence to the authorities accepted by and summarized in the Affirmation of St. Louis in the faith of the Holy Tradition of the undivided Catholic Church and of the seven Ecumenical Councils.

We recognize in each other in all essentials the same faith; the same sacraments; the same moral teaching; and the same worship; likewise, we recognize in each other the same Holy Orders of bishops, priests, and deacons in the same Apostolic Succession, insofar as we all share the episcopate conveyed to the Continuing Churches in Denver in January 1978 in response to the call of the Congress of Saint Louis; therefore,

We welcome members of all of our Churches to Holy Communion and parochial life in any and all of the congregations of our Churches; and,

We pledge to pursue full, institutional, and organic union with each other, in a manner that respects tender consciences, builds consensus and harmony, and fulfills increasingly our Lord’s will that His Church be united; and,

We pledge also to seek unity with other Christians, including those who understand themselves to be Anglican, insofar as such unity is consistent with the essentials of Catholic faith, order, and moral teaching.
The heads of the four groups stood Friday after signing of the agreement.
Rt. Rev. Paul C. Hewett (DHC), Most Rev. Walter H. Grundorf (APA),
Most Rev. Mark D. Haverland (ACC) and Most Rev. Brian R. Marsh (ACA). Photo by J. West
and a video of the ceremony can be found on YouTube.

Rev. Clendenin
Photo by J. West
Other aspects of the joint synod included joint worship all week, and a closing high mass after the intercommunion agreement. A joint dinner on Thursday night featured a speech by Fr. George , who recounted the highlight of his career, his role in the 1977 Congress. A video of his talk was recorded and posted by Anglican.TV.

News Coverage

Despite its historic nature, there was surprisingly little coverage. There were brief articles on Virtue Online and Anglican Ink. By comparison, almost any story about the ACNA — about 5x-6x larger — gets widespread coverage in the US Anglican media.

Anglican.TV recorded a joint press conference with the four leaders. Perhaps even more insight can be gained from the audio recorded by Quad City Anglican Radio — a podcast by two Anglo-Catholic leaning ACNA priests. Their interviews included Bp. Hewett, PB Marsh, as well as pre-recorded interview with Bp. Chad Jones (APA), whose Dunwood parish (St. Barnabas) co-hosted the conference with Abp. Haverland’s Athens cathedral (St. Stephen’s).