Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Truth and Beauty; Beauty and Truth!

It has gotten that every time I face this blank page I am consumed with both anger and dispair. Why? Because I miss the austere beauty of the full Anglican rite augmented with the musical tradition of the English church at its best which seems no longer to found anywhere. Instead we have folks who call themselves Anglican who are either lusting after the Roman Novus Ordo, the Puritan Morning Prayer with Sermon or the 'Back to Baroque' Anglican or English missal service with nary a hint of the offices anywhere except for the occasional service of Evening Prayer as a prelude to Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

In the local area we have four groups calling themselves Anglican. The first is connected to the Anglican Province of Christ the King which falls into the last category. The 1928 American Book of Common Prayer may be in the pew but the services would never be recognized as coming from same. The canon used is that of the English prayer book of 1662 so that the celebrant can actually recite the rest of the old Roman canon in Latin. The second is a parish of the Reformed Episcopal Church which varies between emasculated versions of the English 1662 and the American 1928. The third is a parish of the rising Anglican Church in North America which uses the TEO liturgy of 1979 with the exception of a personal re-write of the Nicene Creed by the rector and his curate. The fourth is a classical American prayer book group that seems much too small to ever grow and endure, but which alone represents the 'doctrine, discipline and worship' of classical and orthodox prayer book Anglicanism.

Yep! Mine!

And yet in the middle of such great deprivation, I also am full of hope. Why? because it is the last alone which may claim the fullness of the truth and beauty. And it is because of this truth of beauty and beauty of truth that I am sure that real Anglicanism will survive not only in the United States, but also in all the English speaking world.