Saturday, July 3, 2010

Independence Day

Tomorrow is Independence Day and its propers will replace those for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity. on pages xlii and xliii of the American Book of Common Prayer you will find the psalms and lessons for Morning and Evening Prayer. Strangely, it does not rate a first evensong. That may be because it is not entirely a feast of the Church although the Church does give it great importance as well it should.

Why? Because the American struggle for independence, for liberty was a struggle born from the very teaching of the prayer book tradition itself just as the revolt against King John which led to the Magna Carta was likewise a struggle born in the Gospel's vision for all men. Most of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence and who wrote the Constitution of the United States were Churchmen. Consequently it is no wonder that the ideals upon which this nation was founded and built sprang straight from the Old Testament and the New.

As we celebrate our independence tomorrow appropriately in attendance at Morning Prayer and Holy Communion let us remember all those who have given their lives both to make and keep us free. And let us also renew our faith in the Faith which inspired them, the faith which every day reminded them that there is a God in "whose service is perfect freedom."

5 comments:

charles said...

Hello Bp. Lee,

The celebration of our constitution and liberties reminds me of some discussions I've engaged divine right monarchists, namely the question if monarchs are bound by their own word. I believe this is the basis of constitutions, explaining the origin of ours (a covenant made between christian men), especially our rights from the 1689 english bill. In this sense, our founding fathers were declaring their own rights as English citizens. Nonetheless, the separation from the monarch is troubling. Do you think Anglicanism tends to mitigate that unnecessary breech by maintaining a cultural relation of sorts to the CofE (prior to apostasy)?

Canon Tallis said...

The English Coronation order which was written by St. Dunstan and which came to be used all over Europe bond the King to rule according to the laws to which he was also subject. In short, it denied the King the position of an absolute despot which came to be the ideal in Europe, the French in particular.

Canon Tallis said...

The English Coronation order which was written by St. Dunstan and which came to be used all over Europe bond the King to rule according to the laws to which he was also subject. In short, it denied the King the position of an absolute despot which came to be the ideal in Europe, the French in particular.

Death Bredon said...

Moreover, due to the revisionist influence of Warren Court precedents, most Americans fail to understand that the Establishment and Free-Exercise Clause of the First Amendment were meant to combine to protect the right of the several States' to enforce their respective religious establishments without Congressional interference. Thus, far from favoring a wall of separation between Church and State, the Founding Fathers were much more in line with the received tradition of Protestant establishment.

Canon Tallis said...

Absolutely, Death, although after the war between the states the Federal government attempted to make that more difficult for new states as the old ones had just given up their establishments.