The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion (commonly abbreviated as the Thirty-nine Articles or the XXXIX Articles) are the historically defining statements of doctrines and practices of the Church of England with respect to the controversies of the English Reformation. The Thirty-nine Articles form part of the Book of Common Prayer used by both the Church of England and the Episcopal Church. Several versions are available online.
When Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church and was excommunicated, he formed a new Church of England, which would be headed by the monarch (himself) rather than the pope. At this point, he needed to determine what its doctrines and practices would be in relation to the Roman Catholic Church and the new Protestant movements in continental Europe. A series of defining documents were written and replaced over a period of 30 years as the doctrinal and political situation changed from the excommunication of Henry VIII in 1533, to the excommunication of Elizabeth I in 1570. These positions began with the Ten Articles in 1536, and concluded with the finalisation of the Thirty-nine articles in 1571. The Thirty-nine articles ultimately served to define the doctrine of the Church of England as it related to Calvinist doctrine and Roman Catholic practice.
The articles went through at least five major revisions prior to their finalisation in 1571. The first attempt was the Ten Articles in 1536, which showed some slightly Protestant leanings – the result of an English desire for a political alliance with the German Lutheran princes. The next revision was the Six Articles in 1539 which swung away from all reformed positions, and then the King's Book in 1543, which re-established most of the earlier Roman Catholic doctrines. During the reign of Edward VI, Henry VIII's only son, the Forty-Two Articles were written under the direction of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in 1552. It was in this document that Calvinist thought reached the zenith of its influence in the English Church. These articles were never put into action, due to Edward VI's death and the reversion of the English Church to Roman Catholicism under Henry VIII's elder daughter, Mary I.
Finally, upon the coronation of Elizabeth I and the re-establishment of the Church of England as separate from the Roman Catholic Church, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion were initiated by the Convocation of 1563, under the direction of Matthew Parker, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The articles pulled back from some of the more extreme Calvinist thinking and created the peculiar English reformed doctrine.
The Thirty-nine Articles were finalised in 1571, and incorporated into the Book of Common Prayer. Although not the end of the struggle between Catholic and Protestant monarchs and citizens, the book helped to standardise the English language, and was to have a lasting effect on religion in the United Kingdom, and elsewhere through its wide use.
The Church of England's break with Rome inaugurated a period of doctrinal confusion and controversy as both conservative and reforming clergy attempted to shape the church's direction, the former as "Catholicism without the Pope" and the latter as Protestant. In an attempt "to establish Christian quietness and unity", the Ten Articles were adopted by clerical Convocation in July 1536 as the English Church's first post-papal doctrinal statement. The Ten Articles were crafted as a rushed interim compromise between conservatives and reformers. Historians have variously described it as a victory for Lutheranism and a success for Catholic resistance. Its provisions have also been described as "confusing".
The first five articles dealt with doctrines that were "commanded expressly by God, and are necessary to our salvation", while the last five articles dealt with "laudable ceremonies used in the Church". This division reflects how the Articles originated from two different discussions earlier in the year. The first five articles were based on the Wittenberg Articles negotiated between English ambassadors Edward Foxe, Nicholas Heath and Robert Barnes and German Lutheran theologians, including Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon. This doctrinal statement was itself based on the Augsburg Confession of 1530.
The five principal doctrines were the Bible and ecumenical creeds, baptism, penance, the Eucharist and justification. The core doctrine in the Ten Articles was justification by faith. Justification – which was defined as remission of sin and accepting into God's favour – was through "the only mercy and grace of the Father, promised freely unto us for his Son’s sake Jesus Christ, and the merits of his blood and passion". Good works would follow, not precede, justification. However, the Lutheran influence was diluted with qualifications. Justification was attained "by contrition and faith joined with charity". In other words, good works were "necessarily required to the attaining of everlasting life".
To the disappointment of conservatives, only three of the traditional seven sacraments were even mentioned (baptism, the Eucharist and penance). The Articles affirm the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, stating that "under the form and figure of bread and wine ... is verily, substantially and really contained the very self-same body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ". This definition was acceptable to those who held to transubstantiation or sacramental union, but it clearly condemned sacramentarianism. More controversially for the reformers, the Articles maintained penance as a sacrament and the priest's authority to grant divine absolution in confession.
Articles six through ten focused on secondary issues. Significantly, purgatory, which had been a central concern of medieval religion, was placed in the non-essential articles. On the question of its existence, the Ten Articles were ambiguous. It stated, "the place where [departed souls] be, the name thereof, and kind of pains there" was "uncertain by scripture". Prayer for the dead and masses for the dead were permitted as possibly relieving the pain of departed souls in purgatory.
The Articles also defended the use of a number of Catholic rituals and practices opposed by Protestants, such as kissing the cross on Good Friday, while mildly criticizing popular abuses and excesses. The use of religious images was permitted, but people were to be taught not to kneel before them or make offerings to them. Prayer to Mary, mother of Jesus, and all the other saints was permitted as long as superstition was avoided.
In summary, the Ten Articles asserted:
The failure of the Ten Articles to settle doctrinal controversy led Thomas Cromwell, the King's vicegerent in spirituals, to convene a national synod of bishops and high-ranking clergy for further theological discussion in February 1537. This synod produced a book called The Institution of the Christian Man (popularly called The Bishops' Book), the word institution being synonymous with instruction. The Bishops' Book preserved the semi-Lutheranism of the Ten Articles, and the articles on justification, purgatory, and the sacraments of baptism, the Eucharist and penance were incorporated unchanged into the new book.
When the synod met, conservatives were still angry that four of the traditional seven sacraments (confirmation, marriage, holy orders and extreme unction) had been excluded from the Ten Articles. John Stokesley argued for all seven, while Thomas Cranmer only acknowledged baptism and the Eucharist. The others divided along party lines. The conservatives were at a disadvantage because they found it necessary to appeal to sacred tradition, which violated Cromwell's instructions that all arguments refer to scripture.
In the end, the missing sacraments were restored but placed in a separate section to emphasize "a difference in dignity and necessity." Only baptism, the Eucharist and penance were "instituted of Christ, to be as certain instruments or remedies necessary for our salvation". Confirmation was declared to have been introduced by the early Church in imitation of what they had read about the practice of the Apostles.
The Bishops' Book also included expositions on the creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary. These were greatly influenced by William Marshall's primer (lay devotional book) of 1535, which itself was influenced by Luther's writings. Following Marshall, The Bishops' Book rejected the traditional Catholic numbering of the Ten Commandments, in which the prohibition on making and worshiping graven images was part of the first commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me". In agreement with the Eastern Orthodox and Huldrych Zwingli's church at Zurich, the authors of the Bishops' Book adopted the Jewish tradition of separating these commandments. While allowing images of Christ and the saints, the exposition on the second commandment taught against representations of God the Father and criticised those who "be more ready with their substance to deck dead images gorgeously and gloriously, than with the same to help poor Christian people, the quick and lively images of God". Such teachings encouraged iconoclasm, which would become a feature of the English Reformation.
The list of the 46 divines as they appear in the Bishop's Book included all of the bishops, eight archdeacons and 17 other Doctors of Divinity, some of whom were later involved with translating the Bible and compiling the Prayer Book:
Thomas Cranmer – Edward Lee – John Stokesley – Cuthbert Tunstall – Stephen Gardiner – Robert Aldrich – John Voysey – John Longland – John Clerk – Royland Lee – Thomas Goodrich – Nicholas Shaxton – John Bird – Edward Foxe – Hugh Latimer – John Hilsey – Richard Sampson – William Repps – William Barlowe – Robert Partew – Robert Holgate – Richard Wolman – William Knight – John Bell – Edmond Bonner – William Skip – Nicholas Heath – Cuthbert Marshal – Richard Curren – William Cliffe – William Downes – Robert Oking – Ralph Bradford – Richard Smyth – Simon Matthew – John Pryn – William Buckmaster – William May – Nicholas Wotton – Richard Cox – John Edmunds – Thomas Robertson – John Baker – Thomas Barett – John Hase – John Tyson
In August 1537, it was presented to the King who ordered that parts should be read from the pulpit every Sunday and feast day. Nevertheless, the King was not entirely satisfied and took it upon himself to make a revised Bishops' Book, which, among other proposed changes, weakened the original's emphasis on justification by faith. This revised version was never published, but the Bishops' Book would later be replaced with the King's Book.
Fearful of diplomatic isolation and a Catholic alliance, Henry VIII continued his outreach to the Lutheran Schmalkaldic League. In May 1538, three Lutheran theologians from Germany – Franz Burchard, vice-chancellor of Saxony; Georg von Boineburg, doctor of law; and Friedrich Myconius, superintendent of the church in Gotha – arrived in London and held conferences with English bishops and clergy at the archbishop's Lambeth Palace through September.
The Germans presented, as a basis of agreement, a number of articles based on the Lutheran Confession of Augsburg. Bishops Tunstall, Stokesley and others were not won over by these Protestant arguments and did everything they could to avoid agreement. They were willing to separate from Rome, but their plan was to unite with the Greek Church and not with the Protestants on the continent. The bishops also refused to eliminate what the Germans considered abuses (e.g. private masses for the dead, compulsory clerical celibacy, and withholding communion wine from the laity) allowed by the English Church. Stokesley considered these customs to be essential because the Greek Church practised them. As the King was unwilling to break with these practices, the Germans had all left England by October 1.
Meanwhile, England was in religious turmoil. Impatient Protestants took it upon themselves to further reform — some priests said mass in English rather than Latin and married without authorisation (Archbishop Cranmer was himself secretly married). Protestants themselves were divided between establishment reformers who held Lutheran beliefs upholding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and radicals who held Anabaptist and Sacramentarian views denying real presence. In May 1539, a new Parliament met, and Lord Chancellor Audley told the House of Lords that the King desired religious uniformity. A committee of four conservative and four reformist bishops was appointed to examine and determine doctrine. On May 16, the Duke of Norfolk noted that the committee had not agreed on anything and proposed that the Lords examine six controversial doctrinal questions that became the basis of the Six Articles:
Over the next month, these questions were argued in Parliament and Convocation with the active participation of the King. The final product was an affirmation of traditional teachings on all questions. Communion in one kind, compulsory clerical celibacy, vows of chastity and votive masses were acceptable by divine law. Protestants achieved a minor victory on auricular confession, which was declared "expedient and necessary to be retained" but not required by divine law. In addition, although the real presence was affirmed in traditional terminology, the word transubstantiation itself did not appear in the final version.
The Act of Six Articles became law in June 1539, which, unlike the Ten Articles, gave the Six Articles statutory authority. Harsh penalties were attached to violations of the Articles. Denial of transubstantiation was punished by burning without an opportunity to recant. Denial of any of the other articles was punished by hanging or life imprisonment. Married priests had until 12 July to put away their wives, which was likely a concession granted to give Archbishop Cranmer time to move his wife and children outside of England. After the act's passage, bishops Latimer and Shaxton, outspoken opponents of the measure, were forced to resign their dioceses. The Act of Six Articles was repealed in 1547 during the reign of Henry's son, Edward VI.
When Parliament re-convened in April 1540, a committee was formed to revise the Bishops' Book, which Henry VIII had never liked. The committee's membership included both traditionalists and reformers, but the former held the majority. Convocation began discussing the revised text in April 1543. The King's Book, or The Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for Any Christian Man to use its formal title, was more traditional than the 1537 version and incorporated many of the King's own revisions. It was approved by a special meeting of the nobility on 6 May and differed from the Bishop's Book in having been issued under the King's authority. It was also statutorily enforced by the Act for the Advancement of True Religion.
Significantly, the doctrine of justification by faith was totally rejected. Cranmer tried to save the doctrine by arguing that while true faith was accompanied by good works (in other words, faith was not alone) it was only faith that justified. However, Henry would not be persuaded, and the text was amended to read that faith justified "neither only nor alone". It also stated that each person had free will to be "a worker ... in the attaining of his own justification". The King's Book also endorsed traditional views of the mass, transubstantiation, confession, and Church ceremonies. The traditional seven sacraments were all included without any distinction in importance made between them. It was taught that the second commandment did not forbid images but only "godly honour" being given to them. Looking at images of Christ and the saints "provoked, kindled and stirred to yield thanks to Our Lord".
The one area in which the King's Book moved away from traditional teaching was on prayer for the dead and purgatory. It taught that no one could know whether prayers or masses for the dead benefited an individual soul, and it was better to offer prayers for "the universal congregation of Christian people, quick and dead". People were encouraged to "abstain from the name of purgatory, and no more dispute or reason thereof". Presumably, the hostility towards purgatory derived from its connection to papal authority. The King's own behavior sent mixed signals. In 1540, he allowed offerings for the souls of deceased Knights of the Garter to be spent on works of charity instead of masses. At the same time, however, he required the new cathedral foundations to pray for the soul of Queen Jane. Perhaps due to the uncertainty surrounding this doctrine, bequests in wills for chantries, obits and masses fell by half what they had been in the 1520s.
The Forty-two Articles were intended to summarise Anglican doctrine, as it now existed under the reign of Edward VI, who favoured a Protestant faith. Largely the work of Thomas Cranmer, they were to be short formularies that would demonstrate the faith revealed in Scripture and the existing ecumenical creeds. Completed in 1552, they were issued by Royal Mandate on 19 June 1553. The articles were claimed to have received the authority of a Convocation, although this is doubtful. With the coronation of Mary I and the reunion of the Church of England with the Catholic Church, the Articles were never enforced. However, after Mary's death, they became the basis of the Thirty-nine Articles. In 1563, Convocation met under Archbishop Parker to revise the articles. Convocation passed only 39 of the 42, and Elizabeth reduced the number to 38 by throwing out Article XXIX to avoid offending her subjects with Catholic leanings. In 1571, the Article XXIX, despite the opposition of Bishop Edmund Gheast, was inserted, to the effect that the wicked do not eat the Body of Christ. This was done following the queen's excommunication by the Pope Pius V in 1570. That act destroyed any hope of reconciliation with Rome and it was no longer necessary to fear that Article XXIX would offend Catholic sensibilities. The Articles, increased to Thirty-nine, were ratified by the Queen, and the bishops and clergy were required to assent.
The Thirty-nine Articles were not intended as a complete statement of the Christian faith, but of the position of the Church of England in relation to the Catholic Church and dissident Protestants. The Articles argue against some Anabaptist positions such as the holding of goods in common and the necessity of believer's baptism. The motivation for their production and enactment was the absence of a general consensus on matters of faith following the separation from Rome. There was a concern that dissenters who wanted the reforms to go much further (for example, to abolish the three-fold ministry by eliminating bishops) would increase in influence. Wishing to pursue Elizabeth's agenda of establishing a national church that would maintain the indigenous apostolic faith and incorporate some of the insights of Protestantism, the Articles were intended to incorporate a balance of theology and doctrine. This allowed them to appeal to the broadest domestic opinion, Catholic and otherwise. In this sense, the Articles are a revealing window into the ethos and character of Anglicanism, in particular in the way the document works to navigate a via media ("middle path") between the beliefs and practices of the Lutheran and of the Reformed churches, thus lending the Church of England a mainstream Reformed air. The "via media" was expressed so adroitly in the Articles that some Anglican scholars have labelled their content as an early example of the idea that the doctrine of Anglicanism is one of "Reformed Catholicism". The Articles therefore state that there are only two sacraments – baptism and communion – they reject the idea of transsubstantiation and clerical celibacy as well the idea of purgatory and the possibility of indulgences.
The Articles highlight the Anglican positions with regard to orthodox Catholic teachings, to Puritanism, and to Anabaptist thought. They are divided, in compliance with the command of Queen Elizabeth, into four sections: Articles 1–8, "The Catholic Faith"; Articles 9–18, "Personal Religion"; Articles 19–31, "Corporate Religion"; and Articles 32–39, "Miscellaneous." The articles were issued both in English and in Latin, and both are of equal authority.
Articles I–VIII: The Catholic Articles: The first five articles articulate the Catholic credal statements concerning the nature of God, manifest in the Holy Trinity. Articles VI and VII deal with scripture, while Article VIII discusses the essential creeds.
Articles IX–XVIII: The Protestant and Reformed Articles: These articles dwell on the topics of sin, justification, and the eternal disposition of the soul. Of particular focus is the major Reformation topic of justification by faith.
Articles XIX–XXXI: The Anglican Articles: This section focuses on the expression of faith in the public venue – the institutional church, the councils of the church, worship, ministry, and sacramental theology.
Articles XXXII–XXXIX: Miscellaneous: These articles concern clerical celibacy, excommunication, traditions of the Church, and other issues not covered elsewhere. Article XXXVII additionally states among other things that the Bishop of Rome has no jurisdiction in the realm of England.
In 1628 Charles I prefixed a royal declaration to the articles, which demands a literal interpretation of them, threatening discipline for academics or churchmen teaching any personal interpretations or encouraging debate about them. It states: "no man hereafter shall either print or preach, to draw the Article aside any way, but shall submit to it in the plain and Full meaning thereof: and shall not put his own sense or comment to be the meaning of the Article, but shall take it in the literal and grammatical sense."
However, what the Articles truly mean has been a matter of debate in the Church since before they were issued. The evangelical wing of the Church has taken the Articles at face value. In 2003, evangelical Anglican clergyman Chris Pierce wrote:
The Thirty-Nine Articles define the biblically derived summations of precise Christian doctrine. The Thirty-Nine Articles are more than minimally assented to; they are believed wholeheartedly. In earlier times English and Irish evangelicals would have read Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, Ussher, and Ryle and would unreservedly agree with Dean Litton's assessment that (quoted by Dean Paul Zahl, in his work 'The Protestant Face of Anglicanism'), 'The Anglican Church, if she is to be judged by the statements of the Articles, must be ranked among the Protestant Churches of Europe.'
Some of them are the very same that are contained in the Creed; some others of them are practical truths, which come not within the proper list of points or articles to be believed; lastly, some of them are pious opinions or inferior truths, which are proposed by the Church of England to all her sons, as not to be opposed; not as essentials of Faith necessary to be believed by all Christians necessitate medii, under pain of damnation.
This divergence of opinion became overt during the Oxford Movement of the 19th century. The stipulations of Articles XXV and XXVIII were regularly invoked by evangelicals to oppose the reintroduction of certain beliefs, customs, and acts of piety with respect to the sacraments. In response, John Henry Newman's Tract 90 attempted to show that the 39 Articles could be read according to an Anglo-Catholic interpretation.
Adherence to the Articles was made a legal requirement by the English Parliament in 1571. They are printed in the Book of Common Prayer and other Anglican prayer books. The Test Act of 1672 made adherence to the Articles a requirement for holding civil office in England until its repeal in 1828. Students at Oxford University were still expected to sign up to them until the passing of the Oxford University Act 1854.
In the past, in numerous national churches and dioceses, those entering Holy Orders had to make an oath of subscription to the Articles. Clergy of the Church of England are required to affirm their loyalty to the Articles and other historic formularies (the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons). The Church of Ireland has a similar declaration for its clergy, while some other churches of the Anglican Communion make no such requirement.
The influence of the Articles on Anglican thought, doctrine and practice has been profound. Although Article VIII itself states that the three Catholic creeds are a sufficient statement of faith, the Articles have often been perceived as the nearest thing to a supplementary confession of faith possessed by the Anglican tradition.
A revised version was adopted in 1801 by the US Episcopal Church which deleted the Athanasian Creed. Earlier, John Wesley, founder of the Methodists, adapted the Thirty-nine Articles for use by American Methodists in the 18th century. The resulting Articles of Religion remain official United Methodist doctrine.
In Anglican discourse, the Articles are regularly cited and interpreted to clarify doctrine and practice. Sometimes they are used to prescribe support of Anglican comprehensiveness. An important concrete manifestation of this is the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, which incorporates Articles VI, VIII, XXV, and XXXVI in its broad articulation of fundamental Anglican identity. In other circumstances they delineate the parameters of acceptable belief and practice in proscriptive fashion.
The Articles continue to be invoked today in the Anglican Church. For example, in the ongoing debate over homosexual activity and the concomitant controversies over episcopal authority, Articles VI, XX, XXIII, XXVI, and XXXIV are regularly cited by those of various opinions.
Each of the 44 member churches in the Anglican Communion is, however, free to adopt and authorise its own official documents, and the Articles are not officially normative in all Anglican Churches (neither is the Athanasian Creed). The only doctrinal documents agreed upon in the Anglican Communion are the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed of AD 381, and the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. Beside these documents, authorised liturgical formularies, such as Prayer Book and Ordinal, are normative. The several provincial editions of Prayer Books (and authorised alternative liturgies) are, however, not identical, although they share a greater or smaller amount of family resemblance. No specific edition of the Prayer Book is therefore binding for the entire Communion.
Events from the year 1634 in Ireland.Additions to Daniel
The Additions to Daniel comprise three chapters not found in the Hebrew/Aramaic text of Daniel. The text of these chapters is found in the Koine Greek Septuagint, the earliest Old Greek translation.
In the third century CE, these additions were accepted as Scripture by all extant Christian writers except Jerome. They are accepted as canonical and translated as such in Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Syriac Bibles. They are listed in Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England. However, most Protestant Bibles exclude these passages as biblical apocrypha, retaining only the text available today in the Hebrew/Aramaic manuscripts. In Judaism, the additions are not considered canonical, although a version of the Susanna story found its way into rabbinical literature in the Sefer Yosippon.The three additions are as follows.
The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children: Daniel 3:24–90 inserted between verses 23 and 24 (v. 24 becomes v. 91) in the Protestant canon, incorporated within the Fiery Furnace episode. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are thrown into a furnace for declining to worship an idol, they are rescued by an angel and sing a song of worship. In some Greek Bibles, the Prayer and the Song appear in an appendix to the book of Psalms.
Susanna and the Elders: before Daniel 1:1, a prologue in early Greek manuscripts; chapter 13 in the Vulgate. This episode, along with Bel and the Dragon, is one of "the two earliest examples" of a detective story, according to Christopher Booker. In it, two men attempt to coerce a young woman into having sexual relations with them through blackmail, but are foiled under close questioning by Daniel.
Bel and the Dragon: after Daniel 12:13 in Greek, an epilogue; chapter 14 in the Vulgate. In this tale, Daniel's detective work reveals that a brass idol believed to miraculously consume sacrifices is in fact a front for a corrupt priesthood which is stealing the offerings.Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion. Founded in 1867 in London, England, the communion currently has 85 million members within the Church of England and other national and regional churches in full communion. The traditional origins of Anglican doctrines are summarised in the Thirty-nine Articles (1571). The Archbishop of Canterbury (currently Justin Welby) in England acts as a focus of unity, recognised as primus inter pares ("first among equals"), but does not exercise authority in Anglican provinces outside of the Church of England.
The Anglican Communion was founded at the Lambeth Conference in 1867 in London, England, under the leadership of Charles Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury. The churches of the Anglican Communion consider themselves to be part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, and to be both catholic and reformed. Although aligned with the Church of England, the communion has a multitude of beliefs, liturgies, and practices, including evangelical, liberal and Anglo-Catholic. Each retain their own legislative process and episcopal polity under the leadership of local primates. For some adherents, Anglicanism represents a non-papal Catholicism, for others a form of Protestantism though without guiding figure such as Luther, Knox, Calvin, Zwingli or Wesley, or for yet others a combination of the two.
Most of its 85 million members live in the Anglosphere of former British territories. Full participation in the sacramental life of each church is available to all communicant members. Due to their historical link to England (Ecclesia Anglicana means "English Church"), some of the member churches are known as "Anglican", such as the Anglican Church of Canada. Others, for example the Church of Ireland, the Scottish and American Episcopal churches have official names which do not include "Anglican".Anglican Episcopal Church
The Anglican Episcopal Church (AEC) was a Continuing Anglican church consisting of parishes in Arizona, Alaska, and Florida served by a presiding bishop and several other clergy. The AEC was founded at St. George's Anglican Church in Ventura, California.
The church described its faith as being based on the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, the Authorized Version of the Bible,
and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. Now the AEC functions as a non-geographical Diocese of the United Episcopal Church of North America.Anglican doctrine
Anglican doctrine (also called Episcopal doctrine in some countries) is the body of Christian teachings used to guide the religious and moral practices of Anglicans.Anglican sacraments
In keeping with its prevailing self-identity as a via media or "middle path" of Western Christianity, Anglican sacramental theology expresses elements in keeping with its status as a church in the Catholic tradition and a church of the Reformation. With respect to sacramental theology the Catholic tradition is perhaps most strongly asserted in the importance Anglicanism places on the sacraments as a means of grace, sanctification and forgiveness as expressed in the church's liturgy.
When the Thirty-Nine Articles were accepted by Anglicans generally as a norm for Anglican teaching, they recognised two sacraments only – Baptism and the Eucharist – as having been ordained by Christ ("sacraments of the Gospel") as Article XXV of the Thirty-Nine Articles describes them) and as necessary for salvation. The status of the Articles today varies from province to province: Canon A5 of the Church of England defines them as a source for Anglican doctrine. Peter Toon names ten provinces as having retained them. He goes on to suggest that they have become "one strategic lens of a multi-lens telescope through which to view tradition and approach Scripture".Five other acts are regarded variously as full sacraments by Anglo-Catholics or as "sacramental rites" by Evangelicals with varied opinions among broad church and liberal Anglicans. Article XXV of the Thirty-Nine Articles states that these five "are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures; but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God."According to the Thirty-Nine Articles, the seven are divided as follows:
A wider range of opinions about the 'effectiveness of the sacraments is found among Anglicans than in the Roman Catholic Church: some hold to a more Catholic view maintaining that the sacraments function "as a result of the act performed" (ex opere operato); others emphasise strongly the need for worthy reception and faith".Anglo-Catholicism
Anglo-Catholicism, Anglican Catholicism, or Catholic Anglicanism comprises people, beliefs and practices within Anglicanism that emphasise the Catholic heritage and identity of the various Anglican churches.The term Anglo-Catholic was coined in the early 19th century, although movements emphasising the Catholic nature of Anglicanism had already existed. Particularly influential in the history of Anglo-Catholicism were the Caroline Divines of the seventeenth century and later the leaders of the Oxford Movement, which began at the University of Oxford in 1833 and ushered in a period of Anglican history known as the "Catholic Revival".A minority of Anglo-Catholics, sometimes called Anglican Papalists, consider themselves under papal supremacy even though they are not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Such Anglo-Catholics, especially in England, often celebrate Mass according to the contemporary Roman Catholic rite and are concerned with seeking reunion with the Roman Catholic Church.
In addition, members of the personal ordinariates for former Anglicans created by Pope Benedict XVI are sometimes unofficially referred to as "Anglican Catholics".Arminianism in the Church of England
Arminianism in the Church of England was a controversial theological position within the Church of England particularly evident in the second quarter of the 17th century (the reign of Charles I of England). A key element was the rejection of predestination. The Puritans fought against Arminianism, but it was supported by kings James I and Charles I, leading to deep political battles. The term comes from Arminianism, which in Protestant theology refers to Jacobus Arminius, a Dutch theologian, and his Remonstrant followers, and covers his proposed revisions to Reformed theology (known as Calvinism). "Arminianism" in the English sense, however, had a broader application: to questions of church hierarchy, discipline and uniformity; to details of liturgy and ritual; and in the hands of the Puritan opponents of Laudianism, to a wider range of perceived or actual ecclesiastical policies, especially those implying any reconciliation with Roman Catholic practice or extension of central government powers over clerics.
While the term "Arminian" was widely used in debates of that time, and was subsequently co-opted as convenient to match later High Church views of Anglicanism, scholarly debate has not settled the exact content or historical role of English Arminianism. The Synod of Dort of 1619 in effect destroyed the political base of Dutch Arminianism. Arminian views held in England after that time are variously seen as advanced, and even disruptive of Calvinism that was quite orthodox in the Church of England by the end of the reign of Elizabeth I (a position argued by Nicholas Tyacke); or on the other hand a return to the spirit of the Elizabethan Settlement. The status of the canons of Dort in relation to the Church, and the interpretation of the Thirty-Nine Articles in the light of these and other pronouncements on Reformed theology, remained unclarified until the 1640s.
Factional struggles within the Church around bishop William Laud, supported by King Charles I, involved both ecclesiastical matters and political control of the Church. That control issue was central for the lay Parliamentary Puritans; who campaigned strongly under an anti-Arminian banner.Biblical apocrypha
The biblical apocrypha (from the Ancient Greek: ἀπόκρυφος, translit. apókruphos, lit. 'hidden') denotes the collection of apocryphal ancient books found in some editions of Christian Bibles in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments or as an appendix after the New Testament. Some Christian Churches include some or all of the same texts within the body of their version of the Old Testament.
Although the term apocryphal had been in use since the 5th century, it was in Luther's Bible of 1534 that the Apocrypha was first published as a separate intertestamental section. To this date, the Apocrypha is "included in the lectionaries of Anglican and Lutheran Churches." Moreover, the Revised Common Lectionary, in use by most mainline Protestants including Methodists and Moravians, lists readings from the Apocrypha in the liturgical kalendar, although alternate Old Testament scripture lessons are provided.The preface to the Apocrypha in the Geneva Bible explained that while these books "were not received by a common consent to be read and expounded publicly in the Church," and did not serve "to prove any point of Christian religion save in so much as they had the consent of the other scriptures called canonical to confirm the same," nonetheless, "as books proceeding from godly men they were received to be read for the advancement and furtherance of the knowledge of history and for the instruction of godly manners." Later, during the English Civil War, the Westminster Confession of 1647 excluded the Apocrypha from the canon and made no recommendation of the Apocrypha above "other human writings", and this attitude towards the Apocrypha is represented by the decision of the British and Foreign Bible Society in the early 19th century not to print it (see below). Today, "English Bibles with the Apocrypha are becoming more popular again" and they are often printed as intertestamental books.The seven books which comprise the Protestant Apocrypha, first published as such in Luther’s Bible (1534) are considered canonical Old Testament books by the Catholic Church, affirmed by the Council of Rome (AD 382) and later reaffirmed by the Council of Trent; they are also considered canonical by the Eastern Orthodox Church and are referred to as anagignoskomena per the Synod of Jerusalem. The Anglican Communion accepts "the Apocrypha for instruction in life and manners, but not for the establishment of doctrine (Article VI in the Thirty-Nine Articles)", and many "lectionary readings in The Book of Common Prayer are taken from the Apocrypha", with these lessons being "read in the same ways as those from the Old Testament". The first Methodist liturgical book, The Sunday Service of the Methodists, employs verses from the Apocrypha, such as in the Eucharistic liturgy. The Protestant Apocrypha contains three books (3 Esdras, 4 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh) that are accepted by many Eastern Orthodox Churches and Oriental Orthodox Churches as canonical, but are regarded as non-canonical by the Catholic Church and are therefore not included in modern Catholic Bibles.Church of England
The Church of England (C of E) is the established church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the monarch is the supreme governor. The Church of England is also the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the third century, and to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury.The English church renounced papal authority when Henry VIII failed to secure an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in 1534. The English Reformation accelerated under Edward VI's regents, before a brief restoration of papal authority under Queen Mary I and King Philip. The Act of Supremacy 1558 renewed the breach, and the Elizabethan Settlement charted a course enabling the English church to describe itself as both catholic and reformed:
catholic in that it views itself as a part of the universal church of Jesus Christ in unbroken continuity with the early apostolic church. This is expressed in its emphasis on the teachings of the early Church Fathers, as formalised in the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian creeds.
reformed in that it has been shaped by some of the doctrinal principles of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, in particular in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion and the Book of Common Prayer.In the earlier phase of the English Reformation there were both Catholic martyrs and radical Protestant martyrs. The later phases saw the Penal Laws punish Roman Catholic and nonconforming Protestants. In the 17th century, the Puritan and Presbyterian factions continued to challenge the leadership of the Church which under the Stuarts veered towards a more catholic interpretation of the Elizabethan Settlement especially under Archbishop Laud and the rise of the concept of Anglicanism as the via media. After the victory of the Parliamentarians the Prayer Book was abolished and the Presbyterian and Independent factions dominated. The Episcopacy was abolished. The Restoration restored the Church of England, episcopacy and the Prayer Book. Papal recognition of George III in 1766 led to greater religious tolerance.
Since the English Reformation, the Church of England has used a liturgy in English. The church contains several doctrinal strands, the main three known as Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical and Broad Church. Tensions between theological conservatives and progressives find expression in debates over the ordination of women and homosexuality. The church includes both liberal and conservative clergy and members.The governing structure of the church is based on dioceses, each presided over by a bishop. Within each diocese are local parishes. The General Synod of the Church of England is the legislative body for the church and comprises bishops, other clergy and laity. Its measures must be approved by both Houses of Parliament.Development of the Christian biblical canon
The Christian biblical canons are the books Christians regard as divinely inspired and which constitute a Christian Bible. Which books constituted the Christian biblical canons of both the Old and New Testament was generally established by the 5th century, despite some scholarly disagreements, for the ancient undivided Church (the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions, before the East–West Schism).
In the wake of the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic canon was reaffirmed by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent (1546), which provided "the first infallible and effectually promulgated pronouncement on the Canon" by the Roman Catholic Church. The canons of the Church of England and English Presbyterians were decided definitively by the Thirty-Nine Articles (1563) and the Westminster Confession of Faith (1647), respectively. The Synod of Jerusalem (1672) established additional canons that are widely accepted throughout the Orthodox Church.
The Old and New Testament canons did not develop independently of each other and most primary sources for the canon specify both Old and New Testament books. For the biblical scripture for both Testaments, canonically accepted in major traditions of Christendom, see Biblical canon § Canons of various Christian traditions.Diocese of the Great Lakes
The Diocese of the Great Lakes (DGL) is a Continuing Anglican church body in the United States and Canada. Its worship centers and clergy are currently located in the American Great Lakes states and the Canadian Province of Ontario.
The DGL uses the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer or the 1962 Canadian book, accepts the Holy Scriptures as the inerrant Word of God, adheres to the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, and ordains only men to the orders of deacon, priest, and bishop. The Thirty-nine Articles are affirmed in their original sense and it is declared that Scripture contains all that is necessary to salvation. The diocese considers itself to be in the evangelical Anglican and broad to low church traditions. An active work is conducted in nursing homes by DGL clergy and lay readers.Francis Blackburne (priest)
Francis Blackburne (9 June 1705 – 7 August 1787) was an English Anglican churchman, archdeacon of Cleveland and an activist against the requirement of subscription to the Thirty Nine Articles.North American Anglican Conference
The North American Anglican Conference (NAAC) is a federation of Continuing Anglican church bodies in the United States and Canada. It was founded on August 15, 2008, by an assembly of bishops, clergy, and laity gathered in Romulus, Michigan, for the purpose of ratifying the association's proposed statement of principles.According to its constituting declaration, the North American Anglican Conference is not intended to be a first step towards a merger of member churches, but exists for the purposes of Anglican churches and clergy working together in support of Evangelism, for fellowship, and for the "transmission of Holy Orders, especially for the Episcopate."
In November, 2009 four bishops of NAAC cooperated in the consecration of David Pressey as bishop suffragan of the Anglican Episcopal Church. The ceremony took place in Mariner's Church, Detroit, famous for its annual memorial services for seamen lost on the Great Lakes and for being referred to in Gordon Lightfoot's ballad about the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The members of the North American Anglican Conference are the Anglican Episcopal Church, with parishes in California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, and Alabama, and the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes which has parishes in Michigan. The bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Texas signed the NAAC statement of principles in 2010.The impetus behind the establishment of the NAAC, however, was not a perceived need for inter-Anglican cooperation in general. Rather, it was the founding churches' belief that many of the world's Anglican churches have deteriorated in recent years because of liberal trends. The NAAC points to the "abandonment of Holy Scripture", "non-compliance" with the rubrics and spirit of the Book of Common Prayer (1928), and the redefining of the meaning of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion by both liberal and some Anglo-Catholic jurisdictions as a reason for "Biblically-based Anglican bodies" to stand and work together.Supreme Governor of the Church of England
Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British monarch which signifies titular leadership over the Church of England. Although the monarch's authority over the Church of England is largely ceremonial, the position is still very relevant to the church and is mostly observed in a symbolic capacity. As the Supreme Governor, the monarch formally appoints high-ranking members of the church on the advice of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who is in turn advised by church leaders.The Books of Homilies
The Books of Homilies (1547, 1562, and 1571) are two books of thirty-three sermons developing the reformed doctrines of the Church of England in greater depth and detail than in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. The title of the collection is Certain Sermons or Homilies Appointed to Be Read in Churches.The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children
The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Holy Children (Coptic: ⲡⲓϣⲟⲙⲧ ⲛ̀ⲁ̀ⲗⲟⲩ ⲛ̀ⲁ̀ⲅⲓⲟⲥ) is a lengthy passage that appears after Daniel 3:23 in some translations of the Bible, including the ancient Greek Septuagint translation. Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England has it listed as non-canonical (but still, with the other Apocryphal texts, "the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners", and the Anglican Church uses it liturgically). The passage is omitted from most Protestant Bibles as an apocryphal addition.
The passage includes three main components. The first is the penitential prayer of Daniel's friend Azariah (called Abednego in Babylonian, according to Daniel 1:6–7) while the three youths were in the fiery furnace. The second component is a brief account of a radiant figure who met them in the furnace yet who was unburned. The third component is the hymn of praise they sang when they realized their deliverance. The hymn includes the refrain, "Praise and exalt Him above all forever...", repeated many times, each naming a feature of the world.
The "Song of the Three Holy Youths" is part of the hymn called a canon sung during the Matins and other services in Orthodoxy. It can be found in the Church of England Book of Common Prayer as the canticle called the Benedicite and is one of the traditional canticles that can follow the first scripture lesson in the Order of Morning Prayer. It is also an optional song for Matins in Lutheran liturgies, and either an abbreviated or full version of the Song is featured as the Old Testament Canticle in the Lauds liturgy for Sundays and Feasts in the Divine Office of the Catholic Church.Traditional Protestant Episcopal Church
The Traditional Protestant Episcopal Church (TPEC) was a small jurisdiction of the Continuing Anglican movement. This Christian church body saw itself as maintaining the original doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America and the evangelical, Protestant, and Reformed faith of historic Anglicanism.
The TPEC, which had one diocese which was named Diocese of the Advent, subscribed to the authority of Holy Scripture and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. The 1928 Book of Common Prayer was used and assent was given to the 1954 revision of the Constitution and Canons of the PECUSA. At its inception, the church consisted of twelve congregations, primarily low church "Morning Prayer" parishes, and as many clergy.
In September 2011, TPEC's Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Morley, and Canterbury Chapel in Fairhope, Alabama, were received by Presiding Bishop Jerry L. Ogles into the Anglican Orthodox Church.