What is Anglicanism?
The Anglican Communion is the worldwide fellowship of churches made up of more than 77 million Christians, owing their origins to the Church of England. It is a fellowship within the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The ecumenical creeds, both Nicene and Apostles, are used by the Anglican Communion in its worship day by day and week by week. They are ancient and universal statements of Christian faith. In addition, many Anglican churches follow ancient tradition and include the Athanasian Creed among their statements of faith.
The beliefs of Anglicans can be considered quite diverse, but certain core values unite them. The official standard is the Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles, which outline both the beliefs and forms of worship which are distinctive to Anglican churches.
The Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1888 helps to summarize these core beliefs, defining them as:
- The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as “containing all things necessary to salvation,” and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.
- The Apostles’ Creed as the Baptismal Symbol, and the Nicene Creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith.
- The two sacraments ordained by Christ himself – Baptism and Holy Communion – ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of institution and of the elements ordained by him.
- The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the Unity of his Church.
The word “liturgy” refers to the order of worship that we follow. St. Aidan’s Church comes from the Anglican tradition and our worship comes to us from the ancient celtic practices of the Church. We believe that gathering together to celebrate Christ’s Good News is the central act of our community. Our goal in joining together for worship is to see the Gospel proclaimed in our lives through the sacraments of the Church.
A sacrament involves the use of material things as a sign and pledge of God’s grace, and as a means by which we receive his gifts. The two parts of a sacrament are the outward and visible sign, and the inward and spiritual grace. Jesus Christ, in the Gospel, appointed for his Church, two sacraments. They are Baptism and Holy Communion. Through baptism we dedicate our lives to following after Christ and devoted ourselves to His teachings. Through Holy Communion we are invited to participate with Christ in His death and resurrection, and to proclaim His Kingdom in our own lives.