I’ve not written a liturgy post today, as such. Instead, I’m referring you to The North American Anglican, an online journal where some truly excellent writings have been published in recent months. Yours truly is preparing to join their ranks of contributors, once he gets his act together.
The article I want you to see is this: Tracts for the Times 2.0. No, please don’t panic and think I’m forcing a new wave of Anglo-Catholic reform at you. The article is calling for a revival of classical Anglicanism by emphasizing its catholicity and apostolicity, and not by aping Rome. We live in a setting very similar to the mid-1800’s: prayer books are sitting on our desks unused, churches are sitting empty all week until the barely-faithful remnant show up for their Sunday duty. There are movements and efforts toward revival and church planting, which is exciting and promising, but much of it is built on the mentality (and often also theology) of traditions other than our own. The Anglican brand is rebuilding here in the US, but the Anglican tradition of daily prayer and the English spirituality of reasonable and historic worship and doctrine continues to lie fallow. It’s time to realize our National Apostasy, wake up, and take action.
That is where the “Tracts for the Times 2.0” comes in. We need to think about our present condition, rediscover our past and learn from it. One of the aims of this Saint Aelfric Customary and blog is precisely that – to help my fellow clergymen and lay leaders to learn and discern our Anglican patrimony and tradition via the 2019 Prayer Book that we’ve got now here in the ACNA. Furthermore, common prayer (as I’m seeking to enrich and inspire here) is one of the major factors by which spiritual friendship and intimacy is fostered, and community is formed. Those well-versed in the Anglican Divines such as Jeremy Taylor and John Jewel and Richard Hooker can write about classical Anglican theology and practice; those well-versed in classical Anglican poetry like that of George Herbert (or John Keble for that matter) can inspire us to renewed lyrical beauty (and by extension, hymnody), and those steeped in the old Prayer Books can encourage us to pray not just like but with our Anglican forbears.
If you’ve appreciated this blog, please go check out the recent article at North American Anglican, and follow that site’s excellent work. Together we can help restore the foundation of our church and perhaps the Anglican tradition will once again be in a position to be a blessing and inspiration to other denominations and traditions around her.