Thursday, January 27, 2022

Preservation of the American Episcopate

28th January 1978 - the Denver Consecrations for the Continuing Church,

the original Anglican Church in North America.








Thursday, January 13, 2022

Continuing Anglicans in Art

 

A quite remarkable portrait also featuring Bishop Paul Hewett of the Anglican Catholic Church - the orthodox Anglican hierarchy in art! This work admirably portrays the unity and communion of the Continuing Church.


A most intriguing and artistic rendition...


Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Holy Epiphany 2022

O GOD, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.




Robert Lee Jones RIP

In your charity, please pray for the happy repose of the soul of Robert Lee Jones, my truly beloved father, who entered eternal life at 3.27pm on Sunday 2nd January 2022. He was the greatest father a Christian man could ever hope to have. 

Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.




Friday, December 24, 2021

A Blessed Christmas 2021 to all!

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.











Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Presiding Bishop's Christmas Message

THE BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT

In the ancient Church, the Feast of Christmas was often called the Magnum Mysterium, the Great Mystery, or Sacrament. Our Lord Jesus Christ is Himself the Great Mystery, or Sacrament, God made visible, God made Man. And Jesus gives Himself to us this and every Christmas, the most unfathomable Christmas gift ever… Christmas is all about the Holy Incarnation and how we are plugged into it.

The term sacrament derives from the Latin word sacramentum, which means 'oath' or 'covenant,' a word used of soldiers and government officials in the Roman empire who swore an oath of allegiance to serve faithfully in their offices. The Latin word sacrament, which itself is not found in Scripture, just as the words 'Trinity' and homoousios ('of one substance with the Father' in the Nicene Creed) are not found in Scripture, is first invoked in the postapostolic Church of the second century to describe the sacred rites instituted by Our Lord which convey divine grace and are therefore 'oaths of Christ,' covenanted means of grace which communicate divine life by the promise and power of Christ. Such Western Church Fathers as Tertullian, Saint Cyprian, and Saint Augustine freely use the word sacrament to describe what are today reckoned as seven mystical rites conveying the grace of Jesus Christ.

The original word for a sacrament as a means of divine grace, or as an effectual sign of grace causing what it symbolises, is 'mystery' or, in Greek, musterion. The Western Church translates ‘mystery’ from Scripture as ‘sacrament,’ although in the Eastern Church to this day, the Sacraments are called the Holy Mysteries. Saint Paul uses the term musterion in reference to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony - 'Behold, I tell you of a great mystery, which is of Christ and the Church' (Ephesians 5.32). In union with the Eastern Tradition, the Book of Common Prayer refers to the Holy Eucharist as the Holy Mysteries par excellence (BCP Page 83, Thanksgiving).

The sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, ordained by Christ Himself, as means whereby we receive the same, and pledges to assure us thereof. The principle of the sacraments is found in the whole Bible, and in its fulness in the New Testament, that is, in the Incarnation of the Word of God, Jesus Christ. God becomes Man so that man may become one with God. God assumes human nature in the Incarnation, all that pertains to man, human body, mind, soul, and spirit, so that human nature may be redeemed, sanctified, and glorified by God to share in the divine life.

The sacraments are the extension of the Incarnation - they communicate the divine life of Christ to our human nature, and thus to our whole persons. We cannot be saved or redeemed or glorified apart from our own human nature as human beings. We must be regenerated and transformed, as human beings, into the children of God. And so God, in wonderful condescension and love, takes on our human nature and unites it to the Person of the Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

God takes our human nature, divinises it, and gives it back to us in the sacraments, so that we may, in our own human nature, partake of God Himself. As the Fathers love to say: 'we become by grace what God is by nature.'

The Incarnation and the Sacraments are two expressions of one reality: God the Son becomes Man, and then takes that Hypostatic Union, human flesh united to the Divine Word, and conveys it to the members of His own Mystical Body, the Church, in and through the Sacraments.

This is why the Great Tradition teaches that the pre-eminent Sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist are generally necessary to salvation: Baptism, as the Sacrament of New Birth, mystically unites us to the crucified and risen Christ and regenerates our human nature into the nature of the Son of God (St John 3.3-7, Romans 6.1-11, Galatians 3.22-29). We become children of God and members of Christ's Body in Baptism.

The Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Lord's Body and Blood, nourishes us with the human nature and divinity of Christ unto everlasting life (St John 6.53-59, 1 Corinthians 10.14-22, 11.23-34). Our Lord's True Body and True Blood are really contained, really given, and really eaten, objectively, under the forms of bread and wine in the Eucharist, after an heavenly and supernatural manner, so that we may partake of Christ's human nature and be recreated by it. 

We must be born to live, and we must eat to continue life. Holy Baptism is our supernatural birth; the Holy Eucharist is our Food in the order of grace. 

Ours is a 'body religion,' the Church as the Body of Christ, the Religion of the Incarnation, which is made a reality in us sacramentally. There is only One Body of Christ, in the Incarnation, in the Eucharist, and in the Church, us.

Thus, man is a sacrament. Man is a composite being of body and soul, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual reality. Man's outward sign is his body; man's inward and spiritual reality is his soul and spirit. Mankind is a living sacrament: he simultaneously exists as material and spiritual, physical and supernatural, united together in one cohesive entity. When the soul leaves the body, death occurs, which is for man an unnatural state not intended by God in His first creation of us. Man was created to be forever alive, forever immortal in a sacramental state.

Any religious view or teaching which downplays the role of the body in the Christian revelation is really gnostic or docetic; as such, it rejects the essential goodness and role of the human body in salvation. The Church from the beginning has been attacked by these heresies of docetism (which held that Our Lord only appeared to be man but was in truth a phantasm or ghost who had no real human nature) and gnosticism (which teaches that man is saved by a cerebral intellectual knowledge which frees the spirit from the prison of the body and of created matter, which creation is held to be evil). Man is a sacrament, made of body and of soul.

The Lord Jesus Christ is Himself the Great Sacrament, being God and Man in One Divine Person with two natures, human and divine. Jesus is perfect God and perfect Man, perfectly both at once in the Incarnation. God becomes Incarnate, a Sacrament, to redeem and glorify man, a sacrament, and gives us His natures to be ours in Sacraments. The link between Jesus Christ and man, whom He came to save, is His own Incarnation, which is extended, given, and received in the Sacraments of Holy Church.

Jesus Christ is the best and greatest Christmas gift of all – and He awaits us at the Christmas Altar so that we may receive Him in our Christmas Communions!

Please be assured of my love and prayers for each and every one of you and your families. A joyous and happy Christmas to you all - God bless you!

+Chad 

Preservation of the American Episcopate

28th January 1978 - the Denver Consecrations for the Continuing Church, the original Anglican Church in North America.