Sunday, March 30, 2008

Orthodox Profession of Faith

Herein presented is an intriguing item of liturgical tradition from the canonical Eastern Orthodox Churches. It shows just how Orthodox (with a capital 'O') our constituency of continuing Anglican Catholics truly is. For a useful comparison please refer to the Affirmation of Saint Louis: http://www.acahome.org/submenu/docs/affirm.htm

From THE OFFICE FOR RECEIVING INTO THE ORTHODOX FAITH SUCH PERSONS AS HAVE NOT PREVIOUSLY BEEN ORTHODOX.

And again the Bishop saith:

Dost thou accept the Apostolical and Ecclesiastical Canons framed and established at the Seven Holy Universal and Provincial Councils, and the other traditions and ordi­nances of the Orthodox Church?


Answer. I do.

Bishop. Dost thou acknowledge that the Holy Scriptures must be accepted and interpreted in accord­ance with the belief which hath been handed down by the Holy Fathers, and which the Holy Ortho­dox Church, our Mother, hath al­ways held and still doth hold?

Answer. I do.

Bishop. Dost thou believe and confess that there are seven Sacra­ments of the New Testament, to wit: Baptism, Chrismation, the Eucharist, Confession, the Priest­hood, Marriage, and Anointing with Oil, instituted by the Lord Christ and his Church, to the end that, through their operation and reception, we may obtain blessings from on high?

Answer. I believe and confess it.

Bishop. Dost thou believe and confess that in the Divine Liturgy, under the mystical forms of the holy bread and wine, the faithful partake of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto the remission of sins, and unto life eternal?

Answer. I believe and confess it.

Bishop. Dost thou believe and confess that it is proper to rever­ence and invoke the Saints who reign on high with Christ, accord­ing to the interpretation of the Holy Orthodox Church; and that their prayers and intercessions be­fore God avail with the beneficent God unto our salvation: and that it is well-pleasing in the sight of God that we should do homage to their relics, glorified through incorruption, as precious memorials of their virtue?

Answer. I believe and confess it.

Bishop. Dost thou confess that the images of our Saviour Christ; and of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God, and of the other Saints are worthy of being possessed and honoured; not unto idolatry, but that, through contemplation there­of, we may be incited unto piety, and unto emulation of the deeds of the holy persons represented by these images?

Answer. I do.

Bishop. Dost thou confess that the prayers of the faithful which are offered up to God, and more especially when accompanied by the oblation of the unbloody sac­rifice, for the salvation of those who have departed this life in the faith, are favourably received, through the mercy of God?

Answer. I do.

Bishop. Dost thou believe and confess that power hath been given by our Saviour Christ unto the Orthodox Catholic Church to bind and to loose: and that whatsoever, by virtue of that power, is bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven?

Answer. I believe and confess it.

Bishop. Dost thou believe and confess that the Foundation, Head, and Great High Priest and Chief Shepherd of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church is our Lord Jesus Christ; and that Bishops, Pastors and Teachers are appointed by him to rule the Church; and that the Guide and Pilot of this Church is the Holy Spirit?

Answer. I believe and confess that this Church is the Bride of Christ, and that therein is true salvation, which was in the Ark of Noah at the Flood.

Bishop. Dost thou promise true obedience, unto thy life's end, in guidance which is salutary unto the soul, to the Most Holy Synod; to the Most Holy Patriarch, the Equal-of-the-Apostles (or to the Ecclesias­tical Authorities of the Autocephalous Provincial Church); and to the Bishop of this Diocese, as the true Pastors appointed by the Holy Spirit; and to the Priests ordained by them?

Answer. I promise it, with heart unfeigned.

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