Saints in Anglicanism

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The word saint derives from the Latin sanctus, meaning holy, and has long been used in Christianity to refer to a person who was recognized as having lived a holy life and as being an exemplar and model for other Christians. Beginning in the 10th century, the Church began to centralize and formalize the process of recognizing saints; the process whereby an individual was added to the canon (list) of recognized saints became known as canonisation.

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Saints who had been canonized when the Church of England was in communion with Rome generally continued to be recognized as saints after the English Reformation in the 16th century [1]

Church of England Anglican state church of England

The Church of England 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.

English Reformation 16th-century separation of the Church of England from the Pope of Rome

The English Reformation was a series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These events were, in part, associated with the wider European Protestant Reformation, a religious and political movement that affected the practice of Christianity across western and central Europe. Causes included the decline of feudalism and the rise of nationalism, the rise of the common law, the invention of the printing press and increased circulation of the Bible, and the transmission of new knowledge and ideas among scholars, the upper and middle classes and readers in general. However, the various phases of the English Reformation, which also covered Wales and Ireland, were largely driven by changes in government policy, to which public opinion gradually accommodated itself.

Since the split with Rome, the Church of England sometimes uses the word hero or heroine to recognize those holy people whom the church synod or an individual church praises as having had special benevolence. It considers such muted terms a reversion to a more simple and cautious doctrine which emphasises empowerment (subsidiarity) to all members and components of the church.

Anglican doctrine

Anglican doctrine is the body of Christian teachings used to guide the religious and moral practices of Anglicans.

Subsidiarity is a principle of social organization that holds that social and political issues should be dealt with at the most immediate level that is consistent with their resolution.

The provinces of the Anglican Communion therefore commemorate many of the saints in the General Roman Calendar, often on the same days.

Anglican Communion International association of churches

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 in England acts as a focus of unity, recognised as primus inter pares, but does not exercise authority in Anglican provinces outside of the Church of England.

The General Roman Calendar is the liturgical calendar that indicates the dates of celebrations of saints and mysteries of the Lord in the Roman Rite, wherever this liturgical rite is in use. These celebrations are a fixed annual date; or occur on a particular day of the week ; or relate to the date of Easter. National and diocesan liturgical calendars, including that of the diocese of Rome itself as well as the calendars of religious institutes and even of continents, add other saints and mysteries or transfer the celebration of a particular saint or mystery from the date assigned in the General Calendar to another date.

In some cases, Anglican Calendars have kept pre-1954 celebratory days that the Roman Catholic Church has since moved or abolished.

Early Christianity

Like the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion has special holy days in honour of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostles. Many of the parish churches in the Communion have the names Christ Church, and St. Mary the Virgin. The same can also be said for the four great patrons of Great Britain and Ireland, Saint George (England), Saint David (Wales), Saint Patrick (Ireland), and Saint Andrew (Scotland).

Apostles The primary disciples of Jesus

In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, particularly the Twelve Apostles, were the primary disciples of Jesus according to the New Testament and the Qur’an. During the life and ministry of Jesus in the 1st century AD, the apostles were his closest followers and became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus.

Great Britain island in the North Atlantic off the north-west coast of continental Europe

Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, and together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago.

Ireland Island in north-west Europe, 20th largest in world, politically divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the UK)

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.

English saints

English and local saints are often emphasised, and there are differences between the provinces' calendars. King Charles I of England is the only person to have been treated as a new saint by some Anglicans following the English Reformation, after which he was referred to as a martyr and included briefly in a calendar of the Book of Common Prayer. [2] This canonisation is, however, considered neither universal nor official in the Anglican Communion worldwide, and many national Churches list him as a martyr and not a Saint, or as neither.

English martyrs

There are several persons commemorated in the modern Anglican calendars who were opposed to the Roman Catholic Church. Of particular note are John Wycliffe and William Tyndale, for beginning the full translation of the Bible into English (a project which led to the Geneva Bible), and for writings against the Catholic Church.

The Oxford Martyrs, Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, and Hugh Latimer, are also commemorated for the courage they showed in death, and for their belief in a free Church of England.

Ugandan martyrs

In the 19th century, 23 Anglican and 22 Roman Catholic converts were martyred together in Uganda. The Church of England commemorates the Ugandan martyrs on 3 June together with Archbishop Janani Luwum, who was murdered in 1977 on the orders of Idi Amin. On 18 October 1964, Pope Paul VI canonised the 22 Ugandan martyrs who were Roman Catholics.

Modern notables

Anglican Churches also commemorate various famous (often post-Reformation) Christians. The West front of Westminster Abbey, for example, contains statues of 20th-century martyrs like Maximilian Kolbe, Martin Luther King Jr., Óscar Romero, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Lucian Tapiedi (one of the Anglican New Guinea Martyrs).

Some traditional Anglican saints

Examples of modern Anglican saints

The ninth Lambeth Conference held in 1958 clarified the commemoration of Saints and Heroes of the Christian Church in the Anglican Communion. Resolution 79 stated:

Modern Anglican saints

The following have been identified as heroes of the Christian Church in the Anglican Communion (post-reformation individuals commemorated in the Church of England Calendar, [4] excluding those primarily venerated by the Roman Catholic or Orthodox churches):

See also

Related Research Articles

History of the Church of England history

The formal history of the Church of England is traditionally dated by the Church to the Gregorian mission to England by Saint Augustine of Canterbury in AD 597. As a result of Augustine's mission, and based on the tenets of Christianity, Christianity in England fell under control or authority of the Pope. This gave him the power to appoint bishops, preserve or change doctrine, and/or grant exceptions to standard doctrine.

Lusitanian Catholic Apostolic Evangelical Church

The Lusitanian Catholic Apostolic Evangelical Church in Portugal is a member church of the Anglican Communion. Like all Anglican Communion churches, it recognises the spiritual leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In addition, the church is an extra-provincial diocese under the metropolitical authority of the archbishop. The current bishop is Jorge Pina Cabral.

Church of Uganda

The Church of the Province of Uganda is a member church of the Anglican Communion. Currently there are 37 dioceses which make up the Church of Uganda, each headed by a bishop.

The Church of England commemorates many of the same saints as those in the General Roman Calendar, mostly on the same days, but also commemorates various notable Christians who have not been canonised by Rome, with a particular though not exclusive emphasis on those of English origin. There are differences in the calendars of other churches of the Anglican Communion.

Catholic Church in Italy

The Catholic Church in Italy is part of the worldwide Catholic Church in communion with the Pope in Rome, under the Conference of Italian Bishops. The pope serves also as Primate of Italy. In addition to Italy, two other sovereign nations are included in Italian-based dioceses: San Marino and the Vatican City. There are 225 dioceses in the Catholic Church in Italy, see further in this article and in the article List of Catholic dioceses in Italy.

Calendar of saints (Lutheran)

The Lutheran Calendar of Saints is a listing which specifies the primary annual festivals and events that are celebrated liturgically by some Lutheran Churches in the United States. The calendars of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) are from the 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship and the 1982 Lutheran Worship. Elements unique to the ELCA have been updated from the Lutheran Book of Worship to reflect changes resulting from the publication of Evangelical Lutheran Worship in 2006. The elements of the calendar unique to the LCMS have also been updated from Lutheran Worship and the Lutheran Book of Worship to reflect the 2006 publication of the Lutheran Service Book.

Calendar of saints (Anglican Church of Canada) liturgical year of the Anglican Church of Canada

Prior to the revision of the Anglican Church of Canada's (ACC) Book of Common Prayer (BCP) in 1962, the national church followed the liturgical calendar of the 1918 Canadian Book of Common Prayer. Throughout most of the twentieth century, the situation in Canada resembled that which pertained in much of the Anglican Communion: There was uncertainty as to whether post-Reformation figures could or should be commemorated. In the words of the calendar's introduction, "New names have been added from the ancient calendars, and also from the history of the Anglican Communion, without thereby enrolling or commending such persons as saints of the Church." The 1962 revision added twenty-six post-Reformation individuals, as well as commemorations of the first General Synod and of "The Founders, Benefactors, and Missionaries of the Church in Canada." Of the calendar days, twenty-eight were highlighted as "red-letter days" — that is, days of required observation.

The calendar of saints and commemorations in the Church of the Province of Melanesia is a continually developing list. Both old and new, universal and local saints and worthies are celebrated.

The veneration of saints in the Episcopal Church is a continuation of an ancient tradition from the early Church which honors important and influential people of the Christian faith. The usage of the term "saint" is similar to Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions. Those in high church or Anglo-Catholic traditions may explicitly invoke saints as intercessors in prayer, though saints are mainly recognized in the Episcopal Church as merely examples in history of good Christian people.

Lesser Festivals are a type of observance in the Anglican Communion, including the Church of England, considered to be less significant than a Principal Feast, Principal Holy Day, or Festival, but more significant than a Commemoration. Whereas Principal Feasts must be celebrated, it is not obligatory to observe Lesser Festivals. They are always attached to a calendar date, and are not observed if they fall on a Sunday, in Holy Week, or in Easter Week. In Common Worship each Lesser Festival is provided with a collect and an indication of liturgical colour.

Commemorations are a type of religious observance in the many Churches of the Anglican Communion, including the Church of England. They are the least significant type of observance, the others being Principal Feasts, Principal Holy Days, Festivals, and Lesser Festivals. Whereas Principal Feasts must be celebrated, it is not obligatory to observe Commemorations. They are always attached to a calendar date, and are not observed if they fall on a Sunday, in Holy Week, or in Easter Week. In Common Worship Commemorations are not provided with collects or indications of liturgical colour. However, they may be celebrated as Lesser Festivals if local pastoral conditions suggest it.

In the Calendar of the Scottish Episcopal Church, each holy and saint’s day listed has been assigned a number which indicates its category. It is intended that feasts in categories 1 - 4 should be kept by the whole church. Days in categories 5 and 6 may be kept according to diocesan or local discretion. Commemorations not included in this Calendar may be observed with the approval of the bishop.

The calendar of the Anglican Church of Australia follows Anglican tradition with the addition of significant people and events in the church in Australia.

The calendar of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa is published in An Anglican Prayer Book 1989.

Outline of Christianity Overview of and topical guide to Christianity

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Christianity:

Saint John or St. John usually refers to John the Apostle of the Bible.

Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter is a personal ordinariate of the Catholic Church—a jurisdiction within the Church, the equivalent of a diocese, for priests and laypeople from an Anglican background, that enables them to retain elements of their Anglican patrimony after entering the Catholic Church. Its territory extends over the United States and Canada. Former Methodists and former members of denominations such as the United Church of Canada are also included, as they are considered members of "ecclesial communion[s]" of "Anglican heritage".

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Catholic Church:

The calendar of saints of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil follows the tradition of The Episcopal Church (TEC), from whom it was a missionary district until 1965. TEC's calendar of saints, in turn, has its origins in the calendar of the Church of England and in the General Roman Calendar. As such, IEAB commemorates many of the figures present in the Roman Calendar, most of them on the same dates, but it also commemorates various notable Post-Reformation uncanonized Christians, especially those of Brazilian origin.

References

  1. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church by F. L. Cross (Editor), E. A. Livingstone (Editor) Oxford University Press, USA; 3rd edition, p. 1444-1445 (13 March 1997)
  2. Major, Richard (2006). "Anglican heroics? Sermon for the feast of King Charles the martyr" (PDF). Rector, St Mary's Episcopal Church, Staten Island, New York. Archived from the original (pdf) on 29 May 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
  3. https://web.archive.org/web/20130119064716/http://www.lambethconference.org/resolutions/1958/1958-79.cfm
  4. The Archbishop's Council (13 December 2007). "Common Worship: Festivals" (PDF). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 16 May 2012.

Further reading