Sacraments and the Catechism at the Cafe

I said a bit ago:

I think it’s time for a back-to-basics primer on what the prayer book teaches on the Eucharist to provide a real starting point for any discussions going forward.

Well, it’s up today at the Episcopal Cafe

I’m shooting for a basic perspective on the sacraments that a broad majority of Episcopalians can get behind. Yes, there will be outliers even from that, but I think it’s a start to get us on the same page—in the BCP.

8 Replies to “Sacraments and the Catechism at the Cafe”

  1. I read and very much appreciated your article at the Episcopal Cafe. I am a Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister not currently serving a congregation; but, when I did, I used to always issue the invitation to the Lord’s Table “to all the baptized” (which is our denominational theology and policy, even though our Book of Common Worship uses subjective language at that point). I was eventually so taken to task for being “exclusive” by a member who was very passionate on the subject (even though she was herself baptized) that I relented and started using something wishy-washy along the lines of “all the baptized and all who hear and want to trust him” (ugh, I’m embarassed to type it). When I preside now, I have been simply been issuing the invitation to “you” (i.e., “Our Savior invites you”), but, having followed the Episcopal Church’s current conversation on this issue, and especially now having read your commentary drawn from the BCP Catechism, I would feel bold to go back to saying what I used to say – and (my mistake back then) bold to do some real education as to *why.*

  2. Now, there you go again Derick, arguing from th Prayerbook and Scripture. Why can’t you just play nice and squishy as the rest of the kids in the sandbox?

  3. Derek, thank you for this and other articles arguing compellingly against CWOB. I have a question. Based on the furor that the CWOB resolution is raising, it appears unlikely it will pass at General Convention (this time, anyway). Meanwhile, there seems to be less uproar over that other abomination that you’ve written about – HWHM, and some of the “saints” selected for inclusion. Is there any hope of derailing that? (There seems to be a Hydra rampaging about).

  4. It think it’s unlikely the Eastern Oregon CWOB resolution will pass; the one from the Carolinas calling for a group to “study” it may pass. (And if it does I’d, of course, love the opportunity to “study” it…!)

    There’s been a bit more conversation around HWHM recently, but I doubt it’ll get derailed this go-around.

  5. Thanks, Derek. I absolutely cannot get my head around the inclusion of self-described agnostics (e.g., DuBois) in our church calendar. CWOB then almost seems like the logical finale. What have we come to?!

  6. I’m, again, totally gobsmacked by the things going on in this church; the Christmas story over on that thread just leaves me breathless (and feeling sort of queasy, actually).

    This is about the fourth time now I’ve heard a story about the Eucharist being forced on somebody who didn’t want it, and treated as if it were the priest’s own personal possession to hand out as a “gift.” It’s shocking, to me. If a priest had stuck bread in my mouth while I was at the altar rail with my arms crossed, I’d never come anywhere near him again.

    In A.A., we think of this kind of behavior and lack of boundaries as “bad sobriety.” People with an urge toward health learn to give it a careful, wide berth. That’s a good thought in this case, too, I think….

  7. I think many of our priests and deacons would be surprised to learn that our national Canons *require* that rectors and priests-in-charge, as a *duty* of the ministry entrusted to them, teach The Catechism, real preparation for Holy Baptism, and much more. It is this failure, and indeed disobedience, which has brought us to our present sad state. See below…

    Title III, Canon III.9.5:

    Sec. 5. Rectors and Priests-in-Charge and Their Duties
    (a)
    (1) The Rector or Priest-in-Charge shall have full authority
    and responsibility for the conduct of the worship and the
    spiritual jurisdiction of the Parish, subject to the Rubrics
    of the Book of Common Prayer, the Constitution and
    Canons of this Church, and the pastoral direction of the
    Bishop.
    (2) For the purposes of the office and for the full and free
    discharge of all functions and duties pertaining thereto,
    the Rector or Priest-in-Charge shall at all times be
    entitled to the use and control of the Church and Parish
    buildings together with all appurtenances and furniture,
    and to access to all records and registers maintained by
    or on behalf of the congregation.
    (b)
    (1) It shall be the duty of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge to
    ensure all persons in their charge receive Instruction in
    the Holy Scriptures; in the subjects contained in An
    Outline of the Faith, commonly called the Catechism; in
    the doctrine, discipline, and worship of this Church; and
    in the exercise of their ministry as baptized persons.
    (2) It shall be the duty of Rectors or Priests-in-Charge to
    ensure that all persons in their charge are instructed
    concerning Christian stewardship, including:
    (i) reverence for the creation and the right use of
    God’s gifts;
    (ii) generous and consistent offering of time, talent,
    and treasure for the mission and ministry of the
    Church at home and abroad;
    (iii) the biblical standard of the tithe for financial
    stewardship; and
    (iv) the responsibility of all persons to make a will as
    prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer.
    (3) It shall be the duty of Rectors or Priests-in-Charge to
    ensure that persons be prepared for Baptism. Before
    baptizing infants or children, Rectors or Priests-in-
    Charge shall ensure that sponsors be prepared by
    instructing both the parents and the Godparents
    concerning the significance of Holy Baptism, the
    responsibilities of parents and Godparents for the
    Christian training of the baptized child, and how these
    obligations may properly be discharged.
    (4) It shall be the duty of Rectors or Priests-in-Charge to
    encourage and ensure the preparation of persons for
    Confirmation, Reception, and the Reaffirmation of
    Baptismal Vows, and to be ready to present them to the
    Bishop with a list of their names.

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