Robes are the historical clothes worn by ministers (and others) and this tradition is kept because it is a simple way for the church leaders to be dressed respectfully and consistently. Consistency helps minimize distractions during worship, and our focus on God is what is all-important. We also wear robes to show the authority our ministers have as teachers of the Gospel and celebrants in the service. While all believers are priests of God, Anglicans designate some as ministers (servants) to the ministers. The robes are also symbols of the righteousness given to us by God’s grace; while the stole (the fancy scarf) symbolizes being under the leadership of Jesus.
Why do Anglicans pray written prayers?
We pray written prayers because these prayers come to us from the Bible and traditional services drawing on the Bible. While we allow time in the service for spontaneous prayer, in general we figure it is hard to improve on the words that God has already given us.
Why do Anglicans read so much scripture?
Most weeks we hear a lesson from the Old Testament, which is the history and covenant of God’s dealings with Israel, a psalm, which is a prayer from the time of the Old Testament, a portion of a letter to a church and a part of the story of Jesus’ life and ministry. We believe that God’s word has the power to change us. As he says,
“For as the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; It shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
We make a special effort week by week to listen to words of God that we would grow to be made new and that His purpose would be accomplished in us.
The Apostles or Nicene creeds are short expressions of what Christians have always and everywhere believed. We say the creed to proclaim the beauty of how God has revealed himself as one God in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We say it also to remind ourselves of our continuity with the church across time and space. Lastly, a creed might correct any mistakes inadvertently preached from the pulpit.
Why do we confess our sins each week out loud together?
We acknowledge our sin to God because it is true that we do sin and we need His help. We make this acknowledgement together as a community to take off our masks in front of each other. Moreover, a common confession helps us remember our failings not only as individuals but also as community and to humbly ask for help as a body of believers.
Why do we pray for the dead?
We pray for the departed because they still concern us and even in their absence remain in our hearts and minds. As the author C.S. Lewis said, as we age, if we couldn’t pray for the dead, we would be unable to pray for the majority of our friends and loved ones! Those who have died are part of the anything and everything we bring before God. We pray not to change God’s mind about the eternal fate of a loved one but to bring those whom we love and think about before His throne of grace. And if God hears prayers for the living, could He who is outside time not hear a prayer from the future?
Communion is a sign of Jesus’ love for us and His provision on the cross. It is also a time of joyfully receiving that sacrifice and being filled with Christ’s life. Finally it is a time of humbly consecrating ourselves to Him who died for us. Just as a married couple often embraces in affection to strengthen their marriage, and just as they often tell each other of their devotion, frequent communion strengthens us in our love for God.
Where are most Anglicans from?
The root of the word “Anglican” comes from the place-name “England” (not the word “angel).” Anglicans are most commonly found in places the English colonized (i.e. almost everywhere). Anglicans come from all over the world—but the fastest growing groups are in Africa, Southeast Asia, and here in the U.S.