Friday, October 30, 2009

Small Steps--Big Leaps

[Cross+Way] 29 Oct 2009--There are a number of apparently small changes between the First and Second Prayer Books issued in the reign of King Edward VI (1549 and 1552). Though small some of these actually represent major steps in the reformation of the doctrine and liturgy of the Church of England.

At the Burial service whereas there had been a commendation of the soul of the dead person to God, in the new services there was simply a committal of the body to the ground (pending the general resurrection) and a declaration of the gospel promises with the expectation that those dying in faith would be with Christ. There is also no prayer for the forgiveness of sin, nor the provision for Holy Communion. Thus the errors of the medieval liturgy were finally removed (though they have crept back gradually over the years). What matters is whether a person dies in faith, our prayers for their future, requiem masses, and the invented sufferings of purgatory make no difference whatsoever.

‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.’

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