By Robin G. Jordan
With the approval of the 2011 Ordinal the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America has revealed its true colors. At one fell swoop the Bishops of the ACNA have repudiated the historic Anglican formularies, the English Reformation, and authentic historic Anglicanism. They have slammed the door in the face of conservative evangelicals and other Anglicans who uphold the long-recognized doctrinal standard of Anglicanism and who maintain the position of the English Reformers on a number of key issues.
Article V of the Constitution of the Anglican Church in North America empowers the Provincial Council to make canons ordering the common life of the ACNA in respect to common worship. What follows is the extent of the Provincial Council’s legislation on this matter:
Worship and the Administration of Sacraments
Of the Standard Book of Common Prayer
Section 1 - The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the Ordinal attached to the same, are received as a standard for Anglican doctrine and discipline, and, with the Books which preceded it, as the standard for the Anglican tradition of worship. Until such time as a Book of Common Prayer for use in this Province has been adopted, all authorized Books of Common Prayer of the originating jurisdictions shall be permitted for use in this Church.
Section 2 - It is understood that there is a diversity of uses in the Province. In order to use these rich liturgies most advantageously, it is the responsibility of the Bishop with jurisdiction to ensure that the forms used in Public Worship and the Administration of the Sacraments be in accordance with Anglican Faith and Order and that nothing be established that is contrary to the Word of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
Note that these provisions of the ACNA canons do not specify how “a Book of Common Prayer for use in this Province” is to be adopted. They leave entirely to “the Bishop with jurisdiction” to determine whether “the forms used in Public Worship and the Administration of the Sacraments” in his diocese are “in accordance with Anglican Faith and Order” and whether are agreeable with “the Word of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures.”
The same provisions, while they give “the Bishop with jurisdiction” authority to approve the forms used in his diocese, do not give the Bishops of the ACNA authority to collectively determine the forms to be used throughout the entire ACNA. “The Bishop with jurisdiction” has the right to refuse to use the 2011 Ordinal in his diocese even though the College of Bishops may have agreed to its use.
The General Introduction and Notes. The General Introduction and Notes maintain that the presence of “references to the English Monarch and Government” in the 1661 Ordinal necessitated use of the 1928 Ordinal as the primary source for the 2011 Ordinal as these references have been removed from the 1928 Ordinal. They assert that the use of the 1928 Ordinal “makes more sense in our North American context.” These claims are spurious. The 1661 Ordinal is alongside the 1571 Articles of Religion and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer the long-recognized doctrinal standard of Anglicanism. Article XXXVI states:
The Book of Consecration of Archbishops and Bishops and ordering of Priests and Deacons, lately set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth and confirmed at the same time by authority of Parliament, contains all things necessary to such consecration and ordering; neither has it anything that of itself is superstitious or ungodly.
And therefore whosoever are consecrated or ordered according to the rites of that book, since the second year of King Edward unto this time, or hereafter shall be consecrated or ordered according to the same rites, we decree all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated or ordered.
The Ordinal to which Article XXXVI refers is the Reformed Ordinal of 1552. The 1661 Ordinal is substantially that ordinal, as the 1662 Book of Common Prayer is substantially the Reformed Prayer Book of 1552.
The Jerusalem Declaration upholds “the classical Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.” “The classical Anglican Ordinal” to which it refers is not the 1928 Ordinal but the 1661 Ordinal, which is annexed to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The only references to the English Monarch and Government found in the 1661 Ordinal are the suffrages for Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family in the Litany and a reference to the reading of the Queen’s Mandate for the Consecration in the rubrics in the Form of Ordaining or Consecrating of an Archbishop or Bishop. They far from necessitate the use of the 1928 Ordinal as the primary source for the 2011 Ordinal as they are easily replaced with language appropriate to the political situation in Canada and the United States. It must not be forgotten that Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations and the Queen of England is the sovereign of that nation.
The 1928 Ordinal, on the other hand, is the ordinal of an Anglican province that at the time of its adoption had already departed from the doctrine of the historic Anglican formularies and authentic historic Anglicanism and was well on the road that led to its present abandonment of the orthodox Christian faith. The Anglican Church in North America and its ministry partner, the Anglican Mission in the Americas, represent a segment of that body that chose not to join the rest of the Episcopal Church on the road to apostasy. They decided to take a different route. It is increasingly evident that this route is also taking them away from historic Anglicanism but in a different direction from the Episcopal Church, a direction that the Episcopal Church was taking before liberalism and modernism began to exercise such a profound influence upon its corporate life. The ACNA and the AMiA are not themselves wholly free from the influence of liberalism and modernism. The Jerusalem Declaration calls them back to the 1571 Articles of Religion as “being a faithful testimony to the teaching of the Scripture, excluding erroneous beliefs and practices and giving a distinct shape to Anglican Christianity.” They have evidenced no sign of heeding this call. The 2011 Ordinal in the case of the ACNA is further proof of its rejection of the Jerusalem Declaration. Like the Episcopal Church, the ACNA chooses to go its own way and to do whatever is pleasing in its own sight.
The choice of Ordinals that were used in the compilation of the 2011 Ordinal is very revealing. Of the seven Ordinals to which the General Introduction and Notes refer, five are annexed to Prayer Books that are in varying degrees Anglo-Catholic and liberal in their doctrines and practices. They include the 1928 Prayer Book, the 1962 Canadian Prayer Book, the 1979 Prayer Book, the 1989 South African Prayer Book, and Common Worship (2000). The 1989 South African Prayer Book is particularly Anglo-Catholic in doctrine and practice. Its eucharistic rite “speaks of the bread and wine specifically being Christ’s body and blood.” Its eucharistic prayers give expression to a “moderate realist “theology of eucharistic sacrifice. At confirmations the bishop may sign the confirmands on the forehead, using chrism. The Common Worship Ordination Services are not without their critics. The rubrics permit the bishop to anoint the palms of each new priest and the chief consecrator to anoint the head of the new bishop. The changes introduced in the 1979 Ordinal, the 1989 South African Ordinal, and the Common Worship Ordination Services represent a retrograde movement back to pre-Reformation Medieval Catholic doctrine and practice.
The first Ordinal of 1550, like the first Prayer Book of 1549, was only partially reformed and was a transitional service book. The new bishop was given a pastoral staff, the new priest a Bible in one hand and a chalice in another, and the new deacon a New Testament. The giving of the pastoral staff to the new bishop and a chalice to the new priest was dropped from the second Ordinal of 1552, which was more fully reformed than its predecessor.
The General Introduction and Notes draw attention to the fact that 2011 Ordinal “restores a more accurate translation of ‘et cum spiritu tuo’ as ‘and with your spirit.’” They make reference Peter Toon's explanation of the phrase in An Anglican Prayerbook, Preservation Press, 2008, pg. 44. What they neglect to mention is that Peter Toon’s explanation of that phrase is a toned-down explanation of Medieval Catholic and modern-day Anglo-Catholic and Roman Catholic understanding of the Salutation. For Medieval Catholics and modern day Anglo-Catholics and Roman Catholics the Salutation is more than a greeting or an introduction to a call to prayer but is a prayer for the priest, in which the congregation ask God to arouse the special grace given to the priest in ordination so that God will accept the offerings that the priest makes on the behalf of the people, at the Daily Offices, in the form of prayers and intercessions, and at the Mass, in the form of the representation or reiteration of Christ’s sacrifice upon the cross.
This interpretation of Salutation is closely tied to the Medieval Catholic view of the sacerdotal character of the ministry of the priest who acts as an intermediary between the faithful and God, and is intimately associated with the Medieval Catholic doctrines of Baptismal Regeneration, Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Real Presence. This special grace is believed not only to infuse the water in the baptismal font with power to remove sin when the priest blesses the water but also to transmogrify the bread and wine of the Holy Communion into the substance of the body and blood of our Lord when the priest recites the Words of Institution over the elements.
In the case of a bishop the congregation is asking God to arouse the special grace that the bishop was given at his consecration and ordination and which is believed to enable the bishop to confer the sacraments of confirmation and holy orders. This special grace is transmitted by the imposition of the hands of the consecrating and ordaining bishop in a line of bishops stretching back to the apostles. The apostles are believed to have received the same special grace from Christ and to have transmitted it to the first bishops in this line of bishops, each bishop in this line of bishops having transmitted it to succeeding bishops in the same manner. This is the doctrine of tactual succession, and it underpins Medieval Catholic and modern-day Anglo-Catholic and Roman Catholic sacramental theology. There is no evidence in the New Testament that Christ laid hands upon the apostles and passed to them a special grace in this manner. The doctrine is based upon pure conjecture.
It is also worthy of note that the word “Minister” in the 2011 Ordinal is limited to “someone in one of the three Holy Orders: Bishops, Priests, or Deacons.” Its limited use of the word “Minister” points to a theology of ministry that restricts the work of ministry to the specific class of people in the Church—the clergy. This is not a New Testament view of ministry. The word “Minister,” where used in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, is recognized as applying to licensed Readers and other authorized laypersons. In its limited use of the word “Minister” the 2011 Ordinal reflects the clericism that dominates thinking in the Anglican Church in North America. This clericism is also reflected in the form of ecclesiastical governance in the ACNA and in other areas of life in that denomination.
The Ordination Services. The 1979 Ordinal departs from the classical Anglican Ordinal. The 2011 Ordinal goes even further in its departure from Anglican doctrine and practice. It replaces the reformed services of the classical Anglican Ordinal with what the benchmark Anglican divine Richard Hooker would have condemned as a “mingle-mangle of religion and superstition, ministers and massing-priests, light and darkness, truth and error, traditions and Scripture.”
The 2011 Ordinal through several additions, alterations, and omissions changes the meaning of the Preface to the Ordinal. For example, “three” has been inserted between “these” and “orders.” The revised Preface articulates what historically has been the Anglo-Catholic interpretation of the Preface and precludes an Evangelical interpretation of this introduction to the Ordination Services.
In Freed to Serve Michael Green makes this very important point:
The preface to the Anglican Ordinal asserts roundly, ‘It is evident unto all men diligently reading the Holy Scriptures and Ancient Authors that from the Apostles’ time there have been these Orders of Ministers in Christ’s Church: Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.’ This statement is widely misquoted. It does not say ‘there have been three Orders’ that is, three only. It is not in the least polemical. The reformers who framed the statement did not wish to unchurch their colleagues on the continent who had a different, perhaps presbyterian form of church government.
Green goes on to explain:
The views of the Reformers are well known. They agreed that all necessary doctrine was set forth in Holy Scripture: and the importance of episcopal ordination was not plainly set forth there. Thus Cranmer could say, ‘I do not set more by any title, name or style than I do by the paring of an apple, further than that it shall be to the setting forth of God’s word and will,’ and Bishop Hooper could write, “I believe the church is bound to no sort of ministers or any ordinary succession of bishops… but only to the Word of God’. Article XIX sets out the marks of the church: it does not indicate any particular form of church government is necessary. It gives, on the contrary, precisely the same marks of the visible church as are laid down in the Reformed Continental Confessions of Saxony, Augsburg and Switzerland.
In Elders in Every City: The Origin and Role of the Ordained Ministry Roger Beckwith points to our attention that the Preface to the Anglican Ordinal states that the threefold ministry “is evident from Scripture and the Fathers taken together, but not necessarily from one of the two taken singly.” The Preface does not say that we should find the threefold ministry “in the New Testament taken by itself.” What we do find in the New Testament is three titles. Two of these titles “presbyter,” or “elder,” and “bishop,” or “overseer,” are applied to the same office. The Preface also leaves the extent that the apostles were responsible for the threefold ministry an open question.
The English Reformers were well aware that in the New Testament and much of the earliest post-apostolic literature there were references only to two offices—deacons and bishop-presbyters, or elder-overseers. Thomas Cranmer himself states that presbyters and bishops “were not two things, but both one office in the beginning of Christ’s religion.”
Most of the Presentation in the Ordination Service for Deacons is taken from the 1979 Ordinal. The 2011 Ordinal, unlike 1979 Ordinal, makes no provision for the presenters to include lay persons. The opening words of the Presentation are adapted from the 1928 Ordinal, with “Order of Deacons” substituted for “Deacons.”
After the Presentation a rubric requires each ordinand to declare and sign the following Oath of Conformity:
I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and therefore I hold myself bound to conform my life and ministry thereto, and do solemnly engage to conform to the Doctrine, Discipline and Worship of Christ as this Church has received them.
Article I of the Constitution of the Anglican Church in North America identifies seven elements that it maintains to be “characteristic of the Anglican Way” and which it to be “essential for membership” in the ACNA. A number of these elements present serious problems for conservative evangelicals and other Anglicans who are committed to the teaching of the Bible, the Reformation, the historic Anglican formularies, and authentic historic Anglicanism and stand in continuity with the English Reformers in their beliefs and practices. They are highly partisan. They take the Anglo-Catholic position that bishops are essential to the being of the Church, treat the 1662 Prayer Book and the 1661 Ordinal as just two of a number of doctrinal standards rather than as major historic formularies, establish a nebulous, “anything goes” worship standard, which includes the pre-Reformation Medieval Catholic service books, and dismiss the 1571 Articles of Religion as a relic of the past. After listing the seven elements, Article I goes on to state, “In all these things, the Anglican Church in North America is determined by the help of God to hold and maintain, as the Anglican Way has received them, the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to our posterity.” In other words, Article I equates these seven elements with “the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ.” In requiring the ordinand to declare and sign this Oath of Conformity the 2011 Ordinal requires the ordinand to unreservedly subscribe to these seven elements, a requirement that is repeatedly found in the Canons of ACNA, not only for membership but also for the union of a congregation with an ACNA diocese, for the recognition of a new ACNA diocese, for the holding of a position of leadership in the ACNA, and for the formation of a ministry partnership with the ACNA. Like these provisions of the ACNA Canons, this rubric effectively excludes individuals and groups who uphold the teaching of the Bible, the Reformation, the historic Anglican formularies, and authentic historic Anglicanism, whose beliefs and practices are consistent with those of the English Reformers and the Protestant Reformed Church of England, and who affirm the Jerusalem Declaration, but who cannot on solid Biblical and doctrinal grounds subscribe unreservedly to the seven elements listed in Article I.
The Litany for Ordinations is taken from the 1928 Ordinal. The rubrics direct that the ordinands should kneel or lie prostrate during the Litany. The 1550, 1552, 1559, 1661, and 1928 Ordinals and the 1962 Canadian Ordinal contain no such rubrical directions. The rubrics of the 1979 Ordinal only direct that all should kneel. The direction for ordinands to lie prostrate during the Litany represents a significant departure from the classical Anglican Ordinal. It revives a Medieval Catholic practice that the English Reformers rejected, and imitates the practice of the modern-Roman Catholic Church.
The Collect that follows the Litany is taken from the 1928 Ordinal.
The Ministry of the Word is adapted from the 1979 Ordinal. The 2011 Ordinal, unlike the 1979 Ordinal, makes no provision for lay persons to read the Old Testament Lesson and the Epistle.
The Examination is adapted from the 1928 Ordinal. The period of silent prayer, followed by the Collect, is adapted from the Ordination Service for Priests in the 1661 Ordinal. In the latter the Collect precedes the period of silent prayer. The Collect has also been revised. The singing or recitation of the Veni Creator Spiritus or another hymn to the Holy Spirit at this point is taken from the 1979 Ordinal. The rubrics of the 1979 Ordinal, however, does not specify that it is a prayer for the renewal of the Church as does the 2011 Ordinal. This is not the historical understanding of the use of a hymn to the Holy Spirit at this point in an Ordination Service.
The Prayer of Ordination “O God most merciful Father…” in the Ordination of the Deacon is the 1979 Prayer of Consecration from the Consecration of the Deacon in the 1979 Ordinal.
The formula “Receive the Holy Spirit…” that the Bishop says when he lays hands upon the head of each person to be made a deacon is modeled upon the formula used at this point in the 1661 Ordination Service for Priests and represents a significant departure from the 1661 Ordinal. This formula was a comparative late Medieval addition to the Ordinal. With its use “the emphasis is diverted from the prayer which precedes it, to an imperative.”
The meaning of this formula in the Ordination Service for Priests has been the subject of heated debate since the nineteenth century with Anglo-Catholics interpreting them to mean that the Bishop, when he lays hands upon the candidate for ordination, confers upon him a special grace of the Holy Spirit. This view is tied to the Anglo-Catholic concept of tactual succession. Evangelicals sharply disagree with this interpretation of these words, noting that as they are used in the Ordination Service for Priests, they are a prayer for the Holy Spirit.
The 1571 Articles of Religion provide the doctrinal standards by which the Ordinal must be interpreted. The Articles do no recognize ordination to be a sacrament. In changing the words ostensibly to give the Ordinations Services in the 2011 Ordinal a common outline, to make the liturgies parallel to each other and easier to follow, the compilers of the 2011 Ordinal introduced Anglo-Catholic doctrine into the 2011 Ordinal.
The prayer that follows the imposition of hands is adapted from the Collect that is said before the Benediction in the 1928 Ordination Service for Deacons.
It is noteworthy that the differences between the Ordination Services in the classical Anglican Ordinal have not historically presented a problem for the users of these services. Ease of use does not appear to be the principal reason why changes were made in the Ordination Services. Rather these changes appear to have been made to bring the services more in line with Anglo-Catholic theology of apostolic succession, the sacraments, and ordination and to introduce into the services doctrines and practices that the English Reformers and historical Anglicanism rejected.
The rubric that follows this prayer and directs the vesting of each new deacon according to the order of deacons is taken from the 1979 Ordination Service for Deacons. This rubric represents a serious departure from the 1550, 1552, 1559, 1661, and 1928 Ordinals and 1962 Canadian Ordinal in which the Medieval Catholic and modern-day Roman Catholic practice of vesting each deacon in maniple, stole, and dalmatic is omitted. The English Reformers rejected these ceremonies and the ornaments associated with them as superstitious and unscriptural. The 2011 Ordinal departs even further from the classical Anglican Ordinal than the 1979 Ordinal, providing words for the Bishop to say during the vesting of each new deacon with a maniple, stole, and dalmatic.
The rubric directing the giving of a Book of Gospels to each new deacon is adapted from the 1928 Ordination Service for Deacons. This rubric also represents a serious departure from the 1550, 1552, 1559, 1661, and 1928 Ordinals and 1962 Canadian Ordinal in which the rubrics direct that each new deacon should be given a New Testament.
After each new deacon has been vested and given a Book of Gospels, the Bishop says “The Peace of the Lord be always with you” to which the people respond “And with your spirit.” The rubrics contain no provision for the bishop and clergy present to greet the newly-ordained deacon or for the new deacon to exchange greetings with family members and others. Nor do they contain provision for the clergy and people to greet one another. They state that the liturgy continues with the Offertory.
After the Post-Communion Prayer a modern language version of the Collect “Prevent us, O Lord…,” is said as in the 1661 Ordination Service for Priests. A Blessing and a Dismissal follow this Collect. It is not the Blessing used in the classical Anglican Ordinal. It is the Episcopal Blessing from the Ordination Service for Bishops in the 1979 Ordinal, as are the versicles and responses that introduce it. The Dismissal also comes from the same source.
The Ordination Service for Priests and the Ordination Service for Bishops follows the same outline as the Ordination Service for Deacons. The material for each part of the service appears to have been taken or adapted from the same sources. The rubrics of the Ordination Service for Priests make no provision for lay persons to present the ordinand. They direct the ordinand to kneel or lie prostrate during the Litany. They make no provision for lay persons to read the Old Testament and the Epistle. The Exhortation and the Examination are adapted from the 1928 Ordinal. The Veni Creator Spiritus or another hymn to the Holy Spirit is sung or recited as a prayer for the renewal of the Church. After the new priest is ordained, a rubric direct that he or she should be vested according to the order of priests. The 2011 Ordinal also provides words for the bishop to say during the vesting of each new priest with a stole and a chasuble. This rubric represents a serious departure from the classical Anglican Ordinal. The English Reformers rejected this practice due to its strong associations with the Medieval Catholic doctrines of transubstantiation, the sacrifice of the Mass, and the sacerdotal character of the priesthood.
A second rubric directs that the bishop give the new priest a Bible in one hand and a chalice in the other hand. The giving of the chalice to the new priest also represents a serious departure from the classical Anglican Ordinal. The English Reformers also rejected this practice due to its strong associations with the Medieval Catholic doctrines of transubstantiation, the sacrifice of the Mass, and the sacerdotal character of the priesthood. The rubrics do not prohibit the placing of a paten with a host on it upon the chalice, thereby permitting the full restoration of the pre-Reformation Medieval Catholic practice. The revival of this practice in the 2011 Ordinal is a clear repudiation of the doctrine of 1571 Articles of Religion and the Jerusalem Declaration’s upholding of the Articles “as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.” To top the cake a subsequent rubric directs the bishop to bless and anoint the hands of the new priest and the 2011 Ordinal provides these words for the bishop to use during this blessing and anointing.
by our blessing; that whatsoever they bless may be blessed, and whatsoever they consecrate may be consecrated and sanctified; in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen..
This practice the English Reformers also rejected due to its strong associations with the Medieval Catholic doctrines of transubstantiation, the sacrifice of the Mass, and the sacerdotal character of the priesthood. Like the vesting of the new priest in stole and chasuble and the giving of a chalice to the new priest, the blessing and anointing of the new priest’s hands represents a serious departure from the classical Anglican Ordinal.
The Ordination Service for Priests concludes with the Episcopal Blessing and the Dismissal from the Ordination Service for Bishops from the 1979 Ordinal. At the direction of the bishop the newly-ordained priest may bless the people, using the Blessing from the classical Anglican Ordinal.
As we shall see the Ordination Services for Deacons and Priests are not the only services in the 2011 Ordinal that abandon historic Anglican practice and substitutes the practice of the Medieval Catholic Church and the post-Tridentian Roman Catholic Church. So does the Ordination Service for Bishops.
It noteworthy that the 2011 Ordinal does not require the bishop elect to declare and sign an Oath of Canonical Obedience to the Archbishop. Title III.1.2 of the Canons of the Anglican Church in North America states, “…the Bishop of each Diocese owes canonical obedience in all things lawful and honest to the Archbishop of this Church.” This provision is taken from the Canons of the Church of England in which the Archbishop is a Metropolitan who has Metropolitical Jurisdiction in his Province. However, the Constitution of the ACNA does not recognize the Archbishop to be the Metropolitan of the Province nor does it recognize that he has Metropolitical Jurisdiction in the Province. In regards to the matter of whether the bishops of the Province owe canonical obedience to the Archbishop the 2011 Ordinal conforms to the ACNA Constitution which cannot be said for the ACNA Canons. If we go by their approval of the 2011 Ordinal, it would appear the College of Bishops, including the Archbishop himself, do not regard the Archbishop as a Metropolitan with Metropolitical Jurisdiction in the Province. This is a significant development as is the College of Bishop’s approval of the doctrines and practices found in the 2011 Ordinal. They are willing to permit the Archbishop to be the first among equals but not chief bishop over the other bishops. On the other hand, it may be simply be an oversight since the 1928 Ordinal and the 1979 Ordinal upon which the compilers of the 2011 Ordinal drew heavily contains no Oath of Due Obedience to the Archbishop as does the 1661 Ordinal.
As in the Ordination Services for Deacons and Priests the rubrics in the Ordination Service for Bishops direct that the bishop elect kneel or lie prostrate during the Litany, in the later case following the practice of the Medieval Catholic Church and the post-Tridentian Roman Catholic Church, a practice which the English Reformers rejected. The bishop elect is also directed to kneel or lie prostrate, facing the archbishop, during the singing or recitation of Veni Creator Spiritus. The rubric directs this hymn to be sung “over him,” and not as a prayer for the renewal of the Church. In the Ordination Services the hymn is used to invoke the Holy Spirit upon the whole Church. In this case it is used to invoke the Holy Spirit on the bishop elect only. The classical Anglican Ordinal does not make a distinction between priests and bishops as far as the singing or recitation of a hymn to the Holy Spirit is concerned. The hymn to the Holy Spirit is omitted from the Ordination Service for Deacons in the classical Anglican Prayer Book.
After his consecration a rubric directs the new bishop to be vested according to the order of bishops. A rubric directs the archbishop presents the new bishop with a Bible and a third rubric directs him to present the new bishop with a pastoral staff. The 2011 Ordinal provides words for the archbishop to use during these presentations. A fourth rubric permits the archbishop to anoint the forehead of the new bishop with the oil of chrism and subsequent rubrics permit him to give the new bishop a pectoral cross, an episcopal ring, and a miter. The 2011 Ordinal provides words for the archbishop to use during the anointing of the new bishop’s forehead and the presentation of the pectoral cross, episcopal ring and miter. Here again the 2011 Ordinal replaces Anglican practice with pre-Reformation Medieval Catholic and post-Tridentian Roman Catholic practice. The only Anglican practice among these practices is the presentation of the new bishop with a Bible, signifying that he was first and foremost a minister of the God’s Word. The English Reformers rejected all the other practices as superstitious and unscriptural, and drawing attention away from the new bishop’s primary sphere of ministry.
The new bishop says the concluding collect of the service and at the direction of the archbishop may bless the people, using the Episcopal Blessing. It is noteworthy that the 2011 Ordinal restricts the Episcopal Blessing to bishops while priests and bishops use the same blessing, “The peace that passeth…,” in the classical Anglican Ordinal.
With the 2011 Ordinal the Provincial Council has shown itself willing to abnegate its responsibility in regards to the approval of the services of the Church and has turn that responsibility over to the College of Bishops. We can anticipate any Prayer Book developed for use in the ACNA will be authorized in the same manner. Authority relinquished to another body is difficult to recover should the need arise at some future time. The Provincial Council would have been wise to retain final authorization of the Ordinal, the Prayer Book, and any other supplemental liturgical material.
The 2011 Ordinal is without doubt a foretaste of the forms for use in public worship and the administration of the sacraments that we can expect to see adopted in the ACNA. Those who had hoped to see a recovery of confessional Anglicanism in North America with the ACNA as the vehicle of that recovery need to rethink and reappraise their continued involvement in the ACNA. The 2011 Ordinal is a clear indication that its bishops are not taking the ACNA in that direction. Conservative evangelicals outside of North America committed to the doctrine of the historic Anglican formularies and authentic historic Anglicanism also need to reconsider their support of the ACNA.
The 2011 Ordinal reveals the corrupt state of what is passed off as Anglicanism in North America. With their adoption of the 2011 Ordinal the Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America have shown that they cannot be counted upon to safeguard the ACNA from erroneous beliefs and practices. Their adoption of the 2011 Ordinal is additional proof of the need for an Anglican entity in North America that truly upholds the doctrine of the historic Anglican formularies and which unequivocally represents authentic historic Anglicanism in its life and teaching.
The GAFCON Primates in their endorsement of the Anglican Church in North America as “a genuine expression of Anglicanism” made a serious mistake. If they are truly committed to Anglicanism’s long-recognized doctrinal standard of the historic Anglican formularies—the 1571 Articles of Religion, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, and the 1661 Ordinal—and to the tenets of orthodoxy that the Jerusalem Declaration identifies as underpinning Anglican identity, they will admit that they were mistaken. They will withdraw their endorsement. They will urge the Anglican Church in North America not to continue on its present path but to return to the true Anglican Way.