A Good Example of Why I’m Anglican: the Eucharistic Exhortation

The text below, copied and pasted from the Book of Common Prayer (you can find it on page 316) is an excellent example of why I have not been able to resist the call to “convert” to the Anglican way. The point is not simply that this is the theology of Anglicanism, but in addition that this kind of thing is formally enshrined in their (authorized and authoratative) liturgical tradition.

An Exhortation

 

This Exhortation may be used, in whole or in part, either during the

Liturgy or at other times. In the absence of a deacon or priest, this

Exhortation may be read by a lay person. The people stand or sit.

 

Beloved in the Lord: Our Savior Christ, on the night before

he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and

Blood as a sign and pledge of his love, for the continual

remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, and for a spiritual

sharing in his risen life. For in these holy Mysteries we are

made one with Christ, and Christ with us; we are made one

body in him, and members one of another.

 

Having in mind, therefore, his great love for us, and in

obedience to his command, his Church renders to Almighty

God our heavenly Father never‑ending thanks for the

creation of the world, for his continual providence over us,

for his love for all mankind, and for the redemption of the

world by our Savior Christ, who took upon himself our flesh,

and humbled himself even to death on the cross, that he

might make us the children of God by the power of the Holy

Spirit, and exalt us to everlasting life.

 

But if we are to share rightly in the celebration of those holy

Mysteries, and be nourished by that spiritual Food, we must

remember the dignity of that holy Sacrament. I therefore call

upon you to consider how Saint Paul exhorts all persons to

prepare themselves carefully before eating of that Bread and

drinking of that Cup.

 

For, as the benefit is great, if with penitent hearts and living

faith we receive the holy Sacrament, so is the danger great, if

we receive it improperly, not recognizing the Lord=s Body.

Judge yourselves, therefore, lest you be judged by the Lord.

 

Examine your lives and conduct by the rule of God’s

commandments, that you may perceive wherein you have

offended in what you have done or left undone, whether in

thought, word, or deed. And acknowledge your sins before

Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life, being

ready to make restitution for all injuries and wrongs done by

you to others; and also being ready to forgive those who have

offended you, in order that you yourselves may be forgiven.

And then, being reconciled with one another, come to the

banquet of that most heavenly Food.

 

And if, in your preparation, you need help and counsel, then

go and open your grief to a discreet and understanding priest,

and confess your sins, that you may receive the benefit of

absolution, and spiritual counsel and advice; to the removal

of scruple and doubt, the assurance of pardon, and the

strengthening of your faith.

 

To Christ our Lord who loves us, and washed us in his own

blood, and made us a kingdom of priests to serve his God

and Father, to him be glory in the Church evermore. Through

him let us offer continually the sacrifice of praise, which is

our bounden duty and service, and, with faith in him, come

boldly before the throne of grace [and humbly confess our sins

to Almighty God].

 

 

 

 

 

 

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