Anglican devotions

Anglican devotions

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Anglican devotions are private prayers and practices used by Anglican Christians to promote spiritual growth and communion with God. Among members of the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

, private devotional habits vary widely, depending on personal preference and on their affiliation with low-church
Low church
Low church is a term of distinction in the Church of England or other Anglican churches initially designed to be pejorative. During the series of doctrinal and ecclesiastic challenges to the established church in the 16th and 17th centuries, commentators and others began to refer to those groups...

 or high-church
High church
The term "High Church" refers to beliefs and practices of ecclesiology, liturgy and theology, generally with an emphasis on formality, and resistance to "modernization." Although used in connection with various Christian traditions, the term has traditionally been principally associated with the...

 parishes.

Private prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

 and Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 reading are probably the most common practices of devout Anglicans outside church. Some base their private prayers on the Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

.

Devotional practices among people and parishes who self-identify as Anglo-Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 will naturally be different from those Anglicans who are Evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

. Anglo-Catholics are likely to follow devotional customs familiar to Roman Catholics and, increasingly, to those of Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

. Evangelical Anglicans have strongly been influenced by the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 and, in some cases, by pietistic
Pietism
Pietism was a movement within Lutheranism, lasting from the late 17th century to the mid-18th century and later. It proved to be very influential throughout Protestantism and Anabaptism, inspiring not only Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodist movement, but also Alexander Mack to...

, charismatic
Charismatic movement
The term charismatic movement is used in varying senses to describe 20th century developments in various Christian denominations. It describes an ongoing international, cross-denominational/non-denominational Christian movement in which individual, historically mainstream congregations adopt...

 or Pentecostal habits.

Book of Common Prayer


The Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

(BCP) is the foundational prayer book of Anglicanism. The original was one of the instruments of the English Reformation
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

. In addition to the authorized Prayer Book of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, most member churches of the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

 now have their own official versions, which may be used by individual Anglicans for their private devotions. Many Anglican churches use contemporary alternatives to the Prayer Book, such as Common Worship
Common Worship
Common Worship is the name given to the series of services authorised by the General Synod of the Church of England and launched on the first Sunday of Advent in 2000. It represents the most recent stage of development of the Liturgical Movement within the Church and is the successor to the...

 (Church of England), or the Book of Alternative Services
Book of Alternative Services
The Book of Alternative Services is the contemporary, inclusive-language liturgical book used alongside the Book of Common Prayer in most parishes of the Anglican Church of Canada...

 (Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada
The Anglican Church of Canada is the Province of the Anglican Communion in Canada. The official French name is l'Église Anglicane du Canada. The ACC is the third largest church in Canada after the Roman Catholic Church and the United Church of Canada, consisting of 800,000 registered members...

).

Many devout Anglicans begin and end their day with the Daily Office of the Prayer Book, which includes the forms for morning, noonday, evening
Evening Prayer (Anglican)
Evening Prayer is a liturgy in use in the Anglican Communion and celebrated in the late afternoon or evening...

, and bedtime
Compline
Compline is the final church service of the day in the Christian tradition of canonical hours. The English word Compline is derived from the Latin completorium, as Compline is the completion of the working day. The word was first used in this sense about the beginning of the 6th century by St...

 prayer, as well as suggested Bible readings appropriate to each. Some Anglo-Catholics use forms of the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 Daily Office, such as the Liturgy of the Hours
Liturgy of the hours
The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity. The Liturgy of the Hours consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns and readings...

, or the forms contained in the Anglican Breviary
Anglican Breviary
The Anglican Breviary is a privately published Anglo-Catholic edition of the Divine Office translated into English. It is based on the Roman Breviary as it existed prior to both the Second Vatican Council and the 1955 liturgical reforms of Pope Pius XII....

.

The Litany
Litany
A litany, in Christian worship and some forms of Jewish worship, is a form of prayer used in services and processions, and consisting of a number of petitions...

 in the Book of Common Prayer, or litanies from other sources, is also a devotion used for private or family prayer by some Anglicans.

Quiet Time
Quiet Time
Quiet Time is a regular individual session of Christian spiritual activities, most notably prayer and/or private study of the Bible. The term "Quiet Time" is used by 20th-century Protestants, mostly evangelical Christians. It is also called "personal Bible study" or "personal devotions"...

, a time of prayer and Bible reflection is quite common among evangelical Anglicans, while Lectio Divina
Lectio Divina
In Christianity, Lectio Divina is a traditional Catholic practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's Word...

, a similar practice, is advocated by more Catholic-minded Anglicans.

Veneration of saints



Although direct prayer to the saints is a practice that was continued in the first Litany in English, it was not particularly encouraged after the English Reformation
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

, it is an important part of Anglo-Catholics' public and private spiritual practices. In Anglo-Catholic theology, veneration
Veneration
Veneration , or veneration of saints, is a special act of honoring a saint: an angel, or a dead person who has been identified by a church committee as singular in the traditions of the religion. It is practiced by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic, and Eastern Catholic Churches...

 is a type of honour distinct from the worship
Worship
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship.Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The absolute...

 due to God alone. High church
High church
The term "High Church" refers to beliefs and practices of ecclesiology, liturgy and theology, generally with an emphasis on formality, and resistance to "modernization." Although used in connection with various Christian traditions, the term has traditionally been principally associated with the...

 theologians have long used the terms latria
Latria
Latrīa is a Latin term used in Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic theology to mean adoration, a reverence directed only to the Holy Trinity. Latria carries an emphasis on the internal form of worship, rather than external ceremonies.-Catholic teachings:In Catholic teachings, latria also applies...

for the sacrificial worship due to God alone, and dulia for the veneration given to saints and icons. They base this distinction on the conclusions of the Seventh Ecumenical Council (787
787
Year 787 was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 787 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* Conall succeeds Drest as king of the...

), which also decreed that iconoclasm
Iconoclasm
Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction of religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually with religious or political motives. It is a frequent component of major political or religious changes...

 (forbidding icons and their veneration) is a heresy
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

 that amounts to a denial of the incarnation
Incarnation
Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient creature who is the material manifestation of an entity, god or force whose original nature is immaterial....

 of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

.

Article XXII of the Thirty-nine Articles
Thirty-Nine Articles
The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion are the historically defining statements of doctrines of the Anglican church with respect to the controversies of the English Reformation. First established in 1563, the articles served to define the doctrine of the nascent Church of England as it related to...

 states the "Romish doctrine" of the invocation of saints in the 16th century was not grounded in Scripture, hence many low-church or broad-church
Broad church
Broad church is a term referring to latitudinarian churchmanship in the Church of England, in particular, and Anglicanism, in general. From this, the term is often used to refer to secular political organisations, meaning that they encompass a broad range of opinion.-Usage:After the terms high...

 Anglicans consider prayer to the saints to be unnecessary.
One example of Anglo-Catholic veneration is the annual procession in honour of Our Lady of Walsingham
Our Lady of Walsingham
Our Lady of Walsingham is a title used for Mary, the mother of Jesus. The title derives from the belief that Mary appeared in a vision to Richeldis de Faverches, a devout Saxon noblewoman, in 1061 in the village of Walsingham in Norfolk, England...

 (see picture). It was suspended in 1538 and revived in 1922 by some clergy and lay members of the Church of England.

Anglican prayer beads


The use of Anglican prayer beads
Anglican prayer beads
Anglican prayer beads, also known as the Anglican rosary or Christian prayer beads, is a loop of strung beads which Anglicans, as well as Christians of other denominations, use as a focus for prayer. This particular way of using prayer beads was developed in the mid-1980s by Episcopalians in the...

 (also called "the Anglican Rosary") by some Anglicans and members of other Christian denominations began in the 1980s. This bead set is used in a variety of ways. Commonly, the beads are used in tandem with a fixed prayer format, but they are also used merely to keep count of whatever prayers the user has chosen for the occasion. For some, the set is carried as a tangible reminder of the owner's faith, with no prayers being said on the beads at all, while some prefer to pray the traditional Dominican Rosary
Rosary
The rosary or "garland of roses" is a traditional Catholic devotion. The term denotes the prayer beads used to count the series of prayers that make up the rosary...

 of the Blessed Virgin Mary instead of or in addition to Anglican prayer beads.

Sacramentals


Almost all Christians use sacramental
Sacramental
Sacramental may refer to:* Sacramental, as an adjective means of or pertaining to sacraments* Sacramentals, in Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism, objects whose supernatural effects, unlike those of a sacrament, depend on the belief of the recipient...

s, whether they are so called or not. Sacramentals among Anglo-Catholics may include images of Christian saints, a cross or crucifix
Crucifix
A crucifix is an independent image of Jesus on the cross with a representation of Jesus' body, referred to in English as the corpus , as distinct from a cross with no body....

, votive candle
Votive candle
A votive candle or prayer candle is a small candle, typically white or beeswax yellow, intended to be burnt as a votive offering in a religious ceremony. It now also refers to a standard size of candle two inches high by one and a half inches diameter, of any color or scent.-Christian use:Candles...

s, Mary garden
Mary garden
A Mary Garden is a small sacred garden enclosing a statute or shrine of the Virgin Mary, who is known to many Christians as the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady, or the Mother of God. In Christian tradition, Mary is the mother of Jesus of Nazareth, also known as Jesus Christ...

 and holy water
Holy water
Holy water is water that, in Catholicism, Anglicanism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and some other churches, has been sanctified by a priest for the purpose of baptism, the blessing of persons, places, and objects; or as a means of repelling evil.The use for baptism and...

. These are examples of sacramentals the purpose of which are to remind the user of God, or serve as a focus of prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

 or meditation
Meditation
Meditation is any form of a family of practices in which practitioners train their minds or self-induce a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit....

.

Depending on personal preference, the sacramentals found in an Anglican home will vary. Some will have few visible signs of their faith in the public areas of the home, whereas some will have a prominent Bible or cross in the sightline of any who come through the front door. Some may have a holy water
Holy water
Holy water is water that, in Catholicism, Anglicanism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and some other churches, has been sanctified by a priest for the purpose of baptism, the blessing of persons, places, and objects; or as a means of repelling evil.The use for baptism and...

 font by their front door, into which the fingers of the right hand are dipped to make the sign of the cross
Sign of the cross
The Sign of the Cross , or crossing oneself, is a ritual hand motion made by members of many branches of Christianity, often accompanied by spoken or mental recitation of a trinitarian formula....

 upon entering and exiting the house. Some may also have devotional pictures of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, or of Mary
Mary (mother of Jesus)
Mary , commonly referred to as "Saint Mary", "Mother Mary", the "Virgin Mary", the "Blessed Virgin Mary", or "Mary, Mother of God", was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee...

 and other saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

s around the home, or an icon corner
Icon Corner
The Icon Corner is a small worship space prepared in the homes of Eastern Orthodox or Greek-Catholic Christians.The Book of Acts and the Epistles of the Apostle Paul record that in the early Church, Christians used to meet in the homes of the faithful. This tradition of the "House Church"...

, a practice borrowed in recent decades from Eastern Orthodox tradition.

See also

  • Hagiography
    Hagiography
    Hagiography is the study of saints.From the Greek and , it refers literally to writings on the subject of such holy people, and specifically to the biographies of saints and ecclesiastical leaders. The term hagiology, the study of hagiography, is also current in English, though less common...

  • Iconography
    Iconography
    Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means "image writing", and comes from the Greek "image" and "to write". A secondary meaning is the painting of icons in the...

  • Pilgrimage
    Pilgrimage
    A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

  • Guild of All Souls
    Guild of All Souls
    The Guild of All Souls is an Anglican devotional society dedicated to prayer for faithful departed Christians. As stated on its website, it is a "devotional society praying for the souls of the Faithful Departed, and teaching the Catholic doctrine of the Communion of Saints."-Objectives:The stated...

  • Quiet time
    Quiet Time
    Quiet Time is a regular individual session of Christian spiritual activities, most notably prayer and/or private study of the Bible. The term "Quiet Time" is used by 20th-century Protestants, mostly evangelical Christians. It is also called "personal Bible study" or "personal devotions"...