Anonymous asked:

If I may ask, what are those 'various ceremonies' and 'liturgical rules' that make Roman Catholicism unappealing to you? Or on another note, I often meet an occasional former Anglican cleric or seminarian who is now some shade of Eastern Orthodox. Why is that?

The main ‘ceremony’ I have problems with are the various Eucharist adoration ceremonies which so many Catholics are devoted. Now, although I whole heartedly believe Jesus Christ to be fully physically and spiritually present in the consecrated bread and wine, as our Prayerbook says, it was not ordained to be gazed upon. The orthodox do not practice Eucharistic adoration and neither did western Catholics until the 16th century. The danger I see with Eucharistic adoration is that it turns the sacrament in into something detached from us, remember the command was ‘take, eat’ for half the mystery of the sacrament is us ingesting Our Lord, bringing him into us in this most basic act. That’s is what I find problematic.

As to liturgical rules, they can sometimes be a bit fussy and get in the way. Again here the Orthodox have the right idea, their ceremonies are solemn but not as fussy. There is no liturgical colour sequence and common sense takes the place of silly rules. Now some may say that the post Vatican II church has got rid of all that and it has, but at the expense of solemnity. The anglican ceremonial in itself is very plain and practical but it provides solemnity suited to Divine Service.

Now, to answer why so many Anglicans become Orthodox. The simple thing is that a great many Anglicans have serious theological doubts about Rome’s position and they find a better vision of catholicity in the eastern churches. Remember ever since the reformation High Church divines looked to the east for Catholicism that wasn’t Roman, and this I think has had a great effect on the Anglican mentality, at least the High Church mentality rather than the Anglo-Catholic.

This meant that in most parish churches the Sunday morning service consisted of Mattins, the Litany and Altar Prayers, with a sermon after the Nicene Creed. If there was a Baptism it came after the second lesson, and women were churched just before Altar Prayers. A bidding prayer was added before the sermon; on Sundays preceding a Communion Sunday the first of the long exhortations in the Communion service was read after the sermon, and the people were told how to prepare to receive Communion and of their parish priest’s readiness to hear their confessions if they so desired. The psalms were said, but the Te Deum was often sung; there would be a metrical psalm or hymn or sometimes an anthem after the third collect or after the Litany as a kind of Introit, or before or after the sermon.
The Architectural Setting of Anglican Worship