What is the History of Anglicanism?
First things First: Henry the VIII did not really found Anglicanism! The Anglican Church was founded in England in the 16th century amidst the great Protestant Reformation. During the Reformation, godly theologians recognized the need to return to the centrality of Scriptures as the ultimate authority for the teaching, life, and structures of the Church (above leaders and tradition). Thomas Cranmer, an Archbishop of Canterbury under Henry VIII, was instrumental in birthing the theology, liturgy, prayer book and overall gospel focus of the Anglican Church. For us, Anglicanism represents the best of Christianity—a connection to believers past and present, a commitment to the authority of the Bible, and the call to proclaim the gospel and serve others within a variety of worship styles and ministries.
Is Church of the Resurrection affiliated with an Anglican denomination?
Church of the Resurrection is affiliated with the Anglican Diocese of the Mid–Atlantic under the leadership of Bishop John Guernsey. The Diocese of the Mid Atlantic is affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America, founded in 2009 in response to the need for a Gospel-centered, orthodox Anglican Province in North America. The ACNA is made up of over 700 churches in partnership with 17 Anglican Provinces and more than 75 million Anglican Christians around the world.
Where can I read about the basics of Anglican theology?
The founding theology of the Anglican Church can be found in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. The theology of the 39 Articles is in line with the Protestant Reformation and the ancient Creeds of the Church. You can also read more about our theology as a church here.
Some find Anglican Terminology to be confusing. Here are some definitions to frequently used words:
Who is welcomed to receive Communion at an Anglican Church?
All who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are welcomed to receive the Sacrament with us, regardless of denominational affiliation or church background. However, we do not practice “open communion” – i.e. anyone who wants to come can partake of communion regardless of what they believe. However, Jesus honors faith as small as a “mustard seed” and any who would self identify as a believer in Christ and “is in love and charity with their neighbor” (Book of Common Prayer) are welcome at Communion.
My spouse is a Catholic and I am a Protestant. Would we both be happy in an Anglican Church?
We certainly think so. While our beliefs are Biblical, orthodox, and reflect the theology of the Protestant Reformation, Anglicans retain many theological convictions, liturgies (styles of worship), and helpful traditions from the early Church that Roman Catholics would find familiar. We believe both would feel very much at home.
What does it mean that Anglicanism is “catholic”?
In the Creeds, believers affirm the “one holy catholic and apostolic church.” Catholic means universal and refers to the worldwide body of Christ. All those who know and love Christ are members of God's eternal family, regardless of their denomination or church background. The orthodox Anglican tradition provides the venue for one form of worship of the Lord. We love it, and value the gift and breadth of Anglican liturgy and traditions. Anglican worship is a great way to connect with Christ.
What is the Liturgical Calendar that Anglicans follow?
The Liturgical Calendar divides the year into six major seasons: Advent and Christmas (Christ’s Coming), Epiphany (Christ for the whole world), Lent (a time for reflection, repentance and grace in preparation for Easter), Easter (Christ’s resurrection from the dead), Pentecost (the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of Christ’s Church on earth) followed by “normal time” (growing together as the Body of Christ and His witnesses in the world).
What is Anglican worship like?
Worship is a verb. Anglican worship is centered around the active participation of hearing and responding to God’s Word through worship, prayer, confession, and fellowship with Christ in Holy Communion. Worship at Church of the Resurrection is biblically-based and shaped by the Book of Common Prayer and the Church Year (a calendar based upon the life of Christ).
Why do Anglicans use Liturgy in their worship?
Liturgy is the structural form that any church uses to facilitate worship. Historically, Anglicans have believed that a balance of traditional and more informal liturgy can be helpful to facilitate worship for a variety of different people. Here is why: A steady liturgy transcends the ever-changing realities in our daily lives, and so we can count on it to bring us back to things that are true and constant. Also, Anglican liturgy teaches us how to pray scripture, as it was written by biblically grounded theologians who crafted and taught Christian prayer based on certain scriptures. Also, Anglican liturgy connects us with millions of other Christians (from all over the world and throughout time) who have said the same prayers to the same God.
At the same time we like to remember that Thomas Cranmer was the first to put a "power point projector” in a service by placing an English prayer book in everyone’s hands. This was revolutionary at the time! His principle was that the Gospel and worship needs to be accessible and culturally aesthetic. This is why Anglicans in Africa, Asia, South America can use the same liturgy with lots of different forms to communicate and bring the Gospel to life.
Can someone "fake it" through liturgy and simply go through the motions? Sure. Though you can pretty much "fake it" through any style of worship, whether formal or informal. We think that if you engage your mind and heart, and give this style of worship a chance (that is, stick around for a bit), you’ll begin to love it!
Finally, Christians are called to love God with their heart and mind! Many contemporary churches seek to inspire love of God through the heart or emotions only (visual and musical tastes reflect this). Other liturgical churches focus on loving God with mainly the mind – in some cases requiring a Ph.D in theology to follow the liturgy, Eucharistic prayers, and weighty theological hymns. As Anglicans we seek to worship God with both heart & emotion and mind & reason. A good balance of liturgy, music, and teaching should invite us to do both and that is what we seek each week. So please don’t check your heart or your mind at the door!
What We Believe
Mission, Vision, and Core Values
Statement of Faith
The Thirty-Nine Articles
The Nicene Creed
ACNA Texts for Common Prayer
Trinity School for Ministry
Why Anglicanism? - A collection of essays compiled by the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic in which each contributor was asked to answer the question "What is Anglicanism?".
The Anglican Way - A guidebook written by The Rev. Thomas Mckenzie for anyone interested in following Jesus as an Anglican Christian. Written for both the newcomer and the person who wants to go deeper, this book answers hundreds of questions about history, theology, worship, and more.