What is an Anglican?
We are reformed, evangelical, and in our style of worship we use liturgy that is rooted in history. Anglican worship is rooted in the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. Scripture is integrated into our liturgy of worship and use the Book of Common Prayer to guide us through prayer, worship and services like weddings, funerals, and baptisms.
From Why Anglicanism? by John W. Yates II. Adapted and edited for clarity.
It finds its life and its teaching rooted in the word of God. We believe the Word of God is true; not just that the Scriptures contain the word of God, but that they become the word of God spoken to us. We believe the Scriptures have authority and they’re true, and we want to be biblical Christians.
We value the sacraments, particularly of baptism and Holy Communion. We believe in the real presence of Christ in our midst. We don’t think that we’re just playing around with bread and wine and water. We believe that Christ is present in and through these elements, and we view them as a holy part of our life together. We’re sacramental Christians.
That means we’re people who proclaim the Good News of Christ to people who don’t know the Lord. And every good Anglican church is seeing a little steady stream of new people coming in, who are coming to new faith, and finding new life in Jesus Christ.
That means that when we come together and worship God, we just don’t do the latest fad that they’re doing down the street. The way we worship God is rooted all the way back in the earliest days of the church. The first Anglican Christians came to England in the first century and started worshipping God there and laid roots in how we worship God and it was done in a particular Anglican way. The way our services are laid out, they’re built on those early forms of worship. The liturgy, we make it important. We are committed to doing it the way it has been done through the ages. We bring new flavors to it, new emphases, but it’s rooted in history.
We’re a catholic church. We’re committed; we want to be linked closely to our brothers and sisters across the world. It’s not just about us– it’s about us together. We’re a worldwide, catholic church.
That means we believe in, and we’re dependent upon, the power of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the community of the church is to be a healing community, it’s to be an exorcising community, and we believe in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are taught in the Holy Scriptures. We want them all to be manifest.
We have bishops, and we want them not only to teach us but to pastor us. We want them to hold us accountable, to tell us when we’re gone astray and to hold us up to our best.
We love good music; the best of ancient music and the best of modern music.
Engages Society and the World Around It
Anglicanism engages the society and the world around it. We’re not about being in our own little “holy huddle.” We’re about being involved in politics. We’re about being involved in the issues of the community. We’re about serving on school boards and working in clinics and working in food kitchens. We’re about society.
Prayer is integral to our Sunday worship and or daily lives. Some of our major services are the include Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. Historically, Anglicans have met every day to pray to God. Anglicans go forward on their knees.
A Community of Grace
We are humble before God because we know we’re all sinners. We know that we all kneel at the foot of the cross, and the ground is level there. And we know that God is doing such bigger things than we’re doing. We’re just a little part of it, and we believe the best of one another. We’re not negative. We’re gracious when we’re at our best.
Anglicans loves children and Anglicanism is committed, not just to baptizing babies, but to beginning to work with them and make them disciples from the cradle to adulthood.
Love for Beauty
Anglicanism also has a love for beauty, as Martyn Minns, our [former] bishop has said, we’ve always appreciated the value of aesthetics in Anglicanism. That’s why you’ll see so many beautiful Anglican houses of worship; that’s why the furnishings are usually beautiful; that’s why the way things are done are usually aesthetically pleasing.
God catches our imagination through aesthetics. He speaks to us through beauty, and we learn to know God through the beauty of worship. So we’re committed to reverence and beautiful aesthetics in worship.