What it means to be an Anglican
Anglicans trace their Christian roots back to
the early Church, and their specifically Anglican identity
to the post-Reformation expansion of the Church of
England and other Episcopal or Anglican Churches.
Historically, there were two main stages in the
development and spread of the Communion. Beginning
with the 17th century, Anglicanism was established
a longside colonisation in the North America,
Australasia, and South Africa. The second stage began
in the 18th century when missionaries worked to found
Anglican churches in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
As a worldwide family of churches, the
Anglican Communion has more than 77 million
adherents in 39 national or regional churches, across
161 countries. Anglicans speak many languages and
come from different races and cultures. Although the
churches are autonomous, they are also uniquely
unified through their history, their theology, their worship
and their relationship to the ancient See of Canterbury.
The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral sets forth
the four basic marks of the Christian church as
Anglicans have received them:
* The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New
Testaments as ‘containing all things necessary for
salvation' and as being the rule and ultimate standard of
* The Apostles' creed as the Baptismal
symbol, and the Nicene Creed as the sufficient
statement of the Christian faith.
* The two sacraments ordained by Christ
himself - Baptism and the Supper of the Lord,
administered with unfailing use of Christ's words of
institution, and the elements ordained by him.
* The historic episcopate, locally adapted in
the methods of its administration to the varying needs of
the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of
By Baptism in the name of the Father, Son
and Holy Spirit, a person is made one with Christ and
received into the fellowship of the Church. This
sacrament of initiation is open to children as well as to
adults. Anglicans recognize the baptism of all other
Christian churches.prayers also change, in order to provide variety.
numbers for parts of the service printed elsewhere in the
Book are usually announced or given in the service
leaflet. But do not be embarrassed to ask your
neighbour for the page number.
You will find the services of the Anglican
Church beautiful in their ordered dignity, God-centered,
and yet mindful of the nature and needs of human
Before and After
It is the custom upon entering church to kneel
in one's pew for a prayer of personal preparation for
worship. In many churches it is also the custom to bow
to the altar on entering and leaving the church as an act
of reverence for Christ.
Most Anglicans do not talk in church before a
service but use this time for personal meditation and
devotions. At the end of the service some persons kneel
for a private prayer before leaving. Others sometimes sit
to listen to the organ postlude.
Coming and Going
If there are ushers or greeters, they will greet
you, give you the service bulletin. If you desire, they
will answer your questions about the service. The prayer books are in the pews. Pews are
usually unreserved in Anglican churches. Following the
service the pastor usually greets the people as they
Credit: The Church of England
The Diocese of Montreal was created by Letters Patent of the Crown on
July 18, 1851. From a geographical perspective, the Diocese covers the
Island of Montreal and its environs, including the Laurentian and South
Shore communities. It is headed by the Right Reverend Barry B. Clarke
who was elected Bishop in the fall of 2004.
The Diocesan Office provides a number of services to parishes, including
the administration of various grants, programs, and a payroll service.
These services are intended to facilitate ministry in our community and
to provide a wider background and community for Anglicans worshipping
here. The Diocese is led by the Bishop, the Executive Archdeacon, the
Treasurer, the Controller, the Program Officer, and many others.
The church year
The Anglican Church observes the traditional
Christian calendar. The season of Advent, during which
we prepare for Christmas, begins on the Sunday closest
to November 30. Christmas itself lasts twelve days,
ending on the feast of the Epiphany (January 6).
Lent, the forty days of preparation for Easter,
begins on Ash Wednesday. Easter season lasts fifty
days, concluding on the feast of Pentecost. During
these times the Bible readings are chosen for their
appropriateness to the season. During the rest of the
year--the season after Epiphany and the long season
after Pentecost (except for a few special
Sundays) – parts of the Bible are read more or less
sequentially from Sunday to Sunday.
Guests and newcomers
When you visit an Anglican church, you will
be our respected and welcome guest. You will not be
singled out in an embarrassing way, nor asked to stand
before the congregation nor to come forward. You will
worship God with us.
A brief history of the
When the British people settled the British Empire
they took their religion with them and thus
Anglicanism spread overseas. Eventually these
overseas parishes became autonomous churches,
independent, yet closely linked. These churches,
while autonomous in their governance, are bound
together by tradition, Scripture, the Prayer Book,
and the inheritance they have received from the
British Churches. They together make up the
The Anglican Communion consists of over 77
million members organized in 39 self-governing
Churches made up of over 600 dioceses, 30,000
parishes and 64,000 individual congregations in a
total of 164 countries.
The Anglican Communion is
the third largest Christian body in the world and it
is, after the Roman Catholic Church, the most
In 1930 resolution 49 of the Lambeth Conference
described the Anglican Communion as "a
fellowship, within the one Holy Catholic and
Apostolic Church, of those duly constituted
dioceses, provinces or regional Churches in
communion with the See of Canterbury. It
consists of "particular or national Churches [who]
promote within each of their territories a national
expression of Christian faith, life and worship."
The resolution described a common liturgical
heritage and concluded: "they are bound together
not by a central legislative and executive
authority, but by mutual loyalty sustained
through the common counsel of the bishops in
An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church defines the
Anglican Communion as follows:
"The Churches in communion with the See of
Canterbury throughout the world. Member
churches exercise jurisdictional independence
but share a common heritage concerning
Anglican identity and commitment to scripture,
tradition, and reason as sources of authority.
Churches in the Anglican Communion continue to
reflect the balance of Protestant and Catholic
principles that characterized the via media of the
Unity and co-operation within the Communion are
facilitated by a number of bodies including four
which are sometimes referred to as the Instruments
of Communion, namely: The Archbishop of
Canterbury, the Primates' Meeting, the Lambeth
Conference and the Anglican Consultative Council.
Some churches within the Anglican Communion are
called Episcopalian (meaning, governed by bishops).
Some of these churches come from the Scottish
Episcopal Church. This Church is as old as the
English Church and has a very different history. The
Anglican Communion, therefore, has two roots: the
English Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church.
What clergy wear
To add to the beauty and festivity of the
services, and to signify their special ministries, the
clergy and other ministers wear vestments. For Mattins,
Evensong and other non-sacramental services, “choir
vestments” consist of an undergown called a cassock
(usually black) and a white, gathered overgown called a
surplice. The clergy may also wear a tippett (a black
scarf) and an academic hood.
Another familiar vestment is the alb, a white
robe that covers the body from neck to ankles. Over it
(or over the surplice) ordained ministers wear a stole, a
narrow band of coloured fabric. Deacons wear the stole
over one shoulder, priests and bishops over both
At the Holy Eucharist a bishop or priest
frequently wears a chasuble (a circular garment that
envelopes the body) over the alb and stole. The
deacon's corresponding vestment has sleeves and is
called a dalmatic. In some parishes the Priest and
Deacon wear a Maniple (a small band of coulored fabric
worn over the left arm). The Maniple is a symbol of
servanthood. Bishops wear a special headcovering
called a mitre.
Stoles, chasubles, and dalmatics, as well as
altar coverings, are usually made of rich fabrics. Their
color changes with the seasons and holy days of the
Church Year. The most frequently used colors are white
(symbolizing purity), red (blood, for the feasts of
martyrs, or fire, for the Holy Spirit), violet (penitence, for
Lent, or royalty, for Advent), and green (creation).
The Anglican Communion
The Anglican Church of Canada
The Diocese of Montreal
The Church of England
The Scottish Episcopal Church