Church of Ireland and the reserved sacrament

Prompted by the "Communion on Good Friday' thread.

The Church of Ireland has traditionally been different from mainstream Anglicanism elsewhere in the British Isles by maintaining a much more protestant style of liturgy and ceremonial practice. Or so I, as an outsider, understand.

I also understand that things are changing, at least in the south. Chasubles, stoles and altar candles are not unknown; the Eucharist is central to the life of many parishes; and so on.

Is reservation of the Blessed Sacrament practised anywhere? Maybe in the (very rare AFAIK) anglo-catholic parishes – or not even there?

Can anyone shed light on this and correct or confirm my understanding?

Comments

  • I know of one place at least - St Barts Clyde Road, and probably S John Sandymount - though whether they’d want the publicity is moot.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I'm glad Ronald spoke about St Bart's. I worshipped there for about 4 months in 2001 and couldn't for the life of me remember! I had thought Yes, but could not be sure.

    The church that introduced me to High Anglican worship.
  • If Communion of the Sick is practised in the CofI, then maybe a sotto voce form of Reservation is done, with the priest (perhaps having several congregations in his/her charge) keeping the Sacrament at home until required?

    That would seem to be a pragmatic approach, though YMMV.

    I expect certain CofI Shipmates will be along soon to inform us.

    IJ
  • We had a CofI tabernacle next to the Catholic Tabernacle at the Dublin hospital I did my CPE at.
  • It's done in quite a lot of hospitals and nursing homes, if not most. In those circumstances the practicalities outweigh the liturgical and church law, which is playing catch-up with practical need. The synod wheels are slow here but don't always grind mighty fine. Around a decade ago 'Communion by Extension' was introduced. Essentially it is reservation by another name, but with a peculiarly odd time constraint. Perhaps they thought Jesus would leave early of boredom or something, or perhaps his presence would wear out. I really have no idea what kind of weird theological thinking was behind that one, but that's another story.

    Plenty of parishes here practice reservation. Few will admit to it openly for fear of the northern extremist bretheren inciting hatred and spewing their usual vile ignorant vomit. There are a few dioceses where it might be very strictly vorbotten, but in most normal dioceses there's an understanding it has to happen. For instance, numerous rural parishes do it, especially those in large groupings and unions where you might have eight parishes to bring communion to on Easter Day or Christmas Day but are literally an hours drive from one another. Without reservation you could quite easily be falling into Easter Monday for your Easter Sunday observations (or Christmas Day). There are of course the 'traditional' anglo-catholic parishes dotted around the country both north and south which have practiced it quite openly for many decades, perhaps even for over a century in a few instances.
  • OblatusOblatus Shipmate
    If I may be permitted a quick aside, what are a few of the parishes in the C of I that might be considered classic, perhaps stereotypical examples of C of I churchmanship?
  • This question may not be appropriate for an ecclesiantics thread, but as a brief aside, where does your average C of I worshipper in the North stand with respect to the sectarian politics there? Is the DUP’s strand of Unionism more the province of Presbyterians than Anglicans?
  • Around a decade ago 'Communion by Extension' was introduced. Essentially it is reservation by another name, but with a peculiarly odd time constraint. Perhaps they thought Jesus would leave early of boredom or something, or perhaps his presence would wear out. I really have no idea what kind of weird theological thinking was behind that one, but that's another story.
    I can’t say what the thinking in the CofI was, but a similar Communion by Extension was permitted in the Presbyterian Church (USA) around 10 years ago. The time constraint is “[a]s soon as possible after the conclusion of the service (ordinarily on the same day).”

    The reason for the time constraint, at least for us, has nothing to do with the Real Presence—that’s not how our understanding of the Real Presence works. It’s to connect as firmly as possible the extended service to the sick or homebound to the congregation’s celebration, to reinforce the communicant’s connection to the community. It’s kind of the sacramental equivalent of “we missed you at dinner, so we saved some of the food for you.” The longer the extended communion happens after the congregation’s service, the harder it is to see that connection.

  • I suspect that was the rationale and practice of the early church, too.

    IJ
  • This question may not be appropriate for an ecclesiantics thread, but as a brief aside, where does your average C of I worshipper in the North stand with respect to the sectarian politics there? Is the DUP’s strand of Unionism more the province of Presbyterians than Anglicans?

    Be careful. PCI would not want you assocaiting Presbyterianism in Ireland with being adherent of Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. It is a bit like equating 'American Christian' with 'Southern Baptist'.

    Jengie
  • Oblatus wrote: »
    If I may be permitted a quick aside, what are a few of the parishes in the C of I that might be considered classic, perhaps stereotypical examples of C of I churchmanship?

    Twenty years ago I could have answered this fairly concisely and I would have said that in Belfast C S Lewis' former church - Saint Mark's, Dundela - would have been a very typical CofI shack with each Sunday being an early said Eucharist, sung matins and Choral Evensong at night with a sung Eucharist as the main service once or twice in the month. Some parishes had the main Eucharist once a month but might have had a traditional language Eucharist of an evening at another point. Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin (the national cathedral) was modelled on this pattern in an attempt to replicate what was the common round of services in parishes. Now that has all changed in a fairly short space of time. Family services and services of the word form a large bulk of morning worship in some places. It's still liturgical but a more loose format for inserting themes and seasons etc. Some dioceses in the north have ditched liturgy, robes and any kind of regular communion in favour of what to all intents and purposes looks like Presbyterianism. There are many reasons for this that would take to long to go into here and it's hard to say how long that will be tolerated. Generally though, the CofI tends to be quite 'low church' with a larger percentage of that contingent being in the north.

    This question may not be appropriate for an ecclesiantics thread, but as a brief aside, where does your average C of I worshipper in the North stand with respect to the sectarian politics there? Is the DUP’s strand of Unionism more the province of Presbyterians than Anglicans?

    I've been away from the north for so long that it's hard to see where it might be headed. Presbyterianism is facing a crisis, according to friends who are Presbyterian ministers. The CofI has seen very significant drops in numbers. Part of this is that many of the churches of the reformed tradition were seen as part of the problem associated with the Troubles and some would claim they cemented the bigotry and division in society. As a result that is generally how it is seen by the upcoming generation and they have voted with their feet. The flip side of that is that there is a growing extremism around religious practice in Northern Ireland today and this grouping have left the Presbyterians and CofI for something that fits their own particular bias and view of things. That said, both churches have had their fair share of trying to appease this grouping and some have, in my personal opinion, sold out Christianity for the sake of keeping bums on seats. There is for instance a big push among two particular northern dioceses to form strong links to GAFCON and Sydney Diocese, but not for the reasons you might think. Strangely, that movement fits into the old religion of hate that many (I know its hard to believe) hanker after and it gives a speaking platform to those disenfranchised who felt left behind in the late 90's after peace and the Good Friday Agreement. I utterly fail to see the value in twisting faith to keep such people 'on board'. For some clergy in some northern dioceses ministry is now a lonely and sometimes even quite frightening experience. In the last decade society in Northern Ireland has fractured again with very deep, seemingly intractable divisions. The DUP have been very effective in exploiting that and ensuring it stays that way. The church is, as it has so often been in Northern Ireland, simply a microcosm of all of it.
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Around a decade ago 'Communion by Extension' was introduced. Essentially it is reservation by another name, but with a peculiarly odd time constraint. Perhaps they thought Jesus would leave early of boredom or something, or perhaps his presence would wear out. I really have no idea what kind of weird theological thinking was behind that one, but that's another story.
    I can’t say what the thinking in the CofI was, but a similar Communion by Extension was permitted in the Presbyterian Church (USA) around 10 years ago. The time constraint is “[a]s soon as possible after the conclusion of the service (ordinarily on the same day).”

    The reason for the time constraint, at least for us, has nothing to do with the Real Presence—that’s not how our understanding of the Real Presence works. It’s to connect as firmly as possible the extended service to the sick or homebound to the congregation’s celebration, to reinforce the communicant’s connection to the community. It’s kind of the sacramental equivalent of “we missed you at dinner, so we saved some of the food for you.” The longer the extended communion happens after the congregation’s service, the harder it is to see that connection.

    The synod looked at it in this light, but everyone in the room knew only too well that a time restriction was in place in case anyone might be caught adoring it. If you move it from the altar quickly enough, they all might still be on their knees and therefore still adoring God and not the sacrament. Good theology has never really been the CofI's strong point in recent years.
  • I looked after a handful of rural Republican CofI parishes for a while. And I also had a lot of home communions, so I would regularly - either on the Wednesday midweek communion, or from a Sunday communion - consecrate enough to fill the home communion box, straight from the Holy Table. The 'sick communion' liturgy also allowed, of course, for a celebration of communion, too, if for some reason I had run out and needed to consecrate 'on site', so to speak.

    So technically reserved sacrament was being created and stored for appropriate use. But it wouldn't have been understood under that title, and none of the churches had aumbreys.

    All those CofI churches I was familiar with in my area in the south, still had/have a form of morning prayer as the main service, with a monthly parish communion. And I notice that my home parish in Co Antrim (north) still runs that pattern - though they also do the early communion every Sunday.

    Ironically, the early communion is pretty well attended, but, sadly, like many CofI parishes, attendance for the monthly parish communion is usually down on the other weeks!


  • AlbertusAlbertus Shipmate
    This question may not be appropriate for an ecclesiantics thread, but as a brief aside, where does your average C of I worshipper in the North stand with respect to the sectarian politics there? Is the DUP’s strand of Unionism more the province of Presbyterians than Anglicans?

    I believe I read somewhere that Arlene Foster is an Anglican. But if she is, I don't know how exceptional that is.
  • Jengie Jon wrote: »
    This question may not be appropriate for an ecclesiantics thread, but as a brief aside, where does your average C of I worshipper in the North stand with respect to the sectarian politics there? Is the DUP’s strand of Unionism more the province of Presbyterians than Anglicans?

    Be careful. PCI would not want you assocaiting Presbyterianism in Ireland with being adherent of Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. It is a bit like equating 'American Christian' with 'Southern Baptist'.

    Jengie

    My apologies! I am aware of the PCI and FPC of Ulster distinction. I meant to address more uncompromising Unionism going back before Ian Paisley, asking whether it was seen equally among Presbyterians and Anglicans or more on one side or the other. I did not mean to suggest that all Presbyterians in NI are or were alike!
  • Might any increase in recent years in more catholic practices in some C of I parishes be due to migration from across the Irish Sea of Anglicans more used to that style of worship, whether or not they call themselves Anglo-Catholic?
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    The reason for the time constraint, at least for us, has nothing to do with the Real Presence—that’s not how our understanding of the Real Presence works. It’s to connect as firmly as possible the extended service to the sick or homebound to the congregation’s celebration, to reinforce the communicant’s connection to the community. It’s kind of the sacramental equivalent of “we missed you at dinner, so we saved some of the food for you.” The longer the extended communion happens after the congregation’s service, the harder it is to see that connection.

    Do the Presbyterians you are familiar with ever reuse consecrated bread or wine/grape juice to be consecrated again at a future communion service? (Sorry if consecrated is not the term used). I think at least some Lutherans do this. Am I right about that as well?
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    The reason for the time constraint, at least for us, has nothing to do with the Real Presence—that’s not how our understanding of the Real Presence works. It’s to connect as firmly as possible the extended service to the sick or homebound to the congregation’s celebration, to reinforce the communicant’s connection to the community. It’s kind of the sacramental equivalent of “we missed you at dinner, so we saved some of the food for you.” The longer the extended communion happens after the congregation’s service, the harder it is to see that connection.

    Do the Presbyterians you are familiar with ever reuse consecrated bread or wine/grape juice to be consecrated again at a future communion service? (Sorry if consecrated is not the term used). I think at least some Lutherans do this. Am I right about that as well?
    I certainly can’t swear it doesn’t happen, but no, I’m not familiar with any Presbyterian congregations that do that. The Directory for Worship provides:
    At the conclusion of the Service for the Lord’s Day, the bread and cup are to be removed from the table and used or disposed of in a manner approved by the session, in keeping with the Reformed understanding of the Sacrament and principles of good stewardship. This may be accomplished by consuming what remains or returning the elements to the earth.
    I guess reuse could fall under “used … in a manner approved by the session,” (though I don’t know that it’d be “in keeping with the Reformed understanding of the Sacrament”). But like I said, I’m not familiar with any places that do it. I’m used to consumption or, sometimes with the bread, feeding it to the birds.

    Can’t speak for the Lutherans.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    Sometimes in the URC it is done. Actually, I would say individual practice but it depends what is understood as happening. My parents regularly (between twice a month and weekly) have home communion which is a separate service from the congregational one. On other occasions, particularly when it is the practice of the incumbent to do home communions in the week after congregational communion, the elements are taken from the table, not because they are special but because it is symbolic of the person participating in the life of the congregation. Often in such cases, a shortened form of the Sunday sermon is also read. I know of ministers who do both according to circumstance.

    Jengie
  • Jengie Jon wrote: »
    Sometimes in the URC it is done.

    Jengie

    In theological college, where Anglicans and Methodists and URC ordinands trained together, we occasionally had little 'tiffs' with one another, when we shared communion duties. Such as the time when the URC vestry helpers put the consecrated wine back into the bottle; and another ordinand insisted on taking leftover bread over to the refectory to supplement his breakfast. To be honest, though, I can't remember who presided on those occasions. So maybe this was in line with communion practice of that particular church?

    Returning to the CofI and the sacrament. This reminds me of a local CofI rector, near my home place, who upset some of his parishioners by his references to disposing of the consecrated left-over bread; that he liked to feed his chickens on it. Whether he was being deliberately mischievous or not, I don't know; but he was a lower-than-low type who's style of presiding was casual to say the least, I understand.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    Sometimes in the URC it is done.
    Can you clarify? I'm not sure what "it" refers to here—the reuse of communion elements as asked about and discussed in the immediately preceding posts, or some form of Communion by Extension, as was discussed a little earlier in the thread. The rest of your post suggests you may be talking about the latter, while @Anselmina's post suggests that she (like me initially) read it as referring to the former. I'm just not sure.

  • Ok sometimes in the URC bread and wine from a congregational celebration is used at a communion service later in the week with the sick and housebound members. Normally the desire would be for at least another member of the church to be present as well, shortened sermon and simplified liturgy. It is very clearly seen as a sharing in table fellowship with those worshippers on Sunday, not a separate celebration of communion. I do not know what precise liturgy was used; I have not been present only eaten up remaining elements afterwards (preachers kids' privileges*); so reliant on other's report on their own practice. Both ministers I know who did this also did separate consecration in specific circumstances.

    Jengie

    *Yes it was non-alcoholic communion wine, but to my sisters and my young palates, it was nice enough.

    Jengie
  • Do any C of I churches have prominent tabernacles for reservation of the Sacrament - ie, richly decorated and prominently visible from the nave, if not on the altar itself? Would this be against the rules? What about Eucharistic benediction or adoration services? Is Good Friday communion from the reserved Sacrament allowed? Can reserved Sacrament be brought out to supplement the Sacrament consecrated at a Sunday Eucharist if there are a large number of worshippers?

    For all these questions - 1. Is this officially allowed in the C of I and 2. If one of these is not allowed, are there churches that break this rule and are quite public about it?
  • There may be exceptions, but I know of no Church of Ireland churches which have aumbreys/tabernacles. 'Reserved Sacrament' isn't a phrase that would be widely known or understood in CofI circles, except amongst a few of higher church tradition. Someone here might know of churches which have been given permission to build actual aumbreys? I'd be interested to hear about that. Or there might be unofficial niches in a church safe or the vestry where consecrated wafers and wine are kept, for convenience.

    Personally, I used to take my home communion box with me, when I celebrated communion at church and packed it with consecrated bread and wine for the weekly home communions.

    But here's the thing. Wafers are few and far between in the CofI. And fresh bread - which is the canonical requirement - doesn't stay fresh after consecration, and should be used up within a day or two before it goes stale.

    Again, there are doubtless exceptions elsewhere - maybe the occasional high church service here or there - but my own experience is that CofI Good Friday services do not usually include either communion or distribution of reserved sacrament. Benediction would be expressly not permitted, and there would be no need to supplement a Holy Communion service with reserved sacrament because the priest would simply consecrate more bread and wine using the usual Supplemental Consecration prayer already allowed.
  • Yes, but aren't there a few really, really spiky C of I churches (one or two in Dublin, IIRC)?

    Mind you, they could be as spiky as a porcupine, but still 'reserve' in the way, and for the purposes, described by Anselmina.

    IJ
  • Yes, but aren't there a few really, really spiky C of I churches (one or two in Dublin, IIRC)?

    Mind you, they could be as spiky as a porcupine, but still 'reserve' in the way, and for the purposes, described by Anselmina.

    IJ

    The two spiky churches in Dublin are St. John the Evangelist, Sandymount and St. Bartholomew's in Ballsbridge. For whatever reason, Dublin Anglo-Catholicism is concentrated in the posh southern suburbs. The latter has a splendid Victorian chancel of the sort that most certainly indicates its Anglo-Catholic liturgical leanings . But, if there's a tabernacle, it's well hidden.

    Fr Blagdon-Gamlen’s Church Travellers' Directory indicates that, in 1973, St. John and St. Bartholomew's both had daily mass, advertized auricular confessions, and sung mass every Sunday but not reservation. Indeed, the only institution in the entire CofI listed as practicing reservation was the chapel of the Community of St. Mary the Virgin in Ballsbridge.*

    *No relation to the order of the same name in Wantage.
  • Do any C of I churches have prominent tabernacles for reservation of the Sacrament - ie, richly decorated and prominently visible from the nave, if not on the altar itself? Would this be against the rules? What about Eucharistic benediction or adoration services? Is Good Friday communion from the reserved Sacrament allowed? Can reserved Sacrament be brought out to supplement the Sacrament consecrated at a Sunday Eucharist if there are a large number of worshippers?

    For all these questions - 1. Is this officially allowed in the C of I and 2. If one of these is not allowed, are there churches that break this rule and are quite public about it?

    I know of seven aumbry's/tabernacles that straddle both north and south. Whether they are canonically 'allowed' is not easily answered. I know of one that removed, but not due to an ecclesial case, more rather to do with the personal qualms of a priest.

    I know of only two places that practice Benediction, but a few that practice adoration (which might seem an odd distinction to some).

    Good Friday Eucharist from the reserved sacrament is permitted and practiced. However, the general observation of churches on Good Friday in the past has been to observe a three hour vigil or a last hour vigil which usually comprised of readings, psalms, prayers and multiple short reflections. I think, although I can't be sure, that this is rarely done now.

    In most places that have the reserved sacrament, it would be renewed every Sunday (so long as it is a Eucharist of course); so, yes, it does 'supplement' the Sunday observation and celebration.
  • Yes, but aren't there a few really, really spiky C of I churches (one or two in Dublin, IIRC)?

    Mind you, they could be as spiky as a porcupine, but still 'reserve' in the way, and for the purposes, described by Anselmina.

    IJ

    The two spiky churches in Dublin are St. John the Evangelist, Sandymount and St. Bartholomew's in Ballsbridge. For whatever reason, Dublin Anglo-Catholicism is concentrated in the posh southern suburbs. The latter has a splendid Victorian chancel of the sort that most certainly indicates its Anglo-Catholic liturgical leanings . But, if there's a tabernacle, it's well hidden.

    Fr Blagdon-Gamlen’s Church Travellers' Directory indicates that, in 1973, St. John and St. Bartholomew's both had daily mass, advertized auricular confessions, and sung mass every Sunday but not reservation. Indeed, the only institution in the entire CofI listed as practicing reservation was the chapel of the Community of St. Mary the Virgin in Ballsbridge.*

    *No relation to the order of the same name in Wantage.

    Long, long before Saint John's, Sandymount and Saint Bartholomew's, Ballsbridge there was the parish of All Saints, Grangegorman in a wholly working class area and the central shrine of Anglo-Catholicism. It still retains some aspects of this in a 'Primrose Hill' sort of way. At the time St John's and St Bart's were built the area was quite a mixture of wealth and poverty (Sandymount still is this way to a degree with a very significant amount of social housing mixed with very large fancy homes). Into the 1900's the area wasn't quite 'the worst slums of Europe' that large sections of the city centre were, but it wasn't far off. The homes were built as part of the Pembroke estate in a very fancy Victorian villa style of four floors (with roughly four rooms on each floor) but an average of 80 people lived in them at once. It's not really until the 1980's that Ballsbridge lifts itself from a somewhat run down Bohemian zone to a very salubrious suburb so close to the centre.

    I think I'm correct in saying that St John's always had a tabernacle whereas St Bart's aumbry safe didn't appear until the late 1970's. It's worth noting that St John's had the Community of Saint John the Evangelist (nuns) with a tabernacle in their own chapel (converted housing beside the church, later knocked for a purpose built convent) and St Bart's had the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary (also nuns) who had a purpose built convent and two separate orphanages but the aumbry safe was only in the convent. This however was a part of the parish and owned by it and the reserved sacrament was kept and used. All Saints Grangegorman also had an order of nuns (the last of which amalgamated into the CSJE) but I've been unable to find out anything about it, not even its name. they still have a lay order that continues to this day.

    You have a very different, far less hidden, perhaps more militant form of Anglo-Catholicism that arises in Connor Diocese. It gained particular traction in and around Belfast (much of that influence can still be seen in many parishes). Population movement and political upheaval essentially unravelled its grip, but at one point it had considerable grip. There was enough impetus at the time for Connor to commission and build a private chapel for the clergy, richly decorated in mosaics and wall paintings, lavishly spread with dark wood stations of the cross and quite remarkable furnishings with many multiple candle holders. Very fine robes were used, some of which still survive but in very poor condition. Records of the stained glass windows show very anglo-catholic taste, so much so, that when the chapel closed the windows were sold into private hands rather than installed in local churches. Reservation and Benediction was reputedly practiced, although I have never seen written confirmation of this. The stations of the cross and much of the extremely fine furnishings and the stone angel font now reside in St Peter's on the Antrim Road (not far from the chapel itself which still stands with a roof that is just about intact about half way up, on a slope in the middle of a field). It is quite remarkable that this existed at all, but I think it demonstrates how powerful the movement was at the time and just how much has been written out of subsequent CofI history by those who wish to paint the CofI as blandly evangelical in its entirety. If it hadn't been closed it would in all likelihood have been a prime target - a prize if you will - for those who instigated the Belfast ritual riots and subsequent attacks from the CofI itself as the tide and politics turned in a very different direction.
  • edited April 2018
    Posted by Anselmina:
    Someone here might know of churches which have been given permission to build actual aumbreys? I'd be interested to hear about that. Or there might be unofficial niches in a church safe or the vestry where consecrated wafers and wine are kept, for convenience.

    I'm loathe to post too many details, being partial to information I perhaps should not be partial to. Getting a faculty for an aumbrey safe can be a somewhat difficult thing these days, but it can be done. In the past it was granted on the basis of a particular 'parish tradition'. I guess this was stated to stop it running into other parishes and to keep the restless protestants quiet. Let me put it this way: there are many aumbrey safe's which are also places to keep the oils of anointing and many places where the oils of anointing are kept that also happen to be aumbrey safe's. I know of only one ecclesial case which was dropped on the basis of what actually constitutes an aumbrey safe. A similar argument was won in respect of the use of albs; argued to be simply a longer surplice with tighter sleeves. This might all seem very silly, but the precedent here is that canonical law is altered when practice pushes the boundary of the law and technical detail in minutiae is examined rather than anything theological or even approaching the realm of faith.

    'Unofficial niches' abound. Two that you may be familiar with were both used in recent memory for the purposes of reservation. I can't say that these medieval sepulchres are used that way now though. One is in Youghal and the other in Kinsale. The thing is, nobody advertises the fact that they do this, they just quietly get on with it. This can sometimes give the impression that it simply never happens, but this would be far from the truth.
  • Fletcher Christian, as someone who's had a bit of experience in both Connor and Cork dioceses, the answers here have been really fascinating to read!
  • AlbertusAlbertus Shipmate
    I know of seven aumbry's/tabernacles that straddle both north and south.
    Sounds like very precise placing- but that'll be fun after Brexit - seven CofI Rectors, each very angry about having the hard border running through their aumbry... :)
  • It's ok, Jesus knows no boundaries :)
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Fascinating indeed, Fletcher Christian. Thank you.
  • Reading this article from the Church Times suggests that having an aumbry for reservation is legal in the Church of England. https://churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2016/29-july/news/uk/leicestershire-church-wins-faculty-to-install-an-aumbry

    The quote by the Chancellor approving the installation of an aumbry is an interesting one. "No thinking Christian today could call the use of an aumbry illegal". The problem is, as I see it, is that there are plenty of unthinking Christians in Ireland who would.
  • Were aumbries ever actually illegal in the C of E, given their presence in (say) mediaeval pre-Reformation churches?

    Mind you, their post-Reformation use might technically have been illegal, but time brings change, and the Chancellor quoted by Ronald Binge is probably expressing the attitude of many in the C of E who would not by any means regard themselves as particularly Carflick.

    A retired priest of the charismatic-Evangelical persuasion, who is currently ministering almost every week at Our Place (wot is firmly in the Anglo-Catholic camp!) has no problem at all in topping up his Home Communion kit every so often with wafers consecrated (not necessarily by him) at our Parish Mass.

    Personally, I find this 'blurring of the boundaries' a refreshing development, which has done us no harm at all.

    BTW, thanks to all those who have shown us that the Church of Ireland is by no means the monochrome BCP Morning Prayer set-up that some of the more ignorant of us might have thought.

    Yay for the rainbow-coloured People of God!

    IJ
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