We are Anglicans
Basics of Anglicanism
What is an Anglican?
First and foremost, Anglicans are Christians – sincere, devoted followers of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures, the Apostolic Church, and the early Church Fathers are the foundation of Anglican faith and worship. The basic tenets of Anglicanism are:
We confess the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God containing all things necessary for salvation, and the final authority for Christian faith and life.
We confess the historic catholic faith as it was defined by the early undivided Church in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds.
We celebrate the two sacraments ordained by Christ – Baptism and the Lord’s Supper – with the use of His words of institution and the elements ordained by him.
We find unity with the early Christian Church through the leadership of godly bishops who stand in an unbroken line reaching back to the Apostles of the Lord.
The Anglican Church is one of the oldest branches of the Christian Church stretching back to the earliest days of Christianity. We are the descendants of the ancient Church in England, and because the early name for England was Angle-land, we are called Anglicans. During the Reformation of the sixteenth century, the English Reformers sought to correct errors that had crept into the Church during the Middle Ages. Their goal was to reform the practice of the Church by the teachings of the Bible and return to the ancient and catholic faith. Thus, the Church of England maintained its apostolic ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons. Its form of worship, though translated into English and reformed, nonetheless stood in continuity with the Church’s historical worship. It was during this time that the English Reformers drafted The 39 Articles of Religion which outline many basic Anglican beliefs.
With all Christians, Anglicans believe in one God who created all things by His Word and Spirit. When humanity and creation became enslaved to sin and death, God formed Israel so that through that people He might bring salvation to all people. In the fullness of time God’s Word became flesh as the faithful Israelite Jesus Christ. Through His life, death, resurrection, ascension and the sending of His Spirit, God has redeemed humanity and established His kingdom. At the last day, God will judge the world through Him, finally condemning evil and completing the renewal of His people and all creation.
Just as God’s Word entered creation as Jesus Christ, so God graciously continues to be present and active in His Church through physical signs called sacraments. God makes us and our children members of the Body of Christ through the water of baptism (Romans 6:3f). In the Holy Eucharist—also called the Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper or the Mass—Christ feeds us with the spiritual food of His Body and Blood (John 6:53f). Other important rites commonly called sacraments, include confirmation, holy orders, reconciliation, marriage, and anointing of the sick.
Worship is at the very heart of Anglicanism. Anglicans follow the traditional Church year which celebrates the major events in the life of Jesus Christ. We worship according to the liturgical forms practiced by the early church and preserved in the traditional Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Central to our worship is the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. In this offering of prayer and praise, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are recalled through the proclamation of the word and the celebration of the sacrament. In our worship, we seek to glorify God the Father through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. At its best, Anglican worship is beautiful, ordered, reverent, and joyful.
Anglicans are ecumenical. We acknowledge as Christian brothers and sisters all who share our faith in Jesus Christ and have been baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We welcome all baptized Christians to the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. We seek to cooperate with other Christians. And we pray each week for the unity of Christ’s Church throughout the world.