FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What does the church believe about Saints?
A: The word "Saint" means "holy person." The church understands the Saints to be exemplary Christians from whom we, as followers of Christ, learn about the Christian life. The Saints are not worshipped or adored like God, but the Church holds up and remembers the lives of particular Saints at various appointed times during the year. The prayers of the Saints in heaven assist the faithful on earth according to the Revelation of St. John (5:8 and 8:3-4 in the light of 6:9-11.)
Q: How is the Anglican Catholic Church different from the Episcopal Church?
A: The Anglican Catholic Church faith and practice is based on scripture and tradition and does not conform itself to current culture as is seen as the practice in the Episcopal Church.
Q: What are The Stations of the Cross?
A: Stations of the Cross are an act of worship that take place during the season of Lent. Stations are focused on the final events of Jesus' life leading to His resurrection. There are 14 stations of with representations of these important events. Devotions are said at the beginning and end of the Stations and at each station.
Q: What is the difference between ANGLICAN CATHOLIC and CATHOLIC? (meaning Roman Catholic)
A: The term Catholic literally means "of the whole" and refers to the body of those who profess the faith of the original Undivided Church. The word is not exclusively ROMAN. The Anglican Catholic Church is derived from the Catholic Church in England (The Church of England). The Word "Anglican" simply means "English".
Q: Are you REAL Catholics?
A: YES! We believe in the Catholic Faith as stated in the Creeds and handed down to us from the first Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Catholic Church, in Holy Scripture as containing all things necessary for salvation, in the Apostolic Ministry, and in the Seven Sacraments of the Church. We are, indeed, REAL Catholics!
Q: Aren't you just an American Church?
A: The Anglican Catholic Church arose from within the Anglican Communion, when that body, including its member Church in America (The Episcopal Church), abandoned its Catholic heritage. The Anglican Catholic Church is worldwide and has a presence in many Countries. Although the 'Original Province' is largely concentrated in North America, ACC's Second Province is constituted by our Church in India.
Q: Are you under the Authority of the Pope?
A: In the Undivided Church (prior to the great schism between East and West in AD1054) the Bishop of Rome was the first Bishop in the Church, the first among his brother Bishops. Since then claims have been made by Rome about the Pope's position and supremacy which ACC, professing the Faith of the Undivided Church, does not support, and therefore we are not under the Pope's authority.
Q: Aren't you a part of the Church of England?
A: No. Many members of The Anglican Catholic Church used to be in the Church of England, but when that body chose a new direction, those parishes and individuals who prefered to maintain the traditional practices of the Church, remained as the Anglican Catholic Church where the Faith and Practice of the Undivided Church is not changed. Some people continue to join us from The Church of England or its sister churches in the Anglican Communion as well as from the Roman Catholic Church and the various protestant denominations. Additionally, we have also experienced growth with people from other faiths, or no faith at all. The ACC welcomes all of God's children. + Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Q: Which prayer book do You Use?
A: Some of our parishes use the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, beloved by Anglican traditionalists throughout the United States. Unlike the 1979 book adopted by the Episcopal Church, the 1928 Book of Common Prayer stands in direct line of descent from Thomas Cranmer’s 1549 Book of Common Prayer, and its collects preserve the beauty of the Archbishop’s original prose. The Epistles and Gospels are taken from the Authorized Version (otherwise known as the King James Bible) and the Psalter remains that which has been used by generations of Anglicans throughout the world, that of the Great Bible of 1539. Other parishes, like St Hilda's, prefer to use the traditional People's Anglican Missal. The Missal provides us with a more historical and detailed description of our traditional liturgy and, we believe, a fuller and richer understanding of the Holy Catholic Church. The choice of which book to use is left to the discretion of each parish.
Q: What is a "Vestry"?
A vestry is a room in or attached to a church in which the vestments, vessels, records, etc. are kept (see also sacristy), and in which the clergy and choir robe or don their vestments for divine service. Historically this room was also used as an office, for Vestry meetings, and other events including the reception of family members after funerals, but today it is generally reserved exclusively for the use of priests and servers. A: The vestry is also an administrative committee made up of elected members of a parish whose meetings would once have been held in that same room. This committee is also sometimes known as the "close vestry." The "open vestry" includes all members of the parish and selects the members of the (“close”) Vestry. The “open vestry” meetings are indeed open to all official members of a parish Dating from the 14th century, the vestry was a parish parliament chaired by the parish priest or in his absence the churchwarden or, in the absence of both, an elected member of the meeting. Its powers grew with the decay of the medieval system of patronage. Today the leadership of a parish is headed by the Rector with the support of the (“close”) Vestry. Thus the word “vestry” may refer either to the elected members of the governing body of a parish or to the room where the priest and servers dress for divine service.
Q: What is so Compelling about the Mass?
A: God uses music, art, colors, fragrances, physical movements, chanting, and message from the pulpit to reach both the heart and mind. The Mass combines all these elements. The blending of incense, ritual, words, and music bring us into a fuller communion with the Holy Spirit. The repetition of the rituals by a parish community bind us together in our worship of God. By learning the symbolism in the Mass, we participate in in a communal worship that enriches our lives in subtle ways. It connects us with those in the Body of Christ who have gone before us. While our rituals are not necessary for Salvation, they are a comfort to our souls.
Q: Why do your members stand sit and kneel during the service?
A: The answer is really quite simple. It is tradition. In general, we stand to sing or respond, we sit to receive instruction or hear the sermon, and we kneel to pray and receive communion. While these traditions may be interpreted slightly differently from parish to parish, they are in general the same. Christians have always done these things, and the continuity of these traditions makes the visitor to a new parish feel more at home and more a part of the Mass. Visitors are encouraged to participate to the degree that they feel comfortable.
Q: Why do you call your priest a "Rector"?
A: The term rector in the broadest ecclesiastical sense means "one who sets straight, guides, or directs; a ruler, governor, director, guide, or aleader. " The modern word comes from the Latin verb rego, regere, rexi, rectum, "to set straight, guide, or direct". The term and office of a rector is a rectorate. In Anglican tradition, a rector is one type of parish priest. Historically, parish priests in the Church of England were divided into rectors, vicars, and perpetual curates. The parish clergy and church was supported by tithes, a form of local tax (traditionally, as the etymology of tithe suggests, of ten percent) levied on the personal as well as agricultural output of the parish. The rector was then responsible for the repair of the chancel of his church—the part dedicated to the sacred offices—while the rest of the building was the responsibility of the parish. In the modern era, church facilities are more commonly maintained by the parish. In England today, the roles of a rector and a vicar are essentially the same. Which of the two titles is held by the parish priest is historical. Some parishes have a rector, others a vicar. In America, the parish priest officially associated with a specific parish is usually referred to as the Rector. The position of Rector is appointed by the bishop of the diocese.
Q: What is a Requiem Mass?
A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead (Latin: Missa pro defunctis) or Mass of the dead (Latin: Missa defunctorum), is a Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular form of the Missal. It is frequently, but not necessarily, celebrated in the context of a funeral. Musical settings of the propers of the Requiem Mass are also called Requiems, and the term has subsequently been applied to other musical compositions associated with death and mourning, even when they lack religious or liturgical relevance. A comparable service, with a wholly different ritual form and texts, exists in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, as well as in the Methodist Church. The Mass and its settings draw their name from the introit of the liturgy, which begins with the words "Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine" – "Grant them eternal rest, O Lord". ("Requiem" is the accusative singular form of the Latin noun requies, "rest, repose".) The Roman Missal as revised in 1970 employs this phrase as the first entrance antiphon among the formulas for Masses for the dead, and it remains in use to this day. The Anglican Catholic Churches retain the option of using the black clerical vestments for a requiem Mass.