Priesthood in Anglicanism

Understanding the difference between the priesthood in Anglican polity as opposed to the Roman Catholic theology can be a confusing task for some. I thought then, particularly since most of my readers are not from an Anglican tradition, that it might be helpful to highlight the difference.

The following quote was well put in a paper drafted by the joint taskforce of the Anglican Province in America (APA) and the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC). Speaking of the formation of a distinctly Anglican doctrine during the several decades following the Reformation on the European continent they wrote:

Anglicanism rejected the notion that the priest’s liturgical function is to offer a propitiatory sacrifice anew at each Mass.

In my mind, this is the most significant differentiation. The sacrifice of Yeshua was once done and eternally sufficient. It is not repeated but memorialized in our celebration of the Eucharist.

7 thoughts on “Priesthood in Anglicanism

  1. I was reading the Catholic Advent, and they describe and list the majority of early church fathers who agree with their interpretation. Indeed, they say that not until the 10th century was there any dispute with it; and that dispute in the 10th century was one individual with a small following who soon after recanted upon his error. Not until the time of Luther (1500s) was there a shift to taking the literal to a symbolical view; and Luther himself holding to the literal by what he felt was evident in the text itself.

  2. Luther was a fascinating individual. He held a wide range of views, some of which I thoroughly appreciate and some of which drive me bananas.

  3. Yes, Tim, but we don’t believe that it is offered again nor anew. Perhaps to a Catholic the distinction is moot, but to me it makes a difference.

  4. great pt, nate. i have been exploring anglicanism more recently in my search for traditional prayers and i was confused a little also. thanks for the clarification about the perspective of the priests’ role within the church of england.

    i am finally settled in the new city and hope to start blogging again. look forward to reading more from ya.


  5. nate

    i guess i had forgotten whether i told you i had moved or not. yeah i mean STL. but we just finally got settled in.


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