I was a member of the Anglican Church of Canada throughout the years of my youth . Fifty years ago, I concluded that it might well have an abundance of outward and visible form, but was sadly lacking in the true inward and spiritual grace. Since that time, the Anglican Church of Canada has abandoned the Book of Common Prayer. In recent years, large numbers of people have left the A.C.C. to form a new Anglican movement in Canada, stressing the new birth and a Spirit-led life. That has caused me to take an inventory of the things that I learned during my youth and that I still believe to be good and true and right, and wholly conformable to a sound faith in God.
A study of the Word of God has convinced me that infant baptism, weekly communion, a salaried ministry and a liturgical form of worship are not hallmarks of the true faith. Even so, I still found much for which I could be thankful and which I would not have learned in other churches in our area during my growing up years. Passages within quotation marks are taken from the Book of Common Prayer, 1959 edition.
A love for the spoken Word of God
In every service there was a reading from the Old Testament and another from the New Testament, plus a number of other verses that were either spoken by the minister or recited by the congregation as a whole.
To pray for those in government
“That all things may be so ordered and settled by their endeavours upon the best and surest foundations, that peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety, may be established among us for all generations, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
To kneel for prayer
The kneeling boards that folded down from the pew in front of us got considerable use in each service.
To love the old hymns of the faith
The beautiful old hymns have a depth of meaning that is lacking in the feel-good choruses of our day.
That there is an inward and spiritual grace that God wishes to grant us
The Anglican catechism says that a sacrament is “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.”
The need for self examination before communion
It is required of those who come to the Lord’s Supper “to examine themselves, whether they truly repent of their former sins, steadfastly purposing to lead the new life; have a living faith in God’s mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death; and be in charity with all men.”
An acceptance of people of other backgrounds
Even in a little Saskatchewan town, we were exposed to the reality that Anglicanism included large numbers of people of different backgrounds and different skin colours.
That the true church of God had a continuous existence since the time of the Apostles
The Anglican Church understood this as meaning an unbroken lineage of the laying on of hands in ordination.