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Re: What Is "high Church"

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Posted by Scott on September 1, 2002 08:20:37 UTC

The Episcopal Church (also known as the Anglican Catholic Church) *is* the Church of England, headed hy the Queen and administered by the Arch Bishop of Canterbury. Our congregation is the fourth oldest in the state of Texas, and bishops from London and Canterbury visit us on somewhat regular basis. "Canterbury" is also the name given to the Episcopal student organization at university campuses throughout the world--of which I used to be a member, as did my father before.

"High Church" is basically a colloquialism more or less describing a church which as far as ceremony, majesty, and traditional pomp and circumstance comes the closet to the pomp and circumstance of the traditional Roman Catholic Church. The purist form Anglicanism is virtually identical to Roman Catholicism, with the exception that our priests can marry. We acknowledge the saints, our church hierarchy is relatively the same as the Catholics: we have priests, bishops, cardinals, brothers, and nuns. The Episcopal Church is the most similar to Roman Catholicism of all the Protestant denominations.

There are varying degrees of high, middle, and lower church (even within the Episcopal Church itself). Lower doesn't mean worse or less holy, just more Protestant in nature, less traditional. Of course, "Protestant" is NOT synonymous with lower church. Protestant churches such as the Episcopal, Lutheran, and Presbyterian Churches can all be very "High Church,"--as I described above.

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