episcopal paper - Jaime Fernandez Christian Theology An...

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Jaime Fernandez 12/13/07 Christian Theology: An Intro Dr. Pohlhaus The Episcopalian Denomination The Episcopal church is associated as being an American Christian church, but its roots are found in the Church of England. The Episcopal Church has experienced a long history dating back to the American Revolution. It has seen ups and downs. From my research on this denomination, I can honestly say that I have learned a lot, mostly everything I now know is from my research. The Episcopal church is officially known as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S. and it was formed by English colonists who came to the U.S. about 150 years before the Revolution. After the war it separated from the English church, but it is a member of the Anglican Communion which consists of about thirty national churches around the world in connection with the Church of England. The Episcopal church is often associated as being Protestant but it actually is both Catholic and Protestant. The main reason why it is Catholic is because it originated from the early Catholic church. The main reason why it is Protestant is because it does not recognize the authority of the pope and has strayed away from Catholic beliefs through recent reforms. However, it is interesting to consider the fact that the Episcopal church is often considered to be the via media , Latin for the middle way. It is also interesting because there is often tension within the church itself. Members who prefer the more Protestant view are called a part of low church and those who prefer the more Catholic
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view are called high church. Those who do not like either distinction associate themselves as broad church. (Locke Introduction) I attended an Anglican mass and I noticed the high and low distinction in the two different services they offered. The low mass is at eight in the morning and the high mass is at ten in the morning. After interviewing a church member, I was told that the main distinction is that “the high mass has a choir, more people and a more elaborate liturgy than low mass….the high mass has a more intense ceremony with liturgical pomp” (Personal Interview). From talking to the members from my group, I was told that there was no distinction made like this in the Episcopalian mass; however, from my research there does exist a subtle distinction within the church though it is not as apparent as the Anglican church.
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