Sunday, January 11, 2015

Charismatic Episcopal Worship

The ACNA bishops just have finished their annual confab. The website, Twitter stream, Facebook page and email blasts have been telling us that this invitation-only(?) meeting is a big deal.

One thing that's clear is how the bishops (as a group) feel about traditional Anglican worship and hymnody. The official communiqué (on the website and emailed to every ACNA email list) proudly stated:
Throughout the week, we were blessed by having David Clifton, Minister of Worship Arts at the Church of the Apostles, Knoxville, Tennessee, leading our music. He wove historic and contemporary music in a gentle and powerful way that enriched our time together.
Indeed, Clifton’s left hand on his Gibson guitar is the only sign from the ACNA’s Facebook page that there was music at the gathering, and Clifton is posed with a different guitar in his church profile. (To his credit, Clifton was trained as a chorister before joining a few bands and signing a recording contract).

Thus, for most of the bishops — like many ACNA parishes — it appears that the place of “historic” music is to be subordinated to the trendy, contemporary, flavor-of-the-month. Apparently this was also true when Archbishop Beach was first consecrated as a bishop.

I complained to an Anglo-Catholic friend that the Anglican Church of North America seems to be more of the Evangelical Church of North America. His view is that the (liturgical) tension is not between Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical, but with the Charismatic influence.

In his view, the Charismatic is what emphasizes the emotive over the reverent. It certainly seems to explain why so many people want to wave their hands in the sky when we are praying to our Father in the manner proscribed by his son. As an Anglo-Catholic, this seems like it should be the most reverent moment of the service — not the most exuberant.


middling said...

It's amazing how many bishops/priests haven't yet figured out that young people are leaving Evangelical backgrounds for traditional liturgies. Almost every young professional I've met in my Anglo-Catholic parish has come from a Baptist or otherwise Evangelical background (including myself).

Anonymous said...

Matt. 6:9-13 prescribes a prayer. To proscribe is to forbid.

Anonymous said...

You used the label "trendy, contemporary..." for the music preference at the ACNA. I think the better attribution would be what it really is: "Pop Music" - eminently disposable and failing as "sacred music".