Episcopalian: In Emergency,Call A Priest

Don’t laugh, I wear a ” dog-tag”. Well, it is not a literal dog-tag, but it is a necklace I had bought for myself as an early Christmas gift to me a couple of weeks ago. On the front it has an embossed Episcopal shield with the word EPISCOPALIAN in capital gold letters. On the back of the small round pendant says” In case of emergency, call a priest” Sure this is meant to me sort of { gallows??} humorous, but my Anglican identity is so much more than just where I attend church on Sundays. It has become, in a relatively quick manner, part of who I am. My small , personalized copy of the Book of Common Prayer travels everywhere{ literally} with me in my knapsack.

In my bedroom at home I created a small” sacred space” on which I place icons & images of the Blessed Mother & Our Lord, Jesus Christ. I also keep my Bible, a hand-thrown clay jar filled with water, my Bible & { of course} my copy of the Book of Common Prayer & a scented candle. I covered what had been an ordinary nightstand with a hand-knitted prayer shawl. I am a ” high Church Anglican Catholic, so these sorts of sensory aides help to remind me daily Whose I am .

I am adopted into the family of Christians via my baptism. I’m ” officially” an Episcopalian via the Rite of Confirmation { 17 May 2009} Here is a funny but true fact, after I got home from my first Episcopal service, I immediately changed my ” religious views” to CHRISTIAN: EPISCOPALIAN. ♥

After I attended my first regular Mass I * knew* I had found my new spiritual home Everything just fit. The Anglican style of worship is what binds us together as Anglican Christians, as long as I can worship alongside folks with integrity I will know I am welcome at their family meal{ also known as Holy Eucharist} Something inexplicably joyous happened to me the first time I received Holy Eucharist & the feeling never diminishes. It doesn’t matter where I am or if the Mass is high Church{ which I prefer} or more ” Protestant”, My Book of Common Prayer is part of what unites me with members of the Episcopal Church & the Anglican Communion. It is wonderful to know that we’re not required to subscribe to the social beliefs of ANY bishop, or archbishop in order to be welcomed at the Lord’s Table. I know & love Episcopalians who are all over the political map & I respect them & pray that they respect me.

It is my hope & prayer that God will show me ways in which I can be a better servant leader in the Episcopal/ Anglican Branch of the Christian family. I have a wonderful spiritual director, Fr Bob Graves, with whom I am hopng to discern where I am needed in my Diocese and in my parish. I feel strongly that I am being called by my Church & that she needs me . But I also need my one , holy, catholic & apostolic Church. Her liturgical life & sense of MISSION is a huge part of the person I am, with God’s help, becoming.

There is a Protestant hymn which I learned in college which goes something like this: “Thank you God, for hearing every prayer/Thank you Lord, for just Being there, thank You Lord/Thank you Lord/For I am not worthy of Your Love. ” Amen.

Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Feast Day of Christ’s Nativity, 2009

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Comments

  • episcopalianwoman  On 05/13/2010 at 5:12 pm

    I have been doing some research on Anglican/Episcopalian faith, and I’m trying to figure out what Anglo-Catholic is exactly, and also about the difference between the Anglican and Episcopalian church. From what I understand, the American Episcopalian church is vastly different. What is your take on it?

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