About the Anglican Church of Canada - http://www.anglican.ca/about/ Welcome to the Anglican Church of Canada. We are a people seeking to know, love, and follow Jesus in serving God’s mission. We invite you to join us. Canadian Anglicans are a diverse community. We worship in small chapels and large churches. Some of us worship with guitars and drums, while others prefer organs and choirs. We speak many languages. All Anglican worship is grounded in common prayer. Our traditional text is the Book of Common Prayer, but our churches also use the Book of Alternative Services. We invite you to read more about our beliefs, our organization, our history, and what to expect when you visit an Anglican church. To learn more, contact our information centre. Better yet, drop by your local Anglican church for a service or to ask a clergy out for coffee.
A Brief History - http://www.anglican.ca/about/history/ The Anglican Church of Canada has its roots in the Church of England, which separated from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century. Influenced by the Protestant Reformation, the new English church simplified rituals and introduced the Book of Common Prayer (1549), which enabled services in English instead of Latin. At the same time, the church preserved certain traditions, including the early church creeds and the succession of bishops from the line of the apostles. Because of this history, Anglicanism is sometimes referred to as “Reformed Catholicism.” Anglicanism travelled abroad with British colonial expansion. In 1578, near present-day Iqaluit, NU, a chaplain celebrated the Eucharist as a member of Martin Frobisher’s Arctic expedition. This was the first Anglican Eucharist in what is now Canada, but it wasn’t until the 18th and 19th centuries that Anglicanism truly took hold, as military chaplains, Loyalists, and British immigrants fanned out and settled across the growing colony. Missionaries arrived as well, endeavouring to meet the spiritual needs of settlers and to evangelize Indigenous Peoples. Gradually the Canadian church carved out its own identity. In 1787, Charles Inglis of Nova Scotia became the first bishop in British North America. More dioceses cohered as the population grew, and in 1893, the dioceses created the national body of General Synod. In 1955, the church changed its name from “the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada” to “the Anglican Church of Canada.” Today the Anglican Church of Canada is an independent, self-governing church in communion with the other 44 churches of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It includes more than 500,000 members in nearly 1,700 parishes, and like Canada, the church has become culturally diverse. On any given Sunday the tradition of common prayer is expressed across Canada in many languages, including Inuktitut, French, Spanish, and Cree. To learn more about our rich history, contact the General Synod Archives.
What to Expect When You Visit - http://www.anglican.ca/about/toexpect/ You are warmly invited to join your local Anglican church for worship and community life. When you come you will notice that common prayer is an important part of how we worship together. Our services draw from a rich tradition of set prayers, either from the Book of Common Prayer, based on 16th century rites, or the more modern Book of Alternative Services (1985). Although each community has its own flavour, there are strong commonalities across all local churches. The Eucharist (also known as the Lord’s Supper or Communion) is a central part of many Sunday services, but many Anglican congregations also meet for morning and evening prayer, and for services throughout the week. Anglican services also follow a pattern that begins with the gathering of the community, then listening to and reflecting on the Scriptures. The community then brings the needs of the world and the community to God in prayer, and the group partakes in the holy meal of bread and wine, before being sent forth into the mission of daily life. Our services follow the six seasons of the church year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost) and the lectionary, a set list of Bible readings for the year. Usually services are held in traditional church buildings, but Anglicans may also meet in nursing homes, school gyms, or community centres. Regardless of location, Anglican worship is enhanced by the presence of symbols. Often worship spaces will symbols of our two sacraments—an altar or table for the Eucharist and a font for baptism. Anglican churches also may have a cross, the symbol of Christ’s death and resurrection, and candles, which remind us of the light of Christ and the fire of the Holy Spirit. Church life differs across the country, but often churches will offer programs like Christian education, Bible studies, women’s and men’s groups, grief support groups, arts activities, and social justice action groups. To learn more, contact our information centre or drop by a local church to ask questions.
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