“In the Bleak Midwinter” is one of my favorite Christmas carols that we sing every year and this year’s weather is matching that poetic description but I think I like it better in the song. Sunday Feb. 5 was the day of the snowstorm and church services were canceled.
Since I don’t have a church service to write about I will discuss the term Anglican, which many people don’t understand. What exactly is an Anglican Church? The dictionary definition of Anglican is “related in origin to the Church of England,” and St. Francis fits that description. The Church of England dates from the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century when King Henry the Eighth separated the English church from the Roman Catholic Church that dominated Europe at that time and established a separate English church with services and hymns in English. When England established the American colonies the Church of England came with them and after the American Revolution evolved into the Episcopal Church USA, a Protestant denomination derived from the Church of England. Many Founding Fathers belonged to this tradition and when I lived in New York City I visited St. Paul’s Episcopal Chapel in lower Manhattan which dates from the eighteenth century and was George Washington’s church when he was president; remember that New York City was the nation’s first capitol. This church is a short distance from the World Trade Center but was unharmed by the 9/11 attacks & was used as a rest center for the rescue squads during & after the attack. Washington’s pew is still in place and can be seen there today.
The Episcopal Church USA became an important denomination in the country and used the traditional English worship service, but in 1979 the mainstream church went modern and rejected the traditional services for modernized forms that traditionalists don’t like, so some Episcopalians broke away from the Episcopal Church USA and formed traditional Episcopal churches that use the traditional services with the beautiful Elizabethan language intact, and St. Francis is one of those traditional churches.
For more information on St. Francis Church visit our website at stfrancisavamo.org.