Defining Anglican Worship

The term “Anglican” simply means “of England,” like American means “of or from America.” The Anglican denomination and form of worship originated in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century and following, which protested the excesses and perceived heretical actions of the Roman Catholic Church. King Henry VIII began a religious struggle in England between pro-Roman and pro-Protestant factions that lasted centuries and cost a lot of blood. Finally, Queen Elizabeth I proclaimed a middle way, the ”Via Media,” as it came to be known. The Via Media embrace the Protestant theological focus but retained Roman forms of worship.
As the commerce and conquests of England spread around the globe, creating the British Empire that became the nation of Great Britain, the Anglican form of worship spread with it. Anglican worship has evolved into a global denomination that is known as the Anglican Communion. It is composed of thirty-eight, predominantly geographically defined provinces. The province in America is the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), of which Branches of the Cross is a member congregation.
Anglican worship services follow the same basic format from country to country; so, spiritually, all Anglican churches speak the same language. The Sunday service format usually includes prayers, the reading of Scripture, a sermon, and the sacrament of Holy Communion, along with praise music and fellowship.
Anglicans are Apostolic, which means that our beliefs and practices are rooted in the faith delivered by Jesus to his apostles and handed down to us through them. The basic beliefs are:

  • that Jesus is the only Way, the Truth, and the Life;
  • that Scripture is the inspired word of God and contains all things necessary to salvation;
  • that the two sacraments practiced by the Early Church, namely Baptism and Holy Communion, should be honored and continually administered according to apostolic teaching;
  • that there are four orders of ministers in the church as mentioned in the Scriptures and practiced by the Early Church, which are the Order of the Laity (all believers in Jesus Christ) and the Orders of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons;
  • that the reading of Scripture and the worship should be conducted in the language of the people.

There are about seventy-five million Anglicans world-wide.