Ask me anything: Episcopalian Edition


Here’s a helpful old thread: I have no idea where OP got their info though.


I’m not singling you out, but overall this thread has been overly harsh and uncharitable toward our Episcopalian brethren and sisters. That makes us, frankly, poor ambassadors to our faith.

There are aspects that I love about the Episcopal Church. The music and liturgy both have a reverence to them that’s hard to find in a lot of OF Masses. Like their Catholic counterparts, Episcopalians have a scholarly tradition and - notwithstanding your own views of their theology - agree with Catholics that teachings should be based on Scripture, reason, and tradition.

And I love those “warm and fuzzy” potlucks, thank you very much. Building community is critically important and largely missing in a lot of Catholic parishes.

I won’t open the yoga can-of-worms. That gets controversial on CAF . . . :flushed:


Let’s keep the thread focused on positive aspects of Episcopal Church, rather than defending RCC here (and I do defend it on other threads).


You just touched on another thing I love about the Anglican church. I feel welcome. My home church loves me and my family, they are very hospitable. Congregants know our names and we know theirs. We email one another when someone hasn’t been to church for a few weeks.

Our congregation is personable and everybody who attends is there because they want to be there. There is no coercion, no guilt, no obligation. Some attend every week, some every two weeks other monthly. The givings on the plate are 4x the per capita of a RC Church (I know this because I’m a church fundraiser).

Anglicans are interested in the ministry of the church and know what “journey with Christ” and “discipleship” mean. Even though we may be loosely described as “Catholic lite” there are things we do better. Community building is one of them.

There are still things I love about the RC church as I have noted above. And it seems every six months or so I get this longing feeling. For all its faults, Anglicanism reconciles for me those elements of churchmanship that I find difficult in the RC Church.


If you don’t mind my asking, what kind of Anglican are you?

I have a lot of other questions, but it looks like the OP doesn’t attend church a lot and may not be able to answer them. I’ll try to pose one and see if any Anglo/Episcopalian wants to bite on it.

I grew up in the ACC and have sporadically attended ECA services. I’ve noticed that where the Catholic parishes are packed at Sunday Masses, the Anglican/Episcopalian ones have much thinner attendance and, at that, a lot of graying heads with very few young families. (I don’t even live in a remarkably Catholic area like Boston or Butte). Is this more universally the case? If so, why do you think this is, and what is the church doing to draw in the younger generations?


I cannot speak to the TEC case. I haven’t attended, save for one wedding and one funeral, in 50 years.

In my Continuum parish, heavily Anglo-Catholic, attendance is around 50 per Sunday Mass, total parish membership maybe twice that+. Age is indeed on the gray side. Until a recent influx of main-line protestants, seeking refuge and liturgical , orthodox worship.

We do out-reach as we can, including a permanent Anglican chapel just off the local university campus, with good student interaction, and folks from there drifting into the parish.
The situation is more favorable than it was (IMO) 5+ years, but we are not prospering as well as one would wish. But then, no true Anglican would be an optimist.


My sister said that Anglicanism appeals to the head and Catholicism appeals to the heart. While that may be over-simplifying matters, I wonder if that’s why the RCC seems to resonate more with the young (???)

As a strictly anecdotal observation, I do meet an appalling numbers of Catholics who are uneducated about our faith, down to why we do what we do in the liturgy. Websites like this (especially the non-forum part - you hear everything in the forums, lol!), as well as other online outreach efforts, are helping a fair amount. But Anglicans and Episcopalians, in my own experience, have some pretty solid and well-attended adult education programs.


And on the other side of this, my ACNA parish is full of young families with lots of young children, and we tend to have 150 or so for our main service, with another 20 or so for the early no-music service.

ACNA seems to be attracting the younger cohort in Anglicanism. Lots of folks from Evangelical backgrounds who wanted a more solemn service.


This is timely. I’m reading a book on Anglicanism that a friend of mine in seminary loaned me. This is an excerpt from an essay on Scripture from a mainstream Anglican that apparently was considered fit to publish. This is prefaced by arguing that Scripture is not inerrant and we should stop considering it to be inspired, but we should continue saying it’s inspired because

its abandonment would have serious implications for ecumenical dialogue with the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Lutheran Churches, all of which affirm the inspiration of Scripture.

That’s right: we should not only reject the inerrancy of Scripture, but we should also lie about it so other Christians will like us.


And few of the Anglo-Catholics, in spite of +Iker, I’d guess.

We are plentifully stocked with youth, thank God. Maybe a third of the parish is under 18. Which has its ups and downs.


Yes, definitely few Anglo-Catholics. I’m definitely the odd man out.


Which is not at all surprising. I’ve seen it done before.


I’d seen all of that argument except the bit that we should lie about it. Really astonishing stuff.


Prevarication was previously revealed, after the battle for the preservation of the BCP was lost by the orthodox, and the 79 book was adopted.


I’ve heard this about Catholicism, as well. There’s an anecdotal observation that younger people are craving the high liturgy and quality music. As a result, they’re seeking out Mass in the extraordinary form. Wither thee, mega- churches?


What is the book? Do tell!


It’s a collection of essays called “The Study of Anglicanism,” by Stephen Sykes, John Booty (heehee), and Jonathan Knight.


I lean Evangelical Anglican. In our diocese it is reported that about 25% of our churches are growing. Generally speaking, RC churches tend to be fuller. I attribute this to:

  • Sunday mass obligation
  • Density of Catholics in the population in general
  • Catholic Schools being a feeder system into the churches

There is a lot of gray heads in them mainline Protestant churches. My specific church has a good cross-section. We have 3 services of Holy Communion on Sunday morning, each tailored for a specific need. The 8:00 service is a said Book of Common Prayer service and attract about 15 people. The 9:15 Choral Service attracts about 80 and the 11:15 Worship Band service attracts another 80. All told, about 175 attend on any given Sunday.

Evangelical churches tend to draw in more young families because they have the programs. Giving tends to be higher thus affording the parish to hire more ministry staff who service the needs of various groups (e.g. kids, families, seniors).


Sorry if I sound “uncharitable”. But I was once a frustrated protestant searching for my home…and every direction I was turning I kept finding these Churches that were so soft on sin. Something that made zero sense to me because our Lord spoke so often and so harshly about it.

And in the interest of fairness, liberal leaning Catholics who deviate from official church teaching in favor of their personal feelings and opinions frustrate me just as much…maybe even more. Hot tub Christianity, no matter the denomination or branch, is lukewarmness and we know how Jesus feels about it. (((Revelation 3:16)))

If we really love one another we speak the truth despite the fact that it’s unsettling to some…it can save souls.


I’m struggling with this issue so I guess I’ll jump in. In my experience the Episcopal Church definitely talks about sin. It’s just (sometimes) seen a little differently from the way some Catholics see it.

The Catholic Church condemns consequentialism to the point an action may still be seen as objectively good even if it causes great harm. Conversely, an action may be immoral even if the results are good. Episcopalians, while not consequentialist, still consider, to a degree, results in judging a given action. This just makes a lot more sense to me.

There’s much more but I’ll skip it for now. Basically, I love many, many things in the Episcopal Church, and find attending it very spiritually helpful. In the Catholic Church I love the Eucharist. Otherwise it’s little but struggle in my spiritual life. It’s sort of like a choice between a beautiful garden full of sweetness, and a desert with nothing but the Eucharist and the hot, hot sun. Please pray for me.

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