Dale Appleby

...resources for Christian ministry

Weekly Reflections

Introducing the Anglican Church: 7. The offering of Christ cannot be repeated 20July14

Introducing the Anglican Church: 7. The offering of Christ cannot be repeated

We are looking at some of the key teachings of the Anglican Church as found in the 39 Articles, one of the foundation documents of the Anglican Church of Australia. This is a simple modern English version (the original 16th and 17th century version is in the Prayer Book).

Article 27. About the Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross

The offering of Christ made once is the perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual. And there is no other satisfaction for sin, but only that. Therefore it is a blasphemous fable and a dangerous deceit to say that the priest offers Christ in the sacrifices of the mass so that the living and the dead can have forgiveness of punishment or guilt.

The Anglican teaching about the death of Christ is also referred to in Articles 2,3,15, and 28.
This Article affirms that the sacrifice of Christ was made only once, and that it was a sacrifice for all sins. Therefore no other sacrifices or offerings are necessary, and no other sins need to be atoned for.

 

The Article rejects the teaching that the Holy Communion is an offering again of the sacrifice of Christ. It also rejects the idea that such an offering is either needed or possible.

The background to this, at the time of the Reformation, was the practice of saying masses for the dead so that they could spend less time in purgatory. The idea that the Mass was a re-sacrifice of Christ was also linked to the doctrine of transubstantiation.

This is one reason the Book of Common Prayer did not use the term Altar for the Lord’s Table. The Holy Communion service also used the phrase “a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving” to make clear that the Holy Communion is not a sacrifice in any other sense.

 Dale

You are here: Home Weekly Reflections Introducing the Anglican Church: 7. The offering of Christ cannot be repeated 20July14