A Rooted History and Tradition

The Anglican Tradition as a whole is one of the largest Christian traditions in the world. It’s faith is largely reflective of the theological shifts of the 16th century English Reformation. However, the beliefs and practices are firmly rooted in the ancient church and reflect the orthodox beliefs of Christians from all times and places.

Our worship is liturgical, which means that it follows a set pattern that joins us with millions of Christians across the globe and countless saints that have gone before us. Our tradition is deeply rooted in the concept of “common prayer.” In fact, the book that guides the structure and format of our worship is the Book of Common Prayer, a book that is widely considered one of the three greatest literary works of the English language (along with the King James Bible and the works of Shakespeare). The Book of Common Prayer is made up of ancient prayers, rites for worship services, and above all, Holy Scripture.

Many of the prayers in our service find their origins in the prayers of the earliest Christians and have been used in the worship of the Church since its inception. Usually when worshipping in a liturgical community for the first time, visitors quickly notice that the worship is active and participatory throughout the entire service. Visitors are invited to participate throughout, and if they've been baptized, join the rest of the congregation at the table for Holy Communion at the end of the service.

Worship: United by Common Prayer

Anglicans utilize the Book of Common Prayer, a book that serves as a guide for our worship services and a standard for doctrine and the Anglican tradition. The Book of Common Prayer is Holy Scripture that is arranged for worship.

Belief: Devoted to Scripture

Anglicans hold to the authority of the Bible as the inspired Word of God, containing all things necessary for salvation, and standing as the final authority for the Christian life.

Practice: A Sacramental Theology

Anglicans believe in the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion as being ordained by Christ himself and thus fundamental to the faith and practice of the Church.

Creed: The Faith Received

Anglican worship emphasizes the Historical Christian Creeds (Nicene, Apostles, and Athanasian) and see them as summarizing statements of the orthodox Christian faith.

Anglicanism

As Anglicans, we are part of a global communion of churches established over the centuries by the Church of England. The word Anglican actually means “of England.” As British Anglicans, compelled by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, took their faith around the world, churches were established on every continent and in many nations. British pastoral leaders encouraged autonomy and collegiality among these daughter churches, and over time, 40 separate “provinces” of the Anglican Church were established around the world in 164 countries. Today these provinces function in a voluntary communion based around common beliefs and practices. The leaders of each province, called archbishops or primates, gather periodically to discuss the work of the church and to resolve issues that may arise.

The Anglican Church is a biblically based church with ancient roots and a treasure of rich resources that help us grow as followers of Jesus Christ and share his transforming love with all people. Anglicans have always sought to worship God faithfully with living forms of worship. Therefore, our services and liturgies mirror the worship of the ancient apostolic church while incorporating the common language and culture of the communities in which they are practiced. Furthermore, Anglicans incorporate both ancient sacramental practices and visual symbols to celebrate the certainty of our faith and the mysteries of God. Together, sacrament, symbol, and word, enlivened by the Holy Spirit, connect our senses with our minds and hearts.

In order to remain true to the teachings of Christ and the apostles, Anglicans have historically upheld the Holy Scriptures as God’s Word, have held to the summary of evangelical beliefs known as the Thirty-Nine Articles of Faith, and have accepted the three great Christian creeds, the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, as the fundamental statements of the Christian faith. We celebrate the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as commanded by Jesus and we uphold the historic order of bishops, presbyters, and deacons in the administration of the church’s life and mission.

Today the worldwide Anglican Communion is experiencing both tremendous stress and tremendous renewal. The stress comes as some provinces depart from historic Anglican faith and practices and from the orthodox understanding of the Holy Scriptures. On the other hand, the renewal comes from the explosive growth of the gospel through Anglican churches and missions in many locations, particularly the “two-thirds world,” the global south, like Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South-East Asia, South America, etc.

It is indeed an unusual and exciting time to be Anglican. Those of us gathered here at All Saints Church, without ambivalence, wholeheartedly embrace that we have been called to be followers of Jesus Christ in the Anglican tradition for such a time as this. We have a deep sense that God is calling us to live more faithfully and trust him more genuinely than ever.

Anglicans come in different varieties. At All Saints, we strive to embody the best of the different streams of the Christian faith: evangelical, sacramental, contemplative, charismatic, holiness, and justice. Some Anglican writers whose work you might recognize include C.S. Lewis, N.T. Wright, J.I. Packer, John Stott, and Alister McGrath. If you would like to learn more about following Jesus in The Anglican Way, call or email our church office and let them know you would like to attend our next class.

How We Tell Time: The Church Calendar

The Daily Office

The Daily Office is based on the ancient practice of prescribed daily times of prayer and is found in the Book of Common Prayer. These services are accompanied by daily lectionary readings, that is, daily scripture readings—a reading from the Psalms, the Old Testament, the New Testament, and a gospel reading. Praying through the Office is an enriching way to practice daily devotions in Morning and Evening Prayer. We encourage you not to rush. If there is a time constraint, take the liberty to leave out the Canticles or just read only the daily Psalms. Relish the words. Take your time. Reflect on what you are praying and saying to the Lord. When you pray/read plural pronouns like “we” or “our” when you are going through the service alone, realize that others elsewhere are praying the Office with you around the world. Come to the Scripture readings with open hearts and minds, believing that God is speaking through his living Word to you. The purpose of the Daily Office is to worship God and to be transformed by him through the Holy Spirit into the likeness of his Son Jesus Christ.

The Lectionary

The lectionary is a collection of readings from the Scriptures, arranged for personal reading and proclamation during worship gatherings. It helps guide our reading time so we can be consistent and intentional in our readings. It also allows for our church body, as well as many other Christians, to read the same Scripture passages at the same time. The lectionary provides an Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm, and Gospel reading for each Sunday, as well as for other holy days. The lectionary has a three-year cycle, which means that the same texts are read on Sundays every third year. Everyone needs a plan to read the Bible, and thankfully our Anglican heritage provides one. You can use the scripture entries below to read or meditate on the daily readings.

The Collects and Occasional Prayers

Collects are concise prayers centered around the theme for the Sunday, from the Scripture readings and the season of the church calendar, and prayed all around the world on this day. The Occasional Prayers are used by the church addressing specific concerns.

The Daily Office and Lectionary Readings

Statement of Faith

We, the people of All Saints Anglican Cathedral, Long Beach, California, rejoice that Jesus will come again in glory to renew all things, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Holy Spirit by miraculously changing lives in order that we join him in this mission to make all things new. This statement of faith reflects the beliefs that shape us as we seek to announce, embody, and demonstrate the good news of the Kingdom of God.

1. We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope, and thanksgiving to God in all things.

2. We joyfully proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Savior from sin, judgment, and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.

3. We gladly embrace and obey the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptize, teach, and bring new believers to maturity who, therefore, obey this Great Commission.

4. We desire to be a church that through love and hospitality welcomes all people and invites them to follow Jesus. We recognize that discipleshipinvolves growth, and while we long for all new believers to come to maturity in Christ, we know that this is a process. We oppose the vilification or demeaning of those who do not follow God’s ways. Our pastoral approach is to offer sensitive and compassionate ministry and demonstrate the loving, compassionate, and tender heart of God for all people. We, therefore, intend to love as God loves. Our role is to care pastorally and restore all to God’s divine patterns by encouraging each other to receive and walk in the transforming love of Christ that gives us the power to repent and walk in newness of life.

5. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught, and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the Church’s historic and consensual reading.

6. We affirm the dignity and value of every human being, as each bears the image of our gracious God. We recognize that humankind’s rebellion against God has tainted that image, but not eradicated it. Yet every person is precious to God. God’s message of hope is, therefore, addressed to every man, woman, and child, that they might be redeemed and restored as image bearers of God through the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and inherit eternal life. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are, therefore, called to defend, protect, and value all human life.

7. We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as a male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the only place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. It is a holy institution, created by God for a man and a woman to live in a covenantal relationship of exclusive and mutual love for each other until they are parted by death. God designed marriage for the well-being of society, for sexual intimacy between a husband and a wife, and for procreation and the nurturing of children. We also acknowledge that for some, remaining single and celibate is a calling and allows for the fullest development of potential. Therefore, we embrace single peopleas full and contributing gifts to the body of Christ.

8. We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate Kingdom justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.

9. We are an Anglican church that is rooted in the ancient faith and practice of the first century church and developed in the 16th century English Reformation.

A. Doctrine: We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils [1] and the three historic Creeds [2] as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic church. We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as understood in its historical context, containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today. We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative theological standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.

B. Authority: We recognize that God has called and gifted bishops, priests, and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the Anglican Church in North America’s Ordinalas an authoritative standard of clerical orders. We are under the episcopal authority of the Bishop of the Diocese of Western Anglicansand in the province of the Anglican Church in North America. We have laid out our Statement of Faith, but where anything is unclear, we are subject to the moral teachings of our Diocese and Province.

C. Fellowship: We recognize the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice. We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.

[1] Council of Nicaea, Council of Constantinople, Council of Ephesus, and Council of Chalcedon
[2] The Apostles’ Creed, The Nicene Creed, and The Athanasian Creed