Anglicans Online
 Worldwide Anglicanism    Anglican Dioceses and Parishes
Home News Centre A to Z Start Here The Anglican Communion Africa Australia Canada England
New this Week News Archives Events Anglicans Believe... In Full Communion Europe Ireland Japan New Zealand
Awards, Staff Newspapers Online B The Prayer Book Not in the Communion Scotland USA Wales World
Search Official Publications B The Bible B B B B B
This page last updated 31 August 2010
Anglicans Online last updated 20 August 2000

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to Canadian orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 23 to 29 August 2010

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters express the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

Horizontal rule

Depends on what you mean by 'successful', we suppose

In the face page letter of the August 22 edition of AO, I found the following sentence: "Alas, no matter how well-meaning they might be, any priest in a successful parish has far too busy a calendar for there to be much time for home communion."

And what might be on that calendar which would preclude the priest from doing what s/he was ordained to do? And what, pray tell, is a "successful"" parish? If it is a parish where the priest does not provide communion for shut-ins, how can it possibly be termed "successful"?

I'm always pleased to know that "Lay Eucharistic Ministers" are carrying the Sacrament to the shut-ins (because it means those folk are at least getting the Sacrament) but I keep asking "Why?" Certainly early on, lay people carried the Sacrament home for their own daily use, but It seems a real confusion between lay ministry and ordained ministry to have them taking the Sacrament to others. Carrying the Sacrament to the sick and infirm has historically been at the core of the diaconal vocation. Why aren't Deacons carrying the Sacrament to the sick? Where are the Deacons? (Who also, by the way, ought to be handling the administration of parishes and dioceses if historical precedent is any guide.)

John-Julian, OJN
The Order of Julian of Norwich
Hartland, Wisconsin, USA
23 August 2010

But there's no question of what is meant by 'important'

As a Lay Reader and a member of my parish Pastoral Care Team, I am licenced to take the reserved sacrament to those who are homebound or in nursing homes. Twice a month I conduct truncated Eucharist services for the residents of two seniors' residences, and it is my experience that there is nothing more important than the administration of the Communion for those who are closer to the end of this life than most of us.

Regardless of the mental state of the recipient - and many of the people to whom I administer Communion are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's - at the administration there is a definite recognition of what is taking place and there is a glorious and grace-full moment shared by administrant and communicant. It is true Communion, blessed and holy.

I will be haunted by the image of the person described in your opening essay today (August 22) who left this life without the comfort of the sacraments, Communion and Anointing, without a visit from his parish priest, and I give thanks for the caring and committed priests with whom I have been privileged to journey, none of whom would leave me to die without receiving the sacraments.

Rene Jamieson
St. John's Cathedral
Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA
23 August 2010

Or 'appreciative'

Your letter concerning Home Communion Ministers reminded me of my time deployed to Iraq. On the major bases there were regular chapel services multiple times per week. On the other hand, the smaller Joint Security Stations (JSS’s) and Combat Outposts (COP’s) have access to a chaplain and the sacraments only when the chaplain is able to go to their scattered locations. To make such a movement required a multi-vehicle combat patrol for security; the trips were always rewarding and those desiring to receive were always appreciative of the effort made.

CH (CPT) Steven Rindahl
Chapel of Christ the King (Liturgical Chapel Service)
Ft Jackson, SC
23 August 2010

Horizontal rule
Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.


This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated. Please contact <a href=""></a> about information on this page. ©2000 Society of Archbishop Justus