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This page last updated 4 April 2011
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 We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters.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 28 March to 3 April 2011

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.

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No, there aren't fistfights. This isn't Harare.

Please, what is a 'nosebleed pew?!

Vivienne Hayward
Christ Church Cathedral
Darwin, Northern Territory, AUSTRALIA
28 March 2011

(Editor: Oh, dear; perhaps this term is not global. A 'nosebleed seat' at a show or sporting event is one that is very high up, hence far away from the stage and of poor quality. Here's the Wikipedia explanation.)

Anglican? Right.

I once went to the English Church in Oslo and was the entire congregation. I was hoping that I would be able to answer the Anglican Rite as I am Episcopal. No worry, It was one of the loveliest experiences in my Churchgoing life.

JC Eriksen
St Clare
Blairsville, Georgia, USA
28 March 2011

Whenever no more than 13 are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them

Your comments in this week's edition on megachurches and your experience of solitary attendance at Eucharist reminded me of three things:

1. I recalled (again) that the Eucharist is not something the Celebrant does to the people, but something done by the entire Assembly, so no priest is allowed to celebrate the Eucharist alone, because s/he does not have the inherent solitary authority within her/himself to consecrate bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Christ. The Assembly is necessary—even if it's an Assembly of one!

2. A curious paradox: because Jesus used bread and wine at the Last Supper, we say that no Eucharist is valid unless such bread and wine are used. But there is another element of the Last Supper that has not been made equally essential: i.e., the fact that there were (most probably) only thirteen people present. What would it be like if we declared that no more than thirteen people could be present if the Eucharist is to be valid?

3. As a septuagenarian, I think about a significant ministry which aged and retired people can offer their parishes: i.e., attendance at weekday Eucharist and Offices. I have long been an advocate for such daily services, but I hear the universal clerical cry, "But no one would come!" Why not specifically invite those no longer burdened with family and/or employment to take that on as their ministry to their whole parish? This worked wonderfully in my last (small) parish when in eight years of daily services, there were only six days when there was no congregation for daily Eucharist.

Fr. John-Julian, OJN
The Order of Julian of Norwich
Hartland, Wisconsin, USA
1 April 2011

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Earlier letters

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


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