Anglicans Online banner More about the gryphon
Independent On the web since 1994 More than 250,000 readers More than 32,000 links Updated every Sunday
Will you help support
Anglicans Online?

The Paypal logotype

Noted This Week
Sites new to AO

News Centre
News archive

News flash: a summary of the top headlines
Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us by email
Be notified each week

Start here
Anglicans believe...
The Prayer Book
The Bible

Read letters to AO
Write to us

Resources A to Z

World Anglicanism
Anglican Communion
In full communion
Not in the Communion

Dioceses and Parishes
Hong Kong
New Zealand

South Africa
Sri Lanka

Vacancies Centre
List a vacancy
Check openings worldwide

Add a site or link to AO
Add a site to AO
Link to AO

About Anglicans Online
Back issues
About our logo
Our search engine


Hallo again to all.

We join you this week from the Department of Worship Impressions. One of our young 20-something friends who is not familiar with the Anglican Order of Service recently told us the Anglican Eucharist is not a 'real church service'. She equated our service of Holy Communion to a quick-order fast food restaurant of the In-N-Out Burger variety. She said,'People go to your kind of service to get church out of the way, to get it over with.' We had never heard of In-N-Out Burger. We started to read up on this peculiarly American small regional chain of fast food restaurants. One thing that struck us was their discreet printing of Bible citations on the food wrappers. Unfortunately, we were not surprised to read the following about that practice:

'They don't bother me,' said Kurt Gardner, a production manager who moved to Brooklyn from California in 1999. 'I think they have about as much intrinsic interest to customers as the comics that come with Bazooka Joe gum.'

The citations, said an In-N-Out spokesman, are printed in memory of Rich Snyder, a son of the founders, whose initiative led to their first being used. He died in a private plane crash in 1993 in Orange County [California]. The citations have no larger meaning, the spokesman said.†

The verses to which the citations refer do have larger meaning for us. We just aren't sure why Revelation 3:20 or Nahum 1:7 are appropriate for wrapping burgers or why Proverbs 24:16 was chosen for holding chips (frites). Without an understanding of the originator's intentions, the whole practice feels rather trivialized. Enough said.

To return to our young friend's take on liturgical church: She comes from a Calvinist tradition of the sort that rejects infant baptism among other differences from our own religious practice. We were rather surprised at her strongly expressed opinion about a liturgical tradition with which she is unfamiliar. Was it the length of time for a spoken Mass not being acceptably long? Was it the sermon being shorter than half an hour? Was it the use of common prayers found in a bound book?

elements for communion

We don't know the reason for her dismissive statement, and her surety made an immediate non-confrontational response difficult. Our gentle remonstrances were ineffectual, and we lapsed into silence. But we have decided not to let this be the end of the matter. We would like to accompany our young friend to different Anglican services to show her the richness of our worship tradition.‡

We have a strong suspicion she isn't aware the origins of her preferred brand of Protestant worship are rooted in our liturgy. We would like to sit and map our Order of Service to the leaflet from a church service she sees as 'real'.

If we can engage her interest in this, we will. We haven't figured out which services to recommend to this young woman, and we aren't sure of the order in which to introduce our liturgies, but we are working on that.

Do you, O faithful readers, have suggestions for this task? Perhaps exposure to the contemplative nature of Compline or the beauty of Evensong might help. Perhaps an instructed Eucharist followed by a sung Mass? How have you introduced a non-Anglican acquaintance to Anglicanism as a pathway to the Divine? We'd like to hear your suggestions. Please write us a note!

See you next week.


Our signature
All of us at Anglicans Online

9 August 2015

‡Another of our young friends recently moved to a new city. She attended the three main Sunday services at the Anglican cathedral there and commented about how the same Order of Worship felt radically different based on the style of service. Even the sermon, the same word for word at two of that Sunday's services, came across with totally different emphases when heard in the context of its liturgical surroundings.

A thin blue line
This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated. Please contact about information on this page. ©2015 Society of Archbishop Justus
. Please address all spam to