COI Gazette – 2nd September Edition

Front Page 2nd September Cover

Same-sex marriage rite considered by inter-Anglican meeting in a ‘consultation within the Consultation’

Plans of the US Episcopal Church (TEC) for a liturgy for blessing same-sex couples were considered during a meeting of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation (IALC) last month in Canterbury.

According to an official IALC communiqué, one session was set aside from the regular work of the Consultation, in response to a formal request from the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of TEC. This was so that representatives from that Standing Commission could hear from IALC members in response to TEC’s “exploratory theological rationale and liturgical principles” for the development of rites for the blessing of committed same- sex relationships.


Gazette Editorial

FIGURES IN CHURCH HISTORY – 20 ALCUIN OF YORK (c.740-804)

Alcuin was once described as “the most learned man anywhere to be found”. He was a supremely gifted teacher and

scholar, responsible for raising the standard of clerical education in his native england, especially in the school of study attached to the cathedral church of York. the school was renowned as a centre of learning in the liberal arts, literature and science, as well as theology, and Alcuin became its head.

On his return from a journey to Rome, where he had gone to obtain official confirmation of York’s status as an archbishopric, he met Charlemagne (‘Charles the Great’) – one of the most enlightened monarchs of his time – and was persuaded to join his court.

Alcuin joined an illustrious group of scholars whom Charlemagne had gathered around him, the mainspring of what has been called the Carolingian Renaissance, and took charge of the palace School at Aachen, where he not only taught Charlemagne himself but also his sons, pepin and Louis. Alcuin had a considerable influence on the king/ emperor and persuaded him to abolish the compulsory baptism of pagans. “You can force people to be baptized,” he said, “but you cannot force them to believe.”

Following an interlude back in england, he returned to the continent to combat the spread of the Adoptionist heresy and succeeded in winning over Felix, one of its most prominent proponents. Alcuin,

nevertheless, stayed in touch with his homeland and lamented the destruction of the monastery of Lindisfarne by the Vikings in AD 792. In his latter years, he became Abbot of the monastery of St martin of tours, where he continued to write and teach.

Among Alcuin’s many accomplishments was his work on a revision of the text of the Vulgate, St Jerome’s Latin text of the bible, which had become corrupted to some extent during the several hundred years since it had originally been penned.

However, perhaps his most significant achievement was in the field of liturgy, where he was the means, under Charlemagne, of obtaining an authoritative text of the Gregorian Sacramentary and added to it a supplement drawn from more recent rites to cover the ‘propers’ (variable parts) not included in the material sent from Rome.

this was an important stage in the achievement of a common liturgy of the eucharist in the Western Church and replaced a multitude of local variants. For this reason, Alcuin is regarded as a kind of patron of liturgists, as in the title of the Alcuin Club of scholars faithful to the Anglican tradition of worship.

This editorial is one in a series of occasional reflections on figures in Church history, following a chronological sequence as they appear.


Home News

  • Diocese of Armagh church celebrates 150th anniversary
  • Walking tour to appreciate Portadown’s ecclesiastical heritage
  • Divine Healing Ministries services S resume in Belfast Cathedral
  • Churches asked to focus on food C during ‘Creation Time’
  • Details announced of Children’s Ministry Certificate
  • Successful youth week in Co. Londonderry parish

World News

  • Norwegian Church leaders give thanks for mutual support
  • Norwegian Church leaders give thanks for mutual support
  • Evictions of Anglican priests begin in Zimbabwe
  • Latin American faith leaders criticize US budget debate
  • Pope, in Spain for World Youth Day, criticizes hedonism and greed
  • Earthquake damages Washington National Cathedral

Columns and Features

  • Focus on 10th anniversary of 9/11    – US Episcopal Church to mark 10th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks By Matthew Davies
  • Soap – Down at St. David’s
  • Rethinking Church – Stephen Neil – Reclaiming the holidays
  • Life Lines – Ron Elsdon –  Remembering John Stott
  • Book Review – THEOSONY: TOWARDS A THEOLOGY OF LISTENING Author: Nóirín Ní Riain Publisher: Columba Press

 News Extra

  • Chinese delegation visits US Church Centre to learn about charitable work
  • Ecclesiastical Insurance sponsors Gazette online, new e-paper launched
  • Appointment