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gypsyscarlett
08-15-2008, 12:20 PM
Hi everyone,

In one scene of my WIP- my character goes to an Episcopalian High Church. (in 19th c. if that matters)

I've been reading up online and I've come to some confusion. I've seen mentioned the terms: "Episcopalian Ministers" "Bishops" and "Priests". Which one reads the regular service? Or are all three there and they read or do different functions? For ex. would the Minister read the sermon and then the Priest do the eucharist? (keep in mind I've never been to any church in my life)

This scene is short - but I don't want to make a stupid (or disrespectful) mistake.

Thank you!

Saanen
08-15-2008, 02:38 PM
A bishop is an office above priest, who officiates over a whole region. A priest is in charge of (usually) one church.

I've never heard of an Episcopalian church leader referred to as anything but a priest, and they're properly addressed with the honorific Father.

Oh, and the priest will read the sermon and lead Communion. There's usually a lay reader who will read the lesson of the day. It's rare for the bishop to visit a particular church unless there's a big event going on. The bishop will attend and usually perform Confirmation services, for instance. That's where the bishop mashes down on your head and then you can take Communion. (Er, for the first time, I mean. It's a church rite of passage typically given to kids around 13. You have to take classes first.)

Yeah, I grew up in the Episcopal church. If you have any questions, feel free to post or PM me.

WendyNYC
08-15-2008, 03:20 PM
I attend an Episcopalian church, and we call her the Rector. She's the head priest, and there are four priests aside from her.

citymouse
08-15-2008, 03:22 PM
GS, If you're not going to include any of the service ritual it doesn't matter.
If however, you are going to refer/describe Episcopalian service rubrics it does matter. The Book of Common Prayer which lays out the prayers prayed for the different rites, Baptism, Communion, etc has undergone several revisions. Check Google for the version that fits your time frame.
You can bet if you get it wrong someone will call you one it.
I give this example. When communion is received nowadaya the priest says, "The Body of Christ" as he/she lays the wafer on the tongue or hand.
The older (way back in the '70s) rite goes "This is the Body of Christ, feed on him that you may come to everlasting life." Personally I prefer the latter.

Then there are the two types of "churches" within the Episcopal/Anglican rites; High Church and Low Church. The differences are pretty stark. Stark being the operative word. The High Church rituals include "smells and bells" incense, the ringing of bells (either small jingle types at the altar or the steeple bell) at the moment of the bread and wine consecration. Vestments too are different. For Mass (yes they use that term sometimes) a 19th High Church priests would wear a Maniple, a Stole , an Alb , a Cincture or Cord around the waist, an Amice, finally the Chasuble. If the priest is assisted by a deacon the deacon will often (but not always) wear a Dalmatic.
The colors of the Maniple, Stole, and Chasuble are color coordinated to the colors representing the liturgical season--green, blue, rose, red (for Martyrs) Purple for lent and advent, black for funerals, white or gold for Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, weddings and special parish events.

The Low Church priest will usually wear an Alb (often pleated) with the Stole worn as a sash across one shoulder, crossing at the hip and held by the Cincture.

BTW the Anglican/Episcopal Churches recognize all the Roman Catholic saints as declared by Rome up to Henry VIII. They have canonized only one saint--King Charles I as a martyr.

Now I need my morning coffee.
Hope this helps.
C


Hi everyone,

In one scene of my WIP- my character goes to an Episcopalian High Church. (in 19th c. if that matters)

I've been reading up online and I've come to some confusion. I've seen mentioned the terms: "Episcopalian Ministers" "Bishops" and "Priests". Which one reads the regular service? Or are all three there and they read or do different functions? For ex. would the Minister read the sermon and then the Priest do the eucharist? (keep in mind I've never been to any church in my life)

This scene is short - but I don't want to make a stupid (or disrespectful) mistake.

Thank you!

gypsyscarlett
08-15-2008, 05:41 PM
Thank you!

Your responses were all extremely helpful.

It's not going to be a very detailed scene. In fact, it's rather brief- but I wanted things cleared up in my head.

Thanks again! :)

IceCreamEmpress
08-15-2008, 10:04 PM
You might want to take a look at the website for Trinity Church (http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/)on Wall Street in Manhattan--they have a video of a recent Eucharistic service up on the site.

Izunya
08-15-2008, 11:03 PM
If it doesn't make you too uncomfortable, I'd advise finding an Episcopalian church and attending a service. You don't have to be a member of the church, you don't have to take communion (in fact, if you haven't been baptized you're not really supposed to), and I've never known Episcopalians to put a lot of pressure on people.

If that makes you too nervous, you might be able to find a Book of Common Prayer in the library. In my experience, Episcopalian services involve a bit of unison reading from this book. The Apostle's Creed and the Lord's Prayer are two important ones. The Lord's Prayer is instantly recognizable to most mainline Christians. In the nineteenth century, I expect it would be the archaic-sounding version: "Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name . . ." etc. The Apostle's Creed is kind of the Extreme Cliff Notes version of the New Testament followed by a summary of the things you're supposed to believe to be an Episcopalian.

Obligatory disclaimer: the church I used to go to wasn't typical. We had a lay service most Sundays, and when a priest did come around, communion involved my grandmother's home-made bread and someone else's home-made wine. Oh, and we didn't have collection, because we didn't have many upkeep costs—because we didn't even have a roof. It was an outdoor church. Dogs were allowed, so long as they didn't fight, act hostile or run around like lunatics. We were very Low Church, I suppose.

Izunya

citymouse
08-16-2008, 12:14 AM
I've never known Episcopalians to put a lot of pressure on people. Izunya

This is very true. I once asked an Episcopal Bishop is murder is ever justified He replied, Yes and No.
C

gypsyscarlett
08-16-2008, 10:13 AM
If it doesn't make you too uncomfortable, I'd advise finding an Episcopalian church and attending a service. You don't have to be a member of the church, you don't have to take communion (in fact, if you haven't been baptized you're not really supposed to), and I've never known Episcopalians to put a lot of pressure on people.

If that makes you too nervous, you might be able to find a Book of Common Prayer in the library. In my experience, Episcopalian services involve a bit of unison reading from this book. The Apostle's Creed and the Lord's Prayer are two important ones. The Lord's Prayer is instantly recognizable to most mainline Christians. In the nineteenth century, I expect it would be the archaic-sounding version: "Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name . . ." etc. The Apostle's Creed is kind of the Extreme Cliff Notes version of the New Testament followed by a summary of the things you're supposed to believe to be an Episcopalian.

Obligatory disclaimer: the church I used to go to wasn't typical. We had a lay service most Sundays, and when a priest did come around, communion involved my grandmother's home-made bread and someone else's home-made wine. Oh, and we didn't have collection, because we didn't have many upkeep costs—because we didn't even have a roof. It was an outdoor church. Dogs were allowed, so long as they didn't fight, act hostile or run around like lunatics. We were very Low Church, I suppose.

Izunya

First- many thanks again to all of you!

I definitely would attend an Episcoplian Church service if I was able to. I love learning about different people's spiritual beliefs. It would be a great experience even if I wasn't writing a scene for a novel. Unfortunately, though, I am living now in Germany and there aren't any around where I am.

added: just watched a sermon from link IceCream Princess provided. very interesting! :)

Sarpedon
08-18-2008, 05:28 PM
I think the 'minister' is anyone who can perform the service, while 'priest' is the officially ordained person.

Sometimes the 'minister' is a 'vicar', who performs the service in lieu of the official priest (vicariously, as it were). Whether the vicar is himself ordained, or how one gets to be a vicar, is unknown to me, but the vicar is a common character found in 19th century English novels.

The Episcopalian church also has 'deacons.' Perhaps 'vicars' are officially deacons, I don't know. A deacon assists the minister, and might be a minister in training.

And of course, if you remember Mr Brumble from Oliver Twist, you will be familiar with the curious office of 'beadle,' who was apparently a church policeman.

IceCreamEmpress
08-19-2008, 09:49 PM
Vicars are priests of either the Anglican or Episcopalian Churches.

The vicar is the priest who officially holds the "living" or who is the chief priest at a smaller church; at a larger church, the chief priest is called the rector.

Priests who report to the vicar or rector are called curates.

Deacons are either people who are preparing for the priesthood or lay people who don't wish to become priests, but who wish to assist in the church's various ministries. There is a training curriculum and ordination service especially for deacons.

The word "minister" is generally used, when talking about the Episcopal or Anglican Churches, to refer to priests. However, it can sometimes be used as a more inclusive word that refers to priests and deacons. If someone says "The minister of St. James's Church in Somerville is The Reverend Barbara Jones," they mean by that that Jones is an ordained priest who leads that congregation. If someone says "The Episcopal Church partners with prisons across the United States, with more than 5,000 ministers leading services and bringing Communion to incarcerated worshipers," then they probably are including deacons in that number.

MadScientistMatt
08-26-2008, 04:20 AM
IceCreamEmpress, that's interesting to learn that Epicapalian vicars are usually the one in charge. A Lutheran vicar is a pastor-in-training, usually about three years through a four year seminary degree, and reports to the senior pastor. The vicar will usually deliver a sermon a month but cannot preside over Communion. Goes to show that some titles can mean very different things in different churches.

Mike Martyn
08-26-2008, 09:02 PM
[quote=gypsyscarlett;2655392]Hi everyone,

In one scene of my WIP- my character goes to an Episcopalian High Church. (in 19th c. if that matters)

I've been reading up online and I've come to some confusion. I've seen mentioned the terms: "Episcopalian Ministers" "Bishops" and "Priests". Which one reads the regular service? Or are all three there and they read or do different functions? For ex. would the Minister read the sermon and then the Priest do the eucharist? (keep in mind I've never been to any church in my life)


This scene is short - but I don't want to make a stupid (or disrespectful) mistake.

************************************************** ****
Where is your story set? Only in the US is it called Episcopalian. Everywhere else its called Anglican aka the Church of England. I'm not sure why the name was changed in the US . Possibly after the American Revolution to distance themselves from all things English?

A high church service would be far closer to a Roman Catholic mass than any other protestant denomination ie: lots of processions down the aisle at the start of the service :ie altar boys carrying crosses, choir boys singing 3rd century latin hymns, priests in gorgeous embroidered vestments. Of course there isn't any veneration of saints. Oh and don't even get me started on the transubstantiation of the host!!

Back then, high Anglicans would cross themselves just as RC's do. Also back then, university entrance (med school, law) was limited to confirmed members of thre Anglican Church. High church even now consider themselves as Catholics who simply do not recognize the authority of the Pope. He's just the bishop of Rome.

Just as with Roman Catholics, there are a number of Anglican orders of monks and also nuns. Some of the priests would have taken vows of celibacy. My sister was a novice in an Anglican nunnery for a while.

SLThomas
08-28-2008, 04:05 PM
If you're in Germany try to find an Anglican church. It's basically the same thing.

gypsyscarlett
08-28-2008, 08:26 PM
[quote=Mike Martyn;2688810************************************ ******************
Where is your story set? Only in the US is it called Episcopalian. Everywhere else its called Anglican aka the Church of England. I'm not sure why the name was changed in the US . Possibly after the American Revolution to distance themselves from all things English?

<<<<

Hi,
Yes- it is set in the US.
Thank you for providing insight. Appreciated.

While I have no idea- your guess on the reason for the name change is most likely. Look how long it's taken us to start drinking tea again. :)

Mike Martyn
08-28-2008, 09:27 PM
[quote=Mike Martyn;2688810************************************ ******************
Where is your story set? Only in the US is it called Episcopalian. Everywhere else its called Anglican aka the Church of England. I'm not sure why the name was changed in the US . Possibly after the American Revolution to distance themselves from all things English?

<<<<

Hi,
Yes- it is set in the US.
Thank you for providing insight. Appreciated.

While I have no idea- your guess on the reason for the name change is most likely. Look how long it's taken us to start drinking tea again. :)

maybe one day you'll get to the point where you drink your beer warm!