Sunday, January 21, 2007

Regarding the use of icons...

This was part of my response to an emailed question regarding the use of icons and the general Anglican position. I confess that I do not pretend to know the general Anglican position these days...but I do value the traditional Anglican position as a creedal and conciliar Church. Thus, I find this snippet of Bishop Grafton's, which follows, helpful.

Contra Rome...

...The belief of the East is different. "The Eastern cense Icons, but they never pay either dulia or hyperdulia to them, neither does the work of any Eastern divine of authority advocate more than due reverence." In the Orthodox Catechism these questions are asked:
"Q. Is the use of holy Icons agreeable to the second Commandment?
"A. It would then, and then only, be otherwise, if anyone were to make Gods of them; but it is not in the least contrary to this commandment to honor Icons as sacred representations, and to use them for the religious remembrance of God's works and of His saints; for when thus used, Icons are books, written with the forms of persons and things instead of letters.
"Q. What disposition of mind should we have, when we reverence Icons?
"A. While we look on them with our eyes we should mentally look to God and to the Saints, who are represented in them."
At the Reformation the Anglican Church, while repudiating the "Romish doctrine," never repudiated the Seventh Council, but continued to pay reverence and honor to holy persons and sacred things. She has never yielded to Puritanism or Quakerism in their rejection of the reverence and titles to be given to the saints. She formally sets buildings apart from all common and secular uses by solemn acts of consecration. Unlike Protestants, she, with Episcopal benediction, hallows her churches and treats them by outward signs with reverence. We bless our fonts, altars, instruments of music, bells, holy vessels, and vestments We place the holy sign of our redemption and the representations of the Saviour and the Saints on our Church walls, over our altars, and on the church windows. We bow, according to our old English custom, towards the altar, kiss the word of God, sign our children with the sign of the Cross. By the permissible use of incense in our churches they are censed, and so all that is within them.....


We the Empress said...

Hey I posted on this too!! *hint hint* *nudge nudge* We talked about it in History with Miss S. Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Foos,
Peter Toon has written recently on the Anglican position in reference to the seventh council.For example Toon has said,
"In the mother Church of the Anglican Communion, the Church of England, there is no subscription required by clergy to the doctrinal declaration of the Seventh Council (Nicaea II, 787) and it does not feature in any of her Formularies or canon law. It is conspicuous, as it were, by its absence. And the situation is much the same in the other thirty plus Provinces.

Now I am the first to state that individual theologians – e.g., a few in the 17th century from the Caroline divines and some Anglo-Catholics of the 19th and 20th centuries – have expressed their own private acceptance of the developed doctrine of the seventh council and commended it. However, the overwhelming testimony of Anglican theologians has been to state that the Church of England receives the dogmas of the Trinity and the Person of Christ from the first four Councils, together with the clarification of one of them, Christology, from the fifth and sixth. And there they have stopped. This readily conceded, the point stands that subscription to the doctrinal teaching of the Seventh Council is not required in the Anglican Way of the Anglican Communion of Churches."

I would be interested in your response to Peter Toon. The quotation comes from You will have to copy and past.

Joseph Patterson

father foos said...

Thanks for contributing, Joseph!

Give me some time to read Toon. As usual, swamped with school--Concert for the Choir coming up in a week. Byrd's Mass for 3 Voices.

Say a prayer!