General Synod 2001
Anglican Church of Canada home page
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada home page
general information
event information
reports and resolutions


Report 006-3

Faith Worship and Ministry Report to General Synod Section III: Documents

E6Report of the Sexuality Consultationpage 2
E10Advanced Care Directives 7
M3Report of the Theological Education Task Force10
R6Report of the Joint Working Group15
The Waterloo Declaration and Commentary20
T1Preliminary Response to The Virginia Report42
T6Proposal for a video on the use of Scripture52
W5Rapport final du Comité liturgique épiscopal francophone (CLEF)53
Final Report of the French-Language Episcopal Liturgical Committee56
French Translations of portions of the BASseparate document
W8Report and Recommendations from the Liturgical Consultations59
W10Night Prayer61
W14Eucharistic Practices and the Risk of Infection81


A Report of the National Consultation on Human Sexuality
Geneva Park, Orillia, Ontario
January 26-28, 2001

Purpose of the Consultation

Conversations about human sexuality are taking place in many parts of the Anglican Church of Canada at this time. The conversations differ in a number of ways, which would include the following.

  • Focus: Some conversations are focused on issues related to the Church's discipline and pastoral practice with regard to homosexual relationships. Some are more broadly focused on human sexuality in a wider sense.
  • Intention: Some conversations aim to support and facilitate pastoral practice, some to stimulate wide-ranging conversations, and some to support planned synod motions.
  • Stability: Some conversations involve stable groups that have been meeting over a period of time, some involve relatively new and, in some cases, fragile initiatives, and some conversations have fallen apart or have lost the support of participants with particular points of view.

With this in mind FWM designed a consultation to which delegates were invited from every diocese based, where possible, on the contacts previously supplied by the dioceses. Two dioceses sent no delegate and the "delegate" from another diocese was unofficial. Two members of the Dignity Inclusion and Fair Treatment Group were invited, and the four biblical scholars worked with FWM on a resource on the bible and sexuality. In addition one FWM committee member was present to assist with facilitation. (The Ven. James Cowan) and one staff person (The Rev. Canon Eric Beresford). Thirty-five people were present at the event.

When the dioceses initially nominated participants, two dioceses indicated their intention to send indigenous delegates. In the event both of these participants had to withdraw and were replaced by non-indigenous participants at the last minute. It was too late to seek indigenous participation through ACIP at that point. However, the group identified this gap as significant and suggested that future consultations should include indigenous voices in addition to diocesan nominations. FWM will seek indigenous participation in planning the discussion of sexuality at the 2001 General Synod.

The consultation was designed so that representative members of these conversations from every diocese could meet with the following purposes.

  • To begin to develop networks of support for those involved in such conversations.
  • To share information, resources and insights gathered from the process of dialogue in the dioceses.
  • To gain a greater understanding of the state of the conversation across the country.
  • To learn about current national church initiatives (DIFT / Biblical Scholars working on a resource with FWM) and provide feedback into those initiatives.
  • To give advice concerning resources that could usefully be provided at the national level.
  • To give advice to FWM as it seeks to plan the most effective way to engage General Synod 2001 in helpful discussion of topics related to human sexuality.

The responses to the consultation would suggest that each of these goals was met. Participants will be circulated with a participant list and plans are underway to include all of the participants on an e-mail list which can be used to share information and resources in an ongoing way. Some of the resources brought to the consultation will be included in the mailing. The key elements of the conversations about work in the diocese, current national initiatives and General Synod planning are provided in point form below. It should be noted that most of the participants identified the General Synod planning as the most difficult part of the process!

Major Lessons from the Dioceses

  • There is a great deal of anxiety around this issue still. In some dioceses this is also related to the fact that communities that are small and struggling with other issues have little energy to engage such potentially divisive and explosive issues head on.
  • There is sometimes the fear that dialogue is already a concession to those views with which we disagree (From all perspectives).
  • There are a number of polarities in the life of the church that are reflected in this discussion. North v. South / Urban v. Rural / East v. West / Indigenous/ Non-indigenous...
  • The conversations are at very different places. One of the difficulties has been maintaining inclusivity. This has remained difficult even in the most successful conversations.
  • Hearing Diverse Voices was clearly a key turning point for conversations in many dioceses, even where that material was heavily criticized.
  • Questions were raised about where the laity really is on this issue. The overwhelming majority of those present were clergy and there was a tendency to speak for the anonymous "they" (from all perspectives). There was also a recognition that silence does not equal consent to the most vocal position in a diocese, or parish.
  • We have not succeeded in moving the conversation from homosexuality to human sexuality. Part of this relates to the "underground stuff" that is going on in many contexts. It is also related to some difficulty in talking about our own sexuality.
  • There was a broad consensus on the need to provide pastoral guidance around a whole range of issues related to human sexuality - if less consensus as to the shape such guidance should take.
  • Although there were some bruising moments - those who spoke in ways that were perceived as hurtful found that those contributions were rather rapidly dropped from sight in the conversation - although some anger about them did emerge in the evaluations.

Reading Scripture Together

  • Real attention needs to be paid to methods of reading the scripture. During the weekend we saw ways of reading scripture that were energising. We did not see any startling new consensus arising, but we did see conversations in which people were generally on the same page and able to recognize each other as taking scripture seriously.
  • The pattern of modelling conversation about scripture was extremely successful. More attention could have been paid to the process that followed, especially in terms of getting people to be more self-transparent about their own use of scripture. Two polarities that need particular attention are gathered around human discovery/yearning for the divine v. divine revelation and scripture above v. below culture.
  • What is the role of tension / difference in revelation? This is a central question in how we define authority...
  • Question of what is necessary for salvation - The point was made that Anglicans believe that scripture contains all things necessary for salvation, not that all things contained in scripture are necessary for salvation. How do we identify the weight of an issue? While for some this conversation was very exciting - some wanted to remind the group that Christianity is inescapably about revelation and has a core content which is not negotiable - human hardness of heart and the tendency to find ways to wriggle out of conventional obligations - impact of sin.
  • We need to be extremely careful about language here. On a number of occasions unfortunate word choices led to conversations which appeared to be at cross-purposes. The most prominent of these related to the conversation about "wriggle room."

Dignity Inclusion and Fair Treatment

The group went through a process of consensus mapping. Delegates were asked to gather around "positions" that were labelled as "unacceptable - I will do all that I can to prevent this coming about" / "This has serious problems and needs a great deal work before being introduced" "Indifferent - I don't see what difference this would make." "This is generally good but needs some tweaking" "This is excellent - I would vote for it as it is" Only one person thought the material ready for General Synod. Two people opted for the position that the proposal was unacceptable. A moderately large group opted for the view that it simply needed tweaking, although some positioned themselves between that and indifference. The largest group saw significant problems with the material. The DIFT working group members present at the consultation collected detailed responses. There was clear concern about the inability to exclude from any position in the life of the church those whose beliefs would indicate a clear choice not to belong. There were also real concerns that the theological and pastoral intent quickly collapsed into a legalistic, rights based code of practices with no adequate mediation between the two. It was clear in the consultation that this proposal, in its current form, is still in trouble.

Advice for General Synod 2001

The overwhelming consensus was that it would be best to avoid motions at GS 2001. Again, the overwhelming consensus was that if there were any change in the status quo in the Diocese of New Westminster motions would become inevitable. The majority were concerned that any motion be pastoral and educational in intent. A minority felt that the least that GS would need to do would be to distance itself from any vote in New Westminster if the General Synod were to continue to function as a place where "conservative" and "liberal" voices could meet on level ground.

Advice given on content included:

  • Stories of dialogues that worked - and those that did not and why
  • Focus on relationship, covenant and commitment - importance of broad perspective and discussion of human sexuality not sexual orientation.
  • One group asked for a motion if change occurs in New West which could be support / censure or distancing of National Church from New West...
  • Do we need to accept a plurality of answers - what does this mean how can we do this...
  • We need a moratorium on discussion - for some in the gay community the issue of blessing of unions is a non-issue (Our unions are already blessed) For others - especially clergy - this will not do.
  • A motion to affirm the status quo?
  • This issue is about healing and reconciliation

Advice on Process Included

  • Dialogue not decision
  • We need to set norms for conversation in forum groups - this was not done at the consultation and there were some bruising moments. On the other hand in the smaller context of the consultation the group found ways of "framing" these moments and moving on, and the advantage was that no one could complain that the process norms had also excluded particular content options.
  • Speakers from a variety of perspectives - representative not adversarial
  • Pre-synod printed material
  • The intention of Synod needs to be to keep us together
  • Look at alternative decision-making models - indigenous consensus building models
  • We need to find ways of keeping the agreements in the midst of disagreement in focus...
  • Remember that the movement to new insight around these issues is often very slow both for individuals and for communities...
  • When thinking about any possible motion we need to raise questions about the impact of the passage or failure of that motion
  • We need as much time as they will give us
  • Don't mix this conversation up with the DIFT materials. They are connected but different.
  • There needs to be clarity, integrity and transparency in the agenda.
  • Recognize that there is more than one subculture at work around these issues.

Needs of the Dioceses

  • Materials that focus on undecided and uninformed groups - One survey revealed that this was the largest group in the church.
  • Liturgical Resources that support the discussion
  • The support of bishops...
  • Study resources that clarify different positions
  • Need to admit that these issues also exist in northern and native communities - How did pre contact first nations deal with these issues?
  • Conversation not about homosexuality but about healthy sexuality - issues of abuse
  • We need to listen to each other's stories and learn to clear up misunderstanding. We need to strengthen the role of lay leadership in this area
  • A publication on the accumulated wisdom on gathering and maintaining groups
  • Assistance on guidelines for conversation
  • More consultations like this one
  • Use of the web site to pass on information about resources
  • The priority needs to be on conversation - not on the outcome (holy conversation?)
  • Limited time, energy and budget to gather people together - alternative ways to continue the conversation?
  • Ways to avoid real or presumed hidden agendas
  • Ways to avoid feeling disheartened by the difficulty of the conversation
  • Sharing of materials produced in other dioceses
  • Attention to structural questions - to whom do dialogues relate / report - how do they link in with parishes / individuals / diocesan councils
  • Go wider than homosexuality - pastoral materials for a wide range of sexuality issues including young married / broken marriage


Caring for Those Who Cannot Choose

Providing Pastoral Care

For those working with Advanced CareDirectives

Prepared by the Faith Worship and Ministry Committee of the Anglican Church of Canada

The need to deal with the fear of death is not a new thing for clergy. The context within which we deal with that fear has changed enormously. Partly because we are dealing with aging populations, concerns about death have become more common, but the greatest challenge comes from changes in our experience of dying and in our attitudes to the approach of death.
As the life expectancy of populations has increased, we have seen a growth in the number of degenerative illnesses of old age, and dementias such as Alzheimer's disease. These illnesses rob people of many of the capacities and opportunities that make life rich and enjoyable. They make us increasingly dependent on those around us, and for many rob life of its dignity. For those who suffer from such illnesses, they also take away the capacity to participate in decisions about their own medical treatment. This is threatening to those who face such a loss and can cause many difficulties for those around them who must try and make decisions for them. Those decisions are all the more difficult when we have little concrete knowledge of the wishes of those for whom we must decide.
For this reason most Provinces in Canada have made legal provision for two ways in which such decisions can be facilitated. One is the use of Advanced Care Directives; the other involves the use of Power of Attorney agreements. Both of these arrangements are sometimes referred to as Living Wills. This term can be rather misleading. Unlike a will, an Advanced Care Directive comes into effect while the patient is still alive, but when they have lost the power to make and communicate decisions concerning their ongoing care. The process of making an Advanced Care Directive is much easier and less formal than the process of making a will, although it requires much more reflective self-knowledge about values and how they would affect our response to the types of illness or accident that might happen to us, and about the treatment options that would be available. Advanced Care Directives and Power of Attorney arrangements both aim to extend a person's capacity for informed consent into those situations where illness robs them of the ability to participate directly and in an ongoing way in decisions about their care.
Advanced Care Directives are not euthanasia or assisted suicide. They are tools that Christians can appropriately use if they are used sensitively, and may become important opportunities for pastoral care. In most provinces it is recommended that people discuss the drafting of such a document with their physician, their family, a lawyer, and, where appropriate, with their spiritual advisor, so we all need to be familiar with them.

Advanced Care Directives

Advanced Care Directives are documents that outline the treatment decisions that patients would want to be made on their behalf in a variety of possible situations. For example, they might outline situations in which they would not want CPR or other heroic measures.
These documents can be very helpful to decision-makers who must act on behalf of critically ill patients who are not able to communicate their wishes. However they do not always cover all eventualities and often have to be interpreted. Advanced Care Directives need to be considered alongside Power of Attorney arrangements.

Power of Attorney / The Mandate

Power of Attorney arrangements work by naming a person who will make decisions on our behalf in the event that we are not able to make them for ourselves. In Quebec this arrangement is referred to as the Mandate. Although Power of Attorney and Advanced Care Directives are different, combining them certainly makes things easier and clearer for decision-makers since they have more concrete information about the wishes of the persons on behalf of whom they are acting.

Advantages to Making an Advanced Care Directive

  • Advanced Care Directives help us to ensure that our wishes are respected in situations where we can no longer actively decide for ourselves.
  • Advanced Care Directives can relieve those who must decide on our behalf of a great deal of anxiety. They help people to be confident that they are doing what we would have wanted.
  • They can reduce our anxiety in the midst of progressive illness, by reducing the fear that inappropriate and unwanted medical treatments will be forced upon us as our disease progresses.
  • They can reduce conflict between those involved in decision-making by giving greater clarity about our wishes.
  • They can provide an opportunity for families to talk together about our feelings, hopes, and fears as we face catastrophic illness.

Limits of Advanced Care Directives

Despite the many advantages offered by Advanced Care Directives and Power of Attorney arrangements there are some limitations that we should be aware of.

  • They cannot cover all situations. Sometimes an illness develops in an unexpected way and decisions must be made about treatment options that were not foreseen. They are not a substitute for conversation and the need to make sure that decision-makers understand and respect our values.
  • Sometimes our values change. Our feelings about what we want while we are healthy, and what we actually want when sick may be very different. Advanced Care Directives need to be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

Who Should Draft an Advanced Care Directive?

Many people fill out Advanced Care Directives when they know they have an illness that will require decisions to be made when they are no longer able to make them for themselves. Patients with Cancer, HIV, elderly persons who may be facing dementias are all examples of people who can benefit from having an Advanced Care Directive.
However, all of us can face sudden illness or an accident that puts us in a situation where an Advanced Care Directive would be helpful. Advanced Care Directives are not a cure-all. They are tools that we can use to help others to help us.
Advanced Care Directives offer opportunities for pastoral care as clergy talk with people about their hopes and fears and about the faith and commitments that help them to face serious illness.
For more information on how you can make an Advanced Care Directive contact your provincial government. For further help on providing pastoral support for somebody wishing to make such arrangements contact us c/o

The Rev. Canon Eric B. Beresford,
Consultant for Ethics and Interfaith Relations,
600 Jarvis Street, Toronto, ON, M4Y 2J6
(416) 924-9199 x.209 [email protected]


A Report of the Task Force on Theological Education for Ordained Ministry


The Council of General Synod, November 1997, authorized the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee (FWM) to do more concentrated work on the issues raised in Recommendations C1-6 from the Consultation on Discernment for Ordained Ministry. These recommendations concerned national standards of theological education for ordination. The Consultation had received overwhelming support from all orders of ministry and all areas of the country for the establishment of some basic national standards for all those ordained to the priesthood, recognizing that priesthood is lived out in a variety of ways in today's church. The Consultation recommended a basic minimum core curriculum, and a national core curriculum committee which would address matters related to content of the curriculum, modes of delivery and assessment. FWM called for a study to determine the feasibility of establishing a basic minimum core curriculum for all being prepared for ordination to the priesthood, whether those candidates were being prepared in traditional theological colleges or through alternative training models. That study was to include participation from the House of Bishops, theological colleges, those involved in the training of people for alternative and complementary forms of ministry, and lay people with gifts in the areas of adult education.

The Task Force on Theological Education for Ordained Ministry was set up by FWM in October 1998. That task force met in Saskatoon in January 1999 and represented a broad spectrum of experience and involvement in theological education. After much discussion, the task force felt that defining a core curriculum was neither feasible nor desirable, but that it would be possible to develop an experiential model which would allow us to consult with the parties involved and suggest some expectations and competencies for those preparing for ordained ministry in the variety of programs now available. We decided, because of the short time available for our work, to restrict our study to preparation for ordination to the presbyterate. We recognized however that it is equally important to look at standards and expectations for those preparing for ordination to the diaconate and the episcopate.

A second meeting of the task force, expanded to include groups and regions not represented at the January meeting, was held in Oakville in September 1999. A list of the membership of the task force is attached to this report. We felt a need to work with others in the church to develop a vision for theological education at the beginning of the 21st century, and recognized that our work as a task force is just the beginning of an ongoing conversation. At this second meeting, we used a process developed by task force members which called for reflection on the questions asked of the candidates at the service of ordination to the priesthood (BAS, p. 646). What sort of competencies might be expected in order for a candidate to make these promises? We agreed that the questions of the ordination covenant ought to be set within the wider context of baptismal ministry and the baptismal covenant. What must a priest know and be in order to support the ministry of all the baptized? We then took the revised process to the wider church in order to involve others in the discussion.

Groups consulted

During the year 2000, a wide variety of groups in the Anglican Church of Canada have participated in a process of discussion and reflection on standards and expectations for theological education.

  • the House of Bishops
  • the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples
  • the Heads of Anglican Colleges
  • the Council of the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad
  • the Examining Chaplains of the Diocese of Rupert's Land
  • members of the Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land
  • the Council of the Province of Ontario
  • participants in "Seedtime and Harvest", a ministry conference of the Province of British Columbia and Yukon
  • the Provincial Synod of Canada
  • a gathering of Edmonton Diocese theological students
  • the Examining Chaplains of the Diocese of British Columbia
  • the Examining Chaplains of the Diocese of Kootenay.

We received helpful information also from the Diocese of Toronto ("Core Values of Priests in the Diocese of Toronto"), from the Ontario Provincial Council on Theological Education (OPCOTE) in the form of a report and action commitments from their June conference on theological education, and a statement of the Ontario House of Bishops ("Godly, Learned and Able"). The spring 2000 issue of Ministry Matters, "Focus on Theological Education", brought some responses. We are thankful to all who participated in the discussion. We are grateful for their willingness to engage in this discussion in such a lively way, and for the rich variety of ideas and opinions which have helped us shape this report. We hope that this process will lead to a wider discussion of issues around theological education in Canada in the coming years.

A Summary of the Discussion

Participants identified many roles, knowledge areas, skills and qualities which they felt those ordained to the priesthood ought to have. The full set of responses will be archived in the Faith Worship and Ministry office.


Among the roles which were identified were teacher and mentor, liturgical presider, and leader (both displaying leadership qualities and fostering leadership in others). Other roles included gatherer of the community and facilitator, preacher and story teller, reconciler and healer, advocate, counsellor and confidant(e), colleague and evangelist. The priest should be a life-long learner.

Skills and Knowledge

Mentioned often were competence in Biblical scholarship and interpretation, a thorough grounding in Anglican theology and tradition (history, the sacraments, liturgy, spirituality) and skills in preaching and public speaking. Other important skills identified were

  • an ability to connect theology with everyday life
  • an ability to articulate one's own beliefs and the faith of the church
  • an ability to provide spiritual leadership and to use the pastoral rites of healing and reconciliation
  • an ability to introduce change
  • skills in education and an understanding of different leadership styles
  • skills in group dynamics and leadership
  • listening skills
  • a good knowledge of one's self, of human nature, of contemporary and local culture, of the community
  • conflict management
  • organizational skills
  • a knowledge of appropriate boundaries and the norms of behaviour for those in positions of power, with specific attention to issues of sexual harassment and abuse.


Responses described the priest as a person of prayer and of commitment to the Christian faith. The priest should be a person of maturity and integrity, a "wholesome example" to the parish and community, a person of good moral character. Important qualities listed were a liking for people, a warm and welcoming presence, compassion, humour and optimism, good common sense. The priest needs to have a respect for the breadth of Anglican tradition and be sensitive to differences in culture. The priest should be accepting of others, able to keep confidences and to set and keep boundaries.

An Evaluation of the Process

Our original proposal asked for another meeting of the task force in the fall of 2000 to review the data gathered from regional and local groups and to prepare a report for FWM, COGS and General Synod. It was clear by mid-1999 that this would not be possible because of financial constraints. The scheduling of the final FWM meeting of the triennium in mid-September 2000 has pushed us to prepare a report in the time available. A steering committee of Patricia Bays, Stephen Andrews, Helena-Rose Houldcroft, Richard Leggett and Barbara Liotscos met in Saskatoon in early September 2000 to prepare this report. We have circulated it for comments to the members of the task force, and it represents our conclusions at this time.

Some Comments

The task force, at its first meeting, felt that a standard core curriculum might not be sufficiently flexible to be adapted to local contexts of theological education. We wanted to try to express a set of core expectations for theological education that could be affirmed in a variety of contexts across the country. We affirmed that theological education is dynamic, and always evolving. It must be responsive to the local context. It will use a variety of methodologies and deliveries, and should be evaluated by looking at competencies as well as a particular body of knowledge.

The task force also recognized the importance of providing a forum for all those involved in theological education to communicate with each other. We were a representative group of clergy and lay people from all provinces of the Canadian church, with a variety of involvement in preparing and assessing candidates for ordained ministry. We found our discussion valuable in the opportunity to share information, ideas and concerns. We felt that this discussion ought to continue in the Canadian church, and that there should be more sharing of expectations and concerns by bishops, parishes, colleges/training centres and diocesan and regional programs of training. We would like to encourage the active participation of First Nations people in this discussion.

There are some questions that need to be asked. What are the ministries for which people are being prepared? What are the different models of ordained ministry within the Anglican Church of Canada? What is the nature of priesthood, and is the ministry of all ordained priests clearly seen to be universal and transferable even though they are ordained in specific local situations? What constitutes readiness for ordained ministry? How does the church develop and assess this readiness after all component requirements are met? How do theological colleges/training institutions differentiate between graduation/completion of a program and suitability for ordination, between competency in academic skills and in professional skills (for example, a testamur certifying suitability for ordination distinct from the degree or diploma)? How does the church assess educational programs to ensure that people are being adequately prepared? Who should be responsible for the evaluation of such educational programs? How do we shape programs and processes of theological education that are contextual, have integrity and will prepare candidates to exercise ordained leadership in a church whose structures are changing and whose communities are increasingly diverse?

We felt that the best way to continue the discussion would be the setting up of structures within provinces and between provinces that would look at these questions of assessment of candidates and programs, and would identify experiences and resources for theological education. We recognize that all provinces have a concern for theological education and have begun to work at these questions. We want to encourage that conversation to continue with a wide variety of participants, and that the results be shared with other provinces.

Recommendations of the Task Force to FWM

1. In order to encourage this discussion and sharing, we recommend that each province have a commission which deals with theological education. The commission should have representatives from the episcopate, presbyterate, diaconate and the laity, and should include representatives from every diocese and from all institutions and programs of theological education for ordained ministry in the province. This should include representatives of programs which prepare aboriginal candidates, and diocesan training schemes for local preparation of candidates. Their work should be shared with the other provinces, by reporting and sharing resources, and by meeting together on occasion.

2. The Ontario House of Bishops has produced a useful statement on Theological Education, "Godly, Learned, and Able". We encourage other provincial houses of bishops to produce a statement on theological education.

3. We recommend that the national church continue to have an interest in theological education and encourage the sharing of information and resources. This might be done by a national staff person, a designated representative of a province, a faculty member or other interested person.

4. We encourage the national church to develop a program of funding, perhaps through the Anglican Foundation, to encourage advanced theological study and the training of faculty and other teachers of theology. A model for this might be the Episcopal Church Foundation Fellows of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

5. We would like to see our report circulated widely in the church. We ask FWM to see that a copy of the report goes to all those groups listed above, who participated in the process, and to provincial ministry committees. We express our hope that any action taken by FWM in response to the report will be communicated to Task Force members and to the participating groups.

We thank the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee for calling us together and for making it possible for us to share in an ongoing discussion of theological education in the Anglican Church of Canada.

Respectfully submitted,Patricia Bays (Chair)

Members of the Task Force
Dr. Patricia Bays (chair)The Very Rev. Dr. Stephen Andrews
The Rev. Canon W. N. ChristensenThe Ven. Lydia Constant
Dr. Walter DellerThe Rev. Dr. Wendy Fletcher-Marsh
The Rt. Rev. Fred HiltzThe Rev. Canon Helena Houldcroft
The Rev. Laverne JacobsThe Rev. Dr. Richard Leggett
The Rev. Dr. Boyd MorganThe Rt. Rev. Donald Phillips
Dr. Eileen ScullyThe Rev. Canon Fletcher Stewart
The Rev. Dr. Donald ThompsonThe Rt. Rev. Ann Tottenham
Staff: Ms. Donna BomberryThe Rev. Barbara Liotscos



January 2001

The Joint Working Group of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada [ELCIC] and the Anglican Church of Canada [ACC] was established in 1995 through acts of the General Synod of the Anglican Church and the National Convention of the Lutheran Church. Six members of each Church supported by one member of each National Church Staff formed the membership of the JWG. This membership remained constant throughout the declared mandate of the JWG, though Lutheran support staff changed twice, The Reverend Richard Stetson replacing Pastor Leon Gilbertson, and the Reverend Cindy Helmerson acting in the interim. The Reverend Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan provided staff support from the ACC. Membership on the JWG included for the ELCIC The Reverend Al Miller, Co-chair, Bishop Bill Huras, The Reverend Bill Bulger, The Reverend Dr. Roger Nostbakken, Ms. Carol Christenson and Ms. Anne-Marie Macintosh, and for the ACC Archdeacon James Cowan, Co-chair, Bishop Fred Hiltz, The Reverend Mary Holman, The Reverend Dr. Iain Luke, The Reverend Dr. Richard Leggett and Ms. Heather Labrie. The Reverend Dr. McKibbin Watts of the United Church of Canada, appointed to the JWG as Ecumenical Observer, participated fully in the Group's deliberations.

The mandate of the Joint Working Group was to

1. Design and oversee a process leading to full communion.

2. This joint working group's task is:

a. to continue the process of theological dialogue, including outstanding issues of the meaning of "full authenticity of ministries", the distinctions of the three-fold ordained ministry, and mutual participation of the bishops of each church in the installation/ordination of bishops

b. to educate our churches, including interpreting to the churches the process and nature of the movement toward full communion and promoting discussion of the outstanding issues;

c. to ensure the sharing between communions of significant issues facing each church community;

d. to identify areas for work to be done jointly or on behalf of each other, including the formulation of joint projects and engaging in areas of common mission

e. to collaborate with other ecumenical partners as appropriate

During the course of its mandate the JWG met ten times; once in each of British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, three times in Manitoba, and four times in Ontario. The first meeting was held May 31 - June 2, 1996 and the last meeting was held November 10 - 13, 2000. Four of the meetings used time for opportunity to meet with local members of the two churches in order to share information about the proposal for Full Communion, to respond to questions and concerns, and to hear responses to the Waterloo Declaration. Each of these gatherings helped to shape the proposal which is to be presented to our governing bodies in July 2001.

The first meeting of the Joint Working Group studied the mandate which had been given to it, reviewed the agreements reached in Canada, through Canadian Lutheran Anglican Dialogues [CLAD] I + II and agreements reached internationally, specifically through The Niagara Report. We also identified outstanding issues between our two churches and developed a plan about how to approach these over our next several meetings. We remained focused on the understanding that our mandate was to establish a process which would lead to a Declaration of Full Communion between our two churches in 2001; we were not established to be yet another Dialogue Group seeking agreements over various issues.

The second meeting of the JWG established the timeline which would have to be followed if the Group's mandate was to be fulfilled by July of 2001. It was determined that two major questions concerning episcopacy and the historic episcopate needed to be answered in the affirmative by the two churches before the process outlined in the Timeline could reasonably continue. The question directed to the Anglican Church asked, "Are you prepared to recognize/to view the historic episcopate in the context of the understandings of apostolicity articulated in Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, The Niagara Report, and The Porvoo Common Statement." The question directed to the Lutheran Church asked, "Are you prepared to take the constitutional steps necessary to understand the installation of synodical bishops as ordination."

Each church responded positively in 1997 to the respective question put to it.

The following timeline (established at the second meeting, and anticipating affirmative responses to the questions) became effective:

Feb. 97- First draft of the proposed agreement, details of schedule and process.
Mar. 97- Question, schedule and process for ELCIC National Church Council
May 97- Question, schedule and process for ACC Council of General Synod
- First Draft of proposed agreement before the JWG
Jul. 97- Question, schedule and process for ELCIC National Convention
Feb. 98- JWG agreement on the wording of the proposed agreement
Ap/Jn 98- 5 ELCIC Synods have the text of the draft agreement available to them
- ACC General Synod to "receive in principle" the draft agreement and refer it to the Dioceses and provinces for study and comment.
- Lambeth Conference and Anglican Provinces receive draft text for comment by Sept. 2000
Jn 99- ELCIC National Convention to "receive in principle" the draft agreement and refer it to congregations for study and comment.
98 - Jn 00- Dioceses, provinces and congregations respond to draft agreement.
Jn 00- Responses received - Text revised
Fall 00- Joint meeting of ELCIC and ACC Bishops - revised agreement for study and comment
- JWG final revision of the draft agreement
Feb/Mar 01- Final text of the Agreement to ACC Council of General Synod and ELCIC National Church Council
July 2001- Proposed Agreement for Full Communion presented to concurrent meetings of the General Synod (ACC) and the National Convention (ELCIC)

The proposed text of "The Waterloo Declaration" depended upon the responses of the two churches to the questions posed. Once the text was agreed by the JWG and a Commentary for it developed, the documents were to be submitted to the churches for study and for first reading by the respective synods and conventions. At each stage, (including the joint meetings of Bishops in 1997, '98,'99 and 2000) brakes to the process could be applied and the target date of 2001 revised. This was clearly stated to all groups concerned at every stage of the process. The desire of the JWG was, and remains, that we arrive at our respective meetings in July 2001 and give approval to the establishment of Full Communion or that the process be halted and altered before July 2001.

Within Canada, dioceses, synods and congregations were invited to respond, and many responses were received. "The Waterloo Declaration" was overwhelmingly endorsed by diocesan synods and synod conventions, with the exception of one diocese which requested more time to study it. The Joint Working Group requested the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran World Federation to comment on "The Waterloo Declaration. On the part of Anglicans, the Lambeth Conference commended ' the progress toward full communion between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada as set forth in the Waterloo Declaration (1997) for consideration by both churches in 2001', and following Lambeth the Anglican Communion Office invited all Provinces to respond. (quote) Direct consultations were held with the Episcopal Church USA, the Church of Ireland and the Church of England.

The Lutheran World Federation, through the Lutheran members of the Anglican Lutheran International Working Group, welcomed the contribution of "The Waterloo Declaration" to the life of its communion. Direct consultations were held with the Church of Finland, the Church of Sweden, the Church of Norway, the Church of Estonia, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

While the Joint Working Group did not function as a dialogue group, but acted upon agreements already reached by our two denominations nationally and internationally, we did propose procedures for the following:

  • reception of members of each church into the other with the same status as that which they held in the former church. (i.e. Confirmed member of the ELCIC received as a confirmed member of the ACC, and vice versa.)
  • Pastoral Agreements for Clergy Serving in each other's Churches. This also included Canonical revision for the reception of clergy/rostering of clergy from Churches with whom we are in Full Communion relationships.

As well, the JWG has produced documents for study and for use during worship, support documents for the study of "The Waterloo Declaration", as well as documentation and programme for the annual joint meetings of bishops.

If the churches adopt "The Waterloo Declaration", they will make a series of commitments, including the establishment of a Joint Commission to oversee the relationship of full communion. The Joint Working Group recommends that this Commission have both meeting and program budget and that the mandate of the Commission be:

  • To implement and monitor the commitments of the Declaration
  • To evaluate our progress and growth in full communion
  • To be both reactive and proactive; to be bold and prophetic
  • To help facilitate joint meetings of the churches, including bishops and church councils
  • To seek ways in which there can be common expression of our church life
  • To report to the Council of General Synod and the National Church Council

The JWG suggests that the Commission have four members from each church, with staff, and that each church's delegation include at least one bishop, one theologian and one member of the executive council. It is desirable to have an ecumenical partner. The Commission would be established without term, but appointments could be made for 6 years.

Our continuing task as Canadian Anglicans and Lutherans is working to achieve the complete unity of the Church of God, and this is the responsibility of all the members of both our churches. Full Communion between our two denominations is but one step towards the realization of the great gift of the Spirit, the full visible unity of the Church of God.

All members of the Joint Working Group thank their respective churches for the privilege of serving Christ and His Church on this committee.

James A.J. Cowan & Alvin E. Miller
Co-chairs of the Anglican Lutheran Joint Working Group
January 2001

Please note that the revisions are underlined. The text (left hand column) is the matter to be voted on; the Commentary (right hand column) is for information.

Called to Full Communion:

The Waterloo Declaration

Revised (as approved by Council of General Synod and the National Church Council, March 2001)

Approved text to be considered by the National Convention of the ELCIC and the General Synod of the ACC Waterloo, Ontario 2001

Commentary on the Waterloo Declaration

This official commentary to "The Waterloo Declaration" is that revised by the Joint Working Group November 13, 2000.


1. In John 17:20-21, our Lord prayed that Christians might all be one so that the world might believe in Christ through the witness of our unity. The 20th century has given rise to an increase of movements which seek to give visible expression to this prayer. Christians have begun to see the fulfillment of Jesus' words as they unite in action to address the needs of local and global communities. The churches themselves have entered into partnerships at every level, from the neighbourhood to the world, through councils of churches, theological dialogues and covenants, which have fostered greater understanding in the search for common witness and visible unity. All these steps have moved us towards a healing of ancient divisions, including those which occurred during the 16th century in Europe.


1. Full communion between our two churches must be seen in the light of the work of the Spirit we call 'The Ecumenical Movement'. While our context is Canadian, our growth in unity is a dimension of the on-going rapprochement evident throughout our two communions internationally and throughout world-wide Christianity. While we treasure our heritage, we have come to believe that our future is not defined solely by that past.

2. Lutherans and Anglicans are graced in that we can respond to this prayer for unity without having experienced formal separation from one another. We share a common heritage as catholic churches of the Reformation. Despite our previous geographic, linguistic and cultural differences, in recent years we have discovered in one another a shared faith and spirituality. This discovery has called us into a search for more visible unity in mission and ministry. 2. Although there are theological differences between our two communions, these differences have never resulted in any formal action declaring either church to be schismatic. Historical circumstances in England, Germany and the Scandinavian countries led to differences in the ecclesiastical polity and theological emphases of the Anglican and Lutheran churches. Political events in later centuries contributed to the hardening of these national and cultural differences into theological convictions. Our shared experience of mission and ministry in Canada has led us to review our convictions and to envision a future based upon new theological insights and common priorities for discipleship.
3. On the international scene, the Lutheran World Federation and the Anglican Consultative Council have participated in a number of formal discussions since 1970. These conversations were encouraged by the international multilateral consensus document Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (Faith and Order, WCC, 1982). In 1987 an international Lutheran Anglican consultation on episcope was held in Niagara. From this gathering some specific recommendations were directed to the churches for their discussion. Consideration of these recommendations led in northern Europe to The Porvoo Common Statement (1993), and in the United States to the Concordat of Agreement (1997). 3. Both our national churches belong to international communions and to the World Council of Churches. Consequently, our approach to full communion has been deeply influenced by international bilateral and multilateral conversations and agreements. As churches in North America we cannot help but consider the work of the Lutheran and Episcopal churches in the United States as we develop our own approach to full communion.

4. In 1983 Canadian Lutherans and Anglicans met to discuss the implications for the churches in Canada of the on-going dialogue between Lutherans and Episcopalians in the United States. From this meeting emerged the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Dialogue (CLAD), whose first series of meetings led to the publication of its Report and Recommendations (April 1986). This report gave impetus to the desire of the two churches to produce an agreement which could provide a basis for the sharing of the eucharist between our churches.

5. A second series of discussions (CLAD II) resulted in the agreement Interim Sharing of the Eucharist, which was approved in 1989 by the National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. In that agreement, we:

  1. agreed to live in a relationship of interim eucharistic sharing
  2. acknowledged one another as churches in which the Gospel is preached and taught
  3. committed ourselves to share a common life in mission and service, to pray for and with one another, and to share resources

6. The experience of 6 years of interim eucharistic sharing led the two churches in 1995 to take further steps towards full communion. The National Convention and the General Synod renewed the Interim Eucharistic Sharing Agreement until 2001 and further agreed:

  1. to request all neighbouring congregations to undertake joint projects and celebrate the eucharist together annually
  2. to receive one another's lay members, when moving from one church to the other with the same status (baptized/communicant/confirmed) which they held in their first church
  3. to foster the development and implementation of agreements which permit an ordained minister (priest or pastor) to serve the people of both churches, including presiding at the sacraments of the Church, wherever, and according to whichever rite, the local bishop of each church deems appropriate
  4. to develop structures with the purpose of evaluating and improving the bishop's ministry through collegial and periodic review
  5. to call for our two churches to move towards full communion by 2001

7. Our two churches are using the following definition of full communion:

"Full communion is understood as a relationship between two distinct churches or communions in which each maintains its own autonomy while recognizing the catholicity and apostolicity of the other, and believing the other to hold the essentials of the Christian faith. In such a relationship communicant members of each church would be able freely to communicate at the altar of the other and there would be freedom of ordained ministers to officiate sacramentally in either church. Specifically in our context we understand this to include transferability of members; mutual recognition and interchangeability of ministries; freedom to use each other's liturgies; freedom to participate in each other's ordinations and installations of clergy, including bishops; and structures for consultation to express, strengthen and enable our common life, witness, and service, to the glory of God and the salvation of the world."

4-7. The Waterloo Declaration represents the fruit of almost twenty years of Canadian dialogue and experience. At every step we have been aware of and made use of the insights of dialogues taking place throughout the world. Nevertheless, we have tried to honour our Canadian context which includes many shared ministries among Anglicans, Lutherans, and other churches, as well as the advent of the ELCIC itself as a union of two Lutheran churches. This context has led us to seek an approach to full communion that is distinct.

8. In 1997, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Council of General Synod each agreed that they were prepared to view the historic episcopate in the context of apostolicity articulated in Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (paras. 29, 34-38, 51-53), The Niagara Report (paras. 53, 94), and The Porvoo Common Statement (paras. 34-57).

8. The understanding of the episcopal office has evolved in both churches. We cannot here rehearse the entire history of those developments. Anglican theology regarding the relationship between the orders of bishop and presbyter in the first Anglican ordinal was based upon the theological conviction that the episcopal office was a distinctive expression of the presbyteral office with responsibility for oversight of the church and certain sacramental rites, namely confirmation and ordination. Significant changes to the ordination rites for bishops and presbyters were made in 1662 to eliminate any liturgical suggestion that the episcopate was derivative of the presbyterate rather than an order with its own integrity.

The Declaration is based upon several key convictions. First, apostolicity is a characteristic of the whole Church. Episcopal ministry is a sign and servant of the apostolicity exercised by the whole Church. Second, the substance of episcopal ministry may be present in a church even if the sign of the historic episcopal succession is not. Third, if the substance is present, the resumption of the sign of the historic episcopal succession may come as a consequence of full communion rather than a precondition for the establishment of full communion. These convictions are based on the degree of convergence which we see in the two Canadian Lutheran-Anglican dialogues, in the Niagara consultation on episcope, and in The Porvoo Common Statement. Of particular significance is the affirmation quoted in paragraph 94 of The Niagara Report: "'(The) apostolic succession in the episcopal office does not consist primarily in an unbroken chain of those ordaining to those ordained, but in a succession in the presiding ministry of a church, which stands in the continuity of apostolic faith.'" (The Niagara Report, para. 94, citing The Ministry of the Church, para. 62)

9. In that same year, the National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada agreed that it was "prepared to take the constitutional steps necessary to understand the installation of bishops as ordination".

9. Because Lutherans did not experience the same history as Anglicans, some of the various national Lutheran churches continued the episcopal ministry by retaining the episcopal office. Others continued episcopal ministry by expressing it in other forms.

Within the ELCIC, the office of bishop has been established and is evolving. Given the various strands of Lutheranism that have come together to weave the fabric of the ELCIC, different understandings of the office of bishop exist. By recognizing the installation of a bishop as ordination, the ELCIC has clearly expressed its commitment to the office of bishop as the personal expression of episcope.

10. In a spirit of thanksgiving for what God has already accomplished in us, and with confidence and hope for what God has prepared for the whole Church, we believe we can now act in visible witness to the unity which is ours in Jesus Christ. We are taking the next step in our common pilgrimage of faith in the belief that it will be of service to a greater unity.

Therefore, we, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada make the following acknowledgements, affirmations, declaration, and commitments:

10. Based upon the work of our own national bilateral dialogues, the insights of international bilateral and multilateral conversations, and our own experience of eucharistic fellowship and shared ministries, our two churches are prepared to enter into full communion. We recognize that full communion will initiate a process that will result in the ordained ministries of both our churches sharing the sign of the historic episcopal succession in the service of the Gospel.

A. Acknowledgements

1. We acknowledge that in each church "the Gospel is preached in its purity and the holy sacraments are administered according to the Gospel" (Augsburg Confession VII), that in each church "the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments ... duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same" (Article XIX of The Thirty-Nine Articles), although "we recognize that the Church stands in constant need of reform and renewal" (The Niagara Report, para. 67).

A. Acknowledgements

1. We understand the Anglican and Lutheran churches to be catholic churches of the Reformation. We are catholic in that we have remained faithful to the apostolic teaching and fellowship as expressed in the canonical scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds. We celebrate the sacraments of our redemption, baptism and eucharist, and maintain a historic continuity in office of those exercising the apostolic commission.

We are churches of the Reformation in that we share the common experience of renewal and revisioning that we know as the Reformation of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This experience has led both our churches to root our faith in the sufficiency of God's grace freely given to the believer. This faith finds expression in works of love which spring from a trust and reliance in God's providential care for us and for the whole created order.

Agreement in the gospel is fundamental to full communion between our churches. We believe and proclaim the gospel: that in Christ God has reconciled the world to God's very self and that for any one who is in Christ there is a new creation. Through the Holy Spirit we are given power to become children of God and to grow into the full stature of Christ.

We understand the Church as the communion of saints in which the gospel is purely taught and preached and the sacraments are administered according to the gospel and Christ's ordinance. The liturgy proclaims the gospel as a celebration of salvation through Christ under the forms of water, bread and wine. In baptism we are made members of the community of the Church. In the holy communion we are nourished spiritually and our unity with Christ and with each other is strengthened. In receiving Christ in the eucharist we receive the forgiveness of sins, are reconciled to God and each other, are nurtured in the communion of saints, are given power in love and service and receive hope in the foretaste of the feast to come.

2. We acknowledge that both our churches share in the common confession of the apostolic faith. (Report and Recommendations, CLAD I, 1986)

2. Our churches share a common faith. This is expressed in mutual acceptance of the canonical scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and the Nicene-Constantinopolitan and Apostles' Creeds. We use similar orders of service and see in the liturgy both celebration of salvation and actualization of the consensus fidelium ("the mind of the Church, lay and ordained"). As members of the community of faith our churches seek to submit to Jesus Christ in the teaching, mission and ministry of the whole Church. This is expressed in the doctrine of apostolicity.

Apostolicity means continuity in the permanent characteristics of the Church of the apostles. As God's gift in Christ through the Holy Spirit, apostolicity is not confined to the historic episcopate but is a diverse reality expressed in the church's teaching, mission and ministry. Apostolic teaching is expressed not only in the Scriptures and historic ecumenical creeds but also in the confessional documents developed at the time of the Reformation. The particular confessions of our churches are seen as further witnesses of the faith of the Church Catholic by being expositions of the Holy Scriptures. The similar tradition of liturgical worship in our churches is further witness to a common faith and understanding of the Church.

The apostolic mission of the Church is rooted in the sending of Christ in the power of the Spirit into the world by the Father, and in the sending of the apostles by Christ in the power of that same Spirit. This latter sending is shared by all members of the Church. Within the Church varieties of ministries are conferred by the Holy Spirit in the service of apostolic mission.

3. We acknowledge that personal, collegial and communal oversight (episcope) is embodied and exercised in both churches in a variety of forms, in continuity of apostolic life, mission and ministry. (The Porvoo Common Statement, 1993)

3. The ministry of episcope is a ministry of leadership bearing the authority of Christ in and to the community and involves fidelity to the apostolic faith, its proclamation and its transmission to future generations. This ministry of oversight is a caring for the life of the whole community, a pastoring of the pastors, and a true feeding of the whole of Christ's flock. Episcope is entrusted to the whole Church and is exercised in the light of the gospel.

The ministry of oversight is the particular responsibility of the bishop whose office is one of service and communication within the community of faith. Bishops preach the word, preside at sacraments and administer discipline in the service of oversight, continuity and unity. This ministry of pastoral oversight serves the apostolicity, catholicity and unity of the church's teaching, mission and sacramental life. None of this is done in isolation from the whole Church but the ministry of oversight is exercised personally, collegially and communally. As a personal ministry episcope points to the presence of Christ by proclaiming the gospel and calling the community to serve in unity of life and witness. Episcope is collegial in that the bishop gathers those ordained to the tasks of ministry and takes counsel with them to determine how best to enable the ministry and mission of the whole Church. It is collegial also in that the collegiality of bishops locally relates to the wider Church. Episcope is communal because ordained ministry is rooted in the life of the community and requires the community's effective participation. Through their participation in the governance of the Church, in their exercise of the ministries given them by God through the Holy Spirit, and by their personal discipleship and witness, the laity share in the ministry of episcope, the apostolic mission, and the furthering of God's reign of peace and justice.

4. We acknowledge that one another's ordained ministries are given by God as instruments of divine grace and as possessing not only the inward call of the Spirit, but also Christ's commission through his body, the Church (An Appeal to all Christian People, Lambeth Conference, 1920); and that these ministries are the gifts of God's Spirit to equip the people of God for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).

4. We believe all members of the Church are called to participate in its apostolic mission through a variety of ministries. Ordained ministry exists to serve the ministry of the whole people of God.

"Our churches acknowledge ordained ministry to be a gift of God to the Church, and thus of divine institution. Ordination is act of Christ in the Church." 1 In the name of the Church and in the power of the Holy Spirit, those who are authorized to ordain do so with the laying on of hands and with the prayer of the whole assembly.

Ordained ministry is regarded by our churches as essential for the Church and is exercised as a public office. For this reason the oversight of pastoral ministry through the office of episcope is seen as fundamental to the life, unity and mission of the Church.

As joint heirs of the catholic tradition both our churches share a common basic understanding of the place of ordained ministry in the Church. Ordained ministry signifies the essential dimensions of the ministry entrusted by Christ to the Church and exercised by both of our churches.

It has been possible therefore for our churches to acknowledge each other as churches where the gospel is truly preached and taught and the sacraments are rightly administered. We also affirm one another as churches which possess a genuine and authentic ministry of Word and Sacrament which derives from the teaching of the apostles and the practice of the early church.

1Agreed Statement on Ordained Ministry, CLAD I, 1986.

5. We acknowledge that the episcopal office is valued and maintained in both our churches as a visible sign expressing and serving the Church's unity and continuity in apostolic life, mission and ministry. (The Porvoo Common Statement, 1993)

5. The episcopal office is a visible and personal sign of the apostolicity of the whole Church. This is grounded in the promise of Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit at work in the whole Church. Succession in the episcopal office provides continuity of the apostolic life and mission of the Church through the ministry of oversight. Continuity in episcopal succession is signified in the ordination of a bishop. Through the laying on of hands the whole Church calls on God to pour out the Holy Spirit on his people.

Through ordination to episcopal office the Church communicates its care for continuity in the whole of its life and mission. In the service of ordination a public declaration of the faith of the Church and an expression of episcopal ministry helps to make clear the meaning of the office as such a sign of continuity. This sign does not guarantee the faithfulness of the Church to its faith, life and mission nor does it guarantee the personal fidelity of the bishop. It is nonetheless witness to continuity of proclamation of the gospel of Christ and the mission of his Church.

Faithfulness to the apostolic calling of the whole Church is maintained by more than one means of continuity. These means include "witness to the apostolic faith, proclamation and fresh interpretation of the Gospel, celebration of baptism and the eucharist, the transmission of ministerial responsibilities, communion in prayer, love, joy and suffering, service to the sick and needy, unity among the local churches and sharing the gifts which the Lord has given to each." [BEM, Ministry, para. 34] In the light of this understanding of the signs of continuity, we recognize that the substance of episcope is present in both our churches, although the exercise of episcope has taken different shapes. The resumption of the sign of an ordained episcopate is not an adverse judgement on the past; it is a means of making more visible the unity and continuity of the Church at all times and in all places. By the sharing of our life and ministries in closer visible unity our churches are strengthened for the continuation of Christ's mission in the world.

B. Affirmations

In the light of the above acknowledgements, we make the following affirmations:

B. Affirmations

In view of the substantive agreements between our churches on all matters fundamental to faith and ministry it has become possible for us to make statements of mutual recognition of ordained ministry and episcopal oversight.

1. The Anglican Church of Canada hereby recognizes the full authenticity of the ordained ministries of bishops and pastors presently existing within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, acknowledging its pastors as priests in the Church of God and its bishops as bishops and chief pastors exercising a ministry of episcope over the jurisdictional areas of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in which they preside. 1. The Anglican Church of Canada recognizes the authenticity of ordered ministries in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada including both the offices of pastor and of bishop.
2. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada hereby recognizes the full authenticity of the ordained ministries of bishops, priests, and deacons presently existing within the Anglican Church of Canada, acknowledging its priests as pastors in the Church of God and its bishops as bishops and chief pastors exercising a ministry of episcope over the jurisdictional areas of the Anglican Church of Canada in which they preside. 2. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada recognizes the authenticity of ordered ministries in the Anglican Church of Canada including the offices of deacon, priest, and bishop.
3. The Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada affirm each other's expression of episcopal ministry as a sign of continuity and unity in apostolic faith. We thus understand that the bishops of both churches are ordained for life service of the Gospel in the pastoral ministry of the historic episcopate, although tenure in office may be terminated by retirement, resignation or conclusion of term, subject to the constitutional provisions of the respective churches.

3. Our respective histories have caused our two churches to view somewhat differently the office of the historic episcopate. Anglicans have traditionally focused on the office as a sign of apostolic teaching, ministry and mission. The Lutheran Confessions have focused on the office as meaningful primarily as it contributes to the unity of the Church in faith and witness to the universality of the gospel of reconciliation. Both of these understandings come together in our present acknowledgements and agreements.

Both our churches understand and accept the office of bishop to be that of episcope. Each church further understands that bishops are ordained for life service in the ministry of the historic episcopate, a pastoral ministry expressed in a variety of dimensions, including the prophetic, evangelical and ecumenical. At the same time it is acknowledged that episcopal tenure is subject to termination by retirement, resignation, conclusion of term or removal for cause as provided in the respective constitutions of our churches.

We are able to understand that the existing bishops of our two churches are ordained in the pastoral ministry of the historic episcopate on the basis of the careful exposition of episcope expressed in The Niagara Report as well as the three key convictions outlined in the Commentary on paragraph 8 of the Introduction above.

In describing the situation facing the Lutheran reformers, The Niagara Report notes that "the Reformers believed themselves authorized to act in this manner in an emergency situation, appealing to Jerome's position on the original unity of the office of bishop and presbyter" (para. 57). The succession of a presiding ministry was preserved, given that the reformers had themselves been episcopally ordained, and the authority of the bishop passed to the presbyters acting collegially.

Given our commonly held apostolic faith and an appreciation of the historical development of the polity and ordained ministry of our two churches, we share the conviction of The Niagara Report that "… the continued isolation, one from one another, of those who exercise this office of episcope in our two churches is no longer tolerable and must be overcome." (para. 59)

C. The Declaration of Full Communion

We declare the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada to be in full communion.

C.The Declaration of Full Communion

The declaration of full communion between our churches is a step of enormous historic significance and millennial promise. Our two churches have existed for centuries sharing a common heritage of catholic churches of the Reformation, but living separately and parallel. We now come together in a visible witness to the unity which is ours in Jesus Christ. Full communion is not an organic union or merger of our churches but is a relationship of fundamental unity. Each church retains its autonomy of decision and governance, while at the same time recognizing and affirming each other's catholicity and apostolicity, and acknowledging the authenticity of one another's faith and doctrine.

A declaration of full communion is an acknowledgement of mutual trust, confidence and respect. In this relationship communicant members of each church are free to communicate at each other's altars and ordained clergy are eligible to preside at the celebration of the sacraments in either church. Full communion also makes possible transferability of members, interchangeability of ordained ministries and use of each others' liturgies. Ordination and installation of clergy including bishops are open to participation by each other's clergy and bishops.

This declaration also implies mutuality in consultative structures intended to express, strengthen and enable common life, witness and service in all aspects of the life and mission of the Church.

D. Commitments

As churches in full communion, we now commit ourselves:

D. Commitments

Full communion means not only recognition and acknowledgement and mutually acceptable statements but also a commitment to live out actively in day to day experience the implications of that communion. These implications include specific commitments. It is tempting to restrict our commitments solely towards addressing the theological obstacles that have divided our two churches. Such an approach would, however, obscure the fundamental purpose of our commitment to growth in unity: "God's plan is the unification of all things in Christ … Before that goal is realized the Church has the task of embodying in all that it is, says and does the promise that the goal is realizable." (The Niagara Report, para. 15)

1. To welcome persons ordained in either of our churches to the office of bishop, priest/pastor or deacon to serve, by invitation and in accordance with any regulations which may from time to time be in force, in that ministry in the receiving church without re-ordination; 1. We have come to trust the integrity of each church in its process of calling and preparing candidates for the ministry of Word and Sacrament. Both of our churches are agreed that ordination can be received only once and is not a repeatable act. We are also in agreement that the essential and specific function of the ordained ministry is to gather and build up the Christian community by proclaiming the Word of God, celebrating the sacraments, and presiding over the liturgical, diaconal, and missionary life of the community. We therefore commit ourselves to welcome the clergy of either church to exercise their ministries in either church subject to appropriate regulation.
2. to invite one another's bishops to participate in the laying on of hands at the ordination of bishops as a sign of the unity and continuity of the Church, and to invite pastors and priests to participate in the laying on of hands at the ordination of pastors or priests in each other's churches;

2. Each of our churches is committed to inviting one another's bishops to participate in the laying on of hands at episcopal ordinations. This commitment is an expression of our churches' recognition of the episcopal office as a visible sign of the churches' unity and continuity in apostolic life, mission and ministry.

It is the intention of The Waterloo Declaration to establish a relationship between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada whereby bishops from both churches participate in the installations/ordinations of each other's bishops. In the first draft of The Waterloo Declaration, Commitment # 2 read 'regularly to invite ...'. By removing the adverb 'regularly' the Joint Working Group intends to indicate unambiguously the unfailing commitment to invite the bishops of both churches to participate in each other's installations/ordinations.

We have come to acknowledge the present apostolic reality of the existing ordained ministries of our churches. This mutual acknowledgement of our churches and ministries precedes the use of the sign of the laying on of hands in the historic succession. Consequently, resumption of the use of the sign by Lutherans does not imply an adverse judgement on a ministry which did not previously make use of the sign, but is rather a vivid expression of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada's commitment to the visible unity of the whole Church.

Likewise, the Anglican Church of Canada commits itself to full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada on the basis of a renewed understanding of the relationship of the historic episcopate and apostolicity. 2 This is not an abandonment on the part of Anglicans of their heritage. Rather, Anglicans have come to recognize in the ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada that apostolicity which Anglicans have experienced in the three-fold ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons.

2ref. BEM, Niagara and Porvoo

3. to consult with one another regarding developments in our understanding of the ministry of all the baptized, including the ordained ministry;

3. All the baptized are called to share in the realization of God's plan, and each is given gifts for ministry by the Holy Spirit. Ordained ministry serves the ministry of Christ's people; ordained ministry does not replace that ministry.

The ecumenical movement of the twentieth century has been accompanied by a renewal in our understanding of and our commitment to the ministry of all the baptized. Full communion is more than an agreement regarding ordained ministry; it is a commitment to deeper discipleship and more visible witness by all the members of our two churches.

4. to work towards a common understanding of diaconal ministry; 4. Both our churches acknowledge diakonia has a place within the ministerial office and are therefore committed to the continuing study and reform which will ensure a common understanding of diaconal ministry. Such study will include its place within the ministerial office and its relationship with other ministries.
5. to establish appropriate forms of collegial and conciliar consultation on significant matters of faith and order, mission and service; 5. Our churches commit themselves to establish forms of collegial and conciliar consultations on all significant matters and at every stage in the development of this new relationship. The establishment of full communion compels us to consider questions of doctrine, worship, and discipline together. We will travel on a common pilgrimage, side by side, rather than on individual paths that occasionally intersect.
6. to encourage regular consultation and collaboration among members of our churches at all levels, to promote the formulation and adoption of covenants for common work in mission and ministry, and to facilitate learning and exchange of ideas and information on theological, pastoral, and mission matters; 6. Our churches commit themselves to regular consultation and collaboration on all significant matters and at every stage in the development of this new relationship. This commitment may lead us, for example, to consider having representatives of one church on appropriate commissions, committees, and boards of the other church. Such considerations are the natural outcome since full communion is intended to lead us into deeper unity.
7. to hold joint meetings of national, regional and local decision-making bodies wherever practicable; 7. Our churches also commit themselves to hold joint meetings of national, regional, and local decision-making bodies wherever practicable and useful This will be an embodiment of the life of full communion and an expression of joint ministry and mission.
8. to establish a Joint Commission to nurture our growth in communion, to coordinate the implementation of this Declaration, and report to the decision-making bodies of both our churches, and

8. To assist in planning for mission, to nourish our growth in communion, and to coordinate the implementation of this Declaration, a Joint Commission will be established by and be accountable to both churches. The purpose of the Joint Commission will be to facilitate consultation and common decision-making through appropriate channels in fundamental matters faced by our churches. Although the agenda of the Joint Commission will be open to direction by the churches, it might include such matters as the appropriate regulations for receiving clergy from each other's churches, ensuring the participation of each other's clergy in ordinations, developing a common understanding of diaconal ministry, and developing of appropriate structures for consultation and collaboration in theological, pastoral, and mission matters.

Unexpected questions will emerge from our experience of full communion. The Joint Commission will help our churches reflect theologically on these questions as well as evaluate how our relationship has unfolded. These reflections and evaluation will lead us to explore further steps our churches may take towards a fuller and more visible unity.

9. to continue to work together for the full visible unity of the whole Church of God.

9. Joint meetings and cooperative ventures represent a commitment to making visible in the day to day life of our churches the full visible unity of the whole Church of God. The churches are permanently committed to common mission and ministry, recognizing each other fully as churches in which the gospel is preached and the holy sacraments administered.

Each church will continue to live in communion with all the churches with whom they are now in communion. This does not imply or inaugurate any automatic communion beyond these present arrangements.

Both our churches will continue their dialogues with other churches and traditions. Where appropriate both churches will seek to engage in joint dialogues. On the basis of the Declaration both churches are committed to prior consultation before entering into formal agreements with other churches and traditions. At the same time such commitments are in no way intended to impede the development of relationships and agreements with other churches and traditions with whom they have been in dialogue.


We rejoice in our Declaration as an expression of the visible unity of our churches in the one Body of Christ. We are ready to be co-workers with God in whatever tasks of mission serve the Gospel. We give glory to God for the gift of unity already ours in Christ, and we pray for the fuller realization of this gift in the entire Church.


Both churches recognize that unity is both our Lord's prayer for us [John 17] and a gift already given to us by God in Christ [Ephesians 4.1-6]. We have been entrusted with the task of making this unity even more visible.

Full communion between Lutherans and Anglicans in Canada marks but one step towards the eventual visible unity of the whole Church catholic. We have entered a new stage on our journey together; there may yet be stages that we can only imagine dimly at this point. Nevertheless, we give glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen. [Ephesians 3.20-21]

Wording in sections A.2, 3, 4, 5; and D.1, 2, 4, 5, 6 is derived from The Porvoo Common Statement David Tustin and Tore Furberg. Published in 1993 by Church House Publishing for the Council for Christian Unity of the General Synod of the Church of England.

Wording in section B is derived from Concordat of Agreement between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, rev. January 1997, published for study by the Office of Ecumenical Relations of the Episcopal Church.


A Preliminary Response toThe Virginia Report

The Report of the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission, 1997

Report to the Council of General Synod
from the Joint Task Group of FWM and PIM studying The Virginia Report

Over the last year, a joint working group of PIM and FWM has received written responses to The Virginia Report from Diocesan Doctrine and Worship Committees, Bishops, and the Partners in Mission and Faith, Worship and Ministry Committees.
The following Preliminary Response is drawn from those submissions. For the most part, the texts followed the form of response to the six questions put forward in the initial letter that went out with The Virginia Report to Diocesan Bishops. These questions were:

  • What issues fundamentally threaten unity within the Anglican Communion?
  • How are such issues best resolved?
  • Should legislative authority be exercised at the international level in the Anglican Communion, and, if so, how, by whom and under what circumstances?
  • What roles do you envision for: the Archbishop of Canterbury; Lambeth; ACC; the meeting of Primates?
  • The Virginia Report study guide question #6 specifically asks whether the Primates should be expected to make authoritative judgments on doctrinal, moral, and pastoral matters - how do you respond?
  • Would this document be useful for parish study?

In addition, both FWM and PIM engaged in serious study of The Virginia Report. Each of these committees' study processes considered the questions above, but also raised questions of their own and pushed the study further. FWM spent time engaging some of the theological issues raised by the Report. PIM prepared their response raising questions from their own context of experience in partnership.

An opening "General Remarks" section highlights what the responses praised in Virginia. This is followed by a collation of the responses to the six questions, above. A separate section follows, that highlights concerns raised by respondents about 'what is missing' from the Report. A fourth section highlights some theological concerns, and a final section considers the Report from the perspective of the principles of partnership. An Appendix includes excerpts from some of the written responses that may be of interest to some readers.

Respectfully submitted by Eileen Scully, FWM
On behalf of the Joint Task Group of FWM and PIM
Stuart Pike (PIM), Ellie Johnson (PIM), Barry Hollowell (FWM), Eileen Scully (FWM), Alyson Barnett-Cowan (FWM)

I. General Remarks

The responses generally lauded the "call" of The Virginia Report to reflect on these critical and central questions - what it means to be a Communion of churches, how we hold together unity in "graceful interdependence," and the interplay between change and continuity in the complexities of global cultures. Respondents recognized, with gratitude to the work of the Commissioners, that the questions that the Report seeks to address- how we live together in the greatest degree of communion possible; how to hold legitimate diversity together in unity; how to discern the limits of diversity - that these are important questions that the whole church needs to find ways of addressing.

A thread running through the responses is a note of gratitude that these questions are being addressed as theological questions in order of priority, not primarily as structural questions. Hence the greatest praise for the document is for its starting point in Trinitarian and koinonia theology.

In its "Trinitarian emphases and its recognition that we must fulfill the Gospel call to unity, interdependence, communion and mission in changing times and cultural contexts," as one report puts it, is to be found the strength of the document. "The Report wants to dialogue seriously with the world in which we reach out in ministry and mission, and that is good."

In particular, the following statement, found in the first chapter of Virginia was highlighted by several respondents: "the mission of Christ and the Church is celebrated and proclaimed in the liturgy which shapes the Trinitarian faith of the people of God and empowers them for a life of ministry and mission" (p. 29). And: "the personal and relational life of the Church is always prior to the structural" is also highlighted, within the understanding that without enabling structures the relational and personal aspects of the Christian life are unsupported.

II. Responses to Questions from the Joint Task Group

1. What issues fundamentally threaten unity within the Anglican Communion?

In their responses to this question, respondents pointed to local realities, tensions in the local church that threaten unity, as much as to the Communion. This says something about the fundamental nature of some of these issues for people. It also offers food for thought: if at the local level we are learning, in the Canadian church, some lessons about how to grapple with tensions (for example, around homosexuality) with patience, consultation, and the difficult and fragile work of nurturing dialogue over issues that threaten unity, if there a gift in our experience that can be offered to the Communion? Issues identified included:

  • Theological disagreements over authority of Scripture, interpretation of Scripture, authority and its exercise
  • Unilateral actions by Provinces
  • Threats to role of laity in synodical structure of church governance
  • Differing ways of approaching mission: the challenge of post-colonial mission coming in conflict with authoritarian and colonial-mentality ways of approaching mission is threatening to our unity
  • Ecumenical discussions with Rome, and suggestions that the answer to our problems around unity can be answered with an appeal to centralized authority - these proposals are seen themselves as threats to unity to some.
  • "Floating" bishops not attached to dioceses; extraordinary consecrations
  • Autonomous diocesan authority - lay presidency
  • Cultural realities: how we deal graciously now with the challenging realities that we are still a Communion with English roots, but now in a post-colonial era, with all the difficulties and possibilities of the moment - have we really come to grips yet with the real matter of the cultural diversity of our Communion?
  • Differences, to some rooted in culture, to some rooted in theology, around the roles of women in the church, gays and lesbians in the life of the church.
  • World economic and justice issues threaten our unity when we are not able to agree on what is the just and right thing to do in a particular circumstance.

In discussion at the January meeting of the Jurisdiction Task Force (of CoGS), the question was raised: are the issues that are identified as fundamentally threatening the unity of the communion really fundamental issues? Do they truly threaten fundamental unity? What does it say to us that some name as 'issues that fundamentally threaten unity' those things which are mere 'tensions' or 'challenges' for others?

2. How are such issues best resolved?

There was a sense expressed in many of the responses that our present structures serve us well when we are able to use them fully and creatively. What needs much attention, however, is the cultivating of virtues to bring to those structures: virtues of patience, consultation, prayer, respect, listening, trust, mutuality, all that makes way for fruitful dialogue. These things take time. Of critical importance is that central part of Christian life that Virginia does not pay attention to: the Dublin Report referred to the eucharist as an unlegislated by very real instrument of unity - it is the basis of the Communion. Worshipping together is important to our growth in love and understanding. Some said they saw much potential for Bishops and Primates in camera talking as peers to moderate differences. In times of tension and dispute, there are moments for private conversation, and there are moments for transparency and public conversation. The structures for such different conversations do exist at the moment - it is up to us to 'go to school with Christ' in order to learn how to be present to each other.

3. Should legislative authority be exercised at the international level in the Anglican Communion, and, if so, how, by whom and under what circumstances?

Respondents began their answers to this question by pointing to the Canadian context: legislative authority in Canada is synodical. If legislative authority were to be exercised at the international level, would there be full participation of all orders and, representatively, all peoples? Some questioned the need for such legislative power at all, saying "collegiality and consensus building are preferable to legislation." Others reflected on the gifts that come from the lifting up of diverse voices, and worried that it would be inappropriate for the Anglican Communion to seek to exercise legislative authority at the international level that would cause it to speak with 'one voice' in ways that silence legitimately differing voices in the Communion.

4. What roles do you envision for: the Archbishop of Canterbury; Lambeth; ACC; the meeting of Primates?

  1. Archbishop of Canterbury: It is important to continue to look to the Archbishop of Canterbury as a symbol of and spokesperson for the Communion as a worldwide fellowship. Some offered that the role in many ways depends on personal charism- on who the person is.
  2. Lambeth: A need was expressed to continue to see Lambeth as the primary place of consultation for the Primates, prior in weight to the separate meeting of Primates. Several respondents raiused the possibility of a once-ever-ten-years Anglican Congress encompassing the laity, clergy, and bishop, within which the bishops would meet as a 'Lambeth-within-Congress'
  3. Consultative Council: Might be seen as those who take council for the welfare of the Communion, where consultation, discussion, listening to and learning from each other can happen, where the work of Lambeth and the Primates might be grounded and facilitated.
  4. Meeting of Primates: The roles of Lambeth, the ACC, and the Archbishop of Canterbury need to be worked out before considering any vision, or need, for a Meeting of Primates. Some offered that it might be reasonable, under special circumstances, for them to be able to make statements, but that these should have moral power only, not legislative, and must only come following wide and deep consultation. Most agreed that if the ACC and the Primates meetings are going to become effective instruments of unity, ways must be found to help them be truly conciliatory and consultative.

    One respondent offered that meetings of the Primates "are useful, just as Lambeth was in the same way at its beginnings in the 19th century. They should not take on any more authority other than the Episcopal and Primatial authority they already have. As a church, we are not ready for more of a central voice, having rejected such a voice before and now without the structure to articulate a voice. To delegate that to any (arch)bishop at this time would be tantamount to renouncing our Reformation heritage."


"What is most needed at this time is a full three-order, world-wide meeting, to start to map out the future of the church… The closest thing in our history was the Toronto Anglican Congress of 1963. In that gathering there was almost full embracing of the visionary phrase, 'equality, interdependence, and mutual responsibility.'"

"A congress could take place every 10-15 years, and Lambeth would become a "House of Bishops" meeting within that same meeting (like as a Synod) The Congress would have the same more but non-legislative authority as Lambeth does at present. It would have much more suasion, however, by being a representative gathering of the whole communion."

5. The Virginia Report study guide question #6 specifically asks whether the Primates should be expected to make authoritative judgments on doctrinal, moral, and pastoral matters - how do you respond?

Some diversity could be seen in the responses to this question. However, there was general agreement that the meeting of Primates can make moral, pastoral statements, but may not legislate. People reacted strongly to the idea of judicatory powers for the meeting of Primates. Further, it is expected that what statements are made are done only after considerable consultation with the wider church. Some expressed the idea that it would be appropriate for the Primates to make persuasive statements on issues of global concern. Others added that the Primates need the participation of Lambeth, and the process of steps that were described in Section 2 of the Report. The wider the consultation, the better. It is acknowledged that good consultation is a process that takes time, and is challenged by the world's desire for instant answers. Perhaps this is a place where the church can offer a counter-cultural witness.

6. Would this document be useful for parish study?

While most agreed that the questions to which Virginia seeks to respond are important ones, deserving of wide discussion, there is a general sense that the language and form of the document do not lend themselves well to parish study. One diocesan committee wrote that while the Report is informative and reflects upon important issues facing the Anglican Communion it presumes a knowledge of Anglican theology and history which is not common to all. The presentation of this report to a parish would not be helpful without historical background material and theological teaching before the study began.

In addition, while the report mentions lay representation in a number of bodies of the communion, there is no vision of equal lay representation in areas of authority, and no serious attempt has been made here to make the ideas of the Report accessible to lay people and the wider church beyond a core group of 'intelligensia.' The form and language of Virginia reflect a presupposition about authority and participation in the life of the church.
The study questions provided in the document are not helpful (they appear like a reading-knowledge content test). However, there is strong agreement that the kinds of questions being asked by the Joint Task Group of FWM and PIM, in the invitation to engage with the document are very good questions with which the church needs to grapple.

III. Noting "What's Missing"

  • The "personal and relational life of the Church" takes a back seat in the remainder of the document, but holds the keys to understanding what it means to be 'in communion.' The Report is concerned primarily with function and structure, while the spiritual, theological, ethical and real dimensions of relationship is neglected.
  • Not enough place given to common prayer, prayer books, confessional statements
  • Laity, ministry of the baptized not given nearly adequate attention
  • The wonderful image of the life of the Trinity is not applied in as fulsome a way as it was described in the beginning. Something is missing in the middle between the contemplation of the life of God and the 'nuts and bolts' of structures: common prayer, the life of the eucharist, where our lives and the life of God meet. Reflection on the eucharistic centre of Christian life ought to provide a way to explore the mystery of our life in communion with each other.
  • One Canadian bishop wrote of observing the utmost of respect being shown for the varied positions on the controversial issue of homosexuality: "if we prayerfully and with deep sensitivity continue to listen to one another, we will experience real communion and that amazing Anglican tolerance for different viewpoints and convictions." This sort of reflection, repeated throughout the responses, indicates that one of the things missing from the Report is the question of how to nurture and sustain the kinds of virtues that hold us in communion.
  • Lack of definition of what it means to 'be in communion'; concrete examples of what break in communion means; terms such as 'primacy' are not adequately defined. It would be helpful to know under what conditions international authority might need to be exercised, in order to discern what kind of authority is needed. Some spoke of the need for 'clear boundaries,' or a delimiting of the 'circle' or 'playing field' in order to discern where diversity is good, tolerable, desirable, and what the limits are. Others expressed the concern: do we need as much doctrinal clarity as the document seems to call the alarm for?
  • There is a need to delve far deeper into the complex relationships between cultures and Christian faith. Further, there needs to be an awareness of the function of "Anglican culture" as a cultural medium itself.
  • "Reason" is not carefully defined within the 'container' of Scripture, tradition and reason. The 'reason' that functions in the document is more akin to instrumentality, but our Anglican tradition demands more careful use of faith-nurtured reason.
  • The nature of authority itself is not treated adequately. Some see a need to distinguish different kinds and exercises of authority (i.e. legislative, moral, 'leadership', 'servant')
  • Why are the values of dialogue, communication, consultation and collegiality not represented, let alone held up and reflected upon as "instruments of unity"? One respondent suggested that the metaphor of 'friend' in John's Gospel might be expanded. What does the metaphor of 'friend' say to a relationship of commonality and struggle? Autonomy is used as a derogatory term, yet friendship is a relationship of autonomous adults. The hidden metaphor of the Report seems to be that of children requiring discipline.

IV. Problematic Presuppositions and Theological Difficulties

  • Some question "why this report and why now?" There is a suggestion that there may be an attempt to force compliance regarding some current issues in the Communion.
  • Some Canadian respondents echo the concerns expressed by Most Rev'd Glauco Soares de Lima who, speaking of his worries about the ongoing colonialism between countries and churches in the North and those in the South, has said, "the Report is a sign of a still colonial mind, even in the structures described."
  • The hermeneutical standpoint is one that reflects the dominant culture in Anglicanism (dominant not in terms of numbers, but in terms of history and power): it is a privileged, minority voice that speaks throughout the document.
  • There is an overt clericalism running throughout the document, both in terms of the treatment of authority and in the absence of sustained reflection on the ministry of the baptized and their participation in the decision-making part of the life of the church
  • Some circular arguments (see page 41, which suggests that something is true because people say it is so)
  • Assumes an economic basis of the past which may not be the reality today (for example, Communion staff as instruments of unity
  • Some responses show a concern that the Report is trying to address realities from a standpoint of a need to fix something, without really asking what it is that is broken? A number express the belief that present structures seem able to serve, even serve quite well, when used creatively
  • Related to this concern is one about the oxymoronic concept of "impaired communion" . "Our fundamental theology of communion, has been that of independent churches bound in mutual love, and responsible to one another. Has there been a change?."
  • There are strong concerns that the documents cited in Virginia (ARCIC, for example), have not the status to which the authors of the Report appeal. Reception needs to be taken more seriously.
  • Many responses worry about growing curialism and centralized authority, a trend that is seen to be a fundamental threat to Anglican understandings of church governance, to synods, to the role of the laity in the church. One Diocesan report recalled very real concerns surrounding Lambeth Conference 1867, that this conference and world-wide consultation of bishops would lead to a jurisdictional and legislative curia and magesterium. The American, Colonial, and Irish bishops had requested the conference, but many other bishops (including York) refused to take part in the first Lambeth Conference. Even those who participated in the conference opposed the proposal of a "Pan Anglican Assembly".
  • The setting up of alternative jurisdictions in places where there is already an ecclesial presence is an issue we have not dealt with, as one respondent reminded, since the setting up of the Jerusalem Bishopric in 1848 which caused John Henry Newman to leave the Church of England. "Are we simply the national expression of the catholic church, or are we an "alternative communion" or are we schismatics?"
  • Subsidiarity as a principle is a good one, however, the Report uses a 'top-down' rather than 'bottom-up' approach, and the Anglican preference, according to some of these Canadian responses, is the latter.
  • Strong expressions of the need to reflect theologically on principles of collegiality and processes of consensus-building, rather than rushing into concerns about legislation.

Respondents identified problematic assumptions about authority operating in the Report. One respondent observed that Virginia reads like an argument that is tilted towards the answer, "yes, we need central instruments of authority." What does that say about the questions that are being asked, and how they are being asked? Far more attention needs to be given to the shaping of the meaning of authority in our context. "In modernity and post-modernity, there has generally been a breakdown in response to traditional patterns and norms of authority. To assume that we can solve our problems by establishing patterns of authority without fundamentally addressing the question of authority itself is more likely to lead to fragmentation." There is far more hope to be found in the informal conversations, consultations, and deliberations that we are able to have when we are able to be honest, and really listen to each other.

V. Reflections on Partnership

At a recent meeting, Partners in Mission reflected on the gifts that their experience in living out 'principles of partnership' might add to the conversation. In addition to comments which have been included in the above sections III and IV, a distinctive contribution was made by that conversation.

  • We value collegiality - relationships are more important that issues. "We feel that Anglicanism is relational - not confessional." The Principles of PIM encourage mutual dialogue that is welcomes diversity as a gift, is honest and based on mutuality and equality and this should be shared and encouraged within our existing structures. The Principles of PIM promote an understanding of authority that is based on Power with not over, that nurtures partnership, not subordination. They give us an ability to live with significant difference. A single, centralized authority on matters of orthodoxy would seem to create more problems for unity. PIM notes a concern that there has been a shift from the Eames report to the Virginia report in the concept of "reception". Eames saw reception as moving from the margins towards the centre whereas Virginia seems to see reception as needing to move from the centre to the margins.
  • PIM can help out in nurturing Communion relationships in practical ways: PIM helps to make hospitality happen, companionships, people exchanges, student internship programs, Volunteers in Mission program, enabling International Partnership Consultations and visits. PIM facilitates consultation to answer specific problems, such as our consultation with Provincial Secretaries to elicit advice regarding the Residential Schools and Healing and Reconciliation. In addition, things like the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, staff travels, Companion Diocese Programs, and the encouraging of mission personnel are not to be minimized.
  • PIM brings particular gifts and experiences to the task of encouraging communication within the Communion. Anglicans meet, talk, share, accept, build trust, identify principles that arise out of consultations, conversations, relationships - this forms the basis of authority. PIM increases informal relationships and our degree of comfort at that level. (PIMC visit to Cuba - walking together was our most important experience in Cuba - that was our gift.) Our experience of diversity, differences, cultures, languages, races within the Communion and in Canada is a gift to offer the Communion towards better communication. We are not afraid to be vulnerable, are willing to learn from others. We share experiences of bringing people together to talk and share stories of friendship and hospitality.


Comments: Excepts from Reports

Chapter 2
"There is a good theological section on the nature of grace, gift, and the Trinitarian life of unity and interdependence. ... But Anglicans have not come to full maturity in terms of choosing responsibility within their own authority."

"By beginning with a reflection on the basis of the church in God's gracious gift of communion in the Trinity, the document reminds us that our practical decisions about church polity must ultimately reflect the nature of the grace we have received. However, the question arose in our discussion whether the document is as successful as one would like in providing this kind of continuity between theological insights and practical polity. (emphasis added) ... The fourth chapter… attempts a theological grounding of the structure of the church, and the argument seems occasionally unclear or inconsistent. As a result there is a danger that the theological rationale for our structures of authority might give way to merely practical considerations. It seems crucial that the church continue to reflect prayerfully on its origin and identity in the gospel, so that practical structures may truly reflect who we are called to be."

Chapter 3
"The statement that 'the personal and relational life of the Church is always prior to the structural' (is important). That priority of the personal and the relational is surely a dominant characteristic of the new life in Christ. However, as the Report emphasizes, without enabling structures the relational and personal aspects of the Christian life are unsupported."

"On page 19, the report speaks of a 'web of structures which hold together and guide a common life of belonging' within the Anglican Communion. Those structures are not 'carved in stone.' Rather, they are continually in process of change and development."

"The document appears to assume that the unity of the Anglican Communion is an absolute goal, to be maintained at all costs. The question arose as to whether the breaking up on the Communion would necessarily and in all circumstances be a disaster, or whether occasions might arise in which our commitment to the Gospel was more important than our commitment to the structures of Anglicanism. After all, in the 16th century there was a context in which our tradition recognized that the freedom of the Gospel was more important than unity. We are all agreed that unity is a major priority in our present context; but it is not absolute, and the theological reasons for this priority must be articulated, and not taken for granted. Two reasons spring to mind immediately. Firstly, the international and intercultural nature of the Anglican communion (our catholicism) is an important sign in this fragmented world. Secondly, our understanding of truth as historically and culturally mediated means that 'it is essential for the fullest apprehension of truth that context is in dialogue with context' (p.16); this implies that our commitment to a community in dialogue must take precedence (at least in the short run) over our own grasp of the truth. It is important to note that when we articulate the theological reasons for unity, then that unity is qualified and given a form. It is not unity at all costs, but a structure which serves and represents an aspect of the Gospel."

Chapter 4

On 'going to school with Christ':
"Once Christian and within the gift of grace, we are singly and corporately responsible and accountable to progress ('go to school') in that gift of grace. This accountability should be the exigency which calls us to attentiveness and interdependence in our levels of church life, and provides the 'glue' for our communion. But often these exigencies of accountability are ignored, given the convenient distance of 'levels' of the church."

"The Church as teaching community has to mean much more than simply listening to a sermon on Sunday..."

Chapter 5

"This section could be the basis for an Anglican 'Constitution of the Church.' It is a blend of the theology of the Anglican Congress, some principles arising out of Roman experience, some of the basic virtues required to operate within it (5:19, "Attentiveness"), all based on the theological organizing principle koinonia (which has become an ecumenical basis for 20th century re-focusing on the nature of the church, based on apostolic principles). Anglicans should be gathering around 5:24 in pride and affirmation, but for that to be actuality requires the will of the communion."


'Read, Mark, Learn'

OBJECTIVESTo invite all viewers to explore the Bible for themselves.
To model and encourage a self-aware, reflective approach to reading Scripture

THEMESIn many different ways, Scripture functions as a foundation for Anglican life, individual and corporate.
Scripture is approached and interpreted in diverse ways by different Anglicans
Each person brings presuppositions and life experience to the text, and this affects how they read and understand it.

MESSAGEAnglican Christianity is dialogic; we need each other, with our different approaches,
to interpret Scripture for the life of the Church.

"I talked about the video with others, after I viewed it."
"I want to read the Bible (again)."
"I'd like to discuss Bible readings with others in my parish."
"It's true. I guess I do bring my own ideas and presuppositions when reading the Bible. One of them is __________________."
"We don't all read the Bible the same way. This fact of life can be healthy and at times even enriching."

AUDIENCEAdult Anglicans and others who are interested or inquiring.
Should be accessible also to thoughtful teens and young adults.
Vocabulary baseline at Grade Ten. Conceptual baseline at Grade Twelve.
Pitched at the level of A&E Biography.

MARKETSAnglican Church intra-organizational. Retail distribution.

TECHNICALBroadcast quality.

PROD'N VALUESSpecialty cable networks. Between Vision TV and A&E.

ELEMENTSon camera commentators
on camera multiparty discourse
stills ....classical; woodcuts; ikons; MSS
b-roll ... Canadian Anglicans ... Bible study, liturgy, ecclesiastical commissions, personal daily prayer; social activism; outreach
licensed documentary footage ... Holy Land, etc.
licensed score and soundtrack

LENGTHproposed as 30 minutes. Possibly to 40 minutes.

COSTINGbasic scenario at 30K > 35 K

FUNDINGfoundations, individual parishes, individual donors, fundraising assistance

TIMELINErevised: in the next triennium


Rapport final du
Comité liturgique épiscopal francophone (CLEF)

Le mandat

Source : GS/1-9 juin 1995, acte 63
[Il est résolu] que ce Synode général instruise le Comité de la foi, du culte et du ministère (Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee) à préparer le plus tôt possible du matériel complémentaire au Book of Alternative Services contenant une traduction française de la sainte eucharistie (p. 185 ss.), du baptême (p. 151 ss.), du mariage (p. 525 ss.), et des funérailles (p. 571 ss. du livre sus-mentionné) afin de le soumettre au conseil du Synode Général pour usage là où l'Ordinaire le permettra.
Dans les travaux du comité, il faudra tenir compte des Lignes directrices d'adaptation et de traduction du Book of Alternative Services dans d'autres contextes culturels du Comité de la doctrine et du culte (Doctrine and Worship Committee) de l'Église anglicane du Canada. (Procès-verbal: item 86 / 17)

Les membres du comité
Rév. Gérard Lavallée (diocèse de Montréal), président
Mme Kathleen Arsenault (diocèse d'Ottawa)
Mme Joanne Beall (diocèse d'Ottawa)
M. Michel Gagnon (diocèse de Montréal), secrétaire
Rév. Louis-Marie Gallant (diocèse de Québec)
Rév. Marc-Philippe Vincent(diocèse de Montréal)
Rév. Solange Vouvé (diocèse de Québec)
Chan. Pierre Voyer (diocèse de Québec)

Membres externes (experts, liaisons et observateurs)
Mme Ann Cruickshank liaison avec le comité Faith, Worship and Ministry
Rév. John Gibaut, Ph. D. expert-conseil de l'Église anglicane
Rév. Barbara Liotscos représentante du bureau national de l'Église anglicane (janv.-mai 2000)
Chan. John Simons, Ph. D. expert-conseil de l'Église anglicane

Les rencontres
Le comité s'est réuni à six reprises, entre le 29 janvier 2000 et le 3 février 2001, au Séminaire théologique diocésain de Montréal. Le chanoine John Simons fut l'hôte des travaux.

Les travaux préliminaires du comité

  • Inventaire des textes disponibles en français
Inventaire des textes insatisfaisants
Inventaire des textes satisfaisants adaptables
Inventaire des textes soumis (ou déjà produits) par les membres du Comité
Identification des usagers potentiels des traductions préparées par le Comité
Établissement des lignes directrices qui guideront les travaux du comité

Les lignes directrices suivies par le comité dans ses travaux

  • Identification des exigences ecclésiales et œcuméniques
Respect des exigences du français contemporain tout en tenant compte des différences idiomatiques et culturelles, et en respectant le texte du Book of Alternative Services
Économie dans la traduction des rubriques
Élaboration d'un texte standard plutôt que d'une traduction dans l'idiome local
Respect des principaux courants de pratique ecclésiale
Emploi d'un langage exclusif

Le travail accompli

  • Traduction française de la liturgie eucharistique du Book of Alternative Services, pp. 185 ss.
Traduction française du rite baptismal du Book of Alternative Services, pp. 151 ss.
Traduction française de la liturgie du mariage du Book of Alternative Services, pp. 528 ss.
Traduction française du rite funéraire du Book of Alternative Services, pp. 571 ss.
Élaboration des recommandations au Synode Général concernant le culte, le ministère, et les structures d'une action nationale concertée pour le ministère francophone.

Les travaux supplémentaires

Voici une liste des autres documents préparés ou assemblés par certains membres du comité et que l'ensemble des membres du comité estime devoir être mis à la disposition du public :
Traduction française des préfaces propres (notamment pour accompagner la prière eucharistique 3)
Livret de l'eucharistie comparée (BCP, BAS et texte français), avec la liste des références bibliques
Livret anglais-français des liturgies de l'eucharistie et du baptême, tel qu'utilisé à l'église de l'Avent
Traduction française des Propres de la liturgie eucharistique dominicale selon le Lectionnaire œcuménique révisé, incluant les collectes, la liste des lectures, les prières d'offertoire et de post-communion.

Recommandations du Comité au Synode général de 2001

Le Comité liturgique épiscopal francophone (CLEF) recommande au Synode général de l'Église anglicane du Canada :

  1. Que ses travaux ne soient pas publiés sous forme de livre relié (type BCP, BAS).
  2. Que toute publication (qu'elle soit par fascicule ou disponible sur support informatique ou par accès informatique) existe dans une version qui inclut les textes anglais et français en parallèle.
  3. Que l'Église anglicane du Canada crée une banque centrale de données informatiques des traductions soumises par ce comité, pour être téléchargées sans frais par les diocèses et les commu-nautés chrétiennes qui en font la demande, l'utilisation de ces textes étant sujette à la permission de l'Ordinaire local. Cette base de données comprendra toutes les traductions soumises par ce Comité au Synode général 2001 ainsi que les révisions et les ajouts subséquents soumis à l'approbation de ce même Synode.
  4. Que soit développée une banque internet de données plus exhaustive pour les documents « hors mandat » de ce comité
    (les autres textes, la musique, les préfaces et les propres, le lectionnaire, les références bibliques, etc.)
  5. Que l'Église nationale fournisse aux diocèses ou aux communautés qui en font la demande une disquette ou un fascicule original des documents qu'ils pourront reproduire eux-mêmes.
  6. Que l'Église nationale fasse la promotion de ces documents et publicise notamment dans le Journal anglican, les journaux diocésains et les sites internet de l'Église les moyens par lesquels on peut les obtenir.
  7. Que le Comité liturgique épiscopal francophone devienne un comité ad hoc :
    • qui se réunira au besoin pour fournir des ressources supplémentaires en français ;
    • qui privilégie les moyens électroniques d'échange entre les membres, tout en gardant la possibilité de se réunir (physiquement) jusqu'à 3 fois l'an pour répondre à des besoins spécifiques.


Michel Gagnon, secrétaire,
pour le Comité liturgique épiscopal francophone

Final Report
of the French-Language Episcopal Liturgical Committee
to the July 2001 General Synod

The Mandate

Source: GS/ 1995 June 1-9 / Act 63
[It is moved] that this General Synod instructs the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee to prepare as soon as possible supplementary material to the Book of Alternative Services containing French translations of the Holy Eucharist (pp. 185 ff.), Holy Baptism (pp. 151 ff.), the Celebration of Marriage (pp. 525 ff.) and the Funeral Liturgy (pp. 571 ff in the Book) to be submitted to the Council of the General Synod for authorization for use where permitted by the Ordinary.
The work of the Committee should be done according to the Guidelines on Adaptation and Translation of the Book of Alternative Services for Various Cultural Settings of the Doctrine and Worship Committee of the Anglican Church of Canada. (From Minute 86 / 17)

Members of the Committee
Rev. Gérard Lavallée(Diocese of Montréal), chair
Mrs. Kathleen Arsenault(Diocese of Ottawa)
Mrs. Joanne Beall(Diocese of Ottawa)
Mr. Michel Gagnon(Diocese of Montréal), secretary
Rev. Louis-Marie Gallant(Diocese of Québec)
Rev. Marc-Philippe Vincent(Diocese of Montréal)
Rev. Solange Vouvé(Diocese of Québec)
Canon Pierre Voyer(Diocese of Québec)

Resource Members (experts, liaisons and observers)
Mrs. Ann Cruickshankliaison with Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee
Rev. John Gibaut, Ph. from National Church
Rev. Barbara LiotscosRepresentative of the National Church (Jan - May 2000)
Canon John Simons, Ph. from National Church


Members of the Committee met six (6) times between January 29, 2000 and February 3, 2001, at the Montreal Diocesan Theological College. Canon John Simon hosted the proceedings.

Preliminary Work of the Committee
Make an inventory of the available French translations
Make an inventory of the rejected French translations
Make an inventory of the adaptable French translations
Make an inventory of the French translations by the Committee members
Identify the potential users of the translation prepared by the Committee
Establish guidelines for the work of the Committee

Guidelines for the Work of the Committee

  • Identify Anglican and ecumenical requirements for the translation
  • Respect contemporary French requirements while being sensitive to idiomatic and cultural differences as well as being faithful to the text of the Book of Alternative Services
  • Translate only the necessary rubrics
  • Produce a standard text rather than a translation in the local idiom
  • Respect the main churchmanship practices
  • Use inclusive language

The Work Achieved

French translation of the B.A.S. Holy Baptism, pp.151ff.;
French translation of the B.A.S. Holy Eucharist, pp. 185ff.;
French translation of the B.A.S. Celebration of Marriage, pp. 528ff.;
French translation of the B.A.S. Funeral Liturgy, pp. 571ff.;
Preparation of Recommendations to General Synod on liturgy, ministry and structures for French ministry

The Supplemental Work Achieved

Here is a list of other documents prepared or assembled by members of the Committee, and that the members consider should be made available to the public:

  • French Translation of the Proper prefaces (especially for Eucharistic Prayer 3)
  • Booklet with parallel Eucharistic rites (B.C.P., B.A.S., and French text), with a didactical reference column
  • Booklet in English and French of eucharistic and Baptismal rites in use at the church of the Advent in Montreal
  • French translation of the Propers of the Church year for Sunday eucharists according to the Revised Ecumenical Lectionary which includes Collects, Readings, Prayers over the Gifts and after Communion.

The Committee's Recommendations to General Synod of 2001

The French-Language Episcopal Liturgical Committee (CLEF) recommends to the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada that:

  1. The result of its work not be published in book form (such as B.C.P. & B.A.S.);
  2. Eventual publications (in booklet form or by Central Data Base) be always made available with English and French texts in parallel fashion;
  3. The National Church create a Central Data Base of the Committee's translations to be accessed and distributed free of charge by Dioceses and Congregations upon request, provided that these texts have received local Ordinary sanction. This Central Data Base would included all translations submitted by the Committee to General Synod of 2001 as well as subsequent revisions and additions authorized by General Synod;
  4. This Central Data Base also include supplementary materials not included in the present mandate such as hymns, Propers and Prefaces, Lectionary, Biblical references, ...);
  5. The National Church supply upon request from Dioceses and Congregations original diskettes or booklets formats of the Committee's translation which they can reproduce at will;
  6. The National Church promote and publicize such documents in the Anglican Journal, Diocesan papers, and Web sites of the Church as well as the ways by which they can be obtained;
  7. The French-Language Episcopal Liturgical Committee (CLEF) become an Ad Hoc Committee which could meet in person up to three (3) times a year for specific matters, as well as by electronic means at other times according to need, in order to provide supplementary French materials.

lmg / Michel Gagnon, secretary,
for The French-Language Episcopal Liturgical Committee (CLEF)
translation: Louis-Marie Gallant

Please note: these texts will be available as a separate document for consideration at General Synod.


Liturgy After 2001: Report and Recommendations from the Liturgical Consultations

In the fall of 2000, Faith Worship and Ministry requested that the House of Bishops and the Council of General Synod consider the reports and recommendations from the liturgical consultations which were held in the spring and summer. It also made some specific recommendations about follow-up.

The FWM resolution reads: "That

  1. The House of Bishops and CoGS receive and discuss the reports and recommendations of the four provincial worship consultations.
  2. Consideration be given by the House of Bishops, CoGS, and General Synod to an effective means by which regional liturgical forums might be established which can meet regularly and continue to address the recommendations made by the consultations. Such forums might include representatives from each diocese with adequate indigenous and youth representation, at least two diocesan bishops, regional members of FWM, and Anglican liturgists and theologians from the region.
  3. General Synod be asked to extend approval for the use of the BAS until such time as General Synod determines otherwise.
  4. The House of Bishops address the issue of a unifying common lectionary for the ACC, including necessary revisions to the calendar/sanctorale."

Summary of the Consultations

"As a means of enabling the Canadian Church to address a number of significant issues arising from the expiry of the mandate for the BAS in 2001, four provincial consultations on Worship after 2001 were held. A total of 107 diocesan delegates participated (65 were men (61%) and 42 were women (39%); 58 were clergy (54%) and 49 were not ordained (46%); 8 delegates were aboriginal and 2 were francophone; 21 attended the consultation at Sorrento Centre, BC (British Columbia &Yukon, which included the Alberta dioceses of Rupert's Land; 23 attended the consultation at the Dr. Jessie Saulteaux Centre in Beausejour MB (Rupert's Land), 32 attended the consultation at Thorneloe University, Sudbury (Ontario) and 31 attended the consultation at Villa Madonna in Renforth NB (Canada).Of the 30 dioceses, only 3 did not send delegates; 13 diocesan delegations included a bishop, commissary or diocesan staff person.

A variety of local partners including ecumenical partners, and an ACIP partner also participated, along with several FWM committee members and national staff.

The hoped for outcomes of the consultations were that they provide an opportunity for participants to speak and share their hopefulness about possibilities for our common worship life, and for Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee members to be attentive to the conversation, and gather information to share in preparation for General Synod 2001, and that they encourage and enable participants to continue the conversation in their dioceses and parishes.

The hopes that were expressed by the four consultations for the future of worship in the Anglican Church of Canada were as follows:

B.C. and Yukon: that worship has integrity and interprets traditions in cultural settings without violating either; that it is a transforming experience, and an encounter with the living God.

Rupert's Land: that our worship respects both our diversity and our common tradition; that it is a relevant part of daily life (Sunday a.m. - rest of the week); and that it enables us to be in the presence of God with trust.

Ontario: that our worship become accessible and open to seekers and the disenfranchised as well as to the current church family; that our worship be evocative (beautiful, honest, joyful, formative); that the church while grounded in the faith and tradition of the wider Church, reflects and embodies the culture of the local community; and that Anglican worship be lively, engaging, spirited, with a sense of passion and purpose.

Canada: that our worship would mediate more of God's love and presence to all people; that the Anglican Church would be more flexible and relevant to contemporary diversity; that there be a core/centre of liturgical unity.

To further these hopes for the future of Anglican worship in Canada, the consultations made a number of recommendations, several of which emerged from many or all of the consultations.

Recommendations gathered from consultations:

The strong recommendation emerging from all four provincial consultations was that no major revision of either BAS or BCP be undertaken at this time. Rather, the recommendations regarding the direction of liturgical development in Canada focused on the following:

  • developing a means or model for continuing the consultative process throughout the church to identify what revision (modification or enhancement) of our authorized texts is necessary, to identify what is needed in addition to our authorized texts and in particular, where applicable, to prioritize translation projects of authorized texts
  • developing and providing access to a library of authorized liturgical resources through gathering authorized liturgical resources already in use around the country and in the communion; assessing new liturgical resources in regard to Anglican theology, liturgy, mission and our ecumenical partnerships ;
  • developing service templates which would outline a common shape to Canadian Anglican liturgical rites, and give more freedom for experimentation with regard to particular texts
  • enabling and encouraging development of new liturgical resources for use within the framework given by these templates, including resources for healing services and worship resources for children and youth.
  • developing and providing resources for widespread, ongoing education and training for liturgical planning and leadership
  • addressing the issue of a unifying common lectionary for the ACC, including necessary revisions to the calendar/sanctorale."


Night Prayer

An Order for Compline



For use at the end of the day, by a group or individual, Night Prayer is based on the ancient office of compline and reflects the simplicity and themes of monastic bedside prayer.

Night Prayer invokes the presence of God, whose word and love accompany and sustain us through the darkness,enabling us to offer prayer for others as we "let go" into sleep, and at the last, into death.

In Night Prayer we prepare ourselves spiritually for the night. It would be a mistake, however, to see this office as a kind of spiritual lullaby that sends us off to a peaceful sleep. Night is not always peaceful. Night can be a time of stealth and danger, for when we are sleeping, we are vulnerable. We are vulnerable to both external forces and to the hidden darkness of our own hearts and minds. In sleep this shadow side can stir and rise to challenge us. The biblical imagery in Night Prayer affirms the presence of the One who both surrounds and fills us and places us within the safe circle of God's love. Our awareness of divine love acts as a catalyst that enables us to meet the challenges of night and to grow in faith "even while we sleep".

Night Prayer also offers us a daily discipline that empowers us to negotiate the 'dark' segments of our life journeys. In Night Prayer we learn to surrender conscious control into God's hands. We learn to trusteven when we are vulnerable. We learn how to walk through the darkness and allow God's love to transform the deepest darkness of our own souls, our most secret faults, and bring us to the light ofeternal day. In this sense Night Prayer has a profound capacity for both personal and corporate transformation.

The heart of the service is a simple pattern of psalm, scripture reading and prayer. This pattern is preceded by a gathering rite which may include penitential prayer, and concludes with the Lord's Prayer and dismissal.

Concerning the service

Opening dialogue
Penitential rite (optional): The leader may choose one of three options:
  1. Kyrie
  • An antiphonal prayer
  • Prayer of Confession and Pardon
  • Hymn: The traditional compline hymn in contemporary language may be sung. Music for this hymn,and two alternative hymns, can be found in the appendix, pages [ ]


    One of the printed psalms may be chosen according to the day of the week, or another suitable psalm may be used. An alternative version of the daily psalms is provided in the appendix, pages [ ].

    Scripture Reading

    One of the printed readings may be chosen according to the day of the week or another suitable reading may be used.
    The Song of Simeon (Luke 2.29-32) may be said or sung. A brief responsory and antiphon precede the canticle and the antiphon is repeated after.
    The Apostles' Creed may be said.


    Recollection: The leaders may choose one or both of the two prayers provided.
    Intercession: The leader may choose one of three options.
    Two traditional prayers and a litany are provided.
    The leader may invite the gathered community to offer their own prayer aloud or in silence.
    Collect: One of the printed collects may be chosen according to the day of the week or another suitable collect may be used.
    The Lord's Prayer: A brief responsory precedes the Lord's Prayer. The leader may invite the people to pray in their own language, or to use one of the two forms provided, in the following manner:
    "Using your own language (or, form __), let us pray together as Jesus taught us."
    Alternatively one of the two meditations on the Lord's Prayer provided in the appendix,
    page 30 may be used.
    The service ends with the dismissal.

    Night Prayer An Order for Compline

    When all have gathered, the leader begins, the people responding with the portions in bold type.

    The God of peace grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.

    Our help is in the name of the Lord,
    the maker of heaven and earth.

    The angels of God guard us through the night,
    and quiet the powers of darkness.

    The Spirit of God be our guide,
    to lead us to peace and to glory.

    It is but lost labour that we haste to rise up early,
    and so late take our rest, and eat the bread of anxiety.
    For those beloved of God are given gifts
    even while they sleep.

    One of the following penitential forms may be used.

    Form 1
    For the forgiveness of our sins and offences,
    let us pray to the Lord.


    Lord have mercy,
    Christ have mercy,
    Lord have mercy.
    Form 2
    We have wounded your love.
    O God, heal us.

    We stumble in the darkness.
    Light of the world, transfigure us.

    We forget that we are your home.
    Spirit of God, dwell in us.

    Eternal Spirit,
    living God,
    in whom we live and move and have our being,
    all that we are, have been, and shall be
    is known to you.
    In the very secret of our hearts
    you know all that rises to trouble us.
    Living flame, burn into us.
    Cleansing wind, blow through us.
    Fountain of water, well up within us;
    that we may love and praise
    in deed and in truth. Amen.

    Form 3
    Dear God, we thank you for all that is good,
    for our creation and our humanity,
    for the stewardship you have given us of this planet earth,
    for the gifts of life and of one another,
    for your love which is unbounded and eternal.

    Merciful God,
    we have not loved you with our whole heart,
    nor our neighbours as ourselves.
    For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
    forgive us what we have been,
    accept us as we are,
    and guide what we shall be.

    O God of mercy,
    You forgive our past sin,
    You strengthen us in your gift of eternal life,
    You shape us for glory.
    O God of mercy, we thank you.

    The following or some other suitable hymn may be sung. Music and other hymns may be found in the appendix, pages 22-24.

    To you before the close of day, Creator of all things, we pray that, in your saving constancy, our guard and keeper you would be.

    Save us from troubled, restless sleep; from all ill dreams your children keep. So calm our minds that fears may cease and rested bodies wake in peace.

    A healthy life we ask of you: the fire of love in us renew, and when the dawn new light will bring, your praise and glory we shall sing.

    Almighty Father, hear our cry through Jesus Christ, our Lord , most high, whom with the Spirit we adore forever and for evermore


    One of the following psalms may be said or sung on the day indicated or on any other day. Other suitable selections may be substituted. An alternative version of the psalms may be found in the appendix, pages 25-29.

    Sunday (or Saint's Day) Psalm 8

    O Lord our governor, *

    how exalted is your name in all the world!

    Out of the mouths of infants and children *

    your majesty is praised above the heavens.

    You have set up a stronghold

    against your adversaries, *
    to quell the enemy and the avenger.

    When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, *

    the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,

    What are mortals that you should be mindful of them? *

    Mere human beings that you should seek them out

    You have made them but little lower than the angels; *

    you adorn them with glory and honour;

    You give them mastery over the works of your hands; *

    you put all things under their feet:

    All sheep and oxen, *

    even the wild beasts of the field,

    The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, *

    and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.

    O Lord our governor, *

    how exalted is your name in all the world!

    Monday Psalm 4

    Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; *

    you set me free when I am hard-pressed;
    have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

    "You mortals, how long will you dishonour my glory; *

    how long will you worship dumb idols
    and run after false gods?"

    Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful; *

    when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.

    Tremble, then, and do not sin; *

    speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.

    Offer the appointed sacrifices *

    and put your trust in the Lord.

    Many are saying, "Oh, that we might see better times!" *

    Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord.

    You have put gladness in my heart, *

    more than when grain and wine and oil increase.

    I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *

    for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

    Tuesday Psalm 16.1, 5-11

    Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you; *

    I have said to the Lord, "You are my Lord,
    my good above all other."

    O Lord, you are my portion and my cup; *

    it is you who uphold my lot.

    My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; *

    indeed, I have a goodly heritage.

    I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; *

    my heart teaches me, night after night.

    I have set the Lord always before me; *

    because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.

    My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; *

    my body also shall rest in hope.

    For you will not abandon me to the grave, *

    nor let your holy one see the Pit.

    You will show me the path of life; *
    in your presence there is fullness of joy,
    and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

    Wednesday Psalm 23

    The Lord is my shepherd; *

    I shall not be in want.

    He makes me lie down in green pastures *

    and leads me beside still waters.

    He revives my soul *

    and guides me along right pathways for his name's sake.

    Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I shall fear no evil; *

    for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

    You spread a table before me in the presence of those
    who trouble me; *

    you have anointed my head with oil,
    and my cup is running over.

    Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life, *

    and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

    Thursday Psalm 42.1-7, 10

    As the deer longs for the water-brooks, *

    so longs my soul for you, O God.

    My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God; *

    when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?

    My tears have been my food day and night, *
    while all day long they say to me,

    "Where now is your God!"

    I pour out my soul when I think on these things: *

    how I went with the multitude and led them into the
    house of God,
    With the voice of praise and thanksgiving, *
    among those who keep holy-day.

    Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *

    and why are you so disquieted within me?

    Put your trust in God; *

    for I will yet give thanks to him,
    who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

    The Lord grants his loving-kindness in the daytime; *

    in the night season his song is with me,
    a prayer to the God of my life.

    Friday Psalm 31:1-5

    In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame; *

    deliver me in your righteousness.

    Incline your ear to me; *

    make haste to deliver me.

    Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
    for you are my crag and my stronghold; *

    for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me.

    Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, *

    for you are my tower of strength.

    Into your hands I commend my spirit, *

    for you have redeemed me,
    O Lord, O God of truth.

    Saturday Psalm 139.1-11

    Lord, you have searched me out and known me; *

    you know my sitting down and my rising up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.

    You trace my journeys and my resting-places *

    and are acquainted with all my ways.

    Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, *

    but you, O Lord, know it altogether.

    You press upon me behind and before *

    and lay your hand upon me.

    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; *

    it is so high that I cannot attain to it.

    Where can I go then from your Spirit? *

    where can I flee from your presence?

    If I climb up to heaven, you are there; *

    if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

    If I take the wings of the morning *

    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

    Even there your hand will lead me *

    and your right hand hold me fast.

    If I say, "Surely the darkness will cover me, *

    and the light around me turn to night,"

    Darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day; *

    darkness and light to you are both alike.

    Either of the following may be used to conclude the psalm reading.

    Glory to the Father,
    and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
    as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever.


    Glory to God,
    Source of all being, eternal Word and Holy Spirit:
    as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever.

    Scripture Reading
    One of the following readings may be read on the day indicated or on any other day. Other suitable selections may be substituted.

    Sunday (or Saint's Day) Revelation 22.1-5

    The angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river, is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

    Thanks be to God.

    Monday Ezekiel 36.24-26

    I will take you from the nations and, and gather you from all thecountries, and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all youruncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

    Thanks be to God.

    Tuesday Matthew 11.28-30

    "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

    Thanks be to God.

    Wednesday 2 Corinthians 4.6-10

    It is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.

    Thanks be to God.

    Thursday Ephesians 3.16-19

    I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

    Thanks be to God.

    Friday Philippians 2.5-11

    Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    Thanks be to God.

    Saturday Hebrews 4.9-11a

    A sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God's rest also cease from their labours as God did. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest.

    Thanks be to God.


    Into your hands, O God, I commend my spirit;
    For you have redeemed me, O God of truth and love.

    Keep us, O God, as the apple of your eye;
    Hide us under the shadow of your wings.

    Preserve us, O God, waking,
    and guard us sleeping;
    that awake we may watch with Christ,
    and asleep we may rest in peace.

    In Easter Season, add Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

    The Song of Simeon (Luke 2.29-32)

    Lord, now you let your servant go in peace; *
    your word has been fulfilled.

    My own eyes have seen the salvation *
    which you have prepared in the sight of every people;

    a light to reveal you to the nations *
    and the glory of your people Israel.

    Glory to the Father,
    and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.


    Glory to God,
    Source of all being, eternal Word and Holy Spirit: *
    as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever.

    Preserve us O God, waking, and guard us sleeping;
    that awake we may watch with Christ,
    and asleep we may rest in peace.

    In Easter Season, add Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

    The Apostles' Creed may be said.

    I believe in God
    The Father almighty,
    Creator of heaven and earth.

    I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
    He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
    and born of the Virgin Mary.
    He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died, and was buried.
    He descended to the dead.
    On the third day he rose again.
    He ascended into heaven,
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again
    to judge the living and the dead.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit,
    the holy catholic Church,
    the communion of saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body,
    and the life everlasting. Amen.

    Prayer After a silence, one or both of the following prayers may be used.


    it is night.

    The night is for stillness.

    Let us be still in the presence of God.

    It is night after a long day.

    What has been done has been done;
    what has not been done has not been done;
    let it be.

    The night is dark.

    Let our fears of the darkness of the world
    and of our own lives rest in you.

    The night is quiet.
    Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
    all dear to us,
    and all who have no peace.

    The night heralds the dawn.

    Let us look expectantly to a new day,
    new joys,
    new possibilities.
    In your name we pray. Amen.

    Come, O Spirit of God,
    and make within us your dwelling place and home.
    May our darkness be dispelled by your light,
    and our troubles calmed by your peace;
    may all evils be redeemed by your love,
    all pain transformed through the suffering of Christ,
    and all dying glorified by his risen life. Amen.

    One of the following prayers of intercession or the litany may be used.

    Keep watch, dear God,
    with those who work, or watch, or weep this night,
    and give your angels charge over those who sleep.
    Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary,
    bless the dying, soothe the suffering,
    pity the afflicted, shield the joyous;
    and all for your love's sake. Amen.

    O God, your unfailing providence
    sustains the earth which nurtures us and the life we live:
    watch over those, both night and day,
    who work while others sleep,
    and grant that we may never forget
    that our common life depends upon each other's toil;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    For the peace of the whole world, we pray to you:
    God of grace, hear our prayer.

    For those who are weary, sleepless, or depressed,
    we pray to you:
    God of grace, hear our prayer.

    For those who are hungry, sick, or frightened,
    we pray to you:
    God of grace, hear our prayer.

    For rest and refreshment, we pray to you:
    God of grace, hear our prayer.

    The leader may invite the gathered community to offer their own prayers silently or aloud, and bring the time of prayer to a closeby saying the following collect or any one of the daily collects.

    Gracious God, support us all the day long of this earthly life,
    until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,
    the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over,
    and our work is done.
    Then, O God, in your mercy,
    grant us safe lodging, a holy rest,
    and peace at the last;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
    Sunday (or Saint's Day)

    Almighty God,
    you have triumphed over the powers of darkness
    and in Jesus Christ have prepared a place for us

    in the new Jerusalem.

    May we, together with all your saints,
    give thanks for his resurrection,
    and praise him in that eternal city of which he is the light.


    Be our light in the darkness, O Lord,
    and in your great mercy defend us
    from all perils and dangers of this night;
    for the love of your only Son,
    our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


    Be present, merciful God,
    and protect us through the silent hours of this night
    so that we who are wearied by the changes
    and chances of this fleeting world
    may rest in your eternal changelessness;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


    Look down, O God, from your heavenly throne,
    and illumine this night with your celestial brightness;
    that by night as by day
    your people may glorify your holy Name;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


    Visit this place, O God,
    and drive far from it all snares of the enemy;
    let your holy angels dwell within
    to preserve us in peace;
    and let your blessing be upon us always;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


    O living God,
    in Jesus Christ you were laid in the tomb at this evening hour,
    and thereby sanctified the grave to be a bed of hope to your people.
    Give us courage and faith to die daily to our sin and pride,
    that even as this flesh and blood decays,
    our lives still may grow in you,
    that at the last, we may pass through the gate of death
    and live in you for ever. Amen.


    We give you thanks, O God,
    for revealing your Son Jesus Christ to us
    by the light of his resurrection.
    Grant that as we sing your glory at the close of this day,
    our joy may abound in the morning
    as we celebrate the Paschal mystery;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    I will lie down in peace and take my rest,
    for it is in God alone that I dwell unafraid.

    May God's name be praised beyond the furthest star,
    glorified and exalted above all for ever.

    The leader invites the gathered community to say the Lord's Prayer in their own language or using one of the following forms. Alternatively a meditation on the Lord's Prayer (appendix, page 30) may be used.

    Form 1

    Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name,
    your kingdom come,
    your will be done,
    on earth as in heaven.
    Give us today our daily bread.
    Forgive us our sins
    as we forgive those
    who sin against us.
    Save us from the time of trial,
    and deliver us from evil.
    For the kingdom, the power,
    and the glory are yours,
    now and for ever. Amen.

    Form 2

    Our Father, who art in heaven,
    hallowed be thy name,
    thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those
    who trespass against us.
    And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.
    For thine is the kingdom,
    the power, and the glory,
    for ever and ever. Amen.

    Let us bless the Lord.
    Thanks be to God.

    One of the following may be used.

    The almighty and merciful God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.

    The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and peace at the last. Amen.

    May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.

    May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

    May the God of peace give us peace in all ways and at all times. Amen.


    1. Music and Hymns

    'To you before the close of day'
    'Glory to Thee My God This Night'
    'Mon âme se repose en paix'

    2. ICEL Psalms

    Sunday (or Saint's Day) Psalm 8

    Lord our God,
    the whole world tells
    the greatness of your name.
    Your glory reaches
    beyond the stars.

    Even the babble of infants
    declares your strength,
    your power to halt
    the enemy and avenger.

    I see your handiwork
    in the heavens:
    the moon and the stars
    you set in place.

    What is humankind
    that you remember them,
    the human race
    that you care for them?

    You treat them like gods,
    dressing them in glory and splendour.
    You give them charge of the earth,
    laying all at their feet:

    cattle and sheep,
    wild beasts,
    birds of the sky,
    fish of the sea,
    every swimming creature.

    Lord our God,
    the whole world tells
    the greatness of your name.

    Monday Psalm 4

    Answer me when I call, faithful God.
    You cleared away my trouble;
    be good to me, listen to my prayer.
    How long, proud fools,
    will you insult my honour,
    loving lies and chasing shadows?
    Look! God astounds believers,
    the Lord listens when I call.

    Tremble, but do not despair.
    Attend to your heart,
    be calm through the night,
    worship with integrity,
    trust in the Lord.

    Cynics ask, "Who will bless us?
    Even God has turned away."
    You give my heart more joy
    than all their grain and wine.
    I sleep secure at night,
    You keep me in your care.

    Tuesday Psalm 16.1, 5-11

    Protect me, God,
    I turn to you for help.
    I profess, "You are my Lord,
    my greatest good."

    Lord, you measure out my portion,
    the shape of my future;
    you mark off the best place for me
    to enjoy my inheritance.

    I bless God who teaches me,
    who schools my heart even at night.

    I am sure God is here,
    right beside me.
    I cannot be shaken.
    So my heart rejoices,
    my body thrills with life,
    my whole being rests secure.

    You will not abandon me to Sheol,
    nor send your faithful one to death.
    You show me the road to life:
    boundless joy at your side for ever!

    Wednesday Psalm 23

    The Lord is my shepherd,
    I need nothing more.
    You give me rest in green meadows,
    setting me near calm waters,
    where you revive my spirit.
    You guide me along sure paths,
    you are true to your name.
    Though I should walk

    in death's dark valley,
    I fear no evil with you by my side,
    your shepherd's staff to comfort me.

    You spread a table before me
    as my foes look on.
    You soothe my head with oil;
    my cup is more than full.
    Goodness and love will tend me
    every day of my life.
    I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    as long as I shall live.

    Thursday Psalm 42.1-7, 10

    As a deer craves running water,
    I thirst for you, my God;
    I thirst for God,
    the living God.
    When will I see your face?

    Tears are my steady diet.
    Day and night I hear,
    "Where is your God?"

    I cry my heart out,
    I remember better days:
    when I entered the house of God,
    I was caught in the joyful sound
    of pilgrims giving thanks.

    Why are you sad, my heart?
    Why do you grieve?
    Wait for the Lord.
    I will yet praise God my saviour.

    The love God summoned by day
    sustained my praise by night,
    My prayer to the living God.

    Friday Psalm 31.1-5

    Shelter me, Lord,
    save me from shame.
    Let there be justice:
    save me!

    Help me! Listen!
    Be quick to the rescue!
    Be my fortress, my refuge.
    You, my rock and fortress,
    prove your good name.
    Guide me, lead me,
    free me from their trap.

    You are my shelter;
    I put myself in your hands,
    knowing you will save me,
    Lord God of truth.

    Saturday Psalm 139.1-11

    You search me, Lord, and know me.
    Wherever I sit or stand,
    you read my inmost thoughts;
    whenever I walk or rest,
    you know where I have been.

    Before a word slips from my tongue,
    Lord, you know what I will say.
    You close in on me,
    pressing your hand upon me.
    All this overwhelms me -
    too much to understand!

    Where can I hide from you?
    How can I escape your presence?
    I scale the heavens, you are there!
    I plunge to the depths, you are there!

    If I fly toward the dawn,
    or settle across the sea,
    even there you take hold of me,
    your right hand directs me.

    If I think night will hide me
    And darkness give me cover,
    I find darkness is not dark.
    For your night shines like day,
    darkness and light are one.

    Either of the following may be used to conclude the psalm reading.

    Glory to the Father,
    and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
    as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever.


    Glory to God,
    Source of all being, eternal Word and Holy Spirit:
    as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever. Amen.

    3. Meditations on the Lord's Prayer

    Form 1

    Eternal Spirit,
    Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
    Source of all that is and that shall be,
    Father and Mother of us all,
    Loving God, in whom is heaven:

    The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
    The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of

    the world!

    Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
    Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
    sustain our hope and come on earth.

    With the bread we need for today, feed us.
    In the hurts we absorb from one another,

    Forgive us.

    In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
    From trials too great to endure, spare us.
    From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

    For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
    Now and for ever. Amen.

    Form 2

    Abba, Amma, Beloved,
    your name be hallowed,
    your reign spread among us,
    your will be done well, at all times, in all places,
    on earth as in heaven.
    Give us the bread we need for today.
    Forgive us our sins
    as we forgive those who sin against us.
    Let us not fail in the time of our testing.
    Spare us from trials too sharp to endure.
    Free us from the grip of all evil powers.

    For yours is the reign, the power and the glory,
    the victory of love, for now and eternity,
    world without end. Amen and Amen.

    Common Praise, Anglican Book Centre, 1998, # 26 - "To You Before the Close of Day" Used in this draft with permission.

    Psalm texts are from The Book of Alternative Services (altered) and ICEL, The Psalter, Liturgy Training Publications: Chicago, 1994

    Scripture texts are from The New Revised Standard Version. Prayers are from:
    The Book of Common Prayer (The Anglican Church of Canada, 1962)
    The Book of Common Prayer (The Episcopal Church, 1979)
    The Book of Alternative Services (Canada, 1985)
    A New Zealand Prayer Book (The Church of the Province of New Zealand, 1989)
    Celebrating Common Prayer (The European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1992)
    A Prayer Book for Australia (The Anglican Church of Australia, 1995)
    Jim Cotter, Prayers at Night, Cairns Publications:Sheffield, 1991

    This supplementary service of "Night Prayer" is being made available where approved by the Ordinary



    David H. Gould, BA, MD,CM, FRCPC, FICA, A.Th.


    With the discovery of AIDS a number of fears have arisen regarding the risk of the infection being spread by the use of the "common cup" at the Eucharist. This in turn has led to a re-examination of Eucharistic practices and their potential for transmission of infection.3 This is not the first instance of such a concern being raised. The influenza epidemic in 1917 raised similar concerns, and the controversy has surfaced periodically since the sixteenth century.

    Transmission of infection

    The present use of the common cup is normative for Anglican churches, and poses no real hazard to health in normal circumstances.

    At the outset, it is important to recognize that there are a number of general principles that govern the transmission of infection. In no case can exposure to a single virus or bacterium result in infection. For each disease there is a minimum number of the agent (generally in the millions) that must be transmitted from person to person before infection can occur. Our defenses against stray bacteria are immense and can only be overwhelmed by very large numbers of the infective agents. Each infective agent has its own virulence, and each individual has his/her own "host factors" which determine that person's susceptibility to infection. The interaction of the two determines the risk of infection for the individual.

    It is important to note that the breakdown of all AIDS cases in the USA by risk groups has not significantly changed since the illness was first described, showing that the disease has very limited modes of spread. Not a single family member of a person with AIDS has contacted the disease, even though occasional sharing of drinking cups, eating utensils and on occasion, toothbrushes has occurred.

    Despite there now being many millions of cases of AIDS reported throughout the world, there remains no evidence of transmission by saliva, let alone any evidence of transmission by using common drinking utensils.(1) Furthermore, experimental evidence shows that wiping the chalice with the purificator reduces the bacterial count by 90%. (2)

    It should also be pointed out that the AIDS virus is destroyed by exposure to air, soap, and virtually any disinfectant (including alcohol) and therefore that normal cleaning procedures if performed carefully ensure protection. This should be remembered not only in the context of the Eucharist, but also in reference to those who minister to AIDS patients.(3)

    In an atmosphere increasingly dominated by litigation, no one in the medical profession is going to give any absolute reassurance even when scientific data indicates that strong reassurance can be provided.

    Other infections
    It must be admitted that it is difficult to be as reassuring in regards to the use of the common cup in the case of other infectious agents as is in the case of AIDS. But in the case of Hepatitis B virus - also of concern to health care workers because it too has been isolated from saliva of persons with hepatitis - it is possible to be reassuring. There is no evidence of any transmission by the oral administration of hepatitis-positive saliva. (4) The same is equally true of bacterial Meningitis.

    What is the risk?
    Were there any significant risk to the eucharistic practices of the Anglican church for so many centuries it would seem likely that the evidence would reflect an increased risk for Anglican priests, who have been performing the ablutions for centuries. In fact the opposite is true. Nor do priests appear to have been regularly stricken with any communicable disease that could be traced to the chalice in all that time. Additionally, no episode of disease attributable to the common cup has ever been reported.(5)(6) Thus for the average communicant it would seem that the risk of drinking from the common cup is probably less than the risk of air-borne infection in using a common building.(7)

    3 A Paper "AIDS & The Common Cup", by the Rev'd Matthew Johnson, Ronald Pearce FRCPC and Richard Mathias FRCPC presented to the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation (August 1993 Conference) contains further AIDS-specific material and can be obtained from Anglican Church House Library or the Resource Centre. A bibliography of related literature can also be obtained from the same sources.

    Were there any significant risk to the eucharistic practices of the Anglican church for so many centuries it would seem likely that insurance actuarial tables would reflect an increased risk for Anglican priests, who have been performing the ablutions for centuries. In fact the opposite is true.

    Nevertheless, eucharistic ministers should be instructed in the proper way to wipe the chalice between communicants. Some procedures that are helpful include: (1) wiping the chalice on the inside of the rim as well as on the outside, (2) opening the purificator to its full size so that a clean part of the purificator is used for each communicant (it may be necessary for the minister to use more than one purificator) and (3) wiping the chalice so that the next communicant does not drink out of the same place on the cup. Similarly, chalices should be washed with soap and water following each Eucharistic liturgy.

    It must be pointed out that while the relative risk is low, it is not impossible that infection could be transmitted. This is particularly true of communicants with low resistance to infection, i.e. cancer patients on immunosuppressant therapy, and persons with AIDS. Further examination of alternate Eucharistic practices is therefore warranted.

    Hands are at least as likely to be a source of infection (often more so) as are lips.
    Intinction (dipping the bread in the wine) is in use in many Episcopal Church parishes and is increasingly being suggested in Canadian Churches as well. There is, however, real concern that many of the modes of intinction used in parishes do not diminish the threat of infection, and some may actually increase it. Hands, children's and adult's, are at least as likely to be a source of infection (often more so) as lips. Retention of the wafer in the hand of the recipient then intincting it means that the wafer, now contaminated by the hand of the recipient, is placed in the wine?thus spreading the infection to it. The use of an intinction chalice would make no difference in this instance.

    If a priest retains the wafer, intincts it, and places it on the tongue of the communicant there is the possibility of his/her hand coming in contact with the tongue, and thereafter spreading the contamination. Meticulous technique would avoid this however, and it would seem better to trust in the technique of one individual (the priest) than in the individual techniques of the communicants should they do the intinction themselves. Therefore, this is the only method of intinction permitted in Roman Catholic parishes.(8) A separate chalice used only for intinction by the priest would be effective in this instance. For parishes using communion "stations", the priest might intinct wafers at one, while others administer the elements in the customary fashion at another.

    A further consideration with the practice of intinction is that it is only feasible when wafers are used. More and more churches are starting to recognize the sacramental value of the one loaf of bread that is then divided for distribution. Intinction would not be a tenable option in these circumstances.

    Other dangers

    Indeed, from the foregoing it seems obvious that another risk of infection occurs when the priest breaks the bread should his/her hands be contaminated. The ritual of the washing of the priest's hands at the offertory is therefore more than symbolic. It has been suggested that the lavabo basin be large, contain some liquid soap in addition to an adequate quantity of water, and that a proper towel be provided so that a more thorough hand washing can occur. A 30-second hand wash will eliminate 95% of all bacteria. Any other administrants of the bread should also be included, and altar guild members and others who handle wafers in preparation for the Eucharist should take similar precautions.

    Communion in only one kind (the bread) is the best option for those fearful of the cup

    When communicating the ill in hospital many of these considerations would not apply. Wafers would ordinarily be used, and where the illness is infectious the patient would be communicated last using intinction by the priest (as per the BCP rubric, p. 583). Conversely, when the ill person is debilitated or otherwise susceptible to infection, normal prudence would dictate that he/she receive first.

    The other option for eucharistic practice which should be examined is communication in one kind only. While Anglicans have asserted since the Reformation that reception under the species of both bread and wine is normative for our church, it must be recognized that many would find themselves able to accept the doctrine of Concomitance: the doctrine that either part of the Sacrament by itself mediates the fullness of the Sacrament. Although the doctrine was promulgated in the thirteenth century, it would appear to have been accepted in the primitive church particularly in the case of communication of the dying and of infants. Additionally, the church also allows that, in certain circumstances, the Body and Blood of Christ may be received by faith when the elements of bread and wine are not physically consumed.(9)

    Therefore it would seem that communion in only one kind (the bread) is the best option for those fearful of the cup?both from the standpoint of preventing the spread of infection, and from the theological perspective. Nor should there be any discouragement directed to those who choose to do so. In fact, priests should periodically instruct the people "If you have the 'flu, a cold, or a cold sore, please don't drink from the cup or dip the wafer into it." This should be done either through the bulletin or verbally at regular intervals. An action, which might be suggested for communicants receiving the bread only, is to take or touch the base of the chalice as they normally would, but simply not sip from it. The words of administration should be used, even when wine is not consumed. Some communicants might prefer to cross their hands over their chest as a sign to administrators to pass them by.

    It must be stressed however that the present use of the common cup is normative for Anglican churches, follows the practice of the universal church from its beginnings until well into the middle ages, and poses no real hazard to health in normal circumstances.

    Caring for the well-being of communicants

    • Wash hands before handling wafers or bread for the Eucharist.
    • Wash the chalice in soap and hot water after the Eucharist.
    • Advise communicants not to intinct if they have any infection.
    • Eucharistic Assistants should wipe inside and outside the rim and rotate the chalice between communicants.
    • For those at special risk, the use of the bread alone is safest.


    1. CDC: Recommendations for preventing transmission of infection with human T-lymphotropic virus type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus in the workplace. NWMR 1985;34 (Nov 13): 681-695.
    2. B.C. Hobbs, J.A. Knowldon & A. White. "Experiments on the Communion Cup." Journal of Hygiene, Vol. 65 (1967): 37-48.
    3. Some have trusted in the fact that the silver or gold in chalices has a weak antiseptic quality, however studies have shown that the effect is too minor to significantly reduce bacterial counts in the wine. Similarly, the concentration of alcohol in wine used at communion has an inadequate antiseptic effect.
    4. Glaser & Nadler, Archives of Internal Medicine Vol. 145:1653, 1985.
    5. O. Noel Gill. "The Hazard of Infection from the Shared Communion Cup [Review]." Journal of Infection, Vol. 16, No 1 (January 1988): 3-23.
    6. Anne LaGrange Loving. "Holy Communion and Health-is there a Risk?" Journal of Environmental Health, July-August 1997.
    7. Bishop of Huron, Report to the Primate and House of Bishops regarding Cross Contamination via the Common Cup (a report on proceedings of a multidisciplinary consultation in the Diocese of Huron).
    8. CCCB Paper "Communion From The Cup": 1996.
    9. See the rubrics to the Communion of the Sick. BCP page 584. This doctrine can be traced to the Patristic period and St Augustine's words, Crede et manducasti, 'Believe and thou hast eaten' (In Joann. xxv.22).

    [ACC Home] [News] [Ministries] [Resources] [Directories]     [Sitemap] [search]

    These pages ©1998-2007 the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada
    While this is the official site of the Anglican Church of Canada, the material published here does not necessarily reflect official positions of the General Synod or any other body of the church. In cases where an official position is represented, that is indicated on the page or in the text in question.

    Contact: for general inquiries and requests; for Web site corrections