What is the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite?
The Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite(HCCAR) aka Anglican Rite Catholic Church(ARCC) is Catholic, because it accepts the doctrines of the ancient Church, which have been “believed everywhere, always, and by all.
In the firm conviction that "we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ," and that "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved," and acknowledging our duty to proclaim Christ's saving Truth to all peoples, nations and tongues, we declare our intention to hold fast the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith of God.
We acknowledge that rule of faith laid down by St. Vincent of Lerins: "Let us hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all, for that is truly and properly Catholic. (From the Preface of the Affirmation of St. Louis)
We are, obviously, Catholic Christians, but not Roman Catholics. Christians in the Eastern and Western Rites of the Orthodox Church would claim to be Catholics. But, by virtue of that claim, they would not consider themselves to be Roman Catholics. The Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite aka ARCC is not a Protestant church nor a Roman Catholic church, but a via media, true to the meaning of Anglicanism.
Anglicanism: What it is and is not
Anglican means “English.” In other words, members of the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite are Christians who have an English liturgical and theological heritage—a spiritual heritage and an ancestral connection to the Church in England. A unique balance between Evangelical and Catholic, between Word and Sacrament, is associated with the Anglican branch of Christianity. While the Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA) was the first Anglican church in the United States, others have come into existence, as long ago as the mid-nineteenth century, and as recently as during the last twenty years.
The Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite accepts the teachings of the Undivided Church, the Church of the first millennium of church history. From the Day of Pentecost, when the Church of Christ was born, to the Great Schism in 1054 A. D., the Church was truly Catholic: one in faith and doctrine, even though there were liturgical differences between the Eastern and Western Churches.
Therefore, the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite claims to be a Western Rite, an Anglican Rite, in the Catholic Church (not Roman Catholic Church), deriving her liturgy from the Church of England. Liturgies from different Rites in the Church can be translated into the English language. But the Anglican Liturgy is truly English, because it comes from English-speaking people in England.
Most of these newer Anglican bodies, including the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite, (HCC-AR), came into being because of the significant changes in doctrine, worship, and practice adopted by the Episcopal Church since the 1950’s.
A serious misconception is that the Anglican Church was begun by Henry VIII because he wanted a divorce. While Henry may have founded the Church OF England as his kingdom’s state church in the sixteenth century, after his take-over of it, to grab its wealth, the Catholic faith IN England existed long before, since the first century, and grew simultaneously with the other Catholic churches in Rome and Constantinople.
The English Reformation
In the 16th century, there was a Reformation, which is commonly called the “Protestant Reformation,” in the Church of England. The intent of the English Reformers was not to start a new Church but to return to the faith of the primitive Church, the Undivided Church. Anglican liturgical scholar Stephen A. Hurlbut, referring to the English Reformers, wrote: "Their appeal in matters of liturgy as well as theology was to that which was Catholic as opposed to Roman, and to the early Fathers as opposed to medieval scholasticism." The basic thrust of the English Reformers was to be Catholic, but not Roman Catholic. Anglican scholars Parsons and Jones said that the Reformation in the Church of England was "... without such radical sweeping away of the past as occurred on the Continent or in Scotland. The Church kept its Catholic order, the substance of its Catholic liturgies, the continuity of its Church life in parish and diocese, while embracing a deep conviction that a new age must discard outworn superstition, and seek simplicity and genuineness in its worship, and scriptural authority for its teaching." The thrust of the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite is to return to the Catholic Liturgy and theology of the Undivided Church in order to be an English Catholic, not a Roman Catholic, Church.
Reformed But Not Protestant
Members of the Holy Catholic Anglican Rite aka Anglican Rite Catholic Church are Reformed Catholics, following the tradition of the English Reformation, not the Continental Reformation. The Continental Reformation was primarily German, under the leadership of Martin Luther; French, under John Calvin and Swiss, under Zwingli. The Continental Reformers accepted the principle of Sola Scriptura, that is, Scripture alone as the basis for faith and practice.
However, the English Reformers appealed to Scripture as interpreted by the ancient Church. “The Continental Reformation rejected or dropped the principle of apostolic succession (except in Sweden),” that is, bishops, by virtue of their consecrations, being successors of the apostles, tracing a straight link back to them through history. But the English Reformation retained apostolic succession.
Since the Continental Reformers rejected the apostolic succession of bishops, they eventually lost an ordained priesthood. But at the English Reformation, “... the Church of England deliberately retained the title ‘priest’, ... because it contained a real truth. Christ is the perfect priest. The Church is His body. The organ of a priestly body cannot be less than priestly.” The center of worship in the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite is the altar, not the pulpit; or the center is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Christ by the priest, not the sermon.
HCC-AR Core Belief
- We hold to the doctrines of the first seven ecumenical councils prior to the schism between east (Orthodox) and west (Roman) in 1054 AD.
- We believe the Holy Scriptures to be the revealed Word of God, containing all things necessary to salvation, and that salvation is found only through Jesus Christ.
- We believe the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds to be sufficient statements of personal faith.
- We believe in the seven sacraments—outward signs of inward and spiritual grace.
- We believe in the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist and deem it as a mystery.
- We recognize and support the sanctity of human life, beginning at conception.
- We believe that marriage - defined as the lifelong union of one man and one woman - is God’s loving provision for procreation and family life, and that sex outside such marriage is against God’s law.
- We accept the ordained ministry of male Bishops, Priests, and Deacons in Apostolic Succession (as in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches), and as in Eastern churches, married men may be ordained.
- We worship using the traditional 1928 Book of Common Prayer, the Anglican Missal, the American Missal and the 1940 Hymnal. We approve the use of the King James (Authorized) translation of the Bible as well as the Revised Standard Version and the Jerusalem Bible.
There are several present-day Anglican bodies, including the HCC-AR, often described collectively as the ‘Continuing Church’, which share only an historical connection to the Church of England, but which hold to the above statements of faith.
We are not associated with Canterbury, as that body struggles in other parts of the world with the same issues that have recently crippled not only the Episcopal Church, but mainstream churches as well.
January 28, 2008 marked the 30th anniversary of the Denver Consecration for the Chambers succession. The “Chambers Succession” of continuing church jurisdictions began in response to the exigencies of times in order to serve those concerned about the continuation of Anglicanism in faith and apostolic order. The Holy Catholic Church- Anglican Rite (HCC-AR) has it's roots in the Chambers Succession. What do they all have in common? They all share a common bond, stemming from the same apostolic succession of Archbishop Albert Chambers, preserving the faith and apostolic order and being the custodians of faith and morals for the past three decades.