Being An Anglican

General Information about Anglicans

The parish of Saint Aidan is part of the Anglican Diocese of Auckland.

As part of a worldwide family of churches, the Anglican Communion has more than 70 million adherents in 38 Provinces spreading across 161 countries. Located on every continent, Anglicans speak many languages and come from different races and cultures.

Although the churches are autonomous, they are also uniquely unified through their history, their theology, and their worship. We hold the Christian faith as received from apostolic times and the scriptures of Old and New Testament as our ultimate rule and standard of life. We are committed to obeying the commands of Christ, teaching his doctrine and administering the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion.

Anglicans uphold the Catholic and Apostolic faith. Following the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Anglican church is committed to the proclamation of the good news of the Gospel to the whole creation. In practice this is based on the revelation contained in Holy Scripture and the Catholic creeds, and is interpreted in light of Christian tradition, scholarship, reason and experience.

By baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a person is made one with Christ and received into the fellowship of the Church. This sacrament of initiation is open to children as well as to adults.

Central to worship for Anglicans is the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, also called the Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper or the Mass. In this offering of prayer and praise, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are recalled through the proclamation of the word and the celebration of the sacrament. Other important rites, commonly called sacraments, include confirmation, holy orders, reconciliation, marriage and anointing of the sick.

The Christian Calendar

The liturgical year, also known as the Christian year, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in some Christian churches which determines when Feasts, Memorials, Commemorations, and Solemnities are to be observed and which portions of Scripture are to be read. Distinct liturgical colours may appear in connection with different seasons of the liturgical year.

Liturgical YearAdvent:

The four weeks before Christmas are a preparation time for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus. The color purple symbolizes penitence and a readiness to learn. The first Sunday of Advent is the Christian New Years Day.

Christmas:

(Nativity of the Lord) Remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ, the coming of Creator God into the midst of the human family. The colors of gold and white symbolize a festival time. December 25th.

Epiphany:

January 6, through the beginning of Lent, is a time for celebrating the world wide (including space travel) nature of the Christian Way. Epiphany immediately follows Christmastide and its recollection of the birth of Jesus. The Biblical basis for Epiphany is in the Gospel of Matthew, (2:1-11). It is the story of the visit of scholars from a distant land to honor a new born child who would be important to the whole human race. Epiphany is a time for expanding the vision of Christian people. The aim is to be open to people of all cultures, races, and religions. Epiphany is a welcome to every human being on the earth. The colors used are white, gold and green.

Lent:

This 40 day event is a time of fasting in imitation of Jesus’ experience in the wilderness of temptation. The story is in the Gospel of Matthew (4:1-11). It is a time of preparation for Easter and of repentance by people. Rules for fasting in some bodies of the Faith are less strict than at one time. Self examination, control of appetites, and spiritual devotion are obligations for many Christians in all world cultures during Lent. Conscious attention to the tragic evils in the human family is encouraged. Colors frequently used are purple, ash gray, and red. The length of Lent varies among traditions. For Anglicans, Lent ends on Holy Thursday before Easter. For some other Christians Lent ends on Holy Saturday. And for others Lent concludes the Saturday before Palm Sunday.

Holy Week:

The days between Palm Sunday and Holy Saturday before Easter are known as Holy Week. These days observe the events in the life of Jesus from the entry into Jerusalem through the crucifixion and burial. Palm Sunday is sometimes called Passion Sunday because of the tragic events of the week to come. The primary observances of Holy Week are: Maunday Thursday (instruction of the Eucharist of Lord’s Supper); Good Friday (the passion and death of Jesus); and Holy Saturday (the burial of Jesus).

Easter:

The principal and most ancient festival of the Christian church year is Easter. Following the death and burial of Jesus, there was a renewal of the very life of Jesus Christ in the fellowship of believers in the early Church. Several schools of thought in the Christian Church explain the nature of what has come to be known as the “Resurrection of Christ”. Some believe in a literal rising up of the body of Jesus that had died three days earlier. Others understand the memory and personal experience of Jesus to have been so vivid and strong that the followers physically and mentally experienced the renewed presence of Jesus. Yet others believe that the continuing life of the Christian Church is an adequate proof of the ongoing reality of Christ being alive. In any event, the resurrection is a central feature of the Christian religion. Eastertide is the season continuing through Pentecost. Each Sunday is a weekly celebration of the resurrection of Christ.

Pentecost:

This celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit to a gathering of believers shortly after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus is a major observance for the Christian way . The festival is observed 50 days after Easter. The day takes place on the Jewish day of Pentecost, thanksgiving for the first fruits of the wheat harvest. For Christians, the experience of the energy of the Spirit was a “first fruit” of the new era that had dawned for the believers. In some parts of the Church, Pentecost is a special time for baptism of new believers. Throughout the Church, Pentecost is when the surprising vital energy of the presence of Creator God influences worship and challenges people to new life in Christ. In all nations and in all times the discovery of life changing spiritual vision cannot be predicted or contained. Pentecost guarantees an open mind to the future. Pentecost begins on Sunday and continues through to the Saturday before Trinity Sunday.

Ordinary Time

(Kingdomtide) (Season after Pentecost) : Beginning on Trinity Sunday and continuing through the day before the first Sunday of Advent, this season celebrates the growing life of the fellowship of Christians in the world of persons, nations and the natural world. Various events and celebrations, including the Transfiguration of Jesus, Holy Cross, World Communion Sunday, All Hallows Eve, Christ the King, are remembrances of unique Christian experiences over the centuries. Trinity Sunday is a reminder of the ways in which Christians experience God. The color green symbolizes growth.