A Faith to Believe In
Historically, Anglicans have defined their faith as adherence to the teaching of:
One Lord, Jesus Christ
Two Testaments, Old and New
Three Creeds, Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian
Four Councils, Nicea 325 A. D., Constantinople 381, Ephesus 431, and Chalcedon 451
Five Centuries of Catholic tradition in doctrine and worship
The order is critical: each item below depends upon and explicates the one above. The supreme revelation of God is in Christ, the living Word of God: the primary witness to the revelation of the Word of God is in Scripture; the Creeds, Councils, and Catholic tradition explicate, clarify, and transmit the teaching of Scripture.We believe in the faith that has been received and carried on by the historic Christian Church throughout the centuries. Most importantly, this includes a commitment to the Bible as the Word of God, to the central place of Jesus Christ as the unique Son of God, and that salvation is found in his sacrificial death and resurrection alone.
Authority of Scripture
The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments in their entirety are God’s Word, and it is the standard by which we are to order our lives, express our faith and function as a community (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
The Ancient Faith
At St. Mark’s Church we do not believe that we have the right or authority to set aside the fundamental commitments of Anglicanism to historic Faith and Order, the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as set forth in the Word of God written, defined in the Reformed-Catholic tradition, and received in the historic Prayer Book. And therefore, so far as in us lies, we are determined to uphold and propagate the same, and to transmit this legacy unimpaired to our posterity.
Commitment to Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the incarnate Son of God who died for our sins, through whom we are reconciled to God the Father and offered a place in heaven. All who come to Christ by faith and repent of their sins, receive forgiveness through His death on the Cross, and live in newness of life through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. This new life of faith is to be marked by a joyful obedience to Jesus Christ, to God’s Word and to the leading of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 16:15-16; Ephesians 2:4-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 5:22-25).
THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER (1549-1928)
To these ancient witnesses, however, we must also add the doctrinal standards known as the “historic formularies” of Anglicanism. First devised in the 16th century Church of England, these principally comprise: the Book of Common Prayer (1549 to 1662, and in the USA 1789 to 1928), the Ordinal, and the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion (as adopted in the USA in 1801). In them is set forth the Church’s understanding of the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ. Their authority stands under the Word of God in Holy Scripture and the tradition of the Church Catholic. In them we find the consensus of faith and practice that bound Anglicans together as a church.
These books, the historic formularies, did not make the mistake of rigid and excessive definition. While they were precise and clear in the most essential matters, the parameters set by these “historic formularies” were broad, flexible, and comprehensive of considerable diversity of emphasis and style in things inessential. Thus, they could assimilate legitimate development without losing clarity of focus. The unity they established could be maintained only by a fundamental commitment to the steadfast exercise of charity and humility.
View the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
Texts for Daily offices of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
Listen to the daily offices of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
View the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
Download the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
Purchase a copy of the Book of Common Prayer.
For more information about the Book of Common Prayer, we recommend: