Q： Why is the creed always read in Anglican worship?
A： According to the tradition of the Church, when Christians gather to worship God, the creed is read to remind those gathered what the Christian faith is about. The creed is a summary of our faith that states what God has done for us in the past, what God is presently doing, and what God will do in the future. The Apostles’ Creed was adopted in 100 C.E., and the Nicene Creed has been used since 325 C.E. The Athanasius Creed was written by St. Athanasius, a 4th century bishop, hence the name. We rarely read this creed in our church. When we read the creeds together, we are proclaiming the faith that the church has believed in for the past 1,800 years. In addition, the creeds were traditionally used to define orthodoxy & heresy. Those who accepted the content of the creeds were seen as accepting the orthodox faith while those rejected were heretics.
Q： Does eternal life begin only after one has died?
A： It is clearly written in the Bible that eternal life from God begins in this life when we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord (John 5:24, Luke 19:9). However, God’s promise of joy, peace and freedom cannot be fully experienced until we join the Lord in heaven after we die. This is because of the sins of in this world and in humanity. But when we walk with Christ in this life, we begin the journey of eternal life and begin to experience God’s love and grace, and the blessings of being a Christian. What a wonderful thing it is! When we depart from our earthly journey, we continue this eternal life and God keeps on loving us and caring for us with his heavenly grace.
Q： Why does the worship in the Anglican tradition usually have three to four scripture readings?
A： Proclaiming God’s word in worship began at the time of the Old Testament. In the past 2,000 years, the number of readings in worship varied. Most Anglican churches today include the Old Testament, the Psalm, the New Testament and the Gospel lessons in each service because the Church believes that every part of the Bible is important. Our reading arrangement, Lectionary, is based on a three year cycle. In three years, we will cover most parts of the Bible to allow Christians to obtain a comprehensive learning of God’s revelation in the scriptures.