How does the practice of bowing at the mention of our
Lord Jesus Christ during, for example, the Creed match the belief
in the equal status of the three Persons of the
The doctrinal standpoint that sets this question in perspective
finds classical expression in the Athanasian Creed. Two verses are
particularly relevant: "But the Godhead of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal and the
majesty co-eternal," and, "In this Trinity there is no before or
after: no greater or less."
Bowing the head at the mention of the Name of Jesus has always
been coupled with a full acceptance of the equal status of the
three Persons of the Trinity, and it is, therefore, completely
compatible and theologically matched.
Medieval sources, both missals and devotional literature, supply
abundant evidence of double acts of personal reverence, in the
Creed and at the Gloria Patri. Although the latter reverence ceased
to be generally observed in England after the Reformation, the
practice of bowing at the Name of Jesus was most certainly
maintained. Canon 18 of 1604 ordered: "when in the time of Divine
Service the Lord Jesus shall be mentioned, due and lowly reverence
shall be done by all persons present, as it hath been
With the ceremonial revival in the Anglican Church, it again
became customary to show an equal sign of reverence not only at the
Name of our Lord, but also when ascribing praise to the Trinity. An
outstanding example that demonstrates a perfect matching of
reverence in this way is the common custom of inclining the head
twice during the Nicene Creed - at the first mention of the Lord's
Name, and in celebrating the Holy Spirit within the life of the
Divine Trinity, at the words "who with the Father and the Son
together is worshipped and glorified".
In this question, it may not be amiss to mention that a Canon
XXIV of the Scottish Episcopal Church was deliberately incorporated
in the Scottish Prayer Book. In language almost identical to that
of the old English Canon of 1604, it draws attention to the
requirement to show accustomed reverence at the Name of Jesus,
especially, but not exclusively, in the creeds.
Observance of this and other simple but meaningful acts of
outward devotion has to be taught and encouraged as a helpful means
of concentrating the mind at worship.
(Canon) Terry Palmer
Are any churches holding special requiems for the Great
War this year?
At All Saints', Blackheath, we will be commemorating each of our
39 Fallen, the daily mass being offered as a requiem on the
anniversary from 2014 to 2020. While so many in the field were
known only by number, we pray that their names live for
(The Revd Dr) Nicholas Cranfield
In the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, West Byfleet,
Surrey, we held a requiem eucharist on Sunday 3 August marking the
outbreak of the First World War.
We took care not to duplicate what usually happens on
Remembrance Sunday, but 36 poppies were carried to the altar by
parishioners of all ages representing the 36 men of the parish
killed during that war. Some sources say that the total casualties
worldwide in the First World War was 37 million; so each of our
poppies also represented more than a million casualties.
While keeping the local history in mind, we tried also to
remember all those affected, friend and foe alike, in that terrible
(The Revd) Clive Kirk
London, Durham, and Winchester are the senior sees after
those of the two Archbishops. Why is this? And what practical
difference does it make?
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