Q2. Are you starting a new church?
A2. No, we are not starting a new church. SERA is a society of people within the Anglican Communion, along with friends and allies outside the Communion who support our mission. We are committed to upholding the doctrine and discipline of our local Anglican jurisdictions and encourage members and allies to work within their respective local structures and canons to pursue the mission of SERA.
Q3. For what purpose would an Eastern Rite exist within the Anglican Communion?
A3. Just as the Roman Catholic Church has made accommodation for Eastern Rite Catholics, we envision the day when the Anglican Communion, or at least certain provenances or dioceses therein, will make accommodation for Anglicans for whom the Eastern Rite best facilitates their worship of the Triune God.
Q4. Which Eastern Rite would an established Eastern Rite in Anglicanism be based on?
A4. SERA is working on an Eastern Rite based on the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.
Q5. Who is the target audience of SERA?
A5. Our primary audience would include members of churches within the Anglican Communion—clergy, religious, and laity—who are interested in Eastern Rite Anglicanism. We will also reach out to friends and allies outside the communion who support our mission.
Q6. What impact will the formation of SERA have on relations between the Anglican Communion and the Eastern Orthodox churches?
A6. We will find out! There are Eastern Orthodox churches that have a Western Rite, such as the Western Rite Vicariate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), or the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate. We therefore do not see any reason why the establishment of an Eastern Rite would be problematic for Anglican-Orthodox relations; in fact, our hope is that this would be a cause for productive ecumenical dialogue.
Q7. Given that the Anglican Communion recognizes the ecclesial validity of the Eastern Orthodox churches, what will the formation of SERA mean in terms of Anglican ecclesiology?
A7. We are not founding a new church or communion, so there are no real ecclesiological implications of the founding of SERA. We are simply working to establish an Eastern Rite within the canonical confines, doctrines, structures, and jurisdictions of those provinces that are part of the Anglican Communion.
Q8. Does an Eastern Rite within Anglicanism run counter to the Anglican emphasis on common prayer?
A8. We believe that an established Eastern Rite will align with the Anglican emphasis on common prayer. Rather than those churches throughout the communion who are interested in Eastern Rite liturgies developing their own hodgepodge of Eastern-influenced rites and using them with the permission of their local bishops, the establishment of a common Eastern Rite will allow for those Anglicans drawn to this liturgical path to be drawn together in common prayer, much like the original intentions of the BCP.
Q9. Couldn’t SERA just produce a legitimate Eastern Rite that abides by canons through Rite 3: “An Order for Celebrating the Holy Eucharist” (BCP, pp. 400-405)?
A9. We could develop a rite following that rubric, yes, but, in that case, by canon law it could not be utilized as the primary Sunday service of a given community. The use of an approved Anglican Eastern Rite is something that we hope to make available to communities within the Anglican Communion who wish to utilize such a Rite as their primary mode of weekly worship. It is our feeling that an established Eastern Rite will actually fulfill the Anglican spirit of common prayer, in part by the resultant growth of the society itself, accompanied by an online directory of those congregations, dioceses, and communities that are utilizing the established Eastern Rite.
Q10. Will SERA use the same calendar as the rest of Anglicanism, or will there be congregation that use either the revised Julian or old style Julian calendars?
A10. SERA has no authority to determine what calendar any congregations within the Anglican Communion use. We are committed to upholding the doctrine and disciple of our local Anglican jurisdictions. Congregations, therefore, will be encouraged to abide by the authorized calendar of their respective jurisdictions.
Q11. Where does SERA stand on moral issues like homosexuality, abortion, or divorce?
A11. In the Anglican Communion, decisions of this kind are made by local jurisdictions, provinces, and dioceses. As such, there is no role for SERA to play in these issues. We are open to any members of the Anglican Communion—and even friends and allies outside the communion. We encourage members to follow the canons and constitutions of their local provinces.
Q12. Where does SERA stand concerning the ordination of women?
A12. See the above answer in Question 11. We do not have any authority for deciding such matters and we see no need to take any particular stand on these contentious social issues that often divide the Communion. We believe that an established Eastern Rite should be available to all the provinces of the Anglican Communion.
Q13. Are donations to SERA tax-deductible? Is SERA a non-profit organization?
A13. Society for Eastern Rite Anglicanism (SERA) is recognized as a ministry of Saint Giles Episcopal Church, Moraga, California, a nonprofit organization incorporated under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our tax ID # is 91-1766419. All donations to SERA are tax deductible as allowed by law.
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