Greenbelt Interfaith News
    World Brief

    July 31, 1997

    Lay Anglicans May Not Preside at Communion Services, English Bishops Say

    The Church of England (Anglican) has decided that lay persons may not preside at communion services. In a report released on July 20, the bishops' theological committee concluded that the different orders (ranks) of the church have different responsibilities, and that practical and symbolic considerations dictate that only priests and bishops have the right to preside at this ceremony.

    At present, lay persons may only distribute communion bread and wine that has been consecrated by a priest. Supporters of the change had pointed to the fact that some Anglican congregations in England do not have priests on their own and therefore cannot celebrate regularly the Christian ritual which commemorates the last supper of Jesus. The report, though, said that the Church of England would find other solutions to the problem.

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    ©1997 Heather Elizabeth Peterson