02 February 2019

Preaching and Celebrating,
Word and Sacrament:
Inseparable signs of the Church

Preaching and Celebrating,
Word and Sacrament:
Inseparable signs of the Church

Patrick Comerford

When my sons were young children, we often played a family game that demanded quick responses to either/or questions: Black or White? Cat or dog? Football or cricket? Paris or Rome? The questions might even be posed by them as challenges to their parents: Beatles or Rolling Stones? Mozart or Beethoven?

So often, it seems, we offer opposing rather than complementary choices, as if we have to choose one and reject the other. This happens in church life too, and to a sad degree it is prevalent throughout the Church of Ireland and across the Anglican Communion. It is a regular experience to hear parishes and incumbents trumpet that their emphasis in the life of the Church is on sacramental life, or on preaching the word, as though both were mutually exclusive.

I worked for some years with the Church Mission Society Ireland, and at an early stage was asked by one CMS supporter who seemed to be sceptical about my suitability for the position whether I was truly evangelical or in her words “just another liberal.” I replied, perhaps a little too quickly, or even too glibly, that I am evangelical in the pulpit, catholic at the altar, orthodox in respect to the creeds, radical in discipleship, and liberal in how I think the breadth and comprehensiveness of all these should be embraced in Anglicanism. Somehow, I think she is still perplexed at my response. Yet this comprehensiveness in Anglicanism is essential to its unity and characteristic of its beauty.

There should never be a conflict of interest between being a church of the word and a church of the sacrament, and this has been expressed in an inclusive and embracing way by the early Anglican Reformers in Article 19 (‘Of the Church’) of the Articles of Religion:

The visible Church of Christ is a congregation … in which the pure Word of God is preached and the Sacraments be duly administered according to Christ’s ordinance of all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.[1]

Article 19 moves from the general church to the specific or local church, described in terms of diocesan structures, naming specifically the churches in Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch and Rome. The Latin phrase in the original, legal text is coetus fidelium (‘assembly of the faithful’).[2] Paul Avis argues that Article 19 refers not to a local or parish church but to the community of Word and Sacrament gathered together by the bishop, the diocese in which Word and Sacrament are administered and pastoral oversight is exercised, and that the word ‘congregation’ does not refer to a local or parish congregation.[3] Avis points out that coetus and congregation are synonyms that correspond to the Greek ἐκκλησία (ekklesia), the assembly of the people who are called out, the Church. In other words, in Anglican ecclesiology, the understanding of the Church is inextricably linked with how that is expressed in diocesan structures and seen in our preaching the word, celebrating the sacraments, and providing pastoral care.

However, Anglicans have often argued about this article. Some say it gives equal importance and priority to both Word and Sacrament, while others contend that Article 19 gives priority to the Word over the Sacrament. George Carey and David Samuel have written:

Article 19 says that “the visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached” – this is the priority – “and the sacraments are duly administered according to the ordinance of Christ” – that is subordinate – the sacraments are adjuncts to the Word. The preaching of the Word has priority.[4]

Our priorities and our preferences for either Word over Sacrament or Sacrament over word are often reflected in church architecture. When I bring students on the Church History elective on field trips, I challenge them to look at a church building and to ask themselves about the theological liturgical priorities of the architects or those who commissioned a church.

In previous centuries, the first object seen by visitors to many parish churches in the Church of Ireland would have been a large triple-decker pulpit, towering above the reading desk and an almost indiscernible altar or communion table. But there were earlier exceptions. For example, the parish church in Collon, county Louth, is a pre-Pugin Gothic Revival church, built in 1811-1813 and designed by the Revd Daniel Augustus Beaufort as a miniature replica of the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge. Instead of pews, the seating is arranged in collegiate style, so that the people face each other, and the first sight facing the visitor is through the centre of the nave to the altar or communion table at the east end of the church, uninterrupted by pews, pulpit or prayer desk.

When AWN Pugin, Gilbert Scott and George Frederick Bodley tilted the fashion in church building in both the Church of England and the Church of Ireland from the Classical or baroque style to the Gothic Revival, the focus and attention in many parish churches shifted radically from the Word, whether it was read from the lectern or preached from the pulpit, to the Sacrament as it was celebrated in the chancel area.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Donald Coggan, once recalled how as Archbishop of York he had been asked to rehallow a parish church after extensive restoration work and to preach. The main feature of the church after its restoration “was the altar, central and resplendent. There could be no doubt that the Church of England was a sacramental Church … There was one focus, you could not miss it.” But when Coggan asked where he was to preach from, he was told a little stand would be brought to him at the appropriate time. He commented:

A poor, paltry thing it was, liable to collapse if by chance I leaned upon it … This was to be the thing from which the everlasting gospel was to be proclaimed. As soon as the sermon was over it was taken away into oblivion. And good riddance too![5]

Coggan might have been equally uncomfortable had he seen, as I have at times in some churches, a piece of furniture that is little more than a hostess trolley wheeled out in some churches when it comes to the time for celebrating the Holy Communion, and wheeled back again as quickly as possible, placed against a side wall, used for serving coffee or for storing additional musical instruments that are surplus to the needs of those in the apse who have become the focus of liturgical attention. Coggan was not trying to place the preaching of the Word in opposition to the celebration of the Sacrament, but rather seeking to emphasise that they are complementary and inseparable in Anglicanism. When he was introduced to the architect, he recalled, he told him that Anglican ecclesiastical architecture should show that Anglicanism is what he called ‘bifocal’ in ‘its means of grace, the living God comes to us both in the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ and in the sacrament of the word …’

In recent experiences, I have attended celebrations of the Eucharist in both the Church of Ireland and the Church of England where there has been only one Scripture reading, and where the sermon fails to draw on that one reading. Invariably, when I question this practice, I am told that using the three appointed readings on a Sunday when the distribution and reception of Communion takes so much time would leave little time for the ‘ministry of the word’, a reference to the sermon. It appears, in these cases, the word in the sermon is more important than the word in Scripture, and the Sacrament gets in the way of both.

The dual emphasis in Article 19 and what Coggan describes as ‘bifocal Anglicanism’ are reflected in both the Ordinal in the Book of Common Prayer and in the service of institution of a new incumbent. In the Ordinal, the bishop prays that those being ordained may ‘proclaim boldly the word of salvation’ and ‘celebrate the sacraments of the new covenant’. He then presents the newly-ordained priest with a bible saying: ‘Receive this Book, as a sign of the authority which God has given you this day to preach the Word and to administer his holy sacraments.’ [6] In the traditional ordination service, now seldom used, the bishop instructs the ordinand: ‘And be thou a faithful dispenser of the Word of God, and of his holy Sacraments.’[7]

The ordination service moves to the celebration of the Eucharist, with the words of the Proper Preface: ‘Within the royal priesthood of your Church, you ordain ministers to proclaim your word, to care for your people and to celebrate the sacraments of the new covenant.’ [8] After the Great Silence, the bishop prays again:

Almighty God, you have chosen and ordained these your servants to be ministers and stewards of your word and sacraments and given them the will to understand these things: Give them also the strength to perform them, that they may complete that work which you have begun in them; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [9]

At the service of institution approved for use by the Church of Ireland in 2007, a new incumbent is reminded by the bishop of ‘the solemn promises of your ordination’ and is charged ‘to minister in word and sacrament to [God’s] people.’ These charges are repeated when the new incumbent stands at the pulpit or lectern and is told by the bishop to be ‘faithful in preaching it so that the people may grow in godliness and understanding,’ and then when the rector stands ‘in the position normally occupied by the presiding minister during the Great Thanksgiving,’ and is told by the bishop: ‘Celebrate this joyful thanksgiving with God’s people that together you may be built up as the Body of Christ,’ or ‘take this bread and wine and be among us to break the break and to bless the cup, with reverence and with joy.’ [10]

For most parishes, it would be unimaginable to think of a main Sunday service without the proclamation of the Word in some form, usually a sermon. In some parishes, however, liturgical prioritising means the sermon can be so reduced to little more than a homily or exhortation. A.W. Tozer, Bishop Christopher Chavasse, Michael Green, John Stott and others are attributed with the aphorism that ‘Sermonettes produce Christianettes.’ But equally there has been a neglect of celebrating the Eucharist regularly on Sundays, although The Book of Common Prayer states clearly that the Holy Communion is celebrated in every cathedral and parish church on Sundays and the principal holy days ‘unless the ordinary [bishop] shall otherwise direct’. [11] Later, The Book of Common Prayer reminds us:

The Holy Communion is the central act of worship of the Church … It is the privilege and duty of members of the Church to join in public worship on the Lord’s Day as the weekly commemoration of Christ’s Resurrection, and on the principal holy days. Holy Communion is to be celebrated on the principal holy days as set out in the Calendar and regularly on Sundays and festivals … [12]

These ‘General Directions for Public Worship’ add: ‘A sermon or homily should be preached on Sundays and on principal holy days.’ [13]

As Harold Miller points out, whether we call this the Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, it is ‘not … simply a service of the sacrament,’ but is a ‘service of word, prayer and sacrament.’ Colin Buchanan has described it as ‘a Bible study followed by a prayer meeting followed by a meal’. [14]

Apostolic and Patristic Practice

In this, both Miller and Buchanan are deeply rooted in the New Testament and the first description we have of the worship patterns of the Apostolic Church immediately after Pentecost: ‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers’ (Acts 2: 42). There is even, perhaps, a hint that this practice was not merely a Sunday-only observance but a daily occurrence: ‘Day by the day … they broke bread at home’ (Acts 2: 46).

It can hardly be argued that the early Eucharistic practice of the Apostolic Church was arcane and a ritual only for the Church, while proclaiming the word had a missionary intention alone. Both Word and Sacrament were evangelising in their scope and effect, for this description of the early Church in Jerusalem tells us that through this life expressed in teaching, fellowship, prayer and the Eucharist in Jerusalem that ‘day by day … they broke bread,’ and that ‘day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved’ (Acts 2: 46-47). There is no separation of Word and Sacrament – they come together in the one shared act of worship, and they both build up the Church and have a missionary impact together and not separately.

This practice continues in the Apostolic Church. When Saint Paul joins the Church leaders and his core group of followers in Troy, they meet on the first day of the week to break bread and he then preaches until midnight (Acts 20: 7-12). This is no “sermonette,” but its length provides no excuse for neglecting the Sunday sacramental celebration either. The New Testament understanding is that celebrations of the Eucharist should be often and not irregular. The earliest Eucharistic narrative in the New Testament is provided by Saint Paul, who reminds the Church in Corinth about the need to break the bread and drink the cup often. The word ὁσάκις, translated ‘for as often’ in the NRSV (see I Corinthians 11: 26), is also used by Homer in the Iliad and the Odyssey, and by other classical Greek writers, including Plato, Thucydides and Xenophon, in ways that imply a regularity and frequency that means whenever, regularly, or even every time. [15]

In Romans, Saint Paul links word and sacrament in the way he speaks in liturgical or priestly terms of his evangelising mission among the nations.[16] He frequently writes about the ‘mystery of the Gospel.’ The word μυστήριον (mysterion), which occurs 27 times in the New Testament, refers not only to the mystery of salvation (see Romans 16: 25-26; Ephesians 3: 3, 5) but also to the mystery of the unity of the Church (see Ephesians 3: 6; Colossians 1: 26-27, 4: 3), and of course to the sacramental life of the Church. When Saint Paul speaks about the mystery of the Gospel (see Ephesians 6: 19), we may delight in wrestling with the ambiguity of whether this is the mystery of salvation found in the crucified and risen Body of Christ, or the mystery of the unity of the Church as the Body of Christ, or the mystery or sacrament of the Eucharist in which we receive the Body of Christ.

Patristic writings show us that even in the Early Church, the great Fathers of the Church had not yet come to distinguish between dogma, Eucharistic liturgy, worship, morals, asceticism or mysticism. They treated the Christian religion as a whole, without posing a false dichotomy between Word and Sacrament. [17] There was a variety of preaching ministries in the Apostolic and post-Apostolic Church, with varying dimensions, including the homiletic, liturgical, exegetical and prophetic. These preaching ministries were exercised within a liturgical setting and also in missionary settings. Alistair Stewart-Sykes traces a development from prophecy to preaching in the need to communicate the Word of God ‘to believers within the Christian assembly.’ [18] In time, preaching in the liturgical context was modelled on both contemporary communications in the synagogue and Hellenistic philosophical pedagogy. Melito of Sardis, in a sermon around entitled On the Pascha, illustrates how preaching was increasingly influenced by contemporary Greek and Roman rhetoric.[19]

Gradually, teaching ministry is reserved to the teaching office of the bishop and to the priests as his delegates. As an agreed canon of Scripture emerges, preaching is increasingly linked with the reading of Scripture in the liturgical setting. In his First Apology (ca 150), Justin Martyr describes the integral part of preaching in the Sunday liturgy. After reading from the prophets or the Gospels, the presiding minister peaches about the relevance of the readings to those present, before going on to celebrate the Eucharist. [20] Irenaeus shows that in the pre-Nicene Church the bishop preached the sermon after the Scripture readings, before moving on to the Eucharistic prayer. [21]

In a sermon, Origen (ca 185-254) links reverence and regularity in reception of the Sacrament with reverence and regularity in receiving the Word when he says:

You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know how, when you have received the body of the Lord, you reverently exercise every care lest a particle of it fall, and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish... how is it that you think neglecting the word of God a lesser crime than neglecting his body? [22]

Origen speaks of the bread of the Word and the bread of the Eucharist, while Hilary of Poitiers (d. ca 368) speaks of the Table of the Lord’s Word and the Table of the Lord.

Mature preaching emerges and flourishes in the third and fourth centuries, with the conversion of Constantine creating the need to communicate moral instructions to increasing numbers of people. [23] By the fourth century, a sacramental and liturgical reflection on the sacramental mysteries for new Christians is a major theme in preaching, and a common theme among Patristic writers is the presence of God in the reading of Scripture and the preaching of the word of God. In the aftermath of the Council of Nicaea, the sermon continued to be a normal part of the liturgy, and preaching was the duty and privilege of the bishop. Sunday was the most regular day for preaching, although Saint Augustine also preached regularly on Saturdays, and sermons were preached every day during Lent, and there were several at Easter. [24]

For Thomas Carroll, the liturgical dimension of the preaching of Saint John Chrysostom (ca 349-407), later revered as the ‘patron of preachers,’ is best expressed in his understanding of the preacher as priest and preaching as the means of the priest’s sanctification. [25] Before he was ordained, John Chrysostom wrote On the Priesthood, in which he devotes two chapters to preaching. There he reminds future priests of ‘the great toil which is expended upon sermons delivered publicly to the congregation.’ For John Chrysostom, the preacher is always a priest, and preaching is always an exercise of that priesthood. Indeed, he is consumed with this sense of being ordained to preach, so that nothing, not even sickness, should prevent the exercise of this ministry:

Preaching improves me. When I begin to speak, weariness disappears; when I begin to teach, fatigue too disappears. Thus neither sickness itself nor indeed any other obstacle is able to separate me from your love … For just as you are hungry to listen to me, so too I am hungry to preach to you. My congregation is my only glory, and every one of you means more to me than anyone of the city outside. [26]

John Chrysostom preached every Sunday, on saints’ days and at several weekday services, and 800 of his sermons survive. He often began his sermons with a prayer that survives in the Anglican tradition as the Collect for Purity, which Thomas Cranmer places at the opening of the Holy Communion. [27]

Middle Ages

By the Middle Ages, however, scholastic theology, by and large, was not dealing with the relationship between preaching and sacrament, and as the emphasis shifted to liturgical and sacramental life, preaching was often placed in a separate category. Mediaeval preaching was permitted only with local episcopal authorisation, and took place largely outside the setting of the liturgy. Preaching was often an exercise in combatting heresy or – in a way that seems profane today – canvassing support for the Crusades; an infamous example of this is Bernard of Clairvaux ‘preaching up’ the Second Crusade. [28]

A change came with the foundation of the Dominicans or Order of Preachers in 1216, and then with the formation of the Franciscans. These friars were trained to preach in the languages of the people and in persuasive preaching, and this was generally outside a liturgical setting or context.

R.H. Fuller identifies a number of factors that contributed to the decline of liturgical preaching in the early Middle Ages, including mass conversions, the multiplication of masses said by priests, the decline in educational standards, and the Western development of the low mass, so that the sermon ceased to be a normal part of the liturgy. [29] Around the same time, sacramental participation was also diminished, with the people receiving Communion in the form of the bread alone and not in the wine. The forward-looking aspect of the Eucharist, anticipating the heavenly banquet, was lost in the new emphasis on the Eucharist as a memorial of the Last Supper and the Crucifixion.

However, we should not presume that the neglect of preaching was as widespread as is often alleged or presumed in Reformation polemics. As Eamon Duffy points out, the survival of 200 pre-Reformation pulpits in English parish churches, mostly from the 15th century, suggests otherwise. [30]

The Reformers responded to the liturgical and sacramental emphases in scholastic theology by developing a theology of the word of God. Luther and the Anglican reformers sought to re-establish a liturgical sermon, and from 1549, each version of the Book of Common Prayer included a rubric requiring a sermon or homily after the Creed. The rubric in 1549, expected that the sermon or homily might include an exhortation ‘to the worthy receiving of the holy Sacrament of the bodye and bloude of our savior Christ …’ [31] It was expected too that the Eucharist would be celebrated in the parish every Sunday and principal feast day, and that a sermon would be preached at each celebration.

However, the introduction of a Sunday sermon may have been slow in Anglicanism, for the number of pulpits in England surviving from the reign of Elizabeth I is small compared with those from the reigns of James I and Charles I, while Communion plate from the reign of Elizabeth I, especially chalices and patens, survives in abundance.[32] But the reformed theology of the word of God was often in danger of being reduced to a theology of preaching, leading to a new separation of Sacrament and Word, with an increased emphasis on preaching the word Sunday-by-Sunday and a reduced emphasis on the weekly celebration of the Sacrament. For example, Heinrich Bullinger asserted in the Second Helvetic Confession (1566): ‘The preaching of the word of God is the Word of God.’ Cumming argues that the reduction in the number and frequency of Sunday celebrations of the Eucharist among Anglicans is explained partly by the lingering reluctance of people who once previously had been present as mere spectators to receive the sacrament, combined with the belief that celebrations of Holy Communion were valid only if the elements were received. Lancelot Andrewes and others failed in their efforts to encourage more frequent celebration, to stress order and decency in worship and to place sacraments above preaching.[33]

By the 17th century, Morning Prayer with Sermon became the principal Sunday service, separating Word and Sacrament once more, although Puritans continued to refer to Holy Communion as ‘the Mass’ and to the Book of Common Prayer disparagingly as ‘mass-books.’ [34]

When Holy Communion was celebrated in parish churches, it customarily followed immediately after Morning Prayer, and so the breaking of the word and the breaking of the bread were separated even further. By the 18th century, worship in the Church of England had become more sermon centred, clearing the way for what Conrad Donakowski describes as the ‘rationalistic discourses favoured as centrepieces of the service during the Age of Reason.’[35] It is no wonder, then, that the Anglican liturgist Dom Gregory Dix would later comment wryly, ‘Listening to sermons, however excellent, is not a substitute for worship …’[36]

Reclaiming the weekly celebration

In response to this great separation, the liturgical revival that developed in Anglicanism in the 19th century often diminished the place of preaching in the liturgy.

The Liturgical Movement in the 20th century stimulated many traditions to reclaim the weekly celebration of the Eucharist as the principal act of worship on Sundays. With this recovery, the sermon once again was understood as an integral part of the liturgy in which the word of God read in Scripture is proclaimed and becomes part of the Great Thanksgiving.

In a series of reflections following the pattern of the Eucharistic liturgy, Geoffrey Howard recalls gabbled readings that concluded with ‘This is the Word of the Lord’ and an ill-prepared sermon, and he points out with sensitive humour:

The Eucharist is ministry of word and sacrament. We meet God in both. It takes faith to believe that we meet him in bread and wine, while it can take a suspension of the critical faculties to believe that he comes in gabbled readings and in the ramblings of preachers.[37]

Infrequent Sunday celebrations of the Eucharist, if ever, should be as rare as infrequent Sunday proclamations of the word. As Harold Miller points out with agility, there should be no celebration of the Eucharist, or the breaking of the bread, without also having a Sermon, or the breaking of the word.[38]

Proclamation must not be separated from the Eucharist, and the Eucharist must not be separated from proclamation, for the Eucharist is proclamation, liturgy is evangelistic, and worship has the power to convert.[39] As Andrew Davison and Alison Milbank express it, the Eucharist is the revolutionary act by which the saving truth of the Incarnation is proclaimed and in our liturgy we embody the Gospel, so that the words and gestures, the story and the liturgical practice combine in one faithful performance with an ethical edge.[40] Those who doubt or question whether the Eucharist is proclamation in its fullest sense might consider how singing songs about the Lamb on the Throne[41] can find fulfilment in holding the bread and wine of the Eucharist before the congregation and inviting them to Communion with the words: ‘Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, who has taken away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper.’ [42]

Both proclamation and the Eucharist invite us to encounter the living Christ who abandoned his heavenly throne and pitched his tent among us. As David Stancliffe has written:

If the Church is sign, instrument and foretaste of the Kingdom, worship is where those abstractions are – or ought to be – made visible. We ought to be able to say with confidence, ‘Share with us in the breaking of the bread and you will see Christ crucified among his people, forming them as his Body; and this feast will give you a glimpse of heaven. For it is in worship that what the Church believes and does is earthed and made visible.[43]

As Davison and Milbank point out, being in Christ is everything for Saint Paul, and this involves the Church. They cite Charles Gore, who argued that ‘the idea of faith in Jesus which does not seek admission into “the body” or disparages it even while it accepts it, does not even present itself to St Paul’s mind.’[44]

Communion without preaching emphasises community without the challenge of conversion. Preaching without Communion loses its ecclesial dimension and can emphasise individual salvation without an invitation to commitment and into community, to being part of the Body of Christ. The Eucharist makes the Church, rather than the Church making the Eucharist, and forcing us to make a choice between a priority for word over sacrament, or a preference for Sacrament over Word, creates a false paradox. The choice is not either/or; instead we must have both/and. We cannot be the Church without preaching the pure Word of God, neither can we be the Church without celebrating the sacraments.

Footnotes and references

1, GR Evans, JR Wright (eds), The Anglican Tradition, A Handbook of Sources (London: SPCK, 1991), p 235.
2, Ibid., pp 163-164. 3, See Paul Avis, The Anglican Understanding of the Church (London: SPCK, 2nd ed, 2013), pp 96-98.
4, David Samuel and George Carey, ‘The ARCIC Agreed Statements are not agreeable to Scripture and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion,’ Churchman, 102/2 (1988), p 155. 5, Donald Coggan, A New Day for Preaching (London: SPCK, 1996), pp 4-5.
6, The Book of Common Prayer (Dublin: Columba Press for the Church of Ireland, 2004), pp 570-571, hereafter BCP 2004. In the Church of England, the words in Common Worship vary slightly: ‘Receive this Book, as a sign of the authority which God has you this day to preach the gospel of Christ and to minister his Holy Sacraments’ (Common Worship. See ‘Ordination Services’ on < https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/ordinal/priests.aspx > (Accessed 21 June 2017).
7, BCP 2004, p 537.
8, Ibid., p 572.
9, BCP 2004, p 572.
10, The text of the institution service is available at this link: < https://www.ireland.anglican.org/cmsfiles/files/worship/pdf/InstitutionHC.pdf > and the resolution that governed it is available here: < http://synodarchive.ireland.anglican.org/2006/docs/pdf/resolutions/Res2.pdf > (Accessed 26 June 2017).
11, BCP 2004, p 18.
12, Ibid., p 75.
13, Ibid., p 76.
14, Harold Miller, The Desire of our Soul (Dublin: Columba, 2004), p 113.
15, See Homer, Iliad (21.265; 22.194), Odyssey (11.585); Plato, Theaetetus 143a 1-5; Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian Wars, 7.18; Xenophon, Memorabilia, 3.4.3.
16, Geoffrey Wainwright, ‘Christian Worship: Scriptural Basis and Theological Framework,’ in G. Wainwright and K.B. Westerfield Tucker (eds), The Oxford History of Christian Worship (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), p 7.
17, Emilianos Timiadis, The Relevance of the Fathers (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1994), pp 11, 17.
18, Wendy Mayer, ‘Homiletics,’ in SA Harvey and DG Hunter (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp 568-569.
19, See S.G. Hall (ed), Melito of Sardis. On Pascha and fragments (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979), passim.
20, Justin Martyr, First Apology, Ch 67, 1913 < http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.viii.ii.lxvii.html >.
21, Irenaeus, Adv Haer, I.x.2.
22, Origen, Homilies on Exodus, 13.3.
23, Wendy Mayer, ‘Homiletics,’ in S.A. Harvey and D.G. Hunter (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp 568-569.
24, Éric Rebillard, ‘The West (2): North Africa,’ in S.A. Harvey and D.G. Hunter (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), p 316.
25, Thomas K. Carroll, Peaching the Word (Eugene OR: Wipf and Stock, 2008), p 107.
26, John Chrysostom, Hom Earthq, 15.
27, BCP 2004, p 201.
28, De Consideratione Libri Quinque, II, 1, in Patrologia Latina 182, 741-745, translated by James Brundage, The Crusades: A Documentary History (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 1962), 115-121.
29, R.H. Fuller, ‘Sermon,’ pp 484-485, in J.G. Davies (ed), A New Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship (London: SCM Press, 1986). 30, Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England 1400-1580 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press), p 698.
31, See Brian Cummings (ed), The Book of Common Prayer, The Texts of 1549, 1559 and 1662 (Oxford: Oxford University Press), p 23.
32, Bruce Cumming (2011), pp xxxviii, 729.
33, Bryan D Spinks, ‘Anglicans and Dissenters,’ in Geoffrey Wainwright and Karen B. Westerfield Tucker (eds), The Oxford History of Christian Worship (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp 504-505.
34, See Arnold Hunt, ‘The Lord’s Supper in Early Modern England,’ Past and Present, 161 (1998), pp 39-83; Cumming, pp 768-769.
35, Conrad L. Donakowski, ‘The Age of Revolutions,’ in G Wainwright and K.B. Westerfield Tucker (eds), The Oxford History of Christian Worship (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 364.
36 Simon Jones (ed), The Sacramental Life, Gregory Dix and his writings (London: Canterbury Press Norwich, 2007), p 17 (emphasis in the original).
37, Geoffrey Howard, Dare to Break Bread (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1992), p 25.
38, Harold Miller, The Desire of our Soul (Dublin: Columba, 2004), p 127.
39, See David Stancliffe, ‘Evangelism and Worship’ in Jeffrey John (ed), Living Evangelism (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1996), pp 26-27.
40, Andrew Davidson, Alison Milbank, For the Parish, a critique of Fresh Expressions (London: SCM Press, 2010), pp 222-223.
41, For example, see Thanks & Praise (London: Hymns Ancient and Modern, on behalf of the Church of Ireland, 2015), nos 4, 11, 12.
42, BCP 2004, p 219; see Stephen Cottrell, From the abundance of the heart (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2006), p 119.
43, David Stancliffe, ‘Evangelism and Worship’ in Jeffrey John (ed), Living Evangelism (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1996), p 25.
44, Andrew Davidson, Alison Milbank, For the Parish, a critique of Fresh Expressions (London: SCM Press, 2010), pp 56-57; see Charles Gore, St Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (London: John Murray, 1899), p 34.

Biographical note:

The Revd Canon Patrick Comerford has taught Liturgy, Anglicanism and Church History in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, and is priest-in-charge of the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group.

‘Preaching and Celebrating, Word and Sacrament: Inseparable signs of the Church’ was first published in Maurice Elliott & Patrick McGlinchey (eds), Perspectives on Preaching: a witness of the Irish Church (Dublin: Church of Ireland Publishing, 2017), 242 pp, ISBN 978-1-904884-59-0, pp 77-90.

Is Venice drowning under
the rising sea of tourists?

A centrefold spread in the ‘Diocesan Magazine’ for February 2019 (Photographs: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

In my monthly column for two church magazines – the Church Review (Dublin and Glendalough) and the Diocesan Magazine (Cashel, Ferns and Ossory) – I look this month (February 2019) at the growing resistance in many places to mass tourism.

My ideas were developed during a recent visit to Venice, where many people feel the city has been blighted by mass tourism, and that this is a problem compounding the many other problems Venice faces. Some people wonder whether Venice is sinking not just beneath the rising waters of the Lagoon but under the daily tide of day-visitors.

As well as a seven-page feature in the main part of the Diocesan Magazine, the editor has also presented a double-page, centre-fold spread of photographs from Venice.

In his editorial, the editor of the Diocesan Magazine, the Revd Patrick Burke of Castlecomer, writes:

‘Patrick Comerford this month raises the interesting issue of sustainable tourism, looking to the beautiful city of Venice as an example. It is an interesting and difficult problem. On the one hand we learn much from travelling to other places – as the old saying goes, travel broadens the mind; on the other hand, there are the carbon footprints we are being warned about so frequently these days, not to mention the potential damage done to iconic destinations by ever-expanding streams of visitors to them, fuelled by the relatively recent phenomenon of low cost air travel. Views on the issue may vary; but as always Patrick discusses the matter thoughtfully – and illustrates his article with stunning photographs.’

But, more about Venice, its beauty and its problems, over the next few days.