Our Wounded Anglican History: Establishing Legitimacy with the Sword

July 7, 2008

This is part 2 of a 15 part series examining the historical antecedents of the Anglican Communion.

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

–Psalm 2

Sometime after the death of King Henry V in 1422, a man named Owen Tudor entered the service of the king’s widow, Catherine Valois, probably as her wardrobe master.  They became enamored of one another, and were probably married, although there is no record of this marriage.  Married or not, they had six children together, including Edmund and Jasper Tudor, who were acknowledged by King Henry VI.  Edmund Tudor, as half-brother to the king, was entitled to marry a woman of high station. 

Lady Margaret Beaufort was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, who was a son of King Edward III.  Descent from John of Gaunt was the claim that the Yorkists had to the throne.  The Yorkists, however, were descended from a legitimate child produced by the first marriage of John of Gaunt.  Lady Margaret was descended from John Beaufort, an illegitimate son of John of Gaunt.  John Beaufort had been legitimized after his father married his mother, but that legitimacy had later been rescinded by the Lancastrian King, Henry IV.  The Beauforts could advance only a very tenuous claim to the throne, but they were a very respectable and highly ranked noble family.      

In 1455, the year that the Wars of the Roses erupted, Edmund Tudor was wed to Lady Margaret.  He was 24.  She was 12.  She became pregnant a year later.  Shortly after his wife became pregnant, Edmund, a prominent Lancastrian, was captured by a Yorkist army, was imprisoned, became infected with the plague, and died.  Two months after his death, his only son, Henry Tudor, was born.               

The Yorkists captured the throne from the weak Lancaster king, Henry VI.  It was held first by Edward IV and then by his brother, Richard III.  Henry Tudor grew to adulthood and became head of the House of Lancaster. Through his Beaufort mother, he could make a claim to the throne, however tenuous and convoluted that claim may have been.  He allied himself with England’s enemies in France and Scotland, who supplied him with troops, weapons, and money.  In 1485, two years into the reign of the Yorkist Richard III, Henry Tudor, accompanied by his uncle, Jasper Tudor, landed in Wales, which was a Lancastrian stronghold.  As they moved through the Welsh countryside they picked up supporters until they had amassed an army of nearly 5,000. 

Henry and Jasper Tudor and their army met the army of Richard III on August 22, 1485, at Bosworth Field near Leicestershire. Richard was dependent for help in the battle on three allies, the Earl of Northumberland, Lord Thomas Stanley, and Sir William Stanley.  But these allies either switched sides or refused to join the battle.  This proved a decisive factor.  His army defeated, Richard III was slain, the last English king to die in battle (though not, as we shall see, the last English king to meet a violent death).  His naked body was paraded through the streets of Leicestershire. 

Henry Tudor, whose grandfather had been Master of the Royal Wardrobe,  was crowned King Henry VII on October 30, 1485.  He married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and niece of the defeated king, Richard III.  She was the older sister of the two missing princes whom Richard had taken to the Tower of London.  This marriage united the houses of Lancaster and York and ensured that Henry’s descendants would have an undisputed claim to the throne through both Henry and Elizabeth.  Henry created the Tudor rose as a new heraldic badge for his family.  It contained both the red rose of Lancaster and the white rose of York.  Henry and Elizabeth had four children who survived early childhood.


Father, forgive us in your mercy.  We have betrayed those to whom we have sworn loyalty.  We have accepted aid and comfort from our enemies.  We have used children to advance our own political ambitions.  We have committed murder.  We have rebelled against lawful authority and against you, our most high God.  We have induced others to acts of betrayal.  We have allowed greed and lust for power to control our actions. 

Father, the sins of our ancestors remain with us.  We, too, are traitors and rebels.  We seek material gain rather than spiritual gain.  We are seduced by the ruler of this world.  We crave power and self-aggrandizement.  We worship at the altar of self-idolatry.    

Have mercy, Father.  Use the blood shed by Jesus on the cross to cleanse the sins of our ancestors and our own sins.  Wipe clean this stain on our history.  Restore us.  Break the cycle of repeated sins.  Free us from bondage to this history.  Begin a new creation in which you are our God and we are your people. 

Through Jesus Christ our Lord and true King.


Praying for the Lambeth conference bishops, July 7

July 7, 2008

Almighty God, you have entrusted to your Church a share in the ministry of your Son our great high priest: inspire [our Anglican bishops and primates, especially those attending the Lambeth conference] by your Holy Spirit to offer themselves to you, that strengthened by your power, they may work for the increase of your kingdom and set forward the eternal praise of your name; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. (adapted from CoE Common Worship Collects)

Selected Passages from today’s lectionary:

Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

(posted by KB)

All of Lent & Beyond’s Lambeth prayers and resources are here.  We’ve also got a new post up with links to a number of other Lambeth Prayer Resources, here.

Romans 8:26-30

July 7, 2008

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26)
      Holy Spirit, please continue to intercede for us and through us: help us in our weakness to pray as we ought.

Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:27)
      Jesus, thank you for ever living to make intercession for us. Please search and purify our hearts.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 )
      Father, thank you for calling us, thank you for your good purposes for us.

For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
      Father, please continue to transform us in this diocese by your Holy Spirit so that we are conformed to the image of your son Jesus.

Moreover whom he predestined, these he also called; whom he called, these he also justified; and whom he justified, these he also glorified. (Romans 8:30)
      Father, thank you for laying claim to our lives, calling us and justifying us, and helping us live in the hope of the glory that is to come.

Collect, for Peace.
      O GOD, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom; Defend us thy humble servants in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in thy defence, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A word received: You are in my care; don’t be afraid.

Monday: 4, 7; Numbers 32:1-6, 16-27; Romans 8:26-30; Matthew 23:1-12
Tuesday: 10, 11; Numbers 35:1-3,9-15,30-34; Romans 8:31-39; Matthew 23:13-26

Notes from the Front Line

***** Date: Sun, 06 Jul 2008
From: Sister Mary Elizabeth
Subject: The Welcome Home Initiative Closing Ceremony
*      “I will feed My flock and will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord God. “I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken, and strengthen the sick…” (Ezekial 34:15, 16a)
*      This July 28-30 nine brave souls and strong, who have faced physical danger and bear visible and invisible wounds from combat fought on our behalf, will gather for the second Welcome Home Initiative Retreat at Christ the King Center. Alongside our ministry team, these men and women will walk together in Christ’s name for a few days, seeking what has been scattered or lost, and binding up what has been broken.
*       Would you prayerfully consider lending your hands and hearts to this healing process by joining us in in a joyful celebration proclaiming Welcome Home! to these men and women on Wednesday, July 30? We gather in the Great Hall at Christ the King Center at 11:30 a.m. Father Nigel hopes to double the witness to Christ’s love for these men and women at this WHI Retreat!
*      “And the King will answer and say… ‘Truly, to the extent that you did it to one of these brethren of mine … you did it to Me.’ ” (Matthew 25: 40)
Sister Mary Elizabeth, CSM, for the Oratory of Christ the Healer at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center, Greenwich, NY

***** A Novena for Vocations to the Community of St. Mary

      Prayers to be Said Daily

      St. Mary’s Convent, 242 Cloister Way, Greenwich, NY 12834-7922
      (518 ) 692-3028, http://www.stmaryseast.org e-mail: melizcsm@aol.com

      “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. ” (Matthew 5:8 )

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.

Collect for the Community of St. Mary:
Almighty God, who chose the blessed Virgin Mary to be the Mother of your Incarnate Son, grant to us your servants who bear her name so to yield ourselves to the operation of the Holy Spirit that we may be acceptable in your sight and may bring forth to you the fruit of good works, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Eighth Day: For Wisdom in Discernment by the Community
Gracious Father, we ask you to pour gifts of wisdom and discernment on all who share the burden of guiding and evaluating those preparing to enter as Sisters of St. Mary. Give them welcoming hearts and faith in your guidance through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Albany Intercessor


July 7, 2008

This week, we will all be tracking and praying about Hurricane Bertha, and rightly so. However, in my research for the Lambeth Conference, I encountered another Bertha–Queen Bertha of Kent.
Bertha was the daughter of the King of Paris. When she married the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent, she brought her chaplain with her to England. She restored a Christian church in Canterbury, which dated from Roman times, dedicating it to Saint Martin of Tours. The present St Martin’s at Canterbury occupies the same site. Augustine of Canterbury, who was sent by Pope Gregory I to preach the Gospel in England in 596, owed much of his favorable reception there to the influence of Bertha.
King Æthelberht subsequently converted to Christianity. JW

Lord God,
We thank You for the life and ministry of Bertha, Queen of Kent. We ask You to raise up bishops’ wives whose steadfast fidelity and quiet piety prepare the way for Your work at the Lambeth Conference. Anoint them with Your Holy Spirit and surround them with Your holy angels. We pray in the name of Your Son, whose cross St. Augustine carried through the streets of Canterbury. Amen.

Several Lambeth Prayer Resources

July 7, 2008

In addition to posting daily prayers for the Lambeth conference and bishops here at Lent & Beyond, those of us who blog here are also committed to finding and sharing other prayer resources that have been developed for the Lambeth conference.

Here are a few links and resources that might be of interest:

1) From the Official Lambeth Website:

A Prayer for the Lambeth conference appears on the official Lambeth home page. Jill posted that prayer here back in April. Unfortunately there does not (yet) appear to be a dedicated Lambeth prayer section on the official website (as there was in 1998). However on the Resources page there are links to several “prayer bookmarks” for the Lambeth conference. Perhaps more prayer resources will be forthcoming? Also on the Resources page is the Bible study document “Signs on the Way” which will help guide the Bishops’ reflections on the Gospel of John. From what I’ve skimmed of it, it seems to be worthwhile reading and could be helpful in shaping our prayers for the Lambeth bishops. And don’t forget the conference Program as a useful prayer resource.


2. Pray for Lambeth. Org

Browsing on Google the other day, I discovered this site PrayLambeth.Org dedicated to mobilizing prayer for the 2008 Lambeth conference. It is an initiative of SOMA UK and the Crosswinds Prayer Trust. At that site you can sign up for Lambeth prayer updates by e-mail or SMS. Also of interest, their article “Some Ideas to get started”.


3. Fr. Rob Eaton’s “Proxy Prayer Gathering” in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin

Dear friend of this blog, faithful intercessor, and occasional Lent & Beyond contributor, Fr. Rob Eaton of St. John’s Tulare in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin is organizing a “Proxy Prayer” gathering on July 27th. He’s posted detailed information at his blog Surrounded, and this could be a model for other parishes or prayer groups. This is what Fr. Rob means by “proxy prayer”:

Premise: Proxy Prayer is essentially intercessory prayer, but specifically where a small group of intercessors lays on hands on a person prepared to stand in on behalf of another person (or group, or event, etc.), thus the proxy.

Here’s more on Fr. Rob’s specific goals for Lambeth intercession:

Goal for Proxy Prayer during Lambeth: To be a thousand in common prayer at least one day during Lambeth, and during the first week. Our goal is to invite and encourage parishes and missions around the Anglican Communion (whether Anglican or not) to organize their own Proxy Prayer time focused on the Anglican Communion Provinces, preferably all praying initially on the same day, or at least on one day during the first week, so that there are at least 25 congregations involved, which would calculate to be at the least approximately one thousand (1000) people in common prayer.

The purpose of praying on one of the days during the first week is to allow for immediate responses and effects of those prayers to be evidenced at Lambeth Conference, and thus allowing for even more prayer by the proxies (either as a group again, or on their own) to follow-up while Lambeth Conference is still meeting.

Due to the demands of Vacation Bible School starting July 21st, St. John’s, Tulare, will hold their Proxy Prayer for Lambeth on Sunday, July 27th, effectively the end of the first week. We invite you to also schedule that evening, or some day before, at least.

We encourage any prayer leaders or pastors who would like to set up something similar and join with Fr. Rob in such a united prayer event to contact Fr. Rob directly: RGEaton[at]rocketmail[dot]com


We welcome information about other Lambeth prayer resources or events that are being organized. Leave a note in the comments, or contact us at AnglicanPrayer@gmail.com.

All the Lent & Beyond Lambeth prayers & resources can be found here.

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