May 4, 2012

SAINT AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY: A prayer for the ´return to unity of thy truth´

Archiepiscopal chair in Canterbury Cathedral

Prayer for the Feast of Saint Augustine of Canterbury

O God, Who by the preaching and miracles of blessed Augustine, Thy Confessor and Bishop, didst vouchsafe to shed upon the English people the light of the true faith; grant that, through his intercession, the hearts of those that have gone astray may return to the unity of Thy truth, and that we may be of one mind in doing Thy will. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one world without end. Amen

There have been 104 Archbishops starting in 597 AD with Augustine.

¨Named after the first Archbishop of Canterbury, St Augustine of Canterbury, the chair is made of Purbeck Marble or Bethesda Marble and dates to sometime between the sixth and twelfth centuries. Those who argue for an older date suggest that it may have been used to crown the kings of Kent. It has been in use since at least 1205. Canterbury Cathedral, in which the cathedra is housed, maintains that the chair was once part of the furnishings of the shrine of St Thomas Becket, which was destroyed during the English Reformation.

Since antiquity, it has always had a place in the triple enthronement of an Archbishop of Canterbury. He is seated on the throne in the choir as Diocesan Bishop, in the chapter house as titular abbot, and in St. Augustine's chair as Primate of All England. This is the only occasion in which this cathedra is used. A second one is used for other occasions in which the archbishop is present...¨ HERE

Roles and priorities

The various roles and responsibilities of the Archbishop of Canterbury have developed over more than 1400 years of history. The one constant is his ministry as a senior bishop, though the nature and purpose of his authority differs in different contexts

¨The central role, and the source of the archbishop's authority, is as Bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury (the local church of Canterbury), which covers most of the county of Kent. The worship, teaching, discipleship and mission of that diocese are his particular personal responsibility. All other roles are rooted in this one.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the Primate of All England (the 'first bishop' of England), and shares several roles with the Archbishop of York. For well over a thousand years the distinction of the Diocese of Canterbury has given its bishop formal responsibility as a 'metropolitan' - the first among the bishops of a region. He has authority (also known as 'jurisdiction') at all times in the 30 dioceses of his Province - 29 in southern England, and 1 in Continental Europe. York has the same roles in relation to the 14 dioceses of his Province.

Based on his oversight in the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury became the original sign of the unity of the bishops and local churches of the Anglican Communion, which has developed over the last 200 years or so. He is the focus and spokesman of its unity today, but shares his oversight as president of the Communion with other bodies.

In the last two areas of dialogue and activity - Ecumenical relationships between Christian Churches, and Inter Religious relationships between different traditional world religions - the Archbishop has no formal authority. But his role in England and the UK, and his leadership in the Communion at large, give him significant influence and the responsibility to speak authoritatively for the faith and witness of the Church, the Anglican Church in particular.¨ HERE

·  Thanks to Wikipedia
·  Thanks to St. Augustine of Canterbury
·  Thanks to The Archbishop of Canterbury, Information
·  Thanks to The Crown Nominations Commission
·  Thanks to Thinking Anglicans, HERE

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