Saint Andrew: From Galilee to Scotland
On November 30 we celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Andrew, the first of Jesus's 12 apostles.
In "Jesus Calls Us o'er the Tumult," Hymn 566 in The Hymnal, 1940, the second verse describes how Andrew walked away from everything to follow Christ:
As of old Saint Andrew heard it by the Galilean lake, turned from home and toil and kindred, leaving all for his dear sake.
In his Gospel, Saint Matthew recreates the scene:
"JESUS, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. . . . The Gospel. St. Matthew iv. 18. -- page 227, 1928 Book of Common Prayer
Like most of the Bible, the entire passage can be read in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
According to scripture, Andrew had been expecting this encounter. He had been a follower of John the Baptist, who had told him to seek Jesus. Following Jesus's command to spread the gospel to all nations, Andrew traveled and preached throughout the middle east. In Patmos, Greece, he reportedly ran afoul of a Greek governor who was enraged that the apostle had converted his wife and brother to Christianity. The brutal public official sentenced Andrew to die by crucifixion.
Andrew persuaded his executioners to crucify him on a saltire, or x-shaped cross, because, he said, he was not worthy to die on the same kind of cross as his Savior.
Prayer Book Revision Stokes Riots
Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. His cross adorns that nation's flag.
He is remembered in churches around the world with the reverent words of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, adapted shortly after the Revolutionary War from the Scottish text of Cranmer's original liturgy.
The Scots took their Prayer Book very seriously - to the point of rioting over it. Unlike American Episcopalians, who have been much too polite to run amok when Rites I and II and subsequent bogus revisions have been forced on them, Scottish churchgoers strenuously objected to a revision of Cranmer's 1549 liturgy they thought too much like the Roman Catholic mass. This was called "Laud's Liturgy," and was written by Archbishop William Laud, Scottish bishops, and King Charles I.
In 1637, when the dean of St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland, first tried out Laud's Prayer Book on his flock, a woman named Jenny Geddes was so incensed that she shouted at the dean and flung a stool at his head. Other parishioners got into the spirit. They rioted, throwing stools and everything else that wasn't nailed down, and then left the cathedral.
Americans do not throw chairs at clergy -- although that urge might stir in a few of us from time to time, when church committees presume to invent variations on Cranmer's immortal words. Instead, when longtime Episcopalians had had enough, they walked out in a steady stream that became a torrent. Many of the faithful found their way to churches in the Continuing Anglican tradition that practice the religion of the Church fathers set forth in the 1928 BCP.
A faithful remnant remains in the Episcopal Church, seeking out parishes that still use the 1928 BCP, or patiently waiting among old stones for the return of the true, scripture-based, elegantly-written liturgy -- the one great gift The Episcopal Church has given American worshipers.
Still others declare that they are through with "organized religion" and remain unchurched, a sad state, toxic to the soul.
Apparently, no one thought to riot.
After the Scottish Prayer Book Riots, the Book of Common Prayer was brought into line with Cranmer's original text. The 1662 book was adopted by Parliament and is still used throughout the worldwide Anglican Communion. It is similar to the American version, the 1928.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
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