Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar
The Eastern Orthodox Liturgical Calendar describes and dictates the rhythm of the life of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Passages of Holy Scripture and events for commemoration are associated with each date, as are many times special rules for fasting or feasting that correspond to the day of the week or time of year in relationship to the major feast days. There are two types of feasts in the Orthodox Church calendar: fixed and movable. Fixed feasts occur on the same calendar day every year; the moveable feasts are relative to Pascha, so the cycle of moveable feasts is referred to as the Paschal cycle. The following list of dates links only to fixed feasts of the Orthodox Church; these are the fixed dates. All dates having to do with Pascha - the beginning of Great Lent, Pentecost, etc. - are moveable feasts, thus are not on this calendar. These important notes should be remembered in using the following calendar: For the day in the modern Gregorian Calendar. On which churches following the Julian Calendar celebrate any fixed date's commemoration, the 13 days which were lapsed to correct the calendar to the seasons must again lapse, by adding the 13 days to the dates below.
For example, Christmas Day on the Julian Calendar falls on January 7 of the modern Gregorian Calendar. The number of days by which the Gregorian calendar differs from the Julian calendar is 13, but will increase to 14 on March 1, 2100. Over the course of future centuries, the difference will continue to increase, limitlessly. For those churches which follow the Revised Julian Calendar the dates below correspond to the dates on the Gregorian Calendar; the Orthodox liturgical year begins on September 1. Pascha is, by far, the most important day in the ecclesiastical year, all other days, in one way or another, are dependent upon it. Pascha falls on different calendar dates from year to year, calculated according to a strict set of rules. While the Fixed Cycle begins on September 1, the new Paschal Cycle begins on "Zaccheus Sunday", eleven Sundays before Pascha, continues until the Zaccheus Sunday of the following year; the Epistle and Gospel readings at the Divine Liturgy throughout the year are determined by the date of Pascha.
There are Twelve Great Feasts throughout the church year—not counting Pascha, above and beyond all other feast days. These are feasts which celebrate major historical events in the lives of Jesus Christ or the Theotokos. Of these, three are on the Paschal Cycle: Palm Sunday Ascension Pentecost The other Great Feasts are on the Fixed Cycle: The Nativity of the Theotokos — 21 September The Elevation of the Holy Cross — 27 September The Presentation of the Theotokos — 4 December The Nativity of the Lord — 7 January The Theophany of the Lord — 19 January The Presentation of the Lord — 15 February The Annunciation — 7 April The Transfiguration — 19 August The Dormition of the Theotokos — 28 August In addition, the feast day of the patron saint of a parish church or monastery is counted as a Great Feast, is celebrated with great solemnity. In addition to Great Lent, there are three other lesser lenten seasons in the church year: Nativity Fast Apostles' Fast Dormition Fast The season from the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee through Holy Saturday is called Triodion, while the season from Pascha through Pentecost is called the Pentecostarion.
Because of the complexity created by the intersection of the various cycles, a number of Orthodox institutions will print an annual calendar which contains rubrics for the services during that particular year. Simpler wall calendars will show the major commemoration of the day together with the appointed scripture readings. Byzantine calendar List of Eastern Orthodox saint titles For saints and other commemorations: Orthodox Church Calendar at OrthodoxWiki Complete lives of the saints for every day of the Byzantine liturgical year Lives of the Saints and Feast days Search at Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Orthodox Calendar at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church Where to learn and purchase Orthodox Liturgical Calendars For scriptural readings: The Orthodox Study Bible. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993: 771-780
The Eucharist is a Christian rite, considered a sacrament in most churches, as an ordinance in others. According to the New Testament, the rite was instituted by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper. Through the Eucharistic celebration Christians remember both Christ's sacrifice of himself on the cross and his commission of the apostles at the Last Supper; the elements of the Eucharist, sacramental bread and sacramental wine, are consecrated on an altar and consumed thereafter. Communicants, those who consume the elements, may speak of "receiving the Eucharist", as well as "celebrating the Eucharist". Christians recognize a special presence of Christ in this rite, though they differ about how and when Christ is present. While all agree that there is no perceptible change in the elements, Roman Catholics believe that their substances become the body and blood of Christ. Lutherans believe the true body and blood of Christ are present "in, under" the forms of the bread and wine. Reformed Christians believe in a real spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Others, such as the Plymouth Brethren and the Christadelphians, take the act to be only a symbolic reenactment of the Last Supper and a memorial. In spite of differences among Christians about various aspects of the Eucharist, there is, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "more of a consensus among Christians about the meaning of the Eucharist than would appear from the confessional debates over the sacramental presence, the effects of the Eucharist, the proper auspices under which it may be celebrated"; the Greek noun εὐχαριστία, meaning "thanksgiving", appears fifteen times in the New Testament but is not used as an official name for the rite. Do this in remembrance of me"; the term "Eucharist" is that by which the rite is referred to by the Didache, Ignatius of Antioch and Justin Martyr. Today, "the Eucharist" is the name still used by Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Lutherans. Other Protestant or Evangelical denominations use this term, preferring either "Communion", "the Lord's Supper", "Memorial", "Remembrance", or "the Breaking of Bread".
Latter-day Saints call it "Sacrament". The Lord's Supper, in Greek Κυριακὸν δεῖπνον, was in use in the early 50s of the 1st century, as witnessed by the First Epistle to the Corinthians: When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk; those who use the term "Eucharist" use the expression "the Lord's Supper", but it is the predominant term among Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, who avoid using the term "Communion". They refer to the observance as an "ordinance"; those Protestant churches avoid the term "sacrament".'Holy Communion' are used by some groups originating in the Protestant Reformation to mean the entire Eucharistic rite. Others, such as the Catholic Church, do not use this term for the rite, but instead mean by it the act of partaking of the consecrated elements; the term "Communion" is derived from Latin communio, which translates Greek κοινωνία in 1 Corinthians 10:16: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?
The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? The phrase appears in various related forms five times in the New Testament in contexts which, according to some, may refer to the celebration of the Eucharist, in either closer or symbolically more distant reference to the Last Supper, it is the term used by the Plymouth Brethren. The "Blessed Sacrament" and the "Blessed Sacrament of the Altar" are common terms used by Catholics and some Anglicans for the consecrated elements when reserved in a tabernacle. "Sacrament of the Altar" is in common use among Lutherans. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the term "The Sacrament" is used of the rite. Mass is used in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Churches, by many Anglicans, in some other forms of Western Christianity. At least in the Catholic Church, the Mass is a longer rite which always consists of two main parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, in that order; the Liturgy of the Word consists of readings from scripture (the
Westminster Confession of Faith
The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith. Drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly as part of the Westminster Standards to be a confession of the Church of England, it became and remains the "subordinate standard" of doctrine in the Church of Scotland and has been influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide. In 1643, the English Parliament called upon "learned and judicious Divines" to meet at Westminster Abbey in order to provide advice on issues of worship, doctrine and discipline of the Church of England, their meetings, over a period of five years, produced the confession of faith, as well as a Larger Catechism and a Shorter Catechism. For more than three hundred years, various churches around the world have adopted the confession and the catechisms as their standards of doctrine, subordinate to the Bible; the Westminster Confession of Faith was modified and adopted by Congregationalists in England in the form of the Savoy Declaration. The Baptists of England modified the Savoy Declaration to produce the Second London Baptist Confession.
English Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists would together come to be known as Nonconformists, because they did not conform to the Act of Uniformity establishing the Church of England as the only approved church, though they were in many ways united by their common confessions, built on the Westminster Confession. During the English Civil War, the English Parliament raised armies in an alliance with the Covenanters who by were the de facto government of Scotland, against the forces of Charles I, King of England and Ireland; the purpose of the Westminster Assembly, in which 121 Puritan clergymen participated, was to provide official documents for the reformation of the Church of England. The Church of Scotland had overthrown the bishops imposed by the King and reinstated presbyterianism. For this reason, as a condition for entering into the alliance with the English Parliament, the Scottish Parliament formed the Solemn League and Covenant with the English Parliament, which meant that the Church of England would abandon episcopalianism and adhere to Calvinistic standards of doctrine and worship.
The Confession and Catechisms were produced in order to secure the help of the Scots against the king. The Scottish Commissioners who were present at the Assembly were satisfied with the Confession of Faith, in 1646, the document was sent to the English parliament to be ratified, submitted to the General Assembly of the Scottish Kirk; the Church of Scotland adopted the document, without amendment, in 1647. In England, the House of Commons returned the document to the Assembly with the requirement to compile a list of proof texts from Scripture. After vigorous debate, the Confession was in part adopted as the Articles of Christian Religion in 1648, by act of the English parliament, omitting section 4 of chapter 20, sections 4–6 of chapter 24, chapters 30 and 31; the next year, the Scottish parliament ratified the Confession without amendment. In 1660, restoration of the British monarchy and Anglican episcopacy resulted in the nullification of these acts of the two parliaments. However, when William of Orange replaced the Roman Catholic King James VII of Scotland and II of England on the thrones of Scotland and Ireland, he gave royal assent to the Scottish parliament's ratification of the Confession, again without change, in 1690.
The confession is a systematic exposition of Calvinist orthodoxy, influenced by Puritan and covenant theology. It includes doctrines common to most of Christendom such as the Trinity and Jesus' sacrificial death and resurrection, it contains doctrines specific to Protestantism such as sola scriptura and sola fide, its more controversial features include the covenant of works with Adam, the Puritan doctrine that assurance of salvation is not a necessary consequence of faith, a minimalist conception of worship, a strict sabbatarianism. It states that the Pope is the Antichrist, a common belief in seventeenth-century England, it stated that the Roman Catholic mass is a form of idolatry, that the civil magistrates have divine authority to punish heresy, rules out marriage with non-Christians. The confession begins with a definition of the Bible's content as well as an explication of its role within the church. Chapter 1 declares that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the inspired, written Word of God.
As the Word of God, the Bible is considered "the rule of faith and life." The Holy Scriptures are said to possess infallible truth and divine authority, containing "all things necessary for own glory, man's salvation and life", so that no new revelations or human traditions can be added to it. The Confession of Faith states that, in the original languages, the Bible was kept pure and authentic; because of this, the Scriptures alone are the church's final authority in all religious disputes. The confession states that "the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture" is "the supreme judge" of councils, ancient writers and private revelation. After describing the attributes of God, chapter 2 of the confession endorses the traditional doctrine of the Trinity, which holds that the one and only God exists as three persons, "of one substance and eternity", God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Chapter 3 affirms the Reformed doctrine of predestination: that God foreordained who would be among the elect, while he passed by those who would be damned for thei
Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship a deity, through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity, or a deified ancestor. More prayer can have the purpose of thanksgiving or praise, in comparative religion is associated with more abstract forms of meditation and with charms or spells. Prayer can take a variety of forms: it can be part of a set liturgy or ritual, it can be performed alone or in groups. Prayer may take the form of a hymn, formal creedal statement, or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person. Today, most major religions involve prayer in another; the English term prayer is from Medieval Latin precaria "petition, prayer". The Vulgate Latin is oratio, which translates Greek προσευχή in turn the Septuagint translation of Biblical Hebrew תְּפִלָּה tĕphillah. Various spiritual traditions offer a wide variety of devotional acts. There are morning and evening prayers, graces said over meals, reverent physical gestures.
Some Christians fold their hands. Some Native Americans regard dancing as a form of prayer; some Sufis whirl. Hindus chant mantras. Jewish prayer may involve bowing. Muslims practice salat in their prayers. Quakers keep silent; some pray according to standardized rituals and liturgies, while others prefer extemporaneous prayers. Still others combine the two. Friedrich Heiler is cited in Christian circles for his systematic Typology of Prayer which lists six types of prayer: primitive, Greek cultural, philosophical and prophetic; some forms of prayer require a prior ritualistic form of cleansing or purification such as in ghusl and wudhu. Prayer may be done and individually, or it may be done corporately in the presence of fellow believers. Prayer can be incorporated into a daily "thought life", in which one is in constant communication with a god; some people pray throughout all, happening during the day and seek guidance as the day progresses. This is regarded as a requirement in several Christian denominations, although enforcement is not possible nor desirable.
There can be many different answers to prayer, just as there are many ways to interpret an answer to a question, if there in fact comes an answer. Some may experience physical, or mental epiphanies. If indeed an answer comes, the time and place it comes is considered random; some outward acts that sometimes accompany prayer are: anointing with oil. One less noticeable act related to prayer is fasting. A variety of body postures may be assumed with specific meaning associated with them: standing. Prayers may be recited from memory, read from a book of prayers, or composed spontaneously as they are prayed, they may be chanted, or sung. They may be with musical accompaniment or not. There may be a time of outward silence. There are prayers to fit specific occasions, such as the blessing of a meal, the birth or death of a loved one, other significant events in the life of a believer, or days of the year that have special religious significance. Details corresponding to specific traditions are outlined below.
Anthropologically, the concept of prayer is related to that of surrender and supplication. The traditional posture of prayer in medieval Europe is kneeling or supine with clasped hands, in antiquity more with raised hands; the early Christian prayer posture was standing, looking up to heaven, with outspread arms and bare head. This is the pagan prayer posture. Certain Cretan and Cypriote figures of the Late Bronze Age, with arms raised, have been interpreted as worshippers, their posture is similar to the "flight" posture, a crouching posture with raised hands, observed in schizophrenic patients and related to the universal "hands up" gesture of surrender. The kneeling posture with clasped hands appears to have been introduced only with the beginning high medieval period adopted from a gesture of feudal homage. Although prayer in its literal sense is not used in animism, communication with the spirit world is vital to the animist way of life; this is accomplished through a shaman who, through a trance, gains access to the spirit world and shows the spirits' thoughts to the people.
Other ways to receive messages from the spirits include using astrology or contemplating fortune tellers and healers. Some of the oldest extant literature, such as the Sumerian temple hymns of Enheduanna are liturgy addressed to deities and thus technically "prayer"; the Egyptian Pyramid Texts of about the same period contain spells or incantations addressed to the gods. In the loosest sense, in the form of magical thinking combined with animism, prayer has been argued as representing a human cultural universal, which would have been present since the emergence of behavioral modernity, by anthropologists such as Sir Edward Burnett Tylor a
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a mainline Protestant Lutheran Church headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The ELCA came into existence on January 1, 1988, by the merging of three Lutheran church bodies; as of 2017, it has 3.5 million baptized members in 9,163 congregations. In 2015, Pew Research estimated that 1.4 percent of the U. S. population self-identifies with the ELCA. It is the seventh-largest Christian denomination by reported membership and the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States; the next two largest Lutheran denominations are the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. There are many smaller Lutheran church bodies in the United States, some of which came into being composed of dissidents following the major 1988 merger; the ELCA belongs to the World Council of the Lutheran World Federation. The ELCA is in full communion with the Episcopal Church, Moravian Church, Presbyterian Church, Reformed Church in America, United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church.
In 1970, a survey by Strommen et al. found that 79 percent of Lutheran Church in America clergy, 62 percent of American Lutheran Church clergy, 58 percent of Lutheran Church Missouri Synod clergy surveyed agreed that "a merger of all Lutheran groups in the United States into one organization is desirable". The ELCA formally came into existence on January 1, 1988, creating the largest Lutheran church body in the United States; the Church is a result of a merger among The American Lutheran Church with its headquarters in Minneapolis, the Lutheran Church in America and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, all of which had formally agreed in 1982 to unite after several years of discussions. The ALC and LCA were themselves the product of previous mergers. In 1960, The American Lutheran Church was formed as a merger of the earlier ALC of 1930 from German heritage, the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Danish background, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norwegian background; the Lutheran Free Church joined three years in 1963.
The ALC brought 2.25 million members into the new ELCA. It was the most theologically conservative of the forming bodies, having a heritage of Old Lutheran theology, it had been in fellowship for a decade with the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and held to biblical inerrancy in its constitution, although it enforced that stance by means of heresy trials or other doctrinal discipline. Its geographic center was in the Upper Midwest Minnesota, with headquarters and publisher on South Fifth Street in Minneapolis and one of its several seminaries in neighboring St. Paul, its denominational magazine was The Lutheran Standard, published in Minneapolis. Some congregations in the ALC opted not to join the 1988 merger and instead formed the American Association of Lutheran Churches; the Lutheran Church in America had been created in 1962, when the United Lutheran Church in America, along with the Swedish background Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the Danish immigrants in the American Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The LCA was the larger partner and brought 2.85 million members into the new ELCA. Their administrative offices were in the Church House, a former townhouse mansion on Madison Avenue in New York City, its publishing house, Fortress Press, was on Queen's Lane in northwest Philadelphia, produced the church magazine, The Lutheran. Its demographic focus was on the East Coast, centered on Pennsylvania), with large numbers in the Midwest and some presence in the Southern Atlantic states. There are notable exceptions, but LCA-background churches tend to be more liturgical than ALC-background churches, its theological orientation ranged from moderately liberal to neo-orthodox, with tendencies toward conservative Pietism in some rural and small-town congregations. Its theology originated in the Neo-Lutheran movement. In 1976, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches was formed by 250 congregations that had left the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod in a schism precipitated by disputes over biblical inerrancy and ecumenism as part of the overall Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy, roiling American Protestant churches for several decades.
The LCMS elected more conservative leadership in 1969 under President Jacob A. O. Preus, replacing moderate incumbent Oliver Harms; the new leadership opened an investigation at the synod's Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, about the faculty's commitment to inerrancy in Biblical interpretation; as a result, most of the faculty and student body walked out and established a separate institution named "Concordia Seminary-in-Exile". The AELC brought 100,000 members into the ELCA, its immigrant heritage came from Germany in the mid-19th century. The ELCA is headed by a Presiding Bishop, elected by the Churchwide Assembly for a term of six years. To date, four people have been elected to the position of Presiding Bishop of the ELCA. Herbert W. Chilstrom served as the first Presiding Bishop from 1987 to 1995, he was followed by H. George Anderson, who had previous
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, headquartered in New York City, is an eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Its current primate is Archbishop Demetrios of America; as of 2013 Archbishop Demetrios served the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He served as: Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate President of the Holy Eparchial Synod Convener and Chairman of the Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs in North and Central America Chairman of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the AmericasEpiscopal details include: Consecrated as Bishop September 17, 1967 Elected as Archbishop of America August 19, 1999 Enthroned as Archbishop of America September 18, 1999 The mission of the Archdiocese is to proclaim the Gospel of Christ, to teach and spread the Orthodox Christian faith, to energize and guide the life of the Church in the United States of America according to the Orthodox Christian faith and tradition.
The Greek Orthodox Church in America considers that it sanctifies the faithful through divine worship the Holy Eucharist and other sacraments, building the spiritual and ethical life of the faithful in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, Sacred Tradition, the doctrines and canons of the Ecumenical and local Councils, the canons of the Holy Apostles and the Fathers of the Church and of all other Councils recognized by the Orthodox Church. The Archdiocese states that it serves as a beacon and witness of the message of Christ to all persons who live in the United States of America, through divine worship, preaching and living of the Orthodox Christian faith. Before the establishment of a Greek Archdiocese in the Western Hemisphere there were numerous communities of Greek Orthodox Christians; the first Greek Orthodox community in the Americas was founded in 1864, in New Orleans, Louisiana, by a small colony of Greek merchants. History records that on June 26, 1768, the first Greek colonists landed at St. Augustine, the oldest city in America.
The first permanent community was founded in New York City in 1892, today's Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and the See of the Archbishop of America. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America was incorporated in 1921 and recognized by the State of New York in 1922. In 1908, the Church of Greece received authority over the Greek Orthodox congregation of America, but in 1922 Patriarch Meletius IV of Constantinople transferred the archdiocese back to the jurisdiction of the Church of Constantinople. In 1996, the one Archdiocese was split by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, dividing the administration of the two continents into four parts and leaving only the territory of the United States for the Archdiocese of America; the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese is composed of: Archbishop Demetrios of America, President Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago Metropolitan Savvas of Pittsburgh Metropolitan Methodios of Boston Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is composed of an Archdiocesan District and eight metropolises: New Jersey, Atlanta, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Denver.
It is governed by the Eparchial Synod of Metropolitans. The Synod is headed by the Archbishop and comprises the Metropolitans who oversee the ministry and operations of their respective metropolises, it has all the responsibility which the Church canons provide for a provincial synod. There are more than 500 parishes, 800 priests and 440,000 to 2 million faithful in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, depending on the source of reports and the counting method being used; the number of parishes in the Greek Archdiocese rose by about 9% in the decade from 1990 to 2000, membership growth has been in terms of existing members having children. Membership is concentrated in the Northeastern United States; the states with the highest rates of adherence are Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York. However, there are large numbers of members in Florida and California; the Archdiocese receives within its ranks and under its spiritual aegis and pastoral care Orthodox Christians, who either as individuals or as organized groups in the Metropolises and Parishes have voluntarily come to it and which acknowledge the ecclesiastical and canonical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The Archdiocese includes 21 monastic communities, 17 of which were founded by Elder Ephraim. The largest of these is St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery in Arizona. Additionally, one seminary is operated by the Greek Archdiocese, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, which educates not only Greek Archdiocese seminarians but those from other jurisdictions, as well; the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was a member of SCOBA and is a member of its successor organization, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Due to the order of the Diptychs, the Greek Archbishop of America serves as the Chairman of the Assembly; the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese comprises some 525 parishes and 20 monasteries across the United States of America. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has one seminary school under its jurisdiction; this school is called Holy Cross. The seminary is located i
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is a Christian church in Ireland and an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. It is organised on an all-Ireland basis and is the second largest Christian church on the island after the Roman Catholic Church. Like other Anglican churches, it has retained elements of pre-Reformation practice, notably its episcopal polity, while rejecting the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. In theological and liturgical matters, it incorporates many principles of the Reformation those espoused during the English Reformation; the church self-identifies as being both Reformed. Within the church, differences exist between those members who are more Catholic-leaning and those who are more Protestant-leaning. For historical and cultural reasons, the Church of Ireland is identified as a Protestant church; the Church of Ireland describes itself as that part of the Irish Church, influenced by the Reformation, has its origins in the early Celtic Church of St Patrick. The Church of Ireland considers itself Catholic because it is in possession of a continuous tradition of faith and practice, based on scripture and early traditions, enshrined in the Catholic creeds, together with the sacraments and apostolic ministry.
However, the Church of Ireland is Protestant, or Reformed, since it opposes doctrines and ways of worshipping that it considers contrary to scripture and which led to the Reformation. The Church of Ireland, as a Reformed and Protestant Church, doth hereby re-affirm its constant witness against all those innovations in doctrine and worship whereby the Primitive faith hath been from time to time defaced or overlaid, which at the Reformation this Church did disown and reject; when the English Parliament declared that the Holy See had no power over the Church in England, the Church in Ireland conformed, assuming possession of most church property and so retaining a great repository of religious architecture and other items, though some were destroyed. The church explains its possession of so many of the ancient church buildings of Ireland by reference to the precedent set by Emperor Constantine the Great in the 4th century:Since the days of the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century European states saw themselves as having a central role in the government of the Church.
This church-state link was vigorously applied. Bishops were required to do homage to the king for their lands, just like earls and barons, who were vassals of the crown, it was therefore accepted, both during and after the Reformation, that the Crown should continue to exercise that authority over the church, in which it continued to play a central role. In this way, church property that existed at the time of the Reformation, buildings included, was retained by the Reformed, Established Church of Ireland. In Ireland, a considerable majority of the population continued to adhere to Roman Catholicism despite the political and economic advantages of membership in the state church. Despite its numerical minority, the Church of Ireland remained the official state church until the Irish Church Act 1869 disestablished it on 1 January 1871, under Queen Victoria and her Liberal government led by William Ewart Gladstone; the Church of Ireland claimed that in breaking with Rome the reformed established church was reverting to a condition that had obtained in the church in Ireland prior to the 12th century – the independent character of Celtic Christianity.
Modern scholarship, sees the early Irish church as different to but still a part of Roman Christianity, with the result that the Church of Ireland and the Irish Roman Catholic church can both claim descent from St Patrick. Claims of legitimacy for the Norman invasion of Ireland were derived from a Papal Bull of 1155 – Laudabiliter, although the governing structures in Ireland had never acknowledged any external authority over Ireland; the bull claimed to give King Henry II of England the right to invade Ireland, ostensibly as a means of reforming the church in Ireland more directly under the control of the Holy See. The authorisation from the Holy See was based upon the putative Donation of Constantine which claimed to make every Christian island in the western Roman Empire the property of the Papacy, though as Ireland was never a part of the Roman Empire, it had no real relevance. By the time of the English Reformation, the Donation had been exposed as a forgery, Henry VIII sought to undo by enforcing laws regarding praemunire the historic royal homage to the Papacy, delivered by John, King of England before him.
The Church of Ireland is the second largest church in Ireland and the third largest in Northern Ireland, after the Roman Catholic and Presbyterian churches. In 1155, Adrian IV granted Henry II the Lordship of Ireland; the reformed Church of Ireland was founded in 1536 when the Irish Parliament accepted Henry VIII as its head, rather than the Pope, confirmed when Henry became King of Ireland in 1541. The church was restricted to Dublin, driven by its bishop, George Browne; the pace of reform in quickened after 1547 under Edward VI, ended when his sister Mary I restored Catholicism in 1558. When Elizabeth replaced Mary in 1558, only five Irish bishops accepted the 1560 Elizabethan Settlement. Replacing them was complicated by the relative poverty of the Church compared to its Catholic predecessor, its lack of Irish-speaking clergy and the poor reputation of others. For example, Hugh Curwen backed the reforms of Henry and Edward, was appointed Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin in 1555 by Mary, became a Protestant