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How does one become an Anglican?

Discussion in 'Scripture,Tradition,Reason-Anglican & Old Catholic' started by HoneyBee, Oct 23, 2021.

  1. HoneyBee

    HoneyBee Daughter of the King Supporter

    United States
    I'm curious to know how someone would become an official Anglican (or, in my case, Episcopalian). Is there some sort of process you're supposed to go through? Or can someone who is a Christian just start calling themselves Anglican/Episcopalian if they accept the beliefs held by this denomination? Coming from a Catholic tradition where you needed to be baptized as a Catholic and be registered as such by a church, I'm not sure how Protestant denominations work in that aspect.
  2. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    United States
    That depends to some degree on what your current church affiliation happens to be. But the easy answer to your question is "Speak with the local Episcopal priest."

    No matter which denomination we might be talking about, doing this would be improper. Of course, no one is going to sue you, etc. if you did what you are suggesting, but I would recommend that you not do this.

    Most Protestant denominations (and The Episcopal Church for sure!) consider a person's baptism in the Catholic Church to be valid. They would normally not
    "re-baptize" such a person as part of the process of them becoming a member of the new church.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
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  3. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

    United States
    Here is my experience:

    Step 1: Start attending
    Step 2: Discern if you want to join
    Step 3: You will be required to have had a Trinitarian Baptism. If you have already had one, you're good. If not, speak to your Priest.
    Step 4: Speak to your priest about confirmation. If you are coming from Catholicism, you will be received not confirmed. If you are unchurched or coming from Protestant traditions, you will most likely be invited to join a confirmation class before becoming confirmed at the Bishop's next visit to your parish.

    There are people who attend our parish regularly for years who have never been confirmed. I'm not sure what they call themselves. I am embarrassed about how many years I attended before deciding I was Episcopalian and wanted to be confirmed.
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  4. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

    United States
    My experience is the same as what @seeking.IAM described, with the note that people coming from some Protestant traditions will also be received instead of confirmed.

    In any case, talk to your priest, and they can describe what the process looks like in your local parish and diocese. You will likely be received or confirmed at the next visit of the bishop, which normally happens annually in each parish.
  5. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 Pax et bonum! CF Ambassadors Supporter

    United Kingdom
    I would also suggest having a chat with your local parish priest. They will be very happy to go through the steps with you.
    Long before I was confirmed into the CofE, I attended a number of Anglican churches and I was always made to feel that I belonged. Most offered open communion to all Christians regardless of which church they came from.
  6. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Stand by Ukraine Supporter

    United States
    ~From the official Episcopal website~

    {Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation are rooted in the baptismal covenant. Confirmation/Reception/Reaffirmation may be done at the service of Holy Baptism or at the Easter Vigil when a bishop is present (BCP, pp. 292, 309-310). When there is no baptism, the entrance rite for Confirmation/Reception/Reaffirmation follows the entrance rite for baptism (BCP, p. 413). Candidates for Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation are presented in separate groups by their presenters. Candidates may have individual presenters who will support them in their Christian life by prayer and example. It is not necessary that the presenters be members of the clergy. The candidates reaffirm their renunciation of evil, and renew their commitment to Jesus Christ. They reaffirm the promises made by them or for them at the time of baptism. Those present in the congregation promise to do all in their power to support the candidates in their life in Christ. The bishop leads the congregation in renewing the baptismal covenant. The Prayers for the Candidates from the baptismal liturgy may be used as the Prayers for the Candidates for Confirmation/Reception/Reaffirmation (BCP, p. 417). The bishop lays hands on each candidate for Confirmation. The BCP provides specific prayers to be said by the bishop for Confirmation, for Reception, and for Reaffirmation. The bishop may shake hands with those who are being received to welcome them into this communion, and the bishop may lay hands on them in blessing. The bishop may also bless those who reaffirm their baptismal vows.}

    “As others have already stated those persons coming from Catholicism wanting to join the Episcopal church only have to be received rather than confirmed and at our local Episcopal cathedral are only required to attend a portion of the catechism course as compared to those coming from other Protestant traditions.”
  7. Deegie

    Deegie Priest of the Church Supporter

    United States
    That's an interesting approach for not require Roman Catholics to attend the entire course. I can't say it's the norm, however, and I require the same preparation for all candidates.

    For the OP, you can join a local parish without ever being Confirmed or Received. At that point, I think it's entirely reasonable to call yourself an Episcopalian. You are expected, however, to go through that formal Confirmation/Reception process...although, to be honest, plenty of people never bother.
  8. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

    You really only need to go through a formal process if you want to vote at parish meetings or hold office. That said, I'd encourage people to do so anyway; it's good to make a commitment to your community of faith.
  9. Shane R

    Shane R Priest Supporter

    United States
    As Albion mentioned, it depends on where you come from. You have stated you were Roman Catholic. Therefore your baptism and confirmation are acceptable by Anglican canon law. Your transition is very easy.

    One thing I suspect most churches do poorly is the enquirer's class. It seems to be one size fits all too often. There might be a seperate catechism class for the kids and then you get ALPHA or some other ghastly thing for the adults that assumes they are rank novices to the Christian religion. There is seldom something for the person who has been in church for many years but is now interested in Anglicanism. My inclination is to teach this class of people to use the Prayer Book and a lot of other questions will answer themselves.

    I was contacted by a young man from Wales a while back who was interested in submitting an overseas ministerial application. I'm glad I screened him first because if I had just referred him up to the vocations coordinator I would have been embarrassed. This man told me he was an Anglican, he had got a prayer book and assented to the Articles of Religion. And that is all he had done. As I probed further I found he had never been confirmed, then he let slip he had not been baptized! Finally, I discovered he did not even go to an Anglican church. For him, being Anglican was all a mental exercise but he wasn't doing Anglican things.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2021
  10. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

    It's also worth saying in the Episcopal Church at least you can also simply talk to your priest who then records your baptism in the register of the parish. Baptism confers full membership and actually being received or confirmed is not actually needed.
  11. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

    United States
    That depends. In some places confirmation is needed for some leadership roles within the church.