8/23/2006

Her Grace,yet! (corrected with more laughter!)

The Anglican Communion News Service posted this:

(675) 22-August-2006 - Correction/Apology - ACOWe regret the fact that the name of the Primate - elect of the Episcopal Church was misspelled in ACNS 4177. My apologies to Her Grace for the error. J M Rosenthal, Editor

I confess I laughed with delight.

(I confess I laughted with even more delight and apologies to Bishop Jefferts Schori, and thanks to Simon for my own error in typing out her last name. We are all bozos on this bus.)

On the one hand I am so proud that the Episcopal Church elected Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to be Presiding Bishop and thus making her one of “Their Graces.”

On the other hand I was tickled to see how easily the wider Communion doesn’t get it: We have no “Your Grace” here. In the Episcopal Church the Presiding Bishop is addressed as “Bishop” not “Your Grace,” and thus reference to her is not to “Her Grace” but to “Bishop Katharine” or “Bishop Jefferts Schori.”


Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, filled with Grace, we hope,
but "Bishop" will do.









I don’t think this less then democratic slip is Jim Rosenthal’s, it is the language of the place. Lambeth is far away from the sidewalks of New York.

There is even some question as to whether or not we should title the Presiding Bishop “The Most Reverend.” Stephen Neill in “Anglicanism” (4th edition 1977, Oxford U.Press, p 286) remarked: “The chief bishop of the American Church is known as the presiding bishop. He is not a metropolitan, and has no authority in any diocese which has a bishop of its own…” Neill footnotes this sentence with the comment, “He is therefore, properly, ‘The Right Reverend’ and not ‘The Most Reverend.’”

All of this is of no great consequence, except to say that we should not give into this quirkiness of the English references to “Grace”, smacking as it does of Lords temporal and spiritual. Better to apply the word to the Grace that comes from Our Lord Jesus Christ, and leave well enough alone.

5 comments:

  1. In view of the subject matter, should we worry that YOU can't spell her surname? :-)

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  2. Dear Simon...don't worry about the fact that I can't spell her surname. Worry if I start getting too much right. It's a wonder I can spell my own last name. Thanks for catching this. I corrected (I think) all the references. Your comment was a gentle delight.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  3. My bishop has actually threatened to excommunicate me if I ever call him Your Grace. It's a good arrangement. :-)

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  4. This comment - about the use of "Your Grace" in various parts of the Communion, and the non-use of it in other areas of the Communion (if I be so bold as to still call it that) - is a pearl of wisdom ...

    There is still (of course!) so much to learn about each others' Polity and Ecclesiology between the various parts of the Communion!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This reminds me of a lovely tale from the apocrypha of the Diocese of New York. Apparently the Rev'd Canon Edward Nason West arrived late for a meeting chaired by Bishop Paul Moore. On his hurried entrance, he bowed low, and said, "My sincere apologies, Your Grace." To which the Bishop responded, "It's o.k., Eddie."

    ReplyDelete

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