Shield of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America

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The image explains the symbolism on the shield of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America.  (I’m being deliberately vague about the precise terminology of this ecclesial body, since that would be a topic in its own right.)

One of the references in the shield is to the role the Scottish Episcopal Church played in the consecration of Bishop Samuel Seabury, considered to be the first bishop of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. 

The Scottish Episcopal Church had been established by Non-Jurors, Anglicans who were not able to swear allegiance to William and Mary and their successors after the Glorious Revolution of 1688.  Politics aside, and without getting into too much detail about Churchmanship, the Non-Jurors were from the more High Church/Catholic wing of the Church of England, which explains the character of the Scottish Episcopal Church.  (Quite unlike the Church of Scotland, also called, in Scotland, the Kirk.) 

Among the results of Seabury being consecrated by bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church rather than by bishops in the Church of England is that the American version of the Prayer Book included the epiclesis or invocation of the Holy Spirit in the Prayer of Consecration.

One Comment Add yours

  1. I carry one of those, but I am an independent Continuing Episcopal.

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