Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

(Church Society) Article 22: Prayers for Departed? We Will Remember Them

Theology Thursday: We will remember them

Theology Thursday: We will remember them Posted by John Percival, 30 Oct 2014

But should we pray for those who have died? We are rapidly approaching Hallowe’en, the traditional vigil on the night before All Saints’ Day (1st November) and All Souls’ Day (2nd November), and at this time of year many in the Church of England will be offering prayers for the departed.

Less than a fortnight before Remembrance Day, the issue is even more acute in this year of centenary remembrance for the start of World War I. We will remember them… but should we pray for those who have died?

The Church of England resources for the commemoration of World War I encourage us to pray that God would grant “the departed rest” and “grant to those who have died in war your mercy and forgiveness”.

Andrew Goddard helpfully highlighted some of the theological issues surrounding this liturgy on a blog, while also wondering out loud whether evangelicals were bothered about this issue any more.

Certainly for open evangelicals, Tom Wright has spoken perfectly clearly on this topic: “I see no reason why we should not pray for and with the dead, and every reason why we should – not that they will get out of purgatory, but that they will be refreshed, and filled with God’s joy and peace. Love passes into prayer; we still love them; why not hold them, in that love, before God?” (Surprised by Hope, p. 184).

For the rest, see:

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