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Catholic Dictionary




Anglicans, or members of the Anglican Communion, but called Episcopalians in certain countries such as the United States. Anglicanism came to America in 1607, with the Jamestown, Virginia, settlers, and in 1783 the American Anglicans became the Protestant Episcopal Church. They declared themselves free of all foreign authority, civil or ecclesiastical, but kept their liturgy in conformity with the Church of England. The first convention (1783) also revised the English Book of Common Prayer. Sixty-nine feast days were dropped from the Church calendar, the "Ornaments Rubric" requiring vestments was omitted, and in the catechism the reference to the Eucharist "verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful" was changed to "spiritually taken and received." One result has been that American Episcopalians reflect the whole spectrum of Anglicanism, ranging from Anglo-Catholic churches that are close to Rome in faith and liturgy, through High and Broad, to Low Church groups that are in the mainstream of evangelical Protestantism.