Equipping the Saints: Ordination in Anglicanism Today. Papers from the Sixth International Anglican Liturgical Consultation

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Equipping the Saints: Ordination in Anglicanism Today. Papers from the Sixth International Anglican Liturgical Consultation. Edited by Ronald L. Dowling and David R. Holeton. Blackrock, Co Dublin, Ireland: Columbia Press, 2006. 244 pp. $25.00/£17.50 (paper).

In August 2001, seventy-three liturgical scholars, bishops, and others representing twenty-six provinces or member churches of the Anglican Communion gathered in Berkeley, California, for the Sixth International Anglican Liturgical Consultation. The statement developed by the consultation, "To Equip the Saints," included as an appendix to the present volume, sets forth a brief theology of orders and ordination along with recommendations for ordination rites for churches of the Anglican Communion.

The Berkeley Statement proposes a baptismal ecclesiology as the basis for the theology and practice of ordination. Several essays in Equipping the Saints elaborate upon this approach. Louis Weil (Professor of Liturgies at Church Divinity School of the Pacific) and William Crockett (Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at Vancouver School of Theology, Canada) point out that a baptismal ecciesiology places ordained ministry in the context ol the life and mission of the whole church. Weil defends the appropriateness of this approach in response to criticisms ofthe Berkeley Statement by the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations. Crockett explores the theology in the Berkeley Statement in light of the work ol ecumenical dialogues and of earlier Anglican liturgical consultations, particularly the 1991 Toronto consultation on Christian initiation and the 1995 Dublin consultation on the Eucharist.

While Crockett and Weil argue that a baptismal ecciesiology is theologically, historically, and ecumenically sound, Paul Gibson (Coordinator for Liturgy for the Anglican Consultative Council) questions whether baptism provides a sufficient basis for a theology of ministry and order. He proposes that a eucharistie ecciesiology is more apt, since "the table is where structure and order are- defined" Ij). 44). Weil counters that a baptismal ecclesiologv properly encompasses a theology of Christian initiation in which Eucharist is integral to the initiatory rite.

Alteran essay by Paul Bradshaw (Professor of liturgies at the University of Notre Dame. Indiana) providing historical perspectives on ordination practices, several authors consider contemporary ritual questions: prayer and laving on ol hands, the use of symbols and vesting, anointing, the presentation ofthe candidates, and music. Here again different perspectives emerge. Lizette Larson-Miller (Professor of Liturgy and Dean of the Chapel at Church Divinity School ofthe Pacific) is sympathetic to the rich multiplicity ol meanings made possible by practices of vesting, anointing, and presentation of symbols, while also acknowledging the centrality of prayer and the laying on of hands. …