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More information about Saint Alban’s Anglican Church

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What should I expect when I come to worship at St. Alban’s?

Our early service is about 45 minutes long, and consists of a celebration of the Holy Eucharist according to the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. Our later service is about 60 minutes long and consists of a celebration of the Holy Eucharist with hymns, chant, incense, and the full ritual and ceremonial of the Anglo-Catholic tradition. Both services are reverent, traditional, and Christ-centered.

Who is the rector of St. Alban’s?

The rector of St. Alban’s is the Very Rev’d J. Gordon Anderson. Father Anderson was born in Miami, Florida in 1974 and reared in Randallstown, Maryland. He is a 2001 graduate of St. Mary’s Seminary & University’s School of Theology (M.A. Theology). While in seminary he attended St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Timonium, MD under the Rev’d Canon Guy P. Hawtin. Fr. Anderson was ordained by the Most Rev’d Water H. Grundorf, D.D. to the deaconate in 2005 at St. Alban’s Anglican Cathedral in Oviedo, FL, and then to the priesthood in 2006 at St. Alban’s here in Joppa, MD. Prior to coming to St. Alban’s as rector, he served as curate of St. Alban’s Anglican Church (Joppa, MD), curate of St. Mark’s Anglican Church (Vero Beach, FL), and vicar of St. Francis Anglican Church (Blacksburg, VA). Father Anderson currently serves as secretary on the board of directors of the Prayer Book Society (USA), and as area dean of the Deanery of the Mid-Atlantic States, which consists of APA - DEUS parishes in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Who is priest associate of St. Alban’s?

Our priest associate is the Rev’d Don Edelmann. Fr. Don is a graduate of Cornell University. Later he studied theology under the famed Robert Farrar Capon at the George Mercer, Jr. Memorial School of the Theology of the Diocese of Long Island (Episcopal) in Garden City, NJ, and then later at St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary in South Bound Brook, NJ. He has served churches in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Prior to ordination, Fr. Edelmann worked in the insurance industry. A first generation priest of the continuing Anglican movement, Fr. Edelmann brings a lifetime of ministry and life experience to St. Alban’s Church.

How do I join St. Alban’s?

If you, or someone you know, would like to be a member of St. Alban’s Anglican Church, we are delighted! There are a number of ways to become a member: by confirmation, by baptism, and by letter of transfer. Please call the parish office for counsel and advice on how to join that is relevant to your circumstances.

What is an Anglican church?

“Anglican” refers to things “English”, thus, an Anglican church is a church that is “English” in its traditions: specifically in the areas of worship, and ethos. In worship being Anglican means primarily that our services are conducted according to the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). The BCP contains most of the services of our Church. It was first published in 1549 and it still, with minor changes, sets the rules of faith and guides our services. In ethos being Anglican means that we follow and proclaim the ancient Catholic faith of the undivided Church as taught by the Scriptures, liturgy, Creeds, ecumenical councils, and the Fathers of the Church, and confirmed and received by the English Church and Reformers. It also means that we are “Episcopal”, or governed by bishops who are successors to the Apostles, and the priests and deacons who work under them. In America Anglican churches have traditionally been called “Episcopal” churches, but in recent years more and more Episcopal churches are using “Anglican” to describe themselves. 

When and how was St. Alban’s formed?

St. Alban’s is parish of the Diocese of the Eastern United States of the Anglican Province of America (APA). Our diocesan and presiding Bishop is the Most Rev’d. Walter H. Grundorf, D.D. Our province grew out of the Episcopal Church, which grew out of the Church of England, which was founded by missionaries in the third century. Our parish was formed in 1982 when the need for an orthodox, traditional Episcopal church in Harford county was felt. Most of our original members came from the now closed Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Fallston.

How is St. Alban’s governed?

As an Anglican parish, the temporal affairs of St. Alban’s Church are governed by a body of elected laity called the vestry. The officers of the vestry are the Senior, or “rector’s” Warden, appointed by the vicar, who as senior layman chairs meetings in the vicar’s absence and acts as liaison between vicar and parishioners; the Junior, or “people’s” Warden, elected by the vestry, who is in charge of the care and upkeep of the grounds and physical plant; the Treasurer, elected by the vestry, who manages the parish finances; and the Secretary, also elected by the vestry, who records the minutes of all meetings and keeps copies of the national and diocesan canons and constitution of the Church, and the by-laws of the parish. The other members of the vestry, while having no specific responsibility, assist the body in various other ways as needed. The spiritual affairs of St. Alban’s (the liturgy, music, services, etc.) are governed by the rector who answers directly to the bishop.

Can I have my wedding at St. Alban’s?

A sacrament about which there is great confusion is that of Holy Matrimony. Having your marriage blessed at God’s Altar is a privilege of the faithful and not a right of the populace. The vows taken and the promises made there express deep religious doctrine about the nature of marriage. The Church has written the rite carefully to express accurately the truth of our belief, and the music, decorations, and ceremonies of the service complement and manifest that belief. For this reason, the Church has specific requirements about what is said or done at this, one of her public services. At St. Alban’s, four months’ (minimum) notice, several instruction and counseling sessions, agreeing with the doctrine, and regular church attendance are required of those contemplating marriage in the Church. If you desire more information about having your wedding at St. Alban’s please download the complete wedding packet.

What is St. Alban’s policy on funerals?

One of the corporal works of mercy of the Church has always been to bury the dead. To that end, the clergy of St. Alban’s are willing and available to bury anyone. It should be understood that the form of burial will be appropriate to the baptismal status of the deceased. The clergy should be notified immediately upon the death of a parishioner, so that appropriate arrangements can be made which are consistent with Christian doctrine, and the rites, ceremonies, and traditions of the Church. Technically, the officiating Cleric, not the mortician, is the “funeral director”. The norm for the burial of a faithful Christian at St. Alban’s is, as outlined in the Book of Common Prayer, in the context of the Holy Eucharist. For more information on funeral preparation and burials at St. Alban’s please call the Church office.

Additional questions?

If you have more questions please feel free to call the parish office and leave a message.

Links:

Bible Gateway - A Searchable Online Bible in a huge variety of translations

http://www.biblegateway.com /

1928 Book of Common Prayer - This site also contains links to other Prayer Books used throughout the world.

http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/1928/BCP_1928.htm

Common Prayer - A very useful website containing the Daily Offices and other lectionary resources

http://www.commonprayer.org /

The Prayer Book Society - An organization dedicated to promoting the traditional Book of Common Prayer

http://pbsusa.org /

Anglican Books - A great place to buy prayer books, missals, and other liturgical and devotional books

http://www.anglicanbooks.com /

Anglicans for Life - A ministry dedicated to proclaiming the sanctity of human life

http://www.anglicansforlife.org /

Project Canterbury - An online database of classic Anglican texts

http://anglicanhistory.org /

Christian Classics Library  - An online collection of classic Christian texts

http://www.ccel.org /

Philorthodox - The blog of our suffragan bishop, the Rt. Rev’d Chandler Holder Jones, SSC

http://www.philorthodox.blogspot.com /