Saturday 5 pm – Vespers and Vigil Mass
Sunday 8 am – Matins and Holy Communion
Sunday 10 am – Sung Eucharist with Incense, the “Traditional English Mass”
Followed by Fellowship and Sunday school (all ages and year round).
Nursery space is available in the parish house to the left of the church, including audio-visual capabilities, functioning as a virtual “cry room”. Walk straight thru the front door and walk to the back of the parish house to find the Nursery space. Often a nursery attendant is available, just ask. Children always welcome in the Liturgy!
Our children’s ministry consists in Sunday school available after fellowship as well as nursery time (if and when desired). After the reading of the Gospel, the crucifer will lead the children (and parents, as desired) over to the nursery area. Children may go there earlier and come back earlier, but the general time that the children return is for a blessing at the altar rail at the time of Holy Communion. Again, children are always welcome in the Liturgy!
(2 dedicated visitor parking spaces are conveniently located to the left of the church. Added Parking may be found directly next door at Cook’s Dry Cleaning or right across the street in the Dollar General Market.)
Thursdays 12 Noon – Weekday Mass
Confessions heard Saturday evenings especially and by Appointment. (Baptized and confirmed visitors should be aware of no grave sin or unrepentant lifestyle, before approaching and receiving the Life-Giving and Saving Mysteries of Christ’s True Body and Precious Blood. Under usual circumstances, Roman Catholics are encouraged to make use of the Ministry of Reconciliation at their own parishes or a parish in the Diocese of Richmond. Students are encouraged to make use of appropriate campus ministries for routine confessions. Nevertheless, if you feel that the circumstances warrant it, please feel free to make an appointment!)
In addition, freely-offered spiritual direction – different from “counseling” or “confession” – may be available and also pre-engagement, pre-marital and marital consultations possibly available to any man and woman prayerfully considering (or in the State of) Holy Matrimony (the same is defined according to the canonical laws of the Anglican Catholic Church and her constitution), especially and generously offered to students. Please contact Fr. Geromel.
Services are according to the historic Book of Common Prayer (1928),
of which Richard S. Emrich (1910-1997), Seventh Episcopal Bishop of Michigan said,
O Monument of our fathers, erected to the glory of God! Thou art a fighting thing. Thou wast born in flame, and purified and hallowed by the death of martyrs. We challenge any one to find nobler or more majestic English, to find anything in it contrary to Scripture, to find anything that would not bless this civilization.
+ Men’s Breakfast Book Study and Prayer Time (ecumenical) – Thursday Mornings.
Got Questions? We’ve got answers! See below…
Are you a “Catholic” Church? That is a straightforward question as to whether we are a “Roman” Catholic church or not, requiring as straightforward an answer as possible. We are not. But according to Dominus Jesus, issued under the authority of Pope St. John Paul II in 2000 A.D., by Pope Benedict XVI (when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger), the Anglican Catholic Church is a “true particular church” having remained “united to [the Roman Catholic Church] by means of the closest bonds, that is, by Apostolic Succession, and a valid Eucharist.” This Declaration continues: “Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy, which, according to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the entire Church.”
What is the basis of your Apostolic Succession? The basis of our Apostolic Succession is two-fold. (1) by means of the Church of England, which has four undeniable lines of succession through William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr (1573-1645) (A) from the line of St. Patrick of Ireland, through the Anglican Church of Ireland, whose orders have never been questioned, which succession was passed on to Laud (B) from Archbishop Marc Antonio de Dominis, the Roman Catholic Primate of Dalmatia and all Croatia, who laid hands on two of Laud’s consecrators and (C) from the line of St. David of Wales who was consecrated in the Holy Land by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. This line of succession was passed on to Laud and the Church of England through the Bishop of Llandaff. This Laud succession was endowed to the Episcopal Church in the United States by the Church of England and of Scotland AND (2) by reason of the constant participation in the consecrations of Episcopal bishops in the U.S. by bishops of the Polish National Catholic Church, which hold true lines of succession from the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht.
What is Apostolic Succession? The unbroken line of bishops’ ordinations going back to the Apostles. This is the practice of the vast majority of the Church of Christ: Roman Catholic, Eastern/Byzantine and Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian Church of the East, Swedish, Finnish, and Latvian Lutheran, and Anglican. It was the view held by the Anglican priest, John Wesley, himself (as explained here ) to whom we owe the start of the Methodist movement.
Still Curious? Scroll below or click on
Above: Ordination of refugee Norwegian seminarians by Bishop Gustaf Aulen of the Church of Sweden during the Second World War, when the State Church of Norway was colluding with Fascism.
Some churches near us believe strongly that congregations should serve the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion every Sunday as in the Primitive or early Church.
We agree! Consistent with what we understand in Scripture (Acts 2:42-47), the Anglican Catholic Church requires the main service every Sunday to be that of Holy Communion, whenever possible. Called by many names, Divine Liturgy or Service, Holy Eucharist or Thanksgiving, or Holy Mass, that worship with bread and wine commemorating Christ’s Death until He comes again (1 Cor. 11:26) is offered every Sunday. “Mass” is derived from the same root as our word for “Mess Hall”. Far from idolatrous or superstitious, it basically means “Holy Meal.”
Above: Bringing the Oblation of bread and wine to the Altar in England.
Yet there is something sacrificial about it too. Indeed, those Christians who spoke Jesus’ very own mother-tongue, Aramaic, always called this ritual Qurbono (Offering) Qadisho (HOLY), the Holy Oblation. Similarly, Anglicans call it a “Sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgiving” offering “our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice”. Far from sacrificing Christ all over again, more fittingly, He gives Himself to us sacramentally and faithfully, in the midst of our Faith and Repentance. By the invocation of the Holy Spirit and by Christ’s own Words, we there in that bread and wine receive the “benefits of His passion” (that “one oblation of Himself once offered”) and become “partakers of His most blessed Body and Blood.”
Above: Anglican clergy together with priests of the Armenian Orthodox Church in the early 20th Century.
Do children receive communion at St. Peter’s? Those over the “age of reason” (7 or 8 yrs of age) who have been properly instructed and admitted to the Eucharist at their own churches are affectionately invited to partake, and those under that age are lovingly offered a blessing. This is consistent with the Anglican tradition for nearly 500 years – by which an infant may be baptized based on the faith of the parents and godparents but is required to “[discern] the Lord’s Body [and Blood]” cognizant of their own faith. To that end, the earliest prayer books direct that parents and godparents “call upon [their children] to hear sermons” intended for adults (not just children’s sermons). “And chiefly . . . provide that [their children] may learn the Creed, the Lord’s prayer, and the Ten Commandments . . . and all other things which a Christian man ought to know and believe, to his soul’s health”. This does imply a certain maturity of age and understanding. The most flexible and charitable communion requirement to date is found in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer: “And there shall none be admitted to the holy Communion, until such time as he be confirmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed.” (While there are many excellent Anglican congregations that admit children to communion without the kind of mandatory instruction outlined above, we do not feel that an error on their part, however loving and well-meaning, should constitute a reason for error on ours.)
Some churches near us feel strongly that a believer should receive the Holy Spirit.
We agree! And we maintain the ancient Christian rite of Laying on of Hands in Holy Confirmation. In this, a bishop, who has had hands laid upon him by those who have successively had hands laid upon them all the way back to those first Apostles at Pentecost, himself lays hands on believers. This is after those persons publicly profess, “I do,” when asked, “Do ye promise to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour?” The Bishop then prays, “Strengthen them, we beseech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, and daily increase them in thy manifold gifts of grace: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and ghostly strength, the spirit of knowledge and true godliness; and fill them . . . with the spirit of holy fear . . .”
Some churches near us believe that congregations should maintain the divine ordinance of foot washing.
We agree! And recognize that the Church of God has maintained this custom throughout the centuries. It is noted that in Celtic monasteries, the Abbot would wash the feet of each visitor when one first arrived. Historically, foot washing is observed on the Thursday prior to “Easter” or “Pascha,” the annual celebration of our Lord’s Resurrection.
Coming to St. Peter the Apostle it might appear very foreign to those from American “Protestant” churches. Such bewilderment only goes to show how much things have changed from that “Old Time Religion” as many leaders of the Reformation understood it. Observe the picture below of the first “Protestant” service in what is now Berlin, Germany
But you celebrate Saints’ Days…
Yes, and so did the first Lutherans, in which it was directed: “festivals, like Sundays and various other festival days should be observed according to the custom of each parish, for the people must have a certain appointed time when they may assemble themselves for the hearing of God’s Word. . . . It would be well that all should unanimously celebrate Sundays, the Annunciation, Purification, and Visitation of the pure Virgin Mary, St. John the Baptist, St. Michael, the Apostles, St. Magdalene . . .” (“Instructions for the Visitors of 1528”). And such the Anglican Church has ever had in her Prayer Book. Even Dutch and German Reformed churches continued to celebrate the “Five Evangelical Feasts” of Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost.
And you say the “Hail Mary”…
Yes, but these are simply words of Scripture. It was repeated often in the ancient liturgies of the Church and, as a matter of fact, was a part of the Reformer Zwingli’s own liturgy written in 1525, which he composed for the Christians of Zurich; Luther wrote an explanation of it and Henry VIII authorized its use. The final part, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, Prayer for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death” is a new addition and more controversial. Nevertheless, those words were first published and printed in a prayer book by the great Italian preacher, Savanarola, just a couple decades prior to the Reformation. He was himself considered a reformer and was burned at the stake by a Pope. These last words are said by the congregation, voluntarily, and no one is required to say them who is uncomfortable with them.
“Protestant” Church in the village of Jaunpiebalga, Latvia, on the border of Russia.
There is a “Crucifix” above your “Altar”…
This is true. And if you return to many of the Protestant churches of Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, you will find that they never removed the beautiful “reredos” (which adorned the backdrop of their altars) complete with pictures of angels, saints, as well as a crucifix. In fact, the plain brass cross which is common in many American Protestant churches was considered controversial and “Catholic” in its day. Yet both the plain cross and the crucifix are perfectly permissible and “Protestant”. And, just to make the matter plainer, you will even find that there are monasteries in Germany and Scandinavia which are “Protestant” and have continued and flourished for centuries, both before and after the Reformation.
Your “priest” hears “confessions”
Thank you for raising that important point! Actually, the original concern about Confession in the 16th Century had more to do with the hefty system of Penances and the burdensome and unbiblical system of Indulgences controlled by the Pope that had grown up like weeds in the Church of God, not about Confession itself. Early catechisms by Reformers such as Martin Luther and Thomas Cranmer taught about the godly use of Holy Confession. It has for centuries been practiced by “Protestants” in Ireland, whose forebears in the Celtic Church made confession to a “soul friend” long before Rome ever influenced that holy island’s faith; and where by “Protestant” church law on Saturday afternoons a bell must be rung “to the intent that, if any have any scruple of conscience or desire the special ministry of reconciliation” they might come to the church to receive “the benefit of absolution”. Luther’s Large Catechism says “what a wonderful, precious, and comforting thing confession is, and we urge that such a precious blessing should not be despised . . . If you are a Christian, you need neither my compulsion nor the pope’s command at any point, but you will compel yourself and beg me for the privilege of sharing in it”. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, the Father of American Lutheranism, speaks of participating in it in his journal. The Wesleys defended the practice. George Horne, John Wesley’s own Anglican bishop, said of it in the 18th Century, “when sick or wounded by sin, …[the soul] must be recovered and restored by godly counsel and wholesome discipline, by penance and absolution, by the medicines of the Word and Sacraments, as duly and properly administered in the Church, by the lawfully and regularly appointed delegates and representatives of the Physician of souls.” It is recommended, indeed, in that incredibly popular work of devotion of the 17th and 18th century, The Whole Duty of Man which Benjamin Franklin, himself, hoped that his daughter would “read over and over again“.
“High Mass” in the “Protestant” Church of Sweden
You also wear “vestments”… and chant prayers
This is also true. Both the “chasuble” and “cope”, however, were the distinctive and required garments of the ministers of the Church of England after the Reformation, as before it. It was not until subsequent attacks upon those vestments by the Puritans that just an academic gown began to be worn. It was also so in Germany and Scandinavia. For many centuries, the Church of Sweden, as well as the Church of Denmark and Norway, have worn the “chasuble” when celebrating Holy Communion and, as these are expensive, well-made and last for centuries, there are possibly parishes in Sweden which are still wearing the chasubles that they were wearing before the Reformation! Practically, all of the early Protestant services included settings to sing, and chant, the words and prayers. This has continued for centuries. Norwegian Americans in the 19th century, for instance, would have thought it strange if their pastor didn’t chant the prayers.
“Protestant” service in Koenigsburg, Germany
St. Peter the Apostle is a parish of the Diocese of the Mid Atlantic States of the Anglican Catholic Church. The Anglican Catholic Church is a branch of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, instituted by Jesus Christ, faithfully continuing the Anglican tradition. We uphold the historic Catholic Faith, Apostolic Order and Evangelical Witness as set forth in the traditional Book of Common Prayer. We accept as binding the received Faith and Traditions of the Church, and its teachings.
There are Seven Sacraments: Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Penance, Unction, Marriage and Holy Orders. The Anglican Catholic Church uses the historic Book of Common Prayer (1928 Edition). This book represents one of the finest collections of Christian wisdom and devotion, more than 75% of it is taken directly from Holy Scriptures.
Anglican Catholics take seriously our Lord’s call to all Christians to serve Him, not only in the Christian community, but in the world.
The famous photograph dubbed the “Fond du Lac Circus,” in which the “Protestant Episcopal” Diocese of Fond du Lac in 1900 consecrated Bishop Weller to continue the Anglican Catholic tradition in Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. In attendance are Russian Orthodox and Polish National Catholic prelates and clergy. Two of the Russian Clergy, St. Tikhon of Moscow, then Bishop of Alaska and the Aleutians, and St. John Kochurov are canonized and venerated by the Orthodox Church, the latter becoming the first martyr killed by the Bolsheviks in 1917.