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St. Andrew's Day in the USA


As for St. Andrews' Day - here in the U.S., it is a celebration of the beginning of the legitimacy of the Episcopal Church of the United States.  During the American Revolution, the Anglican Church in the U.S., which had never had a Bishop, was cut loose because many of the leaders of the revolt belonged to the Anglican Church.  Because legitimacy of clergy follows through an ordination by a Bishop and for Bishops, consecration by a group of Bishops, the American church needed a Bishop.  Samuel Seabury, a Connecticut clergyman was chosen to go to London for consecration by English Bishops.  However, the Bishops in London would not consecrate him unless he took a oath of allegiance and fealty to the King.  Since a war to break loose from the King was going on in the colonies, this would have been ridiculous.  Seabury hung around in London for three years, not knowing what to do and not able to convince the Bishops in London to consecrate him without the oath.  Then one day, he got a note from three Anglican Bishops of the Episcopal Church of Scotland saying they would consecrate him if he would come to Aberdeen.  These Bishops were of the Non-juring type and were, themselves, refusing to swear the oath to the King which was being required after the Scottish revolt over Bonnie Prince Charlie.  Seabury went to Aberdeen, received his consecration and came home to be the first Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States.  The only thing that the Scottish Bishops requested was that the new Bishop institute the Prayer Book of the Scottish Church and use their services and rituals. He did this, and our church has always been more like the Scottish than the English.  Each year, many of our parishes celebrate St. Andrews Day, the anniversary of the Consecration, with bagpipes in church, the use of a Scottish service ritual and prayers and shortbread and other Scottish foods afterward.

Our thanks to Patricia Parker for this information.


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