The proposed Anglican Covenant is being discussed in my diocese. There are several covenants in the history of our church; the best known must be the Solemn League and Covenant, but it contained too many things imposed on those who took it as the price of giving them military support in the English Civil War. What might be called the true Anglican version of it was the one taken by Members of Parliament before allies seemed available, expressing their determination to protect the reformed Church of England from those equally determined to undo its reformation, who included the Supreme Governor of the church.

It was called The Protestation rather than a covenant, but it was a true covenant all the same. A version for our times and circumstances might read as follows:

I, N. N., in the presence of Almighty God, promise, vow, and protest, to maintain and defend, as far as lawfully I may, with my life, power, and estate, the true Reformed Protestant Religion, expressed in the doctrine of the Episcopal Church, found in the Articles of Religion set forth by General Convention in 1802, and in the Prayer Books of 1789, 1892, 1928 and 1979, against all innovations contrary to that doctrine;  the authority of General Convention; and every person making this protestation, in whatsoever he shall do in the lawful pursuance of the same. And to my power, and as far as lawfully I may, I will oppose, and by all good ways and means endeavor to bring to ecclesiastical discipline, all such as shall do anything in opposition to this purpose. And neither for hope, fear, nor other respect, shall I relinquish this promise, vow, and protestation. So help me God.

That’s a covenant I could get behind. In fact, I may have just taken it.

Anglicans in other provinces can make the obvious substitutions.

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