Primate to preside at joint service with Lutherans

Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and Bishop Michael Pryse, of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada will lead a joint worship service at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Kitchener, Ont. on Oct. 30.

The service will be televised live on the local CTV/CKCO-TV at 10.30 a.m. eastern and a taped version will be televised the next Sunday Nov.6 on Vision-TV’s Mosaic program at 8 a.m. eastern.

The service is in commemoration of Lutheran Reformation day, “but will also celebrate the full communion agreement between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada,” said Rev. Frank Haggarty, senior pastor of St. Peter’s.

Reformation Sunday is celebrated on the last Sunday of October, to commemorate the day in 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany, giving birth to the Lutheran Church.

Many Protestant and Catholic churches use Reformation Sunday as an opportunity to highlight areas of common agreement. On Oct.31, 1999 the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Roman Catholic Church signed a joint declaration on the doctrine of justification, clarifying how Lutherans and Catholics agree and disagree.

Likewise, the service on Oct.30 will be a celebration of the full communion agreement signed in 2001, between the Canadian Anglicans and Canadian Lutherans known as the Waterloo Declaration.

The Waterloo Declaration stipulated that Anglicans and Lutherans may freely worship and take communion in each others’ churches, and that clergy may officiate at each others services.

“We are delighted that Archbishop Hutchison will be with us at this important service,” said Mr. Haggarty. St. Peter’s has been televising worship services in southwestern Ontario for more than 40 years. “The services are watched by about 80,000 viewers nationally and 10,000 viewers locally,” said Mr. Haggarty.

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