Articles by Laudable Practice

Laudable Practice

Laudable Practice is a "poor priest" (c.f. Herbert's 'Aaron') in the Church of Ireland, living in Jeremy Taylor country, and enjoying the poetry of Wendell Berry. 'High and Dry', blogging on the riches of the 'Old' (Luke 5:39) High Church tradition, he is a historian by background, and particularly delights in leading Sunday Prayer Book Mattins in the parish. He blogs at


Foundations of unity and accord: in praise of Saint Bartholomew’s Day 1662

J.C. Ryle and Rowan Williams are not, we might reasonably think, natural bedfellows. What, other than beards, could the low church Victorian evangelical and the postmodern Anglo-Catholic possibly have in common? For both Ryle and Williams, Saint Bartholomew’s Day 1662 is a cause for lament. Ryle thundered his condemnation of the events of that Saint…


Do we need the Easter Vigil?

The liturgical and theological coherence of ‘Old High’ Easter Eve   According to the Church of England’s Common Worship: Times and Seasons provision for Easter, the term “the Easter Liturgy” does not describe the main Eucharist in a parish on Easter Day.[1] No, it is the title given to the Easter Vigil. It is the Vigil…


“I quarrel not the making of images”

the theology and practice of images in the Jacobean and Caroline Church of England   “And that Images are things indifferent of themselves, is granted in the Homilies which are against the very Peril of Idolatry.”[1] The words are those of Archbishop Laud at his trial, when confronted with charges of ‘Popish idolatry’. Such charges…

More Laud than Baxter: the Protestantism of 1662

“And the Church of England is Protestant too” – William Laud, then Bishop of St. David’s, later Archbishop of Canterbury.[1] Before the mid-19th century, to regard the Book of Common Prayer as part of an explicitly “Protestant” narrative would have been accepted as self-evident by Episcopalians and Anglicans.[2] A future Archbishop of Canterbury, Richard Bancroft’s…


Draw near with faith: is closed communion historically Anglican?

Historically, Anglicans have rejected open communion in both its radical and moderate forms. The idea that the unbaptized should be admitted to the Lord’s Supper seems to be a product of the late 20th or early 21st century. And until the middle of the 20th century, it was the norm for Anglicans to fence the…


Listening to the wise son of Sirach

the significance of the use of the Apocrypha in Tillotson’s preaching On September 13th, 1689, King William III appointed a commission of bishops and theologians “to prepare such alterations of the liturgy” as would enable “the reconciling, as much as is possible, of all differences among our good [Protestant] subjects.” On the same day, one…


The crowned knot of fire

“The crowned knot of fire” Protomartyr, Royal Martyr and the politics of grace[1]   Cranmer’s collect for Saint Stephen’s Day was significantly altered by John Cosin for the 1662 revision of the Book of Common Prayer. Alongside new compositions by Cosin for the Third Sunday in Advent, the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, and Easter…


Bleak Midwinter: why we need an Old High Church Advent

Of all the old festivals, however, that of Christmas awakens the strongest and most heartfelt associations. There is a tone of solemn and sacred feeling that blends with our conviviality, and lifts the spirit to a state of hallowed and elevated enjoyment. The services of the church about this season are extremely tender and inspiring….


‘Sober delight and rational exaltation’: why 18th century Anglicanism matters

‘Sober delight and rational exaltation’[1] ❧ Easter Day, 1800 “In that vast and noble building no more than six persons were found at the table of the Lord.”[2] Thus did the then Bishop of London lament how Easter Day 1800 passed in St Paul’s Cathedral, London. This one statistic became the defining and oft repeated…

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