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Ritualism 

The early stages of the Oxford Movement emphasized the recovery of catholic beliefs and ideas rather than ceremonial. But the renewed emphasis on catholic theology led to an expanding use of catholic practices and forms in the mid-nineteenth century. The advance of ritualism became intensely controversial in the Episcopal Church. Some opponents of ritualism believed the changes were introducing Roman Catholic practices and beliefs into a Protestant Church. Evangelicals were often strong and vocal opponents of ritualism. For many years, Bishop Manton Eastburn of Massachusetts refused to visit the Church of the Advent, Boston, because of the parish's ritual practices. This dispute eventually led to a canon passed by the 1856 General Convention requiring a bishop to visit every parish in the bishop's jurisdiction at least once every three years. The controversy over ritualism led John Henry Hopkins, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, to publish The Law of Ritualism(1866). Hopkins urged that a wide variety of ritual uses were canonically permitted in the Episcopal Church. He predicted that many of the controverted practices would eventually be accepted. 




Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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