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On a recent holiday to Spain we flew from Glasgow Airport at Abbotsinch. The Abbot in question was in charge of Paisley Abbey, and having some hours to spare we visited it for the first time. Since the Reformation the Abbey has belonged to the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian/Calvinist) and serves as the parish church for the town. So it was a surprise to see in the side chapel a table to one side, covered with a white cloth and on it a candle and a small icon of the Virgin and Child. There was no indication as to why the parish considered this appropriate, given the theological background, but the dedication of the chapel goes back beyond the Reformation, beyond the Roman period to the time of St Mirin (or Mirren) who founded the original church in Paisley.


Historical Note:
Paisley Abbey was founded in 1163 by Walter FitzAlan, first High Steward of Scotland and progenitor of the Stewart/Stuart dynasty. Paisley was a Cluniac foundatiom, part of the reform (=Romanisation) of the Scottish church under the sons of Queen Saint Margaret. The choir was much longer than the nave, which was separated from it by a screen. In 1498 the Abbey was damaged in an accidental fire, and in 1553 the tower collapsed, bringing down the roof of the choir and transepts. The Reformation took place before repairs could be made and the nave was walled off for use as a Presbyterian church. The rest of the building was used for various secular purposes by the Hamilton family, but in 1904 the Kirk Session (Parish Committee) acquired it and began to restore the whole building. This took until 1989, and the result is a noble piece of work, a sharp contrast to most of our ancient church sites which lie roofless and empty.

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That's because these Presbyterians aren't really Calvinists any more - for that go to the Free Church of Scotland and the Wee Frees (conservative breakaways from the state church). The Church of Scotland is a mainstream Protestant church; icons [angelfire.com] are hip right now in those circles. (Most ministers whose offices I've been to have them.)

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Having an icon in one's study is a different thing from having it set up in a church.
The best-attended church here is the Free Church of Scotland, well ahead of the "official" Church of Scotland, in spite of a recent schism calling itself "the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)".
We also have the Free Presbyterian Church, reeling from a secession now calling itself "Associated Presbyterian Churches".
It would come as a considerable surprise to my friend the Minister of the Church of Scotland to discover that he is not a Calvinist.
On the other hand, the Church of Scotland now recognises Christmas, even Advent, unlike the other groups mentioned and others like them. The minister even lights a candle each Sunday in Advent at the Communion Table.
I am delighted to see this return to tradition, and I ascribe it to the genuine devotion to the Scriptures which is a hallmark of Presbyterian Christianity.
Just the same, an icon in the local church of Scotland would be unthinkable in this part of the country.

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And the Prots split and divide ad infinitum, ad continuum, and on and on and on..... that is why I discontinued being Protestant. On cannot study Church history and remain a Prot, you either leave the Church , become Orthodox or Latin (whether Cath or Byz), oh well, such is life, mik

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What you say is true, of course, but then both Catholic and Orthodox churches also suffer from divisions, factions and splits, for example the so-called "traditional Catholics" who reject the authority of the pope.
What struck me was the more positive side to this, that a Reformation-based church was quietly coming closer in practice, and therefore belief, to the Apostolic churches. This I welcome. Even the more recent splits in the extreme Calvinist sects show that some are opening out. The trouble in the Free Presbyterian Church was caused by the attendance of the Lord Chancellor, a member of the FPC at the funeral of a Catholic colleague. Even discussing such a thing was a step forward imo.

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hmmmm, I remember asking Father George at Sts P&P (Latin) if I could donate an Icon for the church lobby.nice thought, but there would be confusion as whehter Sts P&P was Latin or Eastern.as far as Protestants are concerned, I hve met a slew of Prots, lay and clergy, who have been inspired by the East. don't write them off yet, folks, stay tuned, I am sure there is more to come.
Much Love,
Jonn

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Quote
Originally posted by JonnNightwatcher:
hmmmm, I remember asking Father George at Sts P&P (Latin) if I could donate an Icon for the church lobby.nice thought, but there would be confusion as whehter Sts P&P was Latin or Eastern.
I am astonished! Any parish I've ever been in (Latin) has been very keen on icons and in two the Parish Priest has personally painted one for the church. Besides, all Latins are used to the icon which we know as Our Lady of Perpetual Help, as well as other icons from parts of Italy formerly under Byzantium, such as Romagna and Basilicata. I hope your Father George's reaction is not typical.
Blessings with you!

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Quote
Originally posted by Highlander:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by JonnNightwatcher:
[qb] Besides, all Latins are used to the icon which we know as Our Lady of Perpetual Help, as well as other icons from parts of Italy formerly under Byzantium, such as Romagna and Basilicata. I hope your Father George's reaction is not typical.
Blessings with you!
Many Catholics don't call them icons, they call them "wall plaques." frown

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Highlandr,
your are correct on the OLPH Icon. in Lindenhurst, Long Island, where one of my brothers lives with his wife and kids, there is an OLPH (Latin) church with thew Icon over the front door, you can see it clear across Wellwood Avenue, the main drag through town.You can rest assured that when I am up there and pass that church, I have a triumphant grin on my face.
Wall plaques? semantics, semantics, semantics.
as far as Sts P&P is concerned, I think we'll be making headway when father George uses Eucharistic Prayer lV which has the Epiclesis.
Much Love,
Jonn
Much Love,
Jonn


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