Of Thine Own Have We Given Thee: A Liturgical Theology of the Offertory in Anglicanism

by Shawn O. Strout

“This is a theologically life-changing book. For many, the ‘collection’ or the ‘offertory’ is simply the chance for the church to get some money to cover the costs of running the congregation. Shawn Strout’s masterful survey of the acts of oblation invites readers to see how this tradition evolved. Every congregational leader should read this book and ensure that the place of ‘giving to God’ is truly given an appropriate liturgical and theological place.”

-Ian S. Markham
Virginia Theological Seminary

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About the Book

Every Sunday around the world, Christians offer money and in-kind gifts to the church, traditionally known as alms. For communities that celebrate the Eucharist regularly, bread and wine, traditionally known as oblations, often accompany these gifts. What does it mean theologically for Christians to offer gifts to God, who first offered the greatest gift of Jesus Christ? This question regarding the role of alms and oblations in the liturgy was among the most controversial questions of the English Reformations in the sixteenth century. While the eucharistic prayer proper has often been the site of this theological controversy, the offertory rite has also received great attention. The 1552 English Book of Common Prayer excised all references to oblation in the offertory rite, but oblationary language and actions, such as the offertory procession, returned in full force by the twentieth century. The movement from the near elimination of oblation in the offertory rite to its widespread usage in the churches of the Anglican Communion is a remarkable liturgical and theological development. Using liturgical theology’s tools of historical, textual, and contextual analyses, this book explores how this development occurred and why it is important for the church today.


“The treatment of offering and presence in the Anglican tradition has tended to center on the Prayer of Consecration. However, the ‘offertory’ was also a contested liturgical unit at the Reformation, and it has not received the extended treatment it deserves. In this study, Shawn Strout has filled the gap with a full historical and theological treatment of this liturgical unit as it has progressed and developed in Anglican prayer books. Scholars and students will benefit greatly from this study.”

–Bryan D. Spinks, Yale Divinity School, emeritus

“Shawn Strout presents a compelling examination of the offertory in Anglicanism by a thorough and penetrating historical analysis coupled with a profound theological exposition. This comprehensive study guides the reader through a fascinating development that facilitates a tradition-based understanding of this rite in today’s church.”

–Mark Morozowich, The Catholic University of America

“Shawn Strout’s book provides an excellent overview of the offertory reform in sixteenth-century Anglicanism. This important book also studies the new and dynamic ritual development that followed. This evolution was nourished by a variety of cultural contributions in Anglican Communion. Of Thine Own Have We Given Thee catalogues these developments and uncovers their theological roots and implications. It will serve as an indispensable resource for future study of the Anglican offertory for years to come.”

–Dominic E. Serra, The Catholic University of America

Publication Details 

Pickwick Publications
(April 13, 2023)
282 pages
ISBN-13: ‎

About the Author

The Rev. Shawn Strout, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Worship, Associate Dean of Chapel, and Director of Assessment. His passion is teaching future lay and ordained church leaders about the history, theology, and practice of liturgy. He believes liturgical theology helps students see the many ways we experience God in the liturgy and that liturgical practice empowers students to be confident liturgical leaders.

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Faculty Scholarship at VTS

Virginia Theological Seminary is the flagship seminary of the Episcopal Church. Founded in 1823, VTS faculty prepare leaders from around the world for both ordained and lay service in the Church. Our faculty are a diverse community of scholars who are committed to excellence in teaching and research. Through publications, public speaking, and travel, faculty engage with the wider Church and world, while shaping the next generation of leaders.

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