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