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Bible Dictionaries

The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia

Tradition

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A term used in the Thirty-fourth Article of Religion to denote customs, rites, forms and ceremonies of the Church which have been transmitted by oral communications or long established usage, and which though not commanded in so many words in Holy Scripture, yet have always been used and kept in the Holy Catholic Church. For this reason they are revered, practiced and retained in its various branches at the present time. Such traditions are the following:

1. The observance of the first day of the week instead of the seventh.

2. The observance of the Christian Year, or the system of Feasts and Fasts and Holy Seasons according to the events in our Lord's Life.

3. The Baptism of Infants.

4. The use of Liturgical worship.

5. The use of vestments by the ministers in divine service.

6. The arrangement of our churches after the model of the Temple.

7. The observance of the seven hours of prayer.

8. The sign of the Cross in Baptism and at other times.

9. The choral service.

All these traditions of the Universal Church are retained or permitted by the American branch of the Church.

It is also to be noted that by tradition is meant the uniform teaching of the Church from the beginning, i.e., the witness that the Church bears by the writings of the Fathers and the enactments of her General Councils to the Truths of the Christian Religion and the interpretation of Holy Scripture. This is in accord with St. Peter's words, "No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation." Inasmuch as the Church is the "Witness and keeper of Holy Writ," and that it is upon her testimony that we know what is the Bible, it is but reasonable to defer to her interpretation, her universal customs and traditions as to its meaning. (See UNDIVIDED CHURCH; also FATHERS, THE.)

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Tradition'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/acd/t/tradition.html. 1901.

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