Western Liturgical Family: The four oldest Christian families are the following: the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the non-Chalcedonian Orthodox tradition, the Western Catholic tradition and the Anglican tradition. A strong liturgical life characterizes these Christian families, along with true-creeds, sacraments, language and culture, which find their expression in their liturgy. Most of these families observe seven sacraments: baptism, eucharist, holy orders, unction, marriage, confirmation and penance. Two other characteristics mark these churches: allegiance to creeds, and belief in Apostolic succession. Even though these churches evolved from one common beginning, they unfolded into separate entities with Christianity's spread into other cultures.
The Eastern Orthodox family, its authority centered in the cities of Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople, split from the Western Catholic tradition in 1054 AD. The Western Catholic tradition, based in Rome and entrenched in Western Europe, exercised strong political and religious authority. The Anglican tradition in England broke with Rome in the 16th century when Henry VIII saw opportunity for an independent church that would give him his desired divorce and financial freedom for battle. The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion and The Book of Common Prayer established it as a separate liturgical tradition. In the immigration to North America and after the American Revolutionary War, the Anglican Church became known, in 1787, as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S. Read
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