Christianity is widely popular around the world, with more than 2 billion followers. It is a religion that holds God as sacred. Believers channel praises, worship and prayers to Him. The two major sects in Christianity include Catholicism and Protestantism. These can be further divided into various denominations. Episcopal and Methodist are the two major denomination of the Catholicism.
Episcopal vs Methodist
The difference between Episcopal and Methodist is that Episcopal practices are governed by The Common Book of Prayer and follow Nicene’s creeds, while Methodists follow the Book of Worship, and focus mainly on Apostle’s Creed.
Episcopal is defined as the relationship between a Christian and the church bishop. It also signifies the affiliations which are related to Anglicanism. Methodist Church also emerged from the Church of England itself. It now comes under the jurisdiction of World Methodist Councils.
In the Episcopal Church, the Communion is central, which means that the altar, where the communion is kept is the central focus in the sanctuary. In the Methodist Church, the Sermon is the central focal point in the church, the place, pulpit, where the pastor’s stand is raised and is often located in the centre of the church.
The General Convention of Episcopal is made up of two houses which are deputies (often referred to as the clergy and laity), and bishops and meet up after every three years. The General Conference is made up of clergy and lay delegates.
Comparison Table Between Episcopal and Methodist (in Tabular Form)
|Parameter of Comparison||Episcopal||Methodist|
|Worship Practices||Worship practices are guided through The Book of Common Prayer||Ways of worship are guided by The Book of Worship|
|Communion||Holy Communion is celebrated with the wine||Holy Communion is celebrated with the use of unfermented grape juice|
|Ministry Orders||Ministry is characterized by four orders, namely- laity, deacons, priests and bishops||Orders in Ministry are characterized by three orders, laity, deacons and elders|
|Decision Making||General Convention is the highest legislative authority||General Conference is the highest legislative authority|
|Doctrines||Episcopal Church follows the Apostle’s and Nicene creeds||Methodists stopped following the Nicene creeds decades ago|
What is Episcopal?
Episcopal Church is the United States-based member church within a worldwide communion that is often referred to as the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church is a mainline Christian denomination which comprises a division of nine provinces and dioceses.
Episcopal Churches have priests and they cross themselves, such as Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Episcopalians are known to be progressive as compared to others. The Episcopal Churches resemble English Churches in many ways. Eucharist forms the principle act of Sunday worship for the Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Church was established with the constitution that created a government called the General Convention. Episcopalians continue holding the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral as the standard for the full communion, they only add baptized congregants to the Communion.
What is Methodist?
The Methodist Church also sprouted from the Church of England. It was the result of a movement led by John Weasely that sought to reform the Church of England. The movement, however, broke apart from its parent body and developed into an autonomous church.
All modern Methodist Churches come under the jurisdiction of World Methodist Council. This council hosts the churches that follow the Methodist traditions and these churches comprise of over 42 million Methodists across 138 countries.
The Methodist form of worship is less formal and is primarily governed by assemblies called Synods. Methodists hold Wesley’s liturgy as the standard for full communion, although they admit unbaptized congregants to Communion.
Main Differences Between Episcopal and Methodist
- The Episcopal Church follows the doctrines which are inherited from the Church of England and it follows the Apostle’s and Nicene creeds whereas Methodist Churches are only signified by the acceptance of historical Christianity doctrines
- Episcopal follows the Anglican way where confirmation and baptism precede the Holy Communion and they still use wine during the Holy Communion whereas Methodists admit unbaptized devotee to the Communion and they celebrate communion with pure, unfermented grape juice
- Episcopal ministry is governed by four orders, that are, Laity, Deacons, Priests and Bishops whereas the Methodist Churches are only governed by three orders, namely, Laity, Deacons and Elders
- The Episcopal Churches drawers its worship structure from The Book of Common Prayer. The Episcopal Churches follow the principle of Sunday worshipping whereas Methodists practice the ways of The Book of Worships as their liturgical guide
- Episcopal Churches authorizes same-sex marriage and the rituals have been performed since 2015 whereas Methodists Book prohibits homosexuality and marriage between the same sex people among the devotees
- The Episcopal highest authority is the General Convention, it is made up of two houses which are deputies (clergy and laity) and bishops whereas, in Methodist Church, highest legislative authority is General Conference made up of clergy and lay delegates
People who believe in one god and deity, they belong together. Both Episcopal and Methodist Churches are technically catholic communities. They both are reformed and evangelical. Episcopal follow teachings that were taken from churches of England and have Apostle and Nicene creeds in them.
Methodist, on the other hand, follow only historical Christian doctrine. The Episcopal worship system is different from Methodist, as the former follows the Book of Common Prayer while later follows the Book of worship. The Holy Communion is celebrated differently in both the denominations. Episcopal and Methodist have starkly different views on LGBTQI persons, marriages and ordinations.
In Episcopal communities, same-sex marriage is authorized whereas, in Methodist communities, it is prohibited. They both are governed by different ministry orders, Episcopals church’s highest legislative authority is the General Convention and Methodist’s highest legislative authority is General Conference.
Episcopalians and Methodists share creeds, an episcopate, scriptures, sacraments and commitments to the Christian life of holiness. Both of them also commit to the common mission, worship, witness and service.
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