Gerald Bray on the Priority of Preaching Over the Sacraments

Great understanding of Anglican theology expressed here:

… because the Gospel is essentially a message of salvation that must be proclaimed, the sacraments are an extension of the ministry of the Word and not something distinct from it. The administration of the sacraments is the preaching of the Word by other means, bringing home to people the meaning and application of the message. Because of this, the sacrament of baptism should never be administered without proper teaching beforehand, nor should the Lord’s Supper be celebrated without an exposition of the Bible preceding it. Those who think of the sermon as a preliminary to the celebration of the sacrament have put the cart before the horse. Participation in the sacrament should be a response to the hearing of the Word, without which it is meaningless.

From “The Faith We Confess – An Exposition of the Thirty-Nine Articles”, Gerald Bray, Latimer Trust, p140.

Hence why the Book of Common Prayer church services always have ministry of the Word, but only optionally the sacraments.

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