An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

St Clement’s Church, Philadelphia

On Sept. 13, 1855, a charter was granted to “The rector, Church Wardens, and Vestrymen of St. Clement's Church in the City of Philadelphia.” The cornerstone of the new church was laid on May 12, 1856, by Bishop Alonzo Potter. The church was consecrated on Apr. 12, 1864. The influence of the Catholic Revival, sometimes called Ritualism, on the parish began in 1869, when Hermon Batterson became the rector. From 1874 until 1891 the parish was served by brothers and priests of the Society of St. John the Evangelist. On Apr. 10, 1944, it was designated the Shrine of our Lady of Clemency. Over the years continuous novenas have been said at the Shrine. Upon request, petitions and thanksgivings are remembered at the Shrine for nine consecutive days, and a votive candle is lit on the ninth day. In 1943 a Shrine to the Virgin Mary was erected and dedicated on the Feast of the Annunciation, Mar. 25. Liturgically, St. Clement's uses the BCP “as arranged in the 1928 American version,” traditional hymnody as found in The Hymnal (1940) and the New English Hymnal, and the Authorized Version of the Bible. The mission statement of the parish declares that the final arbiter of doctrine is the Catechism of the Council of Trent, and that the parish rejects the “errors” of the Episcopal Church of the last thirty years: “the so-called 'ordination of women,' feminist theology, the new permissive marriage canons, the 'revised liturgies,' and so on.”

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.