PRAYER (traditional language): Almighty and everlasting God, who led thy servant James De Koven to honor thy presence at the altar, and constantly to point to Christ: Grant that all ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may impart to thy faithful people the knowledge of thy presence and the truth of thy grace; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
PRAYER (contemporary language):
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JAMES DE KOVEN
PRIEST (22 MAR 1879)
In the General Conventions of 1871 and 1874, de Koven became the chief spokesman for the "ritualists," defending the use of candles, incense, bowing and kneeling, and the like. He reminded his hearers of the numerous assertions by prominent Anglican theologians from the Reformation on down who had taught, and the ecclesiastical courts which when the question came up had ruled, that it is Anglican belief, shared not only with Romans but with Lutherans and Eastern Orthodox, that the presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament is a real and objective presence. However, he was eloquent and firm in saying: "The gestures and practices by which we recognize the presence of Christ do not matter. Only Christ matters."
In 1874 he was elected Bishop of Wisconsin, and in 1875 Bishop of Illinois, but because he was "controversial" he failed both times to have his election ratified by a majority of Bishops and a majority of Standing Committees of Dioceses, as required by canon law.
He died at his college in Racine, Wisconsin, on 22 March 1879.
by James Kiefer