Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ordinariate Liturgies

Some of you maybe saw this on Rorate Caeli. It looks like the Ordinariate liturgy is farther along than we thought:
"...when with the promulgation of Anglicanorum coetibus a small liturgical commission was established, with responsibility from the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to see to the needs of a new situation, some difficulty was experienced in establishing a template likely to be acceptable to all and sundry. Overwhelmingly, English Anglicans had abandoned both the Prayer Book Eucharist and that of the English Missal tradition. They had accepted the reformed Roman liturgy, often with a few variations (such as the placing of the Sign of Peace before the Offertory) supplied from modern Church of England liturgical revision, as well as, typically, including the most beloved of such short Cranmerian texts as the Prayer of Humble Access.

"The English members of the commission were thus faced with a quandary so far as the Eucharistic rite of the Ordinariate was concerned. Although Anglicanorum coetibus conceded that the Ordinariate’s members could make use of the Roman books, the emphasis of the text lay on the provision of ‘books proper to the Anglican tradition’, once these had received approval from the Holy See (thus Anglicanorum coetibus III). But for the Eucharistic rite, there was for English Anglo-Catholics no suitable book that came to hand. This is why it was proposed to produce an Order generated by the same principles that had animated, in the Roman liturgy, the redaction of the Missal of Pope Paul VI. The principles are often labelled, not inaccurately, ressourcement, ‘going back to the sources’, and aggiornamento, ‘bringing up to date’. The English Prayer Book tradition was to be Catholicised by reference to its own principal ancient source – the Use of Sarum – while at the same time taking into account the best elements of contemporary worship available, whether from the Roman Missal of 1969 (but now in its third edition) or from modern Church of England best practice. In this process, what was objectionably Protestant about the Prayer Book Eucharist would vanish away, yet what would remain would still testify to ‘Anglican patrimony’, albeit in the new context of canonical as well as doctrinal and sacramental union with the Latin church. This describes, then, the draft forwarded in March 2011 for recognitio by the Holy See."


"The setting up of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (altogether freed from State supervision and united with Rome) created just the conditions in which substantial elements of the English Liturgy of the pre-Reformation period could be married with those features of the Prayer Book that still held the affection of many, together with the best products of Roman rite revision and its Church of England counterpart. The result may be considered the sort of Eucharistic Order Cranmer might well have established had he been doctrinally orthodox (and lived in the twentieth century).

"There were no comparable difficulties attached to the other texts in the proposed English book: the daily Offices of Mattins and Evensong (to which, following the example of the 1928 proposed Prayer Book, an Office of Compline and a Day Hour were added; the Litany; the Lectionary (for the Office as well as for the Mass), and rites for marriage and funerals – though the inclusion in the latter of explicit prayer for the departed (and not simply for the bereaved) was strengthened by the addition of the Sarum rites for the commendation of the dead person which followed on the Requiem Mass. The calendar proposed was the current seasonal calendar of the Church of England, itself of Sarum origin, together with the cycle of festivals as found in the 1970 General Calendar of the Roman rite, and a number of English or British commemorations, in excess of those in the National Calendar for England and Wales (though not necessarily exceeding the total number if saints in the local calendars of English and Welsh [and Scottish] dioceses were to be added together). There was one unusual feature of the Office of Mattins. Following contemporary Church of England precedent, the second reading at Mattins could be drawn from post-biblical sources. In the context of the Latin church, the Roman rite Office of Readings is an obvious source for these, but the book drafted for the English Ordinariate contains an alternative cycle for Sundays and feasts taken from insular sources. A number of these are taken from patristic writers (Bede, Aldhelm), mediaeval sources (John of Ford, Mother Julian, Nicholas Love), and English Catholic martyrs (Fisher, More, Campion), but the larger number derive from the Anglican patrimony (the Caroline divines and their Restoration successors, the Tractarians with particular reference to Newman, and a selection of later Anglo-Catholic writers). It is, as it were, a testimony to what might have been had the English Reformation proceeded on Catholic lines, as did the Catholic Reformation in much of Continental Europe. No Baptismal liturgy or liturgy for Confirmation has been provided, on the twofold ground that Anglicanism has not produced a version of such a liturgy which has endeared itself to its faithful, and also that there is something especially fitting about the use in an Ordinariate of the rites of the Roman liturgy for Christian initiation, as a sign of belonging to the wider Latin church (and thus to the Catholic Church as a whole). The same congruence might well be ascribed to the use of the Ordination rites of the mainstream Latin church."
I'd still like to see them allow a little more diversity, though. Since all sorts of different groups are reuniting, why shouldn't they be able to choose for themselves among the Sarum Liturgy, an only-slightly-modified Prayer Book liturgy (say, in its 1928 version), the "English Missal" and "Anglican Breviary," etc etc?

Anyway, I just hope it's not too Novus Ordoish; that where it must lean away from the Protestant-derived content that it will lean more towards Sarum rather than the modern Roman Rite. I also hope the English used is exclusively hieratic (the "Book of Divine Worship" approved for those first Anglican Use groups has a modern English option ::shudder::).

Creating a liturgy in a year or so under a committee is problematic enough. But, then again, it sounds like it may largely be just a cobbling together of already existent sources and texts, and I suppose "compiling" can be a valid occurrence in the organic development of liturgies (after all, just look what St. Gregory did at Rome, or St. John Chrysostom at Constantinople). And I think if the description of how they did the funeral liturgy is any indication (ie, take the traditional Prayer Book rite as the starting point and then supplement it with explicit prayers for the dead from Sarum)...that sort of methodology seems promising.

But, we shall see. I'm a bit irked by using the Roman Calendar of 1970 (though I suppose for practical reason it makes sense) and that it wasn't as heavily loaded with English-specific feasts as it could be (why not add every commemoration found on local UK diocesan calendars?) And while I think not taking any Anglican rites for Baptism, Confirmation, or Ordination may make sense...I'd really hope that they'd at least use the traditional Roman form of these rites (in hieratic English) rather than the Novus Ordo (and yet I doubt that).

Oh well. Either way, it sounds like it should be a lot better than the Book of Divine Worship and appears to be a new creation rather than simply a "reform" of the BDW (which is good; after all, why should we always be stuck with the first attempt at reform? A question I ask regarding the Novus Ordo all the time...)

1 comment:

Tony said...

Screw that man. They're getting shafted.