Monday, 15 February 2010

What Liturgy with the "Groups of Anglicans" uniting with Rome use? Bishop Peter Elliot has something to say.

Courtesy of The Anglo-Catholic (a must read on the journey of traditional Anglicans), is reported recent comments from Bishop Elliot covering the journey of Traditional Anglicans reconciling with Rome.

Importantly, Bishop Elliott includes some comments on the Liturgy to be used.  Below are those excerpts, but see here for the full address entitled WHAT IS THIS “PERSONAL ORDINARIATE”?, Bishop Peter J. Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, on Understanding Pope Benedict’s Offer to Traditional Anglicans, An address given to Forward in Faith Australia at All Saints’, Kooyong, Melbourne, on Saturday, February 13th 2010, together with comments from The Anglo-Catholic site.

...A Postcript: The Future Liturgy of the Ordinariates

Anglianorum coetibus authorizes the Ordinariates to use books that carry the Anglican liturgical heritage: “so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.” Note those last words. What the distinctive “Anglican rite” liturgy of the Ordinariate will be is yet to be worked out. When that project is completed it will need the recognition of the Holy See. But some speculation at this stage may be of interest.

Considering its history and strong influence in the first editions of the Book of Common Prayer, the Sarum Rite might well be a major source. Queen Mary I published a national edition of the Sarum Missal to replace all those missals for the diocesan uses that went into the fire when the first Book of Common Prayer appeared in 1549. Therefore the Sarum Use was the last version of the Roman Rite in England before the universal Missale Romanum, Roman Missal, was authorised by St Pius V in 1570. At the end of the nineteenth century when Westminster cathedral was being built, it was proposed that the Sarum Rite be revived as the use proper to the cathedral. Nothing came of this project, lost I suspect in the cross-currents of liturgical controversies and an Ultramontane trend to standardise liturgy along Counter-Reformation lines, even down to the shape of chasubles.

[TAC: In 1541 (eight years before the publication of the Book of Common Prayer), Henry VIII ordered Convocation to suppress the uses of York, Bangor, and Hereford and ordered the universal adoption of the use of the diocese of Salisbury (the “Sarum Use”). This Use was the sacred liturgy of the Mass elaborated by St. Osmund around the year 1085. St. Osmund had come over to England with William the Conqueror in 1066 and was consecrated bishop of Salisbury in 1079.]

The various editions of the Book of Common Prayer will obviously influence the preparation of this use for the Ordinariates. Yet a note of caution is necessary. Cranmer’s prose is majestic, but all his doctrine is not sound. Some editing will be needed to deal with expressions which are not in harmony with Catholic Faith, particularly those that come down from his severely Protestant 1552 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. In Anglo Catholic circles you have tried to manage these matters, as may be seen in the English Missal and the Anglican Missal.

[TAC: It should be noted that the American 1928 Book of Common Prayer was accepted for use in the Western “rites” of several Orthodox jurisdictions with only very minor emendations and additions. For any traditional edition of the Book of Common Prayer, the edits required should be minor; I believe that this concern gets blown out of proportion. The rites of the Prayer-book should be judged by the text alone — not by the questionable private theological opinions of her editors.]

I give one example that concerns me as a sacramental theologian. “Do this in remembrance of me” should never appear in a Catholic rite. “Do this in memory of me” is a more accurate rendering of the original languages and takes us away from “memorialism”. The meaning of the Eucharist as the great sacrificial Memorial is set out in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1362-1367.

[TAC: I would counter that “remembrance,” “memorial,” and “in memory” are all interchangeable in this context; they certainly are in the Prayer-book and in the Authorized Version of the Bible. Any confusion should be resolved — as it has been amongst Catholic Anglicans for centuries — through catechesis rather than the mutilation of the text.

From The Catholic Religion by Vernon Staley (pp. 247-249):
The Holy Eucharist is a feast upon a sacrifice. The Body and the Blood of Christ are first offered to the Eternal Father, and then partaken of by the communicants. This offering is termed by St. Paul “the shewing the Lord’s death.”"

In saying “This do in remembrance of Me,” our Lord used words which here really mean,—


It has often been shewn that the word translated “do,” is very frequently used in the Greek Version of the Old Testament for “offer.” It is so used in the following passages to which the reader may refer for himself: Ex. xxix. 36, 38, 39, 41; Lev. ix. 7, 16, 22 : xiv. 19: etc. In each of these places, the word translated “offer,” is the same as that used by our Lord when He said, “Do this.”

The Greek word for “remembrance” has likewise a distinctly sacrificial meaning. It is used but twice in the Old Testament, and but four times in the New. Three times in the New Testament the reference is to the Holy Eucharist. Let us briefly examine the three remaining passages, where the Greek word 1 I Cor. xi. 23, etc. * Ibid. 26.

In Heb. x. 3, we read,—”But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.” The allusion is to the sacrifices offered yearly on the Day of Atonement. These sacrifices were offered to God, to procure pardon of the sins of the priesthood and of the nation. The high priest entered the Holy of Holies, where, unseen by man, he made “a remembrance of sins” before God. The same word is again used.

We have now examined the only three passages in the Bible in which the Greek word for “remembrance” is found, apart from the accounts of the institution of the Holy Eucharist. In each case it is used of A REMEMBRANCE BEFORE GOD, AND NOT BEFORE MAN; and it is only reasonable therefore to suppose that in those instances in which it is used of the Holy Eucharist, it is intended to express the same meaning which it has elsewhere in Holy Scripture, viz.; that of A MEMORIAL BEFORE GOD. That this is the true idea is confirmed by St. Paul’s words spoken of the Holy Eucharist,— “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come.” (I Cor. ix. 26.) In connection with this important subject the reader is asked to refer to what was said on pages 195, 196, concerning the relation which exists between the Eucharistic Sacrifice and our Lord’s pleading in heaven.]

Next year a new ICEL translation of the Mass of the Roman Rite will come into effect. More gracious poetic English will mean that the beauty of the language used in the Ordinariates will not clash with the banal and inaccurate old ICEL “translation” we currently endure.

[TAC: Deo gratias!]

Let me add that an “Anglican use” will add to the diversity of uses that already exists within the Roman Rite, starting with the two forms. “ordinary” (Novus Ordo) and “extraordinary” (Usus antiquior, traditional Latin liturgy), and including efforts to revive the uses of religious orders and regional uses. In Milan there are now two forms of the venerable Ambrosian Rite, ordinary and extraordinary. This variety is reported from time to time in the New Liturgical Movement website, also an indicator of Pope Benedict’s liturgical project and vision.

One dream of mine is that the churches of the Ordinariate will resound with fine music – from Stanford to Palestrina, from Vaughan Williams to Bruckner. We need the kind of music that gives greater glory to God and also “a treasure to be shared” by all Catholics.

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