9 March 2017

Anathema! Anathema! Anathema!

I expect many of us read, a couple of days ago, Fr Zed's piece on Orthodoxy Sunday, with the beautiful video showing the proclamation of the Anathemas against heresy in a Russian Church. Gracious me, how immensely happy they all looked and sounded, and how gloriously joyful the music was! And how superb the Anathemas themselves! The one towards the end, against Ecumenism, I found bewitching in its beauty.

My first thought was: why don't we take over such a useful, beautiful and moving ceremony. But then I recollected my own principle, that what we do should emerge organically within and from our own Western Tradition. So ... ... ...

In a rough and ready sort of way, our Trinity Sunday can be thought of as our equivalent to Orthodoxy Sunday. And we do have, in our Western arsenal, the Quicunque vult.

Whosoever will be saved: before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholick Faith. Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled: without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholick Faith is this ... etc..

It is currently left to the Anglican Patrimony and to the SSPX (with the smaller Traditionalist groups) to keep alive, just about, this superb proclamation of true doctrine. But the devotion needs to be brought back into the full consciousness of the whole Latin Church. For B John Henry Newman, it was "The most simple and sublime, the most devotional formulary to which Christianity has given birth".

On Trinity Sunday, we could have the Athanasian Creed, Quicunque vult, solemnly sung before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. Why not carry on the Exposition until Solemn First Vespers of Corpus Christi on Wednesday? Perhaps on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday the QV could alternate with the Niceno-Tridentine Confession. Could the Syllabus Errorum have a place found for it, punctuated ... why not ... by the Byzantine threefold chanting of ANATHEMA!

Is all this, I hear you objecting, overkill? Definitely not. TOMORROW I will offer you, in a discussion of a beautiful Tractarian hymn now horribly bowdlerised by heretics, proof that such acts of witness are both necessary and badly needed; dreadful proof of the widespread abandonment of classical Trinitarian and Christological dogma..

14 comments:

John F H H said...

If Anathema can be rendered as cursed (imperative) the might one dust off from Anglican Patrimony the Commination Service?

Don Camillo SSC said...

Bring back the Commination service. That would do nicely, perhaps with a few adjustments. I could be very happy with that.

Fr Ray Blake said...

As a small boy I relished the Commination Service.

Fr PJM said...

Anathema ! (And when the time comes)
Alleluia!

Mark said...

Of course, us traditional Anglicans in the Reformed Episcopal Church and other superior jurisdictions recite the Athanasian Creed every Trinity Sunday.

Unknown said...

Members of Opus Dei recite, and then meditate on, the Quicunque on every third Sunday of the month.Something to cheer you up on the feat of St Joseph.

Todd Peperkorn said...

The Athanasian Creed is alive and well in that heretical confession known as Lutheranism. It is confessed on Trinity Sunday in most parishes of our confession.

Anita Moore said...

Thank you again for introducing me to the Quicumque Vult, the existence of which I failed to learn of even through 12 years of Catholic school (1976-1988, so what can we expect?). It is a lifeline to sanity in a parish where we are advised, among other things, that the hierarchy of the Church was not divinely instituted, and the establishment of the feast of Christ the King was nothing more than a spasm of anti-republicanism.

Melinda said...

Arising organically within our tradition, "Reunion All Round" might, I humbly suggest, be read likewise on Trinity Sunday in regards ecumenism:

"Further, it has come to be seen that Bishops and Archbishops are not, as was commonly suppos'd hitherto, the Vehicles of any extraordinary Grace, which they pass'd on one to another, like a Contagion, by the laying on of hands, but only another of these Obstacles, which make the Race of Life so agreeable a pursuit. They exist to supervise our Doctrines, and find them unscriptural, to controul our religious Practices, and forbid their Continuance, thus enabling us to snatch a fearful Joy while we are about 'em: in short, to give the Christian Profession that Spice of Martyrdom, which it has so sorely lacked since the Abolition of the Amphitheatre. However salutary this Interference be, it is plain that it is of the nature of a Luxury..."

(Please overlook the lack of the long s!)

O the glories of being Catholick!

Maureen Lash said...

Has the Ordinariate adopted the BCP Commination?

E sapelion said...

I would like to hear the Quicunque Vult used as the Creed at Mass on Trinity Sunday. Since, at least in this diocese, we use the Apostles Creed at Mass throughout Lent and Easter, it would do no further violence to tradition.
On a different topic: It is interesting to see that Anathema(Greek), Cherem(Hebrew), Haram(Arabic), and Tabu(Polynesian) all signify "set apart" and can refer either to objects, like a chalice, set apart for divine worship or to actions (or objects) repugnant to the Deity/deities.

Protasius said...

Until the 1950s the Quicumque was sung at Prime on all Sundays without a concurring double feast, and on Trinity Sunday of course; in the Sarum Rite it was even sung daily at Prime.

Reader said...

Father, you'll be pleased to know that members of Opus Dei recite the Quicumque vult on the third Sunday of every month. So it far from forgotten in some quarters. It is indeed the clearest explanation of the Blessed Trinity I have ever heard or read.

scotchlil said...

Fr. Ray: even now I keep a copy of the Admonition from the Commination Service in my office-book. It is a superb summary of the Gospel, and hugely profitable reading