27 February 2008


It has been pointed out by several experts that our Holy Father pulled a neat dodge by making the Tridentine Rite an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite rather than a separate rite. Had he made it a separate rite, it would have been necessary for priests of the Latin Church to be given special permission to celebrate it; just as they need special permission to celebrate, say, the Syro Malankara Rite. By making it clear that there are two forms of the Roman Rite, he cut through all the red tape which would have impeded clergy from using it.

But there is a third form of the Roman Rite: the Anglican use of the Roman Rite, used in the US by former Anglican parishes. This was set up with massive encouragement by ... no less a figure than Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. It uses The Book of Divine Worship, which is in effect the Anglican Book of Common Prayer with Dr Cranmer's heterodox Eucharistic prayers replaced by, for example, a 'Tudor English' translation of the Roman Canon familiar from its use in Anglo-Catholic Altar missals of the pre-Concilar period (incidentally, it is not Coverdale's translation).

This form of the Roman Rite, of course, overlaps intriguingly with the Tridentine Rite. Most of its Mass Popers, being taken from the medieval English Sarum Rite, have the same Collects, Epistles, and Gospels as the Tridentine Rite - although in the period post Trinitatem there is some dislocation, inherited from Sarum. Earlier generations of Catholic Anglicans supplemented the Prayer Book by adding Introits, Secrets, etc., from the Roman Missal and the'English Missal, still in print, represents the final flowering of this tradition and offers a splendid means of saying the Tridentine Masss in superb English.

So, if my Devon friend Fr Peter Morgan, ordained in the SSPX and latterly offering a dual ministry, one to an Anglican Papalist congregation and the other to a Tridentinist group, invited me to preach at the latter celebration, a sermon written for my BCP congregation at Broadwood Widger 20 miles to the north, would fit. In this blog, I can kill two birds with one stone by commenting on the Tridentine propers: bird 1 being adherents of SSPX or FSSP; bird 2 being the Prayer Book Society. I used to explain to the probably bemused folks of Broadwood Widger that their closest allies were SSPX, and that Benedict XVI was the first pope ever to be a Prayer Book enthusiast.

I very much hope that both of the minority forms of of the Roman Rite will have a great future. As far as the Book of Divine Worship is concerned, it has one problem in its present form. It assumes as its base an American version of the Prayer Book. For the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite to spread, I would suggest the following methodology: a decree providing (1) that certain specified versions of the Prayer Book (and Common Worship and English Missal) authorised in particular Anglican provinces were hereby authorised but (2) with their Euchristic prayers replaced by the formulae herein provided and (3) with certain supplementary provisions (e.g. for December 8; August 15, etc. etc.).

Such a provision would not only be useful for Anglican groups entering into full communion with the Holy See, but would undoubtedly influence the worship of those whose unity with Rome was still impaired.


Gregory of Langres said...

"So, if my Devon friend Fr Peter Morgan, ordained in the SSPX and latterly offering a dual ministry, one to an Anglican Papalist congregation and the other to a Tridentinist group..."

Only in Devon. Laus Deo!

Little Black Sambo said...

You have called down upon your head the wrath (always supposing they have the good sense to read this excellent blog) of the Societas Sanctae Crucis, who have been inveighing against the incorrectness of members - especially in the USA - for their attachment to what is patronizingly called "half-timbered English.

Anonymous said...

SSPX increasingly sound like Anglicans as they have certainly taken to heart the Article about General Councils being able to err even in matters pertaining to Go.

Anonymous said...

Cranmerian English is superb as compared to the dreadful prosaic language of the New Order in English and its Anglican imitations. At least it has a timbre not a vacuity. It is not just about communication , it seeks to reflect the glory of God.

Matthew the Curmudgeon said...

Yes, and why have not the Anglican/Catholics and Catholic/ Anglicans in the U.K. tried to establish their own Anglican Use? Must Americans continue to pull European Chestnuts out of the fires of their own making?
I believe an international joint committee should create an acceptable international Anglican Use.

Oh yes, the USA version would be the best in most respects. Sorry about that!

Anonymous said...

I can remember in 1978 preaching a sermon in favour of Archbishop Lefebvre's liturgical views ( I would strongly repudiate his anti-Jewish stance) to an Anglican congregation. Nobody was bemused and I don't think they were asleep. Items too have appeared very occasionally in Prayer Book Society publications realising that they had something in common with fellow conservatives.

The English
Missal ( contining 1662)is probably the best bet as a common Anglican use , as it contains none of the ambiguity in the American BCP1928 derived from 1549.

Unknown said...

They have had since the Reformation, it is called the Datum Rite.