At the first Anglo-Catholic Priests' Convention in Oxford in July, 1921, the Principal of Chad's, Durham, delivered the lecture on the Ars celebrandi. His name was Stephen Moulsdale; a Sligo man, he was one of those Irish 'Anglican' Catholics who flit so marvellously across the pages of our history.
Let us remind ourselves that the grand possession of Western Christendom, this great prayer, the Canon of the Mass, this noble Consecration prayer, for at least 1300 years, intact and immutable, formed the basis of the Western Rite. Without exaggeration we may describe it as the oldest liturgical prayer in Christendom. Through all the middle ages our English Rite followed it. It is free from anything that implies any mediaeval developments of eucharistic doctrine. It stands unaltered in the Roman Mass of today. It is our inalienable heritage as priests of the Church Catholic in the West.
A hundred years later, most ordinary Latin Catholic churches have abandoned it. Those that use it in celebrations of the Ordinary Form use a version in which, at its most sacred heart, the text has been messed around with. And from Bergoglian Rome come rumours of new liturgy wars.
Surely, this is the time when all who see themsaelves as Catholic should be sure that they use the Canon and only the Canon; that they use it without the daft tinkerings of the 1960s.
If we desire to wave banners in the streets, perhaps those noble words
INTACT AND IMMUTABLE
OUR INALIENABLE HERITAGE
... words proclaimed by an Anglican a century ago ... are worthy to be adopted and waved around.