15 January 2015

Growing the Ordinariate Liturgy

Our distinctive Rite, then, has immense advantages. In highly important ways, it reconnects with the liturgical Tradition which was, to an unhappy degree, ruptured in the decades following 1960. But it is also highly receptive to elements in those post-Conciliar changes which were actually mandated or permitted by the Council, and which are of pastoral advantage. Gloriously, it throws the windows open to a liturgical experience which is in a sense 'vernacular' but utilises a sacred vernacular closely similar to the Latin of the Roman Rite. This Latin, as demonstrated by modern linguistic and literary scholarship, was never 'vernacular' in the sense of using everyday language, but addressed God in a highly formal and deliberately archaic dialect. That is exactly what we do in our 'Tudor English' rite. The Roman instruction Liturgiam authenticam encouraged precisely this.

I very much hope that our Rite will spread within the Anglophone Catholic world, quite simply because it is what that world needs. And it is clear (and very welcome) that Ordinariate congregations are not and will not be exclusive ghettoes. As a result of this, in parishes where there are Ordinariate clergy, laypeople from both backgrounds, 'Anglican Patrimony' and 'Diocesan', worship together. Thus Ordinariate Catholics with their Anglican Use, and Diocesan Catholics with their Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms, mingle, and have the capacity very much to enrich each other. Mutual Enrichment as advocated by Benedict XVI! Diocesan clergy have often asked me, as I have given talks to laity and clergy in many countries, whether they are allowed to use our admirable Rite, and I have had, with regret, to explain that the general answer is No (except in particular circumstances).

There are a couple of things we could do to help facilitate the growth and spread of what our particular charism has brought into the Catholic Church for the benefit of all the members of that Church.

(1) There could be a protocol something like this:
When this Rite is used in circumstances where there are substantial numbers of worshippers who are not members of the Ordinariate, the Celebrant may, at his discretion and for pastoral reasons and after consulting the Ordinary, omit the Prayers of the People, the Penitential Rite beginning Ye that do truly, and the Prayer after Communion beginning Almighty and everliving God. 
(2) It could be enacted that non-Ordinariate clergy of the Roman Rite may celebrate our Use iusta pro causa, because it is in fact a lawful Form of the Roman Rite together with the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms. It was part of the genius of Benedict XVI canonically to make it clear in Summorum Pontificum that the EF and OF are both equally forms of the Roman Rite, so that any Roman Rite priest can use either of them without needing any permission from anyone. By doing this he avoided the legal complications inherent in 'biritualism', which would have enabled unsympathetic bishops to sabotage his intentions. The same basic principle should analogously apply to the Anglican Form.


Anonymous said...

Dear Fr, I have had a happy experience of the Ord. rite (let's not mention the 3yr lectionary and bits of the calendar), but I do find that the thanksgiving after comm. feels a bit too drawn out. Maybe there could be an option for it to be said secreto & we laity could follow silently.

Anonymous said...

And the use of the English Missal of the elder, pre-1958 Editions with the old Easter rite should be allowed to be used as the EF of the Ordinariate.

Dale Crakes said...

I hope the powers that be in formulating the Ordinariate Mass have taken into account such things as “The Tutorial Prayer Book”, 1913, Neil & Willoughby, very Low Church, on the Holy Communion Service. Also a quote from E C Ratcliff, “His purpose was to give an exact liturgical expression to the fulfilment of the command “Do this in remembrance of me”.’
E. C. Ratcliff, The Liturgical Work of Archbishop Cranmer¬ Journal of Ecclesiastical History, October 1956; reprinted in Thomas Cranmer, Three Commemorative Lectures, Church Infor¬ mation Office, 1956.
‘Compared with the clumsy and formless rites which were evolved abroad, that of 1552 is the masterpiece of an artist. Cranmer gave it a noble form as a superb piece of literature, which no one could say of its companions; but he did more. As a piece of liturgical craftmanship it is in the first rank-once its intention is understood. It is not a disordered attempt at a catholic rite, but the only effective attempt ever made to give liturgical expression to the doctrine of “justification by faith alone”.’
Dom Gregory Dix, The Shape of Liturgy, p. 672.
Every change since has been an attempt to alter Cranmer’s “effective attempt”. The Antiochian Western Rite in the States is reviewing the first book above as well as Blunt, Dowden, and pertinent Ratcliff articles in preparation for a new Altar Missal, replacing our current 1958 Knott Missal, which hopefully will finally eliminate all remaining aspects of Cranmer’s “effective attempt”. Of course as we are not Novus Ordo in our liturgics we don’t have that to contend with.

Claudio Salvucci said...

"Gloriously, it throws the windows open to a liturgical experience which is in a sense 'vernacular' but utilises a sacred vernacular closely similar to the Latin of the Roman Rite."

Precisely this. Every single Catholic missal and prayer book I have seen from the 1800s on up to 1960 has the same kind of sacral English. I was only born in '71 but I have to think that Catholics were simply used to praying that way before ICEL did its dirty work and, by the sort of centralizing ultramontanism Father is always on about (and rightly so), wiped out that hallowed tradition with the stroke of a pen.

A personal observation, if I may, on the suitability of the liturgy for a wider audience. My Italian descent (unlike the great Christina Rossetti) has left me with no prior experience of Anglicanism. I now attend an FSSP parish and also, as a great admirer of what you all are doing, occasionally attend Ordinariate Masses. Although I was expecting to feel rather at home in the Ordinariate Use, and truth be told I have thought in the past that it would be the perfect ordinary liturgy for the English-speaking world, I was rather surprised to find it somewhat unfamiliar and even foreign. Granted, I haven't been to all that many and I recall having a similar reaction to the 1962 Missal. So perhaps my opinion is yet premature, and I would certainly be curious to see, Father, if I would have the same reaction to a Mass with your suggested pastoral revisions. One crucial point though either way….whatever you are all doing to preserve your patrimony has clearly been a smashing success, if it feels unfamiliar to a Catholic steeped in both forms of the Roman Use.

On a historical note, I wonder if the two paths of English Catholicism don't represent two complementary streams--one that survived within Anglicanism and one that survived among the recusants and the Romanizing influence of the Jesuits at St. Omer's and in Baltimore. Perhaps it's right that we English-speaking Catholics preserve both of these together.

Can the calendar be employed for mutual enrichment, as elsewhere in Christendom? Like the feasts of the Jameses--do the Roman Rite parishes of Toledo not use the Mozarabic liturgy on the feast of the Greater, and do not the Eastern Orthodox use the Divine Liturgy of St. James on the feast of the Lesser?