1 September 2021

The Tridentine Rite and the Anglican Patrimony (1)

The point of this piece and one or two which will probably follow it is to give chapter and verse for my conviction that what, until recently, we called the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is an integral, historical part of the liturgical inheritance which we brought with us into full communion when we accepted Benedict XVI's offer of an Ordinariate. Quite apart from wider considerations involving the entire Latin Church, it is clear to me that any attempt to deprive Ordinariate clergy of the use of the Ancient and Authentic Form of the Roman Rite is ultra vires and a breach of an implicit undertaking. It is an attack on what I signed up for when I entered the Ordinariate. I regard this as a relevant subject at a time when the Authentic Use of the Roman Rite is under attack..

Go into any Anglo-Catholic sacristy in England and, gathering dust on some top shelf, you will find The English Missal  Missale Anglicanum. And probably more than one copy in more than one edition.

Fr Henry William Gordon Kenrick, 1862-1943 was its only begetter. An evangelical in origin, he trained at the London Divinity School. Having discovered the Catholic Faith, he was, from 1905 until 1937, Vicar of Holy Trinity Hoxton; years in which Anglo-Catholicism flourished in the Church of England, in its most Tridentine form.

The genesis of his EM appears to be a Missal, hand-written for the most part between June 1904 and the beginning of 1907, which is now in Pusey House Library accompanied by a letter from the compiler and scribe. He claims that he used it at the Altar "for some time and then translated into English, made many additions then got it printed as 'The English Missal'". Published in 1912, throughout its history it bore the publisher's name of W Knott.

In his introduction to the original manuscript Missal, Fr Kenrick nervously states that its "idea" was "to group the great pictures of the world around the Altar ... There is here also an attempt to combine absolute loyalty to the English Church and Liturgy with the felt want of systematic aids to the private devotions of the priest". This device ... the provision of private devotions ... goes back to the beginning of the provision of Anglo-Catholic Altar Books; the erudite Rector of North Cerney, Fr P G Medd (compiler also of the Prayer Book in the original Latin of its Medieval and earlier sources), produced The Priest to the Altar in 1861 ("privately ... sold to subscribers) "after some consultation with Canon Liddon and other friends resident in Oxford" (Liddon himself was accustomed to say the Canon of the Mass in Latin sotto voce when celebrating the Communion). In this book, short passages coyly labelled "(Sarum)" provided, in English, extracts from the Roman Rite.

But Kenrick's manuscript goes much further than these earlier publications. It consists of nothing less than the entire Prayer Book eucharistic rite (homilies and all) in English, with almost the entire Roman Rite in Latin. Fr Kenrick writes "The Latin parts are sanctioned in principle by the Preface in the Book of Common Prayer 'Concerning the Service'. One who desires to use only the Prayer Book can do do by reading only the English parts of this book. Any exceptions need the sanction of the Bishop".

A priest using Fr Kenrick's Missal would say the Preparation at the foot of the altar, and the Introit, in Latin; followed by the introductory material from the prayer book (including the Commandments and the Collext for the King) in English, until he had read the Collect and Epistle for the day. He would then revert to Latin for the Gradual. Later in the service he would incorporate the Roman Canon before and after the Prayer Book Prayer of Consecration, and continue in Latin with the Lord's Prayer and all the other Roman material up to the Communion. After Communion he would say the Lord's Prayer - again, but this time in English. - and the rest of the Prayer Book material up to the end of the Gloria. Placeat tibi followed, and then the Prayer Book blessing (during which, since the Blessed Sacrament was still upon the Altar until the Ablutions, he had to genuflect before turning to bless the people).

To be continued.


Shaun Davies said...

Does anyone know anything of the W.Knott publisher ? I was told that in the 1960s until it demise it was a family called Gunyon. I remember their(a blue folded sheet) list which had about seven or eight books still available, certainly, in the 1970s. They were originally in Brooke Street which would suggest a St Alban's,Holborn link. They certainly were the only publisher of Catholic Prayers for Church of England People "Fr Stanton's Prayer Book".

Unknown said...

It's funny you write this article on your blog. After thinking about the recent TC from PF, maybe the solution to both the TLM and NO is to turn to the Anglican Ordinariate Rite as it has both English and Latin and is probably closer to what Vatican had in mind for the reform when the NO first came out. I think the TLM is dead and despite what PB XVI thinks, it is not in continuity with our tradition because it ceased as of 1965. And If anything, the Anglican Rite has at least been around since the 1500's although not in union with the RC church. So it makes sense to reform both the TLM and NO into one rite using the Ordinariate as as a model. Has anyone come up with such as proposition?

PM said...

Meanwhile, Mr Biden has declared the Afghanistan evacuation 'a success'. Just like the 'reform' of the liturgy he and his St Louis Jesuit favourites celebrate, I assume.

Jonathan said...

So when did the consecration actually happen? In the first Roman Canon?

Jhayes said...

Mr. Davies,

Several books published by W. Knott are available as readable ebooks at the Open Library


You have to create an account, but it is free.

You can read a book for an hour at a time but you can renew for additional hours if no one has requested it in the meantime.

Fr Edward said...

The Book of Common Prayer was always used in Latin, as "a tongue understanded of the people" (as mentioned in a previous article), in the Latin Chapel at Christchurch and the University Church at Oxford. I wonder if this had any influence on the Romanising tendency at all. Although I imagine that the Latin was taken from the Roman books, rather than the translation from English to Latin in the 'Liber Precum Publicarum.'

Shaun Davies said...

Thank you to JHayes and sorry for the delay in replying. To be honest I am more interested in who were the Knotts of W.Knott and then who were the Gunyons, (unsure of the spelling) who, I think ran it in the 1940s/1950s until the liturgical "changes" put them out of business. The Gunyons sent their children to an Anglo-Catholic prep school in which I once had the honour of working.