24 November 2021

ORDO, ORDO! Doth BETJEMAN still live?

(1) The happy day has arrived when comes plopping onto our doormats the Saint Lawrence Press ORDO. I enthusiastically commend this admirable publication to readers who are not already familiar with it.

It gives 2021-2022 according to the Calendar of the Roman Rite as it existed in 1939; that is, before Ven Pius XII acquired the collaboration of Hannibal Bugnini and began the series of changes which ended up with the Missal of S Paul VI. OK, you might not be in a position to use this ORDO; you might not even wish to use it; but it is quite an education to visit a world of First Vespers, Vigils, Octaves ... the world our fortunate forefathers inhabited for centuries. Frankly, you will hardly imagine how different that world was. 

When I once looked through the dusty piles of 1930s Parish Magazines at my last Anglican parish, S Thomas the Martyr in Oxford, I suddenly realised that the liturgical information provided weekly by Dr Jalland was what one now can only find in the Saint Lawrence Press ORDO! This is the Liturgy as it was practised by the great Anglo-Catholic Shrine Churches (and Shrine priests) in the bright triumphalist years between the Wars, "...  under the Travers Baroque, in a lime-washed whiteness, The fiddle-back vestments a-glitter with morning rays, Our Lady's image, in multiple-candled brightness, The bells and banners - those were the waking days When Faith was taught and fanned to a golden blaze."

(2) The Latin Mass Society of GB ORDO. The rites of 1962 as encouraged by Summorum Pontificum.

(3) American ... No Publisher cited ... I think it is SSPX ... Ordo Divini Officii persolvendi missaeque Sacrificii peragendi, but text in English. Also 1962. It includes (which (2) doesn't) information for owners of pre-1960 Breviaries about which bits to miss out because the legislation of the period around 1960 removed them. Gives the local additions for English speaking dioceses throughout the world.

(3) The ORDO I compile: Novus Ordo  information and Church of England information from post 1960. Lots of notes recommending 'traddy' ways of doing these modern rites. Contains the 1961 Office Lectionary I describe in the next paragraph.

(4) Newish (its second year in this form) kid on the block ... the Ordinariate ORDO. The English Ordinariate has now, happily, come into line with the American and Australian Ordinariates in providing its information for the Divine Office from the Church of England's 1961 Office Lectionary, which was based on the lectionary traditions of the Latin Church in the years after S Gregory the Great. (3) also contains this Lectionary.

Its page 87 seems to me strangely familiar ... some arrangements and options remind me of something I've seen elsewhere ... 

It would have been nice if they had given me an acknowledgement!! I am only human!!


Prayerful said...

I've ordered the St Lawrence Ordo for a few years. This should serve as reminder. Taken with their blog, it shows how the liturgical books of 1960-62 were suffering a steady impoverishment, which would culminate in the Montini-Bugnini disaster called the New Order of Mass.

Brian M said...

There are also Ordos available for the 1963 Monastic Diurnal, from Le Barroux and from Katrina of the Saints Shall Arise blog.

Ryan Carey said...

I use both the St. Lawrence Press and the St. Gertrude the Great. They are practically the same, but the SGG is often more explicit and less terse, which is good for those learning the older rubrics without help. And the SGG has the USA propers is it, which the St. Lawrence does not, desirable for those of us who live in the USA.

Rubricarius said...


The original Roman editions of the Ordo were prolix indeed. There is an example from 1588 here The majority of twentieth century editions I have looked at, although all more expanded than the sixteenth century style, do not incline to extensive explanations.

Many years ago the former compiler of the LMS Ordo Arthur Crumly, a good friend, was of the view that with the effects of a century of liturgical innovation it would be more appropriate to have editions of the Ordo that gave fuller explanations. I disagreed and still do that it is better to reproduce something which seeks to replicate the style of ordines of the period. As to local feasts both Arthur and his successor, explain in the preface to their Ordo the complex issues involved in that so my view has been that in the current crisis sticking with the Universal Calendar is acceptable.

As to the SGG effort being 'practically the same' that is not surprising as they shamefully cut and pasted from the SLP edition so our esteemed 'blog host is not alone in having had his work plagiarised. It is strange that groups who consider it a mortal sin to attend the Masses of others seem to consider the Commandment of 'Thou shalt not steal' does not apply to them.

Shaun Davies said...

Does anyone know of an Ordo for the Monastic rite pre-1955; the equivalent of the St Lawrence Press Ordo but for use with the old Monastic office (not the Le Barroux [1963] edition mentioned above ? It would be interesting to see a really detailed Sarum Use ordo and/or pre-Pius X. That would be a case of having your cake, eating it and practising gluttony on it.

Prayerful said...

St Lawrence Press did refer to St Gertrude the Great copying them. They just called them an 'American cult' or a similar form of words which had cult in it. A blog now defunct, or not updated, also mentioned that their copying was not always competent.

The ordo does explain the severe abbreviations. It explains how priests now deceased expressed themselves in these notes on the liturgical year, and for me, has helped my very poor Latin.

Zephyrinus said...

@Shaun Davies. I would also be most interested in seeing/acquiring a Pre-1955 Monastic Rite Ordo, such as you describe.

No doubt, Rubricarius is perfectly qualified to comment on this aspect and, like you, I sincerely hope he will Comment on this platform in the near future, with possible indications of where to acquire such publications.

Ryan Carey said...

I bought a Monastic Ordo from 1932 and put it on Archive.org, you can view it there. I use it in combination with the SGG Ordo, though by now I don't really need it for most days. I just look at the calendar and consult the rubrics to figure out what to do. I uploaded a Monastic Breviary and the rubrics for the Monastic Missal and some other OSB things.

Richard Down said...

any sign of a Papa Stronsay kalender for 2022 yet?

Zephyrinus said...

@Ryan Casey.
Thank You for your interesting information.
Most useful.

Brian M said...

Those of you inquiring about pre-1955 monastic Ordos may find Fr. and Ms. Wassen's Patreon page of interest:


Ms. Wassen does prepare Ordos for the Oxford UP / Andrewes Press Monastic Diurnal, per the pre-55 rubrics and with certain Anglican supplements. They are free, though a patronage of $3 USD / month is offered.