26 December 2020


Is there still a present you need to send to a liturgically-minded friend or colleague? If so, I commend the book of this name (CSM), by R J Urquhart, pubd T and T Clark.

It is exacltly what it claims: "A careful Conjecture". For, while it is clear from the Sarum service books, most of the time, what they did solemnly in Salisbury Cathedral, what happened in humbler places and contexts, where Sarum was used in a status declivior, is not. A widely cast net enables Mr Urquhart to give you as much information as is humanly possible. 

Readers of this blog will have read herein, several times, something like the following:

"Lots of books will tell you that S Pius V permitted the continued use of medieval rites having a prescription of more than 200 years. This is erroneous. It is so erroneous as to be pretty well the opposite of the truth. He gave NO such permission to anybody."

If you have any book that says this, I ORDER YOU to fetch it at once and put big question-marks against such assertions. THEY ARE CONTRAFACTUAL

What S Pius did do ... well, if you're not a regular reader of this blog, or if you sometimes forget the wisdom I so generously share, or ... worst of all  ... if you don't regard me as a reliable authority, then you need to get CSM instantly and to read carefully Urquhart's explanation of Quo primum. TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS ...

One detail in CSM seems to me arguable. The Compiler, footnoting 'Reid', suggests that it might be contrary to the mind of the Church actually to celebrate Sarum. But in a letter dated 10 December 2013 (Prot. N. 39/2011L) Archbishop Pozzoli, writing from the then Ecclesia Dei Commission propria manu, says

In relation to your first question, this Dicastery confirms that the Use of Sarum, whilst no longer in regular use, has never been formally abrogated.

In relation to your second question, it is the judgement of this Pontifical Commission that any celebration of the liturgy according to the Use of Sarum is to be carried out under the responsibility  and supervision of the Ordinary.

Interesting, yes? Suggestive, yes? 

PLEASE take my commendation seriously. This is a massively important book which needs all the support it can get in this age when publishers are naturally nervous about publishing things which might bring them narrow profits. PLEASE don't put it off ... ... PLEASE ...




neilmac said...

Having read this book I can whole-heartedly recommend it to all those with a real interest in the liturgy of the Church.

It is a magnificent work of scholarship.

Jhayes said...

I don't have the Urqhart book, but I wonder if his point is that the exception was limited to churches or priests who met certain conditions.

"This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom. However, if this Missal, which we have seen fit to publish, be more agreeable to these latter, We grant them permission to celebrate Mass according to its rite, provided they have the consent of their bishop or prelate or of their whole Chapter, everything else to the contrary notwithstanding."

Thus, Dominican priests could continue saying Mass in the Dominican Rite because their order had done that for ar least 200 years before 1570.

Who would meet the Quo primum conditions to say Mass in the Sarum Use today?

E sapelion said...

Father, can you spell out why you think this book important. I would be very interested to read it, but my 'satiable curtiosity is not important in the scheme of things. In fact I don't think adding to my stock of unuseable knowledge worth the price of this book.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Mr Hayes

"A quibus nequaquam auferimus".

Sanctissimus Pontifex haec iura (vel potius mandata) numquam abstulit. Idcirco non facultas sed obligatio manet ...

Iis ergo licet ...etc..

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Mr Sapelion

The Sarum Use of the Roman Rite was extensively used in an arc spreading from Portugal round to Scandinavia. It is a form of the Roman rite which is at least as culturally important to students of the Roman Rite as, for eample, the Byzantine Rite. Knowlege of it protects us from too narrow a sense of what the Roman Rite is.

For example: not long ago, somebody tried to persuade me that the Roman Rite does have an Epiclesis ... i.e. the Offertory Prayer Veni Sanctificator ... But this is not in the Sarum and cognate Rites.

I say daily and with great joy the Offertory and pre-communion prayers of the Pian Missal. But it is good for me to know that these do not have the same auctoritas as the Canon and other formulae which are integral to the rite.

In the same way as palaeontologists might be particularly interested in floods of information about an example of Homo which in interesting ways differed from Sapiens ...

Christopher said...

Dear Fr Hunwicke,

I had the privilege of reading the proofs of this book, and I heartily agree that your readers should hasten to take advantage of the publisher's discounted price.

This book aims to provide for Sarum what Fortescue provided for the Roman rite. The Sarum use is rather well documented (by the standards of a mediaeval diocesan rite), but even so a great deal of painstaking work is required to establish the details of the ceremonies, and this book does an excellent job of compiling the information available in modern published editions and working out how the lacunae than remain may best be addressed.

I read with pleasure your quotation of Mgr. Pozzo's letter. I can attest to its accuracy, because the good archbishop was in fact writing to me. He very politely declined to answer my second question, but what he did write clearly confirms that there is no reason in principle why priests should not be able to put Mr Urquhart's book to practical use. Indeed, may I be so indiscreet as to ask: have you done so, Father? I should like to add to my list of documented modern celebrations of the rite.

In Christ,
Christopher Hodkinson

Boethius said...

I find it most interesting that this book has appeared in the same year in which the new editions of the noted Sarum Missal and Processional were completed. This makes it realistic to sing Sarum services for the first time in centuries. Indeed, with the entire noted Breviary available online, the Use of Sarum is now much easier to obtain than the Vatican's most recent version of the Roman service books. What is finished of the English translation is also extremely promising for chant in English generally.

It's also interesting to me that (as you point out in your Ordo) the Breviary was officially authorized by early Anglican bodies, and that Western-Rite Orthodox also seem to find Sarum Use acceptable. Certainly its aesthetic often reminds me of the Byzantine Rite, but I suppose that's mainly the common premodern tradition, as opposed to the baroque obsession that seems to dominate the Latin Mass today.

In all it should be a brilliant tool for evangelizing people disillusioned with the usual way of doing church, and demonstrating the breadth of the Roman Rite. The key is probably convincing local authorities that it's an opportunity for growth rather than another source of competition.

Any chance of starting an Oxford revival group?

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

I ordered mine a month ago, I think.

My hard copy will take about three months to reach the Antipodes.


NSP said...

Fr. Hunwicke,

Your post got me all excited and I headed over to Amazon wanting to order the book, but I was stopped dead in my tracks by the price!

Given the price of this book, I cannot imagine anyone other than rich bibliophiles or libraries being able to possess it. I purchased Prof. Geoffrey Hull's "The Banished Heart" from the same publishers a couple of years back, when the price was much more reasonable. But even the price of that book has shot up no, though it is not as high as the price of this one.

I understand that such academic presses print only a small number of copies and have to keep the prices high, but I don't understand why they don't price the ebook versions lower so that it is at least more accessible to the average book-buyer. The Kindle edition of the "Ceremonies of the Sarum Missal" is priced at $97.20 today! At least they have a Kindle edition for this book! They still haven't got around to publishing an ebook version of Prof. Hull's "The Banished Heart." At least, not that I can discover.

The book you contributed to (Luther & His Progeny, which I purchased as an ebook) was much more reasonably priced.


dunstan said...

Readers interested in this fascinating subject will also want to consult the scholarly Beyond 'Puginism' by Gerard Hyland. This 'ism' we owe to Newman, who was not at all keen on the Sarum Use nor on the churches designed by Pugin in the middle period of of his career (c1840 - 1846) for its celebration when he was under the influence of the Revd Dr Daniel Rock, the Earl of Shrewsbury's chaplain who used the Sarum Missal in the Earl's chapel at Alton Towers in the 1840s. Hyland shows that Pugin abandoned Puginism in the final phase of his career. His Tridentine compliant buildings include St Augustine's which is why there is a permanent confessional here. However, Mr Hyland thinks the church could still host the Usus Sarum, above all because of the magnificent rood screen restored to its central position between nave and chancel three years ago. I for one am intending to buy Mr Urqhart's book which will sit nicely on our library shelves alongside Dr Rock's two volume, Hierologia. Perhaps I should also learn the Usus Sarum now that Mr Urquhart has provided the manual.
Fr Simon Heans, Administrator, St Augustine's, Ramsgate.

PDLeck said...

I, too, would be interested in reading this book. However, I agree with Mr Sapelion: The book is too expensive. If the publisher would like to have a wider readership for this monograph they should not price it so high. Even the Kindle edition (which I would have gone for as I am banned from buying actual books) is a ridiculous price.

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

I was all set to order a copy, but fear I must agree with our friends above. I had a good friend recently with a book by OUP, which started at about £130 ($180) and kept going up year by year, with few sales. I bought it because it was my subject, but this is just not kind to learning. For the most part, those of us who are seriously interested are not rich, and our book-budget, especially post-Covid, only goes so far.

Tom Broughton said...

I think $135 for a 325-page hardcover book is too much. This figure does not even include the shipping. I could see paying $50 at most. Father, please tell us why the cost of this book is so steep.