I have long been uneasy about the arbitrary provision in Summorum Pontificum that the normative form of the Authentic Version of the Roman Rite should be that of 1962. I suppose Benedict XVI was being kind to Archbishop Lefebvre, who, after some variations, settled, in the mid-seventies, for 1962.
But now! ... marvellous!! ... PF, with his generously reiterated abrogations, has liberated us from all the Ratzinger provisions!!!
We are now in a happy period of freedom. Broad Sunlit Uplands territory! Bound no longer to '1962', we are at liberty to use ... for example ... the 1939 rite as provided in the St Lawrence Press Ordo.
Or any other ...
Readers will remember the provisions of S Pius V in Quo primum. This is often misquoted ... indeed, it was by PF ... as if S Pius permitted the continuation of rites with more than 200 years' prescription.
He did nothing of the sort.
He ordered, he mandated the continued use of such rites; unless the Bishop and the unanimous Chapter of a diocese should agree to adopt instead his own edition of the Roman Rite.
The fall-back position bequeathed by Quo primum was and is: that those old rites stay firmly in place.
I think it is fairly safe to, despite the difficulties of asserting and proving historical negatives, state that in no English diocese, in the years after 1559, did the Bishop, with his unanimous, rejoicing, Chapter, agree to abrogate the old rites of Sarum, York, Hereford, Lincoln, Bangor ... or do I mean Bognor ...
I think Sarum is the rite with which (in our new-found loyalty to PF) we should begin our restorations. Within the last year, an admirable and learned priest has edited and published an Altar Edition of the Sarum Missal [the "unique expression" of the Sarum Rite]. And Mr Urquhart has done a fine and painstaking O'Connell to go with it (Ceremonies of the Sarum Missal). I expect the poor fellow will be nagged to edit an annual Ordo recitandi Officii Divini Sacrique peragendi secundum usum insignis et praeclarae Ecclesiae Sarisburiensis so as to help us through the nombre and hardnes of the rules called the pie.
Sarum is, as our Mr Johnson would cry, Oven Ready and Awaiting Lift Off.
Whereabouts to begin?
In Puginopolis, clearly (Ramsgate, as hoi polloi call it). Just think how it will rejoice the heart of dear Augustus Welby. There is evidence that Dr Wiseman celebrated 'according to the rite of Sarum' there.
Historians will undoubtedly come to call this the Pugin Pontificate.
Then, perhaps, the ruins of Glastonbury ... in honour of the Blessed Abbot Richard Whiting, and his martyred Companions; on Tower Hill, honouring the Cardinal Bishop of Rochester ...
What glorious events those Pontifical High Masses will be! We must pray for fine weather!
Viva il Papa!
(Readers who were puzzled by the concept of the Split Infinitive will find a careful and, I hope, helpful example in the post above.)