25 April 2022


 In 1927 and 1928, Parliament twice rejected a revised Anglican Book of Common Prayer. One reason for this was a weird campaign which saw two groups fighting for the rejection, which were at daggers drrawn with each other. The hard-line Calvinists thought that the revised book was too popish. The Anglo-Catholics, many of whom were papalists, opposed it because it was part of a plan by the Bishops to suppress the Tridentine Rite, which by then was spreading in the Church of England like wildfire. 

(Why do bad and/or misguided men so hate the "Tridentine Rite"?)

You see, the 'old' book of 1662 (essentially 1552) was by then obeyed by nobody in the C of E. This made it hard for a bishop to persecute the papalists, because if he attacked a priest for disobeying 1662 pages 11, 21, and 31, the attacked cleric could retort "But you disobey pages 15, 25, and 35". But if 1928 had been passed, the Establishment could then have persecuted the papalists for any infringement of 'the Book' without thereby manifesting themselves as hypocrites.

The failure of 1928 meant that the Anglo-papalists continued to use the Tridentine Rite, either in English or in Latin, until, around 1970, the silly, silly fellows gave it up in favour of the new 'Bugnini' Roman Rite: what on this blog we will call the Usus Deterior.

The C of E licked its wounds for decades after 1928. But eventually, on 1 May 1966, it secured powers to adopt "alternative services for experimental use". A schedule of such permissions was published and called "Series 1".

This was at a time when, in Rome, the post-Conciliar destruction of the Usus Authenticus of the Roman Rite was at a fairly early stage: Sacrosanctum Concilium had been passed by the Council but the changes to be inflicted upon parishes were as yet comparatively minimal. No-one then knew that the 'reforms' would end up going so very far beyond what the Council had mandated ... PF and his roche conceal this dirty little secret by continually refering to the Usus Deterior as if it were just what the Council had called for. They appear to be motivated by the wise perception of Dr Goebbels that, if you tell a lie often enough and loudly enough, people will believe it.

Series 1 enables us to see a stage of Anglican reform which was modest and organic. 

 After Rome really got going with her vandalisation, the C of E slavishly imitated her. But that stage had in 1966 as yet not quite been reached. For example: the post-Conciliar Vatican revisers were to convince themselves of the necessity of a Eucharistic Epiclesis (calling upon the Holy Ghost to transsubstantiate the bread and wine). But the disastrous 'Additional Eucharistic Prayers' exemplifying this unfortunate innovation were not authorised by Rome until 23 May 1968.

Accordingly, the eucharistic provisions of Series 1 in 1966 show no signs whatsoever of interpolating the Holy Spirit into the Anglican Order of the Eucharist.

But the Conciliar Decree Sacrosanctum Concilium had indeed referred to "enriching" the "table of Scripture" offered to the laity. And this did affect Series 1. 

Readers will know that, eventually, the Roman post-Conciliar 'revisers' were to abolish totally the inherited Epistles and Gospels which went back in the Roman Rite for a millennium and a half. But they had not yet issued a new lectionary. So the C of E authorised its own "Table of Old Testament lessons for the Holy Communion." 

And this was done by retaining the ancient Western Epistles and Gospels which the C of E had kept from the medieval rites ... and simply adding to it OT readings which matched one or other of the Epistle or Gospel. A couple of random examples: on Trinity 4, the Epistle, Romans 8:18sqq, refers to the Creation itself groaning and travailing as it awaits redemption. So the matching OT reading provided was Genesis 3:17-19, describing the state of fallen Creation. On Trinity 5, where the Gospel describes (Luke 5:1sqq) how S Peter and his associates "forsook all and followed him", I Kings 19:19-21 describes Elisha forsaking all and following Elijah. 

You get the point.

Sometimes people say that they do not understand the concept of "organic" liturgical evolution. I think that this neat little detail of Anglican evolution is a good example of a method alternative to (and so very much better than) Year A Year B and Year C and all the stuff so well listed and exposed by Matthew P Hazell in his indispensable Index Lectionum.

I write this not in order to recommend that particular Anglican set of readings; but to illustrate that things can be made to evolve organically ... which is exactly what Sacrosanctum Concilium explicitly, actually, mandated.

The post-conciliar revisers could simply have obeyed Vatican II. Instead, they decided on their Scorch and Burn, Rape and Pllage, approach to "Reform".


Matthew said...

I wonder how much use was made of the Series 1 OT lessons, as not many years elapsed before the introduction of the "thematic" lectionary eventually incorporated in the utterly appalling Alternative Service Book 1980. The 3-year ecumenical arrangement came as quite a relief when this hit the buffers, although none of these things need have happened, especially if parish priests had followed the spirit of the Prayer Book by publicly celebrating Mattins before the principal Mass and therefore exposing their people to a greater variety of Scriptural texts.

Stephen Barber said...

The failure of the 1928 book led Anglo-Catholics who were not Anglo-Papalists to adopt what was known as the Interim Rite, which restored most of Cranmer's cuts and reordered the liturgy closer to the traditional mass. This was, more or less, what was in use when I worshiped in London, at least on Sundays.

armyarty said...

Until very recently, the Island of Manhattan was full of "districts" The Garment District, the Flower District, The Financial District, Meat Packing District, and so forth. Newspaper row, hard by City Hall, or Fulton Fish Market, that not only included the market itself, but dealers in oysters, clams, terrapin, and the like all around it. Once upon a time, there was even a Tobacco District.

More to the Point, there was Barclay Street- home of Religious Goods, publishing houses, importers, manufacturers- the lot. You could outfit an entire church all on Barclay Street. That all collapsed after Vatican II. Expensive hand missals were going for twenty-five cents each, and the supply houses were collapsing like a house of cards.

Just as I was making my First Holy Communion, this presented a novel set of problems for my mother. It was simply IMPOSSIBLE to buy a Children's Missal anywhere in The Bronx in 1970. Not a current one anyway. Although they were being published, nobody stocked them, because nobody wanted them.

She could have bought me a nice white ribbon for attaching to my sleeve, or white crepe paper decorations for the party afterwards, but no missal. As for the white ribbons, our hippie nun (in a mini-skirt!) forbid us wearing them. Ha! My mother was the only one obeying that crazed edict!

But in the end, I got my missal- Novos Ordo "Paul VI" children's missal. The best thing about it was the picture of the Crucifixion inside the back cover. Wherever did she get it? Aunt Helen got it for her. My Episcopalian Aunt Helen, who bought it from her parish: Good Shepherd, Episcopal! Sadly, Good Shepherd has not fared all too well, but for years it was a good source of supply for Catholic Goods.

John Nolan said...

The English version of the Pater Noster currently used in the Catholic Church is that of the 1928 BCP. Catholics always said 'who art in heaven' and 'on earth' but had 'them that trespass against us', not 'those who'.

At the same time (c.1964?) we were told to adopt the Anglican 'Ah-men' and refer to the Holy Ghost as the Holy Spirit. It coincided with the vernacularization of the people's parts of the Mass.

armyarty said...

Correcting myself:

The Episcopal parish was/is called the Mediator, NOT Good Shepherd,
which is a Catholic church about half a mile away!

I only mention this, in case any New York people are reading this.

My apologies.

Unknown said...

I did some digging to find this table, and a strange bibliography somewhere in the bowels of google books listed in a long title for that Table "taken from the CIPBC Book of Common Prayer 1960," which has perhaps become my favorite vintage BCP for the moment. For those interested in perusing this lectionary, it can be found on Archive.org https://archive.org/details/bookofcommonpray0000chur_i8t5 but it seems CIPBC does not have the public domain provisions that TPECUSA does, so one must have an account and digitally borrow to view the lectionary, which I did not find as a table, but only integrated into the Propers section. Tangentially, the supplement to this book is more readily available online http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/India/Supplement/index.html and is another curiosity of (pre-conciliar) organic development.