16 September 2022

All Mankind?

 " O God, the maker and redeemer of all mankind: grant us, with thy servant Queen Elizabeth, and all the faithful departed, the sure benefits of thy Son's saving passion and and glorious resurrection".

This was read by Archbishop Welby at the Reception of the body of Queen Elizabeth.

Is it true that the same prayer was used at the obsequies of the Queen Mother? Is it based on the Catholic Fidelium Deus omnium conditor et redemptor? Is it deliberately altered so as to make its theology Universalist?

Are there any other theological points worth making?


frjustin said...

The opening phrase could be taken in a Universalist sense, but the continuation is more orthodox: "all the faithful departed".

I am reminded of a cousin of mine, who regularly prays "Fidelium animae" with a slight omission: "May the souls of the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace". Now that is Universalist theology!

Joshua said...

At the service of prayer and reflection in honour of Her Majesty the Queen held at Llandaff Cathedral today, I note that the Order of Order of Service includes the following during the Prayers:

Dr Abdul-Azim Ahmed, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Wales
We hold before you, our most gracious King Charles the Third. May your wisdom inform him, your illumination guide his heart and your truth inspire his words and actions. May he serve in righteousness and truth, doing justice. Rabbana [Our Lord], grant us peace.
Lord of the call to serve: Lord, give us your peace


Mr John Minkes, South Wales Jewish Representative Council
We pray for ourselves and the lives we live day by day. Give us a deep knowledge of that peace which is your gift and, too often, beyond human understanding. By thought, word and deed may we be your instruments for that peace in our time and in your world.
Lord of hope of truth: Lord, give us your peace

While it is very decent of these men to pray for such wholesome intentions, is it not theologically questionable, from either standpoint for a Muslim to participate by offering a prayer during an otherwise Christian service? From a Jewish perspective, is it appropriate for a Jewish man to pray during a Christian service?

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

Reverende Dmne,

To be fair (not my invariable practice) this prayer is imprecise but not wrong, misleading maybe to those minded to be misled.

Our Lord and God Jesus Christ is the sole source of Redemption for all those who chose to be redeemed, and available to all without exception. They are redeemed through Him alone. Those who are not are damned, by their own will.

What this prayer raises is the Church's wise silence on the fate of those who die separated from Her. Cardinal Vaughan was very eloquent on this subject at the death of our last Queen regnant. We have the SSPX to thank for its republishing now - could are Bishops not bring themselves to such clarity of doctrine? https://fsspx.uk/en/news-events/news/death-queen-76405

All now is obfuscation, from our own men, as from Welby. I think I prefer blunt error, like many of our German episcopal friends!

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. Universalism is rife within Tradistan when it come to the Protestant Queen for it is thought by many that she can attain unto Heaven because she was good (Masonry) and performed her duties with a high degree of competence (works without faith).

The Get out of Hell Card is the one in the new Catechism and is cited frequently in Tradistan "We are bound by the Sacraments. God is not."

I don't judge her soul, that is God who does that but the righteous folks in Tradistan are bending over backwards when it comes to the Queen because they personally love her.

Stephen said...

I would have preferred "handmaiden of God" instead of "servant of God". Male and female He created them.

David J Critchley said...

If God is going to redeem all mankind, then there is no special need for us to ask for the sure benefits of his Son's saving passion. If on the other hand we need to ask for those benefits, then there must be some uncertainty over the ultimate fate of those who fail to ask for them.

Matthew said...

I used to omit the words "us with". That may have had an echo of universalism, but at least it was a more obvious petition for the salvation of the person in question.


Jesse said...

Father, are you pulling the legs of readers who lack "Anglican priors"? This prayer is from the 1980 Alternative Service Book of the Church of England. It is sufficiently different from Deus fidelium omnium conditor that I suspect that it was an original composition. But I haven't consulted any of the usual commentaries, and I could be wrong.

That "all mankind" has been "redeemed" has been taught in the Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer continuously since 1549:

QUESTION. What dooest thou chiefely learne in these articles of thy beliefe?

AUNSWERE. Firste, I learne to beleve in God the father, who hath made me and all the worlde.
Secondely, in God the sonne who hath redemed me and all mankinde.
Thirdly, in god the holy goste, who sanctifyeth me and all the electe people of god.

It has also been the continuous teaching of the Catholic Church.

At the Council of Ephesus (431), the presbyter Philip, legate of Pope Celestine I, said that St. Peter had "received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of the human race" (a Domino nostro Jesu Christo, salvatore humani generis ac redemptore, claves regni accepit). This same passage was quoted by in Dogmatic Constitution I on the Church of Christ (chap. 2) of the First Vatican Council (1870), and again by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Lux Veritatis (1931).

In his bull Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum (1661), Pope Alexander VII declared that the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from spot of original sin "in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, her Son, the Redeemer of the human race" (intuitu meritorum Iesu Christi eius filii, humani generis Redemptoris). Almost the same phrase was quoted in Pope Leo IX's definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the bull Ineffabilis Deus (1854).

Pope St. John Paul the Great was in continuity with this teaching when he wrote, in the encyclical Redemptor Hominis (1979), "We are dealing with 'each' man, for each one is included in the mystery of the Redemption and with each one Christ has united himself for ever through this mystery. Every man comes into the world through being conceived in his mother's womb and being born of his mother, and precisely on account of the mystery of the Redemption is entrusted to the solicitude of the Church" (De quolibet homine agitur, cum quivis comprehendatur mysterio Redemptionis, et huius mysterii gratia in omne tempus cum eo Christus se coniunxerit. Omnis homo in gremio materno conceptus in vitam venit, oriens e matre, et curae Ecclesiae, ipso Redemptionis mysterio, committitur.)

Redemption—"buying back" (cf. 1 Cor. 6:20, "Empti enim estis pretio magno")—is a fact, having been accomplished once, for all men, by Christ. As Pope Benedict XVI said in one of his General Audiences (December 21, 2011), "Of course, humanity’s redemption happened at a precise and identifiable moment in history" (La redenzione dell’umanit√† avviene certo in un momento preciso e identificabile della storia).

And yet, because that once-for-all fact must be worked out individually in every human soul, St. John Paul could also write, in his encyclical Redemptoris Missio (1990), "The mission of the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion" (Redemptoris missio Ecclesiae concredita multum a suo exitu abest.), going on to speak of "the millions and millions of men and women who as yet do not know Christ the Redeemer of humanity" (hodie pluries decies centena virorum mulierumque millia sunt - qui nondum Christum hominum Redemptorem agnoscunt).

Moritz Gruber said...

Why would you ask God to grant a sure effect?

I, for one, ask God also to bestow upon the late British queen, and us, not only the sure effect of Christ's Passion and glorious Resurrection, but also the indeed (contra Calvinum) ordinary and intended effect of the Same which due to our possibilty to say 'no' to it is (contra Lutherum) not strictly in the usual street-sense of the word certain.

I would have noticed it if the one saying the prayer had been a Catholic, though. I cannot get rid of the notion that Anglicans are "the English Protestants", as it were (especially as in a sense it is true), and we all do know that you can't dissect logically the prayers of a Protestant. His sermons, yes; his non-religious stuff of course, yes; but for prayers he himself will say that it's the general outline and the mood created is about and certainly not the specific words and their precise meanings he uses; he might even, alas, misappropriate the sentence "the letter killeth, the spirit quickeneth" for this purpose.

Moritz Gruber said...

Dear Mick Jagger Gathers no Mosque,

a couple of things:

1. There is a heresy apparently in English called Universalism (I know it by a different name), which is the opinion that God saves all mankind without any exception and that by necessity. That is a heresy. It does not follow that the smaller you think the number of the predestined is the more pious you are. (It is not even, strictly, heretical to speculate heavily on the fact that while people can go to Hell, it may eventually turn out none will; as long as you hold they can, you are no Universalist. I would say this extreme is explicitly ruled out in Scripture, though; the idea that "there will be few reprobates, and Scripture calles them in some places 'many' because they are much too many" on the other hand is not antiscriptural. There is a world of a difference between "few" and "none at all").

2. There is a rumour that to be traditionalist involves being Feeneyite and vice versa, especially in anglophone countries, but it is wrong; the two have almost nothing in common except for being (trads) or starting out as (Feeneyites) Catholics and being the sort of thing the pious tend to enjoy (trads) or fall for (Feeneyites).

3. If the late queen of Great Britain is saved, she is not a case of "God is not bound by his sacraments", because she was a Christian and validly baptized. It would be a case of "she has found a way to repent of her sins sufficiently without proper Confession; and she either was not subjectively gravely guilty in what she objectively obviously failed to do, viz. fulfil the duty of becoming a Roman Catholic (or possibly, in her last moments, repented of that). These are still objective duties; but she did have sacraments.

4. While Catholic teaching does not contain what Feeneyites think it does, it does contain the following statement: "Any person, at least if she has reached adulthood, who has died is either in Heaven, or in Purgatory on the way to Heaven, or in Hell." Limbus paganorum non datur. Limbus Christianorum separatorum dupliciter non datur. So, assuming the late queen were not on the way to Heaven, she would be tormented with spiritual and physical pain for all eternity. And, you know, we loved her, "but" God loved her too.