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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Anglican Use Liturgy Should Become The Standard English Mass

Anglican Use Mass
(Catholic Online) - For non-Episcopalians, he said, the Anglican Use provides the worship-enabling beauty of Anglican liturgical action, music, architecture and art. It has even helped Catholics whose practice of the faith lapsed because of liturgical abuses in the implementation of the Novus Ordo reform of the Mass after the Second Vatican Council.

Describing his own experience of the Anglican Use, Archbishop Myers said:

“I was awestruck when I first experienced the Anglican Use liturgy at the English College in Rome during a pilgrimage last September. Its beauty was incarnated in the devotion manifested in the exquisite celebration of the Eucharist. I was humbled by the devotion of the faithful and I am encouraged by the fervor of the chapel and parishes that employ the Anglican Use liturgy here in the United States...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Imagine a Catholic mass very similar to the full Roman Rite (Tridentine or Extraordinary Form), but celebrated entirely in English, incorporating all the customs and forms of old-school English Catholicism. Ah, but you don't have to imagine it. It's real, and it's celebrated every day in limited locations. Now that's all about to change, and the Anglican Use mass is about to go mainstream! Archbishop Myers hit the nail on the head. The reason why the Anglican Use Liturgy is so healing for many Roman Catholics is because the Anglican Use Liturgy effectively IS the vernacular mass for all English speaking people. It is the organic heritage of English Catholicism having evolved in both language and custom long before the schism of the Church of England in 1534. During the 1800s Oxford Movement, the Anglicans sought to return to their Catholic roots by reconstituting the Catholic customs originally found in the English Church and this served as a liturgical treasure for Anglicans for over a century, eventually leading many of them back into full apostolic communion with Rome.

So what is the common English mass we all currently celebrate in Roman Catholic parishes today? It's called the Novus Ordo (or "New Order") and in essence it is a low vernacular translation of an abbreviated form of the Roman Rite. It's not even the full Roman Rite! It's an abbreviated form of the Roman Rite, and it translates into low common English. Up until the new translation (set to be promulgated between 2010 to 2012) it wasn't even translated correctly! Yes, that's right, the English Novus Ordo mass we've all been attending for the last 40 years is not even translated correctly! In addition to that, the Novus Ordo mass has been an "experiment" of sorts, a type of "rupture" from the organic liturgical development of the Latin Church. Most traditional Catholics agree it ought to be abandoned. However, in the face of having no approved vernacular translations of the full Roman Rite Liturgy (commonly called Tridentine or Extraordinary Form), most contemporary Catholics have been reluctant to give it up. The prospect of regularly attending an entire mass in Latin is an intimidating one to most Catholics today. (Personally speaking, it's not so big a deal, but that's another topic.)

Another problem facing English speaking Catholics is the excessive amount of liturgical abuse that goes on in English speaking parishes. The reasons behind this are perplexing, but nevertheless seem to be an undeniable fact. For decades, liturgically sensible Catholics have been abused and traumatized by this.

Finally we can look at the origin of the post conciliar liturgical reform that brought us the Novus Ordo mass, and what we discover is a history that is rife with scandal (read more here). Whatever the origin of the Novus Ordo, it looks like it's here to stay. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has long term plans for the Novus Ordo Liturgy, which his people are working on behind closed doors. In time this liturgy will change dramatically, once again, but this time to more closely reflect the Roman Rite - or so we can only hope.

The Novus Ordo will continue to serve a function where the celebration of the mass is in a language more closely related to the original Latin, such as Spanish, Italian, French, etc. Likewise, it will also serve a function in languages where no native rites have had time to develop, such as Vietnamese, German, Swedish, Korean, Japanese, etc. However, in languages like English, where an ancient history had once provided for the development of a rite, and current developments in modern history are leading toward the re-emergence of that rite after a long schism, it would appear that the use of a widespread English Novus Ordo Liturgy is no longer necessary. Indeed, since Anglophone (English speaking) culture seems to be imploding for lack of a religious cultural foundation, the re-emergence of the Anglican Use Liturgy is timely. It is possible a future re-emergence of a full Anglican Rite within the Catholic Church will help to effect the very cultural renewal so needed in Anglophone culture today.

So the question is how do we get there? Answer; it all begins with your average English speaking Catholic. If you're reading this - that means YOU. The Anglican Use Liturgy is easily accessible to both the clergy and the laity. No special training is needed to celebrate the Anglican Use Liturgy, though some might be beneficial. Any Catholic priest can use the 'Book of Divine Worship' as it has been canonically approved by Rome for the celebration of the Anglican Use Liturgy. All that needs to happen is laypeople just need to start requesting it. A high demand will eventually produce a high supply, and in time there will be no need for widespread use of the Novus Ordo liturgy in the English speaking world. The Anglophone people will once again have their own rite, in full apostolic communion with Rome, and our culture will benefit because of it.


blackshama said...

I would exchange the Novus Ordo as it stands now for the Anglican Use. However the Anglican Use borrows much from the BCP (although this is from the PECUSA 1979 revision) and to traditionalists' chagrin, the Novus Ordo!

What the liturgists should do is to make sure the Anglican Use goes back to the widely accepted 1662 BCP (purged of its Calvinistic influences) and the Sarum use which is pre-Tridentine.

Translating the Extraordinary form to English just will not do. The Tridentine mandate to regularize the Mass is a counter Reformation reaction and is Roman rather than Anglican (read in its original sense as "of England).

Of course the English Novus Ordo will benefit from the sacral English of Thomas Cranmer.

The Catholic Knight said...

Agreed. I think Rite 2 should be completely dropped from the "Book of Divine Worship" (BDW) which I don't think anybody uses anyway. To my understanding, the Anglican Use parishes typically use Rite 1 in the BDW which is traditionally high English and patterned after the liturgy used by Anglicans/Episcopalians prior to their own revolution in the 1960s and 1970s. Beyond that they just celebrate the Novus Ordo strictly in Latin. Of course they would have no objection to celebrating the full Roman Rite (extraordinary form). Personally I think future printings of the BDW ought to omit Rite 2 entirely, re-labeling Rite 1 simply as the Anglican Rite and then supplementing the full Roman Rite where Rite 2 used to be.

Beyong that I think the Anglican Use liturgical experts should work closely with Rome in resurrecting the pre-schism (1535) liturgical prayers and customs of the English Church, as they work together toward rebuilding the Anglican Rite for the English speaking world. Surely the Vatican has record of these liturgical practices, and in the long run they can be reincorperated into the Anglican Use in a reasonable way. We obviously can't go back in time and bring back things exactly as they were, but we can find the liturgy and reincorporate some of it's elements back into the Anglican Use liturgy.

Peter said...

Sir Knight, your last paragraph sums up the whole liturgical problem. Catholics have to stop settling for mediocrity, abuse and un-catholic forms of worship. As i posted on your previous note, the mediocrity of the novus ordo (even absent overt abuses) is banal, dull, mediocre in its language, music and over all ambiance. A majestic Anglican rite (i have been to them) leaves the novus ordo in the dust. Maybe B16 also had that in mind when he created this outreach.
Oh, btw, have you noticed that he has been getting it from the liberal camp in both the C of E (Lambeth) AND the "ecumenists" (Kasper and company) for "disrupting the process of dialog" Seems to me Kasper is now irrelevant. Pete Frey

The Catholic Knight said...

Pete, we have entered a whole new ecumenical paradigm with B16, and whether the retro-70s bishops like it or not, this new paradigm works. It has brought millions back into the Church (via the SSPX), will bring millions more back into the Church (via the Anglican Use), and is in the process of bringing hundreds of millions back into the Catholic Church via reconciliation with the Eastern Orthodox. The retro-70s bishops can harp and complain all they want. They've had over 30 years to effect some changes, and their "dialog" has gotten us nowhere, other than agreeing to more "dialog." The time for idle talk is over. Now it is time for action, and as we've seen thus far, this pope is not afraid to take such action. Let the talkers talk, but results come from prudent action, like the kind seen in this pope. Viva Benedict "The Great" !!!

My main concern here is something much bigger than many of us realize, but I'm sure the Holy Father has at least had a passing thought about it. The Anglophone (English speaking) culture of the world is in serious decline, and when you consider just how big the United States, plus the Commonwealth of Nations, really is, we're talking about a massive chunk of the world. Those who study culture know that all culture is rooted in "cult" (i.e. religion), hence the first part of the word. So religion plays a vital role (central role) in the creation and establishment of any culture. Is it any coincidence that our Anglophone culture started to implode about the same time the liturgy was modernized? Of course we could argue which came first, the chicken or the egg, but what if it's neither? What if the two go hand in hand? What if one naturally precipitates the other, and the decline of our culture brought the liturgy down with it, and the decline of our liturgy accelerates the decline of the culture. In other words, one hand washes the other. So likewise, if we consciously rehabilitate the liturgy to the highest degree possible, (and that includes the English liturgy into high English and form as seen in the Anglican Use) we can begin to see the rehabilitation of our Anglophone culture as well. This is why I argue that the Anglican Use liturgy IS the English mass, and there really is no other.

The English Novus Ordo is nothing more than a low English translation of an abbreviated form of the Roman Rite. It's not even the full Roman Rite! The only rite that has ever been devised for English speaking people is the Anglican Rite, and at this point in time, that is most closely represented by the Anglican Use liturgy.

Anonymous said...

Yes, give us an Anglican rite. It will go over a lot better than demanding a Latin rite in America and other english speaking countries. Steve Dalton

Bernie said...

How is "Anglican Use" different from Sarum Use (also called the Use of Salisbury)?


The Catholic Knight said...

The Sarum Use is the form of Catholic liturgy that was common throughout the British Isles before the schism of 1534. There have been attempts to revive this in the past, however, none have produced the desired results.

The Anglican Use is the traditional liturgy of the Episcopal Church USA modified and approved by Rome for use among Roman Catholics who came from Anglican/Episcopal backgrounds, or those who just prefer that mode of English worship. It is used throughout the United States in select parishes.

This new between Rome and Traditional Anglicans has the potential to realize the dream of both the Sarum Use and the Anglican Use, and a future merger of the two, or revival of one with influence from the other, may become reality. For the first time in history, a vehicle is now provided for all this to happen, and I suspect over time, it will.

Anonymous said...

My only concern is that from what I understand the Anglicans in England (Anglo Catholics) use the NO Mass. Hopefully they are prepared to use a liturgy much more in line with the present Anglican Use Mass. We know that the AU liturgy has been tried and is a beautiful liturgy. I hope that the Anglican Use priests in the US will be allowed to input in the decision making of what the liturgy will be.

The Catholic Knight said...

I have spoken with some AU priests in the past. From what I can tell, they seem to make frequent trips to Rome, and spend a great deal of time in conversation with folks at the Vatican. As to the nature of that conversation, I can only speculate. My guess is that AU priests have been, and continue to be, instrumental in the Vatican's relationship with disaffected Anglicans.

Anonymous said...

Catholic Knight,

You are very right in your general observations about the Anglican Use.

It is not the case, however, that the Sarum Use is the form of Catholic liturgy that was common throughout the British Isles before the schism of 1534. Uses were actually highly variant from diocese to diocese and even congregation to congregation, as was also the case throughout most of the rest of Christendom. Henry VIII's nationalization of the English Church was the trigger for the standardization which would later come to be known by Anglicans as "Common Prayer". It was an innovation not only in Britain but in all Christendom, as was the very notion of "Nation" itself.

By the way, wait until you hear our hymns.

I'll be in the pew next to you to show you my favorites. Might be a while, but I'll be there.

Peter said...

aah yes, MAJESTIC anglo catholic hymns. Umm but WAIT anonymous, and Sir Knight, do you really think they will replace "Table of Plenty" or "Gather us in"???? at your typical St Teilhard's worship center? (just a wee bit of humor-- or since we now have anglicans make that "centre" and "humour") Pete Frey

Anonymous said...

If anyone is interested you can either go to Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Churhes website or just go to Google and put in Our Lady of Atonement Mass on You Tube and see the full Mass. If you make it full screen it is grainy, but you can get a sense of what it looks like. It is an hour long and that after they blocked the sermon. I bought the DVD which is much clearer. Now I hope after they make the changes to the AU liturgy they will make another video.

I actually feel better after watching it, it is almost like going to Mass, I get peace.

I would like to hear comments from the ones who take the time to watch it.

Raphael said...

If you would please indulge me, a cradle Catholic who has little knowledge of the Anglican Liturgy, could you please clairify some things for me?

First, is the Anglican Liturgy basically an English translation of the Tridentine Mass, or is it closer to a hybrid of the Tridentine and Novis Ordo?

Second, isn't the soon to be implimented new English translation of the Novus Ordo supposed to correct most of the problems with the Novus Ordo, or is the Anglican Litrugy truely superior to the Novus Ordo?

If so, should (in your opinion) the Anglican Litugy replace the Novus Ordo as the ordinary form, in which then Latin and vernacular translations of the Anglican Liturgy need to be made, or are you suggesting there develope a distinctive English rite within the Latin rite?

I am confused as to whether there is one Anglican Liturgy or are there several different kinds. I know from watching "The Journey Home", some high Anglican churches are very Catholic cosmetically, while more liberal Anglican/Episcipalians seem to have services resembling Mega-Church entertainment. Which version of the Anglican Liturgy are you speaking in favor of?

Do you know of a link where we could compare the Anglican Liturgy and the English Novus Ordo (and possibly even an English translation of the Tridentine)?

Sorry for my ignorance, and thank you.

The Catholic Knight said...

Raphael, to dispel all confusion, and give full disclosure, I will say that I firmly believe and assert the English Speaking people should have our own Rite within the Catholic Church. However, I fully understand that after everything that has happeded over the last 500 years, that is not likely to develop any time in the near future. I think what we have with the Anglican Use liturgy currently celebrated in the United States is the seed for a new Rite, but not a new rite in itself - not yet anyway.

My reasons for this are as folkows. First, the English speaking peole have always had an independent streak, and identify their liturgy as "Orthodoxy" just as much as "Catholicism." The English have a most unusual language, being a hybrid of German and Latin. The English have spread their language and culture all around the world. Also, the English have always had variations of the liturgy, that differ from Rome, even before the schism of 1534, and the English have always had a sense that liturgy should be celebrated in the language of the people. That beig said, the English have developed a form of "high English" language (as opposed to common English) which is particularly suited for Catholic high litugical worship. Lastly, the English have always held a tradition of allowing married clergy, and if you look around in English culture today, you will see as a people we feel very strongly about it, more so than in Spanish and French culture for example. Rather than imposing our views of this on the Roman Rite, I think the formation of a full fledged Anglican Rite will allow English Catholicism to flourish in the way that seems most natural to us. All of these reasons compell me to believe that English speaking people should have our own rite within the Catholic Church. Perhaps with further development of the Anglican Use, and the work of some holy Catholic men in the clergy, we can see such a thing materialize over the next few decades.

Having said that, the Anglican Use "Book of Divine Worship" is currently the only Anglican liturgy approved for use in the Cathokic Church. It is modeled after the American Episcopalian "Book of Common Prayer" 1978 edition. In my opinion it is a work still in progress, and my hope is that further editions will make significant revisions.

The 1978 version of the BCP created two liturgical rites in te US Episcopal Church which created a great deal of distress for many US Episcopalians. Rite 1 was the original Episcopalian liturgy. Rite 2 was the Anglican version of the Novus Ordo which modernized the mass and banalized the language. Most Anglicans/Episcopalians who converted to Catholicism I. The United States truly hate Rite 2 and never use it. They would prefer the Catholic Novus Ordo to that. In practice, US Anglicans/Episcopalians who converted to Catholicism back in the 1980s strictly use the Vatican approved version of Rite 1 or else they do the Novus Ordo strictly in Latin. (BTW it's beautiful and they do it much better than anyone else I've ever seen.)

Yes it is true that many Anglicans/Episcopalians have gone off the deep end with their liturgical celebrations in their Anglican Episcopal churches. It is also true that many of them have gone so liberal as to ordain women and homosexuals. This is exactly why so many Traditionalist Anglicans have already converted to Catholicism and are currently in te process throughout the world. They are seeking refuge from this garbage in the Anglican Communion. They know that over time Rome will do a much better job fostering the development of Anglican liturgy than Canterbury ever could. These are extremely conservative and traditional individuals who seek refuge from Rome from the tyranny of relativism. They have much to offer English speaking Catholics and we should fully embrace them.

Rite 1 of the Anglican Use liturgy is similar to a hybrid between the Tridenine and Novus Ordo, with a few elements found in neither, and missing a few elements from both as well. It is truly a unique liturgy, but wholly Catholic in every sense.

Anonymous said...

I have spoken to several priests in either TAC or another continuing Anglican community, and my feel is that they are waiting for the Consitutiion to come out.

From our conversations I feel that many are still just Episcopalians who want it their way. No more celibrate priests in their Use. They really don't appear to want to be absorbed into the Church with the Pope as their head. They will recognize him as the Bishop with primacy, but not in the sense as Catholics do.

I have told them that their communities will just continue to fragment as all the protestant churches do.

If the Church accepts their demands I see a big mess for the Catholic Church. All Latin Rite priests will be very unhappy that these priests will be allowed to be married whether ordained yet or not. I am sure there are some priests and people who will submit to what the Church demands, but many others will just want to go on with what they consider freedom to do what they wish as Anglicans within the Catholic Church.

I pray that whether now or in the future the ones who are not willing to accept the offer of the Holy Father, will at some point decide to enter into communion with Holy Church.

Carlos said...

What really should be done is a revision of the Prayerbook. I believe in 2003, there was a proposal of reforms from the Anglican Use society but it was not approved. Hopefully with an influx of traditionalists, there will be talk of reforming the Anglican Mass. Perhaps it'll be based on the American 1928 or something earlier or the English 1662 version. The Scottish prayerbook might even better since it includes feast days of the Church Fathers and the Dormition of the Theotokos.

I don't think Anglican Use will be the norm for Roman Catholics. Mostly because it comes from a slightly different tradition. I wouldn't support forcing it either. Nor do I think despite speculation the Sarum Mass will be revived. It doesn't seem to have much traction amongst the Anglican Laity. What really should have been done is a direct vernacular translation of the Gregorian Mass. I don't understand why so many people who don't know latin continue to think a latin mass is beneficial. The reverence is what matters. Surely the same reverence that occurs in a Latin Mass could occur in an English mass. The Eastern Church knew this. Saints Cyril and Methodius carried the Greek Mass to the slavs and gave them a written alphabet to help them out.

Patriarch Maximos IV of the Melkite Church said this at the Second Vatican Council.

"Christ offered the first Eucharistic Sacrifice in a language which could be understood by all who heard him, namely, Aramaic. … Never could the idea have come to them [the Apostles] that in a Christian gathering the celebrant should read the texts of Holy Scripture, sing psalms, preach or break bread, and at the same time use a language different from that of the community gathered there … because this language [Latin] was spoken by the faithful of that time, Greek was abandoned in favor of Latin. … Why, then, should the Roman Church cease to apply the same principle today?"

Let those of the Roman Rite worship according to the tradition of their fathers and let the Anglicans worship according to their fathers. I do think the Novus Ordo should be either scrapped altogether and a more direct vernacular translation of the Gregorian Mass be undergone, or a reform of the Novus Ordo that returns much of the lost language and reverence to the mass. The current masss just does not convey the majesty of the sacrifice adequately.