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.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.
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...
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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.