Msgr. Burnham: Liturgical Patrimony

This is published on the Ordinariate Portal:

Monsignor Andrew Burnham of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham gave this paper on Saturday 15 October 2011 to the Association for Latin Liturgy meeting at St Mary Magdalen, Brighton. The text is reproduced here:

The Liturgical Patrimony of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and the Reform of the Reform

This paper is in two parts. I suspect that some of those I am addressing are particularly interested in what is already happening in the first of the Ordinariates, the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (OOLW). That is the subject of the first part of the lecture. The second part will be of interest to those, especially those in the Association for Latin Liturgy, and indeed many in the Latin Mass Society – and I do know the difference – who are anxious to see the preservation of a cultural patrimony much wider and deeper than that of the Anglican tradition. So, to begin with, and to justify the decision of the organizers of this event to invite me to address you, let me immediately identify myself with, and make common cause with, the aims of the Association for Latin Liturgy. We are keen ‘to promote understanding of the theological, pastoral and spiritual qualities of the liturgy in Latin’. We seek ‘to preserve the sacredness and dignity of the Roman rite’. We are anxious ‘to secure, for the present and future generations, the Church’s unique inheritance of liturgical music’. I don’t know if reciting those aims automatically enrols me in the Association but, if I have to sign something and pay a subscription as well, I shall be only too glad to oblige. I spent too long as a practising musician not to agree with these aims: I think a classical musician who wished to dissent from these aims would have to become a fan of Bartok or Delius or a member of the Nazi party to escape from the overwhelming beauty of the Catholic repertoire of liturgical music. To come to the point: the second part of my reflection will be on what is normally referred to as ‘the reform of the Reform’, and I shall come to that when I have shared some thoughts on the liturgical formation of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

1. Liturgical Formation of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

As the groups take shape and begin to establish a pattern of liturgical life, it is probably worth setting down a few thoughts about what is – or might soon be – going on. The setting down of these thoughts has no more authority than whatever is self-evidently sensible within them, and may be more or less influential on what develops and how it develops, depending on circumstances well beyond my control. Much of what I have to say is about music: the liturgy itself is a given but how it is celebrated, and in particular how it is said and sung, accompanied and adorned, depends on a number of significant choices.

Ordinariate Use

Though we now have provisional unpublished resources for the Office as it may be used in the OOLW, and the supporting calendar and lectionary material, and the marriage and funeral services, we have yet to publish the large collection of post-biblical readings. The Office and the marriage and funeral services can be accessed from existing Anglican material and the Book of Divine Worship, with a steer as to what should and should not be used. The calendar and lectionary material will be published by the Ordinariate, and involves no complications of copyright. It is the large collection of post-biblical readings which will need to be published and we hope that this will happen in Spring 2012. Meanwhile it will be the task of the inter-dicasterial commission being set up this autumn to seek recognitio for the provisional resources and endeavour to produce an Order of Mass, suitable, if possible, for international use by those who have come from the Anglican tradition. The aim is to achieve this within three years. So, broadly speaking, Ordinariate groups and parishes, over the next three years at least, will be using the Roman Missal for Mass and the Ordinariate Use for the public celebration of the Divine Office, and for marriages and funerals.

Prayer Book Texts

Whilst permission for use of material ad interim has been granted by the CDF and CDW, there could be specific directives, from time to time, modifying what is permitted. One such directive might cover the use of the Ordinary of the Mass, which some would like sung to Merbecke or some other setting, as found in the Prayer Book tradition. There is a continuing facility to use the Book of Divine Worship, but not to import texts from that book into masses celebrated according to the Roman Missal. Use of the Book of Divine Worship is complicated not only by it being North American in origin, and containing therefore much that is different from our own experience, but also because of some necessary restrictions placed on its use. For one thing, certainly as regards the OOLW, only the traditional language (‘Rite One’) services may be used. For another, the Roman words of consecration, as found in the new English translation of the Roman Missal, must be used in place of whatever is there, even in the so-called Coverdale version of the Canon.


We are at an interim stage as regards ceremonial. The CDW is preparing an instruction for us, at the request of our working party, detailing what is permissible within the framework of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM). This is likely to commend eastward celebration, when the dynamic of the building suggests it, and may even commend such practices as kneeling for the Incarnatus. We shall have to see, but it is important for us to realise that, though most of us are thoroughly attuned to the same ceremonial style and language as are used in most Catholic churches in England and Wales, there are many overseas who are very anxious indeed about being required to abandon traditional ceremonial and indeed traditional words.

A Liturgical Patrimony

How, then, do we establish a liturgical patrimony, a distinctive feel to the services we celebrate? We need to be careful of what has been called ‘effortless Anglican superiority’, the assumption that whatever we do is rather better than what others do. For one thing, our little groups usually have more to learn than they have to teach as they interact often with large and flourishing congregations. For another, in some dioceses there are so many ex-Anglican priests at work that, even if we were some kind of leaven, the lump had plenty of that kind of leaven already. And yet we do bring some gifts. Solemn Evensong and Benediction is widely recognised – not least by the Holy Father himself – as a gift that we are bringing. The marriage and funeral rites are similarly a gift: the marriage rite itself is a direct descendant of the mediæval marriage rite of England. We also bring a sense of the ‘solemn mass on Sundays’ (even if the numbering attending it in our Anglican days seldom reached three figures). The Catholic mass culture is a ‘low mass’ culture, and, in many parishes, however much singing is done, there is nothing that could be easily identified as a ‘solemn mass’ on Sundays. The new missal is tackling this, by integrating the priest’s singing part into the main text, and there are instructions, from time to time, about the importance of plainsong.

Singing the Mass

The main gift we shall bring to eucharistic celebration, I believe, may be paradoxical. It may be the way in which we approach the new translation of the Order of Mass and the way we set about celebrating it. Former Anglicans will mostly not be unnerved by the singing of the Mass, the prayers and, in appropriate circumstances, the readings. It will require a great deal of hard work: it will not do simply to approximate the singing to some sort of half-remembered oral tradition, as we have long done. My experience in Oxford, with a group of about thirty, is that, with the notes, the congregation managed Missa de Angelis in Greek and Latin in Easter time, and Credo III in Latin (sung alternatim) and has also managed to learn what I am calling Missa simplex, the very manageable setting in the new Roman Missal. They have also managed Credo I in English. We shall be looking for a third setting, which is neither fancy Latin for feast days, nor plain English for green Sundays, but that will be about as much as we need. That third setting may be a modern setting though, so far, none has emerged which commends itself. Meanwhile we have the services in Oxford of the Newman Consort, a small group of expert singers, whose mandate is to point up the solemnity of a particular occasion by singing parts of the Ordinary to polyphony and by singing, from time to time, a motet at the beginning of the Offertory, and an Agnus Dei or a motet at the Communion. Last weekend we had the Byrd Four-part for the Newman Pilgrimage at Littlemore and the Byrd Five-part for the Oxford Ordinariate’s Vigil Mass.

Cultures and the Ordinary of the Mass

One of the challenges of the future indeed is what to do about modern settings. These are being controlled very carefully, by way of copyright restriction, by the Catholic Bishops’ Liturgy Committee, we understand. There is a strong desire to drive out cheap and meretricious settings of the Mass, and to ban all paraphrases. Whatever musical provision is made for ‘folk’ or ‘rock’ or ‘youth’ masses, in the Pope’s view it should not be the Ordinary of the Mass that is set to popular music or adapted to popular songs. These settings should be in some sense classics, as indeed the plainsong chant settings are. As regards settings from a distinctive Anglican background, we have discovered, after unconvincing attempts to adapt it, that it is probably a good idea to preserve John Merbecke for the traditional prayer book texts, once we have permission to use them. Merbecke, after all, was setting these texts in 1550, when they were contemporary. Though the Martin Shaw ‘Anglican Folk Mass’, a twentieth century setting in an idiom which resembles both plainsong and folk song, sets the traditional texts, we have found that it also adapts well to the new English texts. The work has been done and we await copyright permission.

Creed and Lord’s Prayer

There are a number of decisions to be made. One concerns the use of the Creed. The rubrics permit the use of the Apostles’ Creed, and whether that becomes the vehicle for catechesis in Lent may depend on how well it is known and used at other times. Within the Anglican tradition historically there would have been nothing to be gained by using the Apostles’ Creed at the Eucharist, because it was used twice a day in the Office. In the modern Catholic tradition, if the Apostles’ Creed is not used at Mass, then it is likely to fall into disuse, except where there is a devotion to the Rosary. Where the Nicene Creed is used (and, of course, it usually is), some reflection is needed on whether it should be said or sung. The Oxford plan at present is to say it occasionally but usually to sing it – to the modern English setting of Credo I in the Roman Missal in the green season and to the Latin of Credo III in Eastertide and on solemnities and feasts.

The new version of the solemn tone of the Lord’s Prayer in the Roman Missal is, in my view, similar to but less felicitous than the setting long used by Anglo-catholics. That might indicate the need to stay with an established use, but there is a risk in that which we will explore shortly. As with the Creed, there are three clear pathways which suggest themselves. The festal one is the use of the Rimsky-Korsakov setting. When I first came across this, I was unconvinced: what place has a piece of Byzantine chant in the Western context of the Roman Mass? Soon, haunted by its beauty, I glimpsed the profound symbolism of a Byzantine gem at the heart of the Roman Mass, as significant in its way as the use of the Greek text of Kyrie eleison. This can be particularly poignant in a plainsong mass: suddenly there is this moment of four-part congregational singing as the mass reaches its climax. I reflected too on the popularity of the Russian Contakion of the Departed (English Hymnal 744), a piece no less disjunctive in the context of a Western rite requiem. For green Sundays there might well be the setting of John Merbecke, which is clearly, in style, a ‘simple tone’ version of a plainchant original. Then there is the saying of the Lord’s Prayer, rather than the singing of it. This everyday use might never commend itself for the Sung Mass but circumstances vary.

Idiosyncratic Settings

The music J S Bach composed for St Thomas, Leipzig, is a constant reminder that local composition and performance is more than a local enrichment. There will always be a place for local composition and performance but it would be fair to assume that most things produced locally are likely to be of limited value. There is also a sense in which the Ordinary of the Mass is something to be shared, something familiar to come across as one goes from place to place, something to be roared out by a crowd in St Peter’s Square. In short, the local organist’s anthem, or hymn descant, or psalm chant, is probably to be encouraged more than his or her mass setting. The Church needs some interchangeability and transferability and the risk of losing that is acute if idiosyncratic settings are preferred. Thus, even if the new solemn tone for the Lord’s Prayer is less good than an older version, it nonetheless has wider currency. The problem is more acute with translations of plainsong settings. Missa simplex is available both in the original languages and in translation. It is to be hoped that all plainsong masses available in translation will be standard: changes in underlay and melismata, and even notes, from place to place, would achieve nothing for the corporate life of the Church.

Propers, Psalms and Hymns

There is no space here to expound how integral psalmody is to the celebration of the Mass: much of the psalter was inextricably bound up with the temple cultus and that tradition has sometimes all but disappeared but in the end has remained. Few groups and parishes will take on the provision of the Graduale Romanum, which best suits abbeys and cathedrals, and the Graduale Simplex has never really taken hold. Coming soon is a Graduale Parvum, which will have Latin and English texts, and there are other excellent resources emerging. Adam Bartlett’s Simple English Propers came out this year and uses the texts of the Graduale Romanum translated into the English of the Revised Grail Psalter. In Oxford we have made extensive use of the simple tones of the English Gradual – the old Wantage collection, where the tones are the same every week but only the text changes – but using the actual texts of the Roman Missal.

These resources should be explored fully within the Ordinariate, whose groups often have the aptitude and resources for the task. The standard collections of responsorial psalms were just a beginning. Sometimes the most effective place to start is the metrical psalm. Until the Oxford Movement the nearest thing to hymn singing in the Church of England was the metrical psalm and a tenth of the metrical psalter has survived in the form of well-known hymns: psalms 17, 23, 26, 34, 46, 67, 72, 87, 90, 100, 103,104, 122, 136, 148, 150. To begin Mass with one of these metrical psalms is to recover and integrate several significant traditions – psalmody, hymnody, the Anglican tradition of metrical psalms, the place of psalmody in the cultus. The more adventurous will find, in Christoph Tietze’s Hymn Introits for the Liturgical Year a much wider selection of possibilities, many of which are patient of being set to well-known tunes. (For the Vigil Mass of the Assumption, for example, there is a metrical setting of Psalm 45 to the tune of the Christmas carol, Gabriel’s Message, and with the refrain ‘Most highly favoured Lady. Gloria!’ That was useful too for the Ordinariate’s solemnity of Our Lady of Walsingham)

Hymns themselves often displace the texts of propers and it is worth pondering just what it is that former Anglicans bring to this. I would suggest that it is something between the Wesleyan tradition of building liturgy on hymnody – where the texts of the hymns are the building blocks of the liturgy of the day – and the modern Catholic fashion for having suitable musical interludes in a ‘said mass’. The Anglican tradition could be summed up as singing appropriate words, to tunes of the appropriate mood, for an appropriate length of time at the points in the service where, in the Catholic tradition, the propers are otherwise sited. Hymns not only enable people to join in but, as the hymn boards often show, are a somewhat prolix strategy for keeping people engaged and quiet at various times. Perhaps a creative liturgical patrimony will re-learn from the Wesleyans the art of tailoring text to theme and from the Catholics that two or three hymns will suffice and that half a dozen and more is several too many. We have to learn the lesson still that over-lengthy services are the result of too much hymn singing.

Musical Accompaniment

Music may well be the bicycle of the liturgy, as the late Thurston Dart used to say, but groups and parishes will sometimes struggle to find musicians. The instinct is to look for an organist and, failing that, a pianist, and to count oneself fortunate indeed if there is a music group. More necessary than any of these, arguably, is a good cantor, someone who can sing the solo parts and lead the singing of the congregation. Accompaniment is sometimes thought necessary to support small numbers but it could in truth be the large congregations which really need the playing of the merry organ. The full nave of a cathedral needs organo pleno. A congregation of a few dozen can be led by a singer or a strong flautist.

A Distinct Style

We have dwelt on the musical issues at some length, and I hope that the little group of musicians who are consulting one another about all this will be a helpful resource. There is so much bad practice that could be imported if we are not all vigilant. Moreover, the risk is that so much of what we have done has been contemporary Catholic worship on a much smaller scale. There is a real risk, that is, that the lunchtime or afternoon Ordinariate Mass will be the poor relation not just in timing to whatever goes on normally in a particular church.

Interaction and Assimilation

It is much too early to tell whether Anglicanorum cœtibus will result in something large, vibrant and new within the Church, or whether it will have been – and remain – a friendly crossing point, a part of the river which is not too deep. Certainly there will be an enormous amount of interaction and assimilation, as clergy from the Ordinariate work in and serve Catholic parishes and Catholic institutions, as congregations mingle and merge. There will be fear of the consequences of interaction and assimilation but, in truth, the survival of the Ordinariate, and its growing strong and prospering, will rely almost entirely on the vibrancy of the liturgical and parochial life it engenders. In short, we have nothing to fear from others, from helping them and from them helping us, but plenty to fear from not rising to the challenge of developing our own culture and patrimony.

2. The Reform of the Reform

I move on now to the second part of what I want to say. As in a concert, this second part is quite a bit shorter than the first. A shameless commercial will obviate the need for saying too much. My views on the Reform of the Reform are set out in Heaven and Earth in Little Space: The Re-enchantment of Liturgy, a book published in 2010. There is, in particular, a chapter called ‘Said or Sung’ which harmonises well with some of the things I was talking about earlier. Similarly, there is a chapter called ‘Extraordinary or Ordinary’ which deals with the Reform of the Reform. Those who like pure red meat will not be reading what I have to say but going straight to Francis Mannion’s 1996 essay, ‘The Catholicity of the Liturgy: Shaping a New Agenda’[1] or to Thomas Kocik’s book, The Reform of the Reform?, and Aidan Nichols’ essay therein giving ‘an English View’.[2] The other place to go to is The Spirit of the Liturgy,[3] the permanent gift of the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to liturgical theology. The way that the burden of this book is, in equal measure, revered and ignored in the Catholic Church shows both the strength and the vulnerability of the Petrine ministry. Too many otherwise loyal Catholics seem to regard the Holy Father as being old-fashioned and slightly out-of-touch in liturgical matters – why else would they disregard what he says? – whereas he is pointing forward to a new synthesis, when what has been a pendulum of reform will settle and become a plumb-line of a rich eucharistic spirituality, expressed in a glorious liturgy.

Since any of these books has been written, the English-speaking world of the Catholic Church has begun to experience the new English translation of the Missal. We are still nervous about bits of bureaucratic English that have intruded – ‘approve this offering in every respect’ – or new poetic expressions – ‘the dewfall’, which, this side of the Atlantic at least, exist only as a rare surname. We are still wondering how Americanisms such as ‘reconcile us to yourself’ have survived the scrutiny of non-American English-speakers (though there are not too many of us left now who bother about the improper use of the reflexive pronoun). Then there are those – and I am not one of these myself – who are suspicious of the re-introduction of theological vocabulary – ‘consubstantial’, ‘chalice’, ‘oblation’ – or of theological concepts that need careful handling – ‘poured out for you and for many’. There is a curious anger erupting here and there – not least in the pages of the Tablet – as people express the notion that, somehow, everyone ought to have been consulted. A prison chaplain wrote to me to say that one of the inmates, called Mad Mick, or some such, was taking it particularly personally that the Pope had not sought his approval for the new translation of the Mass.

Compared with these minor difficulties, the great prizes of what may become possible loom large. Can we persuade priests and people to re-engage with chant? In the spirit of Liturgiam authenticam 2001, can we persuade the English-speaking world that the first or second Catholic edition of the Revised Standard Version is the version to use, since it is in the English biblical tradition of translation whereby, broadly speaking, significant Hebrew and Greek words are given a stable English equivalent? My own view is that, whatever the translators tell us are the merits of dynamic equivalence, and the merits of such translations to convey what is interpreted as the meaning of the original are considerable, the English of the Mass and the English of the Bible have a different job to do. They are not simply the vehicles of the most inspiring interpretation – as, for example, the translation of a Russian novel might be – but they have the added burden of being the modern lingua franca, where, for several purposes, verbal equivalence will outweigh brilliant paraphrase. I think it is not putting it too strongly to say that that emphasis is a gift of Anglican patrimony and I was not at all surprised to read, at some stage in the squabble, an article in the Tablet complaining that the Anglo-catholics had got hold of the liturgy.

Well, most of this is in the direction of ‘Reform of the Reform’ but it is not quite what the Association of Latin Liturgy stands for. However sublime the English of the new translation – and, despite the infelicities and the elephant traps, much of it seems very fine – what results is not a Latin Mass, Ordinary or Extraordinary, but an English Mass. We must consider, therefore, how the Latin of the liturgy may continue to be recovered and to develop as well as what the direction of reform should be. On the subject of Latin, let us put to one side the question of the place of Latin in the curriculum of schools and colleges. Every time the teaching of ancient languages seems to be on the point of withering away, there is something of a revival. Latin continues to be widely taught still in the private sector and there are occasional renaissances in the public sector too. We shall never revert to the convention that every educated person should have Latin at ‘O’-level, but nor will the Latin of the liturgy ever be generally incomprehensible. The Church’s use of Latin, like its choice of English liturgical vocabulary, is simply one of the many influences on those who form curricula and who make curricular choices. ‘Dewfall’ might have been an obsolete word, but, from now on, if priests continue to prefer Eucharistic Prayer II because of its brevity, ‘dewfall’ is in common use, if not common parlance. Where I think Latin is particularly important – and I would say this, would I not? – is in the rich treasury of liturgical music. If I am honest, I don’t much care whether or not another priest or religious ever reads the post-biblical reading in the Office of Readings in Latin. What I do care about is the survival of Latin psalm singing, Latin plainsong, Latin motets, Latin mass settings. And, if the context for some of this is a Latin Mass, with a silent canon beneath glorious polyphony, then so much the better.

Where I think we want to get to, as I said in my book,[4] is something like the cluster of proposals, endorsed by the present Pope, and set out by such people as Klaus Gamber and Brian Harrison. According to their argument, the ‘noble simplicity’ called for by Sacrosanctum Concilium might have been achieved – might still be achieved – by mostly ceremonial means. Thus the Liturgy of the Word would be conducted from the chair and lectern, the Last Gospel might be read in the vernacular from the foot of the altar, and not on every occasion. Whatever is unchanging – the Ordinary, the prayers read in a low voice, the Canon – should be in Latin, according to these proposals, and whatever would be widely unintelligible in Latin – that is the Proper, the readings, the Prayer of the Faithful, and the hymns – would be in the vernacular. My own suggestion, modest enough, is that, instead of requiring certain parts of the Mass to be in Latin, would be to allow the invariable parts to be in Latin at a low mass and require them to be in Latin at a missa solemnis. Incidentally, let no one be under any illusion that there still is something which could be called ‘a low mass’. Despite the deregulation of ceremonial and music, or perhaps because of it, there are no fewer low masses than before. What we have seen is a further attenuation of the missa cantata and missa solemnis traditions.

A fourth edition of Missale Romanum might meet some – but undoubtedly not all – of the concerns of those who presently prefer the Extraordinary Form. I think, myself, the Extraordinary Form is here to stay and that, however much calendrical and euchological convergence there is between the fourth edition of Missale Romanum and a further edition of the 1962 Missal, we shall continue to have twin tracks: possibly the use of some abbeys and cathedrals, on the one hand, and the use of less liturgically intense religious communities, parish church cathedrals and parish churches, on the other. Aidan Nichols sees a conspiratio, a conspiracy one might say, ‘among the various liturgies’, ‘a concerted action of the Holy Spirit to give us a testimony as adequate as any testimony can be, this side of Heaven, to what the Eucharist is and does’.[5] This ‘breathing together’ would be as true of the distinct uses of the Roman Rite – and Nichols is concerned that we continue to learn from the Mass of St Pius V – as it would be of the co-existence of Roman and Byzantine Rites.

But, addressing ourselves to the fourth edition, it would be good to have the traditional eucharistic lectionary return, at least as a possibility. It would be good to have the Gallican Offertory Prayers return, at least as an option for use at the altar whilst music is being sung. It would be good to encourage the use of Latin for the solemn mass, and in particular for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. It would be good for versus orientem to become normative again, with permission for versus populum where a particular architectural style or spirituality requires it, as it sometimes does.

There are undoubtedly innovations of the post-conciliar Missal which have already commended themselves to traditionalists. Some of the calendrical reforms – though not all of them. Most of the new Prefaces. Eucharistic Prayers III and IV, perhaps, if not Eucharistic Prayer II. Much of the liturgy for the Easter Triduum, with one or two barbarities, such as the informal stripping on Maundy Thursday, removed. What was electrifying, for both traditionalists surely and progressives, was the celebration of Mass at the change of Pontificate: both the Funeral Mass of John Paul II and the Installation Mass of Benedict XVI were strikingly beautiful, reassuringly traditional and yet thoroughly conforming to Novus Ordo Missae. If something like the quality of those occasions – or of the papal mass in Westminster Cathedral in September 2010 – could be captured and become much more usual in the life of the Church, the winning of the hearts and minds of men and women of good will and the coming of the Kingdom would be hastened.

[1] M. Francis Mannion, ‘The Catholicity of the Liturgy: Shaping a New Agenda’ in Stratford Caldecott (ed.), Beyond the Prosaic: Renewing the Liturgical Movement, Edinburgh: T&T Clark 1998, pp. 11ff.

[2] The Reform of the Reform? A Liturgical Debate: Reform or Return, San Francisco, Ignatius Press, 2003.

[3] Joseph Ratzinger, tr. John Saward, The Spirit of the Liturgy, San Francisco, Ignatius Press, 2000.

[4] See e.g. p63f

[5] ‘Eucharistic Theology and the Rite of Mass’ in Aidan Nichols OP, Lost in Wonder: Essays on Liturgy and the Arts, Farnham, Ashgate Publishing, 2011

Author: Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher G. Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has served for the past twenty-eight years. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Fr. Phillips was ordained as an Anglican for the Diocese of Bristol, England, in 1975. After serving as Curate for three years at St. Stephen Southmead, he returned to the United States and served in two Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Rhode Island. In 1981 he left the Episcopal Church and moved with his family to Texas, where he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983. Fr. Phillips and his wife, JoAnn, have been married for forty years. They have five children, all grown and married, and three grandchildren.

57 thoughts on “Msgr. Burnham: Liturgical Patrimony”

  1. Monsignor Burnham is obviously a liturgical expert of distinction.However as a former Anglican I ask will all this really reach the million practising Anglicans in England and Wales? Will it appeal to the 26 million nominal members of the Church of England? All this seems like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.Or will it just be the liturgical preserve of around a thousand persons, who have placed themselves in a liturgical theme park?

    Yes I 'm being a devil's advocate, but as a former Anglican I am not impressed.The words of Cranmer however dressed up are always heretical. The prayer of humble access is beautiful, but when you know the context that he ordered the destruction of 14,000 altars in England, Wales and know what he means when he says table.

  2. Very informative and well defined. I am not saying I am completely at ease with the forthcoming Ordinariate liturgical uses but I remain optimistic. Perhaps Msgr Burnham should be given the lead on this to safeguard it from 'modernist' Roman Rite interpolations that may come into play from those in Rome and England who want waterdown any unique Anglican influences.

      1. You could say in his liturgical reforms Cranmer revised the Office but rejected the Mass. Therefore, creating an Ordinariate Use Mass is much more difficult.

        Fr Phillips has explained on here previously the history of the BDW. It is a good opportunity now to have a second go at this, but let's take time to get it right.

        When BDW was being formulated Paul VI's Missal must still have appeared shiny and new. We're now into the third edition and a brand new translation in English, so perhaps there's a bit more perspective these days.

        The other interesting point is that the normative language for the Ordinariate Use is English, surely? Although with reference to the Latin sources for the historical sources of those translations…and that means Sarum, doesn't it?

    1. You clearly don't know the liturgical context from which British members of the Ordinariate come, Matthew the Wayfarer. For the past forty years the Church of England has lived through a ferment of liturgical reform, rite following rite until the emergence of Common Worship in the 1980s. The Prayer Book tradition has effectively disappeared on a general basis and has become as rare as the Tridentine Rite used to be.

      The Anglican liturgical scholars came to the same conclusions as their Roman counterparts, hence the incorporation of what you describe as 'modernist Roman Rite interpolations'. The entire structure of the reformed Anglican rite is identical to the reformed Roman model. All of this will have contributed to the spiritual formation of members of the Ordinariate.

      My suspicion is that when, years hence, a cumbersome Ordinariate rite is promulgated, many lay members will become absorbed into normal Catholic life, rather than getting used to something entirely foreign to their experience.

      1. JB – good points. In terms of Eucharistic celebrations you are absolutely right. I think Chichester is the last cathedral to cease regular sung celebrations of the 1928 BCP. Common Worship rules the roost elsewhere, which itself was influenced by the 1970 Missal of Pope Paul VI amongst many, many other things.

        Having said that, in the context of all this change, is it any wonder that the Anglo Catholics decided not to go down the ASB road to Common Worship, but instead adopted the Roman Missal? A sense of 'if everyone's changing, then so will we'.

        In the USA, however, I think the attachment to the Tudor hieratic language was one of the distinctive aspects of Episcopalianism and this became the bastion against innovation, rather than switching to the Roman Missal.

        1. From my memories of the distant past, didn't Canon Brindley and the Catholic Group of the time in the General Synod get through a rite using the Hypolitan (spelling ?) canon which enabled Anglicans to have a Catholic rite close to the Roman Rite using Eucharistic Prayer II? They also passed clever rubrics.

          The adoption of the reformed Roman Rite by many Anglo-Catholic clerics of the time dated from this innovation. They believed that few in their congregations would notice the difference, and the more instructed among them would not mind. It was easier to do this than their predecessors' attempt to use the Roman Rite in English which was alien to all except the most extreme Anglo-Catholic laymen. They also liked the liturgical riches contained in the Missal of Paul VI which had no parallel in Anglican rites.

          As for America, the retention of Cranmerism was as much to do with a romantic Anglocentrism as anything else. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think that ECUSA has ever been known for liturgical scholarship. Ritual Notes seemed to be the long and the short of it.

  3. This is a very useful step forward, and certainly in terms of hopes and desires, I cannot but applaud. I certainly think the use of Latin in the ordinariate liturgies is very much to be desired.

    My fears are that it sounds an uncertain note, and that it does not go quite far enough. ( By comparison, I thought Fr. Phillips paper was a good and needed tonic.) Let me say give an example. He says, "We shall never revert to the convention that every educated person should have Latin at ‘O’-level.." but in fact, if Christian civilization is to survive and prosper, we need educated Christians, and an educated Christian must have had Latin, certainly in the West.

    I think it is also very important to have a clear theological vision. No renewal in the Church has ever occurred without a renewal in theology, and in this case, I think a reëxamination of ecclesiology (and eucharistic theology in an ecclesiological context) is very much needed. We Anglicans have a tradition of doing that, and I think we can make a contribution for the whole church.

    I think we need to dream big, and aim high, if we are to hope for success. "Where there is no vision, the people perish." On the other hand, while the sentiment is pagan, I think it is easily Christianized, and universally applicable: "Audaci favet fortuna."

    1. An Ordinariate latin liturgy should surely be a kind of photographic negative of the English Missal rite as commonly used. It would therefore be the EF (as they now call it) mass, but with the Prayer for the Church, Confession, Comfy words, Humble crumble, all lifted from the Latin version of the 1662 Rite, and, from the same source, Cranmer's prayers of consecration and oblation in place of the Roman Canon.

  4. Thank you for a very informative essay on the liturgy and Anglican Patrimony. At minimum, Monsignor Burnham's essay demonstrates the complexity of developing a uniform and international Anglican Rite sacramentary in the years to come. That said, all things are possible for those who love the Lord and "with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).

  5. A most interesting article. I wholeheartedly agree with the Monsignor's thoughts regarding the place of Latin, especially among Ordinariate Anglicans, in the singing of the ordinary, for the celebrant's private prayers and for the Canon. I'm sure many of us who prefer using the English/Knott Missal are very comfortable with switching from Latin to English mid stride. Furthermore, most congregations can very easily learn the Latin pronunciations by rote and repetition; and over the course of two or three years a group might master (as mine has) at least five different Latin settings of the ordinary, which also serves to preserve a basic facility in both understanding and using Latin in everyday life, e.g. phrases like "Gloria in excelsis Deo", "Hosanna in excelsis" & "Deo gratias". My only hope is that it does not take three years for the Anglican liturgy to come into life.

    In the interim (however long it is), are the use of private Latin prayers and the Canon by the celebrant or the singing of the ordinary and propers of the Mass in Latin currently permitted in the Anglican Use?

    1. Dear Father, I cannot, of course, speak with any authority on what would be permitted in public worship contexts, but, for what it is worth, I might recall that Saint Josemaria Escriva used to tell his priest sons to pray silently, as an aid to their own piety, the old (i.e. 1962 Missal) offertory prayers in addition to the Novus Ordo offertory prayers which of course would be said aloud; from what I have seen of several of the older Opus Dei priests (the younger ones no longer seem to follow this), these silent prayers would appear to be interpolated during a lengthened lavabo period.

      1. This is another interesting point – how will the Latin language interact with the Ordinariate Use in future. It would, for example, be odd if the Latin Ordinary of the Mass were not a permissible option. This, of course, has strong Anglican precedent as well. How many cathedrals and "places where they sing" use Latin settings of the Mass…plenty.

        Although I stick to what I said earlier – it's not as if we will have the definitive liturgy in Latin, translated into hieratic English, as the definitive edition of the Paul VI Missal is in Latin, translated into the vernacular. The definitive version of the Ordinariate Use, will, presumably be in English? Anyone have any thoughts about that?

  6. On a silly whim, I went back and re-read Anglicanorum coetibus, surprisingly I read as follows:

    "III. Without excluding liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite, the Ordinariate has the faculty to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical celebrations according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared."

    It is obvious that AC envisions the continued and perpetual use of things/books proper to the Anglican tradition. They are so special that they are a "gift to be shared"! If that does not include the AV, the historic Prayer Books, the English, Anglican, American and Sarum Missals, the ritual books, the Anglican Breviary and Diurnal – all intact and not butchered by some group of pin heads – then the Ordinariate is not a child of the Apostolic Constitution, but a bastard son. The Constitution does not foresee or mandate some "Star Chamber", gobbledygook, pastiche "Anglican-style", here a little there a little Mass.

    -As much as one might like the RSV, it is not proper to Anglican tradition.

    -As much as one might like the Roman Liturgy of the Hours, it is not proper to Anglican tradition.

    -As much as one might like the Book of Divine Worship, it is not proper to Anglican tradition. In fact, the BDW is a Roman Rite liturgical celebration like the OF and EF.

    This is beginning to look like a kid's game of Spin the Constitution more than a faithful realization of Anglicanorum coetibus. I am one Anglican whose faith is not being nourished by what it appears the Ordinariate is going to be stuck with. Someone seems hell-bent-for-leather to permanently eviscerate all of "the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition". Why is so much energy being spent creating a monster liturgy rather than championing what already exists and getting it approved by the Holy See?!? Duh.

    1. "which have been approved by the Holy See" is the key phrase. I would not be as confident that the Holy See would be prepared to approve all the sources you quote without substantial amendments. The actual words really matter and they have to proclaim the Catholic faith fully…and unambiguously.

      The RSV does have historical genesis from the AV incidentally. However, the AV is not a great translation.

      Not sure what "pin heads" means…lost in translation…?

        1. I disagree most strongly. It is a great translation, even when you factor out the limits under which it was translated. It is not a perfect translation, but I will pit it against any other translation, both for overall accuracy and for felicity of language. Where it errs is pretty obvious, and, unlike more recent translations, not the result of modernist anti-Christian ideology.

      1. "However, the AV is not a great translation."
        That statement wins the prize – I won't say what for.

    2. The Constitution does not foresee or mandate some "Star Chamber", gobbledygook, pastiche "Anglican-style", here a little there a little Mass.
      Luke, Never underestimate Rome's ability to create a Rube Goldberg of a liturgy–a machine which moves in all directions, but goes nowhere. Don't forget it won't be scholars and liturgists who make the final decision regarding the ordinariate's liturgy, but a bevy of bureaucrats.

      Lest we forget, these are same folks who gave us the seriously flawed English missal soon to go into effect this Advent. With a host of alterations at the last minute by people who could barely speak and read English.

    3. Nothing, as far as I know, is being eviscerated. The authorised rites of the Anglican Communion published for the period 1985-2010 alone run to more than 300 pp. There are similar volumes for the rites of the previous century. The principle being adopted is that the classical Cranmerian Office ought to be preserved. It is what all in the Anglican tradition have in common, even if it is less well-used than it once was.

      The task with the eucharistic rites is different: since nearly all of the authorised rites are thought to have either a defective or an understated eucharistic theology, there is a necessary discussion – which has only just begun – as to what, from Anglican eucharistic patrimony, can and should be maintained. It is a complex subject and, if my own reflections are tentative, it is because things are still at a tentative stage.

  7. "I would not be as confident that the Holy See would be prepared to approve all the sources you quote without substantial amendments."

    Of course, unless someone grows some stones and actually tries to make the case for books proper to the Anglican tradition, there is no chance any of them will make the cut.

    I think the AV is a perfectly good translation, totally congruous with catholic belief and practice. But there again, not one of the folks in charge are arguing for its inclusion in the patrimony. Why? Every Anglican I know loves the AV except for those working towards establishing Ordinariates.

    1. The AV, produced only a few years after the Gunpowder Plot, is indeed unsurpassed in beauty and, according to the standards of the time, translation accuracy too. It was not the first of a series of translations of the English Bible but the first (and only one) of that series to win ecumenical consensus was the RSV, itself as faithful as it thought it could be to AV and RV and ASV.

      There might be a discussion as to whether, after 500 years, the Catholics and Orthodox might accept the AV. That would be such a major step in biblical mutual understanding that it could not be achieved (if it could be achieved at all) via Anglicanorum Coetibus or any other tangential route. Meanwhile the AV is not a recognised Catholic translation and the RSV is, which is why, for liturgical purposes, the Ordinariate is favouring it. The only alternative is Jerusalem Bible which, like 1970 ICEL, is an example of dynamic equivalent translation. My point is that, AV not being admissible at least at present, RSV maintains the principle of Liturgiam authenticam and ought to commend itself more widely.

      1. The Authorized Version judges us, we don't judge it. Whatever authority decides it is not "admissable" thereby loses entitlement to some of its respect.

          1. LBS – please. Beauty aside, we're all entitled to make a judgment on the AV based upon its translation of the texts in their original languages and from the (various) original sources. It most certainly does not 'judge us'. This is not an aesthetic question, it's a practical one and the authority which would judge its admissibility is the magisterial authority of Holy Mother Church and I, for one, go with what she says.

            1. Curiously, however, the BDW doesn't say which translation of Scripture must be used for the Daily Offices. It does require for mass, the Lectionary translation of either the RSV, NAB, or the Jerusalem Bible. This may be an opening for the AV, at least in the Daily Offices, (even if unintended by the compilers of the BDW) since historically, the AV has been the preferred translation for Morning and Evening Prayer (Evensong) – – such Anglicans would be doing what they have always done in this instance.

      2. Thanks, Monsignor, for chipping in and putting up with the rough and tumble of this forum so cheerfully. It speaks well of you. I fear we do sometimes verge on the barhouse brawl…

        I would point out that the RSV is used by the Orthodox as well, and was supposed to be THE Ecumenical Bible. Unfortunately the arrival of Inclusive language meant that its chances of being that was short-lived. (At least in this country, I believe some of the Orthodox use the AV, too, but we RCs do so nowhere.) I would very much like to see a revision of the AV acceptable to Catholics, especially given its importance to the English language and English-speaking culture, but I reckon in the foreseeable future the RSV is what we need to stick by, as you say.

  8. On another note, in two days, October 20, we will observe the second anniversary of the Vatican announcement, and on November 4 we will have the second anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution. Perhaps we can mark the occasion in a fitting way? Any ideas?

  9. Clearly no musician, Mgr Burnham. What exactly is wrong with Bartok? And, evryone has to concede that when it comes to Church music, Protestantism wins by a huge margin. Mendelssohn v. Rheinberger e.g.? No contest.

    1. I do have a music degree and was a professional musician for a dozen years or so – conducting &c. and earning my living but not 'big time'. I wasn't criticising Bartok – indeed his Music for Percussion, Strings and Celeste – is an all-time favourite of mine. I was citing composers who did not write sacred music at least of any significance. Bartok, I think, was an atheist as was Delius. All a bit rusty now – so I defer to superior musical intelligences.

      1. I do know that. I was just being provocative! Glad we agree on Bartok. It is a shame he was a nonbeliever. Just think what he could have written for the church if he had decided to! After all, his chum Kodaly, who is usually regarded as a kind of 'Happy Shopper' Bartok turned out a pretty good mass and Tantum Ergo.

  10. @Matthew Tomlinson

    "evryone has to concede that when it comes to Church music, Protestantism wins by a huge margin"

    I'm not conceding that…

    1. Then you just haven't thought much about it. OK, catholic music wins in the 16th century, because Protestant music hadn't really got off the ground then. But come to the 17th century, and what Catholic rival can be found to Telemann and Bach? What 19th century rival is there to Mendelssohn? And to Stanford in the 20th century? You will want to mention the 18th century with all those Viennese masses. But on examination, they are almost all journeyman pieces, and all sound the same, don't they?

      1. Please, go out of Germany! There are many great Catholic baroque composers! For example in France Lully, Charpentier, Delalande, Dumont, Rameau… In Italy, Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Boccherini. I think Schubert and Fauré are quite handsome rivals to Mendelssohn in the XIXth C. And please, don't say that all the Masses by classic ("Viennese classicism") composers sound the same it isn't true at all! Mozart sounds definitely different than the 2 Haydns, and than other composers of this time… As to Stanford… Haha I laugh, his music is nothing more than conventional pieces of flat neo-victorian church music. Go hear Poulenc's or Stravinsky's Masses, Duruflé's requiem: this is real XXth century church music. As to contemporary time, we have Domenico cardinal Bartolucci and James McMillan who are probably the 2 greatest composers of church music still living.
        I'm a guy who is a top-level cathedral chorister since he is 8 … I may say that I know church music then, because I have sung music of ALL the composers you and I mention here (on a sidenote I have always found guys like Stanford & Maunder VERY boring, even since I'm 8)
        + PAX et BONUM

            1. ? – As you have probably noticed, I am not a native speaker of the English language. My mother tongue is a latin language. I do my best to speak English correctly. So, please show some charity toward my clumsiness of expression. Furhtermore, I don't really understand this pun…

        1. One might also point out, especially in this forum, that Tallis and Byrd were among the Catholic composers who contibuted greatly to the musical component of the Anglican Patrimony.

          1. On further reflection – I just don't think music allows you to divide on sectarian lines. Look for example at Stanford's 3 exquisite Latin motets, or indeed his Magnificat. Look at the Frank Martin Mass…indeed, if you peel back the polemic, composers here are being inspired by the Divine, whatever their confession. And let's be glad for that.

            But, just for fun, my answer to Telemann is Zelenka and my answer to Stanford is Bruckner.

  11. Dear Monsignor, thank you for responding. Has it been considered by the commitee that they should simply cast down upon the the table all of the books currently in circulation among Anglo-Catholics that are "proper to Anglican tradition" (most definitely including the AV, but also most definitely excluding all things post the '79 US prayer book). Why not cut the "dialogue" about liturgy and simply push what is already loved and used. No doubt it will require true humility by the committee which will have to forfeit its creative genie. All the better for them though, I would think. If the liturgy turns out to be a real stinker (which is almost a foregone conclusion if one recollects the opprobrium forever heaped upon Bugnini's and Paul VI's heads as well as the general disappointment with the BDW -a constant battle to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear), would they want their names going down as having been responsible for it? A wise man would follow the words of the Psalmist: "But I refrain my soul and keep it low, like as a child".

    This is an historic juncture! If the AV and the historic Anglican Missals, Prayer Books etc. are lost to Ordinariate Anglicans, the blame will forever lie on the shoulders of the committee. I think they should fight tooth and nail for these things – things that have nurtured their faith and the faith of thousands counting on them to do the right thing. To abandon our books "proper to Anglican tradition" at the gate of the Ordinariate is like abandoning one's own mother.

    As Schwarzenegger would say – Big Mistake!

    1. This is an historic juncture! If the AV and the historic Anglican Missals, Prayer Books etc. are lost to Ordinariate Anglicans, the blame will forever lie on the shoulders of the committee. I think they should fight tooth and nail for these things – things that have nurtured their faith and the faith of thousands counting on them to do the right thing. To abandon our books "proper to Anglican tradition" at the gate of the Ordinariate is like abandoning one's own mother.
      I agree with these sentiments. but, try as I might to be optimistic about it, I see the creeping hand of a deeply imbedded culture of Romanitas at work too. I'm also bothered by some remarks from prelates who think the adoption of the Anglican liturgy by the ordinariate is a largely a half-way measure. With the Latin TLM substituted for it time. I'm hoping and praying their perfidious counsels will not prevail.

      Like "uniatism" and the push for the domination of Roman liturgical practices in the 17th to the 20th centuries, an absolutist mentality may be rearing its ugly head once more. This time with respect to Anglican liturgical traditions. Despite the late Pope John Paul's admonitions against this form of authoritarianism and his desire that the Church, east and west, breathe with the "two lungs".

  12. Why should not each ordinariate have a Prayer Book rite based on its own Prayer Book traditions? The US one would bring Rite I back into line with the 1928 BCP, so as be a natural development from it and not a rupture. Other countries could do this with their own Prayer Books. The rule should be as far as Catholicizing changes if it does not absolutely have to be made it should not be made. It should be about returning existing BCP lines in each country back to Anglican tradition, not how dogmatically pure of a liturgy we can create. An any additional such material should come strictly from Anglican sources, not Roman ones. Is the Liturgy of St John Chrystostem done the same everywhere? No. Not even the prayer before communion is the same in all jurisdictions. Why should an Anglican rite be so uniform? Given what Rome allows in translations and amongst scriptural scholars, how can they complain about a version of Holy Writ that some Orthodox use? Maybe Fr "Eaten by dogs" Crossan can give an answer.

    1. Edmond, your comment seems to be based on the assumption that Rome has, or will, set up something called "the Anglican Rite of the Catholic Church." It has not done so; rather, it has set up something called "the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite ." Rome has also said that the ultimate goal is to have one "Anglican Use of the Roman Rite" liturgy on a world-wide basis, although in the shorter run it seems to be willing to accept one for England/Britain, and another for the rest of the world. Given these facts, it is both appropriate and understandable that "Roman sources" be used to flesh out the perceived lacunae of the Anglican books.

      Your problem seems to be based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what Rome has done.

  13. I was also respectfully add that romantic Anglocentrism mean attachment to the traditions handed down from one`s grandparents and great-grandparents and not cutting oneself off from one`s past. In liturgical matters it is a break on unnecessary and reckless innovations, a wholesome and healthy quality not to be dismissed. As for liturgical experts, exactly how have they been faring these last 50 years?

  14. With all due respect my dear professor, I do not misunderstand what Rome has done. Yes, it is not a distinct rite. However, the anglican ordinariates are to have their own distinct liturgical books. Call it a use, however the purpose is to hand down Anglican traditions, therefore they should be using their own heritage, not Rome`s, in restoring them. The liturgy of St John Chrystostem is not a rite. It is a liturgy used by several jurisdictions who do not all say it the same way. There is no reason for the Anglican USE liturgical rites be exactly the same everywhere in the world. Also, Rome is not the sole deposit of Western liturgical tradition. If not for the split, England would have never gone to the missal of Pius V. Why should they be forced to draw from it then? Is Rome really trying to establish a jurisdiction for the preservation and handing down of Anglican traditions or are they using them to fix their liturgical reform blunders? Let`s not be company men for a moment and honestly answer.

  15. In fact your answer, misses my entire questioning. Why a one size fits all set of Liturgical books, and why the insistence on Romanizing? This should not be about defending whatever Rome happens to be advocating right now. It should not be about being company men. There is no reason for a one size fits all liturgy and no reason for insisting on Rome as the sole depository of things liturgically Western-ignoring the various pre-Reformation USES of England that were over 200 years old then, if some here and in Rome really dont see this as a way to fix their own liturgical mess.

    1. Your problem seems to be with Rome, not with me or my response, Edmond. Complain to Rome, then, if you don't like what's been offered and is being done — and in any event there are an abundance of alternative destinations for the disgruntled, such as various Continuing Anglican groups or one or another of the two Orthodox "Western Rite" (AOCNA and ROCOR) structures.

  16. With all due respect, it is with what is reflected in your response that I am disagreeing with, as I was responding to what you are stating Rome`s position is not to anything concrete from Rome. It may be that I do have a problem with the position of Vatican officials on this matter. However, those interested in the preservation and handing down of Anglican traditions should be advancing their views, not simply being company men going along with whatever some Vatican officials deign to offer. Are you in the least interested in preserving Anglican traditions and passing them to the next generation or simply defending whatever the Vatican officials in charge of this are pushing for? You are not merely the messenger here. You are advocating a one sized fits all liturgy and a Romanized one at that. I am advocating to quite the contrary and pointing out that there others of that contrary view as well. It is not simply being disgruntled to refuse to be a company man. You cannot dismiss others that easily.

    1. I don't think that's fair to Dr Tighe, or to any of the "company men" or "pinheads" (q.v.) tasked with this job. There's a certain anti-Roman flavour here too, which is odd. No-one is forcing anyone to come under the Roman mantle. Anglicanorum coetibus is a gentle invitation, not a press gang.

      On a different point, who knows what would have happened to England but for the Reformation – it's not a done deal that Sarum would have survived over the Missal of Pius V.

      What, however, must be correct is that the liturgy of the Church must express her truths unambiguously. I'm afraid it simply isn't correct to say that the rites of the Church of England or TEC or wherever can be adopted wholescale fait accompli. Those pinheads and company men are actually doing their very best.

      The aesthetic cannot override the dogmatic here.

      This is all the same argument as for the AV. Yes, undeniably it is beautiful and, for contemporary standards, astonishingly accurate and also a highpoint in the history of the English people. But try telling me that lessons in the AV are the most helpful in preaching the Gospel today and I'm afraid I'll have to disagree.

      There is a huge difference between familiar hieratic language used daily e.g. "O God make speed to save us" or even once a month (the Coverdale psalms) from the texts to be read from the Lectionary. This is similar to the instructions for the Extraordinary Form, of course – for similar reasons.

      Cut me down if you like, but that's my view.

  17. Does the Holy Father not want us Anglicans who seek unity with him and his Church to bring with us a particular patrimony that can be shared with the broader Church? Then, why should we be so anxious to tender a liturgical offering that conforms to the texts that Rome already has? It makes no sense. Latin? Are you taunting us? Have you totally repudiated the Reformation? Standing at attention, with shoulders squared, we should be proud to submit to the pope the best of what we have offered to God in English during the last half millennium, don't you think? (Who was it that liberated Europe, anyway? Twice! Was it not you and we?))

    You English gave us Anglican/Episcopalian colonists Cranmer's Book? It is one of the most worthy of all compositions in the English language. Regardless of your own church experience of the last several decades, if this present time is indeed a watershed in history, please don't abandon the historical prayer book now for something less worthy. Certainly, whatever that is Calvinistic in its theology can be expurgated, and then the edited draft can be submitted without throwing the baby out with the bath water!

    Regarding music, Merbecke may be worthy, but have you heard of the Englishman cum Canadian Healy Willan? On this western side of the Atlantic, many of us are partial to his mass settings. And, as to hymns, no one surpasses the Englishman Ralph Vaughan Williams, surely. For goodness' sake, let's not lay down our arms and raise our hands in surrender when our conquerors (may I be so bold?) are keen to examine what weapons we've been using in battle!

  18. Dear Father,

    I have a suspicion we may all be talking at cross purposes. I think fears of taking shears to the BCP need to be allayed. As I see it, the Office is pretty much unexceptionable, but thought needs to be given to allow a fuller praying of the Hours without diminishing the traditional Office.

    Clearly the Holy Father knows about our patrimony and our task is to retain it and then indeed let it grow.

    Regarding Latin, no certainly not taunting. But the Ordinariate Use will be a Use of the Roman Rite whose normative language is indeed Latin and it is from the Latin Use of Sarum amongst other sources that the BCP sprung.

    I think Monsignor summed it up perfectly above. It may be helpful just to re-read what he wrote there:

    "The principle being adopted is that the classical Cranmerian Office ought to be preserved. It is what all in the Anglican tradition have in common, even if it is less well-used than it once was."

    "The task with the eucharistic rites is different: since nearly all of the authorised rites are thought to have either a defective or an understated eucharistic theology, there is a necessary discussion – which has only just begun – as to what, from Anglican eucharistic patrimony, can and should be maintained. It is a complex subject and, if my own reflections are tentative, it is because things are still at a tentative stage."

Comments are closed.