A Little Bit of Patrimony

I don't mean to bore people with constant references to the pilgrimage I'm leading for several of our students, but I thought this brief video would be interesting and inspiring. It starts with some of our young men chanting the Agnus Dei, which is lovely in and of itself. But the "patrimony" part comes right after, with the Prayer of Humble Access. Think of it — this is being prayed as an approved Catholic prayer within a celebration of the Mass according to the Book of Divine Worship, in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi!

Patrimony indeed.

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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.

28 thoughts on “A Little Bit of Patrimony”

  1. Truly love the "PRAYER OF HUMBLE ACCESS" and the chant was beautiful but… why were you celebrating 'versus populum' and not 'ad orientum'?

    1. Probably because the altar was previously arranged this way and it's difficult and rude to rearrange another church's altar (and back) when they are kind enough to allow you celebrate mass at their altar. :)

  2. As a Franciscan and potential Ordinariate member, it pleases me immensely to no end that you celebrated this mass in the basilica dedicated to Our Seraphic Father, St. Francis. Well done, Fr. Chris. My prayers are with you.

  3. I'm a Catholic friend of the Ordinariate from Turin.

    If you will pass by Turin, please tell me, [as] I will come to an BDW mass.


    [Comment edited for clarity by Moderator.]

  4. "that our sinful bodies may be made clean by His Body, and our souls washed by His most precious Blood"

    I know some people have theological objections to these clauses (omitted in BDW) but they have always been a help to me.

  5. As a former Anglo-Catholic used to worshipping in the leading British Anglo-Catholic churches, I am amazed by the High Church grovelling when the Prayer of Humble Access was recited. This kind of thing was never done in British churches, not even those influenced by Sarum moderation. It was always recited by a celebrant with a straight back. It dismays me that these clerical whims are creeping in as examples of 'Anglican Patrimony' when they are nothing more than contrived preferences posing as devotion. Illiturgical in the extreme..

    The chant was excellent and the acoustics sublime.

    1. It would be interesting if you were able to point to any sound authority for bowing so theatrically at this point. I suspect you were trying to appear ultra-devout, forgetting that the Mass is not an act of private devotion but a corporate action. But it does no good whatever to 'Anglican Patrimony' to post idiosyncracies as part of the best Anglican tradition. That idiosyncracy is an Anglican charateristic does not mean that it is 'patrimony'. In this case we see a bad habit posturing as something deeper.

      1. The rubric in the 1928 BCP (with which I was raised and which was used by Episcopal parishes in which I served) states Then shall the Priest, kneeling down at the Lord's Table, say, in the name of all those who shall receive the Communion, this Prayer following.

        In the Anglo-Catholic parishes I knew, the bow took the place of the priest actually kneeling at that point. And the bow you see is not "theatrical." It is called a "profound" bow. But then, I think you know that.

        1. Thank you for clarifying why you chose to bow during the Humble Grumble. I had no idea that this was authorised by the American Prayer Book of 1928 and I am sorry for the misunderstanding. But where did they get this notion at such a late stage of the Oxford Movement? In Britain such excesses were wiped out by the reforms applied by the Society of SS Peter & Paul and the Anglo-Catholic Congresses.

          One thing your explanation has indirectly explained is the uneasiness of many American Anglo-Catholic clerics when they came to England in the past and seemed lost in what they found there. Yet sartorially they were more Roman than Rome, making their corresponding English counterparts looked distinctly plain. Ironically, in those days plainness of dress was construed as a sign of authentic Catholicism.

        2. The rubric in question originated with the 1549 BCP,

          "Then shall the Priest turnyng him to gods boord, knele down, and say in the name of all them, that shall receyve the Communion, this prayer folowing.

          WE do not presume…"

          and is found in all editions of the BCP in England, and in this country (the U.S.A.) through the 1928. Some Anglo-Catholics when I was growing up were concerned that the priest should not ever kneel during the mass. So they either genuflected at the beginning of this prayer as a nod to the rubric, or made a profound bow during this prayer, or both.

      2. Mr. Bowles,

        The disrespectful manner in which you are speaking here to an ordained man of God is completely uncalled for. He has clearly stated his "sound authority" (though he did not have to do so). A sincere public apology from you to Fr. Phillips is expected at this point.

      3. Mr. Bowles:

        As Fr. Phillips has explained, the rubrics are from the American 1928 Prayer Book. Just because it wasn't done in England, doesn't mean it isn't "Anglican." Whether you wish to admit it or not, the Anglican Patrimony spread throughout the world. "Anglican" does not equal "English." There are many sub-sets of Anglican Patrimony, and there will be variations in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and any other place where the Anglican church flourished. I can't imagine that you don't already know this, so I am presuming that you just want to be critical. You might want to re-think your attitude because you come off sounding snotty: "We don't do it that way in England, so it isn't correct. *sniff* It just isn't done!" said as you look down your nose at the rest of us. Leading British Anglo-Catholic churches, indeed. Can you possibly be more of a snob?

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