A Poll of Our British Audience

It has been suggested that since the majority of Anglo-Catholics in Britain, having used the English Missal while the Tridentine Rite prevailed, and having followed Rome's lead in adopting the Missal of Pope Paul VI in its rather banal and unfaithful English translation, Anglo-Catholics in England, Scotland, and Wales have become accustomed to modern liturgical language and quite a bit detached from the Prayer-Book tradition (insofar as the Eucharistic rite is concerned, at least).  So this poll is for inhabitants of Great Britain only.

If you are a resident of England, Scotland, or Wales, which style of liturgical language would you prefer to prevail in the Ordinariates?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Author: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organized the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. He is also the CEO of Three Fish Consulting, LLC, an Information Technology consultancy based in Orlando, FL. He can be reached via email at ccampbell at threefish dot co.

10 thoughts on “A Poll of Our British Audience”

  1. It's a good question, because there is now a median position, that of the new ICEL. I had the interesting experience last night, attending the licensing of a new lady incumbent of our local Anglican parish. The liturgy used a great deal of the old ICEL/ICET texts, and I was quite reminded how awful those translations were.

      1. The Ordinariates are *not* free to use the ICEL/ICET texts. The Ordinariates are fully Roman Catholic and may use only approved texts. Fr Sean was talking about an Anglican parish.

        Personally (and in answer to Deborah Gyapong below), I have no issue with what the Church of England called Series 1 Alternative Services, or even Series 2. Those are a modernised form of 1662 BCP. I would and do object to the Ordinariate(s) publishing *those* as normative rather than *as an alternative* to the normative Rites of the Church.

  2. I think this debate is largely a matter of degrees, not absolutes. I suspect that there are few who would want the Ordinariate to use unamended 1549 or 1662 texts ("we be not woorthie so much as to gather up the cromes under thy table: but thou art the same lorde whose propertie is alwayes to have mercie" etc.) On the other hand, the RSV, around which there seems to be a lot of unnecessary negative commentary on this site, is hardly an example of contemporary colloquial English. It is written in mid-20th century scholarly English and based closely on the form and structure of the KJV / AV. The newly approved Ordinariate marriage and funeral rites are closely based on the attempted 1928 English Prayer Book revision, approved as alternative services in the 1960s. They use a somewhat less modernized, more hieratic register than the RSV but more certainly quite updated compared to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Both the RSV and the new marriage and funeral liturgies strike me as examples of trying to strike a proper balance between clarity and comprehension and maintaining the familiar sacral and hieratic language of the KJV / BCP tradition, but with one modernizing its English usage slightly more than the other.

    The problem with using any living language for liturgical / scriptural purposes is that by definition living languages continue to evolve and change. Liturgical worship using a living language will therefore have to gradually adapt over time as well, and there will always be a trade off between maintaining the sacral and hieratic nature and time hallowed character of old texts and ensuring that they remain comprehensible to a modern reader or worshipper. But these revisions must be undertaken, to borrow the language of the new marriage ceremony, not "unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly; but reverently, discreetly, soberly, and in the fear of God."

  3. You decry "divisive, hateful rhetoric" yet go so far as to call a Pope's Missal "unfaithful". This despite the censure of UK blogger who called Pope Paul VI "misguided" (surely less damning than "unfaithful") in introducing his translation. And then you load the poll with words like "sacral".

    This is hardly unbiased — not that blogs need to be — but I hope that you are not going to present the results as anything even approaching realistically representative or statistically valid.

  4. The Ordinariate is not just for Anglo-Catholics. Nor is the English Missal tradition the only patrimonial form. We ought always to be considering (as I think the Pope does) much more ordinary Anglicanism. Liturgically, in England that means the re-ordered Prayer Book forms in the "Series 1" heritage (1928 without its eccentricities). I assume that modern-language Anglicanism has not yet established a patrimony (not least because the texts have changed so often and have so many different forms).
    Incidentally, for the benefit of some correspondents, I am not a Canon. There is a Canon Ian Gray in England, who is the leader of the rump TTAC.

  5. The question I have for those in the United Kingdom who prefer a more modern form, why not help us have our traditional liturgy? You can always use the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, which I understand most had already been using. Why would you try to prevent us (if that is the case, I don't know) from having what we are accustomed to in the rest of the world?

  6. As an RC, I have come to appreicate that there is some wisdom in having two rites more or less peacefully coexisting. Episcopal Churches that had both Rite 1 and Rite 2 services seemed to me to be a good and pastoral thing. It allowed for those that loved the more traditional language to be able to worship that way, while those that liked the more modern language (and typically families with kids) went to the Rite 2 service. The fact that the BDW reflected both traditions was, in my humble opinion, a real contribution to the RC church – showing us that you don't have to have the liturgy wars to have two liturgies co-exist. There is so much ill-feeling between OF and EF Catholics, that maybe being shown that the two liturgies do not have to threaten each other might help to facilitate some peace between our own brothers and sisters on opposite sides of the liturgy divide.

    I wish that what was started by the BDW would continue to reflect both liturgical styles in its revision, but that does not seem to be the way the commission is leaning. The RC ordinary form liturgy is different than Rite 2 in the BDW, and for those Catholicly minded broad Episcopalians now looking for a home in the Catholic Church, I wish that there was an option that closer resembled what they are accustomed to. As long as our liturgies are valid, licit, and efficacious, then having a greater liturgical diversity seems to me to only enrich the Church, and allows those who appreciate the different liturgical styles to worship God in a way that best feeds their souls. We don't all have to worship in the same way, nor should we expect that one style of liturgy fits all people. Fortunately, we are in a large enough Church that we can have legitimate diversity. I just wish that the Ordinariates could maintain that liturgical diversity in maintaining both Rite 1 and a Rite 2 liturgies in the revision of the BDW.

  7. It was interesting to note the comment of Mgr Edwin Barnes on his Ancient Richborough blog about this particular poll:-

    "PS: I see there is a post on the Anglo -Catholic site asking for us to vote on what rite we want to use, the new Translation of the Missal or some as yet unseen version of Dr Cranmer's interesting little experiment. Since only 24 have so far voted the result is hardly overwhelming. If you are not completely fedup with the result of voting in Synods and such, do go to the Anglo-Catholic site and add your cross to the ballot paper."

  8. As with the usus antiquior and the novus ordo in the Roman Rite the latter must take its basis from the former (not the former be merely a type of the latter) – or be something other than the Roman Rite. Thus the use of The Holy Ghost and the holy spirit or Holy Spirit or Spirit, in another article on this site, the older must always inform the newer .. even if the newer rites prevail. Of course this causes difficulties, not least because of changes in use of language or practice; still, difficulties are there only to be overcome – not ignored or denied.

    Pretending that a still applicable older use is of some previous time and therefore is discontinued and to be wholly abandoned or no deemed longer relevant (sic), is of the hermeneutic of discontinuity – so beloved to the New Eon spirit of the Age of Aquarius teachers of indifferentism (prevalent in most churches for decades).

    The Ancient Use, even if via a modern revision, is the living model of the church catholic at prayer, and teaching in its prayers. New Rite revision ought, in practice as in theory, to take the ancient form as its lasting influence – and thus not treat the older form as an inconvenient museum piece. Hence, liked or disliked, easy to do or not, facile or difficult for teachers of the First Form infants class (or readers/ viewers of Caspar the Friendly Ghost), the Ancient Use is the one to use in default and the Newer Use(s) as its wider accompaniment .. for only when the Ancient Use is so familiar that is seems like one's own skin can one then adorn (or disfigure) it in New Use – without destroying the base on which all must stand: Sacred Tradition as the living faith.

Leave a Reply