For whatever reason, there seems to be a fixation in the Anglican-Catholic blogosphere and private mailing lists with my offhand use of the term "ad experimentum" to describe the new Ordo of the Anglican Use Mass, now in limited theatrical release in several parishes and communities of the Personal Ordinariates, and reproduced in part, here on the blog. Deborah Gyapong at Foolishness to the World seems to have gone out of her way to cite Bill Tighe, himself quoting "a knowledgeable friend" who represents the restricted introduction as simply an "inaugural period" and denying any trial nature to the exercise. I think the inference here is that I might be mischaracterising the intention of those responsible for this rather pathetic hush-hush operation.
Earlier this morning, I wrote Dr. Tighe:
As "ad experimentum" liturgy is a notion that seems (to this layman, at least) fundamentally un-Catholic and truly bizarre, it never occurred to me to apply the term in any technical sense. That being said, it is plain to me that, whether or not feedback were requested, if it is admitted that the ordo may be subject to change based on real-world reaction or experience, this Mass text is, by definition, experimental. Is that not reasonable?
My friend and fellow Contributor replied:
It seems reasonable to me.