I'm a Good Ol' Radical, That's Just What I Am…

Oh my! I've been outed as a "hardliner," a positively radical traditionalist! As I had to waste my time with this, and because I want to get as much mileage as possible out of my reply to "Henri" on Foolishness to the World (as yet unmoderated), I (partially and with a few minor revisions) reproduce the comment here.

[J]ust a few observations/questions about another "pointed" and very substantially incorrect comment in the Anglican-Catholic blogosphere.

I'd really love to learn more about my personal agenda… and how, were it to exist, it deviates from that of the vast majority of traditional Anglicans — for whom these Ordinariates were so generously imagined and brought into being by our beloved Pope Benedict XVI.

I am not a partisan for the Usus Antiquior. I am a devotee — and with God's help — defender of Tradition. That the genuine, peculiar liturgical and devotional patrimony of those Anglicans well-disposed to the Ordinariates is more closely aligned with the practices of the Universal Church before the reforms of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council is simply a fact.

I do not resist the New Order as such: I love and maintain a legitimate and holy tradition — and, according to the Holy Father, a treasure to be shared.

I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X. The fact that I am a layman should be ample evidence to support this claim. That said, I deeply admire the Work of Archbishop Lefebvre, and I recognise that the position of Catholic Tradition in Christ's Church would be much weaker today were it not for the saintly man and his Societas Sacerdotalis.

Finally, I am happy to repeat what I wrote in the comment box on The Anglo-Catholic, perhaps with a bit less sarcasm — but with the same simple honesty. I know that, being the prodigal sons, we former Anglicans are meant to listen and learn and not presume to question or contradict our elder brethren in The Faith, but my notion of being Catholic is not unquestionable attention to every media report of the personal preferences of the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or the members of any top secret liturgical committee.

Compendium of Changes in the Anglican Use Order of Mass

St. Mary the Virgin (Anglican Use), Arlington, Texas.
St. Mary the Virgin (Anglican Use), Arlington, Texas.

UPDATE (16 August 2013 10:10 AM EDT): Two spelling errors in no. 13 below corrected.

An anonymous parishioner of St. Mary the Virgin (Anglican Use), Arlington, Texas, has painstakingly worked to provide us with an extremely detailed analysis of the changes to the Book of Divine Worship eucharistic liturgy, which revised order was published and celebrated in that parish for the first time on Sunday last (the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity), and which is purported to represent the recently "promulgated" Mass of the Personal Ordinariates.

As our contributor rightly observes, his experience is based entirely on the Order of Service as printed in the pew booklet (which could hardly be thought to constitute the editio typica of the Rite, such an aid being provisional and incomplete by nature) and the ritual and ceremonial options exercised in the Liturgy as offered on this particular day.

* * *

Compendium of Changes in the Anglican Use Order of Mass

1. The Exhortation from the Book of Divine Worship (identical to that of the 1979 American Prayer Book) is no longer included as an option (though it may simply not be printed in the Pew Booklets being used at Saint Mary the Virgin).

2. The Decalogue is likewise absent (though, again, it may simply not be included in this Pew Booklet).

3. “Penitential Rite A” has been removed as an option altogether (or, again, it may simply not have been included in this Pew Booklet).

4. The Heading “Introductory Rites” has been inserted where “Liturgy of the Word” appears in the Book of Divine Worship, and the latter removed to its position in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Use (i.e., just before the First Lesson). This may be a change only in this Booklet, however.

5. The Introductions “Blessed be God, etc.” “Alleluia. Christ is risen,” and “Bless the Lord who forgiveth, etc.” have been replaced with the Introduction “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” from the Roman Use.

6. The Kyrie is now printed to be said as in the Roman Use (i.e., with the People repeating each line after the Priest), rather than as it is printed in the Book of Divine Worship (i.e., with the Celebrant saying the first and third lines, and the People the second).

7. The Trisagion has been removed as an optional replacement for the Kyrie.

8. The introduction to the Gospel Lesson has been changed from “The Holy Gospel according to” to “A reading from the holy Gospel according to,” which is in accord with the Ordinary Form of the Roman Use.

9. “Form I” of the Prayers of the People remains unchanged, with the exception of the way in which the Ordinary and Bishop are prayed for, which will be discussed below.

10. “Form II” has been replaced with a version of the general intercession from the 1552 English and subsequent Prayer Books; however, it has not been incorporated untouched: (a) The initial invitation, which appears in the 1552 and 1662 as “Let us pray for the whole state of Christ’s Church militant here in earth” and in the 1928 American Book as “Let us pray for the whole state of Christ’s Church” has been changed to read “Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all men according to their needs.” (b) The phrase “to accept our alms and oblations,” optional in the 1662, has been removed with the prayer proceeding straight through from “We humbly beseech thee most mercifully” to “to receive these our prayers.” (c) The second paragraph from the 1928 that begins “We beseech thee also, so to direct and dispose” has been removed to the third paragraph and reads as follows: “We beseech thee also to lead all nations in the way of righteousness and peace; and so to direct all rulers that under them thy people may be godly and quietly governed. And grant unto thy servant N. our President, and to all that are put in authority under him that they may truly and impartially administer justice to the punishment of wickedness and vice and to the maintenance of peace and virtue.” (d) The third paragraph from the 1928 which begins “Give grace, O heavenly Father” has been moved to the second paragraph and now reads, “Give grace, O heavenly Father, to N., our Pope, (N. our Ordinary] or [N. our Bishop], and to all bishops, priests, and deacons, that they may, both by their life and doctrine, set forth thy true and lively Word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy sacraments.” (e) A new paragraph has been inserted here which reads, “Guide and prosper, we pray thee, those who are labouring for the spread of thy Gospel among the nations and enlighten with thy Spirit all places of education and learning; that the whole world may be filled with the knowledge of thy truth.” (f) The final paragraph from the 1928 Book which begins “And we also bless thy holy Name” has been changed to read as follows: “And we commend to thy gracious keeping, O Lord, all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear, beseeching thee according to thy promises to grant them refreshment, light, and peace.” (g) A new paragraph has been inserted here which reads, “And here we give thee most high praise and heart thanks for all thy Saints, who have been the chosen vessels of thy grace and lights of the world in their several generations; and we pray that rejoicing in their fellowship and following their good examples, we may be partakers with them of thy heavenly kingdom. Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake our Mediator and Advocate. Amen.”

11. “Form III” remains unchanged, with the exception of the prayer for the Ordinary and Bishop, which will be discussed below.

12. The old “Form II” (which begins “Let us offer our prayers to Almighty God” and has unique responses to each intercession) is now “Form IV” and the old “Form IV” (which begins “In peace let us pray to the Lord”) has been removed entirely.

13. The old “Form V” (which begins “Let us pray for the Church and for the world”) has been removed and replaced with an (almost) entirely new form, which reads as follows (rubrics have included and are in italics): “As pastoral circumstances suggest, some of the following petitions may be omitted. The Priest says: In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father. The Deacon or reader continues: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who hast promised through thy Son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith: Strengthen N. our Pope and [N. our Ordinary] or [N. our Bishop], and all thy Church in the service of Christ, that those who confess thy Name may be united in thy truth, live together in thy love, and reveal thy glory in the world. Bless and guide our President N.; give wisdom to all in authority; and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and peace; that we may honour one another and seek the common good. Give grace to us, our families, and friends, and to all our neighbours that we may serve Christ in one another and love as he loves us. Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit [especially N.]; give them courage and hope in their troubles; and bring them the joy of thy salvation. Hear us as we pray for those who have died in Christ [especially N.]; according to thy promises grant us with them a share in thy eternal kingdom. Rejoicing in the fellowship and prayers of [Saint N. and] all thy Saints, we commend ourselves and all peoples to thy unfailing love. Silence may be kept. The Priest concludes with a Collect.”

14. A new “Form VI” has been added, which reads as follows (rubrics have been included and are in italics): “This form may be used either with the insertion of specific subjects at the points indicated or as a continuous whole, with or without brief biddings addressed to the people before the prayer begins. The Priest says: Let us pray for all men according to their needs. The Priest or Deacon continues: O God, the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men; that thou wouldest be pleased to make thy ways known unto them, thy saving health unto all nations . . . . We pray for the good estate of the Catholic Church; that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life . . . . We commend to thy fatherly goodness all those, who are any ways afflicted, or distressed, in mind body or estate; . . . that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them, according to their several necessities, giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions . . . . We remember those who have gone before us in the peace of Christ and we give thee praise for all thy faithful ones with whom we rejoice in the communion of Saints . . . . This we beg for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.”

15. A new “Form VII” has been added, which reads as follows (rubrics have been included and are in italics): “The Priest says: In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father. The Deacon or reader continues: Hear our prayers, O Lord our God. Hear us, good Lord. Govern and direct thy holy Church; fill her with love and truth; and grant her that unity which is thy will. Hear us, good Lord. Give us boldness to preach the Gospel in all the world and to make disciples of all the nations. Hear us, good Lord. Enlighten N. our Pope and N. [our Ordinary] or [our Bishop], and all thy ministers with knowledge and understanding that by their teaching and their lives they may proclaim thy word. Hear us, good Lord. Give thy people grace to hear and receive thy Word and to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit. Hear us, good Lord. Bring into the way of truth all who have erred and are deceived. Hear us, good Lord. Strengthen those who stand, comfort and help the faint-hearted; raise up the fallen; and finally beat down Satan under our feet. Hear us, good Lord. Guide the leaders of the nations into the ways of peace and justice. Hear us, good Lord. Guard and strengthen our President N.; that he may put his trust in thee and seek thy honour and glory. Hear us, good Lord. Endue thy ministers of government and all others in authority with wisdom and understanding. Hear us, good Lord. Bless those who administer the law that they may uphold justice, honesty, and truth. Hear us, good Lord. Give us the will to use the fruits of the earth to thy glory and for the good of all creation. Hear us, good Lord. Bless and keep all thy people. Hear us, good Lord. Help and comfort the lonely, the bereaved, and the oppressed. Lord, have mercy. Keep in safety those who travel and all who are in danger. Lord, have mercy. Heal the sick in body and mind and provide for the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute. Lord, have mercy. Show thy pity upon prisoners and refugees and all who are in trouble. Lord, have mercy. Forgive our enemies; persecutors, and slanderers and turn their hearts. Lord, have mercy. Hear us as we pray for those who have died in the peace of Christ, both those who have confessed the faith and those whose faith is known to thee alone, and grant us with them a share in thy eternal kingdom. Lord, have mercy. Silence may be kept. The Priest concludes with a Collect.”

16. Throughout the Prayers of the People, the way in which the Ordinary and Bishop are prayed for has been changed. In the provisional Ordinariate Liturgy, the form was “for N., our Ordinary, for N. the local Bishop” and has now been changed to “for N., our Ordinary or for N., our Bishop.”

17. In the Penitential Rite, the Priest’s invitation to the Confession of Sin beginning “Ye who do truly and earnestly repent you” has been returned to its original form (i.e., exactly how it appears in the 1549, with the notable exception of ‘You’ in the 1549 remaining ‘Ye’), and reads: “Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways: Draw near with faith, and make your humble confession to Almighty God, meekly kneeling upon your knees.”

18. The secondary invitation to the Confession “Let us humbly confess our sins unto Almighty God” (taken from the Daily Office and introduced here with the 1928 American Prayer Book) has been replaced with the final sentence of the longer invitiation: “Draw near with faith and make your humble confession to Almighty God, meekly kneeling upon your knees.”

19. The second Confession of Sin given as an option in the Book of Divine Worship beginning, “Most merciful God,” has been removed (though, again, this may simply be a feature of this Pew Booklet).

20. The heading “Preparation of the Altar and Gifts” has been changed to “The Offertory.”

21. The Offertory prayers (as previously incorporated from the Ordinary Form of the Roman Use) have been converted to the hieratic language of the Prayer Book; e.g., “Blessed art thou, O Lord, God of all Creation, for of thy bounty have we received this bread which we offer unto thee, fruit of the earth and the work of human hands: whence it shall become for us the bread of life.”

22. The subheading “Old English Translation” after the heading “Roman Canon” in the Book of Divine Worship was removed for the provisional Order of Mass, and is still nowhere to be found.

23. The People’s responses to “The Mystery of Faith” have been converted into hieratic English; e.g., “We proclaim thy Death, O Lord, and profess thy Resurrection, until thou come again.”

24. As earlier reported a second, shorter “Eucharistic Prayer” has been included.

25. The rubrics now instruct the People to stand immediately following the Great Amen.

26. The Priest’s invitation before the Lord’s Prayer has been changed from “And now as our Savior Christ hath taught us, we are bold to say,” to “As our Saviour Christ hath commanded and taught us, we are bold to say” (as it appears in the 1549 Book).

27. The Embolism has been added after the Lord’s Prayer and the Doxology “For thine is the kingdom, etc.” moved to after it.

28. The option provided in the Book of Divine Worship to perform the Peace just after the Penitential Rite (as in the 1979 Prayer Book) or during the Communion Rite just after the Lord’s Prayer (as in both forms of the Roman Use) has been removed. Only the latter option is now available.

29. An introduction to the Peace has been introduced, which reads, “O Lord Jesus Christ, who saidst to thine Apostles, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: Regard not our sins, but the faith of thy Church; and grant to her peace and unity according to thy will; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.”

30. Contrary to reports, (in this Pew Booklet anyway) there is thankfully an explicit instruction to kneel for the Agnus Dei.

31. The Prayer of Humble Access has been returned to its original Prayer Book form; i.e., the phrase “that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood” has been re-inserted.

32. The “Ecce Agnus Dei” has changed from “The Gifts of God for the People of God. Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,” to “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him that taketh away the sins of the world. Blessed are those who are called to the Supper of the Lamb.”

33. The Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion has been revised to fall more into line with its original Prayer Book form; i.e., the phrase “by the merits of the most precious Death and Passion of thy dear Son” has been re-inserted following the words “heirs, through hope, of thy everlasting Kingdom.” It does not, however, appear exactly as it does in the early Prayer Books. Where in the 1549 Book it read, “we most heartily thank thee for that thou hast vouchsafed to feed us,” it reads instead “we most heartily thank thee for that thou dost feed us,” upholding a change from the 1979 American Prayer Book. Likewise, the phrase “which have duly received these holy mysteries,” introduced with the 1552 Book remains simply “in these holy mysteries,” which is how the prayer appears in the 1549 (which version was likely favored in light of this phrase’s potential Lutheran connotations).

34. In the Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion, and likewise throughout the entire Order for Mass, “Holy Ghost” has been changed to “Holy Spirit.”

35. The proper Postcommunion Prayer is now no longer an optional replacement for the preceding Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion. Instead, both are now obligatory, the Postcommunion coming after the Thanksgiving.

36. The option to use a shorter form of the Final Blessing has been removed.

37. The only option provided for the Dismissal is now “Go forth in peace,” except when “the Mass issues in a procession,” in which case the Dismissal is “Let us proceed in peace,” or in Masses for the Dead, in which case it is “May they rest in peace.”

38. Throughout the Rite American spellings (e.g., “honor”) have been replaced with their British equivalents.

39. Lastly, throughout the Rite, forms have been inserted which are proper for Masses of the Dead, including: a special form of the prayer “Remember, Lord, thy Church” in the alternative “Eucharistic Prayer” which begins “Remember thy servant N., whom thou hast called (today) from this world to thyself;” the responses “grant them rest” and “grant them rest everlasting” in the Agnus Dei; and the special Dismissal mentioned above.

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Moderator: Was I the only one to notice that the above Compendium is set forth in thirty-nine articles?

Using What We Have Already…

Shawn Tribe over on The New Liturgical Movement voices what many of us have advocated for some time; namely, looking no further than one of the missals already in existence to be used as the Ordinariate rite of the Mass. Some Anglo-Catholics used the English Missal, others of us used the Anglican Missal or the American Missal (my personal preference is for there to be as much incorporation of the BCP material as possible), but the general idea is the same. The heavy lifting has been done, and there would need to be only minimal adjustments.

Of course, there are those who will protest, "But these were never approved!" Frankly, who cares? It is simply the case that most Anglo-Catholics used one of the versions of the missal. That is a fact of history in Anglicanism, and it should be recognized that it was that very brand of Anglicanism which has led us home to the Catholic Church. Many of us who have used The Book of Divine Worship for a generation have done our best to interpret the rubrics in such a way as to conform it as closely as possible to what we knew in the missals. Why go through all that? Why not just have the real thing?

I think the train may have left the station on this, but I do wish it would be given serious consideration before the final word is spoken.

Have a look at Shawn's article:

Some recent events put my mind once again to the matter of the English Missal.

The English Missal, as many of you know, is essentially a hieratic English translation of the pre-conciliar Missale Romanum. It was a missal which had been used by various Anglican Catholics, or Anglo-Catholics, in the 20th century.

Fr. John Hunwicke, who himself described the English Missal as "the finest vernacular liturgical book ever produced," summarizes its contents and its use accordingly:

For most of the 20th Century, Anglican Catholic worship meant a volume called "The English Missal". It contained the whole Missale Romanum translated into English; into an English based on the style of Thomas Cranmer's liturgical dialect in the Book of Common Prayer. The "EM" took everything biblical from the translation known as the King James Bible or Authorised Version.

I have often commented on my own hope — one which I know is shared by many others — that we would see the English Missal (or something closely akin to it) form one of the liturgical options made available within the context of the Ordinariate. Now it will no doubt be quickly pointed out that the use of the English Missal was by no means universal even amongst Anglo-Catholics and would be generally unfamiliar to many other Anglicans; from what I have gathered from others far more familiar with the situation within Anglicanism, this is certainly true. In light of that, it perhaps would not be the right choice to make it the sole liturgical book of the Ordinariate (which should presumably include a liturgical book which is much closer to something like the Book of Common Prayer) but it surely could be made available as an additional option, a kind of "Extraordinary Form" if you will — the analogy here is imperfect but I think it gets the basic idea across.

Read the whole article here.

Australian Ordinary Speaks on Anglican Patrimony

Fr. Harry Entwistle, the new Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia gave a talk at a recent Melbourne information day that is now posted on the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham site.  (H/t Fr. Smuts)

Here's an excerpt of Fr. Entwistle's talk on Anglican patrimony that I thought was interesting.  There's a lot more that is significant in the talk, so go on over and read the whole thing.

The Holy Father wants us to bring the treasures of our Anglican heritage with us, and offer them as a gift to the Church. I think we need to rediscover what those gifts really are. We talk of singing proper hymns, of preaching, of good music and pastoral care, but I have come to believe that these are consequences of something deeper. What we must rediscover and bring, is our English Spiritual Tradition, which claims continuity with the desert fathers and mothers, with the Celtic Church, St Augustine of Canterbury, SS Benedict, Anselm, Bernard, Aelred, the English mystics of the 14th century such as the author of The Cloud of Unknowing, Margery Kempe, Henry Rolle, Walter Hilton, Julian of Norwich and later, the Reformers, the Caroline Divines of the 17th century and the Tractarians, in particular Blessed John Henry Newman.

The English School of Spirituality is a middle way, a via media. Not so much as a half way position between Catholicism and Protestantism, but as holding in balance theological and spiritual study, or head knowledge, and how we express that knowledge in our worship and live the Christian life in the world. It is a balance between piety and living the gospel in the world, not a little of each, but giving both equal weight. Being only a head knowledge Christian or a charismatic feeling Christian concerned only with justice matters is not the way of English Spirituality.

In our tradition, there is equality in the Church. Clergy may like to be on a pedestal, and some laity put them there, but the Church militant here on earth is made up of equal partners who each have their own ministry. This is why the
daily prayers of the Church are that of the whole. Laity is expected to recite or hear matins and evensong. The daily office is not only for the clergy. This is something we should revive but remember Mgr Burnham’s new book may be a
place to start but is not an authorised text.

The Ordinariate is not an Anglican Preservation Society, living in some imagined golden age. It is a non-geographical diocese within the Western Catholic Church, committed to proclaim the gospel and be evangelistic. We will have our liturgy that reflects our English tradition, but it is not an end in itself. It reflects what we believe and pray, and its language will be of our tradition.

I particularly like what he says about equality.  There is a way of respecting the roles of clergy and lay people without having them bleed into each other — having lay people take over specifically clerical functions.  Doing the daily offices is a boon to my spiritual life and growth and it would be great to see this continue to be encouraged.

I also like what he says about liturgy not being an end in itself and that the Ordinariates are not meant to reflect some "Golden Age" or become historical preservation societies.  Yet, I hold that view in tension with a certain sympathy for those who would like to see the King James Version of the Bible and the Prayer Book have more influence on the ongoing liturgical discussions.  I would like to see the Authorized Verson authorized!

A Sad But Inevitable End

It's hard to believe that we sprang from this. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say we were sprung out of this mess by the Holy Spirit. The following article appeared in the Wall Street Journal, and as I read it from a thirty-year distance, it's like coming across an old acquaintance, once an important and dear friend, who's now laying drunk in a gutter.

How could such a thing happen to what seemed to be such a solid and venerable institution? It's probably more reasonable to ask, "How could it not happen?" When a tree is uprooted, it cannot live for long. A body cannot live without a head. When there is no legitimate authority to guide, chaos will take over. Even what seems to be beautiful, when separated from discipline, eventually grows ugly.

As you read the article, you might be tempted to shake your head in disbelief. Rather, we should give thanks to God that nearly thirty years ago, with the establishment of the Anglican Use parishes of the Pastoral Provision, He allowed us to begin to preserve what was true and beautiful and holy in Anglicanism by bringing it back to its birthplace; namely, Christ's Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church. May God bless and multiply the Ordinariates in continuing the work begun.

What Ails the Episcopalians

By Jay Akasie


Episcopalians from around the country gathered here this week for their church's 77th triennial General Convention, which ended Thursday. Although other Protestant denominations have national governing councils, the Episcopal Church's triennial gathering stands apart. For starters, it's one of the world's largest such legislative entities, with more than 1,000 members.

General Convention is also notable for its sheer ostentation and carnival atmosphere. For seven straight nights, lavish cocktail parties spilled into pricey steakhouses, where bishops could use their diocesan funds to order bottles of the finest wines.

During the day, legislators in the lower chamber, the House of Deputies, and the upper chamber, the House of Bishops, discussed such weighty topics as whether to develop funeral rites for dogs and cats, and whether to ratify resolutions condemning genetically modified foods. Both were approved by a vote, along with a resolution to "dismantle the effects of the doctrine of discovery," in effect an apology to Native Americans for exposing them to Christianity.

But the party may be over for the Episcopal Church, and so, probably, its experiment with democratic governance. Among the pieces of legislation that came before their convention was a resolution calling for a task force to study transforming the event into a unicameral—that is, a one-house—body. On Wednesday, a resolution to "re-imagine" the church's governing body passed unanimously.

Formally changing the structure of General Convention will most likely formalize the reality that many Episcopalians already know: a church in the grip of executive committees under the direct supervision of the church's secretive and authoritarian presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori. They now set the agenda and decide well in advance what kind of legislation comes before the two houses.

Bishop Schori is known for brazenly carrying a metropolitan cross during church processions. With its double horizontal bars, the metropolitan cross is a liturgical accouterment that's typically reserved for Old World bishops. And her reign as presiding bishop has been characterized by actions more akin to a potentate than a clergywoman watching over a flock.

In recent years she's sued breakaway, traditionalist dioceses which find the mother church increasingly radical. Church legislators have asked publicly how much the legal crusades have cost, to no avail. In the week before this summer's convention, Bishop Schori sent shock waves through the church by putting forth her own national budget without consulting the convention's budget committee—consisting partly of laymen—which until now has traditionally drafted the document.

Whatever its cost, the litigation against breakaway dioceses—generally, demanding that they return church buildings and other assets—has added to the national church's financial problems. Many dioceses are no longer willing or able to cough up money to support the national organization, and its bank accounts are running dry. On Monday, for example, the church announced that its headquarters at 815 2nd Avenue in midtown Manhattan—which includes a presiding bishop's full-floor penthouse with wraparound terrace—is up for sale.

In the past, General Convention, for all its excesses, at least gave ordinary laymen a sense that they had a democratic voice in governing the church. But many Episcopal leaders have chosen to focus more on secular politics than on religion over the years. Donald Hook, author of "The Plight of the Church Traditionalist: A Last Apology," estimates that church membership has declined to fewer than one million today from three million in 1970. This is another reason, along with financial woes, to save money with a slimmed-down legislature.

And yet there are important issues at stake if laymen are further squeezed out of what was once a transparent legislative process. A long-standing quest by laymen to celebrate the Eucharist—even taking on functions of ordained ministers to consecrate bread and wine for Holy Communion, which is a favorite cause of the church's left wing—would likely be snuffed out in a unicameral convention in which senior clergy held sway.

Also in jeopardy would be the ability of ordinary laymen to stop the rewriting, in blunt modern language and with politically correct intent, of the church's historic Book of Common Prayer. The revisionist bishops who would hold sway over a unicameral convention in the future haven't hid their desire to do away with all connections to Thomas Cranmer, who was appointed archbishop of Canterbury by Henry VIII. He was a classic figure in the English Reformation. But today the man and his prayer book are deemed too traditional by some church bishops.

For some, the writing on the wall is already clear. On Wednesday, the entire delegation from the diocese of South Carolina—among the very last of the traditionalist holdouts—stormed out of the convention.

Mr. Akasie, a journalist and Episcopalian, lives in New York City.

News from Toronto's First Public Anglican Use Mass

Peregrinus Toronto reports:

Anglicans, Catholics of various rites along with others not yet in communion with Rome are invited to explore the meaning of our Lord's call to unity in the Body of Christ — ut unum sint — "that they all may be one". This is the central focus of the Anglican Use Sodality of Toronto and it will be its measure of success as those seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit find a place to experience the unity and peace of full communion with the universal Church.

Amongst the roughly sixty people who attended the inaugural A.U. Mass at Sacré Coeur (Sacred Heart) Parish in downtown Toronto were those from Mennonite, Presbyterian and other Protestant backgrounds as well as former Anglicans now in communion with Rome and other Anglicans seeking a way to integrate their personal experience of the patrimonial and cultural life in Anglican communities with the doctrinal order of wider Church.

The Sung Mass offered some fine examples of Anglican patrimonial music and liturgy in a traditional setting. A children's catechesis was offered during the Liturgy of the Word and the children joined the congregation at the offertory. Many in attendance were under 30 years of age, some with families.

People came with many questions and stayed to discuss these along with conversation about Fr. Rodrigues' enlightening homily linking Anglicanorum Coetibus to the wider mission of the Church in its recovery and renewal of liturgical tradition at the service of renewed Catholic worship which is in tandem with the new evangelization.

Excellent patrimonial music is at the heart of the A.U. Mass and the Sodality is committed to developing this important aspect of their mission in Toronto.

More at his blog Peregrinations.

The Real Anglican Patrimony

There has been much discussion of just what the "Anglican Patrimony" consists.  Is it the beautiful tradition of hymnody, the choral tradition, and the Book of Common Prayer?  Is it all the delightful English cultural traditions — Oxford and Cambridge and the country church, the crumbling, romantic monastic ruins, the magnificent cathedrals and "is there honey still for tea?"  Just what is the Anglican Patrimony?

I would not like to dismiss all the things I've mentioned above — and as a hopeless Anglophile, I could add a list of many more.  However, these things are not the only elements of the patrimony of Anglicanism.  Part of the patrimony lies in the spirit and sincerity of the Reformers.  It is true that they were the pawns of a wicked king.  It is true that they fell into heresy and schism.  It is true that the were sometimes unscrupulous and manipulative.

But there are some qualities there we can admire, and which remain part of the patrimony.  They loved Christ and his Church.  They loved the people of God and worked for the salvation of souls.  They had an evangelical spirit.  They were willing to risk all for Christ and his gospel.  When people are divided by polemical words and ideas it is easy to forget the goodness and graces of 'the other side.'  But Anglo-Catholics, if they are to embrace their Anglican Patrimony, must see that the good things they love within that patrimony have, as their starting point, these more indefinable qualities of Christian zeal, love of the Sacred Scriptures, love of the church, and love of truth. The martyrs on both sides of the conflict exhibited these traits.

If these qualities are at the heart of the Ordinariate, then it will succeed beyond everyone's wildest imaginings.  It will become a dynamic and lively force of reconciliation and unity in Christ's Church.  It will burgeon and spread throughout the whole of the Anglican world — bringing into unity Anglican brothers and sisters not only from the Anglo-Catholic wing of the church, but also from the Evangelical.  It will bring in not only those Anglicans in the Western church, but Anglicans in the developing world.

As I attend the inaugural Mass of the Ordinary here in Houston this morning, this is my prayer — that Anglicans coming into full communion will not only bring to the Catholic Church their beautiful language, liturgy and music, that they will not only bring their prayer books and poetry books and high culture — but that with all these things they will bring their love of Christ and his gospel — and a burning zeal to spread that gospel and renew Christ's Church with the fullness of their gifts of grace.

The People

I heard an absolutely wonderful statement today (thank you Margaret) and it struck me with its beautiful simplicity. To quote:

"What if the Anglican Patrimony is people?"

This is not to deny all the practices and perspectives that make up the "culture" of the Anglican Patrimony; certainly not. Yet it is trying to point out something that is often forgotten in all the hustle and bustle of theological blatheration that does more to cloud the issues than to clear them up. The practices only exist if there are people who are doing them, and the perspectives only exist if there are people who are holding them. These things, like love, only exist in the performance of them, and we often forget that it is the people who are the "flesh and blood" of what we are discussing (pun intended).

It is not as though we can discuss a structure of a vestry or parish council and imagine that structure without it being filled by people. Hence, it is those very people's souls which are what we are supposed to be preserving when we seek to obey the Holy Father's wishes in Anglicanorum Coetibus. The academic side of things only exists because there are academicians who are "academizing". To get all caught up in a heated torrent of debate over any detail of the faith will usually mean that we have come to believe that we are discussing Plato's forms rather than the behaviors of men and women who are loved by Christ.

When I see the behaviors of many Christians today, it seems as though they want us to believe that they love their brother enough to kill him. Oddly, I recall the command being more along the lines of loving our brother enough to die for him. Sometimes this dying for our brother means dying to self. There are many ways that you can live out that "dying to self", but if nothing in you changes, then you have not died to self. One can die to self by just shutting his mouth (or putting Chinese handcuffs on your typing fingers); one can die to self by apologizing to a brother (publicly if the offense was public); or one can die to self by saying "yessir" when the Ordinary tells you to do something you do not want to do.

To preserve the human part of the patrimony means that we are to be "our brother's keeper". This is so because these beautiful practices and ideas will become ugly and unholy if we use them as swords against the tender heart of a confused Christian brother. There are some who pride themselves in defending a cause or system as though they were the last defender of the faith, and yet all they are accomplishing is the alienation of one that they should be seeking to help to grow in faith. Better to let the cause go and save the man, than to let the man go and save the cause.

Many of us find great joy in the Anglican Patrimony. Yet, every one of those aspects that you enjoy are mere words on paper (or the screen) if you do not treat the people as more important. To turn a phrase: God made the patrimony for man, and not man for the patrimony. Sometimes we forget this, and it shows when we least expect it.

There are many, many souls out there who have been dragged out to sea by the undertow of either the liberalism in the Episcopal Churches or the cantankerousness of the "continuing" Anglican denominations. Others have merely wandered into the waves because they got confused by much that has happened recently in the Catholic Church. A new ship is setting sail now in the American Ordinariate and the sailors who board her need to do more than keep the deck clean. They need to be going out seeking those who are floating in the sea of modern relativism and immorality; those who have fallen away and yet not found (or forgotten) their true home in the barque of Peter. They have been treading dangerous waters for quite some time and have not found safe harbor; let us seek and find them with all the passion of the Chief Shepherd looking for His lost sheep. This is what it means to preserve the patrimony more than anything else: to seek and save that which was lost.


Fr. Dwight Longenecker has written to share his latest Ordinariate-themed post: two lists of opportunities and patrimonial tidbits both the Anglican Ordinariates and Holy Mother Church will receive or share as full communion between them comes to fruition.  There are some interesting items on each list.  What would you add to Fr. Longenecker's collections?

The Only Faithful Response

Someone I know was "gotten to". A friend who was in full support of the Ordinariate just a few months ago is now vehemently against it. It is not because of any shocking piece of new information that he discovered while reading through secret Vatican documents (nothing so dramatic as that). Rather, it is because–as he told me–he spoke to a "continuing Anglican" priest who told him that Rome's real motivation is to bring us under their thumb and then play the "old switcheroo" and force us to give up the Anglican liturgy. Once he "realized" that this was "going to" happen, he stepped back and changed his position.

Aside from the fact that this is a grave misunderstanding of the circumstances (Rome has bigger fish to fry than getting former Anglicans to use the Roman Missal), we have to ask ourselves if this is even a properly balanced concern. True, Rome can change the liturgy and make some people upset, but it is not as though the Anglican Churches have never had to worry about this. Episcopalians know very well what happened with the Book of Common Prayer in 1979, but does further division solve this problem? Division breeds division and the rejection of the papacy is now reaping what was sown. If you bake a cake and it comes out tasting like dog food, it will not solve the problem to throw away the cake and use the exact same recipe a second time (or a third, fourth, or fifth time). As one Anglican clergyman said to me just the other day, "communion with Rome is the only faithful response at this time in the history of Anglicanism".

Anglicanism is at a crossroads, and the status quo is not a viable alternative at this time; something must change. To continue on in the same pattern of, "divide, degenerate, debate, divide, degenerate, debate (ad nauseam)", will not solve anything. As Anglicans, many of us realized some time ago (some more than others) that we really need the Catholic Church. Without her we are only going to perpetuate the dysfunctional habits that have become a part of the ecclesiastical descendants of Cranmer. C.S. Lewis once had Aslan the Lion lament, “O, son of Adam, how cleverly you defend yourself against all that will do you good.” Reunion with Holy Mother Church will do us good. It may bring persecution as well, but then faithfulness to God always does. Moving into the unknown is certainly a concern for many, but the Lord never promises that we will be able to stay in our comfort zones.

I know of people who have chosen not to join the Ordinariate because they do not want to have to go through a marriage annulment. Another person I know said outright that he does not want the Ordinariate because he does not want to have to submit to the Pope. One man said that it may be right for me, but it is not right for him (!). Mistaken and confused ideas about who and what the Catholic Church is are not in a shortage right now. Those who decide not to join will have different reasons for doing so, and I am not about to stand in judgment on their inner motivations. Yet, coming into communion with the Catholic Church should not be done because we believe that we are going to get what we want. If one's own selfish desires are first in his thought process, then he is not thinking in a godly manner. I (and others) have said this before, but it appears like it needs to be repeated.

I also know of Anglican clergy whose primary motivation for joining the Ordinariate is so that they can find a place where no one is going to try to ordain women to holy orders. Aside from the importance of this concern, this is not a proper rationale for entering into this process. The wrong expectations will always lead to disappointment. How we approach new ventures in life will greatly determine how we respond to the challenges that those new ventures bring upon us. I fully expect that our entrance into communion with the Holy See is going to be a blessed and joyful event. That does not mean, however, that I think that it will be all "wine and roses". Faithfulness to Christ always entails trials, and persecutions will undoubtedly come upon those who wish to serve God with deep commitment. There were many who joined the Church in the first century, but not all of them remained within her fold when the trials arose.

A Catholic lady said to me a while ago, "I don't care what liturgy you use, or whether you are traditional or not, I'm just happy that you are going to be at the altar with us". Her heart reveals the same humility that should be evident in us: joyful for the blessings of God and not murmuring about anything that disappoints (cf. Philippians 2:14-15). My friend that I mentioned at the beginning was led astray and I pray for him that he will come back to the truth. What becomes more difficult is when someone is led astray and yet is still seeking to join the Ordinariate. We all come with the "baggage" of our sins–I have mine and you have yours–but we should be coming with humble hearts that trust God to give us what we need more than what we want (for they are not always the same thing).

To all my brothers and sisters who are getting ready for the establishment of the Ordinariate here in America, I encourage you during this Advent season to use it as preparatory, not just for the proper celebration of the Christmas season, but also for the proper celebration of our entrance into the Ordinariate. Prepare your hearts for obedience; not just obedience to those things that you like, but also obedience to the things that make you uncomfortable. If we only obey the things that we are comfortable with, then can we say we are truly submitting to our leaders? Jesus likes to force us out of our comfort zones, and if you are coming to the Ordinariate in order to find your comfort zone, then you misunderstand how the Church works. Challenges and sacrifices will be in the future, and we are called to rejoice in the midst of them. Yet, we will not be able to rejoice properly if our hearts are not right, and for that we need preparation. The preparation of Advent (as well as the coming Lenten season) is an ideal time to offer "our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto" God our Father.