The Order for Funerals and Holy Matrimony:
The first liturgical texts approved for worldwide use by the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans have been promulgated by the Holy See.
The Order for Funerals and the Order for the Celebration of Holy Matrimony are to be used by the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the United Kingdom; the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter in the United States and Canada; and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.
The new liturgies replace existing texts, including those from the Book of Divine Worship. Drawn from the classical Anglican prayer book tradition, the texts incorporate elements of the Anglican patrimony now in the full communion of the Catholic Church.
Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, noted, “This is an important moment in the development of our distinctive liturgical and ecclesial life. We saw the world stop to watch the Royal Wedding last year, now a very similar and beautiful liturgy is available for use in the Ordinariates of the Catholic Church – it is a great privilege for us to be part of that obvious working-out of practical, receptive ecumenism”.
The liturgies were promulgated by the Congregation for Divine Worship on June 22, 2012, the feast-day of the English saints of the Reformation, John Fisher and Thomas More. They will be implemented in accordance with local civil law requirements in the various nations, with immediate use in the United States and Canada.
“We welcome with gratitude these texts, which bring into Catholic liturgical life some of the most beloved and memorable texts in the Book of Common Prayer. These texts have blessed and comforted generations of English-speaking Christians and will be deeply appreciated in the Ordinariate communities,” said Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary for the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.
The new texts were developed under the guidance of Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia OP, who served until recently as the Secretary for the Congregation of Divine Worship. Archbishop DiNoia, now the Vice President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, has been re-appointed as chair of the Holy See’s Anglicanae traditiones Commission tasked with developing the new liturgical texts for the Personal Ordinariates. The Reverend Uwe Michael Lang, CO, who also just stepped down from a post with the Congregation for Divine Worship, will also continue his role in the development of the texts.
The texts are available online here.