See for yourself:
See for yourself:
Are we walking to heaven backward? Msgr Charles Pope writes on the Priest’s orientation during the celebration of Mass.
… The liturgical questions of the history of the eastward orientation and its recent loss, of how and why we got into the modern closed circle mentality, and the erroneous understandings of the liturgists of the 1950s about the practice of the early Church, are all discussed more aptly by others more liturgically versed than I.
Please consider dear reader that my proposal is not for a sudden and swift change in our liturgical stance. Rather, that we begin to ponder if, by our inwardly focused stance in circular and fan shaped churches, facing each other, we are communicating what we really intend. Does our stance project that our real focus here is God? Does it communicate the goal of the liturgy to lead us to God? Does it inculcate a spirit of leadership in our clergy who are called to lead us to God? Does a largely closed circle manifest an outward trajectory to evangelize outward and unto the ends of the earth?
Whatever pastoral blessings come with “facing the people” (and there are some blessings) there may be value in continuing to reassess whether our modern pastoral stance of an inwardly focused liturgy serves us well and communicates what we are really doing and experiencing…
Read it all here.
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.
The benefit, from my perspective, is that this liturgical book combines some of the very things which form an important and identifiable part of the Anglican patrimony — namely, beautiful hieratic liturgical English with correspondingly beautiful English liturgical chant and options for the use of English sacred polyphony — with the familiar Catholic texts and ceremonies of the Roman liturgical books. In that regard, my own feeling is that it provides a very worthy synthesis which could be well suited to the Ordinariate and its mission — taken alongside another liturgical book more akin to the BCP.
Of course, at this point I must admit to a further motivation on my part. While I do genuinely think this option could be very enriching for the Ordinariate, its clergy and its faithful, I also happen to think that this option could be enriching for the broader Latin rite, most especially within the English speaking world. Why is because it presents a tangible model for the use of a hieratic liturgical English and English chant within the specific context of the Roman liturgical texts.
Returning once again to Fr. Hunwicke:
…the English Missal is a very fine vernacular version of the classical Roman Rite, in a very fine liturgical, hieratic, dialect. When the great Christine Mohrmann lamented that modern European vernaculars did not possess a hieratic form, she had not met the English Missal.
I believe the English Missal can provide a tangible model for the use of an appropriate, dignified liturgical vernacular within the confines of the Roman liturgical books in both forms of the Roman liturgy. This latter inclusion of “both forms of the Roman liturgy” might seem shocking to some EF devotees, but by it I am not suggesting that we should not ensure or pursue the wider recovery of liturgical Latin. What I am suggesting, however, is that just as there is a continuing place for Latin there is also a place for a hieratic vernacular within the sacred liturgy. What’s more, I believe we must also recognize that, broadly speaking, there is a desire for it, one which is I think perfectly legitimate and reasonable. As I have only recently commented, it seems to me that the vast majority of Catholics (including her clerics) are not interested in or drawn to an all-Latin or mostly-Latin liturgy as anything other than an occasional experience; time and again I see this confirmed, sometimes from sources I do not expect. In that regard, while the Roman liturgical books should certainly be available and available for use in their Latin editions for those who desire that, at the same time limiting the liturgical books of the usus antiquior almost exclusively to the Latin language (as they presently are, even when we consider the option that now exists for the vernacular readings) is, it seems to me, short-sighted and likely to keep the EF relegated to the sidelines of the liturgical life of the Church — and even potentially threaten its long term existence. We would do well then, whether one has an enthusiastic or begrudging position in relation to this particular question, to focus our efforts on how this might be manifest.
Enter the English Missal which could not only provide insights into how vernacular should look and sound within the context of the Ordinary Form (for the newly revised English translation, for all its improvements over the old translation, still lacks the poetic and hieratic qualities we find here), but also provide insights into the same potentialities within the context of the Extraordinary Form — in particular, with regard the Propers, including the proper chants.
The best way for the English Missal to make this contribution is, in my estimation, to make it an actually used and usable book within the Catholic Church, and the most logical place for that is within the context of the Ordinariate. If the powers that be within the Ordinariate could accomplish this, I think they would not only be providing themselves with a great gift within the Ordinariate, they would also be providing an important contribution to the wider Church.
The English Missal is, to paraphrase Fr. Hunwicke, one of the finest vernacular liturgical books ever produced; it brings together the genius and beauty of the Anglican liturgical dialect with the genius and sober beauty of the ancient Roman liturgical texts. As Fr. Hunwicke then suggested, so too would I say here and now, “and [it] deserves to be given a new lease of life.”
Some more here with pics.
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.
The New Zealand Bishops have told their priests that only the official printed copy of the Roman Missal may be used at Mass and at the Church’s other liturgies. They say that the Roman Missal apps for iPad and the use of other tablets, mobile phones and e-readers are excellent for study purposes, but their use in the Church’s litugry is inappropriate.
A letter sent to priests and signed by all the Bishops of New Zealand says that that all religions have books which are reserved which are reserved for the rituals and activities at the heart of the faith, and the Roman Missal is one such book.
“The Missal is reserved for use during the Church’s liturgy. iPads and other electronic devices have a variety of uses, e.g. for the playing of games, using the internet, watching videos and checking mail. This alone makes their use in the liturgy inappropriate,” they say.
And read the complete statement on the iPad missal here.
We mentioned a New Zealand priest who suggested the use of an iPad in the Mass as a Missal here.
Via The Deacon’s Bench:
This comes from New Zealand, where one priest writes that the biggest problem with the new missal isn’t the language, but the physical ordering of the missal itself.
Then, inspiration struck:
What the people who translated the new Missal didn’t do was decide how the new English translation should look. They didn’t decide the layout of the New Zealand edition of the Missal.
Given the first effort was rejected, I can only but imagine what it might have looked like.
I’d suggest this edition still has layout issues. Among them
- page turns in awkward places
- the capitalisation of the words of consecration, making them almost impossible to read, and
- some of the text is so closely aligned to the gutter of the book, that standing in a normal upright position makes it also almost impossible to read e.g. the Prayer of the Gifts on the 4th Sunday of Lent.
Negotiating the new text is one thing, negotiating poor formatting is another.
If this were a normal book, I’d be tempted to return it.
After my Sunday experience, I chatted with other priests who like me have tried-out the new New Zealand Missal.
Alas, they reinforced my view; one going as far as saying his experience was “dreadful”, and another, “forget the words, the layout is all over the place.”
I’m fortunate enough to have an iPad, and for some time have had the Universalis App.
This week, Universalis released a new free upgrade and with it came a feature “Mass Today”.
My initial reaction, it’s fantastic.
Some of its features include the ability to:
- select the New Zealand liturgical calendar
- make the font size either smaller or larger
- select “Mass Today” and you get the whole Mass from the Sign of the Cross through to the Dismissal, including readings and your choice of Preface and ten Eucharistic Prayers.
- take it with you in portable form.
Universalis on the iPad is not without its issues:
- some of the pagination still interrupts the flow a little, (but because you don’t have to turn the page as often, this inconvenience is minimised)
- it’s only in English; there’s no Maori translation
- unlike a book which you just open and use, it’s important to make sure the iPad has enough battery-life to get you through Mass. A full-charge lasts for 10 hours. Hint: Turn the screen off during your sermon
- managing the iPad itself, navigation, updates and the like, may be a challenge for some
- it probably requires a cover to make it look more like a book
- it costs NZ$26
Using the iPad as a replacement missal may not be everyone’s “cup of tea”, but I’d pose it’s at least worthy of consideration.
Now, if only I could afford an iPad…
See… this is why we need Anglicanorum Coetibus:
Church shows its feminine face as dog collars go floral.
The decision to admit women to the priesthood was always expected to change the face of the Church of England forever.
There’s more here, that’s if you can bear to read it.
Where are the good folk from Bad Vestments when you need them most?!
BTW. African Praise, the company manufacturing the above monstrosities, is based right here in Cape Town. For the sake of full disclosure, I once ordered a biretta from them. I’m yet to wear it.
Just a short note but interesting via Fr Hugh Somerville-Knapman (OSB) re: the first liturgical resources for the Ordinariate:
The second update concerns the Ordinariate’s newly-approved RSV lectionary which was mentioned yesterday. The question was raised as to whether the Ordinariate had negotiated their way through the copyright minefield to the point where they could publish anew a RSV lectionary. The answer is, no. Instead one of the other possibilities mentioned was closer to the mark. Monsignor Burnham has confirmed to me that the remaining stock of the Ignatius Press edition of the RSV Lectionary has been bought up in America on their behalf, and each Ordinariate group has been given a set. If the demand proves heavy enough, consideration will be given to trying to get a hand-missal produced for the faithful. But for now, each Ordinariate church having an Ignatius RSV lectionary is sufficient to get the liturgical ball rolling. Strength to their arm!
So it seems the wider anglophone Church will be getting the ESV as originally announced. Soon I will post some examples of ESV passages of scripture as we will find them in the new Lectionary when it comes.
A press release from the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has published a Decree permitting the use of the Revised Standard Version (Second Catholic Edition) for liturgical use in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
This edition of the Holy Bible allows those Catholics originally from the Anglican tradition, to worship using a version of scripture which is familiar to them. It also promotes the English Bible tradition and recent efforts to renew Catholic liturgy with more accurate translations.
Alongside this, the Congregation has also approved and confirmed the Proper Liturgical Calendar of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which retains certain celebrations in the Church year that are significant to those from the Anglican tradition. The Calendar reflects very closely the General Roman Calendar used across the Catholic Church in England & Wales, but also makes use of some older titles, such as ‘Sundays after Trinity’.
These developments represent the first of the liturgical resources to be approved by the Holy See for former Anglicans who have entered the full communion of the Catholic Church.
In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI published the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus,, which allows ‘groups of Anglicans’ to come into communion with the Holy See, whilst retaining important aspects of their tradition and heritage.
Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, commented on the news:
“This is very welcome. For the Ordinariate to make a distinctive contribution to Catholic life and witness in England & Wales, these liturgical resources are essential. They show – as Pope Benedict has recently said – how traditions (small ‘t’) can thrive within the wider Tradition (capital ‘T’) of the Catholic Church”.
The Revised Standard Version – Second Catholic Edition is not a new Bible. You can check it out on Amazon.com here.
Wikipedia has a detailed entry on it here.
I own a copy and must say that it is a really good version.