For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious

Friday, 5 July 2013

The Ordinariate Rite: Some News

Just last week at the Sacra Liturgia conference in Rome, there was a paper presented on behalf of Monsignor Burnham who has been involved in the development of the final form of the Ordinariate liturgy, along with the group set up to oversee the task, Anglicanae Traditiones. I have been looking around for a text of the as yet unpublished paper, and discussion about it, but can find very little apart from a link to some excerpts on the official Ordinariate website. Apparently the very final approval is awaited, but the broad shape of the liturgy has emerged and I can't imagine there will be any big surprises from here on.

It is very reassuring for those like myself in the Croydon Ordinariate group who have become used to the traditional form of the liturgy from the Book of Divine Worship over the last year: it seems that this is the basic form that will be used, with some modifications. I was a little surprised by some of the additions, however, because they are much more sympathetic to the Book of Common Prayer rite than I had expected: for example, the option of the use of the Decalogue at the beginning of the Eucharist. Some other modifications (the Asperges and Vidi Aquam) I had half expected to be included. But what delighted me most of all, was the restoration of the Last Gospel, the Johannine Prologue, to its ancient place at the culmination of the rite.

A couple of questions remain: will we have the Novus Ordo readings? If we are to have the Cranmerian Collects, then won't it be more fitting to have the traditional yearly cycle of readings which fit together with these Collects? The lectionary isn't mentioned in the excerpts from the paper, so far as I can make out. And will the Novus Ordo words of institution be fitted into the Coverdale canon - which is what the scanty notes seem to suggest?

But it seems that the Sarum rite isn't about to revived in one piece, neither in direct translation, nor in its Latin form (it was felt to be an "antiquarian" interest, and not to have formed a familiar and well-worn part of the Anglo-Catholic tradition and so is not to be counted Anglican liturgical patrimony). One can't but hear a whisper of regret that the opportunity wasn't taken to put the Latin Sarum rite into the stewardship of the Ordinariate, as their own "Extraordinary Form" to learn and celebrate as a living rite. Who else will do it?

But overall things look like they are proceeding quickly, and that an English rite of real beauty and recognisable Anglo-Catholic provenance will be with us soon.

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