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

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Ordinariate Rite: some detail from memory

I have been following the conception and birth of the new Ordinariate Rite for the use of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, and witnessed it for the first just a few days ago.

The following is a summary of the detail of the Eucharist according to the Ordinariate Rite, hastily and from memory and therefore open to correction, as I heard it on Sunday. The diction and prayers lifted straight from the Book of Common Prayer I have highlighted in red. Even allowing for the fact that I have printed some of these prayers out in full in red type, it is a heavily Anglican and more specifically Book of Common Prayer influenced ritual. Even the order - note the penitential rite coming after the intercessions and before the offertory: although one could argue that this is an original Sarum influence upon the Book of Common Prayer, as the Bidding Prayers at this juncture of the Sarum Rite contained an invitation to penitence within them.

My first impression was - that I will need to hear this many more times, and let it settle in over a year at least, until any particular beauties (at first unseen) will emerge, or whether any infelicities will begin to jar. But it felt lighter than the Book of Divine Worship rite that we had been using for the last year (the interim usage). When I say "lighter" I mean that some of the plodding Novus Ordo insertions have been lifted from the audible part of the offertory, and (despite the fact that it is very obviously a liturgy spliced together, if one knows one's sources) it feels like a poetic whole that one experiences as one thing. But I think (and this I haven't yet heard) that it would be more tremendous with the Decalogue, sung (including the priestly prayers, the Gospel etc.), and above all with the Last Gospel.

UPDATE: I should add that this useful comparison is on an Anglican Use parish website in Philadelphia.

Introit (from the English Gradual)

"In the name of the + Father..."

The Collect for Purity (one of the preparatory Latin prayers from the Sarum Missal)
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy name: through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then either one or t'other of
The Decalogue or Kyrie eleison (Lord, have mercy upon us)

The Collect

Then the Epistle and the Gospel, with the Gradual sandwiched between.


The Creed

The Intercessions (there are only two forms of intercession to be used - bits and pieces of various Anglican usage are in there for both sets of prayers).

The General Confession & Absolution

Ye who 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 take this holy Sacrament to your comfort; and make your humble confession to Almighty God, devoutly kneeling.

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men: we acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we from time to time most grievously have committed, by thought, word, and deed, against thy Divine Majesty, provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; the remembrance of them is grievous unto us; the burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee in newness of life, to the honour and glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them that with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him; have mercy upon you; pardon and deliver you from all your sins; confirm and strengthen you in all goodness; and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Comfortable Words
Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all that truly turn to him. (Followed by a verse of Scripture.)

I cannot quite remember what comes next, partly because I was playing the organ for the offertory hymn at the time i.e. the exact sequence and source of Offertory Prayers, most of which are said secreto. What follows after this is Coverdale's translation of the Canon - the full thing, with the traditional words of the Roman Canon during the Words of Institution. The Memorial Acclamation has been altered a little bit to "We proclaim Thy death etc." so that we are not jumping in ungainly fashion from "Thy" to "Your" mid-liturgy. The Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy), Benedictus (Blessed is He that cometh...) and Agnus Dei (O Lamb of God, that takest away...) are of course Book of Common Prayer vintage, and there are fewer Prefaces for particular feast days than in the Novus Ordo. I think (but I'm not sure) that these are the Book of Common Prayer texts, but then again I'm pretty sure that there was a Preface for Epiphany which I see isn't in the Book of Common Prayer, so maybe there is some extra material here too.

Then, and I can't quite remember the order, there is the Communion Antiphon, the "Lord, I am not worthy..." and before communion there is of course this prayer:

The Prayer of Humble Access
We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

The Rite of Communion

Prayer of Thanksgiving After Communion
Almighty and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us; and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of the most precious death and passion of thy dear Son. And we most humbly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

The Post Communion Collect

Blessing & Dismissal

The Last Gospel

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