Friday, 5 March 2010

May I suggest?

May I suggest you take a look now and again at The Anglo-Catholic? I've had one reader ask if I might repost items here which appear on that other blog, but I hope for now the link to 'The Anglo -Catholic' will be enough. What has astounded me in the week or so that I have been contributing to it is the sheer number of comments in produces. Perhaps I should have steered clear of liturgical matters - I dared suggest that maybe we do not always have to use "Thee" and "Thou" when addressing the Almighty, and it was as though I had shouted an obscenity during an investitute at the Palace. I was just trying to help our former colonial brethren to understand why it is that many of us are rather less wedded to the BCP and its derivatives than they are.

In an inspired moment (as it seemed to me) I realised that they were usually FORBIDDEN to use the old forms, so naturally the Prayer Book became a banner of revolt; whereas here it is THE legal form of worship. If an incumbent and his PCC cannot agree, then the fall-back position is BCP (I suspect not all PCCs know that!) They think using the (American version) of the 1662 book is a symbol of Orthodoxy; we, on the other hand, usually think it is horribly Erastian and un-Catholic. If you want to see the furious responses, have a look at two recent Posts of mine at The Anglo-Catholic called "More Patrimony" and "Patrimonial".
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The illustrations are from the Title Pages of Prayer Books I own; an early 18th C copy of 1662, the deposited book of 1927, and the pseudo-Baroque frontispiece from the Anglican Use Catholic Book of Divine Worship of 2003. The Angels at the top look suspiciously like cribs from Durer, the rest I think is pastiche. But maybe you know better?


  1. I always enjoy reading your posts over there, Bishop.

    I made the same observations as you on one of Ms Gyapong's posts concerning Thees & Thous etc and was immediately set upon, called uncharitable and you would have thought I had committed heresy!

    What I fear is, as you saw yourself, is a lack of acceptance of criticism there. They seem to see everything as an affront, a slight on their patrimony. All we're trying to say is to get them to think more openly and expansively.

    I worry that people get more bothered about the trappings of worship rather than what God wants, what is necessary for them to do spiritually before they make their move. The Lord knows everything and sees everything and He never lets those who love him and trust in Him down.

    As I have said elsewhere, as a cradle Catholic myself (though my father was Anglican), we are waiting with open arms to welcome all of you back with love, and will be waiting no matter how long it takes.

  2. Yes, I think the "Book of Divine Worship" is a bit of a sham, dressing up a mid-20th century Order as BCP.

    I think the Ordinariate in the UK will need to tread wisely as to future orders of worship: rather than a single Book, it would probably make more sense to allow parishes to use the existing Roman Missal, BCP and "Common Worship" books as they stand.

    If I can put a few detailed sugestions forward for worship in the UK Ordinariate:
    1) Divine Office: use either the Roman forms AS THEY STAND or the BCP forms (MP, EP, Psalter, Collects, 1922/61 lectionaries, Prayers for Various Occasions, Litany, Ath. Creed) AS THEY STAND.
    2) ORDER OF MASS: use EITHER 1928/Series 1 Rite (with bits of the Roman Canon added to the Pr. of Consecration) OR the Novus Ordo, with a few ""Anglican" variants (collect for purity, Peace done before the Offertory, respenses at the Fraction, BCP Blessing, etc.)
    3) MASS PROPERS: use BCP collects with the Roman Lectionary.

    Just a thought.

  3. There's a string of comments on this topic in The Anglo-Catholic. My own sense is that there will be ONE rite for the Ordinariates, probably in two versions, one in "Cranmerian" style, the other in modern language. The only things of Cranmer I'd be sorry to lose are the Collects, and Evening Prayer. +E

  4. Many people understand "thee" and "thou", and find it easier to speak to G*d using those terms. Why should those terms be left out of the ordinariate just because for you they currently symbolize either dissent or conformity to the episcopal/anglican church that is left behind?

    You are looking in the wrong direction.

    Focus on whether these terms as used in current texts are a part of the patrimony that is compatible with Catholicism and should be preserved for future generations. When CofE and TEC have withered, who in the ordinariate will care what political overtones these words once had?