Sunday, December 13, 2009

Western Rite Orthodox Anglican Liturgies

Herewith, as suggested by some comments appended to my posting below (People Look East?), I offer my own criticisms of the two Anglicanesque liturgies devised and used by some of the groups of Western Rite Orthodox nowadays. These are called the Liturgy of St Tikhon and "The English Liturgy".

The Liturgy of St Tikhon

As to the first rite: the Liturgy of St Tikhon, despite its name, was only drawn up in the 1970's by Fr Joseph Angwin (so interestingly it only slightly predates the Catholic Book of Divine Worship, drawn up for those allowed the Anglican Use by the 1980 Pastoral Provision - albeit the B.D.W. was only finally published in 2003). It is used by the Antiochian Orthodox Church's Western Rite Vicariate.

I outline its structure below, numbering all Anglican items; be it noted that, while it may be claimed that various prayers derive from the Sarum Rite, that was always but a local variant of the Roman Rite, and one suspects that for convenience' sake the prayers are derived from a handy Missale Romanum:

  • Asperges (from the Roman Missal)
  • Introit (ditto)
  • Collect for Purity (now considered quintessentially Anglican, though a translation of Deus cui omne cor patet from the Sarum form of the Roman Rite) - 1
  • Summary of the Law (Anglican, first appearing in the Nonjurors' 1718 Liturgy) - 2
  • Kyrie, ninefold (Anglican 1549, originally Roman Rite)
  • Gloria in excelsis (ditto)
  • Dominus vobiscum & Oremus (ditto)
  • Collect (ditto)
  • Epistle (ditto)
  • Gradual and Alleluia (Roman)
  • Gospel (ditto)
  • Creed (ditto)
  • Offertory prayers (all from the Roman Missal)
  • Prayer for the Church (Anglican, but adding a petition for Saints' intercessions) - 3
  • Invitation, Confession, Absolution & Comfortable Words (Anglican) - 4
  • Sursum corda &c. (Anglican, originally Roman)
  • Preface (ditto)
  • Canon (Anglican, uniting the Prayer of Consecration and the Prayer of Oblation, but with a strengthened postconsecratory Epiclesis, where the American and Scottish Episcopalians place it, and insertion of the Memento etiam and Nobis quoque from the Roman Canon) - 5
  • Lord's Prayer (Anglican, originally Roman) with Doxology (Anglican) - 6
  • Embolism (Roman: Libera nos)
  • Pax Domini (Anglican 1549, originally Roman)
  • Agnus Dei (Roman)
  • Prayer of Humble Access (Anglican) - 7
  • Ecce Agnus Dei with threefold Domine non sum dignus (Roman)
  • Prayers before Communion (Byzantine)
  • Prayer of Thanksgiving (Anglican) - 8
  • Dominus vobiscum (Roman)
  • Postcommunion (Roman)
  • Dominus vobiscum and Ite missa est (Roman)
  • The Peace (Anglican Blessing) - 9
  • Last Gospel (Roman; not Sarum!)

"The English Liturgy"

The Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia (ROCOR), now reunited with the Russian Orthodox Church under Putin, I mean, the Patriarch Kirill, gave its blessing to another version of an Anglicanesque rite; and the Orthodox Patriarchates of Moscow and Alexandria also approve it. But upon examination, it turns out to be a translation into English of the mediæval Sarum Rite (the very rite killed off by Cranmer and the Tudors), with some Anglican add-ons:

  • The Collect for Purity - 1
  • Prayer for the Church - 2
  • Canon (Anglican, uniting the Prayers of Consecration and Oblation, but with a completely different, Byzantinesqe postconsecratory Epiclesis, where the American and Scottish Episcopalians place it, and insertion of part of the Supplices te, plus the Memento etiam and Nobis quoque, from the Roman Canon) - 3
  • Christ our Paschal Lamb (Anglican 1549 only, slightly amended) - 4
  • Prayer of Humble Access - 5
  • Prayer of Thanksgiving - 6
  • The Peace - 7

The Canon is the only main divergence between the Sarum Rite and this Liturgy.

Additionally, "The English Liturgy" contains two frankly bizarre appointed hymns: in place of the Byzantine Trisagion, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty" (a nice hymn, but really!); and at the Offertory, "Let all mortal flesh keep silence", which was Moultrie's versification of the Sigesato pasa sarx, used as the proper text of the Cherubikon in the Liturgy of St James. This is very bad liturgy.

A Comparison with the B.D.W.

But to be fair, let these (unquestionably valid!) liturgies be contrasted now with Rome's first try at providing Anglicans with a Use of their own, in the Book of Divine Worship...

Firstly, the B.D.W. is based largely upon the U.S. 1979 B.C.P, whereas the two Orthodox liturgies are based upon the U.S. 1928 B.C.P. I must say that the 1928 is probably more what traditionally-minded Anglicans prefer.

Secondly, I must say, unfortunately, the B.D.W. appoints the use of the modern Roman Lectionary in place of the B.C.P. system of readings, which derive from the Sarum Use of the Roman Rite. From what I know, the Orthodox forms utilize the B.C.P. system, suitably augmented.

Thirdly, and rather notoriously, the modern Novus Ordo offertory prayers are inserted holus bolus, including those dreadfully lame ICEL translations of the "prayers over the gifts".

Fourthly, the whole Roman Canon - in a pleasingly traditional translation - is inserted as the Eucharistic Prayer. It appears that it was a step too far for Roman liturgists of the 1980's to try and modify the Prayers of Consecration and Oblation to produce a satisfactory Anglican Canon. But stay! Two more Novus Ordo intrusions are present: the actual words of consecration are taken from the modern ICEL version, and likewise the Memorial Acclamations are inserted.

What then are the Anglican prayers included?

The prayers and structure of the U.S. 1979 B.C.P. are followed (modifying a few rubrics here and there), down to the end of the Penitential Rite (slightly amending the Absolution) after the Intercession (the Prayer for the Church, adding the names of the Pope, the local Bishop and Our Lady), including the Pax Domini as placed there in that order. Then the whole Novus Ordo "preparation of the gifts" is inserted, as remarked above. The Sursum corda, Preface and Sanctus-Benedictus follow, as the 1979 book directs. Then comes the Roman Canon. Finally, the prayers and structure of the 1979 B.C.P. are followed through to the end, except that the somewhat Zwinglian invitation to Communion, "Take them in remembrance...", is replaced with the Roman Ecce Agnus Dei and Domine non sum dignus.

I now list the Anglican prayers thus preserved:

  • The Collect for Purity - 1
  • The Ten Commandments - 2
  • The Summary of the Law - 3
  • The Prayer for the Church - 4
  • The Invitation, Confession, Absolution and Comfortable Words - 5
  • Christ our Passover (U.S. 1979 modification of the 1549 Christ our Paschal Lamb) - 6
  • Prayer of Humble Access- 7
  • Prayer of Thanksgiving - 8
  • The Peace - 9

B.D.W. Mark II?

I suspect that the Vatican will produce a better, more acceptable Anglican Use liturgy for use in the upcoming Ordinariates (about which much is written, though they exist only on paper as yet, and so far have no members, clerical or lay).

The great question is, will an Anglican Canon be devised, or not?

(I would argue that the ideal Anglican liturgy would be based upon the Scottish 1929 B.C.P., but that is probably just my liturgical fantasising running riot.)

East or West?

To recapitulate, the great difference between the two Orthodox Western Rite Anglican liturgies, and the Catholic Roman Rite Anglican Use, is that the former still keep a modified form of an Anglican Canon, but the latter does not.

The present Anglican Use Eucharist, then, is arguably more faithful to the shape of Episcopalian liturgy, without turning it into a recreation of the Sarum Rite or Roman Rite, but suffers three drawbacks, all of them traceable to the malign influence of the Novus Ordo, in those dark decades when it was thought that the traditional Latin Mass had been banished to the outer darkness...

The two Eastern Orthodox forms have the strength that they utilize the Anglican Prayers of Consecration and Oblation. Strangely, they insert prayers for the dead and for communion with the saints, taken from the Roman Canon, when their versions of the Prayer for the Church already contain these!

The Scottish Episcopalian liturgies, since 1764, and their daughters, the U.S. Episcopalian liturgies, ever since Bp Seabury's Communion Office, have all had an Epiclesis placed after the words of consecration and the liturgical oblation. Only the Scottish, alone of all Anglican forms, has a fully orthodox epiclesis, praying that the bread and wine "become" the Body and Blood of Christ - all others pray that "we receiving them [still bread and wine] may be made partakers of the Body and Blood", which is heretical.

The two Orthodox forms simply strengthen the postconsecratory Epiclesis to make it orthodox.

However, Rome will not, given the decisions made during the time the Novus Ordo was drawn up, permit a postconsecratory Epiclesis.

All other Anglican orders - the 1549, the 1662 et al. - follow the original Roman Rite in having a preconsecratory Epiclesis, and this is what Rome will want.

I have blogged below on how I think an Anglican Canon could be composed, following the genius of the Nonjurors' 1718 and the Scottish Episcopalian 1764, 1912 and 1929 liturgies, by running the Prayer of Consecration, the Prayer of Oblation and the Prayer for the Church all together. This produces a proper Eucharistic Prayer with fulsome intercessions, exemplifying how the Eucharistic Sacrifice is offered up for determinate ends, being a sacrifice of impetration for all causes.


Young fogey emeritus said...

As I wrote in my blog today commenting on your last Western Rite Orthodox entry the 'Liturgy of St Tikhon' is really the American Missal with a few edits (no filioque, the prayer for the intercession of the saints to the Prayer for the Whole State of Christ's Church and a stronger epiclesis added to the Canon), not Fr Angwin's creation but written by 1930s Anglo-Catholics in the Episcopal Church: the US 1928 BCP fitted into the structure of the Tridentine Mass with many things added from the latter. A fine service and I dare say nicer than the 1979/Novus Ordo AU that's about to be replaced with something better.

I agree with you that ROCOR's English Liturgy sounds like a dog's dinner.

As a commenter wrote under your other entry, the newer Antiochian WRO churches are instead using the only Western rite approved by the Antiochians before the 1970s, the Tridentine Mass in English, that is, the Knott Missal or English Missal first published in 1911 by English Anglo-Catholics.

Joshua said...

Many thanks for this.

My library has a startling omission: no copy of the English/American Missal.

I think my reservations about the hybrid Canon still stand: either the whole Roman Canon, or a souped-up Anglican Canon, but not some chimaera made of both.

My reservations about the Western Rite Orthodox is that they dare to Byzantinize the Roman Mass, by doing liturgically ridiculous things like introducing a Great Entrance (even moving the Offertory prayers to before the Mass), let alone thinking themselves better than Cabasilas, et al., by inserting an Eastern Epiclesis into the Roman Canon.

Anonymous said...

From first hand (personal) experience I can confirm John's (and Josh's) reservations about ROCOR's liturgical stuff: it is a one man job from one monk. Met. Hilarion approves the ROCOR rites but he's not a liturgical expert on Western liturgies. I am not aware of any significant liturgical scholar who has ever overseen (or approved) any of the ROCOR liturgical developments.

Young fogey emeritus said...

My reservations about the Western Rite Orthodox is that they dare to Byzantinize the Roman Mass... thinking themselves better than Cabasilas, et al., by inserting an Eastern Epiclesis into the Roman Canon.

I agree!

... doing liturgically ridiculous things like introducing a Great Entrance (even moving the Offertory prayers to before the Mass)

But I don't think most of them do that.

Joshua said...

Thanks again for your comments, YF!

I have never been very interested in WRO - it's always seemed to me that if one goes East, go be a real redblooded Russian Orthodox and be done with it! - and it always struck me as a bit eccentric and redolent of archæologism.

Of course, let it be made clear, WRO rites are perfectly valid, I am not contesting that. It just seems to me that strange mixtures of all the nice bits from the BCP, Roman Missal and Chrysostom's Liturgy are not at all the way liturgy should be created or enacted.

On such a principle, I ought take 36 hours to compose and produce my ideal Rite of Mass (a curious amalgam of Mozarabic, Armenian, Lutheran and...), then get some bemused Eastern bishop to ordain me, that I may establish a parish of two (my dear old Mum would come along to Mass, surely?).

I think it is evident what is wrong with this!

Young fogey emeritus said...

My pleasure.

I hear you but:

1. There is a century-old tradition of American Anglo-Catholicism that doesn't believe the Roman teaching about the scope of the Pope (not to be confused with most Protestant anti-Romanism) just like Orthodoxy.

2. Vatican II and its aftermath so if you want to be a traditional Western Catholic the local Novus Ordo parish or even diocese is less than hospitable (make that, just like the mainline Protestantism you're trying to get away from).

A good thing about Antiochian WRO is it's not archæologism. If it agrees with Orthodox doctrine (which just about all of traditional Western Catholic practice does) they use it and acknowledge its source, not pretending to re-enact strictly pre-schism practice.

Again I agree that two of ROCOR's Western Rite liturgies, the English Liturgy ('stuff in Anglicanism I like') and, in the 1950s, the Liturgy of St Germain (a so-called reconstruction of the Gallican Rite, heavily byzantinised because there's not enough of the Gallican Rite left to reconstruct it?) are the silliness you describe: sure, anyone can take a few of the traditional rites and orthodox Protestant prayers and throw them in a blender but why?

Why I don't think the American Missal/Liturgy of St Tikhon is stupid like that: the same reason you think an orthodox Anglican-style Canon would work. Cranmer despite his heresy belonged to the greater tradition of the Latin Church and shared with it its orthodox trinitarian, reverent worldview and on top of that had a talent for prose.

Joshua said...

I think we are of similar mind on most of these points:

1. I have little time for "non-Papalist American Episcopalians", who seem to be living in fantasy land, as, like the Nonjurors of old, they divide and redivide and fade away: a Catholic bishop I know, himself an ex-Anglican, described those who fled East rather than swim the Tiber as "sacramental Protestants": I think your term "convertodox" sums up such types well;

2. I am a Traditionalist myself, at present limited by my diocese of residence to one EF Mass a month, and otherwise having to grit my teeth, so I have every sympathy with those who find the Novus Ordo a nervous ordeal - indeed, I eagerly await the setting up of a local Anglican Use parish that I may flee thence;

3. Glad to hear that Antiochian WRO is not archæologism;

4. Yes, I forebore from mentioning that ridiculous ROCOR "Gallican" liturgy, which is the worst example I've seen of bastardizing rites - especially when they could easily have adopted and adapted the Mozarabic rites, which are very similar, and help fill out what little remains of the Gallican forms;

5. Yes, I am coming around to your point of view on the Liturgy of St Tikhon - which of course I acknowledge as a valid rite.

6. I suppose I find the idea of mixing Anglican with Roman prayers rather odd, despite the Ritualists having done so for over a hundred years now.