Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Canadian Anglican Use? – I

Now that the Canadian Ordinariate is all but established, it is interesting to speculate, purely as an amateur exercise, as to how the current liturgy used by the T.A.C. there -– from the 1962 Canadian B.C.P. – may be adapted so as to be adopted, as it were, by Rome for Catholic use.

I invite Canadian Anglican readers and others in the know to firmly correct and enlighten me, as in this area I am but a fool rushing in, yet (I hope) a friendly one!

(From what I understand, the Canadians and Americans who are soon to enter full communion under provisions of Anglicanorum cœtibus do prefer to use their last, local, "classic" editions of the Book of Common Prayer, albeit tricked out with solemn ceremonial and extra prayers to make their rites more catholic.)

How to make such a comparison?  Well, I have before me the 1962 Canadian Anglican form for the Holy Eucharist, and also the Book of Divine Worship's equivalent rite, which is a current Catholic version of the form found in the U.S. 1979 B.C.P.  Of course, both the Ordinary and especially the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite must be kept ever in mind – the latter, because it (in its local Sarum variant) is the ultimate form from which the classic Anglican rites for "Holy Communion" derive. 

To start with, the Canadian liturgy begins with the Lord's Prayer and Collect for Purity, both of which are remnants of the preparatory prayers used in the old Sarum Rite.  Following this comes either the Ten Commandments or the Lord's Summary of the Law, with responses, then the Kyrie, "The Lord be with you", "Let us pray" and the Collect.  This is all very similar to the B.D.W.; the differences are minor (the B.D.W., paralleling more modern Anglican forms, omits the opening Pater noster, replacing it with a versicle).

A first issue: the Canadian 1962 has the Gloria in excelsis at the end of the service, as a thanksgiving hymn after communion; now, to use it thus seems quite decent, but I wonder if Rome would prefer it back in its original Catholic position, after the Kyrie and before the Collect?

A second issue: the Canadian book provides that a Collect for the Queen may be used before the Collect of the Day; now, it would seem better to allow such a votive prayer after the Collect of the Day (which after all is more important than prayer for Her Majesty the Sovereign of Canada), and it would be best to omit the words "and Governor" after "our Queen", because the word "Governor" used in this context suggests Henry VIII's heretical presumption in arrogating to himself the title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

The Canadians would, it appears, hope to retain their traditional lectionary (which derives from the Sarum Rite, and parallels the traditional Roman Rite), rather than, like the B.D.W., adopt the Novus Ordo Lectionary – these days, such seems unobjectionable, whereas back in the eighties, when the Pastoral Provision for ex-Anglicans was set up in the U.S., any attempt to get Tridentine bits and pieces in the new Anglican Use was taboo.

Next, the Creed, then the Offertory (with apposite sentences from Scripture to be read), plus the prayer (deriving ultimately from II Chronicles xxix, via the Scottish Episcopalian liturgy) "Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel, for ever and ever.  All that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine.  All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." Now, this is equivalent to the words used in the modern Roman liturgy when the bread and wine are offered up, so it seems to fulfil their function.

A third issue: apart from this, and one more slight mention, that's all the Offertory there is.  At a minimum, it would seem necessary to insert some Roman prayers here: perhaps the prayer at the mixing of the chalice; definitely the In spiritu humilitatis, the Lavabo at the washing of hands, the Orate fratres, and above all the "Secret" or Prayer over the Oblations from the Roman Rite.  It would seem best to take these from the Extraordinary Form, since the Canadian B.C.P. broadly follows the same arrangement of Sundays, being derived from the old Sarum Use.  I wonder if inserting the Sarum form of the Suscipe sancta Trinitas would be possible?  In other words, the Canadian Anglican Offertory would be supplemented by Roman (even Sarum) offertory prayers – as Anglo-Catholics have long been accustomed to doing!

The Canadian B.C.P. next has the Intercession (the B.D.W., following the U.S. 1979 B.C.P., has it before the Offertory, but I think this position, within the sequence Offertory-Consecration-Communion, is actually better, as emphasising that the Mass is an impetratory Sacrifice, an Oblation offered up for all needs).  

This Intercession is fine as it stands, but of course as well as praying for "N. our Bishop" there should be mention of interceding for "N. our Pope"; similarly, the prayer for the dead "We remember before thee, O Lord, all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear" should be expanded upon (following the Roman Canon) with words such as "beseeching thee to grant them everlasting life and peace"; and likewise when blessing "thy holy Name for all who in life and death have glorified thee", an extra phrase, perhaps "especially the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God, and Saint(s) N. (N.)" would do nicely, to emphasise that here the Saints are venerated, that "rejoicing in their fellowship, we may follow their good examples" – and again adding something like "benefit by their prayers".  These few additional phrases, adding up to no more than a sentence, would fully catholicize this already excellent prayer, and parallel the slight modifications made to the parallel intercession in the B.D.W.

Next comes the Penitential Rite (Invitation, Confession, Absolution, Comfortable Words); the only change would to follow the one made in the B.D.W., changing the Absolution from "you/your" to "us/our".

The Sursum corda at once follows, leading into the Preface and Sanctus – to which the Benedictus must always be added.

Discussion of the Canon I postpone to a following post... the great question is, would the current Anglican Prayer of Consecration be adopted once adapted, or would the Roman Canon be inserted in its place?  After all, these Anglicans are going enter full communion, and that soon, God willing, as a privileged part of the Roman Rite, not as a new Rite of the Church (at least initially).

The Canadian rite for the Eucharist very strangely follows the more Protestant Anglican tradition in praying the Lord's Prayer after Communion!  This would have to be changed.  Similarly, the Agnus Dei, rather than being an optional Communion chant, should precede Communion.  Hence, after the Canon, one would expect to find the Lord's Prayer, then "The peace of the Lord be always with you", the Agnus Dei and the Prayer of Humble Access.

The B.D.W. mandates what most High Church Anglicans would already do: to here interpolate the Ecce Agnus Dei and Domine non sum dignus.

At Communion time, the double formula deriving from a conflation of the 1549 and 1552 B.C.P.'s would have to be amended, utterly removing the Zwinglian second sentence from each, as was quite deliberately done in the B.D.W., changing the 1979 U.S. B.C.P. form.

Mass following the suitably adapted Canadian B.C.P. would then conclude with the Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion, the Gloria in excelsis (if not moved back to the start as noted above), and the Blessing.  I expect that the T.A.C. already by custom follow that with the Ite missa est, which Cranmer strangely omitted from his new rite (I think because he simply tacked his 1548 Order of the Communion onto the revision he subsequently made of the Mass). 

Of course, in all this I've merely suggested more or less a minimum of change, based upon such precedents as there are for all this: if such incoming Anglicans prefer to have the Traditional Latin Mass done into quaint English, good on them, I hope they get permission for it!


David said...

IN the diocese of Toronto there is an arrangement called, I believe, the Re-ordered Use, whereby the Gloria and the pater Noster may be placed in the traditional places which is what I normally experience.

The vestigesof the Preparation Rite, especially the Lord's Prayer are frequently if not alwahs ommitted as is also the Reading of the Law.

The New Reviosed Lectionary may be used and more modern Litanic forms of the intercessions followed by the General Confession and Absolution take place before the Offertory. Teh Longer Prayer for the Church is thenommigtted.

The Comfortable Words after the Absolution are ommitted.

The pryer Over the Gifts is said.

The Collect for the Queen apparently is placed before the Collect of the Day to avokid turning back and forth between the Ordinary and the Proper but in practice, over manydecades I have never heard the Collect for the Queen said anywhere.

I'm out of space.

Joshua said...

Many thanks!

1. The Re-ordered Use you mention sounds sensible, and mirrors modern Anglican practice;

2. Omitting the initial Our Father, and the Ten Commandments, is also quite normal;

3. The Lectionary - well, if people want the modern, fine;

4. The Intercessions - again, why not a litany, the B.D.W. has them also;

5. Penitential Rite before the offertory does make more sense;

6. A pity about the Comfortable Words, but no matter;

7. The Prayer over the Gifts being used is very good;

8. I suspected that the Prayer for the Queen had fallen out of use.

Many thanks again - as you know, saying "we're strictly B.C.P." covers many curious usages and orders of service! I only had the online liturgy to go by when looking at it from a Catholic perspective, and, I hope, a kindly one.

Ut unum sint!