Thursday, 7 July 2011

More 'new' liturgy

Here is a fascinating insight from the Ordinariate Portal into the way the Ordinariate's liturgy is developing - from Fr Aidan Nichols via Dr William Oddie at the Catholic Herald.

From a well-justified fear of ridicule I'm not going to set myself up as any kind of liturgical expert, although twenty five years (at Michaelmas this year) as an Anglican priest does give me, as someone once said, 'a certain professional interest' * in the matter.
And a matter of huge interest to this particular observer is how an 'Anglo-Catholic' liturgy will be developed once freed from the historical constraints of state interference and the modern process of liturgical bartering in committee which goes on among representatives of the three broad traditions of Anglicanism. Our experience of this legacy is not a particularly happy one, ending up - for centuries - with something less than is either desired or needed.
For those who have not adopted the 'Paul VI mass' in totality, both Common Worship and the new Welsh Prayer Book of 2004 seem, on the surface, to offer usable if imperfect eucharistic rites. In reality, it is the western catholic tradition which has lost out during modern liturgical revision. For example, all the eucharistic prayers, at least in the modern Church in Wales rite and Common Worship alike, skirt around any explicit statement of the eucharistic sacrifice (what is being offered?), and the intercessory element in the canon is reduced to a barely recognisable minimum, if it is present at all.
In fact, the 1966/84 Welsh revision (in traditional language only) - a version of the 'interim rite' - on the whole offers a much more satisfactory option for 'catholics' than the minimalist texts which have been officially provided since. [Interestingly, those who still adhere to it will respond to the priest with words which will soon be increasingly familiar: "And with your spirit." ] As others have said, the official provision of a translation of the  ancient western eucharistic prayer, the Roman Canon, would have rectified the omission. 'Comprehensiveness' has had its liimts, however.
So, following a long tradition, we have supplemented from, as they say, "other sources" to make explicit what is only implicit or, at best, ambiguous. In fact, there has been a remarkable consensus among us on what has been necessary in this regard, but the dangers of eccentricity and an unauthorised eclecticism are obvious.
It will, then, be of huge interest to all Anglo-Catholics, Ordinariate-bound or otherwise, to see what emerges in the liturgy of the Personal Ordinariate in the United Kingdom now the tradition has been freed from its..... Babylonian Captivity.

* I remember with a friend being shown around the Abbey of Bec Helloiun as young newly-ordained deacons by the then Prior (later Abbot) Dom Philbert Zobel, by co-incidence in the company of a small group of Mirfield Fathers and a Cambridge academic (who will remain nameless). When we reached the library and the scriptorium, the aforementioned lady asked, "but do you have any real biblical scholars here?" Dom Philibert replied in impeccable English, "Well, we do all have a certain professional interest in the Bible."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments will not be published