Friday, 28 September 2012

Music & 'Catholic' Culture

There's a typically thoughtful article [here]  - which should be required reading for us all - from Mgr Andrew Burnham on the subject of  music and the Ordinariate. In the article he does much, in passing, to explode many of the pervasive contemporary myths concerning a distinctive 'Anglican Patrimony.'

One of the consequences of the Oxford Movement was a conscious attempt to reclaim for Anglicans, as of right, the patrimony of the universal Church, together with a growing wariness of precisely those things which were 'distinctively' Anglican, in the sense of being derived solely from our separation from the rest of the Western Church. Much of the nineteenth century hymnody, for example,  which we claim as our patrimony was, of course, consciously intended as an aid to the recovery of Catholic truth rather than as a specifically 'Anglican' contribution to the ecclesiastical culture.

A careful reading of the article would also, I think, put into perspective the strange comments of those in other places who believe that the [welcome] advent of the Ordinariate should necessitate a return among Anglicans and even Anglo-Catholics to a pre-Tractarian theology and, most risible of all, ecclesiastical dress-codes...
I suppose we should be grateful that the 39 Articles (that definitively but now anachronistically sixteenth century political gloss on the Creeds * ) have not been set to music!

* It was Richard Hurrell Froude who wrote in a letter [of 25th January 1834] to John Henry Newman, "Laud used to say that subscribing the Articles meant nothing more than declaring that you would not preach or teach against them. Must we come to this? I wish they were swept away and nothing but the Creeds left."

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