Wednesday, February 25, 2015


At Fr. John Hunwicke's blog, Mutual Enrichment, he has an article on the soon to be released Roman Missal of the Anglican Ordinariate. He seems to hope that this Missal could be used by priests like me who love every legitimate form of the Latin Rite. In fact, this form of the Latin Rite is another expression of the Ordinary Form. So in effect, Pope Francis who approved of this new Anglican Ordinariate Missal has set into motion two forms of the Ordinary Form of the Mass. How cool is that especially in view that in the unity of diversity of the Latin Rite in the post-Vatican II era, we have one Latin Rite with two expressions, the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form and now the Ordinary Form unity has two expressions. Cool I say.

But what do those in the know think about rank and file Catholic clergy and parishes making use of the Anglican Ordinariate's Roman Missal which should be for sale any day now? Might it happen?

Fr John Hunwicke

15 January 2015

Growing the Ordinariate Liturgy

Our distinctive Rite, then, has immense advantages. In highly important ways, it reconnects with the liturgical Tradition which was, to an unhappy degree, ruptured in the decades following 1960. But it is also highly receptive to elements in those post-Conciliar changes which were actually mandated or permitted by the Council, and which are of pastoral advantage. Gloriously, it throws the windows open to a liturgical experience which is in a sense 'vernacular' but utilises a sacred vernacular closely similar to the Latin of the Roman Rite. This Latin, as demonstrated by modern linguistic and literary scholarship, was never 'vernacular' in the sense of using everyday language, but addressed God in a highly formal and deliberately archaic dialect. That is exactly what we do in our 'Tudor English' rite. The Roman instruction Liturgiam authenticam encouraged precisely this.

I very much hope that our Rite will spread within the Anglophone Catholic world, quite simply because it is what that world needs. And it is clear (and very welcome) that Ordinariate congregations are not and will not be exclusive ghettoes. As a result of this, in parishes where there are Ordinariate clergy, laypeople from both backgrounds, 'Anglican Patrimony' and 'Diocesan', worship together. Thus Ordinariate Catholics with their Anglican Use, and Diocesan Catholics with their Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms, mingle, and have the capacity very much to enrich each other. Mutual Enrichment as advocated by Benedict XVI! Diocesan clergy have often asked me, as I have given talks to laity and clergy in many countries, whether they are allowed to use our admirable Rite, and I have had, with regret, to explain that the general answer is No (except in particular circumstances).

There are a couple of things we could do to help facilitate the growth and spread of what our particular charism has brought into the Catholic Church for the benefit of all the members of that Church.

(1) There could be a protocol something like this:
When this Rite is used in circumstances where there are substantial numbers of worshippers who are not members of the Ordinariate, the Celebrant may, at his discretion and for pastoral reasons and after consulting the Ordinary, omit the Prayers of the People, the Penitential Rite beginning Ye that do truly, and the Prayer after Communion beginning Almighty and everliving God. 

(2) It could be enacted that non-Ordinariate clergy of the Roman Rite may celebrate our Use iusta pro causa, because it is in fact a lawful Form of the Roman Rite together with the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms. It was part of the genius of Benedict XVI canonically to make it clear in Summorum Pontificum that the EF and OF are both equally forms of the Roman Rite, so that any Roman Rite priest can use either of them without needing any permission from anyone. By doing this he avoided the legal complications inherent in 'biritualism', which would have enabled unsympathetic bishops to sabotage his intentions. The same basic principle should analogously apply to the Anglican Form.


Anonymous said...

I have no problem with Latin Rite priests using the Ordinariate Missal. But it will not fix anything until the worldwide problem of clericalism is addressed and dealt with and liturgical abuse is stopped. And let's be clear about clericalism. Clericalism is not about a priest how ears fiddlebacks and albs with lace. Clericalism is an arrogant clergy who believe that the liturgy and the teachings of the Church belong to them and they can manipulate and change them at will. It is actually ridiculous to see in the pew and watch these priests who think so highly of themselves not be able to put together a coherent thought.

qwikness said...

It seems pretty cool. That is what you have been talking about. If the Ordinary and Extraordinary run parallel with each other, they will never merge. But with the Anglican Ordinate, it seems to do just that and do what should have been done 50 years ago, keep the liturgy and use the vernacular, a happy medium. but what do I know.

JBS said...

Two translations active in the same parish would cause considerable confusion at weddings, funerals and other all-parish events, especially the Easter Vigil. While there was some hope for a more elegant translation of the 2002 missal, I'm afraid we must now settle for one that is merely accurate.

adrian s smith said...

somebody please let me know when it comes out and where we can order a copy

John Nolan said...

The English bishops are keen for ecumenical relations with the Church of England to continue. In January the Archbishop of York consecrated the first female 'bishop' in York Minster. No Catholic representatives were present, which is unusual these days (+Mark Davies of Shrewsbury, in whose part of the country 'bishop' Libby Lane will function, was invited but pleaded a prior engagement).

One way of building bridges would be for them to allow all priests of the Latin Rite to use the new Ordinariate liturgy, and for the Anglican bishops to encourage Anglo-Catholic clergy to use it too. Formal union is now out of the question, but this might be a nice 'ecumenical' gesture.

JBS said...

John Nolan,

I've just read "The Strange Death of Constable George Dixon" by David Gilbertson. I see some parallels between the troubles he identifies and troubles in the Catholic Church. In both cases, decisions seem driven by ideology rather than results.

Athelstane said...

I like the idea of broadening the availability of the Ordinariate Missal's celebration throughout the Latin Rite Church; indeed, to some degree, were I an ordinary, I would encourage it (providing suitable training, of course). The Ordinariate liturgy is, after all, only a Use of the Roman Rite, not a separate rite (though it might as well be one, given how different it is).

But I can say, of my own personal knowledge, that more than one diocese with Ordinariate communities located within it zealously patrols the boundaries of the Ordinariate's liturgy, such that only in extraordinary circumstances will a non-Ordinariate priest be permitted to celebrate this liturgy, and only on Ordinariate premises (or wherever they are accustomed to holding Mass, if they do not have their own property). In short, you will find some resistance to any such expansion of the celebration of this liturgy. And that is unfortunate.

Christopher Buckley said...

As I understand it, that's currently not possible.

-Anglicanorum coetibus stipulates "the Ordinariate has the faculty to celebrate... according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See."

That only seems to grant the Ordinariates the faculty to celebrate and "maintain" its liturgical form.

-The Complementary Norms limit Ordinariate membership to those "lay faithful originally of the Anglican tradition who... received the Sacraments of Initiation" or someone "Baptized in the Catholic Church, and... receive[s] the sacrament of Confirmation or... Eucharist."

Ordinariate communities aren't a liturgical showcase, but a community of prior practice. One cannot join simply out of a liturgical preference.

-The Ordinariate form of the liturgy also does not seem to be intended for celebration outside the Ordinariate. The Complementary Norms offer "provisions for quasi-parishes" "for the pastoral care of the faithful who live within the boundaries of a Diocese in which no personal parish has been erected."

As I read it, the liturgies are not going to be made available outside the life of the personal parishes. Members, like me, without an Ordinariate parish can hope for a "quasi-parish" to be erected with the consent of a local bishop... presumably something like a mission community hosted within an existing parish, where a critical mass of former Anglicans would warrant one.

-Those liturgies that HAVE been published and approved for use in all the Ordinariates, specifically the Orders for Funerals and Weddings, are clearly designated: "for use by the Ordinariates erected under the auspices of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum cœtibus."

The introduction to the liturgy explicitly restricts its use to Ordinariate clergy: "Its use is therefore restricted to those clergy and faithful who belong to one of the Personal Ordinariates established under the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum cœtibus."

The one exception seems to be: "In cases of pastoral necessity or in the absence of a priest or deacon incardinated in an Ordinariate, any priest or deacon incardinated in a Diocese or in an Institute of Consecrated Life or Society of Apostolic Life may celebrate the funeral liturgy according to The Order for Funerals for members of the Ordinariate who request it."

So assuming no Anglican congregations in ever jump ship where I live, I guess I can still request an Ordinariate funeral, even if I've never gotten to experience an Ordinariate mass in my life.

I'll be honest: as a member, this model concerns me, but I'm willing to extend my hope in faith. I imagine the original intent was to create a "safe harbor" for actual, practicing Anglicans to re-enter full communion with minimal impact to their form of worship, and to do so in a way that didn't water down the ordinary form of the Roman Missal with a competing liturgical "flavor."

But, with these limits on membership, what happens when all the Anglican communities that are going to move have already done done so? Where is the growth potential for the Ordinariates then? Can our parishes truly continue growing simply by evangelizing individual disaffected Anglicans and unconfirmed Catholics? If not, under the current rule, I fear that the tradition has a planned obsolescence built in, though I trust that wasn't by design. Once the original Anglican communities have all migrated - and died off - will there be anyone left in the second generation? And if so, how are they any different than other Latin Rite Catholics? Strictly speaking, they were never Anglicans, and so are only Ordinariate members by extension of having been born into the Ordinariate? Will that be enough to perpetuate a tradition, or will we need to revise the norms to allow for more fluid models of membership and growth?

Only time will tell.