Wednesday, July 4, 2012


The Holy See has released the revised Liturgies for Weddings and Funerals for the Anglican Ordinariate here in the USA and England. It is far superior to the ones we have in the Latin Rite although ours haven't been revised yet and are still awaiting revision, so I am praying that the following are the template for the Latin Rite's revision! Why should the former Anglicans have a better liturgy than the Latin Rite--it just isn't fair!

We've already seen that their calendar is far superior to the current Latin Rite Calendar which includes Sundays after Epiphany and after Pentecost and the return of the season of Septuagesima! You can refresh yourself by pressing HERE and becoming depressed over their good fortune not accorded the Latin Rite!

First I'll give you the Marriage Rite and of course following marriage is death, so I'll give you the funeral rites after marriage!

I wonder if the mixing of "rites' will begin to happen as the Anglican Ordinariate seems to be getting all the good stuff and sacral language to boot!

The Marriage Rite of the Anglican Ordinariate:

Press HERE for their revised Marriage Rite (The Latin Rite's is still in the process of being revised, although the new English Missal has most of it except for the marriage vows, etc)

The Marriage vows:

I, N, take thee, N, to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse: for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy law; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

The Giving of the rings:

With this ring I thee wed; with my body I thee worship; and all my worldly goods with thee I share: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Ghost). Amen.

Then the pronouncement of them being husband and wife:

Then shall the Priest or Deacon join their right hands together,
and say:

Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.
Then shall the Priest or Deacon say to the people:
Forasmuch as N and N have consented together in holy wedlock, and
have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto
have given and pledged their troth either to other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a ring [or rings], and by joining of hands; I pronounce that they be man and wife together, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Ghost). Amen.

The Funeral Rites of the Anglican Ordinariate:

Press HERE their revised Funeral Rite (The Latin Rite is still in progress and I hope they'll allow us this one!)

"15. Either black or violet vestments may be worn during a Funeral Mass. In the case of a funeral of a child who died before attaining the age of reason, white vestments are used."

And Dang! They get the Dies Irae as a sequence before the Gospel if they want it!

The readings are chosen from the appropriate section of the Roman
Lectionary. In place of the Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation, any of the psalms from the Order for Funerals outside Mass may be used.
The Sequence Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) may be sung or recited, if suitable.

Absolution at the Bier is basically the Tridentine's Requiem in good English that is sacral! How come they get to have all the good stuff?

6. After the Funeral Mass, the rite of Absolution at the Bier is celebrated. This rite is not to
be understood as a purification of the dead—which is effected rather by the Eucharistic sacrifice—but as the last farewell with which the Christian community honours one of its members before the body is committed to the earth. This rite is accompanied by the sprinkling with holy water and the censing. The sprinkling with holy water, which recalls the person’s entrance into eternal life through Baptism, and the incensation, which honours the body of the deceased as a temple of the Holy Spirit, may also be considered as signs of farewell.


Anonymous 2 said...

Having been exposed to it in my youth, I have always been attracted to the traditional Anglican literary style. Whatever its theological weaknesses may be, it is difficult to surpass the elegant and majestic English of the King James Bible for example.

ytc said...

Essentially it is Cranmer's wedding Rites and a mix of Cranmer's and the post-WWI "intercession for the dead experiment" funeral Rites.

Everyone watch the videos over at

Overall I am extremely pleased. However, I do not like the optionitis that still needs to be eradicated. A few might be okay, but more than two just seems ridiculous in my opinion as far as readings and collects go.

ytc said...

Btw, PrayTellBlog is going to freak.

Ryan Ellis said...

It's almost as if the Church is getting a mulligan on how to implement Sacrosanctum Concilium. Hopefully we can have cross-useage at some point.

Pater Ignotus said...

"Sacral English" is a cultural vestige. It has nothing to do with proper worship, but is a holdover with a 100% cultural/ linguistic origin.

Anonymous 2 said...

Pater, cannot poetry work upon the soul? To take a famous example, surely no version of the Twenty Third Psalm touches the soul as the King James Version. Or are we talking about something different? Alternatively, am I just out of touch with modern sensibilities in preferring it?

Henry Edwards said...

Sacral language--whether ancient or vernacular--elevates the mind of the receptive worshiper to God, and hence is integral to proper worship. Along with art and music in the service of liturgy, it serves to preserve Catholic culture and transmit it to successive generations of worshipers.

Pater Ignotus said...

Anon 2 - Poetry can work on the soul, but we are not discussing poetry.

The translators of the Roman Missal have not given us poetry, but awkward sentence structures, stymied syntax, redundant repitions, and translations of "we pray" that were never meant to be translated in the first place.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think A-2 is talking about Anglican liturgy and the Anglican Ordinariate which has a better translation than our new one--if only we had theirs with the thee and thous and I plight thee my troth! So poetic and down right sacral.

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father, there's nothing "sacral" about "thee," "thou," or "troth."

Language is analogous, therefore, we give it meaning. A particular vocabulary does not have, per se, a more "sacred" nature than any other vocabulary.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Good PI, you protest too much and want to educate people who believe this type of English isn't sacral when in fact they do believe that it is, so why dissuade them of that and they've thought of it that way for generations. So, read a text to your Sunday crowd, one with the sacral sounding words and one without and don't prejudice them and I bet they'll say the one with the thees and thous and troths is more sacred sounding to them.

Marc said...

"[N]ever meant to be translated in the first place."

I agree with Pater: we should just stick with Latin in the Roman Rite. We don't need sacral English, we have our own sacred language.

Pater, since you don't like the phrase "we pray", how would you translate "quaesumus" from Latin to English?

Pater Ignotus said...

Why would we dissuade people from thinking what they thought for generations? Things like "Women can't be trusted to vote" or "African American's can't be priests" or "All Jews are greedy?" Why would we do this?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Thee, thou and troth are not in the same category as those horrible things you cite, like straw apples and oranges

Henry Edwards said...

Can we reach for agreement rather than pointless disagreement? Presumably we can all agree that proper worship requires a sacral register for its language--one that differs distinctly for the conversational register of ordinary everyday language/

Whereas we may disagree on whether Thee and Thou still contribute to that sacral register in English--though I have my suspicions about those who don't think so--as they surely did for so many generations during the past 400 years. Though perhaps we can all agree that the language of the new English translation that we'll be using for the next 40 (if not 400) years--while vastly superior both doctrinally and linguistically to the one used for the past 40 years--is not as poetic as Cranmer's.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Henry, I agree with you 100% concerning the new English translation. While not perfect here and there, it is far superior to the one we unceremoniously dumped. The previous one did us no favors. I find the new one very prayerful, sacral and faithful to the Latin.

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - The comparison was not Thee/Thou/Troth to Women/African-Americans/Jews. The comparison was that even though we thought something for generations, we may have been wrong in our thinking.

Henry - I don't agree that our prayer language must "differ distinctly" from conversational language. Thee/Thou/Troth were not distinct from the common usage of the age in which these were incorporated into the language of prayer.

And, while the new translation of the Roman Missal is certainly different, it is not necessarily a superior product. It is a more literal translation, to be sure. But that is not necessarily a good thing.

Carol H. said...

"Language is analogous, therefore, we give it meaning. A particular vocabulary does not have, per se, a more "sacred" nature than any other vocabulary."

Thees and thous were spoken in Church, and used in translations of latin scripture readings and prayers, long after they were no longer used in the common tongue. This is why it has become associated with the sacred and, by your own definition, we give it meaning as sacral language.

Anonymous 2 said...

Pater is correct that “Thee,” “Thou,” “Thy” and “Thine,” which we now regard as poetic were originally usages of common speech:

However, to pursue Carol's point, the real question is how _we_ receive such language. I think we can all agree that such language is indeed more poetic for us than “you,” “your” and “yours.” In addition, we would want to know more about the syntax and style of early modern English as used in the Anglican liturgy before we can assess its nature and effect as a more poetic and sacral form even to the people of that time (think about Shakespeare, for example).

So, what does it do for _us_? How does it work upon_ our _souls? Of course, this may vary according to the individual. For example, many people today could not easily understand and would be alienated by the King James version of the Twenty Third Psalm (want, maketh, restoreth, leadeth, Yea, Thou, Thy, preparest, etc). That may be an argument for offering diverse forms but it is not an argument for excluding the more poetic and sacral ones altogether. So, once again, instead of the dichotomous “either-or,” why not the inclusive “both-and”?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of course, PI, your opinion on the new translation is very opinionated and flawed. I think we are now seeing the clash with the formal aspects of the new language with the informal aspects that so many parishes have in terms of worship inherited from the former informal, abysmal translation that was a dumbed down paraphrase of English, very much like the trite Bible that was shoved on us in the 1970's called the Good News Bible. All of this dumbing down of language betrays a horrible elitism amongst those who think they are in the know that the laity are like children who need the Good News Bible and its stupid translation as well as the dumbed down previous translation of the Mass in order to understand. Why else was there so much hysteria by the clericalists and academics (the worst kind of clericalism there is) when it came to big, hard words like consubstantial, incarnate, gibbet and long sentences. These clericalists in the priesthood and academia just don't think the common folk are smart enough for these sophisticated words. That is very sad of a mentality but runs rampant in so many places local and afar!

Henry Edwards said...

Recent scholarship has revealed that the language of sacred liturgy has in most times and cultures been quite distinct from vernacular language. For instance, in the recent Ignatius book "The Voice of the Church at Prayer" by U. M. Lang, we find that

in the case of Latin in the language of the Roman liturgy, a certain distance from the beginning: the Romans did not speak in the style of the Canon or of the Collects of the Mass,

Au contraire the common misconception that the Latin liturgy was simply the Greek translated into the "vulgar" vernacular. (Indeed, liturgical Greek is quite different from common vernacular Greek.)

Similarly, the English translators of the 16th century deliberately chose a sacral register which--quite apart from the rather trivial matter of Thee and Thou--was quite different from English as then spoken, and indeed had an antiquated sound even then.

So anyone who dismisses the difference between sacral language and common spoken vernacular, simply is arguing from ignorance of the virtually universal role of language in worship, across a broad range of eras and cultures.

Anonymous said...

Latin cuts through the vernacular gymnastics.

Having side by side Latin - English text does wonders to overcome the shortcomings of any translation from the original.

As far as English goes:
A little bit of Thees and Thous goes a long way for me.
Too much, and then it becomes too difficult to easily comprehend...and I'm no dummy.

Personally, as far as English goes, I rather like the corrected new translation and would not want the Anglican English all the time.

I suppose if there was a High German translation and a moderate German translation, then the Germans would be having these discussions too.

Is it tomaAto or TomAHto?


Anonymous 2 said...

That's easy, Anon S.L. Clearly the second. =)

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - I have no objection to "formal" language. I do have serious objection to translations that, in an attempt to be "formal," maintain the sentence structure or syntax of Latin.

The troubled English prayers often do not achieve their goal, which is communicating the mysteries of salvation.

No language, including a so-called "sacral language," can be created and imposed on a linguistic group, especially a linguistic group that has such enormous variation as those who speak English.

Henry - We do we speak or think in any "sacral register." Using a "register" that is, by its nature, unfamiliar, convoluted, repetitive, redundant is not a good choice.

Carol H. said...

The prayers of the 70's and later tend to say, "God, give us ____ so we can _____." The latin prayers, and the new translation tend to say, "O Lord, we humbley beseech Thee (You), please grant us _____, so that by Your grace we may ______."

The dumbed down prayers of the 70's have us demanding graces of God like spoiled children. The latin prayers and the new translation ask God for graces in a manner that acknowledges that His will is above our own.

The new translation is far superior to the old one.

John Nolan said...

The Ordinariate options are part of the Latin Rite, and the NO 'Funeral' Mass already contains a bewildering number of options (the Graduale Romanum gives seven for the Introit alone, and only if the first one is used can it accurately be called a Requiem Mass). There is no reason why an OF Mass cannot be celebrated using the traditional sung propers, including the Dies Irae. I have attended, and even sung at, many such.

Secondly, the option exists ad libitum for everyone, including Ordinariate members, to avail themselves of the 1962 liturgy as set out in the Liber Usualis. If this was what the deceased wanted, or should the family request it, it should be done, which is why all priests need to be familiar with it.

Everything approved for the Ordinariate liturgy (such as the Absolutions at the bier) has the Recognitio of the Holy See and is part of the Latin rite. So to use it is not a mixing of rites. At JP II's funeral there was indeed a mixing of rites, since part of the Byzantine liturgy was chanted in Greek. Ordinariate priests are not ordained for a particular rite or use and Fr Hunwicke's first Mass as a Catholic Priest was according to the Missal (and calendar) of 1962.

I don't follow PI's argument. It seems as if he is trying to defend a trench which has already been overrun. Some modern scholars think that when Our Lord instituted the Eucharist he used the sacral language (Hebrew) rather than Aramaic, which is a separate semitic language. Still, 'ignotus' can mean 'unknown', but it can also mean 'ignorant'.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

This Anglican Use Rite poses some interesting question about mixing and matching. I doubt that that will be allowed as it isn't allowed in the 1962 missal (as far as I can deduce) to mix the various rites of the Latin Rite, for example Ambrosian, Dominican, etc, unless, John, you know something I don't know.
But as far as the funeral and marriage rites go, it is my understanding that both are under revision (although top secret evidently) and that the Anglican ones just released may indicate what ours will be. For example, one of the things that has puzzled me about the revised English Roman Missal for weddings is that the rubrics explicitly state that the penitential act is omitted, but the Gloria is to be chanted or said. There is no way to get from the greeting of the Mass to the Gloria in a smooth fashion. So I beleive the format for the revised Wedding Rite even during Mass will be what is indicated in the Anglican Use, the exhortation that is followed by the Kyrie, which technically should not be viewed as a penitential act as it isn't in the 1962 missal, it is totally separate from the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. Of course, while it isn't prescribed, one could do the Rite of Sprinkling at a Wedding Liturgy in place of the Penitential Act which would solve the problem I indicate above.

Anonymous said...

John is getting at the difference between Rites and Uses, I suspect. Rites encompass Uses so that the Aglican Use is subordinate (in a sense) to the Roman Rite. The Byzantine Rite, for example, being distinct from the Roman Rite.

So, a Roman Rite priest cannot say the Byzantine Rite, but could probably say other Uses of the Roman Rite... maybe?


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, only with the bishop's approval in our own rite. So yes I could celebrate the Anglican Use liturgy on an ad hoc basis, but I couldn't mix rites, at least I don't think. However, I would have to be officially bi-ritual to celebrate the Byzantine Rite. Currently I could con-celebrate a Byzantine Rite Mass but I must wear Latin Rite vestments and the same is true of the eastern rite priest, when con-celebrating a Latin Rite Mass he must use Byzantine vestments.

Marc said...

Thank you for the clarification, Father. Mixing of Rites is certainly a problem.

Was there a time when you considering having a bi-ritual priest come for a Byzantine Divine Liturgy at St. Joseph? That would be interesting - although I'm not sure how many people would be there!

The Divine Liturgy is really amazing. I love the Tridentine Mass, but I find the Divine Liturgy much more inspiring and beautiful (particularly when compared to anything other than a Solemn High Mass). They both exhibit their particular theological traditions beautifully. There is just something amazingly mystical about the Divine Liturgy that is somehow absent at many Roman Rite Masses.

John Nolan said...

Both John XXIII and Paul VI celebrated the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom which is used by Churches like the Ukrainian which has been in full Communion with Rome since 1598. Vatican II (Sacrosanctum Concilium) exempted these Churches from the otherwise binding instruction to maintain Latin as the language of the liturgy (uh, what happened to that, folks?)

Regarding the nuptial Mass, this has been affected by the Bugnini idea (first trialled in the 1955 Ordo of Holy Week by reintroducing the pedilavium but placing it after the Gospel) in that the sacrament is conferred in the middle of Mass. If, however, I wish to get married in the OF but want a Mass setting by Byrd or Haydn, I am entitled to expect the Kyrie.

The GIRM is not a good guide to how the music of the Mass is to be performed. For example, it says the Sanctus should be sung by priest and people together, yet Rome has ruled that a polyphonic Sanctus is quite acceptable. Also a strict reading would seem to rule out composed Credos, yet that from the Missa Papae Marcelli was sung in St Peter's on 29 June.

I think we need a new constitution on sacred music which would remove the 'alius cantus aptus' alternative to the propers, restrict vernacular hymns to before and after, condemn by name the likes of Haugen/Haas/Inwood (and anathematize the music publishers who encourage them). Interestingly enough, the former Bishop of Ratisbon (Regensburg), now head of the Holy Office, has the same musical ideals as does his friend Benedict XVI.

Henry Edwards said...

And (as mentioned previously) in the 9.5-minute Credo from Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli on June 29, after intoning the first four words, the Pope and congregation immediately sat down to listen as the choir continued (as they had after the first 4 words of the 5.5-minute polyphonic Gloria).

Though Pope and congregation stood and bowed for the Et incarnatus est, then sat again after the Et homo factus est.

Which--in contrast to our absurd American rigidity about laws (perish the whole human species in the law says the snail darter must be preserved)--perhaps illustrates the characteristically Roman view that norms are sometimes honored as much in the breach as in the observance.

For sure, the norms of the US-adapted GIRM are in many cases just bad advice sneaked passed our rubber-stamping bishops conference by a pernicious liturgical apparatchiks, fully worthy of being ignored.