01 November 2012

Customary Blessings

The Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham has finally made its way into my hands, and I congratulate the British Ordinariate on producing a handsome edition of a daily prayer book.  It is typeset not like The Book of Common Prayer but rather in a format that is a sibling of the ASB, Celebrating Common Prayer, and Common Worship.  

It is clearly a book of blessings for those who will use it.  In the form of a customary these forms of prayer remain open for correction, expansion, and editing in a future common volume for the (former Anglican) Ordinariate Catholics.  That is a very good thing.

I do not think it is the best book possible, but it is an excellent book, a most excellent book.  It is hampered by a calendar that has a long way to go before it is the sort of Kalendar that fully embraces the ancient British saints -- to highlight one deficiency.  The choice of readings from 'Anglican worthies' is perhaps the strongest point of the Customary in my opinion, and I hope the idea will be expanded broader ways in whatever future volumes are published.

I am glad to see plainchant included although as a musician I disagree with some of the ways in which the chant is adapted to English.   But my objections are very few, and I pray this customary will be a harbinger of the complete recovery of the body of Sarum chant within the Ordinariates in both Prayer Book English and Latin.

After I have had more time to live and pray with the customary, I will reflect upon it in a future post.  For now I congratulate the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham for publishing a fine volume for local use within its Ordinariate boundaries.  I especially commend them for not trying to cover everything and do everything that might be done in such a volume.  It reads in some ways as a prospectus for the future and as such is a truly positive contribution.