20 June 2012

Sarum Use, Kalendars & Anglican worthies

In case you missed it, let me draw your attention to a series of articles by Stephenie A. Mann.  Two deal with ancient Sarum Use rites for Holy Week via Eamon Duffy's The Stripping of the Altars.  If you have not had a chance to read it, you will get a window into the work by her article which may be found here.  A second, Part Two, on the Sarum Use Holy Week rites may be found here.  

Many of these Sarum traditions have been adapted or have found their way back into Anglican liturgical life in parishes touched by the Oxford Movement and similar movements to reclaim the Church's life before the iconoclasm of Henry VIII and Thomas Cranmer.  

I should also like to recommend Stephanie A. Mann's reflection upon the Paschaltide Hymns of the great Anglican translator, hymnwriter, and liturgical scholar John Mason Neale.  What follows is a quote from the article near its conclusion, and is well worth reading for those interested in the Anglican Patrimony:

When people mention the Anglican patrimony that members of the Personal Ordinariate Pope Benedict XVI has established bring with them, hymnology such as Neale’s is part of the package. During his life, Neale was not honored by the Church of England for his contributions. In fact, he was thought to be “too Papist” or “too Romish”—in other words, too Catholic; Neale was even physically attacked! Now he is honored by the Church of England and the Episcopalian Church of the USA on August 7 (since he died on the Feast of the Transfiguration). Praying with his hymns throughout the Easter season would be the best way for Catholics to honor John Mason Neale as we pray the Mass.
I have tried for a long time to raise the question of how such Anglican forefathers and mothers could be recalled in the Kalendar of the Anglican Use parishes and now the Ordinariates.  I ask of my brethren of the Anglican diaspora in the Catholic Church could we not make use of some of the traditional Anglican collects written to recall these heroic men and women of faith at the conclusion of the Prayers of the Faithful (or Prayers of the People)? 

For example, on August 7th when Anglicans commemorate John Mason Neale's life and salutary witness to Christ, could not the Ordinariates include the collect for him at the conclusion of the Prayers of the People/Faithful during the Mass celebrated on the 7th of August?  This seems eminently sensible to me as a simple solution to bringing the Anglican worthies into the corporate life of Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony.

Also, by way of example, I adapted a collect from Exciting Holiness as follows:

Eternal Father,  thou didst call thy servant John Mason Neale to proclaim thy glory in a life of prayer, through hymns of praise, and by pastoral zeal:  draw all who lead and guide thy Church into greater faithfulness and more fervent zeal that thy people be blessed by thee through their ministry and that thy Church may grow into the full stature of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Could not a fitting Post-Communion also be offered?  I make no claims for my effort following, but offer it as a merely an example:

Good Shepherd of thy people,  whose servant John Mason Neale. revealed thy loving service in his ministry among thy people:  by our partaking of this Holy Eucharist, awaken within us thy love, and keep us faithful to our Christian calling;  through thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst lay down thy life for us yet livest and reignest with thy Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

I think it would be appropriate and helpful to establish a Calendar of such Anglican worthies for whom Mass will be offered by all of the Ordinariate priests and communities and Anglican Use parishes   ... the Holy Mass being offered upon the day of their death or when they are commonly recalled on the Anglican Kalendars.  For example, on August 7th the Mass could be offered for the soul of the departed John Mason Neale whilst also recalling him with a collect at the conclusion of the Intercessions and a post-communion.  Would this not be wise lest we lose touch with the witness of those sainted men and women who led us on this path toward reunion within Christ's poor Church?  This would not dishonour the Anglican Communion which has no method for canonisation and does not regard him as a Saint but rather a worthy soul to be remembered and recalled.

Perhaps I will explore this idea more fully in later posts, but for now I hope this idea will get a great many of you thinking about how Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony will honour those Anglo-Catholics without whom we would never have aspired to corporate reunion or the healing of the cruel divisions among Christians.

+Lead us and guide us, O Lord Christ.