11 July 2012

Forgotten Books & Texts: Anglican Patrimony

There are so many wonderful books of prayer, chant, and hymnals that have been used by Episcopalians and Anglicans throughout the world, and yet today they are not even faint memories.  I hope to contribute to reviving the lost memories of such treasures among the people who are the Anglican Patrimony.  Such things are not always texts we must use today, but they speak to the kinds and sorts of texts that should be evaluated and adapted to our needs today whether we are Roman Catholic, in communion with Canterbury, or in a community of faith not connected to either.

Today I include a prayer from the beautiful book "Treasury of Devotion" and from "The Day Hours of the Church" which was originally entitled "The Day Hours of the Church of England".  Although I care deeply about these various books for divine worship, I recognise that I am in the extreme minority. Since returning to this blog, I have been greatly heartened to learn how many people are curious about these texts and desirous to see them at least considered.

Today's 2 excerpts are meant to point toward two separate needs.  The first is the need for private prayers for the faithful to pray before, during, and after Mass which type of prayer should be bound within The Book of Common Prayer (by whatever title).   The first prayer quoted below is a good example of the kind of prayers prayed by "Prayer Book Catholics" around the world in times past.  My great-great-Grandfather prayed this prayer, and I still pray it.   

The second underscores the need to return to a traditional calendar where the feasts of the angels are St. Gabriel (March 24th), St. Michael and All Angels, and St. Raphael.   (Of course, I should make mention of St. Uriel and his place in Anglicanism, but that will be another post to come.)  The current Ordinary Form Calendar of Rome should in no way be the base or the guide for determining what is a proper Kalendar for members of the Anglican diaspora within the Catholic Church. 

From Treasury of Devotion, Revd T. Carter, ed., 1908

I YIELD Thee thanks, O Lord, Holy FATHER, Almighty, Everlasting GOD, Who, not for any merit of mine, but of the condescension of Thy mercy only, hast vouchsafed to feed me a sinner, Thy unworthy servant, with the precious Body and Blood of Thy SON, our LORD JESUS CHRIST.  And I humbly entreat Thy boundless clemency, Almighty and Merciful Lord, that this Holy Communion may not bring guilt upon me to condemnation, but may be unto me for pardon and salvation.  Let it be unto me an armour of faith, and a shield of good resolution.  Let it be unto me a riddance of all vices, an extermination of all evil desires and lusts, and an increase of love and patience, of humility and obedience, and all virtues, especially . . . : a firm defence against the wiles of all enemies, visible or invisible, a perfect quieting of all sinful impulses, fleshly or spiritual, especially . . . : a firm adherence to Thee, the One True GOD, and a blessed consummation of my end.  And I pray Thee, that Thou wouldest vouchsafe to bring me a sinner to that ineffable Feast, where Thou with thy SON and the HOLY GHOST art to Thy Saints true Light, full and everlasting Joy, and perfect Happiness ; through the Same our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Amen.

From The Day Hours of the Church, London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1950


Hymn. Tibi Christe
Thee, O Christ, the Father's splendour.
Life and virtue of the heart,
In the presence of the Angels
Sing we now with tuneful art:
Meetly in alternate chorus,
Bearing our responsive part.

Hail, all ye angelic princedoms,
Thrones celestial, bathed in light;
Hail, benevolent Physician,
Raphaël, life's Guardian bright,
Binding fast the fiend of darkness
In the glory of thy might.

Oh may Christ beneath thy pinions,
Shield us from all harm this day,
Keep us pure in flesh and spirit,
Guard our footsteps lest they stray,
And hereafter of his mercy,
Bid us reign with him for aye.

Glory to the Sire Eternal
Sing we now in anthems sweet:
Glory to our blest Redeemer,
Glory to the Paraclete.
Triune God, whom all creation
Praiseth, as is right and meet.  Amen.

V. An Angel stood by the altar of the temple.
R. Having a golden censer in his hand.

Antiphon to Magnificat
Lo, I am* Raphael, the Angel who stands before the Lord: 
but as for you, bless ye the Lord and tell forth all his wondrous works.

O GOD, who didst give the blessed Archangel Raphael to thy servant Tobias to be his companion on the way: Grant, we beseech thee, to thy servants that we may ever be kept in safety under his protection, be continually defended by his ready help.  Through JESUS CHRIST Our LORD. Amen.

+All ye Saints, pray for us to the LORD Our GOD.