03 July 2012

On the Newly Released Ordinariate Liturgies

in which the lay hermit in Texas boileth over
So new liturgies for funerals and marriages have been handed down to us.  As you know I loathe this entire process that does not consult the Lay Faithful of the Anglican Patrimony.

It is clear that there is no one on the Working Group to speak for the Anglican Use experience of the Book of Divine Worship rites and NO ONE to speak for the American Anglican liturgical experience.

These liturgies are someone's idea of Anglican.  They are usable, of course.  It would have been so easy to allow the new rites to stand side by side with those in The Book of Divine Worship, but NO.  The rites of the Book of Divine Worship are to be terminated forthwith, and these new rites used from now on.  This is the same insanity that surpressed the 1928 Book of Common Prayer and imposed the 1979 Book of Common Prayer in the USA.

I am appalled at the text of the Creed in the Funeral Rite.  I am not prepared to forsake "Holy Ghost" for "Holy Spirit" no matter how much it makes someone think Rome will like it better.  Yes, there is a permissive rubric to use 'Holy Ghost' instead, but does no one understand this:  this text that is printed in the rite is not our traditional Anglican text!  What deserves pride of place?  The traditional Anglican text of the Apostles' Creed!

I could give you my litany of the issues and the opportunities missed, but I will not.  I have absolutely no faith in the process that produced these rites, and I am beyond incensed that Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson rolled over and did not advocate for The Book of Divine Worship rites on a continuing basis or for the American Episcopalian liturgical tradition.

I have written that the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter will not lead but follow.  It is clear that decisions will be made in SECRET by those who are in no way accountable for the result.  I do not doubt that these rites are perfect for the United Kingdom.  I do not deny that they are lovely Anglican-inspired rites that can be used around the world.  But these rites do not express 25 years of lived experience by Anglican Use Catholics in the USA chiefly because we are not involved in this process.  Who is?  We read from the announcement:

The new texts were developed under the guidance of Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia OP, who served until recently as the Secretary for the Congregation of Divine Worship. Archbishop DiNoia, now the Vice President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, has been re-appointed as chair of the Holy See’s Anglicanae traditiones Commission tasked with developing the new liturgical texts for the Personal Ordinariates. The Reverend Uwe Michael Lang, CO, who also just stepped down from a post with the Congregation for Divine Worship, will also continue his role in the development of the texts.

Who are the Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony on this Anglicanae traditiones Commission?  Why is there not one of us as Co-Chairman of this Commission?  

Well, to those of you who laboured in secret whose names we do not know and whose personages we lay people in the bush dare not approach, I congratulate you.  I doubt not that you laboured seriously, soberly, and with intention to produce a rite that Rome would approve.  Your rites are clearly within the scope, shape, and frame of those approved by authority within the Anglican Communion. 

But for labouring in secret and not consulting your brothers and sisters of the Anglican Patrimony in the Catholic Church, you of the Working Group (or Anglicanae traditiones Commission as we now have it)  have earned my distrust of your efforts and enforced my doubts about these new Ordinariates themselves.  As a lay Catholic of the Anglican Use in the USA, I have not left my life and laboured in this vineyard to see a newly arrived crop of converts start behaving like the pre-Vatican II Church and keeping the faithful in the dark about such decisions which are our common heritage and concern us all.  If any of you are American Anglican Use members of this Commission, congratulations on making this really look like a Freemasonic venture by not coming back to your own to gain our insights or to value our experience over these last 25 years.

NEVERTHELESS, this still is an opportunity to educate our Roman Latin Rite brethren on an essential element of the Anglican Patrimony which involves the participation of the Laity in the genesis and approval of the liturgical rites with which we worship.  Please do not do this again.  (1) In a supplementary form -- as a gesture of goodwill and to refute suspicions of malintention on your process thus far, reauthorise the BDW rites to stand side by side until the entire BDW is thoroughly revised.  And, (2) Develop a process for the drafting of rites, their dissemination among all the faithful of the Anglican Patrimony, the reception of opinions, and then final drafting.  

If you of the Working Group and your Ordinaries continue to employ this process, you will be numbered with those who forcibly banned the 1928 Book of Common Prayer in the USA and ruthlessly enforced the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.  The two Books should have stood side by side awaiting further evaluation among the Faithful, and these new rites should stand side by side with those in the Book of Divine Worship until a period of study can take place and a consensus of the faithful be achieved over their final forms.

+Kyrie eleison imas.