03 December 2015

A Bit from the "Irvingite" Advent Eucharist

This is the former Catholic Apostolic Church in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Catholic Apostolic Church in its original form is all but defunct.  Most people do not recognise the name of the denomination, and if they do it is usually by the word "Irvingite" which the members of the Catholic Apostolic Church did not use and believed was misleading and derogatory.  However, the appellation works in a headline far better than "CathAp" which is another way of abbreviating this church's name.

The strict structuralist approach to the Holy Eucharist is one of the Catholic Apostolic Church's strongest features in liturgical worship.  Worked out by one of their charismatic leaders named Cardale,  the Catholic Apostolic Church insisted that things meant to be sung like the Canticles had to be sung regardless of the number of people present or the absence of trained musicians. The Anglican method of speaking such things was forbidden.

And in the strict structuralist order of liturgy there was none of this sort of liturgical Chinese menu of "one from column A" and "one from column B" that so characterised various protestant and Anglican forms of worship after the watershed moment of Vatican II.  The structured features of the liturgical rite were to be used in the same way at every Eucharist or other liturgy in every church, chapel, or house where they were meeting for divine worship.

Dear Reader, below you will find a page from the 'Irvingite' Liturgy for use at the Eucharist on the Sundays in Advent.  You will see the Communion Anthem — which was sung at each and every Sunday in Advent (and at any daily celebration during the week).  Then follows the proper Post-Communion Thanksgiving for the four Sundays in Advent.  There are many such beautiful texts in the Catholic Apostolic Church's liturgies, and I cannot help but feel a great sense of sorrow that they are no longer around to celebrate their elaborate form of worship of the Blessed Trinity in the company of the Holy Angels: