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Divine Worship - The Ordinariate Order of Holy Mass

posted Oct 28, 2013, 3:04 PM by Rochester Ordinariate   [ updated Oct 28, 2013, 6:56 PM ]
During the homily of this past Sunday's service, Fr. Cornelius shared with us some of the  material presented at the clergy retreat in Florida.  Of particular importance are the changes made to our order of mass that will come into force on the first Sunday in Advent.  The document shared with us is quite lengthy with a lot of material.  Therefore I thought it would be useful to take some time and post it in portions over a series of days (with Fr. Cornelius's permission) in order to have a chance to digest the content and give some commentary below the official text.

We will therefore start with the document's preamble, giving some of the background information about what was done and what principles were used in preparing the revised order for mass.

BDW Holy Eucharist Rite One and the New Ordinariate Order of Holy Mass: Principal Changes

What's different and why

The Order of Holy Mass for use by the Ordinariates erected under the auspices of Anglicanorum coetibus was approved and confirmed by the Apostolic See in May 2013. This provision for the Order of Holy Mass represents a substantial revision of the Book of Divine Worship, Holy Eucharist Rite One, as developed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Divine Worship in consultation with the Interdicasterial Commission Anglicanane traditiones. This Order of Mass was designed pursuant to the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus for a rite of Holy Mass to be fashioned "according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition" insofar as compatible with Catholic doctrine and receiving the approval of the Holy See. Accordingly, this Order was devised in light of the following principles and objectives:

    (a) to preserve in the Catholic Church the worthy Anglican liturgical patrimony, understood as that which has nourished the Catholic faith throughout the history of the Anglican tradition and prompted aspirations towards ecclesial unity;
    (b) to maintain for Catholic worship such features and elements that are representative of the historic Anglican Books of Common Prayer (in the first place) and the Anglican missals (in the second place), in conformity with Catholic doctrinal and liturgical norms;
    (c) to provide an Order of Mass at once distinctively and traditionally Anglican in character, content, and structure, whilst also being clearly and recognizably a form of the Roman Rite, in both its modern and traditional expressions, safeguarding thereby the substantial unity of the Roman Rite;
    (d) to combine, consolidate, and harmonize wherever possible the diversity of Anglican liturgical usage for the sake of assuring the continuity, integrity, and pastoral utility of the rite for the Ordinariates in England and Wales, the United States, Canada, and Australia;
    (e) to minimize the number of options, except where clearly justified by the need for pastoral flexibility in respecting the various constituencies coming together in Catholic unity, to preserve worthy Anglican patrimony, or to suit the dignity of the celebration according to the quality of the day or season;
    (f) to offer an instrument for the sanctification of the faithful who come to the Catholic Church from the Anglican tradition whilst promoting their unity with one another, with their fellow Catholics in the wider Church, and with the See of Peter.

My commentary:
From this preamble, the things that should be therefore kept in mind, are
  • This is a form of the Roman Rite - not a new Rite per se.  It must therefore clearly express Catholic doctrine liturgically and yet recognizably incorporate Anglican patrimony.
  • It is a revision of the Book of Divine Worship - hereafter to be called simply Divine Worship.  While a "substantial revision", it is still not starting from scratch.
  • "Rite I" is to be revised - that is the "Tudor English" one. "Rite II" (coming primarily from the 1979 BCP through the Book of Divine Worship) is to be scrapped.  Those who prefer modern language worship are directed to use the Ordinary Form of the Roman rite. A wise move in my view.
  • Both BCP and Anglican missal materials are incorporated - this is a good thing in my view, because most of the "catholicizing" of the BCPs was done generations ago and used in the Anglican, English, and American Missal tradition (see our Resources page).
  • The BCP material comes from the historic books of common prayer - which interestingly takes the shape of reversing many changes made in the 1979 US BCP.
  • Most people don't realize that the Anglican churches in every country have different BCPs and wildly different practices.  Even among self-professed Anglo-Catholics, there is a dizzying array of worship styles and texts - often boiling down to local custom.  It takes the Catholic Church to bring liturgical unity!  There is one Use for all the countries, with a small number of options.
  • Therefore the Use will both be a sign of unity within the Ordinariate(s), as well as a sign of unity with the rest of the Latin Rite Catholics and the See of Peter.
We will get into the detailed changes soon.