Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thoughts On The New Liturgy Of The ACNA


Fr. Carlos Raines

The ACNA is preparing to release a new prayer book.  This is a good and essential thing!  Of course we cannot keep using Episcopalian prayer books.  However, my hope is that the ACNA  does not give up on  liturgical renewal if by that we mean pursuing the goals of many of the English reformers; the desire to reform the liturgy to the practice and faith of the early church.  To that end, I would say not everything about the 1979 Prayer Book was a disaster!  (Though some almost make it sound that way).  In fact, we orthodox believers probably greatly outnumbered the liberals in the '60's  and early '70's when that prayer book was composed.  It is hard for me to think, for example, that using the liturgy of Hippolytus for the foundation of “Prayer A”  was a stunning act driven by secularized liberals!

One vital, life-giving effort wonderfully expressed in the '79 Prayer Book was the contemporary language rites of prayers A, B and D.  In these prayers, the Episcopal Church reached past the time of Cranmer for examples of ancient Western rite prayers to revive our worship.  Personally I believe this effort was successful.  For example, despite the way the Prayer Book was shoved down the throats of the faithful by the bishops of the time, it is astounding how many clergy and laity chose  for their principle worship services Rite II, Prayer A!  My personal experience was that most converts and families, having tried both of our services (Rite 1 at 8:00 and Rite II at 10:30) found the Rite II service much more to their liking.   Currently I celebrate (or attend) the Eucharist Sunday through Friday every week using almost exclusively Prayer A Rite II.  Except for some awkward (somewhat unbiblical) wording in the very last phrase, it simply does not grow old.  (I believe the other Rite 2 services would have been used more often had the Prayer Book not suffered a poor publication design that required yet more page turning to use prayers B-D.  Prayer D in particular is deep and majestic). 

Let me say again how astounding this is!  There should have been every reason for Episcopalians to stay with Cranmer's words, as measured and beautiful as they were (Cranmer certainly was a consummate word-smith!).  Yet by a great majority, the priests and people of the Episcopal church quite voluntarily “voted” to worship with a liturgy based on an ancient rite that predated Cranmer by about 1200 years! 

Why did this happen?  Why did so many people who clearly were orthodox prefer a more ancient liturgy to some version of the 1662 Elizabethan Prayer Book?

Here are some simple reasons that occur to me as to why they did so and why we should continue to provide these or similar ancient liturgies in the new prayer book and not exclusively return to using some version of the 1662 Book, either in original or contemporary language. 

ñ  Ironically, I believe excluding these ancient rites betrays the intentions of the original Reformers, especially as elucidated in John Jewel's Apology.  Their efforts were directed at reforming the Western Catholic Church to its ancient roots predating the rise of the Papacy and the tearing of the fabric of unity in communion that occurred in A.D. 1054.  It is speculation on my part, (but not entirely uninformed) that these Reformers would be astonished and even aghast at efforts to make them and their writings the bench mark of Anglican church renewal.   I do believe they would point beyond themselves humbly and beg us to look to the benchmarks they followed in their day;  the Holy Scriptures as interpreted by the Early Church Fathers, and the ancient practice of the undivided Church. I worry that those who think our sufferings of the past 40 years can be directly attributed to having left the exclusive use of the Traditional Prayer Book Liturgies and Ordinals are leading us to a kind of liturgical fundamentalism, making us truly a Protestant Church, living as though everything before the 16th Century has no meaning to us! 
ñ   Originally we were one of the first churches in the West to produce a liturgy and a Bible in the language of the people.  If my church, St. James' Anglican Cathedral, were required to use classical prayer book worship at all services, the Anglican Church in my neighborhood would instantly become, of all the English speaking churches in the community, the church with the least understandable liturgy! Again, the irony is crushing!  The medieval church had commentaries to explain the alien Latin terms to the people who could afford such texts (and who could read!).  We will need classes to explain to the people the meaning of such terms as oblation, satisfaction, remission, substance, meet, vouchsafe and merits before most of them can make much sense of our liturgy.
ñ  Liturgy does not have to be composed of classical sixteenth century English to be beautiful, timeless, profound and formational.  The Gospel of John, written in laughably simple Greek is arguably the most profound of the four.  Effective liturgy need not be erudite; it must be deeply symbolic. 
ñ  Along with the liturgy found in the Anaphora of Hippolytus (3rd century...from which we get the '79 Prayer Book Eucharistic Prayer A), there are other ancient liturgies available, some of which were used by Celtic and even Anglo-saxon churches.  Some of these are no longer in use precisely because the imperialistic mindset behind the growing ecclesiastical hegemony of the Papacy forced the suppression of all other liturgies besides the Roman Rite.  Contrast this impulse with the very words of Pope St. Gregory the Great who re-founded the English Church with the following words found in a letter to Augustine of Canterbury: “If you have found customs, whether in the Roman, Gallican, or any other Churches that may be more acceptable to God, I wish you to make a careful selection of them, and teach the Church of the English, which is still young in the faith, whatever you can profitably learn from the various Churches.  For things should not be loved for the sake of places, but places for the sake of good things.”   The Gallican liturgy, long suppressed by Rome is a Western liturgy closely connected with Patrick of Ireland and the Celtic Church and of considerable appeal in beauty and poetic theological vision.  Perhaps this could be modified for Anglican usage? (See http://web.archive.org/web/20030329153729/members.truepath.com/Ben_Johnson/Germanus.html)
ñ  Already many, if not most churches either use worship pamphlets or extensive bulletins or even projected programs containing the Sunday Liturgy.  Most of our churches are no longer wedded to any particular book for Sunday worship and so, in a way strangely similar to much earlier times, we could well be in a time of creative flux.  This is not necessarily a bad thing in my estimation; like deceptively simple folk music, great liturgy is developed by many hands over the passage of time.  This is why ancient liturgies never grow old; they are refined through divine-human interaction into truly “common prayer.”
ñ  Returning to the original intentions of the English Reformers, could we not now “finish the Reformation?”  By that, I mean, what if we went beyond the 16th Century, reviving a long-suppressed liturgy (or liturgies), with Celtic roots, finding our place, along with the Orthodox, in a patristic church, challenging our brothers and sisters in Rome to join the journey?   Standing with the Orthodox, regaining our truly patristic roots, could we not together turn to Rome and join in the call for the 8th Ecumenical Council?  (Failing that, I wonder what kind of celebrations will greet the Millennial anniversary of the first, greatest and most devastating of schisms as A.D.  2054 arrives?)
ñ  There was a time when the Church, both East and West, was very comfortable with Christians worshiping with multiple liturgies in myriad languages (still the practice in the East).  Yet this church, so free in expression, for over a thousand years had a profound unity we can only long for today.  A single liturgy was not the fountain head of that unity, rather a recognized apostolic succession was; both in it's faith expression and in it's collegial structure.  As the Eastern Orthodox have proven for 2,000 years, our unity need not necessarily be in a single book, but in a common and ancient faith overseen by faithful bishops unafraid to correct each other.  The benchmark of that faith was in the faith of the Church planted by Jesus and the Holy Apostles as revealed in Holy Scriptures and interpreted with great respect to the early fathers. 
ñ  I am not advocating the removal of 1662-derivative prayer book liturgies.  It may be that many or even most of our churches will happily use them and to great effect for the Kingdom.  I am only asking that the opportunity to reach even further back than 1662 be allowed for clergy and people who wish to let more ancient liturgies sing again.  These liturgies were composed and developed long before the sad divisions and controversies of the late Middle Ages and they fed the hearts and souls of countless saints.  Why not allow for a season of creative flux, carefully overseen by Anglican bishops so that we may see what direction the Holy Spirit and the faithful may take in the years ahead.  Do we seriously want to lock ourselves into 16th or 17th century Anglicanism as our only benchmark?  Recognizing that their language and their issues are now almost as strange and alien to us as Latin to an English peasant, we the sons and daughters of these amazing reformers should continue to mine the riches of the ancient Church, and speak powerfully to this and future generations, fulfilling the words of Jesus about the wise scribe of the Kingdom reaching into his treasure to bring forth things old and new.  There are thousands of people all across North America who are searching for a church to believe in.  I sincerely believe a liturgy based on an ancient Western Catholic liturgy will find more favor with them than a liturgy requiring a history lesson and a dictionary!

I respectfully and humbly submit these thoughts for the sake of discussion.  It is my sincere hope that these words might be useful as we seek to reestablish Anglicanism in North America.

The Very Reverend Carlos Lee Raines
St. James Cathedral, Fresno, California
4 February 2012
Cornelius the Centurion

27 comments:

An Anxious Anglican said...

What have you heard about the proposed Prayer Book that caused you to write this post, Fr. Carlos? I am in an ACNA parish in Virginia and have not heard anything about this from our diocese or ACNA. I hope that it is circulated as a proposed prayer book and public comment is solicited, although my gut tells me that will probably not be the case. :-(

Bill B

Fr. Carlos said...

Thanks for the comment, Bill. I think you are right in the first part of your comment. I think there will be a generous time for comments and feedback as well as a gracious approach to adoption (unlike the Episcopal experience with the '79 book). This article is simply an attempt to invite us to discuss issues that could certainly pertain to the proposed prayer book, yet also ask some deeper questions.

Robin G. Jordan said...

Carlos,

I find conspicuously absent from your article the well-documented desire of the English Reformers to bring the liturgy of the English church into conformity with the teaching of the Scriptures, which was their primary motive for reforming that liturgy, not recovering ancient models as you would lead your readers to believe. Being ancient is not the same as being Scriptural. Even a cursory perusal of the epistles of St. Paul and the other New Testament apostles show that the New Testament church was not free from false teaching. Because a form is ancient does not make it Scriptural or theological sound, only ancient. In your article you promote the rule of antiquity over the rule of Scripture. The English Reformers placed the rule of Scripture above the rule of antiquity.

Even Bishop Jewel in citing the opinions of Patristic writers only cited the opinions of those whose views he believed were in agreement with the teaching of the Scriptures. Wyndham Mason Southgate in his book, John Jewel and the problem of doctrinal authority, delineates the guiding principles that Jewel followed in citing the opinions of Patristic authors. For Jewel, the teaching of Scriptures, not the opinions of the Patristic writers, were the supreme and final authority in matters of doctrine and practice.

If the new rites the ACNA develops do not conform to the teaching of the Scriptures and the doctrine of the classic Anglican formularies, they will be utterly worthless no matter how closely they adhere to ancient models.

Dale Matson said...

Robin,
"For Jewel, the teaching of Scriptures, not the opinions of the Patristic writers, were the supreme and final authority in matters of doctrine and practice." Jewel did not contradict the councils of the undivided church nor did he quarrel with what the undivided church considered the canon of Scripture.

I believe you have expressed your displeasure with the ACNA publicly elsewhere so I view your comment as biased from the get go.

Robin G. Jordan said...

Dale,

Which councils are you referring to--the first four or the first seven? Remember Jewel wrote a number of the homilies, including, I believe, Against Peril of Idolatry. In a letter to Peter Martyr in Zurich in 1562 Jewel wrote, "As to matters of doctrine, we have pared away everything to the very quick, and do not differ from you by a nail's breadth." [Zurich Letters (London: Parker Society, 1842),I.100. In the letter he is referring to the doctrine of Reformed Church at Zurich.

Dale Matson said...

Robin,
Since when are we limiting Anglicanism to what Jewel thought? I am sure you would limit your understanding to only four councils based partially on Article XXI.I would include seven councils as representative. Since when does a "prince" calling a council make it legitimate? Article XX1 was not even included in the 1928 BCP. There is an excellent posting on this here.http://conciliaranglican.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/ask-an-anglican-the-ecumenical-councils/

Robin G. Jordan said...

Dale,

The revised Articles of Religion adopted by the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1801 are not recognized as a classic formulary of the Anglican Church while the Articles of Religion of the 1571 are. It is these Articles that The Jerusalem Declaration affirms and which the Anglican Church in North America ostensibly affirms in its affirmation of The Jerusalem Declaration. The 1928 Prayer Book was a formulary of the Episcopal Church and is not a formulary of global Anglicanism as is the case with the 1801 Articles of Religion. There has always been an element in American Episcopalianism that would have done away with the Articles altogether. The revised Articles were a compromise; no clergy subscription was required. In 1925 General Convention adopted a resolution that would have dropped the Articles from the American Prayer Book. For various reasons it did not come up for the required second vote at the 1928 General Convention. Having seen the direction that American Episcopalianism has taken in the Episcopal Church, I would have thought that the Anglican Church in North America would want to distance itself from American Episcopalianism and return to historic Anglicanism. What I see happening in the Anglican Church in North America is a repeat of what happened in the Episcopal Church a coalition of Anglo-Catholics and those open to Anglo-Catholic doctrine and practice but in the later case with the Convergence theological stream replacing the Broad Church theological stream. In the Episcopal Church this led to the dominance of modernism as both the Anglo-Catholic and Broad Church theological streams fell under the influence of modernism. There is evidence of modernism in both the Anglo-Catholic and Convergence theological streams in the Anglican Church in North America. For example, the ACNA Ordinal does not require blanket belief in the canons of the Old and New Testaments for candidates for ordination to the diaconate--a carryover from the 1928 Ordinal. The new Reformed Episcopal Ordinal returned to the wording of the 1661 Ordinal, which requires blanket belief in the canon of the Old and New Testment for such candidates, correcting this problem area. The ACNA "theological lens" speaks of the Bible being the word of God written--the view of the Articles of Religion--AND of containing the word of God--a modernist position that infers that the Bible is NOT entirely God-breathed. The historic Anglican position is that every word of the Bible is inspired. The ACNA College of Bishops authorized the ordinal and approved the "theological lens." The question as I see it is how serious is the Anglican Church in North America about being genuinely Anglican. Or is it simply trying to become a makeover of the Episcopal Church? The evidence points to the latter. If that is what the Anglican Church in North America wants to be, then it needs to drop the pretense of being GAFCON in North America, thank the GAFCON primates for their earlier recognition, and tell them that it has decided to go its own way.

Dale Matson said...

Robin,
Let's stop with the distractions shall we? You do not recognize either the ACNA, the Oxford Movement or Anglo-Catholicism as a legitimate part of the Anglican tradition. You can parse Anglican history to your heart's content. Even though you would not like it to be, The Anglican Communion is a work in progress.
"If the new rites the ACNA develops do not conform to the teaching of the Scriptures and the doctrine of the classic Anglican formularies, they will be utterly worthless no matter how closely they adhere to ancient models" This comment at the end of your first post is really a judgement you have already made.

Robin G. Jordan said...

Dale,

It is easy to accused me of being biased, creating distractions, and making judgments ahead of time and so forth but the fact of matter is that if the new ACNA rites do not conform to the teaching of Scripture and the classic Anglican formularies, I do not see how the ACNA will be able to claim that they are an improvement over the rites of the Episcopal Church. At most it will be able to claim that they are its rites.

As for the Anglican Communion being a work in progress, you are now talking like a liberal Episcopalian. They make similar claims.

You can argue with me all you like. However, the ACNA has serious problems. For an ecclesial body that is less than 5 years old, it is greatly in need of reform. It is like an old clunker that a friend bought at the used car lot. The friend has fallen in love with the clunker and overlooks its worn tires, bad brakes, slipping clutch, sticking accelerator peddle, and other problems. On the other hand you recognize the problems right away. You know that if he takes the car out on the road, he will not only be a menace to other people, he is likely to kill himself. So what do you do? Do you pat him on the back and tell him what a great buy he has made? Or do you point out the problems to him and stress that he needs to get them fixed before does anything else? Which is being a real friend?

If you warn your friend but he does not think that they are problems and takes the car out on the road and kills someone and/or himself, his blood is on his own head as the Bible puts it. You have warned him. If you don't warn him, it is on your head. You knew that he was taking a dangerous car out on the road. This principle applies to the ACNA, to all ecclesial bodies. If we discern a problem in the ACNA, we have a moral obligation to warn people regarding that problem whatever they themselves may think.

Dale Matson said...

Robin,
In your "about me" section of your "Anglicans Ablaze" blog, you have an extensive and candid biography of yourself. The following comment is telling. "I am not presently affiliated with any existing Anglican body in or outside of North America."
Here is my response and a prescription of sorts for both of us."Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."(Philippians 4:8)

Father Bob Hackendorf said...

Carlos,

I found your post to be well-balanced, well-reasoned and very insightful. I think the question for us is "in what sense is the 1662 BCP normative"? In England, it is "normative" in the sense that it is the official BCP, yet in practice, most parishes use Common Worship.

At any rate, thanks for a great contribution to this very important topic.

Anonymous said...

Fr Carlos said, (Part 1)

Robin,
I certainly did NOT in any way "promote the rule of antiquity over the rule of Scripture." Those are your words alone. Of course I would not for a moment choose to use a rite or liturgy that was unscriptural no matter how old it was. Besides, if one wanted a Gnostic rite one need not get it from a dusty book; just look at some of the proposed rites of the Episcopal Church!

What I DO propose is to maintain the possibility of using rites older than the Book of Common Prayer, especially if they are Celtic as well as patristic in origin. (Such as Prayer A or D in the 1979 Prayer Book or some other ancient Celtic and patristic form). In my own mind, if these were regularly used rites (or derived from such) in the undivided church then they have ALREADY been theologically vetted by people far more able than you or I. If you find any commonly used ancient orthodox rite unscriptural then I guess it is your lens I worry about.

You mention, for example, the "doctrine of the classic Anglican formularies" right along with Scripture as the lens you would apply. Why, may I ask, are "classic Anglican formularies" so sacrosanct and safe? And which "formularies" are "classic and Anglican"? This just leads to more sectarianism, more division and more argument. What I propose in my article is a humble return to the agreed interpretations of Scripture found in the patristic writings of the undivided church. There we find enormous agreement among the fathers in vast areas of theology: trinitarian doctrine, the Holy Eucharist, Baptism, the three-fold ministry, apostolic authority, authority of councils, the communion of saints, liturgy, etc. Jaroslav Pelikan's 5 volume work on Doctrine gives ample evidence to the care and mutual correction that occurred in this counciliar period (and yes, that would be the first 7 ecumenical councils). This opens us to a truly reformed catholic understanding of the church which John Jewel clearly had in mind as he defended Anglicanism to the Pope in the Apology. You missed the forest for the trees! His whole theme was that Anglicanism had returned to the church of the Fathers whereas Rome had abandoned that faithful expression of Holy Scriptures rightly interpreted.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Carlos said, (part 2)

The real question here is not "what is Scriptural" but "Whose particular interpretation shall we follow?" In many ways the Reformation replaced one pope with a thousand popes as people coalesced around various leaders in such a way that denominations and splits and schisms become routine as though they are not as horrific as heresy! We must get past "I belong to Cranmer" and "I belong to Luther" and "I belong to Calvin" and seriously ask the Lord, "What IS the church that you and the Holy Apostles planted?" That answer is not as difficult as many would suggest with a serious reading of the fathers starting with Ignatius of Antioch and moving on through the other early Fathers. (One of the problems in the Western Catholic church was it's loss of the great Eastern Fathers such as the Cappidotians during the Dark Ages and the loss of connection with the East or even the common knowledge of Greek. This left the Western Church with only one major father---Augustine! It could be said that much of the Reformation was the effort of each party to claim to be the true sons of Augustine! Without the other fathers as a mutualy corrective influence, a kind of distortion was almost inevitable, and indeed, many denominations formed around some of Augustine's unformed speculations, such as predestination.) Are these fathers right because they are ancient? No. They are more reliable than you or me or even Thomas Cranmer because they wrote with the clear teaching (both written AND verbal) of the apostles in their minds and hearts and because their works have been vetted by the entire universal church for nearly a thousand years. When you or I or any other modern person wants to say they are all wrong about the Holy Eucharist and it's meaning or baptism or liturgy and that we will instead follow "reformed theology" then, it seems to me, that it is you or I who need to do a lot of heavy lifting in convincing the Church we are right!

Concerning Liturgy, I would repeat; I do believe the very reformers themselves would be embarrassed to hear that we had made THEM the benchmark of church reformation or renewal, much less that we had made their liturgy, now nearly as strange sounding to the nearest English speaker as Latin to the average 16th century English peasant, the final benchmark of liturgy. I suspect they would be most encouraging of us searching anew the same roots they searched in order to form a liturgy clear, evangelical and catholic. This, in fact, is the sincerest form of flattery of their efforts; to do as they did for the sake of a reformed catholicism that is both faithful to that of the undivided church and to the Holy Scriptures.

Anonymous said...

Fr Bob,

Thanks for the kind words. I totally agree that what you are suggesting England is doing would work well for us; that is, have a prayer book liturgy as the "official" book reflecting our "official" theology, but still allow local parishes and dioceses to use other approved modern language rites.

Thanks again.
Fr. Carlos

Robin G. Jordan said...

Carlos,

What is your take on GAFCON, The Jerusalem Declaration, and the two GAFCON Theological Resource Group'documents, The Way, the Truth, and The Life and Being Faithful: The Shape of Historic Anglicanism Today? How do you reconcile your views with the ACNA's affirmation of The Jerusalem Declaration?

Anonymous said...

Robin,
I am sure I am on the "catholic" side of Anglicanism (though not really "Anglo-catholic" in the party sense). As far as liturgy goes, I think my comments are perfectly acceptable to those who wholeheartedly support those documents.

Fr. Carlos

Robin G. Jordan said...

Carlos,

As to your two previous comments (parts 1 and 2)you must realize that the arguments that you are making I have heard before. They are arguments that Anglo-Catholics have made since the 1830s, and are unconvincing now as they were then. “The historic Anglican Way has always affirmed four general councils and stopped at that…,” the late Peter Toon wrote in a 2006 article on the original Common Cause Theological Statement. “In this regard the Affirmation of St Louis set forth by Anglo-Catholic Continuers in 1977 went way past any previous official, provincial or Lambeth Conference Anglican statement in relation to the Councils by making 7 councils and their teaching mandatory – a big mistake.”

What you are proposing is in direct antagonism to The Jerusalem Declaration, which upholds “the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church,” and which further upholds the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1571 “as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s word and as authoritative for Anglicans today,” the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as “a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer,” and the 1662 ordinal as “an authoritative standard of clerical orders.” “The 1662 Prayer Book provides a standard by which other liturgies may be tested and measured,” the GAFCON Theological Resource Group write in Being Faithful: The Shape of Historic Anglicanism Today. “The further removed a proposed liturgy may be from the 1662 Prayer Book, the more important it is that it should be subject to widespread evaluation throughout the Communion.”

If “Catholic Revivalists” like yourself want to transform the Anglican Church in North America into another Continuing Church, they need to be honest with the GAFCON Primates and set them straight about the ACNA not being GAFCON in North America. “Catholic Revivalists” is a term Douglass Bess uses in Divided We Stand: A History of the Continuing Anglican Movement to describe former Episcopalians with views like your own. He documents in his book how the struggle between “Anglican Loyalists” and “Catholic Revivalists” in the Continuum led to its fragmentation. “In contrast” [to the Anglican Loyalists], Bess writes, “the Revivalists were never really comfortable with their Anglican heritage, and gave ‘the appearance of being rather impatiently headed in another direction.’” The GAFCON Primates can then revisit and rethink their recognition of the ACNA. North American Anglicans who do accept The Jerusalem Declaration as a statement of the tenets of orthodoxy underpinning Anglican identity can get on with the work of forming a new orthodox Anglican province in North America in response to the GAFCON Primates’ original call for such a province.

As to your response to Bob Hackendorf's comment Canon II.1.1 of the ACNA canons is quite clear. Once a Prayer Book is adopted for use in the ACNA, there will be no local options. It will be the only authorized Prayer Book for the province. If its doctrine and liturgical usages are not acceptable to all wings of the ACNA, it could prove a powder keg that blows the ACNA apart.

The Anglican Church of Australia adopted what it thought was a comprehensive liturgy in the form of A Prayer Book for Australia in 1995. However, a number of its rites were objectionable to the Diocese of Ballarat (Anglo-Catholic) and the Diocese of Sydney (Evangelical). Fortunately the canons of the Anglican Church of Australia permit dioceses to develop their own service books. Ballarat and Sydney took advantage of their provisions. But the ACNA canons make no such provision.

Fr Richard Sutter SSM said...

Excellent article, Father. I have to agree, that re-sourcing from the pre-reformation Church is critical. In my proposed BCP MMXII I focused as well on attempting to provide one single text that could be used by all Anglicans, regardless of churchmanship and even regardless of ecclesial affiliation. The three canons I included are (1) compiled from BCPs all over the world, (2) from the first BCP, and (3) from the liturgy brought to the British isles by the first Abp of Canterbury. I don't share your enthusiasm for 79's prayer A, however, especially given the better research since the 1970s that casts doubt on both the provenance and use of the purported prayer of Hippolytus.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Carlos said,

Thanks so much, Fr. Sutter! I took a quick look at your prayer book offering and saw much that I liked! The Sarum rite was particularly interesting as was the 1549 (and I liked what you did with '28 prayer book version also). Have you had a chance to look at the Gallican liturgy link in my first article? I think that also is an exciting liturgy (though I admit it would need some editing for Anglican usage). I am especially interested in it's historic connection with the founding of the Anglican church (quoted in the letter between Pope St. Gregory the Great and St. Augustine of Canterbury).

Something you might find interesting: we have been using the exorcism from the 1549 Prayer Book at every baptism. We anoint with oil of catechumens between the renunciations and the vows and then pronounce the exorcism (slightly modernized in language and including "generational and familial spirits." I have also been using one of the prayers of exorcism of catechumens penned by Basil the Great. We simply use that prayer the week before baptism with the catechumens kneeling at the altar rail just after the Peace. I think I will write an article about that usage and our experience with it in the near future in Soundings.
I understand your lack of enthusiasm for Rite II prayer A and I am familiar with the reasons for that concern and the historical questions now being raised about the reliability of our copy of Hippolytus. In any case, Prayer A was not a very direct translation of the original.

Thanks again for your kind thoughts and I will enjoy taking a closer look at what you have produced!

Fr. Carlos

Dale Matson said...

Robin,
"Since May 2002 I have been involved in various ways in six new church plants at different stages in their development in five different denominations." [From your 'about me'on your website]
1.It appears to me that while you concern yourself with purity of doctrine for others, you allow yourself considerably more latitude in your own experience.
2. Anglicanism has historically contained more than one stream. Your insistence that there is only one stream beginning with the church OF England may fit your own world view but in reality, the church you envision and insist on, has no members including you.
3. I believe Fr. Carlos is a "team player" [I reference your own autobiography here] and lives both the great commandment and commission daily. He has done so for many decades and deserves more respect than being called a "Catholic Revivalist" as you understand it. Reflect on your posts here and consider the possibility that they are not from a spirit of discernment, that they are from a critical spirit. Unless you are prepared to engage Fr. Carlos with the respect one Christian deserves from another, I will not post any additional comments from you.

Fr Richard Sutter SSM said...

Looking back past the red herrings tossed out by Mr Jordan and considering the original post, I found myself thinking about the title of the post. And it evoked three questions or concerns.

First, I am concerned that this ACNA liturgical revision process is happening in such nearly total silence. I find this blackout quite troubling.

Second, even more troubling is the makeup of the ACNA liturgical committee, which includes a priestess and only one liturgical scholar.

Third, the most troubling aspect of this process is demonstrated by the released product so far, which is the ordinal, a document that in decidedly flat language continues deadly flaws inherited from P/ECUSA/TEC uncorrected.

As always, of course, opinions may vary, but if the ordinal is typical of the eventual book, that book may precipitate the devise of the ACNA experiment.

Robin G. Jordan said...

Dale,

This article may interest you: "John Wesley and the Anglo-Catholic Revival," on the Internet at http://anglicanhistory.org/misc/taylor_wesley.html

And these articles: "John Keble: Anglo-Catholic Revivalist," on the Internet at http://maneynet.org/blog/2010/09/27/john-keble-anglo-catholic-revivalist/

"An Anglo-Catholic Revival?" on the Internet at http://anglocatholic.net/2012/02/23/an-anglo-catholic-revival/

And this book: The contribution of Cambridge to the Anglo-Catholic revival, on the Internet athttp://www.archive.org/details/MN5135ucmf_5

We both know that "Catholic Revivalist" is far from a derogatory term. It is purely descriptive.

Dale Matson said...

Robin,
thanks for the links. I particularly enjoyed the first link. "One of the last of the clergy to teach the simplicity of the Catholic Faith was William Law the non-juror. He is commonly known as a mystic, though anything more practical than his "Serious Call" it would be difficult to find." That statement again confirms my belief that Mystics have been given by God to His church to provide a booster shot of the Holy Spirit and often are reformers.

Robin G. Jordan said...

Dale,

When I returned to the Episcopal Church in the 1980s, William Laud's Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life was one of the first books I read. So was Jeremy Taylor's The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living and his Rules and Exercises of Holy Dying, which were also favorites of John Wesley. Taylor's Rules and Advices to the Clergy
of the Diocesse of Down and Connor,
For their Deportment in their Personal and Publick Capacities
I recommend to all clergy and candidates for holy orders whatever their opinions. My study of John Wesley introduced me to The Royal Way of the Cross and the other writings of François Fénelon. However, a perennial favorite for me is George Herbert's A Priest to the Temple, or the Country Parson, His Character, & c..

Fr Richard Sutter SSM said...

Excellent books, Robin. I often recommend them as a spiritual director.

Anonymous said...

As a person who has attended the Catholic Tridentine Mass which is almost verbatem the 1662/1928 english variant. Also, attended the Ordo Novus (english) which is akin to the 1979 BCP. It might be a fluke of timing, but it sure does look like the Episcopalians were attempting to pattern the '79 BCP after the Vatican II efforts. The ecumenical movement during the Vatican II ('60-'70s) seems to have left its stamp on protestantism. For exmaple, the Lectionary matched until the 1990s. With that said, why keep any of the excesses of Vatican II in the newly developed BCP? Something to think about. I'm not that excited to get a new rite and toss the past. Why not consider a BCP that has removed the psalms (they are generally printed with the readings in a service sheet) and focus having multiple rites to choose from including: 1662, '79 Rite 2 one of the four vaiants, plus something new). ACNA attracts the traditional and contemporary. About 20% of our parish attends the 1928.

Holysmoke said...

I like your idea. I think the new prayerbook should have several rites that are adapted from ancient rites. What I mean by "adapted" is that for them to be widely accepted in Anglicanism, they probably need to be shortened (sadly) and especially "Protestantized" a bit (ie: removing explicit Marian praises or invocations). Personally, I believe in the full doctrine of the Communion of Saints in the Nicene Creed and have no problem with asking living saints in heaven to pray for us on this earth, including, of course, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and incorporate these into my prayer life. However, I realize that for Dominical worship this would not be wise nor charitable for the average Anglican congregation.


Nevertheless, I think that one of the sorrows brought on the Western world by the so-called Enlightenment, is the divorce of head and heart. For that reason, ancient liturgies seem much more moving to me because they understood the language of the heart and expressed that language better than we seem able to do. True poetry, symbols and sacraments all speak to the heart (not referring to the emotions or sentimentality here) and feed the heart just as the Scriptures do. The failure to understand and deploy the language of the heart is, I think, why so many modern translations of the Bible seem so bloodless and sound so much like the daily newspaper instead of the kind of language we might expect from One who has come to speak to us from Heaven.

I still stand by what I said above; I do not believe the English Reformers would be very comfortable being made the "benchmark" for all time and history of Anglican liturgy. Even the preface to the original prayer book gives witness to this. We would do well to continue to search our patristic roots (and especially the Celtic) and see what kinds of liturgy might be available that are truly timeless and deep.

So let's all continue to pray fervently for the bishops of the ACNA, of GAFCON, and the team working on the new prayerbook for the ACNA, that they may follow closely the leading of the Holy Spirit and propose liturgies that would not only please us, but any person familiar with the faith of the undivided Church of Jesus Christ. And pray for the Eastern and Western catholic churches to amend the schism before we arrive at the 1000 year "celebration" of the first and worst of all the schisms that have so tragically rent the seamless garment of the church of Jesus Christ. No more "I am of Paul, I am of Cyrus, I am of Peter," nor even "I am of Cranmer." When proposing new liturgies, like ordaining bishops, we are doing so for the whole church everywhere, every time, every age. Our church did NOT start with Henry VIII but with the Lord and His Holy Apostles and brought to our birth land by unknown missionaries before the 3rd century A.D. Our liturgy should reflect that and not just a fight 500 years ago with Rome.

Just my thoughts, but my earnest hope in Christ is that the Holy Spirit is stirring up such thoughts in the minds and hearts of many. Jesus is still praying that His church be One as He and the Father are One. Liturgy, doctrine, practice all are related to love, humility and submission to that which is greater than the best minds of any age or people. May the Lord heal His church and make it one.

Fr. Carlos