Every English Mass Should Be Like the Anglican Ordinariate’s

We traveled to Houston this weekend and went to Holy Mass at Our Lady of Walsingham, a church in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

I was delighted when Pope Emeritus Benedict established the Anglican Ordinariate years ago, but I had never gone to one of its churches. Until Sunday.

True Anglo-Catholicism

The parish is beautiful. It is like an acre of England has been cut out and dropped in Houston. The church itself looks like a classic Anglican (originally Catholic!) church.

2012014032walsingham-crThe language of the liturgy is English, but the phrasing and words used are elegant, dignified, and mellifluous.

They have a great organ and accompanied it with traditional English hymns, sung very well. Much of the Mass was sung or chanted.

The Order of the Mass for the Anglican Ordinariate is what the English Mass should be: traditional, yet in the vernacular; accessible, yet reverent.

We’ve been to the Extraordinary Form (Latin) multiple times, and of course to the normal Ordinary Form (English) thousands of times, and the Ordinariate Mass captures the best of each Form in its own unique style.

What We Lost As English Catholics

In studying for many years the history of the Protestant Reformation, I have slowly realized the devastating loss that we as English-speaking Catholics have suffered due to King Henry VIII and the Anglican Protestant usurpation of Catholic England.

I know that sounds extreme, but it is the candid truth.

christmas-2014-olw-houston-3We should have had five hundred years of English Catholic music, culture, and life, but instead Catholics were hunted down and killed and the Church went underground there for a long time.

So Pope Emeritus Benedict showed great wisdom and brilliance in establishing the Anglican Ordinariate. He realized what we had lost, and he saw a way to retrieve some part of it, all while building a bridge to Anglicans (including Episcopalians) who have grown appalled at the fall of the Anglican Communion into unsalvagable heterodoxy.

He established the Ordinariate to include a reverent Mass, in English, of the Roman Rite, that also includes aspects of authentic Anglican patrimony. The result is a breath of fresh air: the accessibility of our English language with the reverence and tradition of the Extraordinary Form.

Regarding the lost English Catholic culture, most of the songs we sang were written by Anglican Protestants from the 17th through 19th centuries. One we sung lamented the “schisms and heresies” that wounded the Church. No doubt the original composer didn’t realize that his own Anglican community was in schism from the Church.

A New Via Media

Many Anglican Protestants believe their Communion to be a middle way between Protestantism and Catholicism. Sadly, it’s not the case.

Anglicanism is firmly Protestant, even though it retains some Catholic aspects (deacon-priest-bishop, a liturgy, etc.).

The Anglican Ordinariate is a via into full communion for Anglicans, and I think it can be a via media between the Ordinary Form and the Extraodinary Form.

OurLadyOfWalsinghamChurchI find it perplexing that two main options for Mass exist: an Ordinary Form English Mass with banal music and little reverence (clapping, slovenly dress, chatter and gum chewing, etc.), and a solemn, ethereal Extraordinary Form High Mass that is quite beautiful and reverent, but where it is difficult to follow what is going on.

A via media between those options is the Anglican Ordinariate’s liturgy. I see it as more like what the (Second Vatican) Council Fathers intended when they opened up the Liturgy to the vernacular. (For more on this, I recommend Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis.) The closest thing to it currently would probably be the Extraordinary Form Low Mass, which we’ve found to be quite warm and accessible when we’ve gone to daily Mass.

Distrusting Catholics Who Love Tradition

Many Catholics, including various priests and bishops, distrust anyone who seems like a “traditional Catholic.” That moniker has such a broad meaning that it render it unhelpful, but the stigma remains.

I conjecture that that distrust is why most bishops do not encourage the Extraordinary Form in their dioceses. In our diocese we have the Extraordinary Form celebrated at the Cathedral in the afternoon on Sundays. Blessedly, some priests in our diocese are learning the Extraodinary Form on their own and have celebrated it. Also, on the occasion that a seminarian from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is ordained and is from our area, that priest will often celebrate a daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form at our parish.

I also conjecture that the same sort of mistrustful feeling toward traditional Catholics is applied to the Anglican Ordinariate. I eyeballed the number of Anglican Ordinariate parishes in the United States and it can’t be more than 40 or so. Less than one per state! I don’t think we have even one Anglican Ordinariate parish in our diocese of over 100 parishes.

But why shouldn’t we have one? Or many? It would draw thousands of Anglicans to convert to Catholicism, and provide a haven for Catholics desiring more traditional liturgy. At Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston it was clear that many families drove long distances to come each week to the Sunday Mass.

Something Is Different Here!

You walk into Our Lady of Walsingham and know that you are in a different place, a consecrated place, a place set aside for holy use.

Yet the people have cheerful demeanors. They are peaceful and happy. It is not a stifled, stilted, or rigidly legalistic mood. The music is sacred and solemn, yet beautiful.

Many women are wearing veils. Because they want to. People are generally dressed in nicer clothes–not because they are richer–but because they know they are coming to a holy place and should dress appropriately.

They have an altar rail, which makes for reverent yet efficient reception of the Holy Eucharist. The best of both worlds. People receive on the tongue from ordained hands by intinction.

I’m not the pope, nor a bishop, nor a priest, nor even a deacon. I’m just a lay Catholic who wants his children to be immersed in authentic Catholic culture: liturgy, music, language, literature, dress, education, life. The liturgy is a key part of that. I would be ecstatic if the Anglican Ordinariate was brought into our diocese.

I think it would work wonders and be a seed planted that would sprout into new life, just as has happened with the Extraordinary Form in our diocese. Let us be not afraid to embrace our own patrimony and heritage! Let’s rediscover the beauty of our Faith, in particular of our Anglo-Catholic roots as English speakers, roots that go back over 1400 years.

I only wish that I had been Anglican so I could petition for the establishment of the Ordinariate in my diocese! However it works, let’s make it happen. God bless.

53 thoughts on “Every English Mass Should Be Like the Anglican Ordinariate’s”

  1. I think the reason there aren’t more of these is because there aren’t that many Traditional Anglicans wanting to come into Communion with Rome, which is the only way this would happen, as I understand it. We’ve been to the Anglican Ordinariate parish here in Omaha and it is great. If we didn’t have our amazing Fraternity of St. Peter parish here, we would probably go there more often (although I think you have to be of Anglican patrimony to formally join the Ordinariate and for the children to receive their first Sacraments in it).

    1. Dear Mr. Kline, I can actually clear up some confusion you may have about the Chair of Saint Peter. Yes you do have to be a convert or have a convert in your family to become part of the extraordinary diocese but you do not need to be a convert to join a parish and become a parishioner. And you do not need to be part of the extraordinary diocese to receive the sacraments in an Ordinariate Parish. You do however have to have permission from your pastor or your home diocese to do so but this is no different than getting permission to do this in any other dioceses which is not your home. For example my husband had to get permission from his pastor and the Cardinal (his bishop) to marry me in my home diocese. I myself go to OLW and my husband teaches the conformation class and a few of our confermundi are from the dioceses of Galveston Houston and with the correct paper work are allowed to receive the sacraments from Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson our Ordinary. I know this is all very confusing. It took me a while to get used to it all myself. I am a special case in the ordinariate because I am a cradle Catholic but am able to be part of the extraordinary dioceses because I was grandfathered in as a parishioner before the ordinariate was formed.

  2. My daughter attends a Catholic high school in the Houston area – the school’s Chaplain is a Catholic priest in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. At first I was concerned because I am cradle Catholic and a married priest is NEW to me; however, I researched the history of Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter and I am amazed and proud to be Catholic. And his first homily at the school was beautiful and actionable (which is so important for teens). I have not visited Our Lady of Walshingham (I live near it) but I will soon. I truly enjoy your posts! God Bless!

    1. Not all Ordinariate priests are married. Some have or had already taken the vow of celibacy. We have one such priest at St.Timothy’s Ordinariate parish in Fort Worth, a good and holy man of god. The Ordinariate is slowly growing. With the complete dissolution of the Episcopal church in the US, we will probably see more come over to Rome.. I also hope the Church will look at the Ordinariate Liturgy and take a formal reformation of the Ordinary Form of the Mass. In too many parishes, it is disastrous.

    1. I have heard that St. John Chrysostom is beautiful as well I have not yet been able to experience it for myself. But will continues to try to do so.

  3. As a priest of the Ordinariate, I can tell you how thankful I am for what the Church has given us for our sacramental liturgies, and for the faithful who attend. The comments above echo what I’ve heard from Latin Mass attenders and from others who have simply visited out of curiosity.

    Regarding who can and cannot be part of the Ordinaraite, the Complimentary Norms for the Ordinariate are pretty specific, but also keep in mind that this is part of the evangelistic mission of the Church. I know of a family that is a regular diocesan Catholic family, but who are drawn to what the Ordinariate has to offer. While they cannot be official members of the Ordinariate, they can attend if they like. They can also have their children baptized into the Ordinariate, as long as they do the right and proper coordination with their local pastor to get his permission to have the sacraments elsewhere. This is something that our little community is currently working through.

  4. Thank you for that ringing endorsement! I am a charter member of the ordinariate and train acolytes at Incarnation Catholic Church in Orlando, FL.
    Not only do you find the extraordinary form said out loud and in English but as you said there are a number of prayers and sentences that were part of the English catholic tradition (Sarum rite) some of which date back to the time of William the conqueror. The Prayer for Purity, summary of the law, Prayer of humble access, Prayer of contrition, and The Thanksgiving are all beautiful Catholic prayers that are once again prayed in a Catholic Church. Its good to be home. If you are ever in Orlando come and visit, we love visitors!

    OH and come to hear the word preached. Our priest is an faithful expositor of biblical truth and get comfortable because a sermon is more than a 10 minute “three points and a poem”. I promise you you will leave with you soul full and ready to face another week.

  5. While I am completely with you about proper reverence at the Sacrifice of the Mass, statements like “either the Ordinary Form Mass with banal music and little reverence or a solemn and reverent Extraordinary Form Mass” are what raises flags among the pastors about Catholics with traditional sensibilities. What if I told you that I have been to solemn and reverent masses in the Ordinary Form and to banal and little reverent masses in the Extraordinary Form? There is nothing magical about a particular order of the Mass or even a rite that shields it from lukewarm pastors and parishes. But, yes, irreverence, banal music, abuses, must go and now.

    1. Augustine,

      I get what you are saying but the vast majority of the time it is the reverse of what you said. Yes, many Ordinary Form Masses are reverent. But a great many are not. And they could be more reverent and beautiful with the lovely language of the Anglican Ordinariate’s Mass.

      1. The reference is not as much in the form of the mass as in the congregation. Whether it’s the extraordinary or the Anglican form, such congregations, since they have to go out of their way to attend such liturgies, are more devoted to the mass than the average Catholic. This attitude and not the rite is what makes up the reference. Otherwise, implying that the rite, in and of itself, makes people reverent is just shy of superstition. This is patently false, since those who concocted the ordinary form and those who abused it with questionable innovations had attended the note extraordinary form of the mass for all of their lives.

        In conclusion, Catholics need to be taught to be reverent, preferably by example, when attending either the extraordinary or the Anglican forms may help. At least while such congregations pass on their reference to the next generations, lest they surrender to the same spirit of the age that plagues the ordinary form.

        Pax Christi

        1. You are right Augustine.
          It ALL depends on the celebrant. If the priest practices, teaches, and EXPECTS a certain behavior, and goes about it with humility and charity, then it becomes the norm, even if it takes some time, with those few oddball exceptions.
          At the core of it all there is Courage and Wisdom, which are generally lacking. Additionally, a deeply flawed understanding of sin and its effects and accountability provide the fertile ground for the banal and abuse to propagate.

        2. I agree that Catholics must be taught to be reverent. How do you teach them to be reverent? One way would be with beautiful prayers. Words have meaning and the prayers form the Book of Divine Worship are beautiful and make you feel the need to be reverent. You feel like to are talking to God and He is right there listening. I belong Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, TX. I have been here for 23 years. I am a cradle Catholic that came back to the more traditional Liturgy because I got tired of not knowing what kind of Mass I was going to attend. Every priest said it differently. Lack of reverence, chewing gum, banal music all was part of my experience in my previous parish. Priest would not genuflect in front of the Tabernacle or the consecrated Host.
          During Consecration they would not raised the Host above their heads, Communion in the hand, etc. etc. I could give many examples of lack of reverence. It starts with the priests. My belief is that if priests would use the beautiful and reverent words of the Book of Divine worship they themselves would begin to show more reverence and by example the laity would follow.
          Lovingly in Jesus Christ,

  6. Thank you Mr. Rose for this wonderful article.

    Like you, I was overjoyed by Pope Emeritus Benedict’s decision to form the Ordinariate for our brethren in the Church of England to join and “reunite” in the Catholic Church. Any story of reunion in the Church with our protestant brethren is a gift of the Holy Spirit and therefore, it gives new life in the Church.

    I share your sentiments about the constant banality of the Ordinary Form of the Mass which remains a huge task of the Church today.

    I wish that we, Filipinos, will be able to experience this Mass here in the Philippines, especially, the younger generation, who, because of today’s culture, surely missed a lot about our Catholic heritage. I pray that all
    all Catholics will be able to discern what takes place in the Mass so that we will have the right attitude towards it. Jesus is in the Mass therefore, we should give nothing short of our all for Him there.

  7. Loved reading this, Devin.
    For someone like me who has only been exposed to the Ordinary Form (Latin Mass as a child), and been a music minister of 30+ years, your heart’s desire is mine, but the Lord puts me serving Him and His Church in places where sometimes it is heart-breaking to see and hear things. It is my hope that through this spiritual suffering and enduring it patiently, which leads to praying for them out of regard for those souls that will be influenced by them in a poor way, may the Lord transform these priests into holy, faithful, and reverent ones.

    Just the other day, while in prayer, after a couple of weeks of having dealt with two priests that had serious erroneous doctrinal issues, I broke down and asked the Lord:
    “When will I go to a Mass where the teaching is totally Catholic in doctrine and I am fed, instead of having to be the teacher, and reverence is of the highest order? Is this the cross You gave me for the rest of my life?”

    I guess, I am making up for my past sins. For the suffering I have and still put the Lord through. Could be worst.

  8. The Oratory in Pittsburgh has a beautiful combination that seems to me to combine the reverence of the extradordinary form and the accessibility of the Novus Ordus. Good bit of latin, reverence and lots of young people due to its location near universities.

  9. Fine article. There is also a Ordinariate in Scranton, St. Joseph Church (parish is St. Thomas More). Beautiful liturgy, wonderful choir. We go as often as we can to the Evensong services every month.

  10. What Elizabeth shares above is only partly correct, re: reception of the sacraments in Ordinariate churches by non-Ordinariate Catholics.

    While it is true that sacraments of initiation and Holy Matrimony require special permission on the part of non-Ordinariate folk, it is NOT true that such permission is required for worthy reception of Holy Communion or the Rite of Reconciliation. Attendance at an Ordinariate church on Sunday (or the Vigil Mass) fulfills the Sunday obligation for Catholic who attends, whether or not they are Ordinariate Catholics, and they don’t need permission to do so. What the documents establishing the Ordinariate wish to accomplish is an orderly record of one’s “home church”, and consistency in administering what might be considered “stage-of-life” sacraments. I hope this clarifies the issue.

  11. Once we get past the fact that “Anglo-Catholicism” is heresy, which it is, and even typing the word should provoke a pain response in every sane Catholic still left in this world, we get to the real problem. What did we lose as English Catholics, well that’s easy, we lost the Latin. The vernacular is the langage of the world. Latin is, or at least used to be, the language of the Church. One more to the list of grave errors those within the Church who seek to destroy it have wrought upon us. May God have mercy on us all.

    1. Nagash, we gain more than the Latin from the Ordinariate liturgy, we gain the beauty of the Book of Common Prayer, written in an English that cannot be surpassed.

      1. Wrong. Ecumenism is heresy. There are no exceptions. If the “Anglo-Catholics” are not willing to join the one true Catholic Church and abandon their heresy, the result is clear. It really is that simple.

        1. Nagash, I’ve allowed two of your comments through. But will likely not allow more, unless you provide something more substantial than accusing “Anglo-Catholics”–whomever that refers to–of heresy.

          1. Not my problem if you don’t like the truth. You do what you care to do, the truth yet remains, and always will. I will pray for you.

            1. Nagash, that is your last comment here. Future ones will go in the trash.

              You’re right though: I don’t like the truth. Instead, I love the truth. I love Jesus Christ, who is the Truth, who loves me as well, and who founded His Church and has protected her from error.

              Follow the Church and remain in full communion with her.

              God bless,

              1. Well said Devin. I think that he does not understand what the Ordinareate is or he would have not comment the way he did. I will pray for him also.

          2. Thanks Devin for defending the legitimate Anglo Catholic.
            I am still an Anglican/Episcopalian.
            Roman Catholics who think they are the sole repository of Christianity are not heeding the Councils of the Church.
            I fully understand why traditionalists think they are the only way. Some
            It is easy for some Roman Catholics to dismiss the Second Vatican Council, but our beloved holy fathers John XXIII and Paul VI were the visionaries who wanted to draw other Christians in; rather than drive them away

        2. Nagash, is your knowledge of what constitutes heresy greater than that of Pope Benedict XVI, who laid the foundations for the return of Anglo-Catholics to the Church?

      1. That would be understandable, since Latin is generally much more limited than Greek, which would provide for many nuances and meanings to be lost in the translation, but the bigger problem was that Greek had lost its importance in the West, and the common language was no longer Greek.
        St Jerome also disagreed with certain things, and in the end went along. Many bishops disagree with certain things that take place at one time or another, but in the end the Church is not guided solely by one or two bishops, although, at times, these lonely ‘beast of courage’ are the ones that the Holy Spirit uses to protect and lead the Church through rough waters.

  12. As a Roman Catholic “convert” who spent years in Virginia going to one “Anglican Catholic” church to another I was thrilled when Pope Benedict made his decision. We moved to NJ prior to Pope Benedict’s decision so we simply converted as we needed to find a community that was not in a state of heresy. I still have my Book of Common prayer and miss the Sarum Mass. I will be forever grateful for the Pope’s decision though. I do wish more Catholics could experience the Sarum Mass.

  13. I am sorry to say, Christ liveth as long as there is a Mass. If we all liked to celebrate Mass in the traditional Latin Mass as it was done for 2,000 years… we would not be thinking of English or French or German ….The Mass should remain in its formal and traditional Form_ the LATIN EXTRAORDINARY FORM. The Latin should unite all of us Christians. Honoring our past and preserving our future. Alas, the more we change the Mass and abandon our tradition the more the church remains broken. Why temper with our ancestors? they have already paved the way to worshiping CHRIST not political forms. These ideas and mind games only makes us Catholics neither Catholic nor ENGLISH. A joke for all others who may think of joining us. Stability depends on the foundation, lets not shake the foundation of the church of CHRIST – The Church is not just ENGLISH so why should the Mass be more like PROTESTANT. We shed enough blood to keep our CHURCH – UNIVERSAL and LATIN as per its founder , PETER. Let the English become more LATIN instead, that would be extraordinary indeed !!

    1. Christ lives whether there is mass celebrated our not. He has lived forever since before the beginning of time.

      Also, the order of the mass normalized by the Council of Trent, the Tridentine Mass, is about 11, not 20, centuries old. Then it was not even the only liturgy form in the Christian West, but particular to Rome and the Holy Roman Empire, or Central Europe.

      Pax Christi

    2. Actually, Marie, and adding to Augustine’s comment, the Latin EF is roughly 450 years old, with its final minor revisions in the 20th century. Before this there were a vast number of variations and rites within the Latin west, of which still remains the one of St Ambrose of Milan.

      In the 16th century, with all the abuses and variations and finding itself in the midst of the Protestant ‘multiplication and disobedience’, there was a thorough reforming of the Mass, to stop all abuses and variants—standardize it for the universal Latin Rite = one Mass.

      From what I have come to understand, the general form of the Latin Rite Mass, actually goes back to another reform that took place in the 8th or 9th centuries, but this is still not its origins. It became widely Latinized, with the flow that we are familiar with in the West, somewhere in the 4th century. The ABRUPT change in the Latin Liturgy that took place at this time has been a difficult one to figure out, since not enough info is available to understand or follow it.

      If we would be able to go to the earliest Masses, we would have been listening to prayers in Aramaic and Greek, of which, some of those prayers still carry on today in the Latin/Vernacular Mass of the Latin Rite. Of the few Greek prayers that have persisted, the Kyrie is one of them.

      There are some who believe that today’s Antiochene Rite may still hold in its ‘essence’ the most ancient form of the Mass; lots of development here also, with an abundance of external add ons going on, which create a beauty all its own. Therefore, if we want to go to the EARLIEST Mass, we may be able to find it, if we to go to one of these, and not to the TLM of the 16th century, or the EF of the Mass we have today.
      But … if you want to go to a Mass where many of the prayers are still spoken in the language of Jesus, then you need to go to one of the Maronites.

      Hope this helps in clearing up some of the false info that you have been exposed to and have come to accept as ‘gospel truth’. The ONE thing that is beautiful about the Catholic Church is that in its worship it is Universal, and not Uniform. Many of these Liturgies find its roots back to the various ways the different apostle celebrated the Eucharist.

  14. “We should have had five hundred years of English Catholic music, culture, and life, but instead Catholics were hunted down and killed and the Church went underground there for a long time.”–One comment about the first part of this statement: The Oratorian Oxford Movement converts (Blessed John Henry Newman, Father Frederick Faber, Father Edward Caswall) and others (Canon Frederick Oakeley for example) did provide the revived and renewed Catholic Church in the nineteenth century with beautiful original and translated hymns and prayers. They worked to supply the loss of centuries! I don’t think we’ve had the access to their legacy in the USA (or their works were replaced by “All that I Am”, “Sons of God”, and “Eagle’s Wings” when the vernacular replaced Latin in the Mass)!

  15. I have not yet attended an Ordinariate Mass, but hope I will be able to one day. I have, however, met some wonderful Ordinariate priests. I know that the Ordinariate has been erected in Australia, but as far as I know there are no Ordinariate Masses here in New Zealand yet.

    I think it a pity that nobody explained to poor Nagush that Ordinariate members are fully Catholic, in full communion with Rome. I may be wrong, but feel he may have been suffering a misunderstanding between Ordinariate Catholics and Anglo-Catholics within the Anglican/Episcopalian Church.

  16. Someone mentioned that the “Tridentine mass” dates back to Trent. Trent codified it, but the form itself is from the time of the Apostles. Only minor changes occurred throughout history, until the 1960s. The mass was not completely transmogrified until Pope Paul VI protestantized the liturgy. Bugnini, the Novus Ordo’s great architect (pun intended), divested the Roman Rite of nearly everything Catholic, diminishing the theology of the priest as intercessor, profaning the offertory (replacing it with a Jewish table blessing), etc. People are finally starting to wake up, vindicating the traditionalists’ half-century of resistance to the modernist reprogramming. In any case, the problem lies in this “via media” nonsense. That heretics wish to return to communion is wonderful, but it must be a wholehearted shift from infidelity to Catholicism. Let them see the error of their former ways and rejoice in their newfound redemption. We must not give the impression that there can be a middle ground. Are we to expect a Lutheran ordinariate in the future? Well, then we would have a different church altogether, not the Universal Church. The Anglo-Catholics saw what they were and decided that they should be with Peter. Cardinal Newman did not set up a barrier, neither should they. In the first place, their traditions are ours. They don’t come from Cranmer, they come from Holy Mother Church.

    1. The earliest records of the Tridentine Mass date from the time of Charles Magne, who was the first person to want to impose the liturgy of Rome to all of Christendom.

      Even a few centuries earlier, from the time of St Gregory the Great, the Mass in Rome was still rather Byzantine. The assertion that the Tridentine Mass dates from the times of the Apostles is false.

      The oldest liturgy in use nowadays is of the first century by St James, as found in the Syriac Churches, such as the Syro Malankara and the Maronite Churches.

      1. Thanks for being part of this dialogue.
        It is good to see someone that knows about the History of the Liturgy.
        I have also come across the claim that the Antiochene Rite may hold the most ancient ‘form’, although it has seen ‘development’ and many whistles and bells have been added.
        As I mentioned in another comment above, the Maronites still celebrate much in the ancient Aramaic.
        Your thoughts, Augustine?

        1. I agree, the Liturgy of St James seems to have consensus among scholars about its being the most ancient in use today. But, as much as I love the Maronite Liturgy, the Maronite Church acknowledges that it has suffered from much Latin influence. The price of being the only Eastern Catholic Church which has always been in communion with Rome is that it’s regarded as the most latinized of them. Of course, its Liturgy is still very much Antiochene Syriac, but, if I may put it this way, Rome made its weight be felt by the Maronites over the centuries. From their being accused of heresy for ignoring subtle scholasticism at the times of the Crusades to the burning their liturgical books and forcing them to adopt the Roman Rite for some decades after Trent, something was bound to be lost. The Syro Malankara Church has probably kept more of the Liturgy of St James, which is said to be hardly distinguishable from the ancient Maronite Liturgy.

          On a side note, methinks that such backhanded treatment of the uniate Eastern Churches until recently probably gives the Orthodox Churches pause and they will probably wait on for at least a couple of centuries to confirm that this is not merely the policy of just a couple of friendly popes.

          Pax Christi

      1. Thanks, that’s what I thought. I’ve been to St Mary’s in Arlington. I was blown away because I had not been to a traditional Anglican mass in years. I was raised Episcopalian. I agree, it is beautiful. What a gift.

  17. I didn’t say that the Tridentine mass itself dates from the time of the Apostles, but that its form does, its essential character. Which is more like the rites that you mention–the Latin mass or the Novus Ordo? Which has the priest facing east, like in the ancient liturgies? Which has the priest reciting the words of institution inaudibly? Which sacrifices on an altar in a sanctuary, as opposed to on a Reformation-style table? Which distributes holy communion only on the tongue?

    1. I have to agree with you that the Novus Ordo was an abrupt development in the Roman Liturgy. Though it was a development far from congruent with its history, none of those traits that you mentioned are part of it, but abuses that regrettably became common place.

      Nevertheless, after the Council, the new Roman Liturgy caused scandal among the Eastern and Orthodox Churches. It was such an oversimplification and striping off of reference that, in my opinion, it bordered on something akin to iconoclasm.

      Having said that, I hold that the Novus Ordo liturgy did retain the essential character of the Mass of the ages: the Eucharist.

      Pax Christi

  18. I just want to be clear: I am in no way criticizing this article, as I agree with the essential premise of the author. And I am not indicting his own use of “Via Media.” I’m only pointing out that a synthesis of Anglicanism and Catholicism existing in the Latin rite may create fragmentation in the Church. The Ordinariate should not permit the Book of Common Prayer, for instance. It is not Catholic. Really, what we need is a return to the Tridentine mass but with the option to use the vernacular. That would solve our problems.

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