Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Another Possibility for Enrichment of the OF?

The nomination of a bishop for the Anglican Ordinariate in the US and Canada served as a "poke" to get me to look at the description of their new missal (Divine Worship), which got news coverage in these days:

As a liturgical text, it expresses a Eucharistic celebration that is “at once distinctively and traditionally Anglican in character, linguistic register, and structure, while also being clearly and recognizably an expression of the Roman Rite.” It has the stated purpose of situating itself “firmly within the shape and context of the Roman Rite so that it might be approached in a manner which respects its own integrity and authority.” As such, the text uses what is called “Prayer Book English,” making allowances for “a certain adaptability to local custom.”

Technically, the liturgical provision for the Ordinariate does not constitute its own proper rite. Any validly ordained Roman Catholic priest can concelebrate at a Mass according to Divine Worship, but such liturgies can be celebrated publicly only at parishes or communities of the Ordinariate. Catholics can licitly fulfill the Sunday obligation to attend Mass by hearing a liturgy celebrated according to the new missal.

Divine Worship ...offers two Eucharistic prayers, the normative one being the Roman Canon. An alternative prayer is included for use during the week...

Unlike Roman Catholic missals, Divine Worship does not have a liturgical season called Ordinary Time. Rather, “Time After Epiphany” (“Epiphanytide”) or “Pre-Lent” and “Trinitytide” fill out the year. Both Ember Days and Rogation Days are included. Christmas and Easter are celebrated on the same day universally throughout the Catholic Church. And, the cult of the saints is observed according to the General Roman Calendar. Some provisions have been made for the calendars of local or particular churches.

I pose the question about whether it be possible to see "Divine Worship", despite its being essentially Anglican, as a source of enrichment for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. I do so rather spontaneously, because DW notably does two good things: in restoring the normativity of the Roman Canon for Catholic Sunday worship; in going with the older and more suggestive names for times of year in the liturgical calendar: Time after Epiphany, Pre-Lent, Trinitytide. Ember and Rogation Days make a comeback as well in DW.

Needless to say, "Divine Worship" does not represent even a potential reset for the Roman Rite as such, capable of driving the recovery of that continuity with our Catholic tradition which would be a sine qua non for genuine organic development in the Roman Rite, but for so many who offhandedly reject restoration as the path to liturgical renewal, my hope would be that in the two points I have singled out DW might give certain hardened hearts pause to reflect on their refusal to look again at the EF as the ineluctable reset point.

We pray unceasingly for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for the Supreme Legislator, that he might find ways to gently guide the flock home through adherence to worship ad Orientem and sound teaching on the requirements for worthy reception of Holy Communion. Generous exposure of our future priests to the EF being part of what might be understood as a necessary and serious commitment to the mutual enrichment of the two forms of the one Rite.


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