Monday, March 22, 2010

Prayer Book Catholicism

One thing I never cease to be thankful for is the fact that I managed to learn about Anglicanism in a Prayer Book Catholic parish just before the present tide of Revisionism started to wash over the Church of England. This Prayer Book Catholic tradition had, in that particular parish, succeeded to the old Protestant High Churchmanship of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries giving it a very definite sense of having been there always.

Prayer Book Catholicism is the moderate strand within the nineteenth century Catholic Revival within the Church of England. Unlike Anglo-Papalism which looked longingly to Rome for guidance both in theology and liturgy, Prayer Book Catholics looked to the Early Fathers for their theology and to the mediaeval English Uses when it wanted to deduce the proper ceremonial to use with the Book of Common Prayer.

I suppose if you were to ask me what is the archetypal "Prayer Book Catholic" theological work I would have to answer C. B. Moss "The Christian Faith." The copy I possess has a picture of Moss in cassock, gown, tippet and Canterbury Cap sat in a rose garden stuck in it, which seems curiously appropriate. Moss takes his theology from the Holy Scriptures and Early Fathers, and to a lesser extent the greats of later centuries. He is also a commonsense theologian who prefers the factual to the fanciful. Behind Moss stood a whole theological tradition including Charles Gore the "liberal" Catholic, Armitage Robinson, Lightfoot, Hort, John Wordsworth, then reaching back, figures like Van Mildert, Waterland, Burnet, Cosin, Andrewes, Hooker, and so on and so forth. These were the men who had put the meat on the bones of the Elizabethan Settlement, and raised Anglican scholarship to the level of being the "stupor mundi."

Later exponants of the Prayer Book Catholic theological tradition include William Wand (1885-1977) who as Archbishop of Brisbane and later as Bishop of London wrote a whole series of popular books about the High Church Movement. A more serious pair of theologians in the Prayer Book Catholic tradition were Austin Farrer and Michael Ramsey. All of them emphasized both the Biblical and Sacramental in their theological writings.

When it came to liturgics, the English Prayer Book Catholic's favourite guide had to be "The Parson's Handbook" by the Rev. Dr. Percy Dearmer. Dearmer was an enigmatic figure whose interests ranged from the mainstream to the eccentric and back again. He was passionately committed to Prayer Book Catholicism and Christian Socialism before World War I; later, after loosing his first wife and a son in the Great War, a crisis of Faith made him into strong liberal and early advocate of the ordination women. Oddly, their experiences in World War I often led theologians to travel the other way - from Victorian Liberalism to Neo-Orthodoxy. In another paradox Dearmer remained committed to "the English Use" inspite of his conversion to Liberalism and was able to render some small assistance to the Rev. Jocelyn Perkins, the sacrist of Westminster Abbey, when he became a Canon there in 1931.

Dearmer was not an original liturgical scholar - and never claimed to be. Instead he put the academic research into a useable form - "The Parson's Handbook" - which ran through some twelve editions between 1899 and 1932. The Handbook was immensely popular with the average High Church Parson who wished to enrich the worship of the Church without being disloyal to the Book of Common Prayer. This is no surprise, as it had started with the persistent question of his first Vicar, who kept asking the young Anglo-Catholic fireband, "Is it in the Prayer Book?"

Another "Dearmer as Prayer Book Catholic" production was the "English Hymnal" whose publication was prompted by the diasterous revised version of Hymns Ancient and Modern published in 1904. In addition to roughly six hundred hymns "The English Hymnal" also incorporated the texts of the Sarum Introits, Graduals, Alleluias and Tracts for use in the BCP Communion Service. Dearmer acted as the text editor, whilst Ralph Vaughan Williams - a professed agnostic with a love of church music and folksong - was the music editor. The requirements that texts should be spiritually objective and free of doctrinal eccentricity, and the music be worth singing left a permanent mark not just on the English Hymnal, but also influenced the PECUSA 1940 Hymnal, and the 1950 "Hymns Ancient and Modern Revised."

On the whole, Prayer Book Catholicism stood for a reformed Catholicism that started from the premise that the English Reformers of Elizabeth I's reign knew what they were doing. They also maintained that the subsequent adjustments of the tradition in the Catholic direction; first by the Catroline Divines, then by eighteenth century High Churchmen, and the moderate Tractarians were organic developments of that tradition. It was a party that took its stand on the Prayer Book and the Articles, and backed them up with the Holy Scripture, the Earlky Fathers, and good scholarship.

Paradoxically, it the the Prayer Book Catholic tradition that gets the shortest shrift from both the Continuing Churches, the "Neo-Cons" in ACNA, and official Anglicanism. Continuing Anglicanism being of American origin seems to have little room for something so "English" though it is the one group that might be able to bridge the gap between Anglo-Catholics, and traditional Broad Churchmen. The bulk of the Neo-Cons in ACNA are too enamoured of the liturgical movement, the charismatic movement and various other movements to be much interested in it; besides which it seems "old hat." Lastly the official Anglican Communion seems to like its catholic style of worship, but absolutely no use for its theology - after all, humanity is all grown up now and we don't need Christian Orthodoxy anymore. Yeah right!

Given that so many folks think they have no use for Prayer Book Catholicism, and perhaps because it takes the catholic nature of Anglicanism so seriously, it is perhaps the one movement that needs to come back in a big way. The same goes for its slightly more "protestant" sister Central Churchmanship, by the way. The great danger for the Continuum in embracing traditional RC liturgics and a watered down version of post-Tridentine Catholic theology is that we send out the wrong message about Continuing Anglicanism. That wrong message is that Anglicanism is second best - the real thing is Tridentine Roman Catholicism!

Now we would not want that, would we?

59 comments:

Canon Tallis said...

Considering that the music editor of the very Roman and Tridentine Mass yearning blog, the New Liturgical Movement, just finished praising very highly the music to Offices, Graduals, Alleluias, Tracts, Offretorys and Communions which has just been republished after being all but unavailable for so many years, one wonders if there isn't a section of the Roman Church that doesn't look with a certain longing for the glories of Prayer Book Catholicism? It would seem if you run the full gamut of it that they would have very much liked to have had something very like what one found at St Mary's Primrose Hill, or again now at St Cyprian's, Clarence Gate rather than what Paul VI gave them.

And yet we, whose natural inheritance it actually is, neither know nor value it. I was in precisely the habit My Lord Peter describes a couple of decades ago when the members of one of the two local parish choirs invited me to a Sunday Brunch. I later learned they threw the brunch and invited me precisely because they wanted their clergy to see what a properly attired priest looked like. Their curate was wearing a fuzzy pink sweater probably purchased from 'All American Boy' while I looked like the the illustration in the Parson's Handbook. Irony, no?

Anonymous said...

I love this sentence:

"The great danger for the Continuum in embracing traditional RC liturgics and a watered down version of post-Tridentine Catholic theology ia that we send out the wrong message about Continuing Anglicanism."

Thank you, Bishop Robinson!

LKW

Shaughn said...

Very well articulated defense of Prayer Book Catholicism. It isn't quite where I am, precisely, but I definitely appreciate a thoughtful presentation of it.

I knew Percy Dearmer had argued strongly for the establishment of a lay order of deaconesses, but it had been my impression that he remained fairly strongly opposed to women's ordination. I'm thinking of the Parson's Handbook, where he writes, almost prophetically,

"The parson will therefore use a gentle authority against the good ladies who unconsciously try to approximate church vestments to the feminine attire with which they are familiar. For ecclesiastical vestments are for men, and it will be a bad day for us when we forget this fact."

He's speaking about lace, of course, but his argument is (for me, anyway) gentle, good-humored, and true. His children, however, carried the ball much further toward women's ordination than he had; I think his grand daughter sought the diaconate in the Church of England.

By contrast, Michael Ramsay eventually did seem ambivalent at best about the issue, receiving communion from women serving in the Episcopal Church in his retirement.

I'm struck by the inclusion, also, of Charles Gore, who was perfectly happy with the notion of an Intermediate State, in contrast to an explicit doctrine of Purgatory. Is it, therefore, within the boundaries of Prayer Book Catholicism?

Brian said...

The great danger for the Continuum in embracing traditional RC liturgics and a watered down version of post-Tridentine Catholic theology ia that we send out the wrong message about Continuing Anglicanism. That wrong message is that Anglicanism is second best - the real thing is Tridentine Roman Catholicism!

This is an excellent point we should take to heart--along with the rest of this fine contribution!

derril said...

Thank you Bishop Robinson.

Would you say an emphasis on personal preparation before receiving Holy Communion is part of the Prayer Book Catholic tradition? Of course the Offices of Instructions say, "It is required of those who come to the Lord's Supper to examine themselves...". As with many things in the Prayer Book this has its source in Scripture. Specifically this requirement comes from I Corinthians 11:27-29. In my youth our parish encouraged the use of "Preparation for Holy Communion and Thanksgiving after Communion" published by Parish Press in Fond du Lac.

Just for context, I am a layman in my 60s and have been a member of the ACC for 20 plus years.

Paleologos said...

Goodness gracious. Are we never going to get to the bottom of the "missals are bad" well? It's run pretty dry. Message to the world: "We're pretty busy rehashing the arguments about ceremonial which the Elizabethans found so engaging. Why aren't you streaming to us in droves?"

Anonymous said...

A superb defense of the tradition that carries on the biblical catholicism of Cranmer, Ridley, Jewel, Hooker, Laud, Bramhall, Taylor and later worthies.

Many thanks, Bp. Peter

-MET

charles said...

Hi Paleologos,

Why is prayer book conformity important?

Here is a persuasive defense by Dearmer,
“If English Priests had stuck to their formularies as Romans and Easterns have to theirs, then the English Church would to-day be as marked as the Roman or the Eastern Churches are by such practices as frequent Services, fasting, the supremacy of the Eucharist, and the use of distinctive vestments for the Sacraments. Those who still fancy that obedience is insular would do well to consider seriously what alternative they have to propose. They will find that the only alternative is anarchy, under which each parson may set up his own ideas of Church order and worship; and these ideas have persistently differed, not in details only, but in essentials, from the principles of the Church Catholic. By this system; or want of system, you may have a pseudo-Romanism in one parish, a pseudo-Puritanism in another, and a decorated worldliness in another, but in few will you have Catholic worship and order. Nor will you gain the respect or trust of the rest of the Church or of the world at large… But loyalty to the Prayer Book disarms the enemies of the Church, at the same time as it restores the effectiveness of her friends. And if we set–as we should–the fortunes of the Church Universal above those of our own communion, we shall still do well to remember that the weakening of Anglicanism would remove the greatest agency which God in His providence has left in the world for the reunion of Christendom.”

Death Bredon said...

Thanks for a wonderful post Bishop Robinson!

It is heartening to know that we still have living memory of the tradition in which a churchmen becomes ever more Catholic by becoming more throughly and authentically Anglican.

RC Cola said...

one wonders if there isn't a section of the Roman Church that doesn't look with a certain longing for the glories of Prayer Book Catholicism?

I can answer that for you: yes.

when I was an RC and seeing how much of our patrimony was thrown down the memoryhole, I turned to Ralph Vaugh Williams, Charles Villiars Stanford, John Neale, et al., for decent music.

I was also of the mind that it would have been better to simply translate the TLM into grand Elizabethan English rather than gut the Mass and translate it with the clumsy and often dishonest ICEL English.

...but I don't have to worry about it anymore.

Anonymous said...

Moss, a cleric who represents a time when Anglicanism was not the sick man of the Christian world, shared the same confidence in the integrity and coherence of the formularies that we see in Dearmer.

The latter's point about Anglicanism as "the greatest agency" for the reunion of Christendom hints in part, I believe, at its dual identity as a church which is both profoundly biblical and deeply catholic. And this has tremendous significance, once you consider that a figure like Moss, who was passionately committed to the vision of a sacramental communion between the CoE and the EO church, was not about to brook any divergence from Anglican principles in the name of ecumenicity- especially the pivotal principle of having scriptural warrant for all doctrine.

And yet, precisely at a time when Anglicanism was still sticking to its guns (i.e., the first half of the 20th-century) we find Eastern Patriarchs affirming the validity of Anglican orders, and allowing their parishioners to recieve the Sacraments from Anglican priests.

Perhaps we could regain the trust we lost decisively in the 1970's, by following Dearmer's advice?

-MET

Anonymous said...

Paleologos said...
Message to the world: "We're pretty busy rehashing the arguments about ceremonial which the Elizabethans found so engaging. Why aren't you streaming to us in droves?"

Lets change a few words and see if this holds up:
Message to the world: "We're pretty busy rehashing the arguments about the Constitution which the Founders found so engaging. Why aren't you streaming to us Progressives and our healthcare bill in droves?"
Or maybe this: "We're pretty busy rehashing the arguments about the Bible which the RC's, Episcopalians, Mormons, 7day Ad, etc., found so engaging. Why aren't you streaming to us in droves?"
How about we insert Marxism?

Some arguments never change and cannot be resolved and some as soon as we forget we suffer the consequences immediately. As for droves lets look at the numbers of any denomination and by and large most are in decline. Those gaining use gimmickry, watered down doctrine or simply make up stuff to attract people- the magic money heresy comes to mind.
So if what your suggesting is be ignorant and people will come in droves I think your right but what profit is it?

John
veri:prood

Anonymous said...

Moss mentions in the chapter on the Eucharist the topic of reservation in a tabernacle. He says it is a medieval Roman practice and a dangerous one at that- as it assumes(if you page back to 364) the permanent presence of Christ's body in the elements which goes to Transubstantiation and monophysit-ism.

He goes on to say: "The practice of reservation is universal, harmless, and necessary and would probably never have aroused controversy had it not been complicated by the practice of using the reserved sacrament as a centre of worship."

This practice was entirely unknown until about the 11th century, and is still unknown in the Eastern churches"(so much for universality).
He continues: "The modern form of this cult, Adoration, Benediction, and Exposition, were unknown in England before the Reformation, and were not practiced even by the English Romanists until the 19th century... Latria is constantly forbidden in Scripture (1 Cor. x. 14; etc.,)... the cult of the reserved sacrament leads to the neglect of the Holy Spirit (which is notorious in the Roman Communion) and of the mystical presence of Christ in the Church".

That being said, and knowing this practice is observed in the CC and the ACC, I wonder how it is we can justify the use of the Vincentian rule that is bandied about by Fr. Hart (myself) and others? Where is the appeal to antiquity and Catholicism in such a Romish medieval and superstitious innovation?

With all the web-print on this Blog dedicated to the Coetibus crowd swallowing Romanism it seems a bit hypocritical that this mote be in thy eye and when for years so many have helped in the procession Rome-wards by uncritically adopting most every vestment and practice of that foreign Church! All in the general cloaking of an incremental agenda preparing the laity for an eventual reunion of some form.
It's time for the ACC to put up or shut up. Purge the accrual of un-catholic practices once for all and demonstrate your Anglican and not a sect cut off from antiquity!


Alan

Fr.Jas.A.Chantler said...

I appreciate the Bishop's contributions to this blog and I thank Charles for submitting that quote of Dearmer.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Alan:

I resist any reduction of an argument to a purely simplistic level, and much more the idea of demanding a decision between two extremes that has no practical or useful meaning, a demand for a choice where none is required. It is worse when it is based on a false claim from history. Reservation, in various forms, can be traced to ancient sources, including a very unusual and completely abandoned form mentioned by Justin Martyr. It was accepted and practiced with the approval of English reformers. The purpose was for having the sacrament available for those who were sick or otherwise unable to come to the church. Furthermore, we know that this practice was ancient, very clearly ante-Nicene.

Also, the idea of the sacrament losing its consecration over time may be acceptable to some Lutherans, but was never the teaching of the English Church at any time in its history. But, if you believe the sacrament reverts back into mere bread and wine, pray tell, exactly how much time do we have to take it or lose it? Or, is the reversion gradual? And, how does this square with the faith of the people? How does this become reconciled with Cranmer and Hooker, who refused to let us believe that we can know more than what Christ said, and that the sacrament is the Communion (koinania) with Christ's Body and Blood?

You create a philosophy more legalistic than any Roman mind would conceive of, and pass it off as Anglican.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart ,
Perhaps you should read what I wrote instead of having the knee jerk. You choose to write on Moss I am providing quotes from his book. Don't fuss at me for raising questions- it's your topic!

Now if you are arguing Moss is wrong give us some evidence otherwise your blowing smoke.

Either reservation in the form of a tabernacle as employed now as a focus of worship is an innovation or it isn't. If Moss is wrong, and what he points to as an innovation of the 11th century goes to earlier times, by all means demonstrate such. I'd really like to know if what is being practiced in the CC is a Roman invention or is it ancient and catholic! I have found no one to be able to demonstrate that going from reservation for the sick to worship of the elements is ancient or Scriptural. Moss certainly has said reservation is ancient (I quoted him) but not as a focus of worship. Your answer does not address Moss' statements of fact.

Perhaps your ire ought be reserved for CB Moss!

Alan

Anonymous said...

"How does this become reconciled with Cranmer and Hooker, who refused to let us believe that we can know more than what Christ said, and that the sacrament is the Communion (koinania) with Christ's Body and Blood?"

Back to Moss: Cramner in Moss' book is said to believe in virtualism: ..."the theory held by Cramner and Waterland, is the theory we receive is not the substance of the Body and Blood of Christ, but it's virtue and power"... "This theory is held by many in the Anglican Communion, but does not seem to be consistent with the teaching of the Church Catechism that the Body and Blood of Christ are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper; still less with the word "given" in Article 28

So Cramner believed not necessarily what is taught today as Real Presence, if I understand this correctly, but where reservation as a focus of worship is in the BCP or taught universally by the ancient church I cannot find it (much like your pointing to hymns), or in any of my books on early church documents and it escapes me in Bicknell's Articles who states:

"This Article (28) is aimed at reservation when practiced not only for purposes of communion but in order to provide a localized object of worship. This is a comparatively modern and entirely distinct practice. It is a use of the sacrament that diverges widely from the declared intention of Christ. It arose in the dark ages and received a great impulse through the assertion of transubstantiation. The Pyx, or receptacle, at or above the altar containing the reserved sacrament, came increasingly to take a prominent place in the eyes of worshipers. in 1264 the festival of Corpus Christi was instituted and the Blessed sacrament was exposed for worship. So the central act of modern Roman service of Benediction is the blessing of the congregation by the priest with the consecrated host.
(ii) Carrying about the Host in procession is only an extension of the same practice".
... (iv) Since there was a vigorous movement to introduce not only individual, but corporate devotions before the Reserved Sacrament, including Benediction, into the Church of England, we will develop more fully the objections to such practices felt by many who believe wholeheartedly in the Real Presence in the Sacrament and are in full sympathy with the general Catholic position".

Since both Moss and Bicknell seem to agree on this issue are they both wrong because you think it so simple a reduction of argument?

Their words not mine. Are they contradicting Hooker? I don't know.

Alan

Sean W. Reed said...

Alan wrote:

"...the permanent presence of Christ's body in the elements which goes to Transubstantiation ..."

Transubstantiation says nothing of the sort, and indeed St. Thomas makes it quite clear in Summa that nothing could be further from the truth than that this statement.

I appreciate Father Hart, your addressing this comment in total - but I must confess to getting nervous when I find myself agreeing with you :)

Faithfully,

Sean W. Reed

David Gould said...

Lets face it Anglicans do liturgy with far greater dignity, reverence and style than most Romans - whether it is Prayer Book straight or Prayer Book plus.

Whether we have Canterbury caps or birettas, use 1662 straight or the BCP with propers, tracts, offertory etc added (which I infinitely prefer), the issue is bringing that prayerful, meditative and deep reverence that has always characterised the best Anglican worship.

"Tridentine" embellished Anglican liturgy which speaks of the confidence of Anglicans as Catholic Christians is a positive. Tridentine liturgy which only seeks to be Papist because one believes that we are deficient is less so.

Anonymous said...

Alan: The revival of reservation among Episcopalians was essentially a pastoral matter. This is a far more workable manner of carrying holy communion to the sick and the homebound than attempting a full celebration at the bedside. Our parish does not even own a monstrance, but my pyx gets weekly use. So your allegation that this is a Romanizing practice does not hold water.

I recall a very low-church bishop in a Southern diocese, the bishop in fact who confirmed me in 1964. Some crank, hoping to make trouble, tattled to him that a number of clergy around his diocese were practicing reservation. He responded that he simply hoped they had decent tabernacles or aumbries and were not using some shoe-box in a desk drawer. When that word went forth, tabernacles sprouted like daisies across the diocese. That same old-fashioned bishop was fond of saying that the spiritual health of a parish could be estimated from the number of home communions.

As for the absence of reservation among the EO? Well, why bother to comment.
LKW

charles said...

Dear Fr. Hart,

I've read 16th-century canons and advertisements, and the assumption in all was the sacrament was consumed. Fr. Kirby himself explained +Parker's provision for reservation, but it was to be taken to the sick on the same day. Nor did this change during the Caroline. When the question arose during the later Ritualist movement, Anglicans never accepted perpetual reservation. The reason being it overthrows the Articles which theologically frames Prayer Book worship. Perpetual reservation has never been an Anglican option.

Here is the quote from Fr. Kirby regarding 16th century reservation, "from the facts that reservation was known to be accepted as legitimate by authorities in Elizabeth's day, including the Primate, Archbishop Parker, and was sometimes practised. [But, when it was discussed..] ...the Queen commissioned and subsequently authorised in 1560 a Latin version of the Book of Common Prayer which included provision for Reservation for the sick. Archbishop Parker revised a draft of the Reformatio Legum, which had in its Edwardine version forbidden reservation, to allow it for the remainder of the day on which it was consecrated in order to communicate the sick."

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Alan:

Is the tabernacle a "focus of worship," by which we would have to mean, latrea? If so, I would not try to defend it. Reverence for the holiness of God in the sacrament, however, can receive no criticism on the basis of EO practice, since it is more than an icon.

As for Moss' idea that the consecration wears off, and that seeing the sacrament as permanently consecrated is somehow "transubstantiation" (obviously meaning "pre-Ratzinger" in all its Aristotelian and Medieval carnality), my hypothetical questions stand for anyone who wants to take them on. Until Lutheran innovation on the subject, no one ever suggested that reserved sacrament could revert back to mere bread and wine.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Back to Moss: Cramner in Moss' book is said to believe in virtualism: ..."the theory held by Cramner and Waterland, is the theory we receive is not the substance of the Body and Blood of Christ, but it's virtue and power"... "

Concerning Cranmer, that conclusion is unjustified. It is, frankly, the kind of strong definition he objected to. In fact, the quoted portion of Article XXVIII is a summary of his teaching.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Charles:

Reservation was practiced, with and without (considering the year) written instructions. They did not use a tabernacle, but did use those things that hang-and for some reason I cannot recall at the moment what they are called.

Shaughn said...

I know good and well that others have far greater knowledge of Eastern Orthodoxy than I do, but I've gleaned at least a little bit of their typical Eucharistic practice.

It's my understanding that children are baptized and chrismated at the same time, and they take communion very frequently. Adults, on the other hand, are more irregular about it, for reasons that I don't know.

Does the East practice communion of the dying? If not, that may explain why they also don't bother so much with reserve sacraments.

charles said...

Yes, but was ,perpetual reservation lawfully practiced? That's the question and where Anglicans, especially the English-Use Alcuin Club, drew the line. The command is to "take and eat". Reservation was permissible but only within a relatively short period of time in order to prevent the abuse of perpetual reservation/adoration. How many Anglo-Catholics perpetually reserve sacrament, locked up in a tabernacle?

Transubstantiation has to do with the 'physical presence' of Christ in the bread. Even Grote argues this 'destroys the sacrament'. When AB Haverland says transelementation is the 'physical presence' of Christ, he does what Grote and Anglicanism (even Laud) forbade. If you believe both (perpetual reservation and transelementation/ transubstantiation), then you believe it's ok to lock Christ's body in a box upon the altar. This bucks the ready witness of our patrimony. Our worship ought to jiive with our doctrine, per 39 Articles. Call this legalism, but without these things in harmony, we cannot define catholic faith as received by the Settlement.

+ Peter said...

The old, eighteenth century, Scottish Episcopal Practice was reserve the sacrament in both kinds in an aumbry and to take communion to the sick in the week or so that followed the monthly or quarterly celebration of the sacrament. Some priests such as John Skinner would reserve for longer periods but I do not think they ever reserved for more than a couple of weeks because the wine would turn to vinegar sooner or later.

Temporary reservation for the purposes of communicating the sick has a long history in Anglicanism. However, perpetual reservation did not start until the great colera epidemics of the nineteenth century when the practice of daily celebrations of the Eucharist with the clergy going out afterwards to communicate the sick was being overwhelmed by the numbers needing "housel and shrift at mine last end."

Anonymous said...

Sean,
Your beating the air... I didn't write those words they belong to Moss and or Bicknell. They are among the cream of the crop of orthodox Anglican scholars. If we are all things to all people then we are not catholic.

LKW: Again I remind to read what I have said- I am not cioncerned with reservation to the sick that is an ancient practice what I am saying and both Moss and Bicknell teach is that reservation for the act of worship is a late medieval practice originating in the RCC it was unknown in the English Church and in Orthodoxy.

Their words not mine. If someone has evidence of any notion of an act of worshiping (not carrying to the sick) the reservation in a rite or liturgy in the first 1000 years lets have a look at it. If you can't then you are perpetuating an innovation that is not catholic. That's ok if that is what you want to do _ I am not suggesting anyone rip out their tabernacle I am just saying you should admit your not a traditional Anglican (because this act simply does not belong to English tradition) and are a hybrid Anglican/Roman.

Alan

Anonymous said...

Fr Hart said
"As for Moss' idea that the consecration wears off, "
I can't find this statement in Moss what page are you reading?
Alan

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart said:

"Is the tabernacle a "focus of worship," by which we would have to mean, latrea? If so, I would not try to defend it. Reverence for the holiness of God in the sacrament, however, can receive no criticism on the basis of EO practice, since it is more than an icon."

Bicknell (I think) goes on to point out the Eastern church has a screen between the elements on the altar and that the faithful do not reverence it or bow to it when they pass by. Clearly Bicknell is making a case against attempting to use the Eastern Churches as justifying worshiping a perpetually reserved sacrament. I don't intend to name names but I have seen this in ACC, APCK and ACA churches with enough frequency to observe and discuss the clergy's views on adoration of the sacrament in perpetual reservation. Pressure was put on our parish by different clergy to install such for this very specific purpose. Reservation for the sick was never the main theme of the argument only a side issue or as a way of trying to convince us that the practice was ancient. But as Bicknell and Moss both point out such a practice was never a part of the English Church until very, very late. Pusey and others did not support it either.

So either this is an innovation that is being perpetuated or it is not. If so then when and where did it come from and why is it being perpetuated? If not prove it! All the evidence points to medieval Rome or to that movement in the 19th century to attempt to water down differences between Rome and Canterbury in order to achieve that century's search for Coetibus. And it is you who have championed our identity as Catholic Christians apart from Rome! You can't have it both ways.

I quote Bicknel again: "It is a use of the sacrament that diverges widely from the declared intention of Christ."

Like it or not, there is no defending this widespread CC practice as being classically Anglican. If that is the case then we must admit that as both Moss and Bicknell either say or imply this is a cult like activity and it should be ended.

Fr. You quote Bicknell extensively and have used him to whop the tar out of the Stand Firm crowd and other innovators relentlessly- now that Bicknell may disagree with you is no time to change your tune. You have said he is an unimpeachable authority on interpreting the Articles and I agree with you on that point. If you contradict him on this why should we believe any book on anything?

What is it you always say? "Antiquity, Consensus, Universality!" Worshiping perpetual reservation meets none of these criteria for right discernment.

Alan

Alan

Anonymous said...

LKW
" recall a very low-church bishop in a Southern diocese, the bishop in fact who confirmed me in 1964. Some crank, hoping to make trouble, tattled to him that a number of clergy around his diocese were practicing reservation. He responded that he simply hoped they had decent tabernacles or aumbries and were not using some shoe-box in a desk drawer. When that word went forth, tabernacles sprouted like daisies across the diocese. That same old-fashioned bishop was fond of saying that the spiritual health of a parish could be estimated from the number of home communions".

In several periods in church history the English Church stopped performing Confirmations should we also do that now since it was ok in specific geographic areas and times?

"As for the absence of reservation among the EO? Well, why bother to comment."

Because this Blog always sites the EO as a measure to counter the One True Church claims of Rome and as a measure of testing the consistency of claims of antiquity.

Not my standard that standard is the owner's of this Blog talk to them about it.

Alan

Sean W. Reed said...

Fr. Hart wrote:

"...Until Lutheran innovation on the subject, no one ever suggested that reserved sacrament could revert back to mere bread and wine..."

Of course St. Thomas Aquinas directly addressed when post consecration/transubstantiation the accidents of Bread and Wine cease to be the Body and Blood of Christ, chief among these are corruption of the accidents.

As an example, if the Precious Blood was reserved, and upon removing the stopped the odor of vinegar was found in the cruet, St. Thomas, and the Doctrine of Transubstantiation would say vinegar was in the cruet not the Precious Blood which had previously been there.

On a separate note, nothing contained in what the Pope has written, differs from the Church's teaching on Transubstantiation. What it does do is flesh out some points in a manner that is neither contrary to the teaching of the Council of Trent or the CCC, or Summa, but rather serves to allow people to better understand what the Church has officially taught through the centuries and continues to teach today.


SWR

Tom said...

Percy Dearmer, in 'The Parson's Handbook' writes about the Hanging Pyx suspended above the altar as the 'general method of reservation.'

Bishop Mead said...

Many years ago I was told that, in English Churches but elsewhere also, the reservation of the sacrament in hanging pyx's above the altar was far older than tabernacles on the altar. But served the same purposes, Communion of the sick and to foster devotion and adoration.
In "In the Presence of Our Lord, The History, Theology and Psychology of Eucharistic Devotion" Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 1997, Authors Father Benedict Groeschel and James Monti) Monti quotes this practice being reported in a biographical account of St Basil (329-379) written about the 8th Century by an individual known only as Pseudo-Amphilochus (perhaps an early blog pen name?), who speaks of the Eucharist being reserved in a dove shaped gold vessel hanging over the altar. Even if this were 8th Century embellishment of St Basil's story its earlier than 11th Century. If it isn't embellishment then its possible it refers to reservation above an altar as early as the 4th Century. Monti also quotes the Sixth Canon of the Fourth Council of the Diocese of Braga in Spain in 675 that the Reserved Sacrament, the "relics of holy God," was to be borne by the bishop in an outdoor procession instead of by the priests, and he was to carry the sacrament on foot.
The Liturgy of the PreSanctified Gifts (which in the West became a feature of the Liturgy on Good Friday as the Mass of the PreSanctified) was first documented by Gregory Dialogos (540–604) but may be much earlier. Is where the sacrament consecrated on the previous Sunday was distributed during weekday services during Lent.
Which although the question explicitly mentioned reservation in a tabernacle on the Altar, which may or may not have been where the Blessed Sacrament was kept for this Liturgy, and particular devotions to sacrament so reserved, does suggest that it was reserved somewhere and I would hazard a guess kept with devotion and reverence of some sort.
This Liturgy is also mentioned (according to a reference in Wikipedia ... I don't have a reference from elsewhere to hand)in the Canons of the Quinisext Council, of 692 AD: "On all days of the holy fast of Lent, except on the Sabbath [i.e., Saturday], the Lord's Day [Sunday], and the holy day of the Annunciation, the Liturgy of the PreSanctified is to be served (Canon 52)."

Fr. John said...

I second Fr. Well's comment. It is not only a matter of convenience, but necessity. If I am called to bring the Holy Communion to someone in danger of death in the middle of the night, I must be ready to come to them on a moments notice. If I do not have ready means to say the words of consecration, and or ready access to bread they could die without making a final communion.

We don't worship the Blessed Sacrament in terms of fawning over a piece of bread, but we do treat it with great care and respect. After all it is the body of Christ.

As far as reservation of the Precious Blood...I would not recommend it to anyone for any reason.

charles said...

oops!! Grafton, not Grote.... geeesh! lol.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Alan:

Now that I have let you have your say, it is time to point out a few things.

You did indeed state that you interpret Moss as follows: "He says it is a medieval Roman practice and a dangerous one at that- as it assumes(if you page back to 364) the permanent presence of Christ's body in the elements which goes to Transubstantiation and monophysit-ism."

Why the use of the word "permanent" if not to suggest reversion back to mere bread and wine? If so, it is a doctrine the Church has never taught.

Now, you can quote Bicknell all you want, as I do; but, if I were to disagree with him (which I have not done in my comments here) it would be on a specific point. Inasmuch as we have no infallible individuals, I may find some point of disagreement, which would not contradict my endorsement of his book on the 39 Articles.

Reservation among Anglicans was done in a pyx that hangs (I am used to carrying the kind that does not hang). The tabernacle is nothing but the modern version of the same thing. Rome does it too; so what? They also hold services on Sundays, and celebrate Easter, Christmas, and today's feast (The Annunciation). Must we then do otherwise? How un-Roman must we be? Merely within reason, or beyond the limits of reason? I suggest we restrict our Un-Roman ways to matters of genuine disagreement, or to matters where they express a culture we do not share.

All in the general cloaking of an incremental agenda preparing the laity for an eventual reunion of some form.

In some form? See this.

Either reservation in the form of a tabernacle as employed now as a focus of worship is an innovation or it isn't.

It isn't. So, what's the problem?

I have found no one to be able to demonstrate that going from reservation for the sick to worship of the elements is ancient or Scriptural.

Glad to hear it. Why would anyone want to?

So Cramner believed not necessarily what is taught today as Real Presence, if I understand this correctly, but where reservation as a focus of worship is in the BCP or taught universally by the ancient church I cannot find it...

Didn't he? Perhaps the "focus of worship" bit is where you depart from reality.

Because this Blog always sites the EO as a measure to counter the One True Church claims of Rome and as a measure of testing the consistency of claims of antiquity.

Like hell we do. I have never treated either of the two One True Churches as infallible.

Sean W. Reed said...

Charles wrote:

“...Transubstantiation has to do with the 'physical presence' of Christ in the bread...”


Transubstantiation does not deal with a “‘physical presence’ of Christ.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

1374 The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend."201 In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained."202 "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."203

1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.


Cont'd

Sean W. Reed said...

St. Thomas addresses in Summa the type of presence, and it is not physical, in fact, he addresses what to do in the case of Eucharistic Miracles:

Article 8. Whether Christ's body is truly there when flesh or a child appears miraculously in this sacrament?

“...I answer that, Such apparition comes about in two ways, when occasionally in this sacrament flesh, or blood, or a child, is seen. Sometimes it happens on the part of the beholders, whose eyes are so affected as if they outwardly saw flesh, or blood, or a child, while no change takes place in the sacrament. And this seems to happen when to one person it is seen under the species of flesh or of a child, while to others it is seen as before under the species of bread; or when to the same individual it appears for an hour under the appearance of flesh or a child, and afterwards under the appearance of bread. Nor is there any deception there, as occurs in the feats of magicians, because such species is divinely formed in the eye in order to represent some truth, namely, for the purpose of showing that Christ's body is truly under this sacrament; just as Christ without deception appeared to the disciples who were going to Emmaus. For Augustine says (De Qq. Evang. ii) that "when our pretense is referred to some significance, it is not a lie, but a figure of the truth." And since in this way no change is made in the sacrament, it is manifest that, when such apparition occurs, Christ does not cease to be under this sacrament.
But it sometimes happens that such apparition comes about not merely by a change wrought in the beholders, but by an appearance which really exists outwardly. And this indeed is seen to happen when it is beheld by everyone under such an appearance, and it remains so not for an hour, but for a considerable time; and, in this case some think that it is the proper species of Christ's body. Nor does it matter that sometimes Christ's entire body is not seen there, but part of His flesh, or else that it is not seen in youthful guise. but in the semblance of a child, because it lies within the power of a glorified body for it to be seen by a non-glorified eye either entirely or in part, and under its own semblance or in strange guise, as will be said later (XP, 85, 2,3).
But this seems unlikely. First of all, because Christ's body under its proper species can be seen only in one place, wherein it is definitively contained. Hence since it is seen in its proper species, and is adored in heaven, it is not seen under its proper species in this sacrament. Secondly, because a glorified body, which appears at will, disappears when it wills after the apparition; thus it is related (Luke 24:31) that our Lord "vanished out of sight" of the disciples. But that which appears under the likeness of flesh in this sacrament, continues for a long time; indeed, one reads of its being sometimes enclosed, and, by order of many bishops, preserved in a pyx, which it would be wicked to think of Christ under His proper semblance.
Consequently, it remains to be said, that, while the dimensions remain the same as before, there is a miraculous change wrought in the other accidents, such as shape, color, and the rest, so that flesh, or blood, or a child, is seen. And, as was said already, this is not deception, because it is done "to represent the truth," namely, to show by this miraculous apparition that Christ's body and blood are truly in this sacrament. And thus it is clear that as the dimensions remain, which are the foundation of the other accidents, as we shall see later on (77, 2), the body of Christ truly remains in this sacrament...”


SWR

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Cont. from above:

I have not seen the sacrament reserved as an object of worship (λατρεία). That is not what the tabernacle is about. Furthermore, everyone everywhere teaches that the reserved sacrament needs to be consumed within a short space of time; not because the consecration is not permanent (which it is), but because it is irreverent to keep it too long. It is replaced immediately so that it is easily available when needed. If this is mistaken for keeping it around for long periods of time, or to be worshiped (λατρεία), chalk it up to ignorance.

I hope, Alan, that you are starting to get the real point of reservation. And, I would say that our reverence for the sacrament makes more sense than the Orthodox inordinate (as in, a bit too much at times) veneration of icons.

charles said...

Dear Sean,

The RCC says "a substantial presence". That is theological nomenclature for 'physical'.

Anyway, I do not know how perpetual reservation squares with the Prayer Book together with the 39 Articles. I understand the 'in extremis' arguments, but the danger is when people take the 'irregular' for the 'norm', and I think this is what any prohibition would hope to curb...what is 'normally' done in public worship.?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Sean Reed:

In Tract 90, Newman cited the abuse of stories by RC teachers, and it is that very sort of thing so largely accepted in the past that made the Anglicans reject everything that the word "Transubstantiation" appeared to mean, suggest or imply. Furthermore, I do believe that, as he was known then, Archbishop Ratzinger (pre-Cardinal) corrected the popular notion as it continued to be in popular imagination, and bridged the gulf between us to a large degree.

Objections stand, nonetheless, if we say that the substance of bread and wine is replaced by a new reality, for that "overhtroweth the nature of a sacrament." It cannot effect what it signifies, and signify what it effects, if there is no sign. Also, the Aristotelian notion of accidents and substance is simply outdated by modern physics. Finally (and this is what Cranmer and Hooker objected to) it is both unnecessary and beyond the truth that Christ revealed, to apply this Aristotelian philosophy to what Jesus said.

I would add that in trying, beyond reasonable measure, to understand the mystery itself, we have lost sight of the Jewish context in which the sacrament was given to us, and all that it means in terms of the Covenant. This is despite the fact that Jesus alluded directly to Jeremiah 31:31-34, speaking of the New Covenant in his blood as he held the cup.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Charles wrote:

Anyway, I do not know how perpetual reservation squares with the Prayer Book together with the 39 Articles.

Perpetual reservation? Food spoils, as in, it cannot be reserved perpetually. As I said above; it is consumed within a short space of time if only to be properly reverent. But, that does not mean we fail to replace it so that some reserved sacrament is available for use. That we treat it with reverence (more so than in RC churches usually), as we do the altar, is only fitting. That is hardly what we would mean by the word "worship."

So, Alan and Charles: Are you satisfied with the answers, or are there more straw men to shoot at? I believe it has been honest questions, but straw men nonetheless.

+ Peter said...

Having once waded through Cranmer "On the Lord's Supper" I came to the conclusion that by 1551Cranmer's Eucharistic theology was closest to that of Martin Bucer. However, neither the Articles nor the BCP tie us to Cranmer's, or anyone else's, theories. Instead, they rule out the two extreme positions - Zwinglian Memorialism and some of the grosser conceptions of Transubstantiation. What we are left with are the various permutations of "Thou art here, we know not how." Personally, I tend to the Non-Juror concept of Virtualism, but I am not going to start piling faggots because someone happens to disagree with me on the niceities of the doctrine of the Real Presence. Now if you happen to be Memorialist, or believe in bleeding hosts, then we might have to have a little chat with one another. Should we not rather rest content with Our Lord's Institution and his words to us that the Bread is His Body; the Wine His Blood? I very much doubt that this sort of squabbling converts one atheist, heretic, or Muslim to the Truth!

+PDR

charles said...

Dear Father Hart,

Yes, I guess it's beating a dead horse. But when looking at the period following William and Mary, 'transubstantiation' was perhaps a boogy-man which all public officers (not only clergy and teachers, but judges, parliament, even military) had to give an oath against alongside Supremacy of the Crown.

Defining Anglicanism's eucharist theology is not easy. A book written by the later Alcuin Society, printed 1974, tried 'pinning it down'. While an 'objectivity' has been insisted, it's not a corporal but spiritual presence, identified with the elements as real mediums but not complete until 'swallowed' by faith. It's a kind of 'high virtualism'.

When ritualists began 'perpetual reservation', central churchmen, like Dearmer, objected, partly on the grounds of how the sacrament might be perceived, partly on canon law. However, there is always expediency when 'your neighbor's ox is stuck in a ditch', or as +Peter says, sharing the truth so the heathen, heretic, Muslim might be converted. I guess in the old days the 'sacrament controversies' were a big deal, but today we are dealing more with creation debates and basic morals against the tide of secular culture.

RC Cola said...

Charles said:
The RCC says "a substantial presence". That is theological nomenclature for 'physical'.

Entirely false. Substance is not a synonym for "physical." Certainly not when used in the proper Thomistic sense.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Alan has sent this comment, and I am going to respond by posting my own responses within it.

Fr. Hart
"I have found no one to be able to demonstrate that going from reservation for the sick to worship of the elements is ancient or Scriptural.
Glad to hear it. Why would anyone want to?"

A flip answer from Fr Hart! Because you cannot offer anything substantive in defense of Moss' and Bicknell's point. For that matter why would anyone want to disprove WO?

My point, which I thought was clear, is that reservation is not for the sake of worship. This is a straw man, and we all have had enough of it.

All you have done is explain away what Moss and Bicknell cite. You have not addressed how they came to their conclusions or even really addressed the clear distinction they make between reservation for the sick (universal) and Aadoration and Worship (innovation from Rome- a particular church at a particular time).

Explaining away is explaining nothing. What you fail to do is offer any evidence that reservation for the purpose of Adoration and Worship as both Moss and Bicknell point out cannot be found as universal prior to 11th or 12th centuries. Or that it was ever treated in such a fashion in the first 1000 years. It fails the test of Vincent. Period.

Again, why would I want to? Let me decide what I am willing to argue for. Reservation for the sake of worship is not one of those things. This ought to be obvious

As to your use of the Orthodox to discredit claims of OTC by the Romans and also referring to them from time to time as one way to measure if a practice is ancient we have all seen it plenty here.

No. What you have seen is a demonstration that certain doctrines have never been universally accepted, despite the claims of Rome. The difference is not all that subtle.

"You did indeed state that you interpret Moss as follows: "
Interpret? your spinning dear Fr.! I interpreted nothing- Moss is quite direct and clear in what he states and you have presented no answer that defeats his time line or assertion for the innovation. In fact all that has been accomplished here (by way of the remark about reserving perpetually for pestilence) is what Bicknell goes on to describe: "when the special circumstances that give rise to a ritual practice have passed away, the practice itself remains, and in order to justify it a new and mystical explanation is invented". p 307. Bingo.

"...it would be on a specific point." Then answer the specific point instead of avoiding it by referring to what neither Moss or Bicknell are concerned with, and what I haven't made an issue about (reservation for the sick),- that point being the late development of "Benediction, Adoration and Worship". A practice seemingly in harmony with Newman's own Doctrinal Development.

That is because it is a late development; why would I argue against a fact? Am I bound to take the position you imagine for me, rather than my own? Of course we have a duty to prevent misplaced λατρεία, a danger man is susceptible to. That is a given.

"I hope, Alan, that you are starting to get the real point of reservation. "
I have gotten the point- you refuse to address it. Your position is to dismiss the point by shifting focus and stating that there is no difference in reservation for the sick and the Roman focus of worship and Moss and Bicknell clearly define that it is not. I would add this can be verified by simply listening to the apologetic and behavior of the Continuing clergy who Adore and Worship the reservation.

Come to think of it, I did run into one bishop once who said weird things-a man in Tulsa. I did not get the impression he was worshiping the reserved sacrament as much as trying to confine the Lord to a box where He could be controlled. But, that is an isolated case.

(cont. below)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

(cont. from above)

Moss also points to Gore, Pusey and Holland (p379) as objecting to the practice so it is not as if I am misunderstanding something here as you assert; it is you who are dancing around the mulberry bush. Moss goes on to state: "Archbishop Parker expressly permitted reservation, so long as it was not accompanied by the MEDIEVAL (emphasis mine) acts of WORSHIP, such as carrying the Host in procession"... "unknown in England before the Reformation".

So no Fr. I am not satisfied with your answer because you continue to answer something neither Charles or I object to and you have not addressed directly Moss and Bicknell's assertions which speak to antiquity and innovation.

No. What you want is for me to make an argument I do not even agree with, as if it were my position. I don't have the time to engage in any RPG (Role Playing Game).

If Anglicanism has become a place where every faction can pick and defend it's own innovation on personal preference than we have no claim to Catholicism. All I have received here by requesting objective proof strikes me as "Simon Says".

Actually, you have not paid attention to my comments at all. You want proof of something I would never try to prove, and my refusal to play the role you want me to play has disappointed you, it seems.

If you like sometime I'd be glad to teach you the difference hay and straw- best learned here on the farm baling.

I prefer to know the difference between those and precious stones.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Bishop Robinson wrote:

Now if you happen to be Memorialist, or believe in bleeding hosts, then we might have to have a little chat with one another. Should we not rather rest content with Our Lord's Institution and his words to us that the Bread is His Body; the Wine His Blood?

And, that is the Anglican position, the only one we may teach with certainty. The key that unlocks everything the Anglican Reformers taught, everything in the BCP including the Articles, the Homily on Worthy Receiving, the writings of Cranmer and Hooker, and the Catechism, is to limit ourselves to what we can know by revelation, and to receive the sacrament. The mystery is in the Anglican emphasis on κοινωνία, as is clear from the Anglican name, from Scripture, of the service: Holy Communion.

The rest is the sort of fuss Hooker, drawing from Cranmer, considered immaterial. And, yes, the pun is intended.

Fr.Jas.A.Chantler TOSA said...

Fr.Hart:I too think that some of the contributors to this thread are attempting to saddle you with views that you do not hold.

Fr. John said...

Ah! Fr. Hart! You are wiser than a serpent. Now I get it, Alan is a sock puppet.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

I am rather confused by this debate. I think I disagree with both sides, but I am not sure.

While we can all agree that the primary purpose of reservation of the Most Holy Sacrament is for the emergency requirements of the sick and dying, an assertion you will find among Roman authorities too, by the way, this does not mean no other devotional use is possible. We can also agree that the EOC has not developed such devotional use outiside the Divine Liturgy, but it cannot be denied that the EO do in fact practice Eucharistic Adoration within the Divine Liturgy and that Bp Kallistos Ware long ago noted that there seems to be no fundamentally theological reason why such devotions outside the liturgy could not exist in the EOC.

More to the point, Eucharistic Adoration within the Eucharistic service itself is manifestly supported by the Fathers. None of them, not one, to my knowledge, ever forbade it outside the liturgy, but nor did they commend it earlier because that devotion had not evolved until the later Patristic period, as effectively shown above by Bp Mead.

If one's doctrine of the Real Presence does not allow for the Adoration of Christ present "beneath a veil" of the outward signs, it is not the Patristic doctrine of the Real Presence. Of course, the outward, visible, touchable aspect of the Sacrament can only be honored or venerated, but no theologian has ever claimed we could worship the sacramentum ("outward part") itself, in isolation from or as distinct from the res ("inward part"). That our worship is to be given to Christ as perceived by faith rather than by mere flesh is clear from the Tantum ergo of St Thomas Aquinas:
"Faith, our outward sense befriending,
Makes our inward vision clear." (Hymn 234 of the Book of Common Praise)

So, the only question left is whether, given that Eucharistic Adoration is the Catholic practice and that reservation is permitted and encouraged by East and West, the twain can ever meet edifyingly. Most of the Western Church has said yes for a very long time. The Eastern Church is not really opposed to it, even though it did not develop this practice itself. In fact, Western-Rite Orthodox have been known to practise Benediction with official approval, as I understand it. But if adoration of Christ really present "in" the Sacrament is orthodox, as Bp Lancelot Andrewes taught, and reservation is also orthodox, the fact that the two took a while to become systematically associated seems no more problematic than the much later innovation of Sunday Schools for children.

PS: The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is due to a real change in the fundamental identity and being or inner essence of the Elements, so that they become, mysteriously, the real, physical Body and Blood that were offered up for us. (Not some other body and blood nominally related to Christ's physical reality, as Moss quirkily taught.) So, insofar as it is the Corpus that is really present, as the Fathers believed, the presence is corporal. However, as St Thomas himself explicitly taught, the presence is not local and not according to a corporal (physical) mode, but a spiritual one. Corporal one way and not another.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Of course, the outward, visible, touchable aspect of the Sacrament can only be honored or venerated, but no theologian has ever claimed we could worship the sacramentum ("outward part") itself, in isolation from or as distinct from the res ("inward part").

Trying to explain this to critics has always been, in my experience, a waste of time. If they insist on believing that some of their brethren are worshiping bread, it is right only to say that no one does that or approves of that.

Questions of popular piety never spring from hierarchical legislation, but from the laity in devotions. The right question for some practices is not whether or not they are found in Anglican rubrics somewhere, but simply, may it be practiced to someone's edification, and free from error? If yes, leave it alone; do not disturb it.

Canon Tallis said...

I am with Fathers Kirby and Hart on this one. Take 1552, 1559 and 1662 and do them precisely as ordered in the rubrics and you will find yourself involved in Eucharistic Adoration during the singing or recitation of the Gloria in excelsis deo. And don't think that the framers of same didn't realize exactly what they were doing. Communion was the most important thing but it is equally plain that you can't do their liturgy in strict accord with the rubrics with adoration of the species.

That said, the real Church of Scotland and I don't mean the Presbyies have always specifically allowed reservation and there are English authorities who will tell you that it was never forbidden. It was probably discouraged because of the fear of misuse of the sacrament, i.e., witchcraft, black masses and things like that. As late as the 1960's several prominent churches and cathedrals in Germany and Italy had their tabernacles vandalized and the sacrament stolen for who knows what use. It was probably for such reasons that the most common form of reservation in Northern Europe was either the hanging pyx or the tabernacle in the North wall of a chapel or the sacrament house.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

...you can't do their liturgy in strict accord with the rubrics with adoration of the species.

Would I be correct that this was a typo, and was meant to say "without"?

Canon Tallis said...

Thank You, Father Hart.

But, exactly. Excuse me all, but if one only reads the prayer book and the greats, the English and Scot divines whom the writers of the Tracts quoted, you have no choice. But, even more, if you only perform the liturgy as they intended without wincing at how un-Tridentine it is, you just may find your heart suddenly warmed by overwhelming love and adoration of Him who loved you, especially you, before the those first words in Genesis were spoken.

Death Bredon said...

I think that, apart from his disdain for Fr. Hart's rhetorical practices, the commenter, Alan, is upset with a point from one of C.B. Moss's and, perhaps, E. J. Bicknell's writings. From there, this thread has gotten very much bogged down in a confusing and debate. I hope the following three points cast some light:

First, Bishop Robinson's post (not Fr. Hart's) is not a claim that C.B. Moss (or Bicknell) is an infallible authority. Rather, Bishop Robinson simply points out the Moss epitomizes Prayer Book Catholicism, and in so doing, does not implying that everything Moss equals everything Prayer Book Catholic ("PBC"), much less equals everything true.

Second, having read most, if not all, of Moss' works, I think I can say that Moss did oppose non-communicating Masses and sacramental reservation in the High Medieval style for the purposes of adoration in such services as Benediction and Exposition. And, this is in fact a generally held PBC position and is motivated by a concern that eucharistic adoration had become a communication substitute and thus defeated the sacrament.

Third, if Alan is contending that, by holding this moderate position on sacramental reservation, PBCs have ipso facto repudiated the doctrine of the Real Presence, and therefore that PBCism is itself defective, then I will only say that he is strong and true son of Trent!

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Second, having read most, if not all, of Moss' works, I think I can say that Moss did oppose non-communicating Masses and sacramental reservation in the High Medieval style for the purposes of adoration in such services as Benediction and Exposition.

"For purpose of" and "resulting in among the people" are not the same thing.

...non-communicating Masses...

Valid orders or not, a priest who celebrates with the purpose of not communicating the laity when they are present and willing to receive, lacks sacramental Intention. A non-communicating Mass is not valid. It is, more likely, a sacrilege.

An Anglican Cleric said...

Amen!

DH+