Tuesday, June 30, 2009

An Outsider's View

Fr. Jerome is a highly respected English Old Catholic priest, who, with a distinct viewpoint, has proven himself a sympathetic friend to Anglicans. He submitted a thoughtful comment regarding ACNA to the Anglican Diaspora discussion board. I thought his words sufficiently weighty to post here, with my own comments interspersed in italics. ed pacht


Fr. Jerome,

Thank you for a comment, as always from you, that is well thought out, and both definite and eirenic. While I'm in substantial disagreement with a lot of your comment, it is substantial enough to require detailed comment from me. I'm afraid this will be rather a long post, but here goes:

You said:

'I write, of course, from a tradition that has had its own share of factions... I have often lamented my disappointment that the Continuum sadly followed suit... How sad it is that the Continuum, splintered as it is, was not a viable option for these other (in the main) orthodox Anglicans to join forces with? Effectively creating now three "Anglican Communions" - "in" Canterbury (Lambeth as is), "for" Canterbury (ACNA) and "outside" Canterbury (Continuum).'

Yes, how sad. Though I am extremely committed to the Continuum, I am so well aware of its glaring faults, especially of its scandalous divisions, that I have no problem at all in understanding why people would make what I see as a mistake and cast their lot with ACNA. I'm afraid it's very largely our fault in doing such a very poor job of living out our vision.

'What is interesting is that such a force, in the majority, appears not to seem interested in communion with Rome or anyone else - or at least, a portion of it that might (AC's), does not see the pursuit of that reality for many years yet.'

To a large extent, that ball is in Rome's court at this juncture. The one major obstacle to those of us who are not AngloPapalists is the role of the papacy, and even then, not so much the claims made by them but the necessity to sign on to such views in order to be in unity. I'm rather skeptical that Rome will bend in this issue any time soon.

'What it also seems to emphasize is the "looseness" or "broadness" of Anglicanism perpetuating without resolution - from the "lowest of the Low" to the Anglo-Catholic non-Papalist remnant - as if it is still possible to express effectively two (or several) different understandings of core doctrine within a whole - the Protestant and the Catholic spectrums. In other words... those who believe in the Apostolic Succession,the power of the Sacraments, the efficacy of the Mass and the worship of eternal heaven and those who believe in "the Ministry" and of "worship services"... hasn't recent history showed that these two extremes cannot be held together in harmony? Isn't it exactly this struggle - between Protestantism and Catholicism - that has brought all these current problems to this explosive event? While the factions may be united in their rejection of WO they do so from very different understandings of what the Sacrament of Orders is... and so, fundamentally differ on the very essence of what "the Church" is?'

Here is the place where I disagree with you entirely. There is no necessary opposition between "Catholic" and "Protestant" views, or at least there is none in the things affirmed by each "side". It is only when one side tries to deny the positive insights of the other that contradictions arise. In all aspects of theology there is a tension between seeming opposites that are, in actuality, both parts of the one truth. The strangeness of the Trinity, the dual nature of Christ, the fluid-seeming relation of faith and works, the ongoing struggle to reconcile election and free will, the concurrence in the sacraments of what seems natural and mundane with the eternal. In the historic conflicts over the Trinity and Christology, it became very clear that taking one pole of the issue to the point where it weakens or denies the other is always productive of false teaching, and the classic, Patristic, Conciliar definitions of these matters are beautifully balanced, and more effective in denying false speculations than in providing something entirely graspable by the human mind. Having, in my rather peculiar pilgrimage, dallied with all sorts of extremes, I've come to have a real appreciation for the wisdom of what the classic Anglicans proclaimed, a vision both "Catholic" and "Protestant" and at the same time neither exclusively one or the other.

You defined the difference in these terms: 'In other words... those who believe in the Apostolic Succession,the power of the Sacraments, the efficacy of the Mass and the worship of eternal heaven and those who believe in "the Ministry" and of "worship services"... '

Where is the essential opposition between priesthood and "the Ministry"? The Apostolic ministry has BOTH a sacerdotal aspect AND a teaching role. Administration of sacraments is not in opposition to the plain gifts of pastoral concern. One of the major causes of the Reformation was just here. The Middle Ages seem to have come up with a settlement of this seeming conflict, and the priesthood had become entirely sacrificial, a very large proportion of clergy neither preaching, nor informed enough to preach, and real pastoral care being often sadly neglected. The Mass is both a sacrifice and a worship service, but had become relegated to being merely sacrificial, offered by the priest with little participation from the laity, who could do no more than watch. Again, there is no conflict between Scripture and genuine Tradition, but instead of teaching the Scriptures, it had become the usual thing to deny them to the laity. The medieval settlement was sadly and dangerously skewed in one direction, provoking a necessary reaction. However many of those so reacting began, while recovering those aspects of the faith called "protestant" began to deny (often angrily) many of the truths usually considered "Catholic", and a monochromatic distortion was now supplanted by a radical division, both sides affirming much of the same truth, and each side holding truths denied or neglected by the other. It appears that only the Anglican divines were truly intentional at recovering both sides of the equation and living in the tension between seeming opposites.

I am an Anglo-Catholic, but one that refuses to "unchurch" those of a more "Protestant" view, so long as the attitude is reciprocal. I firmly believe that a church that is not openly and obviously both Catholic and Evangelical is exercising a defective ministry. Being in a diocese where some are more Protestant than I and others more skewed toward the Roman direction does not seem to me a problem, but rather a very healthy manifestation of wholeness.

'It seems that many people believe "Anglicanism" with all its strange contradictions, to be a religion all of its own and for its own sake worth keeping... at almost any cost or sacrifice of conscience, anything and everything can be compromised. It seems to have evolved into a hybrid all of its own, where distinctions from different cultures and schools of thought have blurred and distorted into something beginning to look like a new religion, a new Christianity... Almost to the point that groups "breaking away" based "on principle" begin to look themselves pointless, being as they are full of contradictions, it would seem a better use of resources and energy to remain and fight it all out from "within" where confusion, contradiction and compromise abound!'

That's a rather conventional attitude on your part, Father, but actually rather unfair. Most of the "contradictions" within Anglicanism are only apparent contradictions, and really truths that need, so to speak, their heads butted together, to find the transrational synthesis that exists in eternity. The ACNA, for all its faults, is not disunited in the core teachings if the Gospel, nor in its final realization that there is no commonality with a body that officially refuses to affirm basic Christianity and outright denies Christian moral theology. I only wish their separation could have led to unity with us of the Continuum, and lay much of the reason why not upon our own chaos.

'What is "Anglicanism"? I thought it was a continuation of a Catholic Church originally from England that through various accidents of history had lost connection with the Western Catholic Patriarchate at Rome but had developed/retained the core religion and practices enough that both had hoped one day to be reconciled... "separated brethren'

That's no more than a partial truth. It is, in truth, that continuation, but it is also the recovery of essential truths that were being either neglected or even denied by many in the Medieval Church. There is much in Anglicanism (which incidentally Benedict XVI seems to realize) that Rome itself needs to hear.

As for ACNA.: There is the fatal issue of women attempting to be priests, producing a structural problem that can only be resolved by abandoning that attempt, and a few lesser issues (often shown in liturgy). These problems seem to preclude a unity among non-TEC Anglicans at the present time. One can hope and pray that a truly Catholic and truly Evangelical solution may be reached. For the moment these are brethren, worthy of respect, worthy of every effort to cooperate so far as possible. These are not enemies, and some of the language directed toward them on this board and elsewhere is not fitting for Christians. Differences remain, and so long as that is the case, it is our obligation to pray for one another and to reach out to one another, seeking, not for a least common denominator, but for a real unity.


John A. Hollister said...

There are, of course, interesting parallels between, on the one hand, Anglicans, as those existed between 1570 and the 1960s or '70s (pick your own personal date) and as they persist in the Continuing Churches, and, on the other hand, Old Catholics, as those existed between 1701 and approximately 2000 and as they persist in the Polish National Catholic Church.

The Anglicans were simply the English-speaking Catholic Church, from which the See of Rome severed itself for its own internal purposes. The Old Catholics were, originally, the northern portion of the Dutch-speaking Catholic Church, from which, again, the See of Rome severed itself for its own internal purposes. (This was, of course, joined after 1870 by German and other Central European elements which had replicated the Anglican and Utrechtian experience for yet a third time.)

In both cases, the principal one of those Roman purposes was the attempt to exert a measure of control sufficiently great as to obviate, in large measure, the local Bishop's independent Apostolic authority.

So, to the extent that their experiences were parallel, each of those groups for some prolonged time fulfilled the same role in its separate territory.

And, in each case, the largest portions of the movement came a cropper over the same issue, namely the purported "ordination" of women. In each case, a smaller remnant -- the Anglican Continuing Churches and the Old Catholic PNCC -- has been left to carry on the original mission.

Interesting parallels.

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...


I do not know Fr. Jerome, though it is puzzling to me that we would hear from an American OC who is, it seems, not PNCC. I wish to comment on this line of his:

How sad it is that the Continuum, splintered as it is, was not a viable option for these other (in the main) orthodox Anglicans to join forces with?

Not only are we less splintered than is commonly assumed, but we are the only "viable option" for Anglicans seeking to be or to become orthodox. He might find answers to specific questions from my articles on Classic Anglicanism.

About his assumption that the division of High and Low is somehow the core problem, the misunderstanding he has expressed is all too common.

I can speak only positively from inside the ACC, which is most certainly "a viable option." I see the acceptance of both Low and High churchmen in our jurisdiction as one of its positive strengths. Classic Anglican Low churchmen have never renounced Catholic truth and sacraments. Classic Anglican High churchmen have never renounced the Evangelical message. I grew up with High and Low under one roof, and have always appreciated the variety of expression; the tragedy these days is that many, usually in the Anglican Communion and therefore outside our ranks, have created in place of High and Low two equally heretical groupings. These are Anglo-Papalists of the Fr. Hunwicke variety, and Reasserters of the Matt Kennedy variety. The via media I am trying to proclaim is now between two opposing extremes within what is called "Anglicanism" (I guess it may be called "Anglicanism" in terms of denomination rather than of doctrine-the Canterbury crowd, and all that). It is this new via media where Continuing Anglicans need to walk, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left. The new Anglo-Papalists and the Reasserters represent two extremes of error, and in keeping with St. John Chrysostom's advice in Six Little Books on the Preisthood, we need to be careful when teaching against any error never to appear to endorse the opposite error.

poetreader said...

He's not American, but, as I mentioned, English. He is an Old Catholic of the more reputable, but not Utrecht sort, and has been a consistent and intelligent poster on Anglican Diaspora.

I felt he had much to say that was of considerable interest, especially in how we are perceived by friendly voices outside our movement, and I was hoping for similar comments to the two so far presented.


Anonymous said...

In the ACC, there definately exists many classic, low church parishes who use the 1928 BCP as is; whose clergy are vested in cassock, surplice & tippet/stole.
I think this is especially true in our Virginia parishes, and in the Diocese of the South.

The 1928 BCP services, in sung form, is definately my personal choice. I can do quite well without the chasubles (ie "massing vestements" as Queen Elizabeth I called them), but am tolerant of them. I'd personally prefer cassock and surplice or a cassock Alb and stole.

There also exist some parishes so outrageously high that they are singing Latin Masses, wearing lace-covered albs, fiddleback vestments, and enough incense to kill off any allergy/asthma sufferers who might unknowingly walk through their door, etc.

One diocese of the ACC is not so tolerant of low church, and, indeed, really tries to discourage use of the 1928 BCP, and force the use of the Anglican Missal.

The word Old Catholic has many varieties today, and many different jurisdictions claiming to be "Old Catholic". There is as much variety of belief among them as there are the various shades of Anglicanism that now exist.

ACC Member

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

Fr Hart - as ed has pointed out, he did accurately describe me as an "English Old Catholic" and one whose jurisdiction, as it happens, enjoys fraternal charity with the PNCC and dialogue with the RCC and I have the honor to count many Anglo-Catholics as friends, both clergy and lay, in and out of communion with Canterbury!

I too would regard the ACC as a "viable option" I wonder though at why the ACNA did not?

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

Annonymous... Indeed there are probably as many "Old Catholics" as there are "Anglicans" but rather like Fr Hart might argue for the Continuum, I assert that orthodox Old Catholics are not that many in number but actually subsist in only a handful of jurisdictions - all of which are known to each other and in dialogue, which sadly is more than can be said for "others" in a similar position...

I would point out too that I did not begin my comments (referred to by Ed) from a starting point of "smugness" but rather an admittance of fault by my own tradition and a regret that it should've been made similarly by the Continuum...

Fr. John said...

I am astounded by the comments of ACC Member.

He must be in another Anglican Catholic Church than the one I have been in these past 29 years. I was in the Diocese of the Middle Atlantic States from 1982-1995 and here in the Diocese of the South from 1996-present. I also did a one year stint serving two DMAS parishes, one in Virginia and one in Maryland, in 2005.

I have never heard, or heard of, any one "singing Latin Masses" anywhere in the ACC. I have never seen or heard of any priest in the ACC celebrating the Holy Communion and not wearing a chasuble, but I do admit it would be permissable.

Maybe ACC Member has knowledge that I do not. I am, however. highly skeptical.

Can I get a witness?

Alice C. Linsley said...

It seems to me that the Continuum parishes are so far and few that this was not an option for most Episcopalians seeking refuge from TEC's meltdown.

In Kentucky we have only scorched earth when it comes to TEC, evangelical/contemporary music when it comes to Anglicans, and 'zilch' when it comes to the Continuum.

Fr. John said...

Parishes in Kentucky

Bethlehem Priory
430 North Limestone Street
Lexington, Kentucky
Telephone: 859-252-4354
Dom Benedict Thomas OSB, Prior
Daily Schedule:
6:00 a.m. - Morning Prayer
9:00 a.m. - Terce/Chapter
Noon - Mass/Sext
3:05 p.m. - None/Intercessions
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Stations of the Cross (Fridays)
Holy Hour (Saturdays)
6:00 p.m. - Evening Prayer 9:00 p.m. - Compline
St. Chad's Mission

Chapel, Good Samaritan Hospital
310 S. Limestone
Lexington, KY 40503
Telephone: (859) 913-1007

The Rev. William Neuroth, Priest-in-Charge

Sundays at 4:00pm
Parish of St. John the Evangelist

619 O'Fallon Street
Dayton, Kentucky 41074 (Greater Cincinnati Area)
Telephone: 859-261-8173
The Reverend Canon William C. Neuroth, Rector
9:00 a.m. - Low Mass
11:00 a.m. - Sung Mass
(June, July, & August one Mass only at 10:00 a.m.)

6:30 p.m. - Mass

Anonymous said...

I have attended ACC masses in the Diocese of the Midwest that were sung by the choir in Latin. It happens.

The choir parts were sung in Latin.

ACC Member

Anonymous said...

Canon Jerome:

I agree with you about the "Old Catholic" jurisdictions.

I was trying not to be overly critical, but I know what you mean.

I suspect the number of truly faithful, orthodox Old Catholics is much smaller than those who claim to be Old Catholic.

ACC Member

Fr Tom said...

Fr. John,

Like you, I am puzzled by Anonymous's comments on ACC churchmanship, especially the part about 'singing Latin Masses.' There are parishes who use the Missal, and do sing the major and minor propers, but perhaps he meant that an anthem by the choir was sung in Latin?

As for his preference for celebrating in cassock, Alb, and stole - that is one of those customs which I associate with TEC from the 1970's. I always thought it looked somehow like the priest was celebrating in his bathrobe. I once celebrated in cassock, surplice, and stole when Christ Church at Union Chapel first started, but now we use eucharistic vestments for all services of HC.

I use the BCP and (occasionally), the American Missal, which I prefer to the Anglican Missal.


poetreader said...

Also an ACA in Ashland, Kentucky,
as well as several others of various jurisdictions of various levels of regularity. There's a [pretty thorough list available online at

Fellowship of Concerned Churchmen - Home

I've been to two ACC parishes in Virginia, fairly near each other. Yes, both use chasubles, but one uses a "spiky" recension of the Anglican Missal and the other uses straight BCP 1928. I consider that variety to be a good thing.


Fr. John said...

Singing an anthem in the original Latin is a far cry from "singing Latin Masses." I am pretty sure that a Latin Mass, sung or not, would be in violation of the Canons of the Anglican Catholic Church.

I don't believe that Bishop Starks would allow such a thing to occur.

Anonymous said...


The ACC mass I attended was not just a choir anthem sung in Latin. All of the major responses/sung parts of the mass were in Latin.

The Presider read the Canon in English and the Prayer of Humble Access in English.

However, the main parts of the mass were sung in Latin.

In this parish, this is fairly common, I was told.

How they justify this and call themselves "Anglican", I'm not sure. It is more like 1950s Rome.

ACC Member

John A. Hollister said...

I think "ACC Member" has clarified his/her comment about Latin Masses by saying (s)he meant Latin service music sung by a choir.

Nevertheless, I am aware that, back when the ACC of Canada was still in communion with the ACC per se (i.e., prior to October, 1991), there was said to be a parish North of the border which had been received as a going concern and which was originally formed by Latin traditionalists from the R.C.C. As I heard it, Bp. de Catanzaro had given that congregation permission to continue celebrating in Latin.

Further, I am aware of two occasions in the U.S. when a Latin Mass was celebrated in the ACC. Both were "one-offs" and both were for specialized ad hoc congregations. One was at a meeting solely of clergy, all of whom were well able to follow the order of service and all of whom appreciated the opportunity to be reminded of one part of the Church's heritage. The other was a "field trip" for the Latin class of a local high school. Both of these were Tridentine services.

That said, I have long thought there might be some evangelistic value in using the available Latin text of the 1892 BCP (which did not differ in any essentials from the 1928 rescension) in some of the places where there are Latin traditionalists in the R.C.C. who are not being cared for by their original communion.

John A. Hollister+

Fr_Rob said...

Celebration of the Holy Communion in cassock and surplice was the universal norm in the Church of England and her daughter Churches for well over 300 years (along with north-end celebration at a Holy Table with neither cross nor candles). Colored stoles were introduced in the later 19th century and led to riots in many parts of England. The chasuble was virtually unknown in Anglicanism until the late 19th century, and many, if not most, dioceses of the Episcopal Church did not use them until well into the 20th century.

As a boy growing up in the Diocese of Southern Virginia in the 1960s and 70s, I never saw a priest in anything but a surplice and stole during Holy Communion. My first experience of a chasuble occurred when I came into the ACC in 1979. I have known a few ACC priests who celebrated the Eucharist in surplice and stole—all of them in Virginia and most of them now departed this life.

I find the full-length surplice and stole exceedingly handsome, although I myself have never celebrated the Eucharist in them.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The ACC mass I attended was not just a choir anthem sung in Latin. All of the major responses/sung parts of the mass were in Latin.

That violates the Canon Law of the ACC. The BCP and Missal are allowed, not the Latin Mass. Who is this priest's bishop? Report it, I ask of you, to him.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

...as ed has pointed out, he did accurately describe me as an "English Old Catholic"...

Apologies. Somehow I forgot that quickly-my age I suppose.

Anonymous said...

The rector of my own ACC parish (Midwest) celebrates Holy Communion in a cassock, surplice and stole at the 8 AM service.

Another ACC Member

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart:

When I was traveling, and in attendance at the mass in St. James ACC, Cleveland, Bishop Starks was the Presider of the Mass. In this Mass the choir, cantor, and others were singing the mass in Latin.

I could not attend the ACC if I lived in that area/diocese. Not unlike the 39 Articles in the 1928 BCP, I can see no benefit in singing Mass in a language not understood by the people.

ACC Member

Anonymous said...

St. Mary's ACC, Akron, Ohio, has two Eucharistic services each Sunday, as well as Morning Prayer in between the two Eucharistic services. The Rector wears Cassock, Surplice and Stole for the early service which is from the 1928 BCP, with no additions, strictly following the Rubrics. It looks very nice and very appropriate. It is a lovely service are truly Anglican. It reminds me of attending services in traditional, village parishes in England.

The second Eucharistic service, a fairly spikey one from the Anglican Missal, the Presider, Deacon and Sub-Deacon are vested in Eucharistic vestments. Like many "Anglican" services it lacks the simple elegance of classic Anglicanism and looks like imitation-Rome. Too many of the Eucharistic vestments look extremely feminine.

The simple elegance of cassock, surplice & stole, or flaxen cassock-alb & stole is always tasteful and elegant without looking too feminine.

To each their own, but simple, elegant, good taste looks more dignified for a clergyman in my opinion.

BCP Catholic

Anonymous said...

I am not sure to which church ACC Member was referring, but I know that St. James ACC in Cleveland's choir and cantor sing masses in Latin on a regular basis. On the day I was present, the presiding clergy was the Bishop of the Midwest.

To me, it is odd that this would happen. Even more odd is why would they want it to happen. The church is to be a place where Sacraments of the Living Christ are celebrated, not a classical music concert association.

I fail to see what is accomplished by singing Latin words that no one understands. Latin is a dead language which isn't even taught in most public schools anymore.

BCP Catholic

Anonymous said...

St. James ACC in Cleveland, Ohio, is one ACC parish that sings Latin Masses.

St. James has a choir composed of many paid, professional singers and the choir gives one a small glimpse of what the angelic choirs in Heaven might sound like. St. James has an absolutely gifted and talented organist/choir master who is far above average. They also, for special masses, have a very gifted and talented string quartet that plays with the wonderful pipe organ and choir.

I have always thought it a shame that they didn's sing masses from our rich tradition of Anglican masses, in English, so the masses could be understood by those of us who are English speakers. Anglicanism has a far richer treasure house of musical tradition than perhaps any church in history. Surely there are masses in English that could be sung?

The fine organist, string quartet and choir would be far more effective singing in English.

Continuum Organist

RSC+ said...

Anglicanism, in its best form (or at least, the form I like best), seems to offer a few things to the wider world of Christendom:

1) Theological Clarity -- Say what? Anglicans? Clear? Impossible.

But it's very true. Read Hooker's Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie. Read Lancelot Andrewes' dialogues with Cardinal de Perron. It's clear, beautiful, juicy stuff. It avoids the extremes of all other forms of Protestant religion -- no ultimately optional sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist, no sloppy metaphysics (a la Luther's Eucharistic theology. Gag.), no justification without sanctification, no Epistle of Straw, no lack of episcopacy. It avoids the unnecessary and problematic issues of Rome -- Polity, an imprecise distinction between Justification and Sanctification, any risk of a material, carnal view of the Eucharist, or Duns Scotus' "Christ is killed over and over and over and over again" theology. Instead, you get the reality of time colliding ever so briefly with eternity. Glorious.

2) An Apologetic -- From the moment we have been in existence, we Anglicans have had to defend ourselves--constantly. See Hooker, vs. Puritans, see Lancelot Andrewes, vs. Cardinal de Perron. (Or even Cranmer vs. Gardiner, as polemical as it may be.) See Newman before and after he Poped. See C.S. Lewis. We defend, articulate, and debate our points on the basis of Scripture, Tradition, and Right Reason. We have to. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church some time. It doesn't persuade -- it isn't trying to persuade. Hooker tries to persuade, and he does it well, I think. We go wrong when we don't cleave mightily toward the good stuff. Me? I avoid Germanic theologians not named Ratzinger. This philosophy has served me well.

3) A certain amount of liturgical adiaphora.

Some things just, really, don't matter all that much. Good Anglicans ought not to fuss at a parish that does (or doesn't) say the Gradual, or about where the Gloria is sung, or, I should think, whether a chasuble or just a stole is worn, as silly as it looks. (At least love the Low Church enough go all out and wear a surplice and tippet instead! :>) I am clearly not without bias, but at the end of the day, when Christ said not to worry about what we wear, I really do think he didn't mean a) so we ought to obsess about dressing simply or b) so we ought to obsess about wearing nice things or c) we ought to obsess about moderation. He meant, really really, not to worry much about clothes, because it's distracting. If they're there, super. If not, oh well. We don't grade Sanctifcation Points on whether Fr. John Doe had the wherewithal to bust out a Solemn High Mass on Laetare Sunday with the full rose set.

My $.02. Pax tibi. (Whoops!)


P.S. -- Really, ladies and gents, read Richard Hooker's Lawes, preferably the Keble Edition. Drink it up. Savor it like a Mass that isn't rushed.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

ACC Member wrote:

In this Mass the choir, cantor, and others were singing the mass in Latin.

That is not the same as a celebration in Latin, because you mean, I take it, the Minor Propers. I was celebrating in a church where the choir would chant the Introit in Latin during the Asperges (though repeating it in English after the opening hymn). That kind of sprinkling with Latin (I hear you groaning) seems just fine. But, the services must be from the BCP or Missal, and that is in our Canon Law. Therefore, the classic Anglican principle of "a tongue understanded by the people" is built in to our canons. "Else, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say 'amen' at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?"

Canon Tallis said...

Ed, it is one thing to believe that those factions which comprise ACNA are not enemies to the Continuum but what do you are anyone else have to offer as proof that this is so? The situation in which they currently find themselves in which many have no idea what diocese they belong to or just who is their bishop is to me indicative that they are no more truly Anglican that TEO. As a whole their issue is one, i.e., the election and consecration of an active, open homosexual, while their retention, partial or otherwise, of female deacons and priests means that within a generation they will be embracing what they now are revolting against.

The divisions in the Continuum are a reflection of the historical journey of the Church through English and American history. Anyone who knows the Elizabethan prayer book knows that the Ornaments Rubric required what Anonymous said that Elizabeth called "massing vestments." She may have called them so but she also required them and made her bishops wear chasuble, dalmatic and tunicle when celebrating before her. A vestment from one of her chapels still survives in a French museum. The bishops revising what is now 1662 were asked to remove the relevant rubric but refused hoping for the day when the ancient vestments could be not only restored but required. In the meantime copes of wonderful beauty were made and used for the consecration of Charles II and used for communion services in the major cathedrals. Their hope was for the day when true English churchmen would "hear, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest' what the English prayer book actually intended and required. That it happened in the second phrase of the Church revival in the 19th century was the answer to their prayers.

In the Continuum we think of ourselves as essentially Catholic and as a matter of dogma we are just that. But when it comes to worship we remain essentially congregational, with each priest doing what is right in his own sight, something which has the practical result of making our evangelical effort frustrated because no layperson is entirely sure what he will happen when he has to switch parishes. I myself remember an unfortunate event at St Peter's, Albequerque, when a priest ordained by Bishop Mote was still wearing and waving about his biretta right up to the gospel. It was not attractive nor edifying.

The Continuum needs a brand. It needs to be so clearly and essentially Anglican that no question can be raised about its faithfulness to the tradition. It seems to know that the doctrine of the Church is, but is, very unfortunately, unsure about both discipline and worship which have the appearance of endorsing both ends of the historical extremes. I may be entirely wrong, but I don't think that will make either our fortune or our future.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Thanks Ed, for those Kentucky listing which I had explored but did not find as viable.

The Priory is one block from my daughter's house and we would have worshipped there together, but they never returned my calls and there is no sign on the building so I wasn't sure which somewhat secluded building to barge into.

St. Chad is the congregation that meets at Good Samaritan Hospital Chapel. I've had some communication with with thme and have met a man who attends that Sunday afternoon Mass. He has visited the Orthodox church where I attend from time to time.

I explored these possibilities 3 years ago. I suspect that my having been a ECUSA 'priestess' was off putting to these men and so I received no encouragement and no return calls.

This is say that the Continuum in KY looks better on paper than in reality and my earlier comment stands.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart:

When I attended St. James, it was more than just the changeable propers that were sung in Latin.

Some of the Ordinary parts of the mass - such as the Sanctus & Agnus Dei - were sung in Latin, as well as the Asperges. The scriptures, thankfully, were sung in English.

It just seems strange to me, that in a church descended from the English Reformation, in which the importance of the services being in English, so as to be understood by the people, that any of the mass would be sung in Latin.

To the laity, who in today's world, where Latin is rarely, if ever, taught in schools, Latin is not a language understood by the people. I realize that well-educated clergy in some seminaries are required to learn Latin, so for them it is understood. But for the laity, not so much, if at all.

St. James has one of the best choirs I have ever heard, a marvelous string quartet and pipe organ. This is certainly not a criticism of their excellent musical program.

I just think singing from the rich treasures of Anglican music would be a better use of such fine talent.

ACC Member

poetreader said...

Whence comes the necessity of branding anyone as an enemy? Even if it be so, that does not remove the solemn obligation to see them as within the realm of those to be loved.

In Roman times some seem to have said, "See these Christians, how the love one another." Well, that is not what I'm observing in this day and age, nor what I'm hearing from unbelievers that I try to reach. I've actually had it said to me, "Why should I be attracted by this Christian thing? You guys are always squabbling and treating each other like enemies?" I'm afraid it's a true observation, and a terrible tragedy. If I had not come to know Jesus before I encountered this internecine strife, I certainly would not have been attracted.

There are those who think of themselves as my enemies, but the feeling is not reciprocal. I want (at least when my head is in tune with God) them to be my beloved brethren, and will continue to call out to them. When my heart is right (which is not always), I have no enemies.


poetreader said...

On another tack. If, as I believe to be the case, classic Anglicanism is more concerned with truth than with its external ornamentation, I believe that am indentifiably uniform "brand" is not conformable with that emphasis, but can be seen as salesmanaship, the presentation of something in a light not necessarily expressive of the whole reality. The very existence of a variety of expressions would seem to me to be far more conformable with what we are as Anglicans, and to express that more clearly. Frankly, if one moves from one parish to another unwilling to "go with the flow", there is something deeply spiritually wrong. Local customs will vary, and actually should.


Fr. D. said...

"Latin is a dead language which isn't even taught in most public schools anymore."
And that is a shame!!! Two young members of the parish that I serve have taught Latin in church (Protestant) sponsored High Schools. It is a highly sought after class. The Prayerboks used at Oxford are printed in Latin and it is a commonly understood language of the educated classes.

Saint James is a unique parish in the ACC. They are still in their original building for nearly all of their 152 year existence (they kept their buildings). It was established as a Tracterian Parish in reaction to the militant low churchmanship that prevaled in Northeast Ohio at the time. Father Peterson a chief sponsor of the "American Missal" and the only American who served on the Board of the Walsingham Shrine in England was the Rector of Saint James for over 40 years. Dom Gregory Dix used to visit and preach there.
The music at Saint James is legendary. They sing the settings in the language that they were written in. But the Mass itself is in English, not Latin!

Now thanks to those who have outed me!!! Good grief, I am the Archdeacon of the spikiest diocese in the ACC, the old biretta belt and now the whole world knows that I celebrate the 8 am Holy Communion in surplice and stole strictly by the "28" rubrics! Thanks a lot! Seriously, Northeast Ohio did have a large population of Low Churchman and I have offered this for them during the past eleven years.

Our vestments "feminine"? Huh? Most of our vestments are home made or hand me downs. We have a few High Mass sets that we inherited, but feminine? We do have a High Mass Requiem set made in Bavaria, beautifully adorned with gold leaf depicting stags in the Black Forest, I suppose it could inspire an impromtu rendition of "The Flight of the Valkyrites", but certainly not feminine!

Fr. D.

The Midland Agrarian said...

Canon Tallis,
While I cannot speeak for ACNA leadership, I do not believe the average ACNA member is an "enemy of the Continuum". I certainly am not. I believe my parish bought confirmation gift prayer books (generic title page edition) from APA/ACC, which would indicate affinity rather than hostility.

If anything, I suspect that the average ACNA member is not even aware of the Continuum's existence. I certainly was not aware of it prior to the Internet.

One thing I have seen with ACNA is a real desire to reach beyond traditional Anglican enclaves. From the outside the Continuum looks like a club that might take new members if they are the right sort.

Bishop Mead said...

"That violates the Canon Law of the ACC. The BCP and Missal are allowed, not the Latin Mass. Who is this priest's bishop? Report it, I ask of you, to him."

The English Missal is an authorised Book and the order for the Latin Mass is contained within that book. One Parish in the ACC Diocese of the United Kingdom has a weekday Latin Low Mass and seems to meet a local pastoral need. I am not aware that my permission for this violates ACC Canon Law.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I was responding to a comment that, until followed up, gave the impression someone was celebrating the whole service in Latin. It needed to be explained more accurately.

Anonymous said...

Father D:

Sorry for "outing" you, but I think your 8 a.m. service is a true Anglican gem. It is worthy of recognition. It does meet a need, and if I lived in your area, you would find me in your wonderful 8 a.m. 1928 BCP Holy Communion every Sunday.

Only once, while driving through the area, did I have the pleasure of this service.

I apologize for not writing clearly concerning vestments.

There are Chasubles and matching vestments that are masculine and fitting, though I prefer Cassock, Surplice& Stole or Cassock Alb & Stole. Indeed, St. Mary's vestments were of those that are masculine-looking and appropriate.

I was referring to as "feminine" some of the vestments that some Anglican & RC parishes use. We all know what they look like - dripping in lace; lots of gold lame'; gaudy, "over-done" embroidery and the like.

I apologize for not starting a new paragraph before that comment. St. Mary's vestments certainly were not what I was describing.

At any rate, your 8 a.m. Holy Communion is wonderfully English. I could have imagined myself in a small English country parish.

BCP Catholic

Anonymous said...

For the moment these are brethren, worthy of respect, worthy of every effort to cooperate so far as possible. These are not enemies,
Thanks, Ed.

Does this mean I'm no longer a neo-Anglican? I hope so.

BigTex AC

poetreader said...

Big Tex:

Well, perhaps not quite. There are differences that exist and we're all struggling to find the best words to express it. Let's all have patience on that score.

Meanwhile we don't have to be enemies - just friends that don't see eye to eye.


Canon Tallis said...

Ed, Again, we should pray for our enemies but folks who know that what they are doing is neither Anglican nor orthodox in terms Biblical or otherwise and who treat the bishops and priests of the Continuum with disdain and contempt should be recognized as being among those who errors we must work to correct. I could mention a number of incidents but the solicitation of St Benedict's without notice to its bishop should remind us of our Lord's admonition to be as wise as serpents. We have an obligation to love these folk but not to be blind to what they do and have done to other Christians.

The question as to whether the discipline and worship of the Church as found in directions of the classical Books of Common Prayer as against anything else should be prefered over the inventions of those who hated Anglicanism and sought the demise of everything about the Church should be a no brainer. Apparently it is not. I know that there are those who think that the surplice and tippet (and probably North end) celebration the epitome of Anglicanism. And again, from the early days of the English Church Union and the Society of Saints Peter and Paul, the more outrageously Romanizing the vesture, vestments and ceremonial of the parish, the more 'Catholic' its clergy and people belived themselves to be. But many of us would prefer our clergy to give solid evidence that they had at least a little love and respect for the Book of Common Prayer and the theological worthies who have defended it. Since we know that they all had to take an oath to keep "the doctrine, discipline and worship . . . of the Church" we would like some visible evidence that that such an oath was taken in good faith and the intention of being kept. In short, I realize that there are those whose ignorance of the prayer book tradition and the church's history might lead them to believe that cassock and surplice are what was intended - I had an officer much like that in the military - but education and truth would seem to me preferential to a choice between prayer book Presbyterianism and Anglo-papalism. As for going with the flow, if I had that proper I would still be in TEO. But what I wanted then, I want now. the fullness of the Anglican and prayer book tradition as defined by our best theologians, historians and liturgists.

Anonymous said...

Hey, it could be worse. I could have somebody shouting me down with "Deerfield Beach";)

Funny, I remember back when the "One True Church" was a running joke here at the Continuum.

Oh well.

BigTex AC

poetreader said...

I still get shouted down with "Deerfield Beach", and am constantly hearing of personal affronts from both sides against the other. Let me be clear about that. I DO NOT CARE. We have all made mistakes, every one of us. We have all managed to hurt others. The Christian way is forgiveness, and an effort to take what is as the place to start from in restoring wholeness.

Let's work to solve our differences, as brethren, rather than haranguing one another or, worse, ignoring one another.


Anonymous said...


It's easy not to care when you've been excommunicated from the "Extremely Emerging One True Church."

Sorry, friend;)

BigTex AC
(and might I add that December 12, 2006 was an especially rewarding day here at the Continuum)

Anonymous said...

Shaughn Said:

"Instead, you get the reality of time colliding ever so briefly with eternity. Glorious".

That is one of the loveliest descriptions of HC I have ever read.


poetreader said...

Thanks, John, for bringing this to our attention. I read his comment earlier and I read right over that. It is one of the best short sentences I've seen. I was motivated to post an old poem that speaks to the same theme. It's on the front page.

Canon Tallis said...

Midland Agrarian,

I gladly accept what you write. My concern is with the leadership, especially that part of it with which I had and have contact, it becomes clear that they regard our orthodoxy as a threat. Why? I will leave that to you. The laity are very dear people but most not very well taught.

Latin. I had high schools where it was very highly regarded and went to a university with a great reputation for its Greek and Latin publications. The head of its classics department became the head of the American School in Athens.

Personally I find both languages such a part of our Anglican tradition that I believe that we should do everything to pass this tradition on to all our following generations. I would ask that all recall that Elizabeth I issued a Latin version of the prayer book and expected that services at the Universities to be continued in Latin. Indeed, if one knows her Latin prayer book the Catholic intent of the Elizabethan settlement is made a great deal more plain and from my point of view inescapable.

Father D, as much as I would prefer to see a complete end to surplice and stole celebrations, I do know that it was a bishop of Rome who first authorized this custom in terms of St. Boniface's mission in Germany. I also come from a part of the country where there are occasions when the air conditioning is out it might be a wise thing to do to save precious vestments. In your case its use is entirely justified for pastoral reasons. The fact that you do it and the way in which you do so should, one hopes, let these people know how much the Church as well as God loves them. All of us, at one time or another have gladly sacrificed the ideal for the necessity of meeting the spiritual needs of real people. We pray that by doing so both they and we may, by God's grace so freely and richly given, grow in the faith.

The Midland Agrarian said...

Having re-read all the comments here, I wish to apologize to both Canon Tallis and Rev. Fr. John A. Hollister. My comments were directed at an earlier comment made by the latter, but I directed them by name to the former.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Seeing clarification, as Low and High Church Catholics express how they feel about worship, is quite welcome to this old Anglican raised in the Episcopal Church back in the days when when it was still, substantially, the Episcopal Church. I consider it a step forward. I consider it progress. I regard it as a recovery of precious, true, real and vital Anglicanism. Let's talk about stole and surplice or chasubles. At least we are, finally, back on the same page about the essentials.

Canon Tallis said...

Father Hart,

I am sure that while there are many versions of the Vincentian Canon, my favorite is probably the oldest and expresses for me exactly what classical prayer book Anglicanism is and intends to be. It is verse forty two of the second chapter of Acts which by priority of mention places the greatest emphasis on the "Apostles' doctrine." This is not to indicate any slighting of the other items in that list, but without the first, what would or could they mean to us?

Happily, here it is evident what we see put in a continual first place is precisely that doctrine for which our martyrs so gladly went to the stake and for which so many of us gave us comfortable parish buildings, choirs and elegant and antique vestments. Those we can and will, in God's good time, replace, but what would be have if we lost or betrayed the fullness of the 'Apostles' doctrine?'

Sandra McColl said...

Fr Hart, stop calling yourself old. It doesn't only reflect on you, you know.

Mark said...

As a Traditionalist Roman Catholic, I followed with interest the discussion on the use of the Latin language in Christian worship. In many respects the discussion here resembles the discussion I hear among us RCs – pro and con expressed with more than lukewarm interest.

Link below is to Mozart’s “Et Incarnatus Est” – Christianity, Latin, and music fused into one organic and transcendent whole. Poets among us may appreciate it:


Fr. Robert Hart said...

I received this about the oft above mentioned St. James:

Dear Father,
I have read the recent comments on "The Continuum" about the liturgical practice at my parish of St. James' in Cleveland with a mixture of amusement and dismay.

I have been the Rector of St. James' for ten years now, and I am very proud (and humbled) to lead a parish that has been faithful to the Catholic Faith, as the Church of England received it, for over 150 years.

Allow me to describe what one would witness at the Sung Mass on most Sundays:

-The Asperges (in English-- I have never sung it in Latin)

-The choir sings the minor propers in from The English Gradual--- in English.
(The "Missal Propers" are always printed in full in the bulletin for those unfamiliar with the Missal.)

--The Ordinary of the Mass is Sung by the Choir---on most occasions, the Mass setting is by Stanford, Willan, Darke, Burgess, or some other English composer. Latin Mass settings (and those by English composers are preferred) are only done on Christmass Eve, Easter, Whitsun, or the Annual Pilgrimage to our shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

-- The Creed is ALWAYS sung in English.

-The Canon of the Mass is said aloud and is the Canon from the 1928 American Book.

-Before the Sung Mass, Matins or Evensong is read from the 1928 BCP.
-- I, as my predecessors did, consider myself to to be "Prayer-Book Catholic."

In fact, I must confess to preferring the American Missal to the Anglican Missal.

In Christ, and with the warmest regards,

I remain yours,

C. Crume+

I hope that clarifies things, and that this might attract a few visitors their way.

Canon Tallis said...

Father Crume sounds like a solid prayer book Catholic to me. I could probably wish that the ceremonial connected with the canon was that of the pre-Reformation Church and that the color sequence were English and equally pre-Reformation, but given the lack of historical liturgical knowledge by both clerics and people that might be too much to expect. Indeed, this what he is doing sounds almost exactly like what was done at the Church of the Resurrection in NYC with Albert Chambers was rector there.

God Bless Fr Crume and congregation.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Father D. has demonstrated something very important for continuum parishes - that not all in the continuum are Chasuble & incense loving Anglo-Catholics.

In the Episcopal Church, prior to the 1970s, there were often many parishes in an area. Some were low church, some high church, some truly Anglo-Catholic (as near as it possible to define that accurately).

The continuum was founded by mainly Anglo-Catholics and some high church clergy. Thirty years later we almost have total domination of the Anglo-Catholic clergy in the continuum.

However, I suspect that in every parish (in my parish for sure), there are many people from a low church Episcopalian background. Some try to accept the higher churchmanship, and some are probably finding it uncomfortable.

I think Father D has definately demonstrated something important. In even a small parish like St. Mary's, it is possible to offer a 1928 BCP Holy Communion, in Cassock, Surplice & Stole, following the Rubrics; Morning Prayer following the 1928 BCP Rubrics; and an Anglo-Catholic Mass following the Missal.

I think our parishes might attract new people if we were to offer the greater variety.

I had a conversation in the store today with an Episcopalian who was inquiring about our continuum parish, and has decided to give it a try because the person grew up in low church Episcopal parishes and loves Morning Prayer. The nearest Episcopal parishes are both high, high church and don't even have Morning Prayer anymore.

I think that offering the variety of both low church Holy Communion from the 28, and high Mass, plus Morning Prayer and Evensong, could offer a variety that would enrich our parishes, better please some of our current members, and, possibly, bring new people into our parishes.

Just some thoughts.....

Prayerbook Catholic

poetreader said...

Thank you for that PB Catholic!
I think Fr. D has revealed himself to be a compassionate and caring pastor. Would that this kind of pattern could be found more often.


Canon Tallis said...

Prayer Book Catholic, I do not know how long you have been in Continuum, but while many, maybe most, of the clergy were high church or Anglo-catholics, a very large percentage of the laity were quite low church. This meant that a good number of the clergy and laity could barely communicate, but most of them managed to rise above these difficulties. The problem from both sides was that they didn't quite know how to be mere Church or mere Anglican. But the real stars, the true saints among the clergy are those such as at St Mary's and St James who go the extra mile to provide real spiritual comfort by seeing that people have what they need. It means they probably also do a great deal of teaching also just as Ed, Father Hart and Father Kirby do on this site.

The central tradition of the Book of Common Prayer provides for the continuance of a system which would seem to date back to the time of Acts (see 2:42) and which persisted right through the middle ages to the English Reformation. You will find that system commended in The Cloud of Unknowing, Walter Hilton's The Ladder of Perfection and Langland's The Vision of Piers the Plowman which was and is largely an anti-papal tract. "Lewd men to labour, and lords to hunt . . . .And upon Sundays to cease God's service to hear,
Both Mattins and mass; and after meant, in churches,
To hear evensong, every man ought."

I believe that we of the continuum will begin to grow as we should when we can get past the uncomfortableness of the various church parties which St Paul says we are not supposed to have. Consequently I am very glad that you and I hope others are doing your best to help people to come home to the Church and the tradition which Jesus gave to the apostles and they to the church which most truly exists when all parts of it are known, loved and obeyed.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I think our parishes might attract new people if we were to offer the greater variety.

The truly large and growing parishes I know all have this variety. This includes Christ Church in Carefree Az.(APCK), St. Andrew and St.Margaret of Scotland in Alexandria, Va. (ACC), and a few others. I have recently arrived here in Chapel Hill, N.C. The first thing I restored (other than Wed. at noon) was an early service of Holy Communion at 9:00 AM on Sunday, straight Prayer Book (the 11:00 service is still quite High and uses the Minor Propers from the Missal). In a few weeks I will restore Morning Prayer before the 9:00 AM service. It is time to help the Low Church ECUSAns come home to real Anglicanism too. Our mission is to convert people to Christ, not to a particular brand of churchmanship. Remember what Screwtape wrote to his nephew about this, and do the opposite.

Fr. D. said...

Just a couple of other points of information: about a decade ago I introduced the chanting (8 am said) of the Great Litany in procession (box the nave) prior to Holy Communion on Advent Sunday, First Sunday in Lent and on Rogation Sunday. This practice has been well received. The chant tone is easy and the Congregation can easily respond. (Keep the Crucifer's speed in check or one can become breathless)
I miss not having enough musical talent within the parish to conduct 4 pm Sunday Evensong at least once per month.

I know that at St. James, Cleveland (only 45 minutes up the road from me) the Rector there introduced fully sung (including the Psalms)4 pm Evensong at least four times per year and it is heavenly! He also introduced the Litany sung in procession and the Athanasian Creed sung in procession on Trinity Sunday as well.

Fr. D.

Anonymous said...

The last I had heard St. Margaret and St. Andrew of Scotland, in Alexandria, had three Eucharistic services each Sunday morning, and because of this, the parish seems to be "bursting at the seams" with large attendances at all of the services.

As I understand it, there is an early morning 1928 BCP Holy Communion without music; a Sung Holy Communion straight from the 1928 BCP (which I am told is the largest and best attended service each Sunday); and the third service is a Sung Missal Mass that is very spikey (popular, but not as well attended as the 1928 BCP Sung HC).

I, too, think that by offering such variety, and also, by keeping alive our Anglican traditions of the liturgical prayer of the church, the Daily Offices - Morning Prayer and Evensong (and not ignoring the offices as "too Protestant", which sadly is said by some who don't truly understand their importance), will make our parishes grow.

BCP Catholic

Anonymous said...

A couple years ago, I read a study on the importance of the daily offices. This study was made of Anglican parishes both inside and outside of the Lambeth Communion, including continuum parishes.

What they found that the parishes who observed the daily offices in the church each day were the same parishes that were (1) growing and thriving; and, (2) were not embracing apostasy.

The study stressed the importance of prayer, especially prayer in community each day in the Nave or Chapel, in new member growth and health of the parishes.

The study found that parishes that did not observe the daily offices in community each day, were generally in decline and were the most likely to have embraced apostasy.

It would seem to reinforce the teachings of our childhood that God is faithful and just and answers our prayers and blesses those who faithfully pray, especially when 2 or 3 are gathered together to pray.

For very small missions or parishes, it might be hard to get off the ground everyday, but praying Morning Prayer each Sunday, and Evening Prayer one weekday, and Morning Prayer another weekday, would be an excellent start. I believe that God would bless those prayers.

ACC Member

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Morning and Evening Prayer "Too Protestant"? Let's see. They are taken from the Benedictine Rule, they contain Canticles and Readings from the Apocrypha, etc.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Hart:

I am glad you agree with me.

Morning Prayer and Evensong "too Protestant" - I think not! One might as well say that the Benedictine Monasteries are "too Protestant."

In my opinion, it is impossible to be truly catholic without them. They are the liturgical daily prayer of the church catholic from ancient times.

But, sadly, many "Anglicans" today have neglected these offices and don't even pray these offices in the church anymore.

An RC priest, whom I know well, told me that one of the goals of Vatican II was to restore the daily offices into the life of the Roman parish church. They realized the daily offices importance, and back at that time, thought that the Anglicans had maintained a true treasure, that the RCs had lost.

The RC priest said that sadly, that goal of Vatican II has never been realized in the parish churches.

Sadly, since the 1960s, Anglicans, who are trying to be imitation RCs, have also thrown away the daily offices, literally throwing away an important part of the catholic faith.

BCP Catholic

Sandra McColl said...

I confess that I like my Mass low and my Office high.

Unfortunately, the great Anglo-Catholic catch cry has been, 'The Mass is the centre of parish life,' and I understand that this grew out of a restoration of Holy Communion to a weekly or even daily service and not something that just happened three or four times a year. But all too often that means that the Mass, according to the rites currently authorised by Rome, is not only the centre of, but also the only public worship in, the life of Anglican parishes (except, of course, for Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent and perhaps Rosary and Benediction, or Vespers and Benediction, but I'm digressing rather naughtily). The Mass is for the initiates--let no catechumen remain! Anyone can go to the Office and feel included in it. For that reason, it is a great means of outreach from within. The opportunities for preaching are more relaxed and can allow good discursive preaching and teaching on nice long lessons. And it gives the opportunity for the recitation of the Psalter, which is how man has talked to God, and God to man, since the Psalter began to be written. A bishop in the Anglican Church of Australia of a somewhat orthodoxish stamp wondered out loud not all that long ago about what to do about worship in parishes on the Sundays when there isn't a priest available. If only he'd get his head out of his modern Roman Breviary and open up a BCP, the answer would've been staring him in the face! I realise that I'm an Anglican Breviary person in my private devotions, but I also know that Heaven rejoices that I say any prayers at all. For public worship in Anglican parish churches, it's the BCP office (especially for those who only go on Sunday)--if only there were more of it.

Canon Tallis said...

Morning and Evening Prayer were part of the Church's worship long before that brat Benedict took it into his head to run away from school. They are part of our inheritance from Judaism and the worship of the synagogue. I know that most of us associate it with 'low' church but solemn mattins and evensong in which all is sung and the altar is censed at either the Benedictus or Magnificat with the coped celebrant assisted by deacon and subdeacon in albs dalmatic and tunicle. Now that's high church.

Go back and read the rubrics in Elizabeth's prayer book. She expected everything (and I do mean everything) to be sung; the psalms, the lessons, the canticles, creed and collects. Just try doing it sometime and then tell me and anyone who has attended that what they experienced was "too protestant."

But you don't have to do anything like that to make it one of the most wonderful and meaningful acts of worship. Just saying the office with another person as Bede and his abbot did when the rest of the monastery was ill or as I and Bishop LaRoque did from opposite sides of an otherwise empty chapel can be the most marvelous experience of God's nearness.

Where do people who are supposed to be educated and caring churchmen get these strange ideas?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Where do people who are supposed to be educated and caring churchmen get these strange ideas?

Someone complained that many Continuing clergy have, as their education, little more than the Catechism of the [Roman] Catholic Church. I do know that too many have let Rome teach them about Anglicanism, and so they emerge with anti-knowledge, that brand of ignorance that knows only what may lead to false conclusions.

Canon Tallis said...

I realize that this has become very much "an open thread," an idea that just might have some use for most or all of us from time to time. But for the moment on this Independence Day when our Book of Common Prayer rather demands a celebration of the Eucharist (see page 263), I wonder how many of our parishes will be offering same. Yes, tomorrow is Sunday but it should be clear to all here that the Book of Common Prayer and Anglicanism demands something much greater than a simply Sunday faith.

In spite of the fact that most of the people who signed the Declaration of Independence were Anglicans and that fifty per cent plus one of those who wrote our Constitution were the same, we hardly seem to realize that it was the faith of those who religion was to be found in the book of 1662 who made this country.

But I don't want us simply to look back and search for bragging rights. I want and need those reading this blog to look forward to a world, by God's grace and help, we must make. And to that end, I would ask the good fathers and others to consider themselves posting the ten most important books outside of the Bible and the classic Anglican prayer books that they believe every bishop, priest and deacon in the Continuum should have and know. Let us arm ourselves and our people for tommorow with the greatest of the wisdom of the Christian and Anglican past so that we can rebuild the faith shattered by the sins of the last century.

Anonymous said...

Books that all in the Continuum should know:

(1) "Anglican Catholic Faith and Practice" by The Most Rev. Mark Haverland

(2) "The Catholic Religion" Staley

(3) "The King's Highway" by George D. Carleton

(4) "A Prayer Book Manual" 1943 The Cloister Press

(5) "The English Reformation and the Book of Common Prayer" by A. Theodore Wirgman

Every layperson in the continuum should read #1, even if they aren't in the ACC. It is the best summary of Anglo-Catholicism ever written.

BCP Catholic

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Add all the classic works of Hooker and Andrewes, etc.

E.J. Bicknell's classic book on the Thirty Nine Articles.

I will think of more.

Anonymous said...

Most Anglican-Catholics I know in England whom you (Anonymous) might refer to as "imitators of Rome" offer their Daily Officesin their Churches - maybe not BCP but an Office is recited with as much history, Scripture and tradition as that cobbled together by Cranmer.

I'm not sure either (Canon Tallis) it's really appropriate to refer to St Benedict as a "brat" - pray that the example of your life and devotion to Christ might inspire others worthily to the same for 1500 years?!

I'm afraid Fathers and others, you have not answered the question "What is Anglicanism" or if you have, it is not an answer I think (and hope) worthy of you...

Is it really all about surplices and tippets? About the use of which books? A seeming disgust for anything Roman Catholic outside the limitations of one's own personal taste?

I realise this blog and it's comment boxe(s) is perhaps considered a place where traditionalist Anglicans can "let off steam"... but must it always be a competition for the "most cutting pseudo-intellectual put-down I can think of" - all the time?

For some of us, our faith is more than thought but about real belief - and I suspect the same is true of you all... So let's read about that and consign this "traditionalist pithy posing" to the sidewalk and consider the real issues that face traditional Anglicanism in the 21st Century... I suspect initially it has more to do about what goes on outside of Church by those in the Church than necessarily what happens once they're in the door... though something about the reception they receive is important?!

poetreader said...

Um ...
If I read correctly, I believe St. Benedict had a healthy sense of humor and would likely have roared in laughter at the 'brat' reference, which I see as obviously intended in that light. I love Bemedict and I enjoyed the comment.

The comment about neglecting the Daily Office is all too real. It really is only a handful of parishes (thank God there are some) that do pray the daily office in church. Be thankful for those that do, but the criticism given still stands.

This blog is one of the premier forums for real Anglican theology, thanks largely to our Father Hart, and though there is some commenting about vestments and the like, that has never been a major element here.

Anonymous (BTW, if you continue the conversation, please select a name to be known as - it makes conversation easier), I'm not sure what board you are reading. It doesn't sound like this one. At the least, we're sure trying.


Anonymous said...

I think the comment that the offices of the BCP were "cobbled together by Cranmer" is really quite sad, and shows a lack of respect for a time-honored tradition of Christianity.

I am a proud supporter of the Prayer Book Society and the Book of Common Prayer. The Book of Common Prayer is an unequaled piece of English literary tradition, and is, in my opinion, the most beautiful and scriptural liturgy ever written. The Rev. John Wesley would agree with me on that, too. Wesley said: "I believe there is no liturgy in the world, either in ancient or modern language, which breathes more of a solid, scriptural, rational piety than the COMMON PRAYER of the Church of England. And though the main of it was complied considerably more than two hundred years ago, yet is the language of it, not only pure, but strong and elegant in the highest degree." Amen, Father Wesley. Its language is still scriptural, pious, pure, strong and elegant nearly 500 years later.

Two RC priests I know well, tell me they wish they could use the Book of Common Prayer instead of, as they worded it, what they "are forced to use."

If it were not for the Book of Common Prayer, I would never have come into the continuum. If the continuum ever abandons the 1928 BCP or 1662 BCP, then I will abandon the continuum, stay home, and read my prayerbook. I would get more spiritual benefit from reading the office of Morning Prayer one time, than attending 100 masses from the Novus Ordo.

Archbishop Cranmer's prayerbook is every bit as vital, and still meets the spiritual needs of thousands upon thousands of us almost 500 years later.

BCP Catholic

Sandra McColl said...


Any replacement Office that I can imagine being used in England, be it the modern Roman one or one of the modern versions of the Anglican Office devised by the C of E, doesn't have the same amount of 'history, Scripture and tradition' as found in the BCP (oh, and your expression 'cobbled together by Cranmer' gives your attitude away). To start with, it won't have a complete Psalter. I am glad, however, that the Office is said daily in churches. (I do recall in the 80s having to knock on a door to have the curate let me in to Evening Prayer, which he usually said alone.) In Australia, I don't see much evidence of daily Office, particularly from the Anglo-Catholic tradition within the Anglican Church of Australia, out of which I came.

It's not all about surplices and tippets. But if the Romanizers hadn't made it all about lace doilies and silly hats and all manner of attire and practices from a foreign culture and simply denied us what is native to us, we wouldn't be making it about surplices at all.

And I agree with Ed: if you're going to tell us how to conduct ourselves, at least do us the courtesy of giving yourself a moniker.

Canon Tallis said...

Having broken my teeth, so to speak, on the Monastic Diurnal which a children friend carried home from his Benedictine (Roman) boy's school long before I knew there was such a thing as The Book of Common Prayer I have a tendency to look at most of these things as givens. What I am most interested in is their use and if or not they add something of importance to the spiritual life of the individuals and parishes who say or sing them. I suspect that the English translation of whatever version of the venerable Roman office used among Anglicans in Britain is never sung, mores the pity. And since never sung there is little possibility that the altars are censed during the Benedictus or Magnificat and that is very sad indeed.

Sometimes I think that we forget that even the greatest of saints were someone's child and someone's sibling before they became an icon or a commemoration in the calendar. Even the blessed Virgin and St Joseph were upset when they discovered that Jesus had gone missing on the return trip from Jerusalem. His excuse may have been appropriate and acceptable but Mary and Joseph's fears were as real as any human parent whose child goes missing. I doubt that St Benedict's parents were wihout concern for their missing child what ever he became afterwards.

I realize that there are probably few who want a univerally recognizeable Anglicanism which is as unashamed of its own history and practices as Romans or the Orthodox, but I do believe that until at least two thirds or more of us get quite comfortable with something other than Anglican congregationalism, we are not likely to commend ourselves to any great number of the unchurched. Americans in the present age move and generally don't want to re=invent their religious life everytime their quest for economic betterment or simple survival sends them to a new place. But I could be entirely wrong.

Canon Tallis said...

Boy, when you are worn you do make some bloopers, I had meant to write "childhood friend" and was actually in the old home town a little over a week ago trying to find out if he were yet alive.

Ken said...

To ask the question what is Anglicanism is the same as asking what is Roman Catholicism. The answer you get depends on who is answering. Ultimately to ask about an "ism" is to prepare oneself for futility. Christ didn't die for an "ism", He died for His body.

So I chose to answer who is Anglicanism, they are the saints before us such as:

Lewis, Keble, Laud, Cramner, Hooker, Andrews, George, Julian, Ninian, Bede, Patrick and those on the continent such as Thomas a Kempis, Vincent, Augustine, Ignatius.

Canon Tallis said...


I like your answer. Mine would be that Anglicanism is the Catholic Church of the English Speaking Peoples, but we know that it has outgrown that. Being one of those who believes that Anglicanism, as such, did not begin with the English Reformation but was something which began with the introduction of the Gospel and the Church into Great Britain and which manifested itself in countless ways in the life and literature of those who accepted and lived this particular brand of Christianity. I see it and have seen it in the lives of Alban, Sucat who became Patrick, Richard Rolle, Julian, Margery Kempte, Walter Hilton, Langland and the unknown writer of the Cloud of Unknowing. I see it in the persistence of the Church of England though both Puritans and Papists actively plotted its destruction in the 17th century. I especially see it in the refusal of the English bishops to bend the knee to Puritan ugliness after the Church's restoration or to the demands of James II or William III. I see it in the willingness of John Checkely to twice go to jail in Puritan Boston rather than give up the publishing of his own writings in the defense of Anglican faith and practice.

We have great saints, but a large part of their greatness is their modesty because they wanted others to see Jesus and not themselves.

Let us keep up the Te deums sing our liturgies with true joy, the joy of those who know the Lord and have chosen to serve Him and only Him.

Sandra McColl said...

Good one, Ken, but you left out Dr Pusey, as well as that nice Dr Ratzinger who would've been an epoch-making Archbishop of Canterbury (and looked smashing in convies) if only Bavaria had been C of E. I'm afraid I've had a bit of a 'what's Anglicanism', or 'what's Anglican' sneer from those on their way to Rome before. I've learned to brush it off. I know instinctively what's not Anglican.

John A. Hollister said...

Sandra McColl wrote about "that nice Dr Ratzinger who would've been an epoch-making Archbishop of Canterbury (and looked smashing in convies)...."

Alas, my upbringing was obviously far too narrow. I assume "convies" must be some distinctive vestment worn by Aussie Arches, along the lines of the byegone apron and gaiters?

John A. Hollister+

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

I think Sandra's "convies" is slang for "Convocation Robes" nothing to do with Oz at all...

Re "What is Anglicanism" and the problem with the "ism", I suspect that it is the "ism" that causes the problems and is evident in the wide divergence of practice and belief amongst Anglicans. So perhaps "What is Anglican" is a better phrased question?

I ask the question because it is not obvious to those who aren't Anglicans, what Anglicans actually believe? There seems disparity for example between what Fr Hart believes and what Fr Hunwicke believes about what being Anglican means, certainly with regard to things Roman; the former sees it as a perhaps a reformed Catholicism (or an expression of a return to original Catholicism) the latter as a separated portion of Rome?

Is there such a thing as "Anglican doctrine" sufficiently different from Rome's that being Anglican means to believe something different from a Roman Catholic? Or, are the 39 Articles and the Homilies simply "teaching" that is consonant with primitive Catholicism and possibly able to be interpreted in correlation to the development of Roman doctrine?

Or is "Anglican" just a liturgical style, a cultural idiom of the same Catholic faith expressed differently from continental Roman Catholicism? The BCP as a sort of reformed "Sarum Use"?

Many Anglo-Catholics in England it seems, subscribe to the idea that the CofE is simply a separated portion of the Roman Church that should otherwise behave and conduct itself like a portion of the Roman Church until or to enable reconciliation... Other Anglicans seem to think that there is something distinctive about "being Anglican" that sufficiently prevents them from becoming Roman Catholics.

So "What is Anglican(ism)?" Is it an entirely different way of being a Catholic Christian in terms of doctrine or is it being a Catholic Christian like the Romans but without Rome (e.g. like the *Orthodox)? If the former, what is it that makes it different and if the latter, what does it seek for Catholic unity amongst the Churches? Who or what, is an Anglican?

Now that Communion with Canterbury is no longer an indicator of whether or not one is Anglican... what is?

[*The Orthodox of course have their own liturgy, Saints and schools of theology, but are recognised as Catholics... is being Anglican a Western "Rite" similar to the Orthodox or is it something else again...?]

I'm sorry if I haven't phrased the question(s) very well, but I hope I've shown enough of my thoughts for you to get the "gist" of where I'm coming from?!

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Canon Jerome Lloyd:

The word "Anglican" may be defined in such a way as to exclude all of us in the Continuum, because to modern people the definition may be entirely about the Anglican Communion HQ'ed in Canterbury. By that definition we are not Anglicans. However, we use the word with another definition.

In the Continuum, we have been using the word "Anglican" to refer to a set of beliefs as the best expression of the same Catholic Faith that the ancient Church embraced. The reforms of the English Church were carried out with the Intention of returning to more accurate and orthodox Catholic teaching than had been characteristic of Rome's teaching in that era, and how that teaching had corrupted the true teaching of the Holy Catholic Church. The disagreements that separate us from Rome are very few, but they are not simply washed away by pretending that Anglicanism is merely cultural or a set of specific liturgical differences.

The office of the Papacy is an area of genuine disagreement between us and Rome. "Romish doctrines" such as Purgatory, merits of the saints, etc. having no basis in Scripture and for which there is no evidence in Antiquity, cannot be dogma.

Frankly, the main difference between us and Rome is still summed up in Article VI:

Of the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.

HOLY Scriptures containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.

And, that is exactly how the Fathers argued in Nicea, and all the major Councils. That is how they wrote all of their apologetics, not proving their case by what earlier fathers had written, not proving it by what the bishops of Rome had said, but proving always by Scripture. That "Fundamentalist" approach is the Patristic method.

I have written many things that answer your questions, and they are contained in the link to my articles on Classic Anglicanism.

Sandra McColl said...

Yes, convocation robes. I don't think anyone looks smashing in pyjamas with ordnance arrows on them--not if he's built like an elderly bishop, anyway.

Sandra McColl said...

I meant convocation robes. I do not imagine that any elderly bishop would look smashing in pyjamas decorated by ordnance arrows.

Sandra McColl said...

sorry, folks. Thought it hadn't been posted the first time. Got an error message.

John A. Hollister said...

Thank you, Canon Lloyd and Sandra McColl, for the clarification on what "convies" are. I'm always delighted to learn a new word and I was just sure they weren't "Converse All Stars" (an antique brand of what we call "tennis shoes" and you probably call "trainers").

And I really felt "with it" when I recognized what "pajamas with ordinance arrows" are -- on this side of the pond, we'd call the equivalent article "horozontally striped pajamas". They're now coming back into fashion in the local hoosegows, after a previous vogue for international orange jumpsuits. Talk about distinctive vestments that separate one group from another....

John A. Hollister+

RC Cola said...

I should add that in many schools nowdays "translate" Shakespeare into contemporary English. Elizabethan English has been deemed unintelligible to our contemporary ears.

Based on that, should we consider the Elizabethan English of the BCP to be a "dead language" that is "unintelligible" to Contemporary English? Therefore, should we then ban Elizabethan English from the liturgy and translate it into intelligible Contemporary English?

Which Contemporary English? US, UK, Aussie, the pidgeon Englishes? How about Ebonics?

The very line of reasoning used by BCP for why Latin is unacceptable (namely, that it is unintelligible) is the same argument used by the people who produced the 1979 BCP. It is used by the inclusive langauge crowd. And it will continue to be used by those who seek to continually "wreckovate" the liturgy (i.e. the cultural marxists posing as liturgists).

And yet, it is all over the comment page here.

Having said all that, I agree that it makes no sense to use Latin with the BCP since it is part of the Western Rites/Uses Patrimony very consciously and explicitly rejected by Cranmer and the other Elizabethan divines. If I were an Anglican priest or choir director, I would not use Latin...or Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic or Old Slavonic because these languages--while legitimate scriptural or liturgical languages-- simply do not belong in the English Mass.

And even though I would love to see a liturgy in Old English because that would be "truly" Anglo-Saxon, that is really an exercise in Archaism, not proper liturgical restoration. (No matter how cool it would be to have the priest turn to the people and exclaim, "Hwaet!" and then chant the Mass as if telling an heroic epic in the mead-hall.)

Canon Tallis said...

RC Cola, Perhaps you are unaware of the Latin prayer book of Elizabeth I or that the debates in Convocation continued in Latin until sometime late in the 20th century. Latin is certainly part of our Anglican heritage even though we Biblical reasons for s liturgy in a language understood by the people which Latin wasn't in the 16th century or in the 20th for the great majority of Western Christians.

Considering the popularity of the Society for Creative
Anachronisms and Medieval and Renaissance Pleasure Faires I know that there are simply thousands of ordinary Americans who read and understand Elizabethan English. Have no fear of that. What we all need to beware of is the Teacher's Union and the undereducated graduates of American universities who are too lazy to work at learning.

RC Cola said...

Canon Tallis,

I was indeed aware that Latin was used in the Anglican liturgy for some time after Henry initiated the reform.

I'm sorry that my first post wasn't published in which I discussed Latin. Just as you know people who can read Elizabethan English with no problem (I'd include myself in that group), I know thousands of people for whom attending mass in Latin is no problem either.

The "unintelligibility" argument against Latin (or, against Elizabethan English as I extended it in my published post) is a poor one and one I think we ought not to use.

I think you summed it up best when you wrote: What we all need to beware of is the Teacher's Union and the undereducated graduates of American universities who are too lazy to work at learning.

When I was in the (RC) seminary, a classmate didn't know that there will be a Resurrection of the body. I asked him how he could not know that. He said he'd never heard of it before. Then I asked him if he's ever said the Apostles Creed. Of course he had, and how stupid of me to ask. So I asked him to recite the final passage. He did, and he was mortified.
I made the mistake of saying out loud what I was thinking: that 100% of the people in my former Latin Mass parish--including the children--could tell me what the creed said and what it meant. And there I was in a room of men studying to be priests and some of us didn't even know the basics despite reciting the creed in our own language on a daily basis. Oh~ I was in a LOT of trouble that night. It was the beginning of the end.

But it goes to show that it's not the language that makes the faith intelligible or unintelligible, but whether one pays attention.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

RC Cola wrote:

I'm sorry that my first post wasn't published in which I discussed Latin.

Blame me. I thought the second longer comment was intended as a replacement. That is how it came across.

Canon Tallis said...

RC Cola,

Your seminary story sounds like the time when two Roman girls showed up at my home with a question. It seemed that their fairly young Roman priest had told them and a number of others that the whole concept of the mystical body of Christ was quite modern and heretical. Using 1549 I was able to convince them that it was a few centuries old and that it derived from the teaching of St Paul.

Since I don't know your age, I can't know just when you were doing Latin, but when my Roman uncle had me serving Cardinal Stritch's masses in the fifties, it was still the tradition. I didn't quite get into trouble but i shocked the cardinal archbishop by asking if he was particularly troubled by some problem because he had omitted a couple of paragraphs from the canon. Needless to say he never did it again when I was serving him, but his suffragans certainly found it amusing as they told and re-told it at brunch the following Sunday.

I don't suspect that you know that when Archbishops Geoffrey Fisher and Michael Ramsay visited the pope, both began speaking to him in Latin being old Latin masters in the English school system. But the popes had to summon translators. We in the Continuum need to acquire and maintain the tradition of learning which was always one of the great strengths of classical Anglicanism and that would include "Hebrew, Greek and Latin." itself a tradition which goes back to the great 12th century bishop of Lincoln, Robert Grossteste who brought Greek scholars and Hebrew rabbis to Lincoln to teach his canons the languages of Holy Scripture.

Glad to have you aboard.

RC cola said...

Thanks, Canon Tallis. It is good to be aboard. Your story about correcting the bishop does not surprise me at all. I am too young to remember the Latin Mass before it was banned, but old enough to go to it after the ban was lifted partially lifted in 1988. From what I have been told, many priests were pretty sloppy with the Mass. With modern priests who say the TLM there is much more incentive to pray it well because they have made real sacrifices in order to say it rather than the NO. when it was the norm, it was treated as most people treat The Norm--they took it for granted.

I wonder if the situation is similar in the Anglican communion? I remember seeing the 1928 service for the first time in 1991 and I felt so ashamed that I had never seen such a beautiful Mass despite 9 years in a RC school. I wonder if prior to the 1979 wreckovation of the BCP did the ECUSA clergy treat the liturgy in a sloppy manner as the RCs claim their priests did prior to 1969? (Of course, I would say that they still treat the Mass in a sloppy manner, but that's another story.)

BTW, Fr. Hart, I understand completely. Sorry, I should have made it clear that I was adding an after thought.

Canon Tallis said...

The last time I saw Latin masses it was at a Benedictine house North East of Tulsa. The present chapel had a number of altars and there was a celebration taking place at the same time at each of the altars. It was not edifying. On the other hand most of the places where I participated in Latin services as a child did them very well indeed and this was the case until probably the middle of my twenties. They were considerably less 'swish' than services in the ususal Anglo-Catholic parish seemed to grow as the Episcopal Church approached the fatal seventies.

Actually in my home diocese I saw very few badly done services and those i did see were done by priests who came from outside the diocese and been imported to broaden our horizons as college students. One was so bad that about two thirds of the congregation got up and left before the canon was completed. It was as if the celebrant deliberately wanted to upset us - and he did. I remember one of my fellow students telling the priest that he did not appreciate his original and inappropriate behavior at the altar while another told him that after what he did there that the majority of us were not willing to listen to anything he had to say. His actions had already said enough. I didn't see another celebration that bad until one at St Peter's in New Mexico where the biretta was surrendered until just before the Gospel and had been waved and tipped in a manner I hope never to see again.

I left PECUSA before we had the '79 rite forced on us, but did see one celebration in the side chapel at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. It was extremely badly done.