Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The New Ordinariate and the Liturgy

Shawn Tribe at the New Liturgical Movement examines some possibilities in the development of liturgy fostered by the new Ordinariates bringing in some aspects of Anglican patrimony, including the solemnity of English language used in the Anglican Use Mass, English polyphony and chant, the celebration of daily prayer in the parish, and the architectural influences of the Oxford and Traditionalist movements.

To quote from each section, briefly:

On the use of English language:

Enter the Anglican Ordinariate. Within the context of Anglican liturgical patrimony one cannot fail to be stirred by the hieratic English liturgical tradition found there. This hieratic tradition presents a majestic and liturgical form of English that very clearly sits outside the day-to-day world and day-to-day speech. In this regard, it might be understood as similar to the early Latin liturgical tradition itself.

This aspect is not only worth pursuing and preserving as part of the Ordinariate, but here the Anglican Ordinariate can bring something to the table for broader liturgical consideration within the Roman rite. Indeed, I think it is no exaggeration to say that it can be a tangible, living witness as to how to approach and pursue vernacular liturgical forms in a way which is eminently liturgical and sacral.

On the musical tradition:

In addition to these purely textual considerations, another dimension of this is certainly the English polyphony and chant found within the Anglican tradition. From the vernacular compositions of the renaissance, to modern composers such as Healey Willan or the "Englished" Gregorian style chant of the like of the Anglican gradual -- not to mention Anglican chant proper -- these present examples of both the richness of this musical patrimony and also the potentialities that can exist for vernacular forms of liturgical music generally.

On the Divine Office in parish churches:

Pass many an Anglican church and you will likely see denoted the times and days for "Evensong" and Matins. Certainly this is an aspect of the Anglican patrimony, and should it find expression within the context of the Anglican Ordinariate, it could help to heighten an awareness of this aspect of liturgical life generally, which might in turn (we can hope) influence such practices within parishes of the Roman rite -- though within the context of the Roman Divine Office of course.

And, finally, on architecture and aesthetics:

Anglicanism was influenced in the 19th and 20th century by the Ecclesiologists, the ritualists, the Oxford Movement and the gothic revival. During this time the mediaeval Catholic order was gradually rediscovered and restored to the point that this has now become the most recognizable form of the Anglican sanctuary today. As part of this revival, various examples exist of excellent altars, altar frontals and other altar appointments, rood screens, vestments and so forth.

Interesting discussion of how the past may influence the future. The illustrations and the musical examples are excellent.

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