Why did "holy" go on holiday?

Discussion in 'Sacraments and Liturgy' started by Robert Lyon, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. Robert Lyon

    Robert Lyon New Member

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    In working on a local modern language variant of 1662, I notice that, in the Nicene creed, the church has only three marks -- "one, catholic, and apostolic" -- and that "holy" has taken a holiday. I also notice that it's missing from 1549, 1552, Canada 1918, and USA 1928. However, unless my sources are faulty, it appears to have existed in pre-Reformation Greek and Latin versions, including Sarum. Can anyone tell me why Abp Cranmer omitted "holy" -- if indeed that's what happened?
     
  2. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    Constantinople 381

    Εἰς μίαν, Ἁγίαν, Καθολικ κα Ἀποστολικ Ἐκκλησίαν.
    In One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.​

    The Notes of the Church (One Holy Catholic and Apostolic) have clearly been part of Anglican liturgy as expressed in the Nicene Creed since 1928, and there is no doubt about the Greek.

    Given the Mass of Trent clearly has the full expression, and conscious of the anathemas of Ephesus, I think this is an exceptional question.
     
  3. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

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    I had read an explanation of this discrepancy in a crusty old Prayer Book commentary but I cannot find any notes and don't recall which one, only that it was an analysis of the American 1892 book. Nor do I recall the exact sense of the explanation. It is an especially interesting question since the wording "the holy Catholic Church" has prevailed in the Apostle's Creed within the Daily Offices.
     
  4. Robert Lyon

    Robert Lyon New Member

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    Philip
    Understand that I'm not disputing the doctrine. And there's no question about the Greek. What I'm trying to find out is why did Cranmer omit it? Or did he know and use some other liturgy that lacked it?
    By the way, the Nicene creed in the communion service omits "holy" in PECUSA's BCPs of 1928 and 1945.
    Robert
     
  5. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    We should really look up what the Sarum Rite has, since that was one of the sources and in use in England at the time.
     
  6. Robert Lyon

    Robert Lyon New Member

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    Hi Anglican 74: I have a copy of the Sarum rite -- English translation only, I regret -- and it does have the "holy". That's what makes Cranmer's omission particularly puzzling.
     
  7. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I agree, I would like to know what the latin rite pre-Trent had, and what the rite in use in England Pre-Trent had.

    Homily 5 in the third part reminds us that there was a bit of a movement against all manner of things called Holy -

    Sects and Religion Amongst Christians.

    Never had the laws in their most blindness, seen so many pilgrimages to images, nor used so much kneeling, kissing, and sensing of them, as has been used in our time. Sects and feigned religions were never the fortieth part so many among the Jews, nor more superstitious and ungodly abuses, than of later days that have been among us. Which sects and religions, had so many hypocritical and feigned works in their state of religion (as they arrogantly named it) that their lamps (as they said) ran always over, able to satisfy, not only for their own sins, but also for all other their benefactors, brothers, and sisters of religion, as most ungodly and craftily they had persuaded the multitude of ignorant people: keeping in many places, as it were, markets of merits, being full of their holy reliques, images, shrines, and works of overflowing abundance ready to be sold. And all things which they had were called holy, holy cowls, holy girdles, holy pardons, holy beads, holy shoes, holy rules, and all full of holiness.​

    And what thing can be more foolish, more superstitious, or ungodly, then that men, women, and children, should wear a friars coat, to deliver them from plagues and pestilence? Or when they die, or be buried, cause it to be cast on them, in hope thereby to be saved? Which superstition, although (thanks be to God) it has been little used in this Realm, yet in divers other realms, it has been, and yet it is used among many both learned and unlearned. But to pass over the innumerable superstitions that have been in strange apparel, in silence, in dormitory, in cloister, in chapter, in choice of meats, and drinks, and in such like things, let us consider what enormities and abuses have been in the three chief principal points, which they called the three essentials, or three chief foundations of religion, that is to say, obedience, chastity, and wilful poverty.
    I do not think that explains the omission however. The anathemas of Ephesus I would have thought would have encouraged Cranmer to be careful exceeding in rendering the Nicene Creed. He includes the filioque and yet omis one of the notes of the Church. My presumption would be that this is based on some historic precedence, and I would expect that would be seen in the liturgy that was being used in England. Many of the documents I have seen frustrate research on this by means of the mechanism

    The Creed. I believe ...

    This of course does not help us.
     
  8. Robert Lyon

    Robert Lyon New Member

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    Thank you, Philip. That's interesting.
     
  9. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This is all very interesting. I did as much research as I could online, and could find nothing about it. One or two scholars noted the omission, but none had any idea why the word "Holy" was left out. In my copy of the Deposited 1928 Prayer Book it is omitted as well. Very curious.
     
  10. Robert Lyon

    Robert Lyon New Member

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    Thank you for that, Peteprint.
     
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  11. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    The First Prayer Book of 1549, by the Reverend Canon Professor J. Robert Wright [Page6-7]
    The 1549 Book assumes a choral service will be the norm, and the clerks sing the Introit (an entire psalm, not just a portion). Dressed in a plain alb with chasuble or cope, the priest begins the service at the middle of the altar with the Lord’s Prayer and the Collect for Purity, all the other private prayers of the priest having been eliminated. The Collect for Purity had been part of the daily monastic office in England ever since it had been prescribed by the “Monastic Agreement of the Monks and Nuns of the English Nation” in the year 970; now, however, it was revised according to reformed doctrine and made part of the opening of the new Mass in English. Its previous conclusion (“ut te perfecte deligere et digne laudare mereamur”), which would have translated literally as “that we may merit to love you perfectly and praise you worthily,” was now shorn of its reference to “earned merit” and given the form that Anglicans have known ever since. The Kyrie (ninefold) and Gloria follow, although the Graduals, Alleluias, Sequences, Tracts, offertory sentences and prayers, and post-communion sentences and prayers, were all omitted. There was to be only one collect of the day, crafted invariably with a superior sense of English rhythm and cadence, to be followed by either of two collects for the king (with unmistakable allusions to the royal supremacy). In the Nicene Creed, for curious reasons, the phrase “whose kingdom shall have no end” was omitted from the end of the material about the Holy Ghost, and the word “holy” from the description of the church. Every Sunday “the sermon or homily, or some portion of one of the homilies,” was required (the First Book of Homilies having been released in 1547), followed by an exhortation to worthily receiving the communion. A longer exhortation commended private confession and absolution (but optional, and no longer required) for those who could not relieve their consciences through private prayer or general confession. There is an Offertory but no longer any offertory prayer. The offertory sentences no longer bear any relation to the liturgical season, but are a collection of biblical texts exclusively concerned with the offering of alms, the ceremony they are intended to cover. A series of collects is provided to be said after the Offertory on days where there is no communion. Only five proper prefaces are retained, those for Christmas and Whitsunday being freshly written.
    The First Prayer Book of 1549, by the Reverend Canon Professor J. Robert Wright [7]

    Clearly we are not the first to wonder.

    I note that the word Holy occurs 74 times in the BCP Holy Communion and never in reference to Church.
    I note that the word Holy occurs 39 times in the Homily on the right use of the Church and never in reference to Church.
    I note that the word Holy occurs 18 times in the 39 Articles and never in reference to Church.​

    It may simply be that in the later period of Henry VIII and the reign of Edward VI it was not fashionable to think of the Church as Holy. There was ample evidence in the time to see the Church as embroiled in the temporal and political realities of Europe. Given that most Anglicans today would be very clear about the four notes of the Church, and no doubt this has been the subject of numerous worthy sermons.

    I have asked an academic friend of mine on this point, as I suspect Dr Google may come up short for finding an answer to this interesting question. It is a shame that the Reverend Canon Professor J. Robert Wright did not provide more insight into the curious reasons.
     
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  12. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Hi Philip. I found that article in my online search as well. While it didn't answer the question, I saved it for future reading. :)
     
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  13. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    The BCP omits the holiness of the church in the Nicene Creed. Where the Creed says: “And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church” the BCP drops the word “holy.” The 1559 says: “And I beleve one Catholike and Apostolike churche.” From 1549 on it is the same. Why did this happen? Well, it appears that Archbishop Cranmer and the other revisers believed the word holy to be an addition to the earliest forms of the Creed based on manuscripts available in their day and so removed it. From “The Nicene Creed,” by the Rev. A.E. Burn, Edwin S. Gorham, New York, 1909 pages 47-48:

    Bishop Gibson suggests that Cranmer inserted ‘I believe’ before ‘one catholic and apostolic church’ to make a distinction between believing in the Holy Ghost and believing the Catholic Church, i.e. believing that there is such a Catholic Church. Rufinus and other Latin writers often draw this distinction between believing in Divine Persons and believing about their work in the Church or in the remission of sins, etc. Cranmer himself in his Annotations upon the King’s Book writes, ‘I believe in the Holy Ghost, and that there is a holy Catholic Church.’

    That he should insert the word ‘holy’ when quoting from the Apostles’ Creed, makes it more noticeable that he omits the word in the Nicene Creed. There can be no question that this was due to the omission of the word in the texts of the Creed given in early editions of the Councils, which he consulted. We are now in a position to prove that the omission was characteristic of the old Latin text both of Spain and Rome, and also, apparently, of the text used in the Church of Constantinople. Why it should thus differ from the text of the Jerusalem Creed of S. Cyril, and the Creed of S. Epiphanius, has not yet been discovered. The Reformers followed the best text which they could find, but the omission is none the less to be regretted, since ‘holy’ was a note of the Church in the Baptismal Creed from the earliest times.

    http://alivingtext.com/2010/10/18/omissions-from-the-book-of-common-prayer/
    The matter may also have been discussed in the Church Quarterly Review Volume VIII - Arthur Cayley Headlam - Spottiswoode, April 1879 - English periodicals, but I have not been able to access the text.

    In a sense the BCP Apostles Creed refers to The holy Catholick Church; so it would seem that the note is still retained, even if omitted from the Nicene Creed.

    My academic friend who has access to a great deal of Sarum Rite material assures me that the Nicene Creed in the Sarum Rite does reference the four notes of the Church. So it would seem that is not like to be the answer either.

    Curioser and curiouser
     
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  14. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    We need to be clearer on that, as unless it's an official Oxford edition of some sort, there are chances that people are playing fast and loose with historical facts to fit their preferred narrative, even in translations. If someone's translating the Sarum rite out of a deep crazed love for the middle ages (and believe me I know such people), he may read the latin text, notice the absence of 'holy', and react 'oh they must've meant to include it' and put it in anyway. We'd need some sort of authoritative scholarly translation, or the original latin itself. I'm not saying what you say isn't accurate, just that it's not as simple as grabbing the first translation on hand either.

    That seems to basically be the answer. There were two versions of the Nicene Creed that descended from antiquity. One of which was corrupted.

    This is a VERY important point, as it shows how the common translation of the Nicene Creed has been corrupted. The text does not say "I believe in the Catholic Church" as if the Church is an article of faith or something that undergirds our faith as Christians. That would be heretical as it would put the Persons of the Trinity on the same level as visible hierarchy. And it would also underline the Roman Catholic understanding of the Church as the source of revelation.

    So the actual Nicene text says, "I believe the Catholic Church". The "in" particle is missing! That part of the Creed was corrupted in the middle ages to add the particle "in", and in the Reformation it was taken out as not properly there in the original. The Church Fathers manifestly did not believe "in" the Church, (see Rufinus above), for they had a much more Anglican understanding of the Church than what evolved in the middle ages.

    Perhaps the same applies to "holy"? Was it actually there in the original?
     
  15. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    The anathema from Nicea 325:
    Τοὺς δὲ λέγοντας, ὅτι ἦν ποτε ὅτε οὐκ ἦν, καὶ πρὶν γεννηθῆναι οὐκ ἦν, καὶ ὅτι ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων ἐγένετο, ἢ ἐξ ἑτέρας ὑποστάσεως ἢ οὐσίας φάσκοντας εἶναι, [ἢ κτιστόν,] τρεπτὸν ἢ ἀλλοιωτὸν τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ, [τούτους] ἀναθεματίζει ἡ καθολικὴ [καὶ ἀποστολικὴ] Ἐκκλησία.​

    The Creed from Constantinople 381:
    Εἰς μίαν, ἁγίαν, καθολικ κα ἀποστολικ Ἐκκλησίαν
    In one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church​

    I think that the view of scholars broadly today is very clearly that the four notes of the Church are in the original - which is taken to mean the Creed of the 1st Council of Constantinople commonly called the Nicene Creed.

    The record of the Third Council of Toledo 589 recites within the Creed - twice.
    Unam catholicam atque apostolicam ecclesiam.​

    I should note that my understanding of the note of the Church 'Holy' refers to whose we are, rather than who we are. In no sense does it suggest that the Church represents sinless perfection, and article 26 reminds us 'in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good'.

    My view is that 'holy' was in the original.
     
  16. Robert Lyon

    Robert Lyon New Member

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    If we can trust the Greek text that Wiki attributes to 381 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed) (and I don't see why we can't) the "hagian" is there with "ekklesian", and the preposition "eis" and the accusative is used with the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the church. It would seem that all first-generation variants in whatever language must be interpretations, and subsequent omissions are either further interpretations or reflect defective Latin or Greek MSS. Cranmer's addition of "And I believe" before "one...church", with the omission of "in", seems a reasonable protestant clarification. However, if one recognizes that the meaning of prepositions is typically fluid (e.g., "in" doesn't always mean the same kind of "in"), Cranmer's distinction may in fact already have existed in the minds of the Greek authors. As for "holy", the Latin of the Sarum rite (http://www.justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/Sarum/index.htm) says "Et unam sanctam cotholicam et apostolicam ecclesiam".

    Curiously, the next line includes "confiteor" for baptism, and "exspecto" for resurrection and the future state. So perhaps both the omission of another "credo" and the omission of another "in" should be understood to mean that the Latin authors wanted to avoid the implication that believing (in) the church was of the same order as believing in the divine Persons. Perhaps, then, Cranmer's omission of "holy" is of the same sort: the church is not "holy" in the same sense in which the previously named Spirit is "holy".

    There's a story about a missionary's kid who was attending a foreign school in a distant city. The missionary received a telegram that his child had been "hanged for juvenile crimes". The missionary was somewhat distressed until he called the school and got the clarification: the kid had been suspended for minor offenses. Word-for-word translation is not always the most accurate reflection of the meaning of the original.

    Thanks to all who have helped me work through this puzzle. I'm not sure I have the final answer, but at least it's one I can live with. Don't stop sending if you have any more insights.

    Robert
     
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  17. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Guys it's not as simple as going to Wiki and copy-pasting something. We read in Philip's own words:

    it appears that Archbishop Cranmer and the other revisers believed the word holy to be an addition to the earliest forms of the Creed based on manuscripts available in their day and so removed it. From “The Nicene Creed,” by the Rev. A.E. Burn, Edwin S. Gorham, New York, 1909 pages 47-48:

    We are now in a position to prove that the omission was characteristic of the old Latin text both of Spain and Rome, and also, apparently, of the text used in the Church of Constantinople.

    So what were these texts? We need to find them. Why were there two versions of the Nicene Creed that came down from antiquity? It's not as simple as saying, 'here is the text of the Nicene Creed, anglican74'.

    Also if the Church of Constantinople wrote the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in that fashion (without the 'holy'), then by what rights do we say that the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed should be written in our fashion? Did the Church of Constantinople lose the correct text of the Creed that was authored in their own city?

    All this only strengthens my doubts about the text commonly received today. It may be that Archbishop Cranmer had more wisdom and scholarly acumen than today's crop of scholars.


    From what I know of Greek, there are at least three non-Greek elements in that quote:
    • καθολικ is simply invalid Greek. It might need to be καθολικης. (and the same for ἀποστολικ).
    • κα is an invalid Greek particle, it should have an iota at the end: και.
    So right away I know that whatever the site you're copying that from isn't competent in the Greek language, which only feeds into my concern.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  18. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    Hi, sorry yes I copy pasted from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed and for some reason it came through messy, and my Greek is only average. I simply trimmed the messy bits in haste, and you are correct about the Greek with is what appears in Wikipedia.

    I don't think that there is any great dispute about the text. The argument that there is a variant textual tradition of the Nicene Creed (by which we mean the Creed of the 1st Council of Constantinople) and whilst I referred to the article by the Rev AE Burn, I am not entirely certain of the evidence he has to support the claim. Certainly the latin text of the Third Council of Toledo 589 that we have access to would not support the proposition.

    I will go in to bat for Cranmer quite readily, however he can't just be given a free hand on the Nicene Creed. I would need to see some reasonable textual evidence of an alternative text, beyond Cranmer, and where it has been used. At the moment all I see on this is that the Anglican Variant Text of 1549, 1552, 1661/2, 1928 is simply out of step with the other textual sources. And the reality is that we do not really know why.
     
  19. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    But quoting it from Wiki is just logically circular. Where did they get this text from? From the same places which say that that's what the text is?

    Ideally what I'd like to see is, do we have any remaining fragments of the Creed from the 4th century itself? Or in the nearby timeframe?


    One could make the argument that maybe that's where the errant reading first appears, someone adds "sanctam" (like with the filioque), and fast-forward a thousand years "it's always been that way"?

    It would be nice if there were a book of confessional documents from before Cranmer's time, so that we could see the sources people were reading. If Rev. Burn is right in saying that the text in Rome, and in Constantinople, omitted the word "holy", then that's a lot more evidence against, than for, including the word in the Creed. Does he site any footnotes?
     
  20. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    Colin Buchanan, ed. Background Documents to Liturgical Revision 1547- 1549. (Bramcote, Notts., England: Grove Books, 1983; Grove Liturgical Study no. 35).

    This is the source he cites that I think is most likely to shed light. I don't have a copy, however and as I head off for a months holiday next week I am unlikely to get near a copy soon. It is likely to be in a reasonable library, and our University here has a copy. Maybe someone else has access and could help the discussion.

    Just so you are aware I do not accept the suggestion that the filioque was added at the third council of Toledo.

    I have just remembered another friend who has done a great deal of work on Anglican Liturgy and Theology, so I have posed the question to him as well.
     

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