Church enrichment from historical sources

Discussion in 'Church History' started by Alkayus, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. Alkayus

    Alkayus New Member

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    Good afternoon everyone,

    I wanted to get some opinions from different people regarding this question that has come to mind. As many of you I am sure have seen, when it comes to enriching our liturgy and services, there is great debate going back centuries now on whether this enrichment should come from Roman or Sarum sources. There seem to be great arguments for both, but something I was not aware of that I just happened to come by was the second Council of Clovesho in 747. It seems to me, being this is from the Anglo-Saxon (English church) and we always appeal to antiquity, to have some weight as to what should be done:

    "The thirteenth and fifteenth canons are noteworthy as showing the close union of the Anglo-Saxon Church with the Holy See. The thirteenth canon stated that, "That all the most sacred Festivals of Our Lord made Man, in all things pertaining to the same, viz.: in the Office of Baptism, the celebration of Masses, in the method of chanting, shall be celebrated in one and the same way, namely, according to the sample which we have received in writing from the Roman Church. And also, throughout the course of the whole year, the festivals of the Saints are to be kept on one and the same day, with their proper psalmody and chant, according to the Martyrology of the same Roman Church." The fifteenth canon adds that in the seven hours of the daily and nightly Office the clergy "must not dare to sing or read anything not sanctioned by the general use, but only that which comes down by authority of Holy Scripture, and which the usage of the Roman Church allows".​

    Other canons required that the litanies and rogations were to be observed by the clergy and people with great reverence "according to the rite of the Roman Church". The feasts of St. Gregory and of St. Augustine, "who was sent to the English people by our said Pope and father St. Gregory", were to be solemnly celebrated. The clergy and monks were to live so as to be always prepared to receive worthily the most holy Body and Blood of the Lord, and the laity were to be exhorted to the practice of frequent Communion."​

    And if I may have a follow up question to my previous inquiry, and I really apologize if this sounds like a dumb question but; Should we follow the Roman example in enriching our liturgy et al, say by use of the Anglican Missal, Anglican Breviary, etc, what differentiates us from Old Roman Catholics? Our liturgy, offices, customs & practices would be virtually the same. We both do not recognize the infallibility and universal authority of the Pope, nor the additions of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption as dogma, and so on. To me it seems as though the only differences would be in translation of things (KJV, Cranmerian collects, English Gradual, etc), our Cannon in the Mass (along with perhaps say the Decalogue and General Confession) and our hymns (unless the Anglo-Catholic community in question uses Gregorian if available). What exactly would distinguish us as Anglicans?

    I ask these things not to cause trouble by the way. I know there are a wide variety of opinions here on proper liturgy and worship. I am not trying to force an opinion on what is correct on anyone. Personally I love being Anglican, in all its history going back to at least the 6th century, but I also love the fullness of the ceremonial, offices, propers (introits, gradual/tract/alleluia, offertory, etc) that enrich and teach in the Missal (which are typically Psalm quotes which I was surprised and happy to learn), etc etc etc :) Please forgive my weakness
     
  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Hi Alkayus,

    To my mind there are a number of points which clearly identify Anglicanism within the Catholic Heritage of Salvation.

    I think you will miss some of the treasure if you limit things to the 6th century forward. Augustine was sent to England - however this may not have been simply to convey the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but perhaps more importantly to get the English to adopt the latin (western) method for calculating the date of Easter, as against Eastern date which they were accustomed to using. With this in mind, it becomes a lot more possible to understand much of which the Venerable Bede writes.

    By way of example two of our great contributions to the liturgical repertoire have been The Collect for Purity (Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, ...) and The Prayer of Humble Access (We do not presume to come ...) although Cranmer's Prayer Book brings them to the fore clearly have origins in Sarum Rite.

    Depending on how you understand the force of the Ornaments Rubric - (And here is to be noted, that such Ornaments of the Church, and of the Ministers thereof, at all Times of their Ministration, shall be retained, and be in use, as were in this Church of England, by the Authority of Parliament, in the Second Year of the Reign of King Edward the Sixth.) - will have some bearing on how you understand the correct approach.

    The clear difference between the separation of the English Church and the Continental Reformation was that in England - nothing save the Popes temporal authority in England needed to change - whilst on the continent there were clear intentions to change the expression of the faith.

    And we have all moved on from this point. The Continental Reformation has moved, The Anglican Church has moved, The Roman Communion has moved (perhaps more than the others).

    We now have access to some better manuscripts, and historic documents, including importantly the canon of Hippolytus - which has given much shape towards contemporary western rites be they Catholic, Anglican or Protestant. By recapturing some of the more ancient tradition we have been able to give better expression to contemporary unity despite its imperfections.

    None the less, I grew up to believe that Anglicans do all things 'decently and in order' - though of late I have observed some practices creeping in that may well fail on both scores! It seems essential that everything we do liturgically should be for the praise and worship of Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, and secondly and importantly for the edification of the people.

    So for me, subject to that, Sarum possibly trumps Latin, as a guide, though that is not an outright maxim. For instance I like the practice of using a deep night sky ashen blue for the Advent Color as we wait for the dawning of the day - as distinct from the penitence or the purple used in Lent. Pragmatically does it make sense to invoke a whole extra colour for 3 Sundays and at maximum something like 22 days allowing for a couple of saints days.

    I also think that the Eastern Church offers much to help us recover our uniqueness, our origins and some of our celtic past. I think the recent discussions with the Coptic Church have much to offer.
     
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  3. Alkayus

    Alkayus New Member

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    Thank you very much for your response. I apologize for the time it has taken me to respond back; I was hoping for a little more input from the community :) I really like your thoughts on this.
    After having mulled this over for a while this is kind of how I see it:

    I start my view based on the Synod of Whitby in 664 A.D. and the Council of Clovesho in 747 A.D. If you take this as our usual Anglican appeal to antiquity, and also viewed as "in the spirit of..." since I can very much relate to and agree with the arguments against "liturgical archaeology" so thereby using what is "living", I agree with using the Anglican Missal and Anglican Breviary in relation to returning to our more fuller catholic liturgical roots and practices, while also being Anglican or English.

    I used to agree with the arguments some use against utilizing Roman practices and appealing only to Sarum, but this has fallen away lately. If you really think about it, Sarum was a USE of the Roman/Latin rite. It was an adaption for local use. In using the Anglican Missal and Anglican Breviary, I almost see them as a new type of "Sarum" Use or as referred to in the Parsons Handbook since it is more "universal" as the English or Anglican Use.

    Using, if I may, some Aristotelian terms (God forbid since it was used to describe transubstantiation :p ), with the Anglican Missal and Breviary being fully conformed to the Book of Common Prayer, the "accidents" are Roman or one may even argue "Western" while the "substance" is Anglican. Take for instance the Missal: The "accidents" such as the ceremony, extra prayers & propers (the less important propers too if I may: introit, gradual/tract/sequence/alleluia, offertory, communion and post-communion) are Roman in origin, while the "substance" is Anglican and unique (Collect for Purity, the Decalogue, Summary of the Law, the more important propers [Epistle, Gospel and Collects], General Confession, Comfortable Words, Prayer of Humble Access, Thanksgiving after Communion, etc [I am sure I am missing some things off the top of my head] Calendar? [days after Trinity instead of Pentecost]). On top of what I listed as our "substance" we also have our Anglican Chant and our Hymnals amongst other things I am also sure I am forgetting. Additionally if one wishes to conform further to the Ornaments Rubrics, one can follow the outlines presented in the Parsons Handbook for vestments, the church, etc and be even more English whilst following the larger catholic liturgical tradition.

    The same goes for the Breviary I feel. A lot is brought over from the Roman, but with the conformity to the BCP (calendar, readings, collects, etc, etc), along with in order to get some rubrics to work smoothly some taken from Sarum (yay, more English) and Dominican (very similar to Sarum) sources. Even alot of the antiphons are more "unique" from their originals (some are more elaborated or have an added line from the psalm itself).

    I hope this made sense. This is king of how I have come to see it now. I apologize if this post wasn't as coherent as I was hoping. I would love to go over and/or elaborate more on this if anyone is interested.
     
  4. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I think you make a deal of sense, however I would like to ensure that we encompass something of the Celtic tradition of Christianity that has certainly been part of all things Anglican from before Augustine to whom we owe so much. My feeling is that some of the Sarum Rite was ultimately hammered out in the reconciliation of Celtic and Roman traditions, a kind of East West compromise. I have a feeling that this is part of our strength, and maybe also our achilles heal.
     
  5. Alkayus

    Alkayus New Member

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    Thank you. I agree as well, and in addition to that one specific thing I learned that was supposedly a Celtic link in our Liturgy was the Decalogue. Apparently this was a Celtic practice which we carried over or re-introduced. If you look at the Sarum Liturgy and ours side by side, they are virtually the same except for the other prayers said by the priest that we leave out, and even those are virtually the same as the Roman (a few are either worded slightly different or a couple are different). As for ceremony, I wish we could as a whole reintroduce the Sarum. I was doing some reading about the special services they have especially during Easter, and it was honestly moving. Some I am sure would say it is some form of idolatry but I certainly believe it is not. It seemed like an amazing teaching tool.
    Two moving examples I can think of off the top of my head are: during Good Friday, they would soak the altar cloth in water and wine, and they would also concentrate three hosts (one for that service, another for Holy Saturday, and the other...) one of which was "buried" with the cross and and altar cross. I just thought that was deep. On Easter Sunday, during the singing of one of the major hymns (I forget the name off the top of my head), during the climactic line about the temple curtain being torn in two, a curtain hiding the crucifix during lent was either dropped or was opened.
    So many amazing things about Sarum. I personally wish we could go full Sarum in all aspects :) The only advantage to the former mentioned is everything is pretty much in place, published and already followed by many so I felt that that was a logical argument for its use :) All with love. Thank you for talking about this with me. I enjoy doing so and dont have many to do so with. God bless.
     
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