Friday, December 31, 2010

Vale MMX

Farewell, 2010!

Don't forget to thank God for His favours and graces over the past year by praying the Te Deum.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Visit to the Crib

Do thou also kneel down – thou hast delayed too long.  Adore the Lord thy God, and then reverence his Mother, and salute, with much respect, the saintly old man Joseph.  After this, kiss the feet of the Infant Jesus, laid as he is on his little bed, and ask Our Lady to give him to thee, or permit thee to take him up.  Take him into thine arms, press him to thy heart, and look well at his lovely face, and reverently kiss him, and show him confidently the delight thou takest in him.  Thou mayest venture on all this, because it is for sinners that he came, that he might save them: it was with sinners that he so humbly conversed, and at last gave himself to sinners, that he might be their food.  I say, then, that his gentle love will permit thee to treat him as affectionately as thou pleasest, and will not call it too much freedom, but will set it down to thy love.
— St Bonaventure, Meditations on the Life of Christ 
(Guéranger's Liturgical Year, Vol. II, p. 220)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sarum Christmas Tidings

The Sarum Missal appointed a farced Lesson for Christmas Midnight Mass – that is, a reading from the Prophet Isaias (ix, 2. 6-7) interpolated with a gloss, bringing out the Christian meaning of what he foretold.  Two clerks in copes were to chant the Lesson, first together, then alterately, then together at the end for a doxology.  An English translation follows:

I will sing praises to God for ever, Who formed me in His Right Hand, and redeemed me on the Cross with the purple Blood of His Son.

The Lesson of Esaias the Prophet,
In which is foretold the glorious Birth of Christ.
Thus saith the Lord,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, by Whom are created all things in Heaven and earth.
The people that walked in darkness
Whom Thou createdest: whom the enemy expelled from Paradise by subtle fraud: and led captive with him to hell.
Have seen a great light.
And at midnight strange brightness hath shone on the Shepherds,
They that dwell in the shadow of death, the light
Everlasting, and our True Redemption
Upon them hath shined.
O Stupendous Birth,
For unto us a Child is born,
Jesus the Son of God, He shall be great ,
A Son
Of the highest Father
Unto us is given.
So had it been foretold from the Throne on high.
And the government shall be upon His shoulder,
That He may rule Heaven and earth.
And His Name shall be called
Messiah, Soter, Emmanuel, Sabaoth, Adonai,
The Root of David,
Of God the Father,
Who created all things,
Overthrowing the hideous gates of hell.
The Everlasting Father,
King Almighty, and governing all,
The Prince of Peace
Here and for ever.
Of the increase of His government
In Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria
And peace there shall be no end,
For ever and ever,
Upon the Throne of David, and upon his kingdom,
And there shall be no bounds to His reign
To order it,
In the bonds of the faith,
And to establish it with judgment and with justice,
When He shall come as Judge to judge the world.
From henceforth
To Him be due glory, praise, and rejoicing,
Even for ever.

From the rising of the Sun to the going down of the same, let meet praise resound to the Creator throughout all climes to the ends of the whole world. Let every thing say, Amen.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dominican Lessons and Sequence for the Christmas Masses

The Rite of the Friars Preachers retains several ancient elements not conserved in the wider Roman Rite; which is only to be expected, as it was codified and therefore fixed in form earlier, during the thirteenth rather than the sixteenth century.  Readers may be pleasantly surprised to learn that the Old Testament readings appointed for the four Masses of Christmas – for the Vigil, the Midnight, the Dawn and the Day Masses – in the modern Roman Rite are not innovations but attempted restorations, more or less (with a verse or more added or subtracted); for the Dominican Missal never abandoned them.  

(Likewise, the Carthusians, Premonstratensians and Carmelites retained these lessons; alas, the Cistercians removed them in 1657, out of misplaced zeal for conformity to the Roman liturgical books.  As the extinct English order of the Gilbertines apparently used these lessons, so sure enough they were also used in the Sarum Rite.)

Christmas Vigil

Lesson: Isaias lxii, 1-4a [the Novus Ordo adds vv. 4b-5]

Hæc dicit Dominus Deus:
Propter Sion non tacebo, et propter Jerusalem non quiescam donec egrediatur ut splendor justus ejus, et salvator ejus ut lampas accendatur.  Et videbunt gentes justum tuum, et cuncti reges inclytum tuum: et vocabitur tibi nomen novum, quod os Domini nominabit.  Et eris corona gloriæ in manu Domini, et diadema regni in manu Dei tui.  Non vocaberis ultra Derelicta, et terra tua non vocabitur amplius Desolata: sed vocaberis, Voluntas mea in ea, et terra tua Inhabitata, quia complacuit Domino in te.

Thus saith the Lord God:
For Sion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for the sake of Jerusalem, I will not rest till her just one come forth as brightness, and her saviour be lighted as a lamp.  And the Gentiles shall see thy just one, and all kings thy glorious one: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.  And thou shalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.  Thou shalt no more be called Forsaken: and thy land shall no more be called Desolate: but thou shalt be called My pleasure in her, and thy land inhabited, because the Lord hath been well pleased with thee.

Marvellous prophecy!  The "Just One" cometh, and the "Saviour" shining as a lamp in the darkness, to be seen not by Jerusalem only, but by the Gentiles and "all kings", beholding the "Glorious One": Jesus. God will bestow a new name, that of Christian, on those He shall call; and He shall crown them with glory and honour, being well-pleased in His people in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Christmas Midnight

Lesson: Isaias ix, 2. 6-7a [N.O. includes vv. 3-5 & 7b also]

Hæc dicit Dominus:
Populus qui ambulabat in tenebris, vidit lucem magnam: habitantibus in regione umbræ mortis, lux orta est eis.  
Parvulus enim natus est nobis, et Filius datus est nobis, et factus est principatus super humerum ejus; et vocabitur nomen ejus Admirabilis, Consiliarius, Deus, Fortis, Pater futuri sæculi, Princeps pacis.  Multiplicabitur ejus imperium, et pacis non erit finis: super solium David, et super regnum ejus sedebit, ut confirmet illud et corroboret in judicio et justitia, amodo et usque in sempiternum.

Thus saith the Lord:
The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen.
For a Child is born to us, and a Son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace. His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace: he shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom; to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever.

Nobis natus, nobis datus: "born for us, given for us" – Christ is come, Emmanuel, Whose kingdom shall have no end.  At midnight we hear the cry, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh!" – and to them that sit in darkness, a great light appeareth in dead of night, in the bleak mid-winter, in the darkness of the weary, fallen world, in its last age: "the Light that enlighteneth every man", born into this world.  Let us not slumber and sleep, but run with glad hearts to greet Him, "born this happy morning: Jesu, to Thee be glory given, Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing".

Christmas Dawn

Lesson: Isaias lxi, 1-3 [N.O. omits these]; lxii, 11-12a [N.O. adds v. 12b]

Hæc dicit Dominus:
Spiritus Domini super me, eo quod unxerit Dominus me: ad annuntiandum mansuetis misit me, ut mederer contritis corde, et prædicarem captivis indulgentiam, et clausis apertionem: ut prædicarem annum placabilem Domino, et diem ultionis Deo nostro: ut consolarer omnes lugentes: ut ponerem lugentibus Sion: et darem eis coronam pro cinere, oleum gaudii pro luctu, pallium laudis pro spiritu mœroris: et vocabuntur in ea fortes justitiæ, plantatio Domini ad glorificandum.
Ecce Dominus auditum fecit in extremis terræ, dicite filiæ Sion: Ecce Salvator tuus venit: ecce merces ejus cum eo, et opus ejus coram illo.  Et vocabunt eos: Populus sanctus, redempti a Domino Deo nostro.

Thus saith the Lord:
The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me: he hath sent me to preach to the meek, to heal the contrite of heart, and to preach a release to the captives, and deliverance to them that are shut up.  To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God: to comfort all that mourn: to appoint to the mourners of Sion, and to give them a crown for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, a garment of praise for the spirit of grief: and they shall be called in it the mighty ones of justice, the planting of the Lord to glorify him.
Behold the Lord hath made it to be heard in the ends of the earth, tell the daughter of Sion: Behold thy Saviour cometh: behold his reward is with him, and his work before him.  And they shall call them, The holy people, the redeemed of the Lord our God.

Here we hear Messiah proclaim His mission, sent by the Lord His Father, anointed with the Holy Spirit, to announce and preach salvation.  "Behold, thy Saviour cometh" with His work to do and his rewards to bestow, that His people may be holy, "the redeemed of the Lord our God".

Christmas Day

Lesson: Isaias lii, 6-10 [N.O. omits v. 6]

Hæc dicit Dominus:
Propter hoc sciet populus meus nomen meum in die illa; quia ego ipse qui loquebar, ecce adsum.  Quam pulchri super montes pedes annuntiantis et prædicantis pacem: annuntiantis bonum, prædicantis salutem, dicentis Sion: Regnabit Deus tuus!  Vox speculatorum tuorum: levaverunt vocem, simul laudabunt, quia oculo ad oculum videbunt cum converterit Dominus Sion.  Gaudete, et laudate simul, deserta Jerusalem, quia consolatus est Dominus populum suum: redemit Jerusalem.  Paravit Dominus brachium sanctum suum in oculis omnium gentium: et videbunt omnes fines terræ salutare Dei nostri.
Thus saith the Lord:
Therefore my people shall know my name in that day: for I myself that spoke, behold I am here.  How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, and that preacheth peace: of him that sheweth forth good, that preacheth salvation, that saith to Sion: Thy God shall reign!  The voice of thy watchmen: they have lifted up their voice, they shall praise together: for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall convert Sion.  Rejoice, and give praise together, O ye deserts of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people: he hath redeemed Jerusalem.  The Lord hath prepared his holy arm in the sight of all the Gentiles: and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Indeed and Amen!  The Lord Himself that spoke, "behold, I Am" is "here": thus His Name shall be known by His people, "He hath redeemed Jerusalem", and yet more, the Lord hath made known "His holy arm", that is, His Son, in the sight of all nations: "and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God", since God has become incarnate and visible and "dwelt amongst us" and "we have seen His glory, the glory as of the Onlybegotten of the Father, full of grace and truth".  Let these glad tidings be spread by the joyful evangelists, and the great company of preachers!


Furthermore, the Dominican Rite retains the beautiful mediæval sequence Lætabundus, sung at the Day Mass, and repeated in the Mass of the Epiphany, on the twelfth day of Christmas; and in the Mass of the Baptism of the Lord, on the Octave of the Epiphany at the end of the Christmas season; and yet once more in the Mass of the Presentation, that last re-echo of Christmastide forty days' hence, just before Lent.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Galilean Anagrams

Something amusing for the holidays: to assure himself of the repute of discovering two more unsuspected occurrences in the heavens following his discovery of the Medicean Stars (the four principal moons of Jupiter, now called the Galileans in his honour, the first bodies known not to orbit the earth), Galileo Galilei issued two anagrams around 1610 (a common method of the day), and later revealed their solutions as sentences announcing his discoveries.

Meanwhile, however, Johannes Kepler (not in Galileo's confidence) had attempted his own solutions, and made two incorrect correct discoveries – for his attempted unscramblings revealed two more planetary facts that were not actually discovered for decades or centuries!

Galileo's cryptograms:

(1) Haec me immatura a me iam frustra leguntur o. y.

Galileo's intended solutions:

(1) Cynthiae figuras aemulantur mater amorum.  
("The shapes of Cynthia [i.e. the Moon's phases] are imitated by the Mother of Loves [i.e. Venus: he means that, like the Moon, Venus has phases too].")
(2) Altissimum planetam tergeminum observavi.  
("The highest/furthest planet [i.e. Saturn - no further were yet known] I have observed to be 'tri-twin' [i.e. he saw Saturn as a central sphere with two companion orbs thus: oOo].")

Galileo's primitive telescopes were insufficient to reveal the rings clearly: he saw them first as unmoving companions and later as "ears" or "handles", to his bewilderment.  The mysterious appearance of Saturn baffled all observers until Huygens made the conceptual leap necessary to postulate a ring orbiting about Saturn in 1655.

Kepler's incorrect, yet prescient solutions:

(1) Macula rufa in Jove est gyratur mathem. etc.  
("There is a red spot on Jupiter which rotates mathematically.")
(2) Salve, umbistineum geminatum Martia proles.  
("Hail, twin companionship, offspring of Mars [i.e. Mars has two satellites].")

I must say, I have no idea what umbistineum means: it's not in my Latin dictionaries... apparently Kepler thought it a Latinized form of the German umbeistehn.

The Great Red Spot was first observed by Hooke in 1664, and it was not till 1877 that Hall discovered Phobos and Deimos, the moons of Mars.  (It must be said, however, that Kepler thought it entirely proper that Mars should have two satellites, since then Earth would have one, Mars two, and Jupiter four, in an arithmetical progression: the human capacity for pattern-recognition at work.)

A final question: why do we refer to Kepler by his surname, yet to Galileo by his Christian name?  Is Galilei simply too hard to pronounce comfortably in English?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

794th Birthday

Happy anniversary to all Friars of the Order of Preachers: for it was on this day in 1216 that Pope Honorius III issued the Bull giving approval to St Dominic's new order, established to preach the Gospel and thereby save souls.  It is piously believed that Our Lord granted His Mother's plea to raise up these new preachers; and therefore down to modern times the 22nd of December has been kept as the feast of the Patronage of Our Lady.
Deus, qui sub beatissimæ virginis Mariæ singulari patrocinio Ordinem Prædicatorum ad animarum salutem institui, ejusque perpetuis beneficiis cumulari voluisti: præsta supplicibus tuis, ut cujus hodie commemorationem colimus, illius protecti auxiliis ad cælestem gloriam perducamur.  Per...
O God, Who for the salvation of souls didst place the Order of Preachers under the special protection of the most blessed Virgin Mary, and wast pleased to pour out upon it her constant benefits: grant to Thy suppliants that we may be led to the glory of heaven, through the aid of that same protectress whose memory we revere to-day.  Through Our Lord...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Invalid Absolutions? – II

I've been ill the last few days with a heavy cold, but am now getting better; and therefore, at last having turned to books of sacramental theology that I have at hand, find that I was mistaken in assuming that the Trinitarian formula is essential to validity of absolution.

(These comments of course pertain only to the Roman Rite; the absolution used in the Byzantine Rite is cast in a different, precatory form, including the words "May the same Lord God, through me a sinner, forgive you all the sins of your life" – though I understand that in the Russian recension of the Byzantine Rite, and perhaps in others, a prayer similar to the Western form came into use some centuries ago as a result of liturgical and theological cross-fertilization.)

For example, Fr Nicholas Halligan, O.P., in his The Administration of the Sacraments (Cork: The Mercier Press, 1962), informs me that "It is certain that the words absolvo te are required for a valid form... it is probable that the words a peccatis tuis also pertain to validity... thus, in practice, these words must be included, lest the sacrament be exposed to nullity, and where they are omitted the form is to be repeated conditionally.  The words in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti are not required for validity" (p. 175f).

As an Anglican writer, F. G. Belton, in his A Manual for Confessors (London: Mowbray, 1936), quite sensibly explains (p. 16), "Our Lord made no mention of the Blessed Trinity in the institution of the sacrament, so the words, 'In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen' cannot be considered of the essence of the sacrament; but they express the fact that the priest absolves from sin by the power of God."

Obviously, the priest ought use the lawfully appointed form – e.g. that given in the 1962 liturgical books, or that in the more modern books – but if he stray therefrom without invalidating the sacrament, that is his own fault and failing, a venial sin.  As Halligan says, omission of an essential or probably essential word of the form of the sacrament is gravely sinful, as it invalidates the sacrament or "exposes it to the danger of nullity", and this also applies in "the case of substantial corruption of the form", whereas "Absolution imparted in an equivalent form would be gravely unlawful but valid" (p. 176) – hence a Western priest deciding to use the Byzantine formula, or some other, would absolve validly, of course, but would sin by using a formula not approved for the Roman Rite (unless he had biritual faculties).

What rather confused and upset me with the priests I mentioned in my last post below was that, before getting to the essential words of the absolution, they used, not the modern Roman form of words, but strange formulas apparently made up by themselves – one always mentions that God the Father "sent the Holy Spirit for peace and love" [sic] and the other began a very odd sentence with "Holy Church" does such-and-such.  It seems to me that both had once heard the proper, lawfully appointed formula, but have made up their own partial reminiscence of it without bothering to learn or read out the correct words!  Neither used the words which any penitent in the last forty years would recognize: 
God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to himself, and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins.  Through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.
While rarely used in the original Latin (those using Latin usually use the older form), in that tongue it runs as follows:
Deus, Pater misericordiarum, qui per mortem et resurrectionem Filii sui mundum sibi reconciliavit et Spiritum Sanctum effudit in remissionem peccatorum, per ministerium Ecclesiæ indulgentiam tibi tribuat et pacem, et ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.  Amen.
(Attentive readers will notice that the English version breaks the Latin up into two sentences, omitting "who" and changing "he" to "God", and moreover inserts "among us", which the Latin does not have.)


When all is said and done —

Is it really too much to ask that priests confess their penitents properly, according to the very straightforward ritual laid out in the relevant liturgical books?

One gets the feeling – and I think this applies also to other sacraments – that "anything will do"; only the fact that most priests read from the Missal, and are too lazy to compose their own Eucharistic Prayers or ad lib beyond a few changes here and there, prevents Mass from being similarly mucked about.

I recall once being at a nursing home with an old priest, who went to anoint a patient there and only used half the sacramental formula!  I tried respectfully to remind him of his duty, but got nowhere.  Given this nonresponse, I was rather impertinent and told him to be careful when leaving the facility, lest the staff think he was one of theirs...

I take up the words of the Prayer for the Church from the Anglican Patrimony (already come home to Rome, via the American 1979 B.C.P., in the Book of Divine Worship):
Give grace, O heavenly Father, to N., our Pope, to N., our Bishop, and to all bishops and other ministers [especially N....], that they may, both by their life and doctrine, set forth thy true and lively Word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments.
Yes, may the holy Sacraments be rightly and duly administered!  That is, after all, the absolute minimum to demand, not some holy devout add-on extra to be praised and overlauded!

Ah, the so-called Gaudium et spes generation of priests: let them remember, as their ill-judged preaching and ministrations ever remind the unlucky faithful, that the next words of that document of Vatican II are the all too prophetic luctus et angor, sorrow and distress.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Invalid Absolutions?

I had to ring a priest friend for advice this morning – had the priest who'd heard my confession absolved me using a valid formula? would I have to go to confession again?

The "visiting priest" officiating in the confessional had said "...I absolve you from your sins, and may almighty God bless you, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".  Now, interpolating a blessing was all very nice, but misguided – it left me puzzled and upset, trying to work out if I had to go to confession again.

My friend told me over the phone that this formula was invalid – I had rather hoped it wasn't – but that I would not need to go to confession again, as the Church supplies (Ecclesia supplet).

The same problem comes up regularly here in Launceston: another priest, the usual confessor in fact, always ends a divergent version of the absolution with "I absolve you from your sins, Father, Son and Holy Spirit".  Now, I suspect he is not attempting to absolve the Trinity, nor enumerating my sins as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, but this odd apparent vocative or accusative, missing out "in the name of" by some sort of elision, is quite serious, and could invalidate it also, my interlocutor told me this morning.  It is at the least grammatically incoherent.

I was advised over the phone, therefore, to explain to the priest (if it happen again) that I have a Theology degree, and therefore know of what I speak, and then to get the priest to say the correct words...

This happened to me once some years ago – the priest tried, three times, to say the formula right, without success, and finally I had to say, "Father, repeat after me", and I taught it to him!!!  (To be fair, he told me afterward he had suffered a lapse of memory, and was going to bring the words written out with him in future.)

As I said to my friend very testily, if these priests can't learn the correct formula, let alone make up some sentimental nonsense of their own, they have no business being priests – let them go and dig holes, since literacy is not required in that case!

Another thought: after the words of consecration at Mass (the same in every Eucharistic Prayer), the sacramental formula most used by priests would be the words of absolution, since I doubt the average priest baptizes more than he shrives.  It is therefore most damning for a priest not even to know the correct words with which to absolve – it is after all easily found in the relevant liturgical book.

The lips of a priest should drip wisdom, and his flock seek God's law from his mouth, since he is an angel of the Lord (cf. Mal. ii, 7).  We have instead too many stammering, shitten shepherds, through sheer ignorance neglecting, even harming their flocks.

All this reminds me of the thousands of invalidly baptized babies in Brisbane, albeit in that case there was heretical malice aforethought, the priests involved wickedly refusing to employ the Trinitarian formula due to their fanatical misbelief.  It took Roman pressure to force the lazy Archbishop there to stop winking at their crimes and finally, after decades, to suspend them from the ministry.

I do feel rather aggrieved by all this – I just hope I haven't sinned again by slagging off at clerical misbehaviours, given that I have only this morning confessed, and, I think, been forgiven my own sins.  It's all very confusing.  And people wonder why I prefer the Traditional forms of the Sacraments... well, for a start there's more security that they'll be confected aright: those who use such forms tend to be careful, and not inclined to make it up as they go along.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Forward the Australian Ordinariate

Good news reported over at The Anglo-Catholic – the Australian Ordinariate for incoming Anglicans will be up and running within months, and an official Implementation Committee has been formed.  Prayers please, for this great work of Christian Unity, for which Our Lord Himself did pray.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Car Crash: Prayers Please

Some old friends of mine were in a terrible car crash yester-day morning.  Of the family members, the grandmother, alas, was killed; the mother and daughter are in hospital having broken bones treated, but ought, praise God, make a full recovery.  Please pray for them and for the rest of their family.

Monday, December 13, 2010

And she wouldn't take no for an answer

Time for some gentle joshing...

St Lydia (centre) with St Silas (left), who baptized her, and (at right) the unidentified deaconess who assisted him – as tradition hath it

I recall Bp Jarrett telling of how, at Mass during Eastertide, a forthright lady read from the Acts of the Apostles about St Paul's first convert in Europe, one Lydia, who, after she had been baptized together with her household, required that he and his companions (evidently St Timothy, St Luke and Silas, as  may be gathered from Acts xvi) stay at her home in Philippi in Macedonia, "And she wouldn't take no for an answer!"
[11] And sailing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the day following to Neapolis; [12] And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were in this city some days conferring together. [13] And upon the sabbath day, we went forth without the gate by a river side, where it seemed that there was prayer; and sitting down, we spoke to the women that were assembled. [14] And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one that worshipped God, did hear: whose heart the Lord opened to attend to those things which were said by Paul. [15] And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying: If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.  — Acts xvi, 11-15
The traditional Roman Martyrology marks the memory of St Lydia on the 3rd of August:
Philippis in Macedonia, sanctæ Lydiæ purpurariæ, quæ, prædicante ibidem sancto Paulo Apostolo, ut beatus Lucas in Actibus Apostolicis refert, omnium prima credidit Evangelio.
(At Philippi in Macedonia, of St Lydia a dealer in purple, who, by the preaching of the same St Paul the Apostle, as blessed Luke in the Apostolic Acts refers, was the first of all [in Europe] to believe the Gospel.)
Similarly, he modern Roman Martyrology recalls her on the 20th of May in these words:
Commemoratio sanctæ Lydiæ Thyatirensis purpurariæ, quæ, Philippis in Macedonia, prædicante sancto Paulo Apostolo, omnium prima credidit Evangelio.
(The Commemoration of St Lydia the Thyatirene, a dealer in purple, who, at Philippi in Macedonia, by the preaching of St Paul the Apostle, was the first of all [in Europe] to believe the Gospel.)
What a mighty claim, to be the first-fruits of Europe for Christ!  What a model and example!

St Lydia the Purpuraria (no husband is spoken of; I suspect she was a widow who took up and continued her late husband's business, however, rather than the only daughter of a merchant) must have been a woman of substance, a Greek woman from Thyatira in Asia Minor who nonetheless dwelt in the Roman colony of Philippi in Macedonia, and dealt in fine purples – for it was Senators who bordered their togas in purple, and only the Emperor who could dress entirely in purple, since it was a rare dye and highly prized, restricted by sumpuary laws to the richest and most powerful.  

We are told moreover that she was a devout woman, a worshipper of God and therefore a hearer of the Jewish religion ere she heard of its fulfilment in Christ, accustomed to gathering in prayer on the Sabbath, and blessed by God with the grace first to hearken to the preaching of the Apostle, the first baptized, together with all her house, and moved to repay this immeasurable debt by accommodating the heralds of the Gospel, conjuring them to stay with her if they did reckon her faith to be trusty and true.

After St Paul and Silas had been arrested and then miraculously freed, "they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia; and having seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed" (Acts xvi, 40) – by which it is confirmed that her house became the first church, the first called-and-chosen assembly of Christian brethren, in Europe.

I wish her namesake every blessing upon her just-announced engagement to my friend Justin – with whom I am about to dine to-night, he being in Launceston on business...

St Lydia, pray for us.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wedding and First Communion

The bride was stunning (as all brides are), her dress complementing her beauty (like a fool, I forgot to take a photo): how blessed John is to have Laura, and she him; and what a wonderful thing to see Mr and Mrs Macaulay united in holy wedlock before the altar, and kneeling side by side for the ensuing Solemn High Mass.  (John told me later on that friends of his unused to the Traditional Liturgy could only stammer to praise this as an "A-grade Mass"!)

I am delighted to see my old mate John make such a match: two persons of such talents, both committed Catholics, gifted by nature and grace, and deservedly praised, as they were at the reception afterwards.  As Laura is Mexican, they had the Cardinal's permission for a Votive Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe yester-day, in anticipation of the feast.  The Irish and the Hispanic get on very well it seems...  I hope readers will join me in hearty prayers for these newly-weds, who are off on a honeymoon cruise to New Caledonia as I write.

Mass this morning at Maternal Heart Lewisham was a pleasure unexpected in one respect: for this Gaudete Sunday, nine youngsters made their First Holy Communion there.  What was notable was that there was no foolish dumbing-down of the liturgy (as too often happens in the Ordinary Form), but rather an uplifting of the children to these holy mysteries clad in such wonder and awe with a full Missa cantata.  (The choir sang the chant splendidly: the Rorate cæli at Offertory and the Tantum ergo in Corsican polyphony at Communion were real gems.)

I will not soon forget Fr Wong's sermon, especially when in its second part he addressed the first communicants in especial – for having explained that at baptism the seed of glory is planted in our souls, then holding up a white flower, he compared our souls to this, plucked off a few petals to illustrate the uglifying effect of venial sin, and, oh woe! destroyed the flower utterly to display the hateful disaster that is mortal sin.  This exhortation to live as becomes saints, flying sin, and hieing oneself to the confessional as need be, was most sobering.

An amusing point: arriving at my accommodation on Friday afternoon, I was amused to note the Great Synagogue directly opposite – then agog to read on the sign outside that my hotel, the Castlereagh, is wholly owned and operated by the Masonic Club of New South Wales!  Heavens!  Talk about conspiracy theories featuring these, ahem, minorities (other friends tell me that they have stayed there, and even prelates of the Church, so I needn't give in to crazed paranoia).

Finally, some news just in: may I congratulate another friend of mine, Justin, who has just announced his engagement to Lydia.  I pray every blessing for this impending union.

Friday, December 10, 2010

To Sydney for a Wedding

This afternoon I'm off to Sydney for the weekend, again – this time for to attend the wedding of John and Laura at St Mary's Cathedral.  Please pray Our Lady of Guadalupe to obtain countless blessings for the happy couple: may they see their children's children and, after long years together, together inherit eternal life.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Many Thanks for Your Gift

Christmas has come early, or good St Nicholas a few days late: I am very happy publicly to thank William Tighe for sending me, amongst other interesting items, a copy of Dowden's The Scottish Communion Office of 1764, in the revised edition put out by Wilson in 1922.

I am much in your debt, Mr Tighe, for this rare and thoughtful present; would that all my interlocutors gave such gifts!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dominican Propers for St Nicholas

Delightfully, the Dominican Breviary – even the '62 – provides special propers for the Office of St Nicholas, with special antiphons for Lauds to be sung with the Sunday psalms, and likewise festal psalms to be used (under one antiphon, the first from Lauds) at Vespers.  At Matins, too, proper antiphons are to be recited with the psalms from the Common of Confessors, and the three lessons and responsories (doubtless edited down from nine in older editions) are also proper.

FIRST VESPERS (where the feast is of the first class)

Super Psalmos Aña.  Amicus Dei Nicolaus, pontificali decoratus infula, omnibus se amabilem exhibuit.

R/.  Ex ejus tumba marmorea sacrum resudat oleum, quo liniti sanantur cæci, * Surdis auditus redditur, Et debilis quisque sospes regreditur.  V/.  Catervatim ruunt populi, cernere cupientes quæ per eum fiunt mirabilia. * Surdis auditus redditur, Et debilis quisque sospes regreditur.  Gloria Patri... * Et debilis quisque sospes regreditur. 

Ad Magnif. Aña.  O Pastor æterne, o clemens et bone custos, qui, dum devoti gregis preces attenderes, voce lapsa de cælo, præsuli sanctissimo dignum episcopatu Nicolaum ostendisti tuum famulum!


Invit.  Adoremus Regem sæculorum, * In quo vivit Nicolaus honor sacerdotum.

Aña 1.  Nobilissimis siquidem natalibus ortus, velut lucifer Nicolaus emicuit.
Aña 2.  Postquam domi puerilem decurrit ætatem, cunctis mundi hujus spretis oblectationibus, Christi se jugo subjiciens, documentis sanctis suum præbuit auditum.
Aña 3.  Pudore bono repletus Dei famulus, sumptibus datis, stupri nefas prohibuit.
Aña 4.  Auro virginum incestus, auro patris earum inopiam, auro prorsus utrorumque detestabilem infamiam Dei servus ademit Nicolaus.
Aña 5.  Innocenter jura puerilia transcendens, evangelicæ institutionis discipulus effectus est.
Aña 6.  Gloriam mundi sprevit cum suis oblectationibus: et ideo meruit provehi ad summum sacerdotii gradum.
Aña 7.  Pontifices almi divina revelatione lætificati, Nicolaum Præsulem devotissime consecraverunt.
Aña 8.  Sanctus quidem triticum, quod a nautis acceptum, et sagacitate distribuere et augeri precibus impetravit.
Aña 9.  Muneribus datis, neci sunt juvenes innocentes addicti: quibus Domini servus fuit vitæ præsidio festinanter.

Lesson i – Proverbs iii, 1-5

R/. i.  Confessor Dei Nicolaus, nobilis progenie, sed nobilior moribus, ab ipso puerili ævo secutus Dominum, * Meruit divina revelatione ad summum provehi sacerdotium.  V/.  Erat enim valde compatiens, et super afflictos pia gestans viscera. * Meruit divina revelatione ad summum provehi sacerdotium.

Lesson ii – Proverbs iii, 11-15, 19-24

R/. ii.  Quadam die, tempestate sævissima quassati nautæ, cœperunt sanctum invocare Nicolaum: * Et statim cessavit tempestas.  V/.  Mox illis clamantibus apparuit quidam, dicens eis: Ecce adsum, quid vocastis me? * Et statim cessavit tempestas.

Lesson iii – hagiographical

R/. iii.  Ex ejus tumba marmorea sacrum resudat oleum, quo liniti sanantur cæci, * Surdis auditus redditur, Et debilis quisque sospes regreditur.  V/.  Catervatim ruunt populi, cernere cupientes quæ per eum fiunt mirabilia. * Surdis auditus redditur, Et debilis quisque sospes regreditur.  Gloria Patri... * Et debilis quisque sospes regreditur.


Aña 1.  Beatus Nicolaus adhuc puerulus multo jejunio macerabat corpus.
Aña 2.  Ecclesiæ sanctæ frequentans limina, sacra pectore condebat mandata.
Aña 3.  Juste et sancte vivendo, ad honorem sacerdotii meruit promoveri digneris.
Aña 4.  Amicus Dei Nicolaus, pontificali decoratus infula, omnibus se amabilem exhibuit.
Aña 5.  O per omnia laudabilem virum, cujus meritis ab omni clade liberantur qui ex toto corde quærunt illum!

Ad Bened. Aña.  Copiosæ caritatis Nicolaë Pontifex, qui cum Deo gloriaris in cæli palatio: condescende, supplicamus, ad te suspirantibus, ut exutos gravi carne pertrahas ad superos.


Super Psalmos Aña.  Beatus Nicolaus adhuc puerulus multo jejunio macerabat corpus.

Ad Magnif. Aña.  O Christi pietas omni prosequenda laude, quæ sui famuli Nicolai merita longe lateque declarat!  Nam ex tumba ejus oleum manat, cunctosque languidos sanat.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Seven Miles from Sydney

Thanks be to God: Fr Paul's Ordination and First Mass have been wonderful, and it was great to catch up afterward with so many old friends from all around Australia.  As he reminded us at the end of Mass this morning, Holy Mother Church grants a plenary indulgence (under the usual conditions) for the priest who offers and the people who attend his first Mass; and of course yester-day I received his priestly blessing, of inestimable value.

Please pray that Fr Paul may be a good and wise priest and preacher, for the salvation of souls and the greater glory of God.


Being in Manly, too, right on the Pacific, seven miles from Sydney on that spectacular ferry route, has been good indeed.

I'll while away the afternoon by visiting John, whose wedding I will attend next week, also in Sydney (it's just a simple wedding, with Solemn High Mass in the Cathedral; I forget if he's persuaded the Cardinal to assist).

Enjoying the view of the Harbour Bridge from Circular Quay last night, having taken that marvellous scenic ferry into the city for to see a movie, I was reminded of former P.M. Paul Keating's dictum, "If you're not in Sydney you're just camping out"; and earlier on, while traipsing round Manly, was amused and pleased to come across the electorate office of another great potential leader, Tony Abbott...

Time to go have yum cha for lunch again, I think.


P.S.  Looking back, I discover that the date I blogged this was the 3rd anniversary of my beginning this blog: St Sabbas (whose feast-day it is, and whom I have taken as patron of this enterprise), pray for us!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ordination of Rev Br Paul Rowse, O.P.

Prayers, please, for Rev Br (soon to be Fr) Paul Rowse, a Dominican I know, about to be ordained a priest to-morrow; he's an old friend of mine, and I'm flying up to Sydney for the weekend to attend his ordination and first Mass.  As they say in Bavaria, to attend the first Mass of a new priest one should not shirk travelling far.  Ad multos annos!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Anglican Canon Again

Can an Anglican Canon (or Eucharistic Prayer) be admitted into Catholic worship, as part of the precious Patrimony that Pope Benedict intends to bring into the Church, to conserve and share it?

The first objection would be that, while an Anglican Use already exists, and incorporates many Anglican prayers into the Catholic Mass, the American Book of Divine Worship does not admit any such Anglican Eucharistic Prayer, but rather gives the Roman Canon in hieratic English.

A deeper and sterner objection would be that Cranmer deliberately rewrote and mucked about with the Roman Canon when he produced the first Book of Common Prayer (1549), and that his calculated mendacity introduced a fatal ambiguity into his Eucharistic Prayer, due to his ongoing change in belief toward utter Zwinglianism: indeed, in the second B.C.P. of 1552, he divided this prayer into three parts (as Cæsar did Gaul, to subdue it utterly), dispersing them to different parts of the service, and rejecting the Memorial (what is now technically called the Anamnesis) completely.

The 1549 Canon consisted of what later came to be styled the Prayer for the Church (the Intercession), followed by two more parts, what later men called the Prayer of Consecration and the Prayer of Oblation.  In 1552, the Prayer for the Church, stript of intercession for the dead and commemoration by name of Holy Mary and the Saints, thus become but a Prayer for the (Protestant) Church Militant, was put earlier in the service, and the Prayer of Oblation was moved until after Communion – in Dix's damning words, replacing the Oblation of the Son of Man with the oblation of the sons of men, making the spiritual offering of "ourselves, our souls and bodies" substitute for the the offering up of Christ's Sacrifice.

Even in 1549, Cranmer's Canon fell into two parts, since the Intercession had no logical connection to the Consecration and Oblation.  This is an instance of Cranmer's talent for ambiguity – he may be the father of this fatal Anglican vice, which too many ever since his time have paraded as a pretended virtue – for he thus made his new Canon resemble the Roman Canon, without actually in so many words linking the prayers of intercession with any offering up of Christ's Sacrifice made present in the Eucharist.

As to the Invocation or Epiclesis, which in Cranmer's 1549 was capable of Catholic interpretation, his change to it in 1552 made it Protestant only, savouring of receptionism: "that we receiving [the bread and wine] may be made partakers" of the Body and Blood – such a formula denies that the bread and wine are substantially changed into Christ's Flesh and Blood, and is heretical.  It was initially placed in the Prayer of Consecration directly before the Words of Institution, evidently being Cramner's version of the Roman Quam oblationem; following the Nonjurors' Communion Office of 1718, the Scottish Episcopalians moved it from there into the Prayer of Oblation (both parties in this imitating the Eastern Rites, forgetting that the Anglican is a Western offspring), and taking up their example the American Episcopalians did the same.  However, only the Nonjurors and Scottish Episcopalians restored the Invocation or Epiclesis to a properly Catholic form.

Since Cranmer's day, many Anglican Prayer Books have moved the Prayer of Oblation, even reunited with its original opening paragraph, the Memorial or Oblation proper that liturgists to-day term the Anamnesis, back to its original position directly after the Prayer of Consecration: well and good, but insufficient.  Such a Canon lacks the element of Intercession – for the Sacrifice we offer up in the Mass, Christ made present upon our altars, applying the power of the Cross here and now, is not merely a commemorative sacrifice, nor but a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, but an impetratory sacrifice that can be and is offered up for all intentions.

It is for this last reason that I would consider most Anglican Canons insufficient, even if their Epicleses were restored to a Catholic form: they lack this element of intercession.

The Nonjurors, painful scholars that they were, well knew this, as did their colleagues north of the Border, the Scottish Episcopalians, diligent students of the Eastern Liturgies.  First the former, then the latter, solved this problem by moving the Prayer for the Church to third place, after the Prayer of Consecration and the Prayer of Oblation.  In this manner, they put the three prayers in what the Scots called their "natural order".

While these three prayers all in a row make for a lengthy Canon, they alone thus constitute a sufficiently Catholic Canon or Eucharistic Prayer.

Herewith, from Dowden's The Annotated Scottish Communion Office, relevant quotations justifying and explicating this use of intercession after the Consecration and Oblation:
The rationale of the arrangement that places the great prayer for Christ's Church after the Consecration, as it presented itself to the Fathers who used the liturgies of the prevailing type, seems to have been that while the sacrifice lay upon the altar before God we might the more efficaciously entreat His mercy. Every Christian prayer is put up in the name of Christ, and through the merits of His sacrifice; and here, while the one great sacrifice of Calvary was represented before the Father, they would plead the precious death of the immaculate Lamb. [Cf. St Cyril of Jerusalem, in his Mystagogical Catechism.]
They put up their prayers "in such a manner as they thought most prevalent, that is, by virtue of the Eucharistical Sacrifice then lying in open view." [Johnson's Unbloody Sacrifice, i. 388.]
Anglican divines have expressed themselves in similar language. 
Thus Bishop Jeremy Taylor :— 
"Our prayers can never be so holy as when they are offered up in the union of Christ's Sacrifice. ... When we represent His death and pray in virtue of His passion, and imitate his intercession and do that which God commands, and offer Him, in our manner, that which He essentially loves; can it be that either anything should be more prevalent, or that God can possibly deny such addresses and such importunities ?" [Sermon VI., vol. v. p. 88.]
"We do show forth," writes Bishop Patrick, [Mensa Mystica, p. 15.] "the Lord's death unto God, and commemorate before Him the great things He hath done for us. We keep it (as it were) in His memory and plead before him the sacrifice of His Son, which we show imto Him, humbly requiring that grace and pardon, with all other benefits of it, may be bestowed upon us. And as the minister doth most powerfully pray in the virtue of Christ's Sacrifice when he represents it unto God, so doth the people also when they show unto Him what His Son hath suffered. Every man may say —'Behold, Lord, the bleeding wounds of Thy own Son; remember how His Body was broken for us; think upon His precious Blood which was shed in our behalf. Let us die, if He have not made full satisfaction.'"
—John Dowden, The Annotated Scottish Communion Office (Edinburgh: Grant, 1884), 203f.
I gladly cite, however, from Johnson, [Unbloody Sacrifice, vol i. p. 340 (Anglo-Cath. Lib.)] the writer who on this subject exercised the most powerful influence upon the non-juring school, a passage which accurately states the facts..."Though the solemn oblation," he writes, "begins in all the liturgies after the Words of Institution, and [save the Roman] before the Invocation of the Holy Spirit, or the Divine benediction; yet the sacrificial service is not ended until after the Consecration. For it is to be observed that the Clementine liturgy, St. James's, St. Chrysostom's, St. Peter's, St. Gregory's, contain a prayer for the acceptance of the Sacrifice, and particularly that it 'may be received up to the heavenly Altar,' after the consecration is fully ended: and the solemn propitiations, intercessions, reconciliations for the whole Church, for all orders and degrees of men, for all the most desirable graces and favours, follow after the Consecration in the Clementine liturgy. And these no doubt were esteemed a considerable part of the sacrificial service; and these were performed after the symbols had been made the spiritual Body and Blood in the most perfect and complete manner that it was possible for one thing, its substance remaining [Johnson, an Anglican, rejected transsubstantiation], to become another. It was the Eucharistical Body and Blood, Which were the Gifts or Sacrifice, Which they desired might be assumed up to the Altar in heaven." 
—John Dowden, The Annotated Scottish Communion Office (Edinburgh: Grant, 1884), 212f.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Scottish Liturgy Again – II

The 1929 Scottish Liturgy is in the opinion of many the most perfect and catholic of the various Anglican rites for celebrating the Eucharist, and certainly should be preserved as a precious part of the liturgical Patrimony that Anglicanorum cœtibus envisages conserving and sharing with the wider Church through the forthcoming Ordinariates for incoming groups of Anglicans.

In line with what can be ascertained about any necessary changes and amendments to the Scottish Liturgy, so as to make it entirely acceptable for Catholic worship, I subjoin the 1929 Scottish Liturgy, with such suggested improvements (forgive my boldness) underlined.  I have tried to be as sympathetic to the Anglican Patrimony as possible in making these, and draw them largely from the classic Scotttish Communion Office of 1764, with reference to the Nonjurors' of 1718.  I have resisted the temptation to fiddle with details unnecessarily (some nice points I list at the end).

Some changes in particular I would explain, and apologize in advance for the third, since, while I think it proper, it will cause controversy:
  • first, as it is authentically Sarum, and still retained in Anglican worship in various places, the option to begin Mass with the Lord's Prayer, before the Collect for Purity, is given (from the pre-1929 Scottish rites);
  • second, as was in the 1764, and significantly was preserved in its daughter rites in the United States (such as their classic 1928 B.C.P.) there is the option to insert, after the Commandments or Summary of the Law, the "Collect for Grace and Mercy to Keep the Commandments" – which is authentic Sarum, albeit rescued from Prime, where it is found in almost the same words in the Dominican Rite (the Roman equivalent is longer);
  • third, and most importantly, as was indicated by Rome during the post-conciliar liturgical reform, in the Roman Rite postconsecratory epicleses are not to be used, but are to be placed before the Words of Institution – in this regard, what was said in a Scottish Episcopalian 1883 reprint of a 1743 Communion Office stands still true to-day: the epiclesis, or "...Invocation before the Words of Institution... is a feature which will commend its use to the great majority of Anglican Churchmen who are so firmly attached to the Western theory of the rite of Consecration" (John Dowden, The Annotated Scottish Communion Office, p. 102, n. 1) – and I would that the overlong and intricate 1929 form of the epiclesis or Invocation be replaced by the stronger, simpler and shorter 1764 form, for the avoidance of all doubt and scruple;
  • fourth, and also importantly, from the 1764 (and Nonjurors' 1718), I reinsert the words "accept these our Oblations" into the Prayer for the Church, as this makes it clear that Christ's Body and Blood, His Sacrifice made truly present, is the Christian Sacrifice which the Church offers up to God in the Eucharist, making present His One Sacrifice on the Cross and applying its all-availing power to supplicate the Lord to grant us every good gift as we make intercession, impetrating Him to save us;
  • fifth and sixth, for obvious reasons the name of the Pope would need to be inserted as well as the name of the Bishop, to signify Catholic communion, and likewise the names of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, which the 1929 only allows to be named by episcopal permission on their feasts;
  • seventh, as done in the present Anglican Use of the Roman Rite, in the absolution after the general confession the formula is changed from second person plural to first person plural (from "you" and "your" to "us" and "our"), to take away any mistaken idea that this is the sacramental absolution proper to the Sacrament of Penance;
  • eighth, the strange Anglican practice of permitting a second consecration, if the consecrated elements run out, owing to some miscalculation, before all can receive Communion, is completely uncatholic and must be suppressed;
  • ninth, I insert an optional prayer answering to the Placeat from the South African B.C.P., as reëmphasising the Sacrifice of the Mass.
Of these nine points (one per angelic choir, no doubt), the third to seventh are the most necessary, the others being less so.

(It will be noted I have not at this stage introduced such Roman elements as the Orate fratres, the Secret or Prayer over the Oblations, the Ecce Agnus Dei and the Ite missa est – but I suspect that Anglo-Catholics would be used to inserting all these elements in any case.  Furthermore, it may be argued that all such items, while good and Catholic, are not in and of themselves necessary.  I think it bad form to produce a bastard hybrid chimæra.)

The preference expressed for the 1764 over the 1929 Epiclesis should be evident when their lengths are compared:
1764: And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us, and of thy almighty goodness vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy word and holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that they may become the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved Son.
1929: And we thine unworthy servants beseech thee, most merciful Father, to hear us, and to send thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that, being blessed and hallowed by his life-giving power, they may become the Body and Blood of thy most dearly beloved Son, to the end that all who shall receive the same may be sanctified both in body and soul, and preserved unto everlasting life.
Furthermore, the last phrase "to the end that..." is an unnecessary duplication of utterly the same things said elsewhere in the Liturgy.

The preference for a preconsecratory epiclesis to a postconsecratory one also helps avoid the strange idea of the Nonjurors, and of many Scottish Episcopalian divines of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, that the bread and wine are first offered up, and only then become the sacramental body and blood of the Lord (a notion which helped them avoid what they thought too Roman a theory of the Eucharistic Sacrifice).

(It ought go without saying that the so-called "minor propers" may be inserted – just as the 1928 U.S. B.C.P. allows a hymn or anthem to be sung between Epistle and Gospel, and at the Offertory, and at Communion time, to say nothing of before and after the service – and this allows for a Gradual or Responsorial Psalm or Sequence or Motet at the respective congruous points in the liturgy as the case may be and as the musical abilities of the choir and people permit.)

Herewith, for consideration, an amended form of the 1929 Scottish Liturgy:



commonly called



The Holy Table, having at the Communion time a fair white linen cloth upon it, with other decent furniture meet for the High Mysteries there to be celebrated, shall stand at the uppermost part of the chancel or church. And the Presbyter, standing at the Holy Table, shall say [1912: the Lord’s Prayer, with] the Collect following for due preparation, the people kneeling.

[1912: OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil. Amen.]

ALMIGHTY God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall the Presbyter, turning to the people, rehearse distinctly all the Ten Commandments: the people all the while kneeling, and asking God mercy for the transgression of every duty therein, according to the letter or to the spiritual import of each Commandment, and grace to keep the same for the time to come. The Ten Commandments may be rehearsed in the short form by stopping at the asterisks.

GOD spake these words and said; I am the Lord thy God: Thou shalt have none other gods but me.
   People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

   Presbyter. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them*. For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, and visit the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shew mercy unto thousands in them that love me, and keep my commandments.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain*. For the Lord will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his Name in vain.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath-day. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all that thou hast to do*; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shalt do no manner of work, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, thy cattle, and the stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Honour thy father and thy mother*; that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Thou shalt do no murder.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Thou shalt not steal.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

  Presbyter. Thou shalt not covet* thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his servant, nor his maid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and write all these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee.

Or he may rehearse, instead of the Ten Commandments, the Summary of the Law as followeth:

OUR Lord Jesus Christ said: Hear, O Israel,the Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: This is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: there is none other commandment greater than these.
  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
  People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and write these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee.

Or else, instead of, or in addition to, the Ten Commandments or the Summary of the Law, may be sung or said as followeth:

LORD, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.*

  * The Greek forms --  "Kyrie, eleison", and "Christe, eleison" -- may be used in either the threefold or the ninefold form instead of the English forms "Lord, have mercy upon us", "Christ, have mercy upon us".

[1762 allows the use here of the following Collect, as does the US 1928 BCP:

[O ALMIGHTY Lord, and everlasting God, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify, and govern, both our hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that through thy most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.]

Then shall the Presbyter say,

THE Lord be with you;
Answer. And with thy spirit.

Then shall be said the Collect or Collects, the Presbyter standing as before [that is, "turning to the Holy Table" - 1912] and first saying,

Let us pray.


Then the Presbyter, or some other Presbyter or Deacon, turning to the people, shall read the Epistle or Lesson, saying, The Epistle [or The Lesson] is written in the——chapter of——beginning at the——verse. And, the Epistle or Lesson ended, he shall say, Here endeth the Epistle or Lesson]. Then shall the Presbyter, or some other Presbyter or Deacon, turning to the people, read the Gospel, saying, The Holy Gospel is written in the——chapter of the Gospel according to——, beginning at the——verse; and the people, all standing up, shall devoutly sing or say,

Glory be to thee, O Lord.

And, the Gospel ended, the people shall in like manner sing or say,

Thanks be to thee, O Lord, for this thy glorious Gospel.

Then shall be sung or said this Creed following, the people still reverently standing.

I BELIEVE in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
  And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things were made: Who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man, And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead: Whose kingdom shall have no end.
  And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, The Giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets. And I believe one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the Resurrection of the dead, And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

Then the Presbyter shall declare unto the people what Holy-days or Fasting-days are to be observed in the week. And also (if occasion be) notice shall be given of the Holy Communion; Banns of Matrimony may be published; and, subject to the authority of the Bishop, other notices may be read.

If there be a Sermon, it followeth here.

When the Presbyter giveth warning of the Holy Communion he may, at his discretion, use the first or the second of the Exhortations appended on pages 377-380. [Not needed.]

The Exhortation appended on page 381 may be used at the discretion of the Presbyter before the Offertory, the people standing.

The Presbyter may here bid special prayers and thanksgivings.


Then, the people standing until after the Sanctus, the Presbyter, or Deacon, shall say,

LET us present our offerings to the Lord with reverence and godly fear.

Then the Presbyter shall begin the Offertory, saying one or more of these Sentences following, as he thinketh most convenient.

I WILL offer in his dwelling an oblation with great gladness; I will sing and speak praises unto the Lord.   Psalm 27. 7.

  Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows unto the most Highest.   Psalm 50. 14.

  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his Name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.   Psalm 96. 8.

  I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the Name of the Lord; I will pay my vows unto the Lord in the sight of all his people.    Psalm 116. 15, 16.

  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.    St. Matthew 7. 21.

  Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.   Acts 20. 85.

  As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men; especially unto them who are of the household of faith.   Galatians 6. 10.

  To do good and to communicate forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well-pleased.   Hebrews 13. 16.
The following additional Offertory Sentences may be used:

(a) ADVENT. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion: behold, thy king cometh unto thee.   Zechariah 9. 9.

(b) CHRISTMAS. Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.    Isaiah 9. 6.

(c) EPIPHANY. From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name is great among the Gentiles: and in every place incense is offered unto my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord.    Malachi 1. 11.

(d) LENT. Turn thy face from my sins, and put out all my misdeeds. Make me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.   Psalm 51. 9, 10.

(e) PASSIONTIDE. Thy rebuke hath broken my heart; I am full of heaviness: I looked for some to have pity on me, but there was no man, neither found I any to comfort me.   Psalm 69. 21.

(f) EASTER. Christ is risen from the dead; and become the first-fruits of them that slept. Alleluia.   1 Corinthians 15. 20.

(g) ASCENSION. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors: and the King of glory shall come in. Alleluia.   Psalm 24. 9.

(h) WHITSUN. I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh. Alleluia.    Joel 2. 28.

(i) TRINITY SUNDAY Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy Name? For thou only art holy.   Revelation 15. 4.

(j) SAINTS' DAYS. All thy works praise thee, O Lord: and thy saints give thanks unto thee.   Psalm 145. 10.

(k) GENERAL. Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.   Genesis 14. 18.

While the Presbyter distinctly pronounceth one or more of these Sentences for the Offertory, the Deacon, or (if no such be present) some other fit person, shall receive the devotions of the people there present, in a bason provided for that purpose. And when all have offered, he shall reverently bring the said bason, with the offerings therein, and deliver it to the Presbyter; who shall humbly present it before the Lord, and set it upon the Holy Table.

[From the general rubrics: "It is customary to mix a little pure water with the Wine in the Eucharistic Cup."]

And the Presbyter shall then offer up, and place the bread and wine prepared for the Sacrament upon the Lord's Table; and shall say,

BLESSED be thou, O Lord God, for ever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine: thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all: both riches and honour come of thee, and of thine own do we give unto thee. Amen.


Then shall the Presbyter say,

THE Lord be with you;
  Answer. And with thy spirit.
  Presbyter. Lift up your hearts;
  Answer. We lift them up unto the Lord.
  Presbyter. Let us give thanks unto our Lord God;
  Answer. It is meet and right so to do.


IT is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God.

Here shall follow the Proper Preface, according to the time, if there be any especially appointed (see pages 366-371); or else immediately shall follow,

THEREFORE with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name; evermore praising thee and saying:

Presbyter and People
HOLY, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord most high. Amen.

Here may [MUST] be sung or said:

BLESSED is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

When this is sung or said, Amen shall be omitted after the Sanctus.

Then the Presbyter, standing at such a part of the Holy Table as he may with the most ease and decency use both his hands, shall say the Prayer of Consecration, as followeth:

ALL glory and thanksgiving be to thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that thou of thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption; who, by his own oblation of himself once offered, made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memorial of that his precious death and sacrifice until his coming again.
 The Invocation   And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us, and of thy almighty goodness vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy word and holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that they may become the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved Son.
  For, in the night that he was betrayed, he took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given for you: Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise after supper he took the cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this, for this is my Blood of the new testament, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins: Do this as oft as ye shall drink it in remembrance of me.
The Oblation    Wherefore, O Lord, and heavenly Father, according to the institution of thy dearly beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, we thy humble servants do celebrate and make here before thy Divine Majesty, with these thy holy gifts, which we now offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed passion, and precious death, his mighty resurrection, and glorious ascension; rendering unto thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same, and looking for his coming again with power and great glory.
   And we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, most humbly beseeching thee to grant, that by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we and all thy whole Church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion.
   And here we humbly offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee, beseeching thee that all we who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son Jesus Christ, and be fulfilled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, and made one body with him, that he may dwell in us and we in him.
   And although we be unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice; yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service, not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. Amen.

Then shall the Presbyter or Deacon say,

Let us pray for the whole state of Christ's Church.

The Presbyter.

   ALMIGHTY and Everliving God, who by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make intercessions and to give thanks for all men: We humbly pray thee most mercifully to accept our oblations, and to receive these our supplications which we offer unto thy Divine Majesty; beseeching thee to inspire continually the universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord; and grant that all they that do confess thy holy Name may agree in the truth of thy holy word, and live in unity and godly love.
   We beseech thee also to save and defend all Kings, Princes, and Governors, and especially thy servant Elizabeth our Queen, and all who are put in authority under her, that we may be godly and quietly governed.
   Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, and especially to thy servants N. our Pope and N. our Bishop, that they may both by their life and doctrine set forth thy true and living word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments: and to all thy people give thy heavenly grace, and especially to this Congregation here present, that they may hear and receive thy holy word, truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life.
   We most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succour all those who in this transitory life are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity.
   We commend to thy gracious keeping, O Lord, all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear, beseeching thee to grant them everlasting light and peace.
   And we yield unto thee most high praise and hearty thanks, for the wonderful grace and virtue declared in all thy Saints, who have been the choice vessels of thy grace, and the lights of the world in their several generations, and chiefly in the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord and God, and in the Holy Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, and Martyrs: beseeching thee to give us grace to follow the example of their stedfastness in thy faith, and obedience to thy holy commandments, that at the day of the general resurrection, we, and all they who are of the mystical body of thy Son, may be set on his right hand, and hear his most joyful voice, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

Then shall the Presbyter say,

As our Saviour Christ hath commanded and taught us, we are bold to say,

Presbyter and People

OUR Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

Here the Presbyter shall break the consecrated Bread; and silence may be kept for a brief space.

Then shall the Presbyter say [1929 only]:

THE peace of the Lord be with you all;*
  Answer. And with thy spirit.
  Presbyter. Brethren, let us love one another, for love is of God.

* "The peace of the Lord be with you always" may be used instead.
"Brethren, let us love one another..." may be omitted; and, when it is used, "Beloved" may be substituted for "Brethren".


Then the Presbyter or Deacon shall say this invitation to them that come to receive the Holy Communion,

YE that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways: Draw near with faith, and take this Holy Sacrament to your comfort; and make your humble confession to Almighty God, meekly kneeling upon your knees.

Then shall this general Confession be made by the people, along with the Presbyter; he first kneeling down.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men: We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we from time to time most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed Against thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Exhortation "Ye that do truly" and the Comfortable Words may be omitted on all weekdays.

On weekdays the bidding "Let us humbly confess our sins to Almighty God" and the shorter form of Confession and Absolution, as in Morning and Evening Prayer, may be used in place of the longer forms.

On weekdays when the longer form of Confession is used, "Let us humbly confess our sins to Almighty God" may be substituted for "Ye that do truly. . .".

Then shall the Presbyter, or the Bishop if he be present, stand up, and, turning himself to the people, pronounce the Absolution as followeth:

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them who with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him: Have mercy upon us; pardon and deliver us from all our sins; confirm and strengthen us in all goodness; and bring us to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall the Presbyter also say,

Hear what comfortable words our. Saviour Christ saith unto all that truly turn to him.

COME unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.   St. Matthew 11. 28.

  God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.     St. John 3. 16.

Hear also what Saint Paul saith.

  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.   1 Timothy 1. 15.

Hear also what Saint John saith.

   If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins.   1 St. John 2. 1, 2.

Then shall the Presbyter, turning him to the Altar, kneel down, and say, in the name of all them that shall communicate, this Collect of humble access to the Holy Communion, as followeth:

WE do not presume to come to this thy Holy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table: but thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the Flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his Blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his most sacred Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.*

* The people may join with the priest in reciting this prayer.

Here may [MUST] be sung or said:

O LAMB of God, that takest away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us.
  O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us.
  O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world: grant us thy peace.

Then shall he that celebrateth first receive the Communion in both kinds himself and next deliver the same to the Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons (if there be any present), and after to the people in due order, into their hands, all humbly kneeling. And when he receiveth himself or delivereth the Sacrament of the Body of Christ to any other, he shall say,

THE Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.

Here the person receiving shall say,

And the Presbyter that receiveth the Cup himself, as likewise the Presbyter or Deacon that delivereth it to any other, shall say,

THE Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.

Here the person receiving shall say,

When all have communicated, he that celebrateth shall go to the Lord's Table, and cover with a fair linen cloth that which remaineth of the consecrated Elements.


Then the Presbyter or Deacon, turning to the people, shall say,

HAVING now received the precious Body and Blood of Christ, let us give thanks to our Lord God, who hath graciously vouchsafed to admit us to the participation of his Holy Mysteries; and let us beg of him grace to perform our vows, and to persevere in our good resolutions; and that being made holy, we may obtain everlasting life, through the merits of the all-sufficient sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

This Exhortation may be omitted [except on Sundays and the Great Festivals]*.

* now completely optional, and may be replaced by:

  V. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious;
  R. And his mercy endureth for ever.
  V. The Lord be with you;
  R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

Then the Presbyter shall say this Collect of thanksgiving as followeth.§

§ On weekdays one or more of the Post-Communion Collects may be used as an alternative to the Prayer of Thanksgiving.  For the Post-Communions see pages 371-377.

ALMIGHTY and Everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, who have duly received these Holy Mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us, and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical Body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of his most precious death and passion. We now most humbly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy Holy Spirit, that we may continue in that holy communion and fellowship, and do all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

Then shall be sung or said Gloria in excelsis, by the Presbyter and people, as followeth:*

GLORY be to God in the highest, and in earth peace, good will towards men. We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty; and to thee, O God, the only-begotten Son Jesu Christ; and to thee, O God, the Holy Ghost.
  O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesu Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.
  For thou only art holy, thou only art the Lord, thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

* The Gloria in Excelsis may be omitted on Sundays in Advent, and on those from Septuagesima to Palm Sunday inclusive.

[South African 1954 BCP, one of the "Collects which may be said... before the Blessing":

[LOOK with favour, most Holy Trinity, on this our act of worship and service; and may this sacrifice set forth before thine eyes be acceptable to thy Divine Majesty, and avail for us and all for whom we have offered it; who lived and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.]

Then the Presbyter, or the Bishop if he be present, shall let them depart with this Blessing.

THE peace of God which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord: And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always. Amen.

The Creed, the Exhortation Ye that do truly, the Comfortable Words and the Gloria in excelsis may be omitted on Weekdays except on Red Letter Days.



Some nice points that are present in kindred Anglican liturgies:

The Canadian 1962 B.C.P. Prayer of Consecration very pleasantly begins "Blessing and glory and thanksgiving be to thee", echoing therefore the Benedictus qui venit.  Likewise, and as does the 1954 South African form, it inserts (from the Christmas Collect) the phrase "to take our nature upon him, and" before "to suffer death upon the cross", thereby neatly uniting the Incarnation to the Passion, expressing the salvific Economy, not to say the kenosis, of God's saving work in Christ for our salvation.

Sancroft, Nonjuror and sometime Archbishop of Canterbury, in his handwritten proposals for amending the 1662 B.C.P. (found as emendations in the Durham Book), suggested adding two significant phrases to the Prayer of Oblation after the Consecration, as follows: " the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, now represented unto thee, and through faith in his blood, who maketh intercession for us at thy right hand, we and all thy whole Church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion."  Again, these details seem devout, but the Liturgy is long enough as it is!

Is it too Erastian to pray for Kings, Princes and Governors, and our own beloved Queen, before praying for Bishops, Priests and Deacons?  Perhaps the second and third paragraphs of the Prayer for the Church ought be interchanged.

As one Collect in the Scottish Prayer Book prays in commemorating the Saints that we may be "strengthened by their fellowship, and aided by their prayers," such a phrase could further enhance the Prayer for the Church, but again, 'tis gilding the lily.

After the Lord's Prayer at Communion time, the Book of Divine Worship (following the 1979 U.S. B.C.P. in this) provides, as an anthem following the Fraction, "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast", with Alleluia's fore and aft; this quotation from St Paul (I Cor. v, 7b-8a) is evidently a reminiscence of the text from the first B.C.P. of 1549: "CHRIST, our Paschal Lamb, is offered up for us, once for all, who bore our sins in his body upon the Cross; for he is the very Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world: Wherefore let us keep a joyful and holy feast unto the Lord."  The modern abbreviated form wisely deletes the clumsy "once for all, who... upon the Cross" (which almost defeats parsing, and sounds highly unnatural in English) and the "for he is the very Lamb... world", clearly a doublet of the Agnus Dei.  If such an anthem be liked, it may be retained... it could answer somewhat to the Ecce Agnus Dei I suppose.

Similarly, the otherwise already inferior 1970 Scottish Liturgy allows the rite to begin with the Sign of the Cross, and the equivalent versicles to the Latin Mass's Introibo and so forth – the prayers at the foot of the altar.  The proposed 1928 English B.C.P. gave the whole of Psalm 42(43) as well, as "A Devotion"; I know from experience that Anglo-Catholics like inserting this preparation at the start of their liturgies, before they get to the official (originally Sarum) opening thereof with the Lord's Prayer and the Collect for Purity.  There is something Pickstockian, in the sense of holy "liturgical stuttering", when, as I have seen at Mass with the TAC, the celebrant recites the Roman Confiteor as well, and later in the service prays the General Confession...

(Of course, the Nonjurors had it best when their 1718 Communion Office was to begin with an appointed Introit Psalm – as in the 1549 English Mass – and followed with "The Lord be with you", "Let us pray" and threefold Kyrie, just as the prayers at Mattins and Evensong begin.)