Psallite Sapienter responds to SMM1

The robust discussion of Cranmer, the Book of Common Prayer and the Eucharist continues with this lengthy post from Joshua at Psallite Sapienter, who started the whole thing going a month ago.  Here’s an excerpt of his response:

Let us now establish what is at issue here.  Having opened the classical BCP – never mind that few now use it, whether here in Australia, or in the UK; and of course Canada has its own BCP (not that there it is used much either), and likewise for other corners of the Anglican Communion – I looked to see what of its Patrimony, as regards the Eucharist, was “fit for purpose” or, rather, doctrinally orthodox, and thus assimilable for use in the full communion of the Catholic Church in union with Peter.  I left aside High Church ceremonial, and all such considerations; I left aside all old attempts at fitting together the Holy Communion from the BCP with the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass; I looked at the BCP Communion Office, and (to my satisfaction at least) showed how virtually all of it could be suitably adapted for use as part of a variant of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Mass – which is confirmed by finding precisely that done in the already-existing Book of Divine Worship for use in the USA by Catholic parishes following the Anglican Use. But I did note that some parts of the BCP’s Eucharistic rite would not pass the test of orthodoxy: above all, the Prayer of Consecration; also, some phrases in other parts needing rewording or deleting (such as the second half of the words of administration of the Sacrament, which date from the notoriously Protestant 1552 BCP).
As I think I may have mentioned, if any Anglican liturgy were found acceptable in toto for the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, it would be that found in the Scottish BCP of 1929; or again, that of the Nonjurors, as drawn up in 1718.  But to be frank, the latter was never used but by a tiny remnant for a generation three centuries ago; and the former is not so much used even among the tiny Scottish Episcopalian denomination any more (having been replaced in the main by odder more modern liturgies).
However, as the Prayer of Consecration in the 1662 BCP consists of a thankful remembrance of the all-sufficient sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, followed by a prayer that those receiving the bread and wine would be partakers of His Body and Blood, and then a recital of the Institution Narrative, it is clearly insufficient to express Catholic doctrine about the Eucharist – instead, it well inculcates receptionism (Hooker’s new heresy) and the Protestant tenet that Christ’s Sacrifice is not made present here and now in the Eucharist, but was offered up once for all.  Whatever may be claimed, rather tongue-in-cheek it may seem, in Sæpius officio (wherein its Anglican authors had the bare-faced cheek to claim their mutilated remnant of a Eucharistic Prayer, being as it is derived from the Roman Canon, is somehow clearer in its exposition of Catholic doctrine than the hallowed and most ancient Canon itself – a rude claim, be it noted, that falls under a Tridentine anathema against any who would impugn the Canon of the Mass), the Prayer of Consecration in the 1662 BCP is manifestly heretical: indeed, how could it be otherwise, since it was specially designed to teach novel doctrines.  If a priest in valid orders pronounced it, it would of course serve to consecrate the Sacrament validly – but just as plainly it would be grievously sinful to use such a prayer.
For the other parts of the discussion:
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5 Responses to Psallite Sapienter responds to SMM1

  1. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    This is a very interesting article, indeed!

    Joshua wrote: I left aside High Church ceremonial, and all such considerations…

    One of the beauties of the current ordinary form of the Roman Rite is that it provides for the highest of “high church” ceremonial and the lowest of “low church” simplicity in a single order of worship, simply by making the ceremonial optional. One can do as much or as little ceremonial as seems appropriate to the circumstances of a particular celebration of celebration. I think that this is also true of the orders of worship in the book of Divine Worship.

    Joshua wrote: I looked at the BCP Communion Office, and (to my satisfaction at least) showed how virtually all of it could be suitably adapted for use as part of a variant of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Mass – which is confirmed by finding precisely that done in the already-existing Book of Divine Worship for use in the USA by Catholic parishes following the Anglican Use.

    This is completely consistent with my understanding of the Book of Divine Worship.

    How is your community responding to the Book of Divine Worship as adapted for Canadian use?

    Norm.

  2. Pingback: Psallite Sapienter responds to SMM1 | Catholic Canada

  3. Henri says:

    It is worth mentioning that Mgr Burnham repeatedly confirmed that the scottish bcp is one of the main so

  4. Henri says:

    It is worth mentioning that Mgr Burnham repeatedly confirmed that the 1929 scottish bcp is one of the main sources of the yet to be approved ordinariate eucharist. I hope it will include at least an option for using a canon from (adapted if needed) a bcp (why not looking toward the colonial liturgies crafted by anglo-catholic missionaries?).

    + Pax et Bonum

  5. William Tighe says:

    I heard quite some time ago, on very good authority, that Rome will under no circumstances approve of any post-1559 Anglican BCP Eucharistic Prayer, or canon, for use in what is, after all, the “Anglican Use of the Roman Rite.”

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