A most interesting post by a Catholic convert who first experienced beauty and reverence in the liturgy through attending Anglo-Catholic services. It’s entitled Masculinity and the Liturgy by Sam Guzman over at The Catholic Gentleman:
On the final stages of my road to Rome, I spent a good deal of time with high church Anglo-Catholics, regularly attending liturgies at a seminary and church near my home. These Anglicans took the liturgy seriously, and their services were conducted reverently and beautifully.
In fact, their services looked so Catholic that experiencing them led me to study further exactly why Anglicans weren’t Catholic anymore. The rest of the story is beyond the scope of this post, but the point is, I came into Catholicism with an experience of very reverent and dignified liturgy, kneeling to receive communion, and an atmosphere of sacredness.
Eventually, after months of studying Catholic teaching, I worked up the courage to attend a Catholic mass. I had no idea what a mass looked like, but at the very least, I expected it to be more beautiful and reverent than the Anglican liturgy. After all, the Catholics had the body, blood, soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, while Anglicans did not have the real thing.
Interestingly, the other day I picked up our Canadian 1962 Book of Common Prayer (which largely are no longer in use in Anglican Church of Canada parishes which embrace the Book of Alternative Services) and looked at the Communion rite. So interesting to see how much the Mass is a sacrifice in the BCP, not a meal.
That said, I am delighted with Divine Worship: The Missal. It is everything we could have hoped for in a Mass that is fully Catholic yet respects the beauty of our Anglican patrimony.