Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Sarum Rite as a Dangerous Memory

I am woefully, woefully, WOEFULLY ignorant of the Sarum Rite. I plainly do not know much about its particulars

Fr. Chadwick has a concise page on the Sarum Rite, which can introduce one to the Rite and the contemporary discussion around it.

I am somewhat versed in discussion itself. Bernard Brandt has a recent entry in the conversation well worth reading. The article comes as the discussion from a Roman Catholic perspective, or, at the very least, the perspective of liturgical law in the Roman Church.

My own reflection on the discussion around the Sarum Rite - ill informed as it is since I have little chance to study the rite - is that the Sarum liturgy is an unfortunate victim of the Reformation-Counter Reformation cycle. Too condemnatory of the liturgical reforms undertaken in England amid the Reformation, and too flagrantly independent of the "Roman identity" that developed as a response.

In both instances, it successfully reminds contemporary ecclesiastical interests that Catholicism existed before the Reformation-Counter Reformation dialectic, unfettered by either Anglican or Roman identity crisis.

Hopefully the discussion around the Sarum Rite/Use continuous. It will aid in the rediscovery of the Latin liturgical tradition and, perhaps, help identify the hallmarks of pre-Reformation Catholicism and the subsequent discontinuities.


17 comments:

  1. I thank V. for your excellent entry, particularly, for your intellectual honesty, which refuses to permit you to attack a matter in which you have (I suspect, at present only) imperfect knowledge.

    Nonetheless, I believe that your general erudition has given you, and now me as well, an important insight: "...it successfully reminds contemporary ecclesiastical interests that Catholicism existed before the Reformation-Counter Reformation dialectic, unfettered by either Anglican or Roman identity crisis."

    I suspect that this is the reason why the partisans of both the OF and the EF seem reluctant to deal with the Sarum Rite: it is indeed a dangerous memory. And it is one which neither advocates of the Novus Ordo nor such weblogistas as the New Liturgical Movement appear to be willing to entertain.

    For my part, however, I found long ago that I needed a form of worship and liturgical prayer that was a bit more allied to Holy Tradition, and a little less afflicted with periti who had bad cases of what C.S. Lewis called 'liturgical fidget' or the desire to dance with the Zeitgeist. This need led me to Byzantine Orthodox spirituality nearly thirty years ago, and I have seen no need to depart from the deep wells of living water to be found there.

    Nonetheless, I have also wondered as to whether there remained anything in the West which could compare with the treasures of the East. Until recently, I'm afraid that the answer to that question would have been a definite 'NO!'. The reforms of the Latin Divine Office over the course of the last four centuries have left me cold, and the reforms in particular of the early 20th century and after the Second Vatican Council are books which, in my opinion, should not be lightly tossed aside, but rather, hurled with great force.

    I have been led to start praying the Sarum Divine Office, and so far, I have found it far more congenial to my Eastern sensibilities. This is more a matter of intuition than of intellect, but it tastes different, and better, than the newer Vatican concoctions.

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    1. Mr. Brandt,

      I have been unable to find a Sarum breviary, only bits and pieces here and there. Can you suggest a source for a complete breviary?

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    2. Dear Prior Martin,

      The best example I have so far found is this:

      http://hmcwordpress.mcmaster.ca/renwick

      Others may perhaps be found. This is what I am currently using.

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    3. Mr. Brandt,

      Thank you for the link.

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  2. Have you seen this? http://www.medievalist.net/hourstxt/home.htm

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  3. No, I hadn't. Thank you. This is indeed a rich find.

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  4. It is a disappointment that thus far I have failed to find much interest in the Sarum rite in the Ordinariate of OLW to which I belong; one would have thought that it might have been seen as a natural "extraordinary form" for the Ordinariates.

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  5. I once found a humongous pdf file for the Sarum rite. If I find it again I'll post the link(s).

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    1. Please do! If you have any hint of how we can search for it, feel free to drop a line.

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    2. http://civitas-dei.eu/sarum_index.htm

      https://books.google.com/books?

      https://archive.org/details/theuseofsarum00unknuoft

      https://archive.org/details/theuseofsarum02unknuoft

      https://books.google.com/books?vid=0vxNxCTr3Nzpf-gw&id=8u8CAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA2-PA1&lpg=RA2-PA1&dq=use+of+sarum#v=onepage&q=use%20of%20sarum&f=false

      https://books.google.com/books?id=VMHtp2su3c8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

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  6. Thank you for keeping the conversation going. I'm not sure whether English and American Roman Catholics are aware that there were diocesan uses in France until the 1850's and later in some places. The last embers were snuffed out as late as the 1990's in Normandy. There was an article by Bishop Peter Eliott:

    http://www.theanglocatholic.com/2010/06/anglican-use-ordinariates-and-ecumenism/

    We should therefore avoid referring to an Anglican Rite Ordinariate and speak rather of a Personal Ordinariate within the Roman Rite with the liturgical privilege of an “Anglican Use”. This refers to distinctive liturgical privileges, a variation of the two forms of the Roman Rite. Such an “Anglican Use” will no doubt incorporate elements from the Pre-Reformation Sarum Use and the various editions of the Book of Common Prayer. But it is also envisaged that the very “ethos” of these communities will be their Anglican heritage of theology, culture, spirituality etc.

    Words lost in the mists of time.... The Ordinariate would have been the perfect opportunity, but its founders in England apart from Fr Hunwicke were all Novus Ordo.

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    1. It doesn't make sense to me - even from my vantage point (which is limited) it seems like Sarum solidified itself as the traditional or archetypal English rite. From what you've shared, it does seem like the opportunity to reclaim some pre-Reformation Catholicism was deliberately passed over.

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    2. It was imagined (on no clear evidence) that Rome would be receptive to two Ordinariate Mass rites, one for the UK, and the other for the rest of the world. A proposal was submitted to Rome (from the UK) for a rite that might be characterized as "mongrel" or "hybrid" (I intend no criticism by the use of these terms) that drew from the English 1662 BCP and various "colonial" BCPs (especially that of the Church in the Province of South Africa - although whether that of 1954 or that of 1989 I do not know) and from the Sarum Rite Mass - but it was declined as "not Anglican enough," and Rome made it clear that it was willing to authorize only one Mass rite for all "coetibus Anglicanorum" worldwide. In early 2014 Rome approved (as I have heard) such a rite (in four forms: "the Order of Holy Mass;" "Version 1: Prayer Book-inspired;" "Version 2: English Missal-inspired;" and "Version 3: Dialogue Mass." The publication date for the missal was first set for December 2014, then March 2015, but it still has not yet appeared (due, I was told, to problems with getting it published, not to bureaucratic opposition and foot-dragging).

      The best "reader-friendly" outline version currently available is that found in the pew booklet produced for the Church of Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, Texas.

      It was envisaged that there would be only one anaphora, or eucharistic prayer, the Roman Canon, but there was no little desire for a shorter EP for weekday use, and so EP II (Hippolytus, or pseudo-Hippolytus) from the 1969 Ordo Missae was chosen, retro-rendered into Tudor English. I was puzzled by this choice, since, whatever one makes of the three new 1969 EPs, EP 3 seems to me best to express Catholic doctrine of the Mass-sacrifice of these prayers (in EP 2 a lot of this is implicit, but not expressed). However, as a friend wrote: "Personally I am very fond of EP III and, apart from the wordiness of the post-Sanctus, of EP IV too. It is a marvellous centonization of Johannine texts and benign theology as Mazza’s analysis has shown. EP II does have a kind of Anglican pedigree because (a) it was incorporated tout sec in the Prayer Book of South Africa and therefore trumpeted as an Anglican text and (b) it bore enough resemblance to some of the C of E Prayers (2 and 3, which borrowed Romish phrasings as part of the Brindley-Beckwirth negotiations) to feel suitably popish. Moreover, it could be read without congregations realising that it wasn’t an Anglican EP they were hearing. Part of the ersatz history of Anglo-catholicism ... What we seem to have arrived at is a rite which is closer to EF than OF in aesthetic as well as language. In my view, as things have developed, it is very good to have within the Latin Rite family this particular rite, with its antique language, but how useful it will be at the coal-face we have yet to see. It does mean that, within the Church, we now have Cranmer’s translations of the mediaeval collects, some of which equivocate theologically but most do not. We also have the Propers as found more or less in the Anglican Use Gradual (USA) and English Gradual (England) where, ingeniously, a few simple and manageable tones are used in such a way that the collection is accessible and beautiful."

      A good critical assessment, by the late Anglo-Catholic liturgical scholar Geoffrey Grimshaw Willis (1914-1982) of the three new 1969 EPs (and of the alterations made to the Roman Canon in the 1969 Ordo Missae) can be found in the January 1971 issue of *The Heythrop Journal* (Vol. XII, No. 1, pp. 5-28), "The New Eucharistic Prayers: Some Comments," an article which is worth reading almost as much for its manner as its matter.

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  7. http://hmcwordpress.mcmaster.ca/renwick/
    William Renwick has don a lot of Sarum music, in Latin and English!

    rdr. James Morgan
    Olympia, WA

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  8. More links to Sarum Use:
    https://archive.org/details/breviaryofficesf00cath
    https://archive.org/details/cu31924092460033
    https://archive.org/details/cu31924092460041
    http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~renwick/sarum-chant-annex.htm

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