A new gradual in the Anglican tradition

A new Anglican-tradition gradual in prayerbook English for Catholic use has been published. “The Saint Peter Gradual: The Chants of the Mass for Sundays, Solemnities, and Feasts” has been made specifically for Anglican ordinariate use but is helpful also for celebrations according to the Roman rite (OF). Published by Newman House Press, it was prepared by the Canadian ordinariate Dean, Fr Carl Reid, and is an adaptation of The English Gradual of Francis Burgess.

img_5720Dean Reid’s gradual reproduces the essential psalm tones and chants of the Burgess in the same modern notation, and the texts of the propers are presented according to the arrangement as found in Divine Worship: The Missal.

This is only the second gradual ever developed specifically for the Anglican patrimonial liturgy in the Catholic Church, and New Liturgical Movement has already reported on its publication. The first such resource was The Anglican Use Gradual, arranged by C. David Burt and published originally in 2004. That volume remains in use today, but with the changes implicated in the switch from the Book of Divine Worship (2003) to Divine Worship: The Missal (2015), an updated and revised edition has been prepared and awaits publication.

A third new gradual for the Anglican Use is also rumoured to be in development by yet another editor. That third volume, and David Burt’s newly updated Anglican Use Gradual, would both be in traditional plainsong notation. One uses mostly Burgess-style psalm tones and the other the more melismatic Gregorian chants, both adapted to the DWM arrangement of the minor propers. All three of these new graduals will make it easier for ordinariate and other congregations to glorify God in accordance with the Anglican tradition.

These works, while arguably individually incomplete or imperfect, build upon the work of previous generations and make the Anglican patrimony yet more available for the purposes of Catholic worship. Unfortunately, the reticence of The Saint Peter Gradual’s introductory material to properly credit our “Anglican” patrimony will only encourage a growing sense of an inexplicable antagonism towards uttering the a-word, which is odd given how explicit Pope Benedict was. img_5725(This problem is awkwardly highlighted by the erroneous mention of “Divine Worship: The Roman Missal” in the table of contents.)

This gradual doesn’t identify its own Anglican tradition, but it clearly falls therein. Interestingly, “The English Gradual” on which it is based, being self-evidently Anglican, refers to itself as in relation to the “Western Rite” and as falling within the tradition of the “English Rite”, and its chants have been used in our Anglican Use congregations, both pastoral provision and ordinariate, for years.

In spite of the identical openings of the English Gradual’s Preface and the Saint Peter Gradual’s Editor’s Note, asserting that “These simple settings… are intended for the use of parish choirs…”, there are other statements that seem to touch on the frequently misunderstood post-conciliar call for “actuosa participatio”. At one point, it is suggested that “congregational access to the propers of the Mass” is one of “the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions” of the Anglican Communion that Pope Benedict called “a precious gift”. Later on, in the Bishop’s foreword, it is said that “What is… ‘patrimonial’ about this collection is not only that this Gradual preserves these chants for Catholic worship, but that it makes them available as the property of the people and not simply as a resource for the performance of expert choirs and cantors.”

Of course, most of us will see the simpler fact: What is most patrimonial about this is that these are the same chants many have long used as Anglicans! They are our old Anglican propers and chants re-published for us to continue using as Catholics. This is a continuation of our Anglican tradition for which we can but give thanks, but only if we can first recognize it as such.

Elsewhere, our Anglican patrimony is recognized obliquely as “the noble patrimony of English Christianity” that Anglicanorum Coetibus mandates us to treasure and share, or as “our Ordinariate patrimony”. Never, sadly, is “Anglican patrimony” explicitly identified or credited. This is, of course, a strange hang-up that Anglicanorum Coetibus itself does not suffer from, as the whole Apostolic Constitution is centred on recognizing, preserving, cherishing, and sharing the good, true, beautiful and Catholic essence of the Anglican tradition, and as it explicitly permits us to establish seminary programs for our future priests to form them in the ‘Anglican patrimony (cf. Art. VI §5). It never once mentions anything “English”.

Let us not shy away from speaking proudly of this very thing; let us give thanks precisely because this new Catholic volume is a significant preservation of our specifically Anglican patrimony.

Blessed John Duns Scotus (AD 1266 – 1308)


#10: Week of November 4 – 10:



T is commonly said there are three medieval theologians who stand above all the rest in contribution: St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, and this week’s Britannic feature, Blessed John Duns Scotus. Blessed John’s feast day is November 8th.

John was born to a wealthy farming family in the town of Duns just North of the Scottish border with England. He was reported to be a beautiful child both in appearance and behavior, and he received a solid moral education from his parents.

Blessed John Duns Scotus attended catechism classes at the Cistercian Melrose Abbey (also appearing in our article on St. Cuthbert) where he gained a deep devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary – for which the Cistercians are well-known – who would later be the subject of Scotus’ most significant theological contribution. Continue reading

First Anglican Use pew missal published

Today on All Saints’ Day, the imminent publication of the very first pew missal for the Anglican Use liturgy has been announced. To be published by Catholic Truth Society (CTS) in the UK, and entitled “The CTS Divine Worship Sunday Missal (People’s Edition)”, this latest version of the Divine Worship missal is meant to be used by laymen in the pews. Until now, no such missal meant specifically for lay use has been published in the almost four-decade history of the Anglican tradition in the Catholic Church.

rm30divineworshipsundaymissalThis pew edition will be distinct from “Divine Worship: The Missal” (in either its Altar or Study Editions) in that it will only contain the texts for Sundays and major Holy Days, omitting those for other weekdays. It will include the texts of the major propers from the RSV-2CE lectionary that otherwise are found in two separate volumes for use in the sanctuary. I suspect it will also omit the GIRM, which was included in the previous editions of the Divine Worship missal. You might even say this new book is for the prayers of us common folk in the pew. Might we consider it our new book of common prayer?

In fact, in each of these respects, this new lay missal hews more closely to the model of the Book of Common Prayer. But it is not only akin to the BCP in its inclusion of Sundays and feast days, collects and readings, and so much more of our Anglican patrimony. It’s very nature is meant to bear the Catholic substance of the BCP, as the various books of Divine Worship have been compiled to encapsulate the Anglican tradition principally found in the BCP, and also in the Anglican and English Missals, and even material from our ancient Sarum rite.

Let’s take today’s collect for the feast of All Hallows, known nowadays as All Saints’ Day. What follows is the Collect from the Book of Common Prayer (specifically the 1962 Canadian edition). In the Divine Worship missal, nothing of the BCP collect has been removed, and the few parts distinguished below (like ‘through their intercession’) are all that has been added for Anglican use in the Catholic Church:

“O Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that through their intercession we may come to those unspeakable joys, which thou hast prepared for them that unfeignedly love thee; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.”

As is immediately obvious, our Anglican tradition has not only been preserved in its essence and in its integrity, but it has been completed, made whole, and rendered not only even more Catholic but also fully authoritative. In a sense, our Anglican tradition has been perfected and made fully Catholic. While there is yet more to be done, the books of Divine Worship have been an incredible gift to Anglican Catholics.

In the Catholic Church and in the Anglican ordinariates, the Anglican tradition finds its fulfillment and its full Catholic expression. Anyone interested in more details about this new edition of our missal or how to acquire a copy, please see the CTS website.

As the Introit for today puts it, “Rejoice we all, and praise the Lord, celebrating a holy-day in honour of all the Saints: in whose solemnity the Angels are joyful, and glorify the Son of God. Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for it becometh well the just to be thankful. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”