Collects for Advent

Though the Anglican Breviary provides an elegant solution to the problem of the botched Prayer Book Collects for Advent, an even simpler solution is offered in the Missale Anglicanum (Knott Missal) and the Office of St. Benedict. Simply provide the traditional Collects. So here they are:

Advent 1: “STIR up thy might, we beseech thee, O Lord, and come; that we, who are ever threatened by the peril of our sins, may be counted worthy to be rescued by thy protection, and saved by thy deliverance, who with God the Father, in unity of the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.”

Advent 2:“STIR up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the ways of thy Only-begotten; that by his coming we may be worthy to serve thee with purified minds. Through the same … Ämen.”

Advent 3: “INCLINE thine ear to our prayers, O Lord, we beseech thee; and lighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of thy visition. Who with God … livest. Amen.”

Advent 4: “STIR up thy power, we beseech thee, O Lord, and come: and with great might succour us, that with the help of thy grace that which is hindered by our sins may be hastened by thy merciful forgiveness. Who with God … livest. Amen.”

Thomas Cranmer’s ability to write liturgical English is certainly a tough act to follow, but in the Collects for Advent – in particular – he erred grievously in not simply translating the old Collects and preserving them. The collects Cranmer wrote and adopted are, when compared to the old ones, vastly inferior.

Fr. Gregory Wassen

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Advent I – 2016

During the Season of Advent the Suffrage of the Saints is not said, not even on feasts. The Reformed Breviary of Trent 1568 assigned the Office of the Dead to the Mondays in Advent and Lent. On all Mondays, not occupied by a double feast, this Ordo assigns the Office of the Dead in addition to the Daily Office. The ferias in Advent are kneeling days. In creating Ordo’s this year I am taking on board features of the work done by John R. and his Current Tridentine Ordo project and the local feasts contained in the S- section of the Anglican Breviary. This will hopefully result in a sensible balance between Temporal and Sanctoral cycles and also in a Sanctoral Cycle reflecting Anglican Catholicism. This means that the Rubrics as they are found in the Anglican Breviary are sometimes interpreted to conform to the proposed sanctorale.


November, 27.

First Sunday of Advent, Sd., Violet. Privileged Sunday of the First Class. At Mattins: proper antiph
ons w/ the Sunday psalms and seasonal versicles for all three nocturnes, no Te Deum. At Lauds: antiphons proper w/ Psalms of Lauds 1, no Suffr. At Prime: first antiphon from Lauds,  Dominical Preces. At the Hours: antiphons from Lauds, Chapters from proper. At Mass: Requiem. II Vespers: of Advent 1 followed by the Vespers of the Dead. Compline: advent-plaatjePreces are said.

Feria Secunda

November, 28.

Monday – Advent Feria, S. Violet. At Mattins: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter, occurrent Scripture. no Te Deum. At Lauds: antiphons & psalms of Lauds 2. Ferial Preces. Matins & Lauds of the Dead are saidAt Prime and the Hours: Ferial Preces. At Mass: (after None, of the previous Sunday), no Gloria, 2nd. oration of Our Lady (for Advent), 3rd oration Against the
Enemies of the Church. Alleluia and verse are omitted, no Credo, Common Preface. Vespers: of the Feria, Ferial Preces. At Compline: Preces are said.

Vigil of St. Andrew

November 29.

Tuesday – Vigil of S. Andrew, S. Violet. Comm. S. Saturninus. At Mattins: no Te Deum. At Lauds: Pss of Lauds 2, Ferial Preces, Comm. S. Saturninus. At Prime and the Hours: Ferial Preces. At Mass: (after None), no Gloria, Comm. S. Saturninus, 3rd. orations of Our Lady/All Saints, no Credo, Common Preface. At Vespers: of the feast. Proper antiphons (from  Lauds). Compline: of Sunday, no Preces.


November 30.

Wednesday – S. Andrew, Ap., D. 2nd Class, Red, Comm. of the Feria. Office from the Common 2 of Apostles and the Proper. At Mattins: Te Deum. At Lauds, Pss. of scheme 1 Comm. of the Feria. At Prime: no Preces. At Mass: (after Terce), Gloria, Comm. of the Feria, Credo, Preface of the Apostles. II Vespers: of the feast, Comm. of the Feria. At Compline: no Preces.

Feria Quinta

December, 1.

Thursday – Advent Feria, S. Violet. At Mattins: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter, occurrent Scripture. no Te Deum. At Lauds: antiphons & psalms of Lauds 2. Ferial Preces.
At Prime and the Hours: Ferial Preces. At Mass: (after None, of the previous Sunday), no Gloria, 2nd. oration of Our Lady (for Advent), 3rd oration Against the Enemies of the Church. Alleluia and verse are omitted, no Credo, Common Preface. Vespers: of the Feria, Ferial Preces, Commem. of St. Bibiana (Table 12a). At Compline: Preces are said.

Feria Sexta,

December, 2.

Friday – Advent Feria, S. Violet. At Mattins: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter, occurrent Scripture, lesson 3 of St. Bibiana. no Te Deum. At Lauds: antiphons & psalms of Lauds 2. Ferial Preces, Comm. of St. Bibiana (Table 12b). At Prime and the Hours: Ferial Pr
eces. At Mass: (after None, of the previous Sunday), no Gloria, 2nd. oration oadvent-2f St. Bibiana, 3rd oration of Our Lady (for Advent). Alleluia and verse are omitted, no Credo, Common Preface. Vespers: of the Feria, Ferial Preces, Commem of St. Francis Xavier (table 9a, see Proposed Sanctorale). At Compline: Preces are said.


December, 3.

Saturday – Advent Feria, S. Violet. At Mattins: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter, occu
rrent Scripture, lesson 3 of St. Francis Xavier (table 9a) & St. Birinus (S82) as one lesson. no Te Deum. At Lauds: antiphons & psalms of Lauds 2. Ferial Preces, Comm. of St. Francis Xavier (table 9b) and St. Birinus (table 7a, Collect 1 from Common 7). At Prime and the Hours: Ferial Preces. At Mass: (after None, of the previous Sunday), no Gloria, 2nd. oration of St. Francis Xavier, 3rd oration St. Birinus. Alleluia and verse are omitted, no Credo, Common Preface. I Vespers: of Advent II, antiphons from Lauds below, Ferial Preces, Comm. of St. Osmund (table 7a), St. Clement of Alexandria (table 8a, Collect from common 8). At Compline: Preces are said.


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Ordo 20 to 26 November 2016


November, 20.

Sunday. Green. Sd.  Matins: Inv. Hymn from Ordinary & Psalter. Pss. Ants. V. from Psalter. Less. i-iii occurrent Scripture, iv-vi Fifth Sunday in Nov., vii-ix Sunday next bfr Advent. Te Deum. Lauds: all as in Ordinary & Psalter w/commem. of St. Felix (Table 9, Collect from Proper). No Preces, no Suffrage. Prime: no Preces. Mass: Dicit Dominus Jer. 29., Gloria, second Collect of St. Felix, third Collect of the Saints. Vespers (green) Sunday next bfr Advent, w/commem. of The Presentation of the BVM (Ant. V./R. Collect from Proper). No Suffrage, no Preces. Compline: of Sunday, no Preces.

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

November, 21.

Feria II (Monday). White. Gd. Matins: Inv. Hymn. Pss. Ants. V. from Common I of BVM. Less. i-iii from Common I of BVM, iv-vi from Proper, vii-ix from Common I of BVM. Te Deum. Lauds: all as for the Feast using Common I of BVM for what is lacking in Proper. No Preces, no Suffrage. Prime: no Preces, Brief Respond: “Thou that deignest.” Mass: Salve, sancta parens (Mass V of Masses of St. Mary on Saturday) Gloria, Proper Collect. Vespers: from Common I of BVM 2nd Vespers (white) w/commem. of St. Cecilia (Ant. V./R. Collect from Proper). Compline: of Monday, no Preces.

St. Cecilia, V.M.

November, 22.

Feria III (Tuesday). Red. D. Matins: Inv. Hymn. Pss. from Common 12. Ants. from Proper. Less. i-iii Common 12, Resp. from Proper, iv-vi from Proper, vii-ix Common 12, Resp. from Proper. Te Deum. Lauds: all as for the feast. Pss of Sunday. Ants. V./R. Ant. Ben. Collect from Proper. Chapter. Hymn from Common 12. Prime: Pss. Ants. are ferial. at Hours Chapters & Resp. from Common 12. Mass: Loquebar, Gloria, Proper Collect. Vespers: Pss. from Common I of BVM. Ants. from Lauds above. from Chapter of St. Clement, V./R. Ant on Magn. from Proper, w/commem. of St. Cecilia (as on p. E555), followed by a commem. of St. Felicity (Table 13a. Proper Collect). Compline: of Tuesday, no Preces.

St. Clement, P.M.

November, 23.

Feria IV (Wednesday). Red. D. Matins: Inv. Hymn. from Common 5. Pss. Ants. ferial. Less. i-iii occurrent Scripture, iv-vi from Proper, vii-viii Common 7 series 3, ix of St. Felicity. Te Deum. Lauds: Pss of Sunday. Ants. from Proper. Chapter & Hymn from Common 5. V./R. Ant. Ben. Collect from Proper w/commem. of St. Felicity (Table 13b). Prime: Pss. Ants. ferial. No Preces. Mass: Dicit Dominus Ex. Is. 59 & 57. Gloria, Proper Collect. Vespers: Pss. of Vespers 2. Ants. from Lauds above. from Chapter onward of St. John of the Cross, Chap. Hymn. V./R. from 8 w/commem. of St. Clement (as on p. E558), followed by commem. of St. Chrysogonus (Table 5a, Collect from Proper). Compline: of Wednesday. No Preces.

To be completed …

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Dedication of the Basilicas of SS. Peter and Paul

Three Basilicas

A few days ago, the 9th of November to be precise, we celebrated the dedication of the foremost Basilica in Western Christendom: the Lateran Basilica or the Basilica of St. Saviour. Dom Gueranger reminds us of St. Peter Damian’s words: “as our Saviour is the Head of the elect, so the church which bears his name is the head of all churches; those of St. Peter and St. Paul, on its right and left, are the two arms with which this sovereign and universal church embraces the whole earth, saving all those who desire salvation (Liturgical Year, Vol. 15, p. 256). From the Basilica of St. Saviour we (liturgically) move to the Basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul. Our faith is founded in Jesus Christ, represented in the Basilica dedicated in His Name, and is traditioned to us via His Apostles represented in the Basilicas dedicated to them in their names. First St. Peter, as a foundation stone in the North, second St. Paul as an architect of the temple in the South. In between these two Basilicas we find the Basilica of the Saviour. A happy reminder, perhaps, that the Saviour is to be found dwelling in the midst of His Apostles. That the truth of Christian Faith resides there also: in the apostolic teaching and ministry. Several “saviours” have appeared – as we learn from the Book of Acts and history – but the Saviour is to be found not in sects and cults but precisely in the Apostolic Church.

I saw the New Jerusalem

The Dedication of a Church has a full Office and Mass in the Anglican Breviary and the Anglican Missal. These warrant close attention. The Offices of Vespers and Lauds read a short passage from the concluding portions of the  Apocalypse of St. John:

“I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Rev. 21, 2.

The liturgy applies this verse to the Church, more specifically, to the Church building. Christianity is not a faith exclusively dominated by the abstract. The Church is not merely a group of people gathered in Christ, it of necessity includes the physical place of meeting: the Temple (which is precisely the Jerusalem Temple). Laurence Paul Hemming (see “Worship as a Revelation,” 2008) reminds us that the emphasis is on “seeing” here. By means of the Church building we are to be made able to see. But see what? Hemming explains that we are to see “the place where we meet Jesus Christ” the Church building represents a “coming together”of heaven and earth. That is what it is prepared for, to receive the Saviour, the Lord, the divine-human Husband. The Church is also the place where the Priest prays. This Priest is first and foremost Jesus Christ Himself, whose prayer includes His sacrifice of Himself for our salvation. The “prayer” prayed in the Church includes, is centered in, the Sacrifice of the Mass. When our Lord forcefully asserts that: “My house shall be called the house of prayer (Matthew 21, 13)” He certainly includes the sacrificial offering of Himself. This is why at the point of Communion precisely this verse is sung to accompany Holy Communion. Any Christian Priest today acts in persona Christi, and offers the prayer and sacrifice Jesus Himself made. What we see is therefore a great, holy, and redemptive mystery.

The Anglican Episcopate

As we saw previously, the feast of the Bestowal of the American Episcopate, is situated in between the feasts of the Dedication of St. Saviour, thereby positioning itself as part of Christ’s Body, and the feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul, thereby asserting its apostolicity. As I also tried to point previously, the Anglican liturgy also asserts and acknowledges its connection to and dependence on the Roman, Mother Church. The Basilica of St. Saviour remains the first Basilica in Christendom as its inscription says:

The Mother and Head of all the Temples of the City and the world: for this is the Cathedral of Rome, wherein is permanently fixed the Pope’s Cathedra.

~Anglican Breviary, Lesson vi, for the Feast of the Dedication of the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour, p. E534.

Even our Church’s history shows its dependence on and connection to Rome. We know that Christianity in an organized form existed in England since at least Origen’s days. Yet by the time St. Gregory the Great – the Pope – English Christianity had lost much territory, was severly weakened, and lacking missionary zeal in most places. Pope St. Gregory, a Roman monk, sent a Roman Monk, St. Augustine of Canterbury, on a mission to re-build the Church and to evangelize. His mission was hugely succesful and the English Christian Church was restored. Similarly, by the time the Oxford and Ritualist Movements arose the English Church had fallen into the deep darkness of Protestant error. By divine providence it managed to retain its Holy Orders, and yet again by divine providence, the spark of catholicity became a full flame in Anglican Catholicism. This was not a simple resuming of pre-Reformation faith and practice but again a deliberate turn to Roman faith and practice (see the preface of Ritual Notes). Catholicism is not archeology, though it is historical, it is a faith and practice living in tradition.

St. Peter and St. Paul

The Lord Jesus has said that upon Peter – not his confession – would His Church be built. And indeed the Episcopate, the life-blood of the sacraments in the Church, is precisely Petrine. It is in the Office of St. Peter (the stone of which the Cathedral is erected) that the Apostles share, and the Episcopate (first among whom is the Bishop of Rome) is, likewise, Petrine. Christian teaching – the design of the Cathedral) – is mostly done via the New Testament, the bulk of which was written by St. Paul. In the feasts of the basilicas of St. Saviour (now named St. John Lateran), St. Peter, and St. Paul the entire Christian Faith is indicated. We have, liturgically, undertaken a pelgrimage to St. Saviour (in Rome), and from there are today making pelgrimage to St. Peter and Paul (also in Rome). It should therefore not come as a surprise, or a shock, to Anglican Catholics that they are not different Catholics compared to their Roman brethren. Just like Sarum was an expression of Roman Rite, just like our Anglican Breviary and Anglican Missal depend on post-Tridentine Roman Rite, so our Anglican Catholic Faith is Roman Catholicism in an English dress. Whatever our differences and problems with today’s Church in Rome may be, we must remember that we are brothers and sisters. Not cousins, or more distant relations. On the Altars in our Churches we pray the same prayer all Priests (first and foremost the High Priest Jesus Christ) pray for the people. Wherever our fall from unity may be situated … It does not strike as deep as the Altar. The cement that binds us together still is Jesus Christ in the midst of His Apostles.

Fr. Gregory Wassen

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The Bestowal of the American Episcopate

Common 17 and 7

On Monday the 14th of November the Anglican Breviary celebrates the Bestowal of the American Episcopate (see appendix S73-77). The propers for the feast are contained in the appendix to the Breviary. They are an interesting subject for reflection.

The propers for the Feast are mostly taken from Common 17 “Of the dedication of a Church” while the Scripture readings of the first Nocturn are taken from Common 7 “Of a Bishop Confessor.” The proper Legend tells the story of how an American Priest was refused Episcopal Ordination by English Bishops and eventually resorted to Ordination from non-Juror Bishops. Thus it was that America received the historic Episcopate. This story is contextualized by Common 17 and Common 7. The Episcopate of Common 7 (and of the Proper Legend) are to be situated in the Church Catholic of Common 17. These two commons are also found in the Roman tradition both secular and monastic. The Anglican Breviary unapologetically situates the Anglican Episcopate in the Church Catholic. Even more specifically, the Anglican Breviary makes the Anglican Episcopate dependent on that of Rome by placing this feast within an Octave’s distance of the celebration of three major Roman Basilicas! This squares well with the debt owed by the Church of England to the missionary and restorative efforts of St. Augustine of Canterbury who was sent by Pope St. Gregory the Great. The events of 1066 did not change this English dependence on Rome.

Like the Anglican Breviary situates the Anglican Church in a Roman dependence and context, the same is true of the Anglican Missal. The observant worshipper will have noticed that many times a particular Mass mentions a “station” at … These stations are in fact Churches in Rome. For example: throughout the season of Lent we find that Masses nhave these stations and if we would look them up on a map we realize that these stations take us on a “liturgical tour” of Rome. The station Masses were celebrated by the Pope in these station Churches. The stations emphasize what we find in the Breviary: Catholic Anglicanism is a sub-species of Roman Catholicism. There are not two catholicisms.

At this stage it must be admitted by Anglicans that the origins of the Book of Common Prayer are heretical. We must acknowledge and reconcile with the fact that English Reformation happened and that it was Protestant. The preservation of Catholicism in the English Church was an historical accident not foreseen by the Reformers, but orchestrated by God. Heresy does not necessarily invalidate a sacrament. The Book of Common Prayer does not – as such – teach or contain any heresies (the 39 Articles are appended to it but do not strictly belong to it). The deficiencies of the Book of Common Prayer are in what it ommits rather than in what it contains. This seems to be very close to the conclusion of the Russian Synod which examined the American Prayer Book of 1892 and concluded that some things must be removed from the Book of Common Prayer: particularly doctrinal statements which are clearly Protestant or easily interpreted as such. Secondly the Book of Common Prayer lacks elements which ought not to be lacking and must therefore be restored to it. The preface, written by Walter Howard Frere, states:

“Complaint is made of some important omissions; and we must, at least in some cases, plead guilty. Complaint is made of lack of definiteness: in some cases we should do well to admit the defect, and, for our own sake, amend it; in other cases we may believe that our formularies are not so ambiguous or compromising as they are here made out to be. But, even so, it is clear that they are not definite enough to satisfy or reassure our friends, although they may satisfy us ourselves. In that respect, then, the demand for more explicitness is, from a practical point of view, justified; and, as practical people, we must satisfy it, if we are to advance with the Russian Church in mutual confidence and recognition.”

~ Russian Observations upon the American Prayer Book.

The Anglican Breviary and Missal are precisely the sort of amending that is needed. There is no ambiguity, nor any lack of any kind in them. They have retained all that can be retained from the Book of Common Prayer and they ought to be (but, to my knowledge, they are not) the standard for doctrine and worship to any body of Catholic Anglicans.

The Invalidity of Anglican Orders

Much has been written about Anglican Orders and their validity or invalidity. Since 1896 Anglican Orders have been rejected by Rome as “null and void.” This was done in the Papal Bull Apostolicae curae. I will walk through this Bull quickly:

History: Apostolicae curae presumes a history of consistent rejection of Roman Bishops, including the Pope of Anglican Orders bestowed by means of the Edwardine Ordinal, as invalid. This is effectively countered by the rejoinder Saepius officio where the Anglican Bishops show that Apostilicae curae’s history is inaccurate at best.

Theology of Validity: Apostolicae curae makes several theological statements for the validity of the Sacrement of Holy Orders. They are:

  1. “… the Sacraments of the New Law, as sensible and efficient signs of invisible grace, ought both to signify the grace which they effect, and effect the grace which they signify.”
  2. “…the signification ought to be found in the whole essential rite, that is to say, in the “matter and form”, it still pertains chiefly to the “form”; since the “matter” is the part which is not determined by itself, but which is determined by the “form”.”
  3. “The Church does not judge about the mind and intention, in so far as it is something by its nature internal; but in so far as it is manifested externally she is bound to judge concerning it. A person who has correctly and seriously used the requisite matter and form to effect and confer a sacrament is presumed for that very reason to have intended to do (intendisse) what the Church does. On this principle rests the doctrine that a Sacrament is truly conferred by the ministry of one who is a heretic or unbaptized, provided the Catholic rite be employed.”
  4. “On the other hand, if the rite be changed, with the manifest intention of introducing another rite not approved by the Church and of rejecting what the Church does, and what, by the institution of Christ, belongs to the nature of the Sacrament, then it is clear that not only is the necessary intention wanting to the Sacrament, but that the intention is adverse to and destructive of the Sacrament.”

It is Pope Leo’s view that the Ordinal of Edward VI fails in “form” and “intention” thus rendering any ordinations performed with it “null and void.” The intention is lacking in the Edwardine Ordinal because the 4th statement above is met:

Being fully cognisant of the necessary connection between faith and worship, between “the law of believing and the law of praying”, under a pretext of returning to the primitive form, they corrupted the Liturgical Order in many ways to suit the errors of the reformers. For this reason, in the whole Ordinal not only is there no clear mention of the sacrifice, of consecration, of the priesthood (sacerdotium), and of the power of consecrating and offering sacrifice but, as We have just stated, every trace of these things which had been in such prayers of the Catholic rite as they had not entirely rejected, was deliberately removed and struck out.”

In other words: the removal of the sacerdotium is doctrinally motivated and as such the “ommission” is understood as an intention to not do what the Church does. Ommission and not the absence of the sacerdotium. The difference is significant. Pope Leo is not saying the absence of sacrifice, consecration, and priesthood is what renders Anglican Orders invalid. Rather it is the removal – a deliberate and cotrinally motivated act – which renders Anglican Orders invalid due to a failure of intention. The mere mentioning of similar, ancient, precedent for absence (such as Saepio and other Anglican defences have done) is therefore not an answer to the Pope’s point.

Many years later another Pope adds to the difficulties of the Edwardine Ordinal by the publication of Sacramentum Ordinis in 1947. Between 1896 and 1947 Roman sacramental theology has been undergoing some finetuning. Pope Pius XII decides that for Holy Orders to be validly bestowed the following conditions must be met:

  1. for the Priesthood: “… the matter is the first imposition off hands of the Bishop which is done in silence, but not the continuation of the same imposition through the extension of the right hand, nor the last imposition to which are attached the words: “Accipe Spiritum Sanctum: quorum remiseris peccata, etc.” And the form consists of the words of the “Preface,” of which the following are essential and therefore required for validity:”Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Pater, in hunc famulum tuum Presbyterii dignitatem; innova in visceribus eius spiritum sanctitatis, ut acceptum a Te, Deus, secundi meriti munus obtineat censuramque morum exemplo suae conversationis insinuet.”[“Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty Father, invest this Thy servant with the dignity of the Priesthood; do Thou renew in his heart the spirit of holiness, so that he may persevere in this office, which is next to ours in dignity, since he has received it from Thee, O God. May the example of his life lead others to moral uprightness.”]
  2. for the Episcopate:in the Episcopal Ordination or Consecration, the matter is the imposition of hands which is done by the Bishop consecrator. The form consists of the words of the “Preface,” of which the following are essential and therefore required for validity:”Comple in Sacerdote tuo ministerii tui summam, et ornamentis totius glorificationis instructum coelestis unguenti rore santifica.”[“Perfect in Thy priest the fullness of thy ministry and, clothing him in all the ornaments of spiritual glorification, sanctify him with the Heavenly anointing.”]
  3. Wherefore, after invoking the divine light, We of Our Apostolic Authority and from certain knowledge declare, and as far as may be necessary decree and provide: that the matter, and the only matter, of the Sacred Orders of the Diaconate, the Priesthood, and the Episcopacy is the imposition of hands; and that the form, and the only form, is the words which determine the application of this matter, which univocally signify the sacramental effects – namely the power of Order and the grace of the Holy Spirit – and which are accepted and used by the Church in that sense. It follows as a consequence that We should declare, and in order to remove all controversy and to preclude doubts of conscience,

It does not take much effort to see that the Edwardine Ordinal seems to fail on all three points. Pope Pius does acknowledge that points 1 and 2 may not be present in Eastern Orthodox Odinals either but that in these Ordinals at least the form univocally signifies the effect and therefore enjoys validity. The Anglican Ordinal does not:

  • for Bishops: TAKE the holy gost, and remember that thou stirre up the grace of god, whiche is in thee, by imposicion of handes: for god hath not geven us the spirite of feare, but of power, and love, and of sobernesse.
  • for Priests:RECEIVE the holy goste, whose synnes thou doest forgeve, they are forgeven: and whose sinnes thou doest retaine, thei are retained: and be thou a faithful despensor of the word of god, and of his holy Sacramentes. In the name of the father, and of the sonne, and of the holy gost. Amen.

From the above forms for making a Bishop and a Priest it would seem evident that the sacramental effect is not univocally signified in either form. By Sacramentum Ordinis the conclusion of the invalidity of Anglican Orders seems inevitable.

The Validity of Anglican Orders

With the double condemnation of Anglican Orders via Apostolicae curae and Sacramentum ordinis how can we be confident that Anglican Orders are actually valid after all? We do not have to look much further than the year 1932. For from that year on several ordinations were peformed with Old Catholic co-consecrators. This means that validly ordained Bishops began to restore validity to Anglican Orders via co-consecration. This time with an updated Edwardine Ordinal too! For in 1662 a new Ordinal came into use where the sacramental effect is univocally signified in the form:

1. for a Priest: RECEIVE the Holy Ghost for the Office and Work of a Priest in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the Imposition of our hands. Whose sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained. And be thou a faithful Dispenser of the Word of God, and of his holy Sacraments; In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen

2. for a Bishop: RECEIVE the Holy Ghost for the Office and Work of a Bishop in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the Imposition of our hands; In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. And remember that thou stir up the grace of God, which is given thee by this Imposition of our hands; for God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and soberness.

Which together with the Preface to the Ordinal clearly intends to do what the Church does and is therefore easily seen to be valid. The Preface to the Edwardine Ordinal had always stated that the intention for the services of ordaining Deacons, Priests, and Bishops was to continue these three orders as they had been instituted by the Apostles. Not to replace them by something else. In other words there is a valid form and a valid intention combined with validly ordained (Old Catholic) Bishops infusing their validity into the Anglican Church:

“… bishops of each church started in 1932 to act as co-consecrators in episcopal consecrations of the other. Both churches intended that, by taking part as co-consecrators, the Old Catholic Church should through its bishops pass the orders of its church to the new Anglican bishop. To put matters beyond uninformed criticism, in each case the Old Catholic bishop as well as the presiding archbishop actually spoke the words of consecration. On every occasion protocols were executed by the Old Catholic consecrator, emphasising that both churches were independently in possession of the apostolic succession, and that he intended to pass to the ordinand those orders which he had received from the apostles, and as they had always been known and understood in the Catholic Church since their days. In similar manner Anglican bishops have taken part in Old Catholic episcopal consecrations. Up to now 20 Anglican bishops have been directly consecrated by bishops of the Old Catholic Church. All these bishops have themselves subsequently consecrated many bishops, and those bishops others. And because it is the practice of the Church of England that many bishops act as consecrators (15 or 20 being quite usual), the Old Catholic succession spread very rapidly. By 1962 every bishop of the entire Church of England except the diocesans of Liverpool and Birmingham and the suffragan bishop of Dover was in the Old Catholic succession. By 1969 the process was complete. But because the Church of England never felt it needed Old Catholic participation for the validity of its orders, no succession tables were kept; and the present writer spent long hours tracing the participants in every consecration in the Church of England since 1932 to arrive at the results given above.

~ Timothy Dufort, The Tablet, May 29th, 1982.

So even if Anglican Orders did go extinct between 1550 and 1662 they have been restored entirely since 1969. Ironically the Roman Catholic Church began to lose its valid Orders in 1968 with the implementation of the New Ordinal. We have seen above what the criteria are for a valid ordination according to Apostolicae curae  and Sacramentum ordinis. The New (Roman) Ordinal fails to meet the criteria of Sacramentum ordinis and fails to met the criteria of Apostolicae curae as well. The new form of 1968 for Bishops:

Et nunc effunde super hunc electum eam virtutem, quae a te est, Spiritum principalem, quem dedisti dilecto Filio tuo Jesu Christo, quem Ipse donavit sanctis apostolis, qui constituerunt ecclesiam per singula loca ut sanctuartium tuum, in gloriam et laudem indeficientem nominis tut.

[So now pour out upon this chosen one that power which is from you, the governing Spirit whom you gave to your beloved Son Jesus Christ, the Spirit given by him to the holy apostles, who founded the Church in every place to be your temple for the unceasing glory and praise of your name.]

The “perfecting of the Priesthood” is deliberately ommitted from the form because the composers of the New Ordinal had come to reject the Medieval view of the Episcopate and updated the form to ordain Bishops accordingly. The form also fails to univocally signifiy the sacramental effect and runs afoul of both Apostolicae curae and Sacramentum ordinis. So that even though the new form for the bestowal of the Priesthood may be valid any Bishop ordained by means of the new form is not in fact a Bishop and someone who is not in fact a Bishop cannot make priests. The Roman Catholic Church is rapidly losing its Holy Orders! But perhaps a kind Anglican Bishop could be found to restore validity to our Mother Church? At least two prominent Bishops of my own Anglican Catholic Church, Bishops Haverland and Mead could be approached to perform an operation of sacramental rescue?

Might there be another way to look at i? Perhaps the New Roman Ordinal can be said to be valid after all … Perhaps by that same logic Anglican Orders have been valid all along as well?


Fr. Gregory Wassen


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Ordo 13 to 19 November 2016


Sunday November 13. 

Matins of ix Lessons: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter except: lessons i- vi Fourth Sunday of November (Hosea & Augustine); but lessons vii-ix from Epiphany VI. Te Deum.

Lauds: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter except: Antiphon on Benedictus & Collect from Epiphany VI followed by a commemoration of St. Didacus Table 9b & p. E541, followed by Sufrage of the Saints. No Preces. At Prime Dominical Prces are said.

Vespers: all as for the Feast of the Bestowal of the American Episcopate p. S73-74 using Common 17 for what is not provided as proper. After the Collect of the Feast a commemoration of Epiphany VI (Ant. Magn. p. C173, V/R p. B31, Collect p. C173), followed by a commemoration of St. Josaphat (Table 5a), followed by a commemoration of St. Didacus (Table 9c).


Monday, November 14th. 

Matins of ix Lessons: all as for the Feast (S73-77) except: what is not given as proper is taken from Common 17 (except: lessons i-ii from Common 7 & responses as in the Proper), lesson ix the Legend of St. Josaphat. Te Deum.

Lauds: all as for the Feast except: what us not given as proper is taken from Common 17. After the Collect for the Day the Commemoration of St. Josaphat (Table 5b). No Suffrage, no Preces.

Vespers: all as for the 2nd Vespers of the Feast except: what is not given as proper is taken from Common 17. The Collect of the day is followed by a commemoration of St. Albert the Great (Table 8a), followed by a commemoration of St. Josaphat (Table 5c).

St. Albert the Great

Tuesday, November 15.

Matins of iii lessons: Rule 1.All as in the Ordinary & Psalter except: lessons i-ii from Proper of the Season (Joel), lesson iii Legend of St. Albert. Te Deum.

Lauds: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter except: from Chapter of the Feast of St. Albert using Common 8. No Suffrage, No Preces.

Vespers: all as in the Psalter & Ordinary except: from chapter of the Feast of St. Gertrude using Common 12 for what is not given as proper, followed by a commemoration of St. Albert (Table 8c). No Suffrage, no Preces.

St. Gertrude

Wednesday, November 16.

Matins of iii Lessons: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter except: Inv. & Hymn from Common 12. According to Rule 1 so that the Occurrent Scripture is read in Lesson i-ii from Joel, and Lesson iii is the Legend of St. Gertrude. Te Deum.

Lauds: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter except: what is not provided in the Proper of the Saints is taken from Common 12 from the Chapter onward. No Suffrage, no Preces.

Vespers: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter except: from the Chapter of St. Gregory the Wonderworker (p. E546 ! ) using Common 9 for what is not provided in the Proper of the Saints. Commemoration of St. Gertrude Table 12c.

St. Gregory the Wonderworker

Thursday, November 17.

Matins of iii lessons: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter except: Inv. & Hymn from Common 9. Lessons according to Rule 1 so that lesson iii is the Legend of St. Gregory the Wonderworker. Lesson i is from Amos, Lesson ii is from Obadaiah (anticipated from Friday). Te Deum. The responses for the anticipated Scriptures are not themselves anticipated.

Lauds: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter except: what is not given as proper is taken from Common 9 from the Chapter onward. No Suffrage, no Preces.

Vespers: all as for the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul except: what is not given as proper is taken from Common 17. Commemoration of St. Gregory the Wonderworker (Table 9c).

The Dedication of the Basilicas of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul

Friday, November 18.

Matins of ix lessons: all as for the Feast of the Dedication except: what is not ptovided as proper is taken from Common 17. Te Deum.

Lauds: all as for the Feast except: what is not provided as proper is taken from Common 17. No Suffrage, no Prces.

Vespers: all as for the Feast except: what is not provided as proper for 2nd Vespers is taken from the 2nd Vespers of Common 17. Commemoration of St. Elisabeth (Table 14a), followed by a commemoration of St Pontianus (Table 5a). No Suffrage, no Preces.

St. Elisabeth

Saturday, November 19

Matins of iii lessons: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter except: Inv. & Hymn from Common 14. According to Rule 1 lessons i-ii from Scripture (Jonah), so that the Legend is read as lessons iii (the commemoration of St. Pontianus is added to lesson iii). Te Deum.

Lauds: all as in the Ordinary & Palter except: from Chapter of the Feat using Common 14 to supply what is lacking in the Proper. Commemoration of St. Pontianus (Table 5b). No Suffrage, no Preces.

Vespers: all as in the Ordinary & Psalter except: V/R on the hymn and the Antiphon on Magnificat from p. C668. Collect from Sunday next before Advent. Commemoration of St. Feliz of Valois (Table 10a) followed by a commemoration of St. Elisabeth (Table 14c). No Suffrage, no Preces.

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Abstinence, moderation, fasting.

In today’s II Nocturn lessons St. Athanasius provides a rationale for fasting. He uses the story of the three youths and Daniel and their dietary customs. The latter customs are in conflict with the dietary customs mandated by the King of Babylon and the “prince of the eunuchs” is concerned that he might get into trouble if Daniel and the three youths would not be as physically fit as the others. After all, the king ordered a specific diet to achieve a specific bodily condition. Daniel challenges the prince of the eunuchs to allow him and the three youths 10 days. During these 10 days, they will follow their own dietary customs and will submit themselves to a physical examination upon completion. This said and done, it turns out that Daniel and the three youths are far better looking and far healthier than any of the others. The servants of God for the win!

Nocturn I has related the story I summarized above to the brave pray-er of the Breviary and in Nocturn II Athanasius begins his exegesis. He first points out that:

“If any should come and say unto thee, Fast not so often, lest thou injure thine health, believe them not, neither listen to them. They but lend their voices to the great enemy in suggesting such a thing unto thee. “

~ Anglican Breviary, II Nocturn, III Third Sunday in November, lesson i.

This bears a striking resemblance to Evagrius’ first of the Eight Thoughts (logismoi). For the tempting thoughts suggested by the “great enemy” is not so much to over-eat as it is to discourage ascetic affort as such! In the Praktikos Evagrius defines the tempting thought of Gluttony as:

“THE [tempting]-thought of gluttony suggests to the monk the quick abandonment of his asceticism.  The stomach, liver, spleen, and [resultant] congestive heart failure are depicted, along with long sickness, lack of necessities, and unavailability of physicians.  It often leads him to recall those of the brethren who have suffered these things. Sometimes it even deceives those who have suffered from this kind of thing to go and visit [others] who are practicing self-control, to tell them all about their misfortunes and how this resulted from their asceticism.”

~ Evagrius of Pontus, Praktikos 7 (Fr. Luke Dysinger’s translation).

Where Fr. Dysinger uses “abandonment” in Fr. Gabriel Bunge’s German translation we read “Zusammenbruch” (collapse). Gluttony aims to undermine not simply a healthy eating pattern, rather, it aims to destroy the very basis of Christian living. Abstinence or perhaps better yet “moderation” is a foundational virtue to learn because it is the basis of the stairway that leads to heaven. It remains for ever true that we are not “saved by our works” but it remains equally true that we cannot be saved without them. God’s grace and our response to it are both necessary. This teaching is satisfactorily explained in St. John Cassian’s Thirteenth Conference which we will not get into any further here. The same St. John Cassian speaks to us about “abstinence” and he asserts powerfully that absolutely no-one need be deprived of this virtue. Abstinence does not consist in extreme features of starvation which damage the body (as some ascetics were prone to do) but rather in moderation of the food we eat and the drinks we consume:

“AND so it is a very true and most excellent saying of the Fathers that the right method of fasting and abstinence lies in the measure of moderation and bodily chastening; and that this is the aim of perfect virtue for all alike, viz.: that though we are still forced to desire it, yet we should exercise self-restraint in the matter of the food, which we are obliged to take owing to the necessity of supporting the body. For even if one is weak in body, he can attain to a perfect virtue and one equal to that of those who are thoroughly strong and healthy, if with firmness of mind he keeps a check upon the desires and lusts which are not due to weakness of the flesh. For the Apostle says: “And take not care for the flesh in its lusts.”[204] He does not forbid care for it in every respect: but says that care is not to be taken in regard to its desires and lusts. He cuts away the luxurious fondness for the flesh: he does not exclude the control necessary for life: he does the former, lest through pampering the flesh we should be involved in dangerous entanglements of the desires; the latter lest the body should be injured by our fault and unable to fulfil its spiritual and necessary duties.”

~ St. John Cassian, The Institutes, Bk. V On the Spirit of Gluttony, Chapter viii.

That is to say, asceticism is possible. Any thought which undermines this truth is a manifestation of the tempting thought / spirit of Gluttony. It seems, therefore, that Gluttony is not simply about how much food and drink I wolf down, but more subtly, it is about stopping one from aqcuiring the Christian virtues by discouragement. Virtue is too hard. Virtue is unhealthy. Virtue is medieval / backwards. Virtue is relative. Virtue is … well … virtue is how we become one with Jesus Christ. No-one can be at one with Him unless he (or she) lives like Him.

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it hs not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall se Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Hi purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil.”

~ St. John the Evangelist, I Epistle, chapter 3, verse 2-9.

The beginning of the practical life – which is the practice of God’s commandments in Jesus Christ – is abstinence so Evagrius writes (see Ueber die Acht Gedanken, I.1). It is therefore of the greatest importance that Christians become re-familiarized with this basic virtue. That they do not let themselves be fooled by “tempting thoughts” telling us otherwise. Sometimes such thoughts can be very subtle and Christians will simply need to gain experience in the practice of virtue (getting up after each time we fall) and as we become more experienced we will begin to recognize the tempting thoughts with ease. In a sense virtue is an art rather than an exact science.

The Anglican Breviary, first gave the medicine of the “word of God” to us and in th second nocturn administered / applied the cure via St. Athanasius. So that if we find ourselves troubled with an evil spirit tempting us that we may have:

“… recourse to the appointed remedy, namely, fasting, and the evil spirit will be forthwith compelled to leave him from dread of the power which cometh from a fast.

To fast is to banquet with Angels; and he that fasteth is to be reckoned, in so far as he fasteth, as among the angelic host.”

~ The Anglican Breviary, II Nocturn, III Third Sunday in November, lesson vi.

At which point it is important to remember that moderation not starvation is true abstinence and fasting. Moderation is what is required. The body must be given what it needs to be healthy but ought to be denied (unhealthy) pleasure or the satisfaction of its “lust”. In this tension, between “needs” and “wants” will we find true abstinence and fasting, and therefore the first step on “the ladder of divine ascent” as St. John of the Ladder would have it.

Fr. Gregory Wassen

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