Friday, 6 March 2015

New Liturgical Books...


As you know, I have long rejected the compendious nature of Roman liturgical books. It is also one of my life's goals to make a reform of the Roman Rite on traditional premises for possible use within Western Rite Orthodoxy. Therefore, to restore the Roman Rite to the pristine norm of the Fathers, it is necessary to abolish the use of missals and breviaries and distribute the divers parts of the Liturgy into several liturgical books, as was the custom before the onset of the pestilential Franciscan Order.

The proposed books would be:

The Kalendarium: A semi-liturgical book containing the Kalendar (Julian, of course), both Temporale and Sanctorale, with movable feasts and directions for every possible occurrence. This could perhaps be split into fifteen volumes; one for every kalendar month of the Sanctorale, in honour of the Apostles, and three for the Temporale, in honour of the Blessed Trinity, covering Advent to Epiphany; Lent, Easter and Pentecost; and the Sundays after Trinity.

The Sacramentarium: Corresponding more or less to the missal without the texts proper to the choir and without gospel and epistle pericopes. This would contain a new, abridged rubrics section taken from the Pontificale (below).

The Lectionarium: Containing the epistles and Acts to be chanted at Mass.

The Evangelistarium: Containing the Book of the Gospels.

The Liber Passionis: Containing the Passion narratives with notation. I am undecided as to whether this should be incorporated into the Evangelistarium or whether to keep a separate three volume set, as in the "modern" Roman Rite. It would be better to have them separate, I think, for practical purposes.

The Psalterium: The Psalter, with proper notation according to the season.

The Legendarium: Containing the lessons to be read at Mattins, lives of the saints, patristic homilies, a revised martyrology.

The Manuale: Containing occasional offices and sacraments, such as Baptism, etc. Corresponding more or less to the ritual.

The Pontificale: Containing episcopal offices, confirmation, ordination, consecration of churches, etc. combined with the Ceremonial of Bishops.

The Graduale: Containing the musical notation and choir parts. Use of the "Liber Usualis" would be forbidden.

It would be a lifetime's work, particularly where chant notation is concerned.

What think you? Is it achievable? Feasible? Questions, comments, protests, etc, below. I have chosen the term "legendarium" for the book of Mattins lessons and homilies in honour of Tolkien's legendarium, which is the collective name for the legends of Middle-earth. Also, legenda is Latin for "[things] to be read," of course.

8 comments:

  1. Yours is a noble cause but would more than likely be rejected by the soi-disant WRO. The few jurisdictions which will tolerate a WR use either a bastardized version of the BCP (including the very protestant Comfortable Words and the Decalogue) or the Tridentine Mass, both with a Chrysostomian epiklesis inserted where historically it never was. As far as the calendar is concerned go with the Gregorian. Despite the antiquity of the Julian it's inaccurate, not in sync with Creation.

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    1. Nevertheless, the Julian Kalendar is that kalendar received us from the Apostles and the Tradition of the Church. Acceptance would only mean capitulation to the evils of the age!

      I have every faith that Western Rite Orthodoxy can work, but not in the forms that I have seen it.

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    2. I once believed as you do concerning the feasibility of WRO, however, its 150 year history is rather dismal. I would recommend you find a comfortable home in one of the Byzantine parishes, if that is possible. Their ethnocentrism can be overwhelming for a Westerner who loves his traditions. Continue your search for a viable WR parish whilst receiving the sacraments from the Byzantine priests. There are bishops in the UK and the US who claim to be WRO, beware, many are charlatans and frauds selling their "homemade" liturgies and often promote a married episcopate. I give this advise based on personal experience.

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    3. I can send to you, via private e-mail, several links to a WRO jurisdiction which you may find interesting.

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    4. On the question of Kalendars I would beg to differ, strongly, with you Prior Martin. A good example of the problem is the feast of King Charles the Martyr - which I am sure Patricius would want to see in any Sanctorale. At the Banqueting House (and elsewhere) King Charles is remembered on the 30th January but with the difference in the two systems this is not on the strict anniversary date. The celebration this year, for instance, was not 366 rotations of our planet around the sun, close but not, strictly, the 366th anniversary of the event. Of course with ancient feasts such as the dates for the Apostles like St. Matthias who we remember today the degree of variance is much less noticeable and we know the traditional dates were not necessarily the dates of their martyrdom anyway. Nonetheless IMHO the Kalendar change is more significant than most give credit.

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    5. Indeed, the commemoration of the martyrdom of bl. King Charles would be a requirement of any new kalendar compiled in this project, and the Office would be formed of texts from Charles' father's writings on kingship. Suggestions from experts in high church Anglican writings of the period would be welcome too.

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  2. Is it feasible? Probably not, and people are too set in their ways for now. But it is necessary, it needs to happen. The Western Orthodox status quo is contradictory and confusing, despite all good intentions. If you freely release and distribute what you have, they might pick it up long after your death, as happened with the work of Joseph Julian Overbeck.

    I encountered these kinds of liturgical books in my art historical studies, and there are of course their counterparts in the Byzantine rite. I believe such a division would encourage communal worship.

    I am far more knowledgeable in church architecture, vestments and liturgical objects, however. My musings on Western Orthodoxy are usually related to those.

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    1. It's not that I have any secret information concerning WRO, it's simply that many bloggers would rather not have their commenters promoting one church over the other.

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