Ad orientem versus

Over at NLM there is a good photo of His Eminence Daniel Card. DiNardo reading Holy Mass ad orientem.

The Mass was at the Anglican Use parish Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, Texas.


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  1. Mark says:

    Indeed. And according to a use that has a Hieratic English. The Anglican Use opens up discussion of interesting possibilities.

  2. There’s a Western Rite Orthodox parish in a town twenty miles from here, although I haven’t been. Generally, however, WRO parishes are ex-Anglicans. One could assume masterful English in the liturgy, one thing the Anglicans do understand (cadence, rhythm, alliteration, register, tone, all of which seems to utterly confound most other religious traditions these days).

  3. Think of all the years we wasted with the terrible ICEL translation, now a lame-duck, but still in use.

  4. Mark says:

    Yeah. The new one is better, but still not “sacral English” like the Anglicans have. What is the obsession with making the language of liturgy the same as the language of our everyday speech?

    I’d love to see, say, the Anglican Missal (essentially just a hieratic English translation of the Old Rite) approved on some experimental basis.

    I’d hope the silent canon and the Ordinary chants (kyrie, gloria, creed, sanctus, agnus dei, and ite missa est) could at least be maintained in the Latin, but I think the thing that will catapult the Old Rite back into major popularity is going to be the approval for liturgical use of a nice “anglican english” translation for the Old Rite.

  5. Gregorius says:

    Does anyone know if the Latin Sarum Missal is in print ? If so, what edition is that?

  6. RichR says:

    I was a parishioner at an AU parish for 3 years. The language was very uplifting. I would count the days to Sunday each week. Shouldn’t that be how it is everywhere?

  7. Woody Jones says:

    Thank you for this beautiful photo from my parish church, Our Lady of Walsingham, Father Z. Unfortunately I had to miss the AU Conference of which this Mass was a part, but it looks really, really good. For interested readers, the reredos, made by Granda in Spain (with heavy Opus Dei connections, so fitting to note on this, St Josemaria’s dies natalis), is an enlarged replica of the rededos at the National Catholic Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in England.

    Cardinal DiNardo is directly in front of the Tabernacle, which is an original piece in the form of the Ark of the Covenant, also made by Granda at our then pastor’s direction, and which is now in Granda’s inventory of offerings.

    I have yet to read Shawn tribe’s article on Hieratic English, but of course we like it. I like to say that it is close to what the new Roman Missal translations will be like, but with a few more thee’s and thou’s.

  8. Mark would have been very happy at this Mass in Houston, as we did in fact have the ordinary in Latin, sung by the Schola Angelorum. The setting was Wm. Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices, and it was indeed heavenly. The parish is producing a recording of the music done at this Mass and at the Choral Vespers the night before and the Choral Mattins on the same morning.

  9. Ann says:

    Archbishop DiNardo is a blessing to his diocese AND to the seminary there!! We need lots more like him. :-)

  10. Mitchell NY says:

    I think as well that the allowance for an “Anglican Type Translation” for the EF Mass, although I prefer the Canon and Ordinary to remain in Latin, would catapult the 1962 Missal into this day an age as an appropriate model for Mass. Of course alongside Mass in complete Latin for those, like myself who prefer this form of worship. This seams the ideal…Aren’t we slowly working towards it anyway in the NO? God Bless this Holy Father and his Pontificate…The Church is stronger as a result of the MP, SP and for all the bruhaha over the freedom for the 1962 Missal, I still have yet to meet the first Catholic who has left the Church over the rites’ “two – fold” use. I do not think the same could be said when it was almost entirely supressed. There was little to no pastoral concern despite what was professed. My anti-spam was pray 4 Bishops……..indeed…

  11. Ad Orientem says:

    The head of the Orthodox Church in America just delivered a pretty strong speech to the new Anglican group (ACNA) that broke off from the Episcopagans. He said he wants communion with them (presumably as some sort of Western Rite Orthodox), but only if…

    And he really laid down a list of conditions with lots of love but no sugar coating. This was what true ecumenism should be. He also ripped the old Episcopagans in no uncertain terms.

    Under the mercy,

  12. Tito Edwards says:

    Woody is right, that’s Cardinal DiNardo in front of the tabernacle with Father Ramsey standing on the leftside of the pic.

    I attended that Mass and it was Heavenly (will post many pics once I get them from my friend)!

  13. schoolman says:

    Is the “silent canon” lawful in the new Mass or OF? Could it be done — along with ad orientem?

  14. Woody Jones says:

    To put the damper on my incipient envy of those who attended the Mass at OLOW, I will have to note that on the following Sunday I was privileged to attend the open-air Mass of Corpus Christi in the Plaza de Oriente in Madrid, celebrated by Cardinal Rouco (OF, EP III) and followed by an impressive Eucharistic Procession lasting a couple of hours. At the Consecration, as the Cardinal held up Our Lord in the host, the military band in attendance struck up the Marcha Real, saluting Christ our King with the Royal March (the Spanish national anthem). The procession itself was led by the Madrid police band, marching to the Spanish slow march step while playing appropriate songs.

  15. Goodness, that is magnificent.

  16. Chironomo says:

    Mark would have been very happy at this Mass in Houston, as we did in fact have the ordinary in Latin, sung by the Schola Angelorum. The setting was Wm. Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices, and it was indeed heavenly


    We’re working on the Byrd Mass for Five Voices for our Sunday Mass at the CMAA Colloquium in Chicago… it is heavenly! Were you at the conference in Houston?

  17. Paul C. says:

    How ironic that something designed to protestantise worship, to make the Church
    IN England the Church OF England, looks more Catholic than what 98.41% of us see
    on a weekly basis.

    Long live the Pope!

  18. Bob K. says:

    I agree!.

  19. Disgusted in DC says:

    “How ironic that something designed to protestantise worship, to make the Church
    IN England the Church OF England, looks more Catholic than what 98.41% of us see
    on a weekly basis.”

    Except compare and contrast the Anglican Use liturgy with the 1559/1662 Book of Common Prayer communion service, and you will see some essential Catholic versus Protestant differences. Same is true for the pedestrian lame-duck ICEL Novus Ordo and the more sonorous-sounding 1559/1662 BCP. Also, somewhere on the internets, you can find photos of real live Cranmerian communion-tables. The sanctuaries were set up with a narrow plain table set lengthwise down what was the sanctuary with the minister on the “north” side of the sanctuary and the benches for the Christian people surrounding the table. Almost no Anglicans have that arrangement now, and, for that matter, few Catholics have it either, with the possible exception of –er– the Neocatechumenate, though in fairness to that movement, their theology of the Sacrifice of the Mass is basically sound even if their Cranmer-esque praxis might suggest otherwise.

    The glorious Anglo-Catholic mass is at best a gloss on standard Prayer Book liturgy. In practice, it often is a total deviation from the Prayer Book. No Anglican would have recognized it before 1850-60, not even Lancelot Andrewes or William Laud of blessed memory.

    The real glory of the Anglican liturgy, I think, is Morning and Evening Prayer, particularly choral recitations of the same. The Anglo Catholics have historically done a poor job of preserving the offices as a corporate act of worship. Even in the General Convention Church, these offices are in practice becoming an endangered species. Maybe, over time, the Anglican Use Catholics will decide that they are indeed worth saying, and not just the refuge for suspect “snake-belly” Low Churchmen.

  20. Clint Brand says:

    With all due respect, the daily office of Morning and Evening Prayer is alive and well in the Anglican Use Catholic parishes in the US. At Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, we are blessed to have Choral Evensong every month, plus Solemn Evensong & Benediction on special occasions, not to mention Choral Matins just before Solemn Mass on all of the Sundays in Advent and Lent. Many of my fellow parishioners use the Book of Divine Worship for their daily office in private recitation. Maybe some so-called Anglo-Catholics in the past neglected the Prayer Book offices, but at Houston’s AU parish we treasure them all the more that these venerable formularies are now fully restored to the Catholic Church.

  21. Belizcay says:

    Paul C.

    How true and how sad.


  22. William Tighe says:

    This dreadfully expensive book from Oxford University Press is probably the best account of Anglican origins and subsequent twists and turns, viewed from a “liturgical” perspective:

    Altars Restored: The Changing Face of English Religious Worship, 1547-c.1700
    Kenneth Fincham
    $180.00 [$137 on Amazon right now. – Fr. Z]
    In Stock,
    Hardback, Jan 2008 ISBN13: 9780198207009ISBN10: 019820700X During the early modern period altars became a religious battleground.

  23. William Tighe says:

    And here is a video link, for those who may be interested, of the Orthodox Metropolitan Jonah’s address to those Anglicans to which “Ad Orientem” alluded above:

    I wish that Catholic “ecumenical guests” would be as forthright.

  24. Thanks for the video link, Mr. Tighe.

  25. Paul O says:

    It would be good to note here that OLO Walsingham is physically oriented North-South. So this celebrations is technically _ad meridianis_. Having visited twice, I can guarantee you’ll be pleased with the homiletics!

  26. Veritas says:

    Why reinvent the wheel, Cranmer’s English is wonderful. Correct his theology of course, but keep his sense of the sacred in language. The same can be said of Luther’s German. Out of bad God makes good come. “O happy sin that can deserve so great a Redeemer”.

  27. Woody Jones says:

    To clarify Paul’s note about the North/South orientation of OLOW, at the time the new church was being built, we did not have enough land to allow the building to be oriented East/West, as Fr. James Moore, the founding pastor, would have preferred, so the present alignment was really the only one possible. As it is, the altar is at the South end, for what one may wish to make of it. Since then we have acquired the property adjoining to the East and will eventually erect probably a multi-use building and certainly a cloister walk, connecting to the church building, when funds become available.

  28. “Anglican Use Catholics will decide that they are indeed worth saying, and not just the refuge for suspect “snake-belly” Low Churchmen.”

    Here in Boston, at the Anglican Use parish of St. Athanasius, we also have a monthly choral Evensong with Benediction. We will be celebrating the vigil of SS. Peter and Paul tomorrow night (June 28) at 5 pm in the chapel of St. Theresa of Avila Church on Center St. in West Roxbury (come one, come all).

    And chironomo, yes, I was at the Houston conference, and Tito, the pics are up at

  29. Fr W says:

    Does it seem odd that Vatican II would ask that the altar be ‘free-standing,’ (presumably in new churches) – when such a major change to the ancient liturgy is being put forth – does it seem strange that no accompanying statement was made as to exactly where the tabernacle would be? Does that not seem odd, that such a sweeping statement made that would affect churches all over the world, that no one thought enough to state the solution to that obvious problem?

  30. Joe says:

    I would love to attend an AU Mass. there are none here in the Pittsburgh area. The epicenter of the most recent Episcopailian schism was in Pittsburgh, and I was hopeful that some of these folk would come into the Catholic Church. It hasn’t happened yet.

    Our former parish priest was a compatriot and an admirer of Cardinal DiNardo. It was known early on that the good Cardinal had big things in his future. They worked together at Resurrection Parish in the Pittsburgh neighborhod of Brookline.

    God bless Cardinal Di Nardo. Ad multos annos!

  31. Larry says:

    My family has had the grace of attending Mass at the Anglican use Our Lady of Atonement in San Antonio. From my perspective, it is a far more reverent, devout translation of the Mass. The pastor of Our Lady of Atonement, Father Phillip, celebrates Mass Ad Orientem and with very traditional hymnody. It is a beautiful Mass. I agree with others, most parishes would do very well to make use of the AU Mass translations. I find it a vast improvement over the language in standard NO Mass used in the United States today.

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