Question about Anglican/Roman liturgy: Is it Roman Rite or Anglican?

I need to be educated about something and I hope some of you readers who were/are Anglicans now in union with Rome can help me.  When in doubt, ask.

Is the modified Anglican liturgy considered part of the Roman Rite or do you consider it to be something related to the Roman Rite but separate?

I know that very high Anglican’s used a form of “Mass” that was virtually the Roman Rite, but what is the thought of members of the Anglican ordinariate about this?


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  1. Eriugena says:

    Absolutely NOT the Roman Rite, if I have understood things properly. The Anglican Lord’s Supper was the Sarum use with all the good bits taken out, so presumably the Ordinariate will simply need to put all the good bits back in again and their Masses will be valid; but the Roman Rite never made it as far as England. Bl. John Henry newman wanted to put the good bits back in again, but the Hierarchy were all Ultramontanes and they simply let the Roman Rite have sway. This may all be complete rubbish, I freely admit…

  2. persyn says:

    This is a good question, Father.

    Those that use the 1958 Knott Missal are basically using the Tridentine Rite translated directly to Elizabethan-style English. Rubrics are identical (although translated)to the Roman Missals of that era.

    Some Anglo-Catholics use “optional” material in that Missal that comes from the Book of Common Prayer, also of that era. I don’t know what the St. Peter’s folks will say. Whatever the answer, I’m sure it opens up questions…. for example, if it IS the same Rite, then I would opine that it basically can be used in ANY Latin-Rite Church as an option, under the spirit (if not the letter) of Summorum Pontificum of 7/7/07. Just my personal thoughts. If it is NOT, then other questions will arise, I’m sure.

  3. Baylor_convert says:

    I attended Our Lady of the Atonement for a few years and found that everywhere was blazoned with the phrase “Roman Rite Anglican Use” or “Anglican Use of the Roman Rite.” I was told that the Anglican Use is a subset of the Roman Rite. As I understand it, the Anglican Use is not used in all the former Anglican parishes, especially ones that converted en masse recently, and I cannot speak for them.

  4. Sissy says:

    I understood that the Anglican Use is a permitted form of worship within the Latin Rite Church which differs from the Roman Rite in some ways. Some Anglican Use parishes use the Book of Divine Worship, I believe. I know some Anglicans are hoping that the Anglican Use form to be used in the US will be based on the Sarum Rite.

  5. Baylor_convert says:

    Oops. I stand corrected. Apparently it wasn’t “blazoned” enough. ;) It should be “Latin Rite Anglican Use” or “Anglican Use of the Latin Rite” or, as my missal puts it, “Anglican Use Liturgy within the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church.”

  6. anj says:

    In the U.S., the usage is currently the Book of Divine Worship. A new Interdicasterial Commission, “Anglicanae Traditiones”, has been convened by the CDF and the CDW to work out the future, international, Anglican Use liturgy for the Ordinariates.

    Both are (or will be) variants of the Roman Rite.

    The subtitle for the BDW is:

    “being elements of the book of common prayer revised and adapted according to the roman rite for use by roman catholics coming from the anglican tradition”

  7. Everything that I’ve ever heard about the Anglican Use is that it is a ‘Use’ of the Roman Rite; in other words, there are essentially three branches of the Roman Rite: Extraordinary Form liturgy, Ordinary Form liturgy, and Anglican Use liturgy. I’ve also heard that this is not set in stone, but is only by default for now for a number of beneficial reasons for both Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholics. For instance: many of the Anglo-Catholics, including Priests, are highly traditional, orthodox Catholics who can help to have the same sort of gravitational effect on the Roman Rite as the Extraordinary Form does toward tradition and orthodoxy.

    This is, I believe, purely a temporary measure; there’s talk that long-term, it is hoped that the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite will further develop their understanding of their patrimony, enough so that they can decide for themselves if they wish to grow into an independent Rite to preserve their Sacred Tradition, or stay part of the Roman Rite as a ‘Use’ of the Rite.

  8. dep says:

    Oh, for a liturgy that used as its starting point the 1928 BCP! No Catholic translation, nor any more recent Anglican/Episcopal liturgy, can compare for sheer beauty. To wit:

    In the Nicene Creed, we now have “consubstantial with the Father” (as was the case translation-before-last), whereas the old BCP has, “being of one substance with the Father.” Same thing said, but the second version adds beauty and poetry. Likewise:

    “Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God”
    “It is meet and right so to do.”
    “It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty to at all times and in all places give thanks . . .”

    That’s the old BCP.

    Liturgy should be beautiful. I would argue that liturgy must be beautiful. It is no lesser a Catholic than William F. Buckley, Jr., who wrote that there is no more beautiful book in the English language than the old BCP.

    Oh, to have it again, with such changes as are necessary to make it Catholic!

  9. Mark R says:

    Don’t forget the Roman rite was quite diverse before the Council of Trent. I believe most Scandinavian kingdoms at the time before Luther used the Dominican rite, as did some other lands. Sarum rite is just another example of this.
    I never knew of Newman wanting to revive the Sarum rite. I know he was neither fish nor fowl in re. to the old English Catholic families and to the Ultramontanes as well, but he did generally follow and “Italianate” praxis as an Oratorian.

  10. RuralVirologist says:

    Our bishops have made it clear that there will not be an Anglican Ordinariate here. SO I would have to go to England or the USA to experience this.

    If the Dominican Rite falls under the auspices of the Latin Rite Church, and not under some other patriarch, I would imagine it’s Latin Rite.

    Wikipedia, the fount of all accurate information, says the following:

    In accordance with these definitions, the Latin Church is one such group of Christian faithful united by a hierarchy and recognized by the supreme authority of the Catholic Church as an autonomous particular church. The Latin rite is the whole of the patrimony of that distinct particular church, by which it manifests its own manner of living the faith, including its own liturgy, its theology, its spiritual practices and traditions and its canon law.

    And classifies them this way, but with indentations:

    1 Liturgical rites currently in use within the Latin-Rite Catholic Church
    1.1 Roman Rite
    1.1.1 Anglican Use
    1.1.2 Algonquian and Iroquoian Uses
    1.1.3 Zaire Use
    1.2 Western Rites of “Gallican” type
    1.2.1 Ambrosian Rite
    1.2.2 Rite of Braga
    1.2.3 Mozarabic Rite
    1.2.4 Carthusian Rite
    1.3 Western Rite of sui generis type
    1.3.1 Benedictine Rite
    2 Defunct Catholic Western liturgical rites
    2.1 African Rite
    2.2 Celtic Rite
    2.3 Gallican Rite
    2.4 Defunct local Latin Rites or Uses
    3 Rites of religious orders

    1 and 3 are those in current use, if only rarely or on a limited basis. Dominican Rite falls under #3. Roman Rite EF and OF are discussed under 1.1 and not a further subsection.

  11. AnnAsher says:

    They are part of the Roman Rite, differing from the communion we share with Eastern Rites who are their own Rite. The Anglican Communion is subject to the Roman CCC. Unless I have followed incorrectly. They have their own liturgical rite but are Roman Rite.

  12. LisaNicholas says:

    The liturgy of Anglican Use parishes (as I assume will also be true of parishes of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, once there actually ARE any Ordinariate parishes) is the Anglican *Use* of the Latin *Rite* — we are a special kind of Latin Rite parish. (I believe it is proper to speak of the Latin Rite, rather than the “Roman” Rite, but correct me if I am wrong.)

    The reasoning behind this is the idea that the Church in England always was part of the Western Church (i.e., Latin rather some Eastern Rite), and has never constituted a separate rite, although once the English Church was sundered from the authority of Rome there were some alterations to the liturgy. The Book of Divine Worship is simply a form of an Anglican Book of Common Prayer that has been adjusted to conform to the norms of the Latin Rite (chiefly the Eucharistic Prayers). Being a member of the Ordinariate will be more like being a member of a Personal Prelature (such as Opus Dei) than it is like being a member of a separate rite (such as Maronite, Byzantine, etc.).

    My own parish, St Mary the Virgin in Arlington, Texas, is, I believe, the only Anglican Use/Ordinariate parish which customarily prefers the contemporary form of the Anglican Use liturgy (modern language, structurally similar to the Novus Ordo), and people who visit us from ordinary Latin Rite parishes find that the differences are more those of style than the wording of the liturgy. Other Anglican Use parishes stick to the traditional form of the Anglican liturgy, in which there may be more noticeable differences — besides the 16th century English, the penitential rite may occur later in the liturgy, for instance.

  13. As others have pointed out, the present Anglican Use “Book of Divine Worship” is certainly a “usage” of the Roman rite, rather than a rite in itself.

    Indeed, its offertory is precisely the offertory of the Novus Ordo (impoverished as many think it is). The BDW contains two so-called “rites”. The first includes a wonderful old English translation of the venerable Roman Canon (which essentially defines the original Roman rite). The second (“contemporary rite”) contains what appear to be the original ICEL translations of Eucharistic Prayers I, II, III, IV.

    An interesting second-hand story is that the Vatican committee that put together the BDW included Msgr. Piero Marini (the Bugnini’s former assistant, Marini I). Marini allegedly insisted that the BCW not include the Roman Canon (which his mentor Bugnini had attempted to have dropped from the Novus Ordo). When all seemed lost, an Anglican use member of the committee appealed to Card. Ratzinger, at whose alleged intervention the Roman Canon was preserved for the Anglican Use. Indeed, some Anglican Use parishes use the Roman Canon in both Latin and old English.

  14. Marcin says:


    You are correct if by Roman or Eastern Rite(s) you really mean “ritual Churches” or more properly “sui iuris Churches”. Yet “rite” refers mostly to the liturgical patrimony, nor ecclesiastical juridical structure, and so I would concur with those that say “Anglican Use of Roman Rite”. After all the rite of Sarum wasn’t a separate rite, but a highly developed medieval use (a local “dialect”) of the Roman rite. Just as York Use was, Parisian, Dominican etc.

  15. Deacon Nathan Allen says:

    The Book of Divine Worship, which has been used in the several Anglican Use parishes in the United States for the last couple of decades, is based on the Book of Common Prayer, with changes to the consecration to ensure a valid Mass. The Mass according to the Sarum Use, which was one of the local forms of the Mass in use in England up to the ‘Reformation’, and on which the BCP was based, is very similar to the Roman Rite — almost word for word — so it is not accurate to say the Roman Rite didn’t make it as far as England. There are a few differences, however. For example, it includes the King right after the Pope and the Bishop, and had the priest raise and stretch out his arms in the form of a cross at “unde et memores” as did some other mediaeval uses (like the Use of Nidaros in Norway).

    I love the Sarum prayers the priest says when he communicates:
    Ave in aeternum, sanctissima Caro Christi, mihi ante omnia et super omnia summa dulcedo. Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi sit mihi peccatori via et vita,
    In Nomine + Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
    Ave in aeternum cælestis potus, mihi ante omnia et super omnia summa dulcedo. Corpus et Sanguis Domini nostri Jesu Christi prosint mihi peccatori ad remedium sempiternum in vitam æternam. Amen.
    In Nomine + Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

  16. Samthe44 says:

    Regarding Its use by clerics of The Latin Church, my Bishop received the new Catholics for the soon-to-be-established Ordinariate into The Church using The Anglican Use/Rite/Form.

  17. eulogos says:


    The Rite I version of the Anglican Use mass has Cranmer’s writings for everything up to the beginning of the actual canon of the mass, and for almost everything after it, including the creed with “being of one substance with the Father.” (and the part about the Holy Ghost, “who spake by the prophets.” ) The Canon is the EF Roman Canon in an English translation by a contemporary of Cranmer. (possibly Coverdale. It is at least very similar to Coverdale’s translation.) Since the Elizabethan translation of the Roman Canon is a very literal translation from the Latin, it retains some of the rhythm and style of Latin, and does not really sound like Cranmer despite the Elizabethan language. I found this jarring at first, but have become used to it.

    But if you want to enjoy a lot of Cranmer’s language in a Catholic mass, attend an Anglican Use mass. You will even get to say again the Prayer of Humble Access:
    “We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.” (The current BCP rite I leaves out the phrase from “that our sinful bodies” through “through his most precious blood”; this is from the 28 prayer book.)

    Susan Peterson

  18. FrPhillips says:

    From the Latin Rite it came; to the Latin Rite it returns.

  19. AnAmericanMother says:

    Susan Peterson,

    Amen! I miss that prayer (the ’28 version) too!
    But most Episcopalian dioceses and parishes ignored Rite I, so it was to so much of a wrench when we converted.
    I’ve reconciled myself though to never having an Anglican Use Rite in this area. It is a “low” diocese, and there were never very many of us “high churchers”, and most of us have already come over the Tiber under our own steam.

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  21. Archicantor says:

    It’s interesting to see all the conflicting suggestions here. The short answer, Father, is that we’re dealing with an Anglican Use of the Roman Rite.

    1. The Personal Ordinariates erected under Anglicanorum coetibus are part of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.

    2. Ordinariate priests are Latin Rite priests and, like other priests of that Rite, they are free to use both the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

    3. The Book of Divine Worship approved for use under the “Pastoral Provision” in the United States is an authorized Use of the Roman Rite. Its use has also been locally approved for groups of Anglicans received into the Catholic Church in Britain and Canada too. New books are expected to appear for use in the Ordinariates (perhaps one for the UK, where, post-1970, Anglo-Catholics have tended to use the Ordinary Form anyway; and one for “rest of the world”, where Missal-like adaptations of the Book of Common Prayer have been favoured).

    4. The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is awaiting approval from Rome of its own liturgical books, with a wait of two more years still expected (e.g. they will have their own copyrighted lectionary of non-scriptural readings for the Divine Office). There is interesting information in the temporary ordines that have been approved for use in the UK ( For instance, “Green Sundays” are numbered as in the Book of Common Prayer, and the traditional BCP psalter is permitted for use in the Divine Office, with only two verbal changes to make it conform to Liturgiam authenticam.

    6. Various Ordinariate Anglicans have favoured outright approval of one of the old Anglo-Catholic translations of the Extraordinary Form (the English Missal is the best known in the UK, but there’s also the Anglican Missal and the Altar Book of the Cowley Fathers), which are basically the (pre-1962) Missale Romanum done into Cranmerian English, but with Sarum and BCP variants. I gather that direct approval of one of these missals has not been forthcoming because this would mean a back-door approval of the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible, which is the version used for the biblical lessons in these missals. (My source for that information was a page on Fr. Anthony Chadwick’s English Catholic blog, which has now been taken down.) This, if you ask me (and nobody does), is a fatal mistake. If the Authorized Version is not part of the Anglican Patrimony, then I’m not sure what is. And in a world afterDivino afflante Spiritu, it’s hard to imagine that the old polemical objections to it still stand. It is certainly at least as “orthodox” a translation as, e.g., the Jerusalem Bible or the Good News Bible. And apart from its very rare use of “Jehovah” (where its usual “the LORD” won’t work), it would need virtually no changes to make it work with Liturgicam authenticam.

  22. bruceiniloilo says:

    Reply to RuralVirologist who says: “Our bishops have made it clear that there will not be an Anglican Ordinariate here. SO I would have to go to England or the USA to experience this.”

    In practical terms the Ordinariates are not bound by geography. Currently the two Ordinariates have official members and priests in 4 different conferences — the two conference inside which they were erected, England and Wales and the U.S., and two neighboring conferences, Scotland and Canada, respectfully.

    There is no reason to think that the Ordinariates couldn’t expand to other Conferences’ territories as well if and when groups are established there, especially if there are clergy. I fully expect that our small group in the Philippines will be welcomed into the American Ordinariate, a la Canada, if and when we become established enough.

  23. bruceiniloilo says:

    As for the question Father has asked, here’s my response:

    I don’t care.

    I don’t mean to be harsh. It is an important question but only under some circumstances. For instance it matters when it comes to Church governance and other practical matters. However, to those in the pews and to the ultimate question of our souls and our relationship with God, it is irrelevant which bureaucratic category it is classified under.

    The development of liturgy is an organic, bottom-up process, done together within a global, layered Christian community, including those in the fullness of the faith and outside the fullness of the faith. Yes, there are rules — rubics — written down and printed in red that have been developed over the centuries but those rules themselves are not a mass. A mass are those rules make flesh and full in churches across the globe, much like the notes on a page are just a starting point to create a symphony but not the actual symphony.

    As one travels from mass to mass, across continents and eras, it is obvious that each specific mass has a slightly different feel, a slightly different spirituality.

    We can take these different individual masses and put them into groups — here are the Bost0n masses and here are the Manila ones. Here are Italian and here the Cantonese. Here are the Eastern and here the Western. And here are the Anglican Use and here are the Ordinary Form.

    But those groupings are imposed upon an organic process. They are scientific/bureaucratic distinctions imposed upon organic Tradition. Those groupings have a element of artificiality. They are human creations. It is important for us to remember that. It is important for us to continue to allow Tradition to drive the process of spiritual expression, and not let artificial bureaucratic distinctions drive the process.

    This is why I was so thrilled by Anglicanorum Coetibus. Benedict, the Vatican, the Church saw that Tradition has given the world something of value — Anglicanism. It might have developed outside the fullness of the faith but it is still valuable and of God and should be included within the fullness. So instead of shoe-horning Anglicanism into existing structures, a new bureaucratic category was created — a Personal Ordinariate — just for us. I feel so privileged.

    Yes, I can quibble over some of the devilish details and will continue to express my thoughts here and there. Meanwhile, in the pews, where souls are saved, where the Mass IS, Anglicanism will continue — nay, it will expand and thrive — and in full communion. Anglicanism will never die.

    I hope and pray that, as the Pastoral Provision led to the new-and-improved Personal Ordinariates, so too will the current, brand-new structure become better and strengthened as we develop organically these new institutions within the Vatican communion. And may the process happen organically, guided by the Holy Ghost, and not by bureaucratic categories.

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