Monthly Archives: October 2009

Breviary and Kalendar Observations

If you’re interested in the inner workings and shifts in the history of the breviary and associated liturgical bits, you must not miss the series that the NLM is running. Today’s hits a major point: the changes to the breviary under Pius X—the first major modern liturgical meddling.  Here’s a bit in particular from the discussion of the kalendar:

In the Middle Ages, there was no idea of a General Calendar of Saints’ days to be observed universally. To be sure, there were many feasts which were observed universally, such as the principal feasts of Our Lady and the Apostles, the four great doctors of the Latin Church, and several of the more famous early martyrs and confessors. However, there was an enormous amount of local variation to calendars, which were regulated by local bishops and cathedral chapters with almost no direction from Rome. For this reason, one also finds some interesting gaps in medieval liturgical calendars, especially in regard to “new” Saints. The first Saint ever formerly canonized by the Apostolic See, Ulric of Augsburg, was never celebrated with a feast day in Rome itself. Pope Gregory IX, who reigned from 1227 to 1241, canonized both St. Francis of Assisi and St. Dominic. Despite the tremendous importance of these two religious founders to the life of the later medieval Church, neither appears in the 1556 edition of the Sarum Breviary, or the 1501 Breviary of Bamberg, (to give just two examples); in many other places, they were kept as mere commemorations. The same Pope once called the great preacher and miracle worker Saint Anthony of Padua “the Ark of the Covenant” while the Saint himself was still alive, yet his feast is missing from many late medieval calendars, and indeed, is not included in the 1568 Roman Breviary.

The Use of Rome had already been adopted by the Franciscans at time of their foundation, and was spread by them far beyond the confines of the Pope’s diocese. The new orders of the Counter-Reformation era such as the Jesuits and Oratorians also followed the Roman Use, and it soon became the standard liturgical form for all new religious orders and congregations. The Pian reform of the Roman Breviary was also taken on by innumerable dioceses throughout Europe and the newly-evangelized Americas, creating a liturgical uniformity much greater than had been known before Trent . The Catholic Church of the Tridentine era was particularly concerned, of course, to lay greater emphasis on the cult of the Saints, which had been so thoroughly rejected by the Protestant Reformers, and to add to the ranks of the heavenly intercessors its own great heroes. Therefore, when Saints like Ignatius of Loyola and Philip Neri were canonized, their feasts were more or less universally and immediately adopted, unlike those of their great medieval predecessors.

None of this will come as a surprise to medievalists but rather informs us on when and how the late and new uniformity occurred. It also explains what I have discovered—that the current Roman kalendar is simply unsuited for modern Anglicans however Rome leaning—the main current of unformity occurs after our departure thus quite a large percentage of saints in the kalendar are not part of the common heritage.

Reading Ephesians

I’ve been reading through Ephesians for lectio and its taking me forever to get through it.

(And that’s a good thing.)

I keep getting caught on passages and will sometimes just sit there and chew on a few words for my entire allotted time. In particular right now, I’m fascinated by the section at the end of chapter 3 and the beginning of chapter 4.

Paul’s prayer at the end of 3 from 14-21 describes for me what the interior life of the Christian should look like. That is, the experience of divine power confirmed and made manifest in love. Furthermore, this power and grace leads naturally to the section from 4:1-16. Knowledge, power, and love do not exist for their own sake nor for the individual’s sake. Rather, all of these are directed into building the entire community into a community founded on the humility and love of Christ which is a power unrecognized by worldly power.

I do believe the single worst mistake that one could make in reading Ephesians generally and these sections in particular is to misread the grammatical number of “you”. All of the “you”s in this section are plural. Paul is not speaking to individuals here but to us collectively.

Furthermore—just as in 1 Cor—4:11-12 on “leadership” roles in the church must be read within the whole. The entire function of these roles is to serve the basic needs of the community as a whole especially the full growth into Christian maturity. Shades indeed of James 3.

Big News from Rome

Looks like it’s finally happened! I was skeptical up to the last moment and am still trying to sort out the full story, but it looks like Rome is indeed accepting the Traditional Anglican Communion.


  • why nothing from Zenit yet? Here’s the official word that there’s going to be a forthcoming even more official word.
  • Why exactly was ++Rowan present? Especially as this news—as far as I can tell—pertains to Anglicans not under his jurisdiction…
  • The response from Forward in Faith.
  • Some English Anglo-Catholic bishops already  have a timeline put together: decide to move by Feb. 22nd, 2010.
  • Some healthy reminders on the size and scope of this change from Br. Stephen.
  • As I’ve said a few times today in various places, I think the major shift here is conceptual rather than actual. It changes the way  the relationships between Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Orthodoxy are configured.

More to follow as data becomes available.

An Open Letter to Bishop Alexander

is my latest piece up at the Cafe.

It’s a plea for the new hymnal—study for which was authorized by General Convention—to include a full complement of Office hymns, and to identify them as such. Too, it’s time for a new translation into contemporary English and I’m urging that, like the Prayer Book itself, these be released into the public domain.

We are the heirs of a long and profound liturgical tradition. We must remain good stewards of these riches.

Office Hymns in the 1982 Hymnal

Frequent readers here know that the breviary hymns are always a topic on low boil. I’ve posted on their function and importance here and have also discussed what the “traditional” hymns are here within a larger discussion of that troubled term.

Today’s post is a purely informational one that identifies hymns used in the Western Church as Office hymns that appear in the 1982 Hymnal. Thus, several different uses are represented here and I’ve not split them out. I’m going to organize them seasonally for ease of use. (Hymns for the Little Hours appear at the bottom.)

They are, of course, not identified in the 1982 Hymnal which annoys me no end so I may not have identified them all. If you see any that I’ve missed, let me know in the comments and I’ll stick it in the body of the post.

Yes, I’m using the Latin names; no, that’s not an affectation. Rather, there are no hymn names in the ’82 and the first lines can and have changed between traditional and modern language adaptations/translations/paraphrases. (Same with the Latin, of course. Needless to say I’m ignoring Urban VIII’s butcheries.)


Matins: Verbum supernum prodiens (63-64)

Lauds: Vox clara (59)

Vespers: Creator alme siderum (60)


Matins: Veni Redemptor gentium (54-55)

Lauds: A solis ortus cardine (77); Corde na­tus ex pa­ren­tis (82)

Vespers: Jesu, Redemptor omnium (85-86)

Epiphany (Octave)

Lauds: O sola magnarum urbium (127)

Vespers/Matins: Hostis Herodes impie (131-132)


Matins: Ex more docti mystica (146-147)

Lauds: O Sol salutis intimis (144)

Vespers: Audi, benigne Conditor (152)


Matins/Lauds: Pange lingua gloriosi (165-166)

Vespers: Vexilla Regis prodeunt (161-162)


Vespers: Ad coenam Agni providi (174, 202)


Lauds: Aeterne rex altissime (220-221)

Pentecost (Octave)

Lauds: Beata nobis gaudia (223-224)

Vespers: Veni Creator Spiritus (500-504)

Ordinary Time

Summer Sunday Matins: Nocte surgentes vigilemus (1-2)

Sunday Vespers: Lucis creator optime (27-28)

Monday Vespers: Immense caeli Conditor (32)

Saturday Vespers: O lux beata Trinitas (29-30)


Matins: Quem terra, pontus, ethera (263-264)


Matins: Aeterna Christi munera (233-234)


Matins: Aeterna Christi munera (233-234)

Lauds/Vespers: Rex gloriosi martyrum (236)

Michael and All Angels

Lauds: Christe sanctorum (282-283)

Hymns of the Little Hours

Prime: Iam lucis (3-4)

Terce: Nunc Sancte (19-20)

Sext: Rector potens (21-22)

None: Rerum Deus (14-15)

Summer Compline: Te lucis (44-45)

Winter Compline: Christe qui lux (40-41)

Not in Philly

I hadn’t said anything about it because it had been looking increasingly likely that a building set of crises and family obligations would make it impossible for me to go to Philly and present at the conference there.

Unfortunately, I was right… So I’m not there. I’m very bummed about this.

I was *really* looking forward to Jorge’s paper as well and the opportunity to meet him in the flesh. Alas, next year perhaps… (And send me a copy of your paper, Jorge–I stil want to read it!)

I did send in a copy of my own paper and handouts. Hopefully it will get to the right people by the right time and someone will be able to read it in my place.

That’s about the story of my life at the moment.