Organic Development

There’s been some discussion on my Periodization of the Liturgy piece over at Young Fogey’s place. One of the key issues is the discussion about whether the Roman Novus Ordo (the post-Vatican II mass) can be considered an “organic development” from the Tridentine Mass.

Not being a Roman, of course, I don’t have a dog in that hunt nor a lived experience of both (I’ve only ever attended one TLM, though many NOs). Where the question comes home to roost for me is with the American ’79 BCP…. Is it an organic development from the ’28?

And to push the envelope further–What’s the relation of the American ’28 to the English 1662 through the 1559 to the 1552 to the 1549?

Needless to say Laud’s would have to fit in there as well…

All that is to say, with the tangled webs of Anglican liturgies, what does it mean to talk about continuity and organic development?

2 thoughts on “Organic Development

  1. *Christopher

    I would say this quoting Dr. Aune on Luther’s reforms, which are in line with general reforms in the Reformation as a whole and I might add are continuous with the piety of the Medieval period and a tendency longstanding in inheritors of Roman rite:

    “marked by penitential-theological, soteriological,
    Christological emphases”

    I’ve wrote from time to time on this, and personally, though I know the 1979 BCP best, in terms of emphasis that we might call Anglican, 1979 in what is specifically 1979, rather than providing additional services as needed or updating language or reconsidering particular canticles, dampened an emphasis on Sin.

    And we cannot ignore Laud’s Book…as it more informs our American Episcopalian rite more than 1662, particularly with some important but subtle differences in Eucharistic emphasis regarding the retaining of the Verba and epiclesis as in 1549. So we can’t read back directly through 1662 and be honest about the complexity that already existed at that point of two differing Anglican rites–English and Scottish (hence, present attempts to do this come across as ahistorical and meta-narrative making).

    That which is specifically 1979, meaning Rite II, is in many ways a break, suggesting that what happened in the 4th century was of more weight. It can subtley suggest, whether the intent by the Liturgical Movement reformers meant to do this, that we were somehow off or defective in all that went before.

  2. Derek the Ænglican

    I agree, *Christopher. I do see Rite II as a break from what came before. It is a whole-hearted embrace of the fourth century as paradigm—and I’m not sure why that one’s better than all the others…

    I very much like the notion of our theology and liturgy being reinvigorated by patristic thought and practices, but–as a commenter at YF’s also mentioned–I’m not convinced that has been achieved.

    So what do we do from here–grow organically from this point (EOW’s approach) or make another break to head back towards more classically Anglican modes?

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