Pope Paul VI to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Michael Ramsey

"(B)y entering into our house, you are entering your own house, we are happy to open our door and heart to you." - Pope Paul VI to Dr Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham

The  Rev Msgr Andrew Burnham of the Personal Ordinariate in England has announced this June 1st that the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham will be off the presses soon. The Customary is the liturgical book of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Some interesting points: The Customary will use the Coverdale Psalms, provides the Anglican offices of Evensong and Morning Prayer available to ALL Catholics (meaning these are authorized rites by Rome) and these offices will closely intertwine with the Roman Office since the readings for both complement each other.

Also Msgr Burnham reveals that Rome has decided on the use of Traditional English as used in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (BCP) and also in the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer. Traditional English is prized by Anglicans in the US, England and in the Commonwealth. Before the US Episcopal Church decided to shift to the modern 1979 BCP, Episcopalians in the Philippines used the 1928 BCP. The Episcopal Church in the Philippines in the 1990s had its own BCP but it heavily borrowed from the 1979 American book. Similarly the American Book of Divine Worship as used by the US Anglican Use parishes and the American Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter adopted much of the American 1979 BCP modern language with a Traditional option. The Customary diverges from that in this respect by having Traditional English as the norm rather as an option.

Unlike traditional Anglican prayerbooks, The Customary uses the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible since this merged the Catholic tradition of the Douay-Rheims and the Protestant King James translations. In 1966 this was the common Bible used by Protestants and Catholics in the UK. In the 1970s the Roman Church in England decided to use the Jerusalem translation but the Ordinariate believes the RSV is a better choice. I myself have the 1966 RSV with the Cardinal of Westminster's imprimatur.

It is understood that the Customary will be authorized for use in the English Ordinariate. Whether it will be authorized for use the the American and the soon to be erected Australian Ordinariate of Our Lady the Southern Cross remains to be seen. But the Customary is an example of Anglican liturgy enriching the Roman one vice versa as it was restored in the Catholic Church. The ecumenical significance of this cannot be understated.

The Customary can be ordered online at Amazon UK.

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