Anglicanorum Ceotibus and the Church of Our Lady of the Atonement, the Founding Parish of Anglican Use in the Roman Catholic Church

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Anglicanorum Ceotibus and the Church of Our Lady of the Atonement, the Founding Parish of Anglican Use in the Roman Catholic Church, Feast of St. David of Wales, 1 March 2011

Anglicanism is sometimes called "Catholic-lite" because of its retention of a formalized liturgy and bishops, elements that churches born during the sixteenüi-century European reformations often did not perpetuate. Among Anglicans, there have always been some who longed for the Church of England to re-establish full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, but many factors make this appear to be an impossibility today. Nonetheless, having been approached by Anglicans over me decades, the Roman Catholic Church has gradually opened new avenues for Anglican and Episcopal priests, and then for entire groups of Anglicans, to enter into full communion with Rome, while also retaining elements of their heritage and tradition.

The Pastoral Provision of John Paul II

On 22 July 1980, Franjo Cardinal Seper, prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF), notified John Quinn, thenarchbishop of San Francisco, mat the CDF had decided, regarding certain Episcopalians "who seek reconciliation with and entrance into the Catholic Church," that "pastoral provision" should be made so mat such groups will be able to continue to maintain a "common identity." Furthermore, the "re-ordination of Episcopal clergy, even those who are married, shall be allowed. ..." Put into practice only in die United States, such a pastoral provision resulted only from a specific request from a college of bishops - and the colleges of bishops in England and Wales, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere had not issued such a request.

An important aspect of the continuation of a common identity was the creation of an Anglican Use within the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. The precise word use is important, as the provision allowed for priests and individuals to enter the Roman Catholic Church and did not establish a different rite. The Greek Catholic Church and the Maronite Catholic Church, for example, are independent churches that are in communion with the Roman Catholic Church, but they have their own canon laws, bishops, and liturgies. The Anglican Use is not such an entity, but rather is part of the Roman Catholic Church itself.

Seeking to preserve an Episcopal liturgical tradition, but within the context of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, a committee compiled a collection of rituals and rubrics analogous to the Book of Common Prayer. Therefore, in 1984, the CDF allowed for the interim use of the Book of Divine Worship1, and then in 1987 gave it final approval. "This document allowed elements of the older Prayer Book of 1928, but die Eucharistie liturgy was taken only from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer with the interpolation of the Roman Eucharistie Canons and the ancient Sarum Canon (with the modern English 'Words of Institution' from the Novus ordo missae inserted)."2

The Book of Divine Worship is clearly modeled after the Book of Common Prayer, containing many of die same elements, including orders for morning, noonday, and evening prayers, as well as compline. The calendar contains the names of various American saints like Katharine Drexel and John Neumann, which reminds us that the Book of Divine Worship, Ln its first edition, was published specifically for use in the United States of America. The Feast Day of St. Augustine of Canterbury is a mandatory feast, and not an optional one. Anglo-CaÜiolic figures like Lancelot Andrewes and John Keble are absent. The cycle of readings is for two years. There are two rites for the Eucharist. In addition to the Eucharistie rite, the liturgies for Holy Baptism, Holy Matrimony, and the Burial of the Dead follow. As with die Eucharist, there are two rites for each of tiiose. The two rites are very close to each other, die difference being that the first rite uses English contemporaneous with me King James Bible, and the second rite uses contemporary English. …