Traditional Anglo-Papist

02 March 2006

Is there anything in Anglicanism worth saving?

I recently read an article Anglicanism: what should we keep? in response to an article, Is the Anglican Communion worth saving?.

Fr Chadwick summaries the articles as follows:
The author of this article highlights five considerations:
1. Good taste in church architecture and liturgical fittings,
2. The choral tradition, made possible by the vernacular liturgy (with the option of singing certain pieces in Latin or other languages),
3. Lay appreciation for the Divine Office. Anglicanism has a deep love and reverence for the Divine Office, whereas this is rarely found in Roman Catholicism outside monastic communities. Since the Reformation, the offices of Mattins and Evensong have not become a preserve of the clergy like the Roman Breviary or even the new Liturgy of the Hours, but a true common prayer.
4. High academic and cultural standards. Anglicanism has a long tradition of highly trained academic men in the priesthood, even at the parochial level. There have been many examples of educated laity who played a major role in theological and moral questions.
5. A profound sense of the liturgy. Having known deep crises in the early Reformation days and during the dry latitudinarianism of the 18th century, Anglicans developed a profound understanding of the relationship between liturgy and theology. This is one reason why Anglicans who become Roman Catholics are particularly sensitive to the problems of the liturgical reform of the 1960s and 70s.

To the fifth point above I would add a love for the finer points of liturgy and ceremonial. (Take note that both of the standard ceremonial guides for the Western Church, Fortescue and Elliott, are written by priests who have Anglican background.) To me, as a Traditional Anglo-Papist, the above is embodied in the Missal tradition with the Anglican Breviary as the constant companion to the Missal.


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