(The Australian) Anglican priests joining Rome follow ritual from 500-year-old liturgy

Priests in Australia’s new Anglican Ordinariate will celebrate mass facing east, away from their congregations, using 500-year old liturgies.

Archbishop John Hepworth, Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, said the traditional sacred liturgies — more in the language of Shakespeare than modern vernacular — would be held in parishes in all capital cities, the Gold and Sunshine coasts, Rockhampton and Torres Strait.

The process took a major step forward yesterday when Archbishop Hepworth and Catholic Bishop Peter Elliott announced the establishment of an Australian Ordinariate implementation committee comprising senior Catholic, Anglican and TAC clergy.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

22 comments on “(The Australian) Anglican priests joining Rome follow ritual from 500-year-old liturgy

  1. Dan Crawford says:

    Why not just go all the way – join the Soceity of Pius X, don the fiddleback chasubles, adopt the Tridentine Rite in toto and celebrate in Latin? If this is to be the future of the Anglican “Ordinariate”, God help us.

  2. COLUMCIL says:

    Perhaps God is helping us, Dan, and what you suggest isn’t as bad as several liturgies in English I’ve witnessed with a face to face celebrant. We’ve discarded good things from the past and haven’t always replaced them with better worship of God.

  3. Dan Crawford says:

    “Isn’t as bad” isn’t an adequate criterion for good liturgy. What Prayer Book will serve as the model liturgy?

  4. evan miller says:

    The 1549 BCP would be a good place to start.

  5. nwlayman says:

    Perfectly classic line “Facing east **away from** the congregations”. If you pointed out to the writer that the celebrant is facing the **same way** as the congregation ? Slack jaw silence.

  6. Dr. William Tighe says:

    No “Prayer Book” will be the “model,” and neither will the “Book of Divine Worship” of the Anglican Use parishes in the USA. Rather, it will be something close to the “English Missal” of ca. 1912 and later (also known as the “Knott Missal” from its first publisher).

  7. therecusant says:


    I don’t understand your post.

    1. What does the SSPX have to do with this? Is it because they use the 1962 liturgy? There are several orders, such as the Priestly Society of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King, and the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius who all do as well; however, they are in good standing with the Church while the SSPX are in irregular standing. Why bring the SSPX into this?
    2. What is wrong with fiddleback chasubles. I know many priests who wear them, and do so while praying the Novus Ordo Mass in English.
    3. There is no “Tridentine Rite”. There is the Latin Rite, which has Mass according to the Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form. The Ordinary Form (post-Vatican II) can be prayed in Latin or the vernacular.
    4. I get that you don’t like Mass in Latin. But the article seems to only indicate the Mass in question will used stylized English. Not sure why you bring Latin into the equation.
    Care to further explain your thoughts?

  8. A Senior Priest says:

    I say this is good. People must be allowed to be who they are.

  9. Ad Orientem says:

    This is most encouraging. My guess (and that’s all it is) is we may be talking about one of three liturgies…

    1. The earliest “Anglican” BCP appropriately modified to comform to Roman doctrine.
    2. Some variation of the English or “Knott” Missal. (Essentially Tridentine but translated into a very tasteful liturgical English.)
    3. A slightly modified Use of Sarum.

    In ICXC

  10. Isaac says:

    So let me understand this correctly… Anglican priests, who will have to accept that they were never really priests to be begin with, will be using a liturgy that isn’t Anglican, that’s less than 100 years old? Pray tell, how broad does the Holy Father define “Anglican Patrimony?”

  11. Ad Orientem says:

    Re # 10
    I am lost. Where do you see liturgies less than 100 years old that are not Anglican? I see 500 years old with no reference to a specific patrimony. As for the whole issue of orders, that’s been beat to death. If you don’t agree with it than don’t become Catholic. They clearly do accept it. On a side note, none of the ancient churches accept Anglican orders. It’s not just Rome.

    In ICXC

  12. COLUMCIL says:

    No one has to accept that he was never really a priest. One will be ordained, however, for the Roman Catholic Church. There is a significant difference and not diminishing at all. For those choosing, it is homecoming.

  13. Ad Orientem says:

    Re # 12
    According to the Catholic understanding of Holy Orders, it’s a one time deal, like baptism. It is a sacrament that in Rome’s eyes can not be repeated and it is sacrilegious to attempt it. If there were any doubt the ordinations would be performed conditionally. If the converting clergy believed they were real priests they could not accede to Rome’s unconditional ordination without grave sin.

    In ICXC

  14. Isaac says:

    I’m lost all around, so don’t worry. What I guess I’m asking is this: if these priests were/are worshipping with something other than a BCP, confessing a faith substantially different than that of Anglicanism, accepting that they weren’t ever priest to begin with, then how were they ever “Anglicans” to begin with? And if they weren’t ever Anglicans in a proper sense, either confessionally or liturgically, then what is it that makes patrimony in any real sense “Anglican?” An even better example is those CofE priests who use Novus Ordo… How are they Anglican in any substantive way and why is that non-Anglicanism worth preserving in the Church of Rome?

    If, say, Rome had a group of priests using, without legal sanction, the ’79 BCP or even ’28, believing that woman can/should be ordained, and that the Pope isn’t infallible, doesn’t have universal jurisdiction, etc… They’d be shown the door. And if TEC or CofE created a special bishopric to preserve their Romanness… Then I’d suggest someone’s cheese had definately slipped off their cracker. I’m confused all around, because it doesn’t make any sense to me… Preserving “Anglican patrimony” by accepting priests and congregations that haven’t been using Anglican liturgies, who’ve been disobedient to their own Church’s teaching and who are breaking their own ordination vows. What a farce this whole thing is becoming. I’m happy they’re finding a place where they can be obedient and uphold the True Teaching of the Church as they see fit, but I’m also irritated by the assumption the rest of us have to feel bad about it, and how little sense any of this makes.

  15. KevinBabb says:

    Whenever I participate in a Eucharist in which the celebrant takes the eastward position, I think of the following: When Lyndon Johnson was President, his Press Secretary was Bill Moyers, a licensed Baptist minister. One night at supper, LBJ asked Moyers to say grace. Moyer must have been praying in a soft voice, because Johnson said, “Speak up, Bill!!! I can’t hear you.” To which Moyers responded:

    “Mr. President, I wasn’t talking to you.”

  16. Dr. William Tighe says:

    “If, say, Rome had a group of priests using, without legal sanction, the ‘79 BCP or even ‘28, believing that woman can/should be ordained, and that the Pope isn’t infallible, doesn’t have universal jurisdiction, etc… They’d be shown the door.”

    Of course they would, and thank God for it. But you (Anglican) guys have had no ecclesiastical discipline for decades — the last PECUSA cleric defrocked for heresy was Bishop William Montgomery Brown in the 1920s — and if you are going to tolerate anyone, well, just think of Philadelphia 1974 and New Hampshire 2003 and where that has led you: the madmen have taken over the asylum. And you accept that and boggle at a few Anglo-Papalists, who have a longer history than the advocates of ** (censored) or ** (censored), and on whom see:


    (*Anglican Papalism: A History* by Michael Yelton. Norwich, 1998: Canterbury Press)

  17. evan miller says:

    Amen Kevin. That’s the whole point that’s missed by those who favor the celebrant facing the congregation.
    And Bill Moyers’ response to LBJ was the same as my father’s when we would say we couldn’t understand his lightening fast blessing before meals. He’d always respond with, “I wasn’t talking to you.”

  18. COLUMCIL says:

    And so it is, Ad Orientem, a sacrament not repeated in the Catholic Church. What grave sin comes from this?

  19. KevinBabb says:

    With the celebrant in the eastward position, I always feel as though he is leading the congregation in prayer, rather than putting on an oratorical performance for it. Certainly that position is consistent with the role of the clergy as intercessors on behalf of the Church as a whole.

    I don’t mean to be sexist when I refer to eastward-celebrating priests as he, but I do use the masculine pronoun advisedly. Although I have been to many Eucharists celebrated by female priests, I can’t think of a single one who celebrated ad orientem. I’m sure, however, that others reading this post will have had broader experiences than I have had.

  20. Ross says:

    Re: facing the congregation vs. facing away — I remember seeing a museum exhibit several years ago, showing priest’s robes for some religious tradition I can’t recall (not Christian, I think.) The robes were richly and elaborately decorated on the front, and entirely plain and unadorned on the back.

    According to the exhibit, the reason for this was that when the priest was facing the worshippers, he was speaking to them on behalf of the deity, and so his robes reflected that role. But when he was facing away from them, he was speaking to the deity on behalf of the worshippers, and therefore his robes were plain as befitted a humble supplicant.

  21. Lapinbizarre says:

    Be interested to see what use the Roman Catholic Church has in store for Hepworth, a twice-married, divorced, former RC priest.

  22. Ad Orientem says:

    Re # 20
    Archbishop Hepworth will be received as a layman and he fully understands that this will be his vocation within the Ordinariate.