Deficiencies of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer
Bishops and Regular Clergy of the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic
Book of Common Prayer (BCP) of the Protestant Episcopal Church has
long been the staple of the liturgy for the groups of Anglicans known
commonly as Continuing Anglicans, who separated from the same
Protestant Episopcal Church mostly in the late 1970s. Some such
groups use various editions of Anglican missals, which are
principally the 1928 BCP with the addition of the missing Catholic
elements taken from different editions of the Tridentine missal. It
is worth noting, and it is indeed most important to note that those
jurisdictions, though typically claiming Catholicism in one form or
another, often under the name of "Anglo-Catholicism," are
rife with Protestants and Protestant influence. It is this prevelent
Protestant influence that renders it not possible simply to claim
that the 1928 BCP is inherently Catholic in nature simply because
Continuing Anglican tend to use it. Furthermore, it is known that
there was much Protestant influence in the compilation of the 1928
BCP, as captured and summarized within the Articles of Religion,
which we consider a shame due to the many beautiful elements the book
Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church, the 1928 BCP is not the standard
of liturgy. The standard of liturgy is found within the Missale
Anglicanum Editio Latina et Anglica and the Anglican Breviary. The
aforementioned missal is not the 1928 BCP with certain elements added
from Roman liturgy, but rather is essentially the pre-1955 Tridentine
mass with certain acceptable elements added from the 1928 BCP, viz.,
the Collect for Purity, the Summary of the Law, the General
Confession, Absolution, and Comfortable Words, and the General
Thanksgiving after Communion. Indeed, our Particular Church is not a
Continuing Anglican community, but rather an Old Roman Catholic
Patriarchate that has, through her special history, inherited the
blessing of Anglican heritage. It is important that our liturgy
represent out heritage and, above all, the true Catholic doctrine,
orandi lex credendi.
68 Sec. 1 of the Code of Particular Canon Law permits the use of
certain other traditional Anglican and Roman liturgy, this is not
intended to be the norm or standard use. It is never intended that
there should be within our jurisdiction some parishes that use the
official missal of our Patriarchate, other parishes that use
different missals, and still other parishes that use the 1928 BCP.
Such a mismatched collection of liturgy across parishes acts against
the unity so essential to our mission. Yet, certain other liturgy may
be, under Canon Law and with proper permission, use on occasion. Can.
68 Sec. 2 specifically addresses the issues pertaining to the effects
of the Protestant Reformation on the 1928 BCP and earlier Books of
Common Prayer. These effects cannot be ignored by anyone professing
the Catholic Faith.
Sec. 3 specifically states that no liturgy may be used if said
liturgy is used with intent to deny Catholic doctrine. This may
further reasonably be interpreted to imply any liturgy which is
inherently non-Catholic, regardless of the intent of the officiant
and participant. In a valid sacrament there must be valid intent in
accordance with Catholic doctrine on the part of the one performing
the sacrament. The rite used is an external form, by the action of
which the intent of the one performing the sacrament is realized and
the grace of the said sacrament is conveyed. Therefore, it is
illogical that a rite devoid of Catholic form could or should be used
to convey a valid Catholic sacrament with the intent of actually
conveying a valid Catholic sacrament. Due to the Protestant influence
on the 1928 BCP, there is definite cause for concern as to whether it
may be used in its unaltered and unedited form for the adminsitration
of valid Catholic sacraments.
us note that the current rites for ordination to the Minor Holy
Orders under the Pontificale
3rd Ed. are derived from the ordination rites contained within the
1928 BCP, in order to provide stylistic influence from our Anglican
heritage. These rites, though, are modified in order to be sufficient
in form and intent for the administration of a valid Catholic
sacrament. Furthermore, the 1928 BCP rites of marriage, visitation of
the sick, and burial (outside a Requiem mass) are similarly found in
our Rituale Anglicanum, again modified where needed to render them of
a form appropriate to the admission of a valid Catholic sacrament.
Such was and is the similar practice of the Anglican Use and the
Anglican Ordinariate of the Roman Communion, i.e., that
Anglican-style liturgy may be used, having been properly and
sufficiently modified to be in accord with Catholic doctrine and
concern pertaining to the use of the 1928 BCP regards its use for the
administration of Holy Communion. Used in its unaltered form without
any additions or deletions, it lacks many essential Catholic elements
in the Sacrament. These may be briefly enumerated as follows:
are no Prayers at the Foot of the Altar at the beginning of the
communion service. This removes the act of the priest, servers, and
people preparing themselves for the Holy Sacrifice. This also
promotes Luther's refusal to accept the Catholic teaching that the
priest is judge, witness and intercessor with God.
is only a minimal calendar of Saints, consisting essentially only of
the Apostles. Hence, there are also no collects of commemoration.
Coupled with the statements made in the Articles of Religion, this
can only be taken to be a denial of the Catholic doctrine pertaining
to the Saints. That they are not included in the 1928 BCP renders it
impossible to keep the Catholic feasts of the Saints. The various
editions of Anglo-Catholic missals have had to remedy this chiefly
through the addition of Roman Catholic collects.
is no true Offertory. The priest merely "sets the table"
for communion rather than formally offering the host and chalice.
Without suitable words in the ritual by which the bread and wine are
offered, the door is left wide open for any interpretation of the
elements of communion, including that they do not become the very and
true Body and Blood of Christ, but merely are representative and
constitute a memorial meal. Even though the words "And the
Priest shall then offer, and shall place upon the Holy Table, the
Bread and the Wine" appear in the rubrics, this is far from
sufficient to indicate the sacrificial nature of a true Holy
Communion. The non-sacrificial interpretations that are clearly
possible on the part of the priest and the people are entirely
Protestant in nature and not consistent with Catholic doctrine.
4. In the
Prayer for the Whole State of Christ's Church, the phrase "We
humbly beseech thee most mercifully to accept our [alms and]
oblations" appears, without any further comment that would
suggest a sacrificial nature. Indeed, that the oblations of bread and
wine are written next to alms further weakens any possibility that
the oblation of bread and wine in the 1928 BCP rite is necessarily
and unambiguously a sacrificial offering to which the people may join
1928 BCP communion service lacks Secrets, by which the priest offers
special prayers silently on behalf of the people. The lack of these
prayers weakens the role of the priest in the sense of a Catholic
priesthood, i.e., an alter Christus.
troubling is the prayer of consecration itself. The prayer refers to
the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross at Calvary. Instead of then
referring to the present act on the altar as that same, true and
living Sacrifice to which the priest and people join themselves, it
explictly refers to the present act as a "perpetual memory"
of the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. If it is the intent of the
priest that communion be merely a memorial, then it is indeed no
sacrament at all.
the phrase in the Invocation "...in remembrance of his death and
passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood"
does refer to the Body and Blood of Christ and may otherwise not be a
troubling statement, taken in the context in which the 1928 prayer of
consecration is phrased renders the statement in the Invocation
merely the furtherance of the Protestant heresy that Holy Communion
is merely a memorial. Further in the Invocation is stated "And
here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls
and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto
thee." This statement merely by itself represents Catholic
doctrine. Yet, in the context of the entire rite, it becomes highly
confusing as to the true nature of the communion service, i.e., is it
a Sacrifice (Catholic doctrine) or merely a memorial (Protestant
8. The Agnus
is completely missing.
is no invocation of Saints, and there are no prayers for the dead,
furthering the various Protestant heresies regarding the Saints and
intercession for the dead.
is no Domine
non sum dignus
per se, but there is the following prayer: "We do not presume to
come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own
righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not
worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou
art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us
therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus
Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made
clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious
blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us.
Amen." This prayer further adds to the confusion regarding the
sacrificial nature of a true mass. Given the earlier aspects of the
1928 rite that suggest communion is not a sacrifice, but a memorial,
this prayer furthers both that notion and the idea that the presence
of Christ is mystical. That is, a denial of transubstantian, and
hence of Catholic doctrine. Indeed, Article 28 of the Articles of
Religion explicitly denies transubstantiation. Hence, all statements
in the 1928 rite referring to the Body and Blood of Christ must be
interpretted merely in a symbolic fashion. Thus, taken in its
unaltered and unedited form, the rite of the 1928 BCP is not a true
priest in the 1928 BCP rite does not keep his thumbs and forefingers
joined until the ablutions. This action is done in traditional
liturgy to prevent profanement of any particles of the Body of Christ
that may be on the priests thumbs and forefingers. Furthermore, there
is no explicit act of ablutions of the sacred vessels. That these
actions are absent in the 1928 BCP rite is rather telling and
certainly consistent with Article 28 of the Articles of Religion.
Articles of Religion themselves, under which the intent of the 1928
BCP rites must be interpreted and considered, contain numerous anti-Catholic
doctrine. This leads to the serious question of valid intent on the
part of anyone celebrating Holy Communion under the 1928 BCP rite.
therefore, not permitted for any priest in the Anglican Rite Roman
Catholic Church to celebrate the Holy Mass under the 1928 BCP without
the permission of the Patriarch, in accordance with Can. 68 Sec. 1,
and then only if the rite is celebrated under the following
1. It is
celebrated out of an altar service book not containing the 39
Articles of Religion.
3. The Gloria
when liturgically required, is said after the Kyrie.
Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are said as given in the Missale Anglicanum.
Offertory must be said in accordance with the Missale Anglicanum.
Canon of the Mass is said in its entirety as given in the Missale Anglicanum.
intent must be in accordance with Catholic doctrine as delivered
through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, which same is also
promulgated through the Catechism of this Particular Church.
8. It must
not otherwise violate rubrics and liturgical norms and instructions.
day at the Court of Saint Mary of Walsingham, 15 July, in the year of
our Lord 2012.
of Saint Stephen
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