Category Archives: Bibliography
Revived Order of Corporate Reunion, by Arnold Harris Mathew (1912)
Sarum Use, by H.R. Percival (1890)
Your anonymous correspondent can hardly expect me to restate my argument which I hope most of your readers have more fully grasped; perhaps, however, it may not be amiss to point out one or two facts with regard to the Sarum Ritual. If its ultra-ritualistic and semi-superstitious character is to be exemplified, the rubrics for the procession on Palm Sunday are fully sufficient.
Anyone comparing these with the simple and dignified procession of the rest of the West will see the enormous difference. For corruption of doctrine, the peculiarities of the service for the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday is enough, although numbers of other instances could be cited. For the enthronement of superstition, the elaborate account of the supposed miracle of the bleeding crucifix for which a special feast day is appointed may suffice.
Why your correspondent was not familiar with these and dozens of other quite as flagrant examples, I cannot imagine. The study of almost any one of the so editions of which he speaks would have been sufficient. Your correspondent does not appear to be quite up to date in Liturgiology. Mr. St. John Hope, in his admirable monograph upon the English Liturgical Colours, has at last placed this question beyond all controversy. His conclusion in brief is this—but one thing is certain, and that is that white was the universal colour for Lent in England! Outside of this he shows there was almost no uniformity. Your correspondent will find a short resume of Mr. Hope’s article in the January number of the (English) Church Quarterly Review, written by Dr. Wickam Legg. Pray allow me before closing to point out to your readers just how far we have got on this Sarum question. We find that in the Prayer Book there are many peculiarities of the Roman Books and but few of the Sarum Books. An analysis of the Litany (for example shows that while there are traces of Sarum influences yet that in the main it follows the continental uses, and chiefly the German. I need not point out to students of Liturgiology how this happens to be the case. The same is true of a large part of the Prayer Book. While, then, it is readily granted that Sarum use had its influence in framing our present services, the statement (so often made and until recently so universally accepted) that Sarum Use was the basis of our Prayer Book appears to rest upon no foundation whatever.
What your correspondent says about the ready access that there is now to Sarum Books is, comparatively speaking, true, but here again we find ourselves faced by a tremendous difficulty. We have not only the Sarum Books but we have also contemporaneous descriptions of the services in different parts of England and these descriptions do not agree with the Sarum directions! I have digested a large number of these and shall hope some time to be able to speak with some positiveness upon the subject, but it is evidently the work of years; and until this is done by some one, mere statements, unsupported by contemporary writers, and only made by authors more than 300 years afterward, can be no proof of the even approximate universality of the Sarum Ritual. I should add that the extensive use of the Revised Sarum Psalter is not disputed.
I do not know whether any one else is pursuing his researches by the same method as myself. I hope others are doing so who have better opportunities of consulting rare books found only in the libraries of the Old World, but at least mine have gone far enough to shew the unreliability of most of what was called information upon the Sarum question.
I can well remember the time when I shared your correspondent’s views, and it was not until I had devoted more attention to the subject that I found I had been misled by similar false statements to those which are evidently now influencing him. In closing I would say that while my chief contention was the identity in all essential points of our present celebration of the Holy Eucharist with that of the past, I yet am of the opinion of those who considered that the Service Books of mediaeval England had become “corrupt” and “superstitious,” and that the ritual was often “barbaric” and “theatrical,” and therefore needed Reformation. Unless I misunderstood “Boston” he deems the Reformation un-called for and is one of those (I use his own rather curious expression) “Catholic Churchmen that look back with longing to the days when the Church of England held the Catholic Faith in its entirety.”
—Henry R. Percival, The Church Eclectic, May, 1890, pp. 171-173.
Since the Parson’s Handbook, by C. E. Pocknee (1973)
New York: The Anglican Society, for distribution at the General Convention, 1973.
That we now have something like a recognizable Anglican Use, particularly in our cathedrals and larger churches, is due in no small measure to the late Percy Dearmer, the author of The Parson’s Handbook and the general editor of The English Hymnal. Dr Dearmer belonged to a generation which produced a galaxy of scholars who were also deeply devoted dhurchmen. With Dearmer were Walter Howard Frere, Charles Gore, W. H. St John Hope, J. Wickham Legg, Francis Deles, and Jocelyn Perkins; later there came A. S. Duncan-Jones and J. H. Arnold. All these were members of the Alcuin Club, founded in 1899 to promote loyalty to, and the study of, the Book of Common Prayer. It was the merit and achievement of The Parson’s Handbook that it collated and brought together all the researches of scholars, notably those of the associates of Dearmer, such as W. H. Frere and J. H. Wickham Legg, and made them available to the ordinary parish priest who had not the time and inclination to delve into the researches that were required. The book was in fact an haute vulgarisation of the works that had been published during the previous thirty years. Dearmer’s book was first published in April 1899, and 1903 an enlarged edition appeared, which was to remain substantially unaltered in the twelfth edition Which appeared in 1932. The seventh impression of that edition appeared in 1957.
The founder members of the Alcuin Club took as their watchword loyalty to the Book of Common Prayer and to the Church of England, Catholic and Reformed. They believed the English Prayer Book to have Catholic rites and ceremonies which did not require to be supplemented by additions and borrowings from the Roman Missal. One of the first publications of the Alcuin Club was J. T. Micklethwaite’s Ornaments of the Rubric, which gave in great detail all the ornaments and ceremonial adjuncts that could legally be used with the Book of Common Prayer. Micklethwaite’s investigations were based on the supposition that the Ornaments Rubric, which first appeared in the Elizabethan Prayer Book of 1559, and which we quote herewith: And here it is to be noted that such ornaments of the church, and of the ministries thereof, al all times of their ministration, shall be retained and be in use as were in this Church of England, by the authority of Parliament, in the second year of the reign of King Edward the Sixth, laid down a precise date, namely the second year of Edward the Sixth (28 January 1548 to 27 January 1549), at which all the ornaments and appointments of the Church of England were determined. Readers of Micklethwaite’s work were surprised to learn how much pre-Reformation ceremonial had been retained by the Church of England. In effect the writer argued that anything that had not been expressly repudiated or forbidden by the Church was still permissible.
It was inevitable that the founders of the Alcuin Club, and popularization of its researches in Dearmer’s handbook, should look back to pre-Reformation usage in this country since the first English Prayer Book had evolved from the pre-Reformation rites. These rites were exemplified in the service books of the illustrious cathedral church of Salisbury, whose ceremonial customs and service books had for several decades before 1549 been increasingly adopted throughout the Whole of the Province of Canterbury. This was the celebrated Sarum Use, whose customary was edited and published in a printed text in 1898 by W. H. Frere. Dr Dearmer and his associates were inclined to suppose that the Sarum Use was something peculiarly English and insular; and they sometimes used this argument against the post-Tridentine ceremonial Which the later Anglo- Catholic movement was introducing into some of our parish churches under the epithet of the “full Western Use.” We now realize that there is nothing peculiar to the Provinces of Canterbury and York in the Sarum Use. A study of the rites in use in France, the Low Countries, and Germany in the last part of the Middle Ages will reveal much that has strong affinities with medieval Salisbury. We may say that the Sarum Use represents the trend of liturgical practice throughout Northern Europe in the late Middle Ages. Thus apparelled albs and full surplices were in use- everywhere, even in Italy. We may also point out that there is nothing peculiarly insular about an altar surrounded by four posts and enshrined by curtains. The term “English Altar” was not used by Dearmer, although he rightly claimed that this type of altar was particularly suited to the east end of the English parish church with its low window. In fairness to the writer of The Parson’s Handbook, a careful reading will show that the author does not propose to restore all the complicated ceremonial of the Sarum rite, but rather a modified and adapted form that would fit the Book of Common Prayer, which has become known as the “English Use”. Thus Dearmer and his associates were opposed to the reintroduction of the late medieval ceremony of the Elevation of the Host with its accompanying bell-ringings, censings, and genuflexions, which the rubrics of the 1549 Book had forbidden. Nearly fifty years after Dearmer had dealt with this matter it was to occupy the increasing attention of Roman Catholic scholars such as Jungmann and Parsch. The latter was to write, much more forcibly than the former Vicar of St Mary’s, Primrose Hill: “It cannot be denied, however, that by this elevation and the accompanying adoration of the sacred Species, an alien element was brought into the Mass, which had the effect of beclouding the true significance of the Holy Sacrifice. The Mass came to be less and ‘less appreciated as the sacrifice of Christ. Instead, a movement arose in which the adoration of the Eucharist was greatly developed, and thereby the spiritual energies of the faithful were, in the course of centuries, turned away from the sacrifice itself.’”
Indeed, it is one of the ironies of the situation that many of the things which were advocated in The Parson’s Handbookhave now come to be accepted by the liturgical movement within the Roman Catholic Church to-day, and they can no longer be dismissed as “British Museum” or “Dearmerism”. The active participation of the laity in a Mass that is completely audible, such are the aims of the reforms that are now taking place in the Roman rite.
The whole trend of Sunday morning worship as manifested to-day in the Parish Eucharist had been foreshadowed by John Wordsworth in the Ministry of Grace (1901), and by W. H. Frere in Some Principles of Liturgical Reform. Both writers had advocated a return to the old canonical hour of 9 a.m. for the chief act of Sunday morning worship. Charles Gore, Percy Dearmer, and Walter Frere were all opposed to the late High Mass with few or no communicants that had been introduced by the Anglo-Catholic movement into the Church of England. Gore in The Body of Christ (1901) had stigmatized the custom as “a seriously defective theology”. In our own day Rome is just as concerned to discourage non-communicating attendance at Mass; and we now have the spectacle of large numbers of communicants at High Mass on Sundays at the Roman Catholic cathedral at Westminster.
In the Church of England a considerable impetus to the reform of Sunday morning worship was given in 1935 by the publication of Liturgy and Society by Father A. G. Hebert, S.S.M., and two years later of the same writer’s The Parish Communion. In both books there is an examination of the relation between the sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of his Church in the Holy Eucharist. The excessive individualism which had characterized western religious devotion and thought, both Catholic and Protestant, since the Middle Ages was subjected to a critical scrutiny and contrasted with the corporate doctrine of the Eucharist as exemplified in the primitive Church in the writings of the New Testament and of the Fathers. The matter has been further underlined since the close of the Second World War by the increasing desire for reunion on the part of all Who profess and call themselves Christians. The nature of the Church as the Body of Christ and the relations between clergy and laity have taken on a new complexion. Indeed, the whole idea of church membership has been raised by the debate which the Baptismal Reform Movement has started in the Church of England in regard to nominal church membership through infant Baptism. The word “laity” now means the laos, the people of God, and not merely those people who are not in Holy Orders.
No survey of the changes that have come about in liturgical belief, and practice during the last half-century can ignore the work of the Anglican Benedictine, the late Dom Gregory Dix, who, in The Shape of the Liturgy (1945), published a large volume which raises many questions but does not always supply the right answers. It is an uneven work, some of which is based on the writer’s brilliant intuitions (some of which proved to be true), rather than upon factual evidence. Indeed, it is one of the chief weaknesses of the book that it is often unsupported by factual evidence in the arguments that it presents. As a work of precise scholarship it cannot stand alongside that of the Austrian Jesuit, Father Joseph Jungmann, who in the two volumes of Missarum Sollemnia, translated into English under the title, The Mass of the Roman Rite, has placed the whole of western Christendom in his debt. The chief merit of Dom Gregory Dix’s book lies not in his unravelling of the complexities of liturgical history, a task for which he was not fully equipped, but rather in his insistence that we should look back to the pre-Nicene era to the eschatological element in eucharistic worship rather than to the historical element that came to the fore from the end of the fourth century. Here Dix was on much surer ground in claiming that the Eucharist not only looks back to the upper room but also forward to the last things, as all the historic liturgies, almost without exception, insist that we celebrate the Eucharist “until his coming again”. There is in the Holy Sacrament of the altar a realized eschatology.
It is not, therefore, a new ceremonial that has to be devised or even a revision of the liturgy that is paramount, but rather a change of emphasis in eucharistic worship. Much of the argument between Catholic and Protestant about the nature of the eucharistic sacrifice is outmoded and meaningless; and for this fact we must indeed be thankful since the way is now open for the recovery of unity at the Lord’s Table. While the primitive era is exercising a great fascination on the liturgical scholars of our time, we must beware of a kind of antiquarian “primitivism”. This kind of thing would be as false as the appeal to the Middle Ages which Characterized much Which the Oxford Movement introduced in its later stages. We cannot ignore nearly twenty centuries of church life. Nor would it be true to imply that all forms of liturgical development since the primitive era have been unfruitful and completely corrupt. Such an idea has dogged the steps of reformers and sectarians from the Middle Ages onwards. The Holy Ghost has not left himself without a witness in all ages. The latitudinarianism of the eighteenth century can be offset with the hymns of Charles Wesley, and William Law’s A serious Call to a devout and Holy Life.
We must now turn to another aspect of the work of Dr. Dearmer and his associates. Dearmer, Gore, and others were strongly imbued with a sense of social righteousness and justice. They perceived that the Church could not preach the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man if some sections of the community were under privileged as well as sweated and underpaid; and at the turn of this century there were many who were in that state. Moreover, some of the things turned out under these conditions were cheap, shoddy, and worthless. This applied to some of the ornaments and furnishings that were being supplied to our churches. Such things were often badly designed, uninspired, and badly produced. They were an offence against God and man. Craftsmanship there certainly was, but it was being subordinated to commercialism and exploitation. Our churches were being filled with appalling stained glass and equally appalling brass fittings and ornaments. Dearmer and his associates founded the Warham Guild to show how even simple things could be well made and designed; and also to pay those who made and produced such things, craftsmen, embroiderers, and seamstresses, adequate and proper compensation for their labours. It was little use the preacher in the pulpit urging social righteousness if the surplice that he wore proclaimed the sweating of those who made such things and cheapness of production as the primary consideration in the ornaments of the church. During the past half century there has been a vast improvement in such matters in regard to the ornaments and furnishings that have been put into our churches, although not all church furnishers have caught up with the vastly increased knowledge that has affected both design and production.
One of Dr. Dearmer’s associates was the late Francis Eeles. He was particularly concerned with the amateurish manner in which our parish churches and cathedrals were being maintained. Considerable damage was being done both in repairs to the structure as well as in the custody of the medieval and renaissance fittings that were to be found in many of them. It was largely through the labours of Dr Eeles that much of this amateurish approach to the care of our churches has ceased. He became the first secretary of the Central Council for the Care of Churches, with an advisory committee for each diocese, to which all alterations and proposals for new ornaments and fittings in a parish church must be submitted for recommendation. Under the faculties Measure, 1938, the chancellor of the diocese must authorize by licence or faculty any structural alterations as well as new furniture and ornaments. While the chancellor is not obliged to concur with the opinions expressed by the diocesan advisory committee, he usually takes note of their recommendations and opinions as the committee is authorized by the diocesan bishop to advise both the incumbent and his parochial church council as well as the chancellor. But it should be underlined that the final decision regarding the granting of a faculty lies with the chancellor.
On the whole, the system has worked well and it has prevented the wrong kind of structural repairs to many of our historic churches, and has rejected unsuitable, badly designed, and unfunctional ornaments and furniture. But there are some serious anomalies in the system which call for urgent consideration. Not all diocesan advisory committees possess the same degree of liturgical and ecclesiological knowledge; and in some instances known to us bad designs and unfunctional fittings have been passed by an advisory committee. Moreover, amongst diocesan chancellors there is sometimes a conflict of opinion as to what may legally be placed in a parish church. In one diocese an inscription asking for prayers for the departed may be passed by the chancellor and in another diocese it will be refused. One chancellor will grant a faculty for a ciborium over the altar, while in the adjoining diocese such an ornament will be refused. Also, there is the serious criticism that cathedrals and collegiate churches are not subject to faculties and they are, therefore, free to introduce any ornament or alteration which the dean and chapter choose to make, while in the same diocese a parish church will be refused the same things. It is true there is a Cathedrals’ Advisory Committee, but no cathedral chapter is obliged to consult it, and in practice some do not. The supposition that cathedral and collegiate chapters possess an omniscience and omnicompetence in matters liturgical and ecclesiological is not true and is disproven by the conduct of some of our cathedral services. If incumbents and their parochial church councils are to be subject to diocesan advisory committees and faculty law, so also must our greater churches, since one of the new canons approved by the Convocations of Canterbury and York says the cathedral church is the mother church of the diocese and in matters liturgical should be the exemplar to the diocese. Cathedral dignitaries must be subject to the same discipline and order of Canon Law as the incumbent and his people in the smallest country parish in the diocese. This is a matter that calls for urgent reform.
The Parson’s Handbook assumed loyalty and obedience to the Church of England and the authority and teaching of the Book of Common Prayer. Here we are at one with Dearmer, Gore, and Frere. But such loyalty did not prevent them from urging the need for changes in the rites of the Prayer Book, provided these changes were approved by the Convocations of Canterbury and York. This problem still remains with us. It is now fashionable to talk of liturgical experiment to meet the pastoral situation. We do not regard the 1662 Prayer Book as a fifth Gospel and incapable of improvement and revision. But we are opposed to the idea that the parson can make up his own services and substitute them for the authorized rites of the Church of England. Such an idea is contrary to Church Order and the whole conception of corporate authority as recognized in every part of Catholic and historic Christendom. We gladly recognize that in the Missal, Pontifical, and the older Sacramentaries of the Roman rite, as well as in the rites of eastern Christendom, there are treasures which could enrich and supplement our existing Prayer Book liturgy. But such things must be introduced by proper and constitutional authority. It is a serious breach of discipline for a priest or bishop to substitute the rite of another part of the Church for that officially authorized by the Church of England and the Churches of the Anglican Communion.
We also agree with the words of the report of the Lambeth Conference of 1958: “When in the past there has been discussion on the place of the Book of Common Prayer in the life of the Anglican Communion, the underlying assumption, and often declared principle, has been that the Prayer Book of 1662 should remain as the basic pattern, and indeed, as a bond of unity in doctrine and in worship for our Communion as a whole. . .. Yet it now seems clear that no Prayer Book, not even that of 1662, can be kept unchanged forever, as a safeguard of established doctrine.” Mr. Wigan’s recently published book, The Liturgy in English, shows conclusively that the other Churches of the Anglican Communion have moved a considerable way from 1662, and W. J. Grisbrooke, in Anglican Liturgies of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, has shown that there never was an uncritical acceptance of the 1662 Book on the part of Anglican scholarship before the Oxford Movement. The supposition that it was the Catholic revival of the nineteenth century which caused discontent with the liturgy of 1662 is an entirely erroneous one. Wherever the Churches of the Anglican Communion have been freed from Parliamentary interference and control there has been a reversion to the type of liturgy exemplified in the First English Prayer Book of 1549, beginning with the Scottish Liturgy of 1637, through the American Book of 1789, and finding its most recent expression in the liturgies of the Canadian Church in 1959 and that of the Province of the West Indies of the same year. The further suggestion of the 1958 Lambeth Conference was that the time had come to consider one liturgy for the whole Anglican Communion. In the light of the facts set out above we may assume that such a liturgy is most unlikely to be that of 1662. Liturgies, such as that now in use in the Church of South India, also indicate the same pattern of liturgical worship. If the price the Provinces of Canterbury and York have to pay for the revision of the English liturgy is disestablishment, then they should be prepared to pay that price. The age has long gone by when men could be compelled to pray by act of Parliament. There must be freedom for the Church of England to order and revise her liturgy in accordance with the teaching of the Holy Scriptures and that of the undivided Church. Ecclesia Anglicana libera sit!
The Three Sacred Ministers: An Outmoded Concept? by H. Boone Porter, Jr. (1973)
New York: The Anglican Society, for distribution at the General Convention, 1973.
Ever since medieval times, a typical practice of Western Christendom has been the employment of three sacred ministers to mark the solemn celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Referred to as priest, deacon, and subdeacon, or as celebrant, gospeller, and epistoler, these three hieratic figures have long been characteristic of Western worship at its best.
They have graven deep furrows in our religious thought and practice. In medieval theology, as represented by St. Thomas and other writers, the three sacred orders of the ministry are no longer defined (as in antiquity) as bishop, priest, and deacon. Instead, they were defined, in accord with contemporary medieval liturgical usage, as priest, deacon, and subdeacon. (See Summa Theologica, Quest. 37, Articles 2 & 3, Supplement). Such has continued to be the normal Roman teaching until recent years. In architecture, the long gothic Chancel, with its distant view of the sanctuary at the end, was perfectly suited to display the altar with three symmetrically placed figures before it. In order to make the subdeacon match the deacon, the tunicle was invented to clothe him. Our altars are still customarily raised on three steps, one for each order to stand on; and traditional sedilia provide three seats for them to sit in.
During the late medieval, renaissance, and modern period, the liturgy has been attenuated by the individualistic outlook common to laity and clergy alike. During these long centuries, the customary usage of three sacred ministers at a solemn celebration has been a most valuable witness, maintaining some awareness of the properly corporate and collegial character of liturgical action. Today, however, the Church is ready for a much deeper and broader understanding of corporate liturgical worship. The arbitrary restriction to three ministers is a limitation that is now very difficult to defend. There are repeated occasions when two, or four, or six, or seven ministers would better suit the circumstances.
WHAT IS THE TRADITIONAL NORM?
How much historical authority does lie behind the threefold stereotype? First of all, it does not go back to the earliest periods of Catholic worship. In the age of Hippolytus, Augustine, Chrysostom, or Basil, a solemn celebration was led by a bishop, concelebrating with several priests (or “fellow presbyters ). They were assisted by° as many deacons, who were helped by as many subdeacons as might be on hand, and there were as many readers and cantors as were necessary to read the lessons and lead the chants appointed for the day.
Secondly, even in the late medieval and modern latin rite, the most solemn enactments of the mass are still based on that pre-medieval pattern. In the fullest forms of the pontifical mass, the officiating bishop is assisted by several priests, several deacons and subdeacons, and several taper-bearers. Such a practice survived down to modern times in certain European cathedrals on Maundy Thursday and a few other great feasts. (A. A. King, in Liturgies of the Primatial Sees, London & New York, 1957, discusses this practice in connection with the Cathedral of Lyons, where it still continues. In Liturgy of the Roman Church, London & New York, 1957, the same author describes the papal solemn mass). The present Vatican Council, in its admirable Constitution on the Liturgy, rightly recalls attention to the central and plenary character of the episcopal celebration.
Therefore all should hold in great esteem the liturgical life of the diocese centered around the bishop, especially in his cathedral church; they must be convinced that the preeminent manifestation of the Church consists in the full active participation of all God’s holy people in these liturgical celebrations … at which there presides the bishop surrounded by his presbytery and by his ministers. (IV, 41).
Thirdly, it may be pointed out that while the medieval rite was still a living thing, it did not permit itself to be hamstrung by the threefold scheme of sacred ministers. In the small parish, where there was no deacon or assistant priest, the parish clerk could still chant the Epistle on Sundays and feasts, and the priest himself could come down to the lectern to chant the Gospel. (See C. Atchley, The Parish Clerk, and his Right to Read the Liturgical Epistle, Alcuin Club Tracts IV, 1903, 1924).
Fourthly, the threefold scheme has never been universal, for it is unknown to the Eastern Churches. In normal Orthodox usage, as many priests as are present concelebrate together: priests never masquerade as deacons or subdeacons. When deacons are present, they perform their proper duties, irrespective of whether one or several priests are officiating. So too do subdeacons where members of this ancient rank are on hand. In most Orthodox communities, the Epistle is taken by a reader who simply steps out of the congregation in lay clothes. In short, the limiting of sacred ministers to a priest, a deacon, and a subdeacon has no universal or comprehensive claim.
THE PRESENT PROBLEM
Granting that the threefold scheme has had no monopoly on the arrangement of solemn worship in the past, what are the objections to it in the present or future?
First, it may be pointed out that if the Eucharist is to be celebrated and the three available ministers are in fact a priest, a deacon, and a subdeacon, then the customary Western pattern is an excellent arrangement. In fact, however, this very rarely happens. Apart from the Armenians and certain other smaller Eastern groups, the subdiaconate scarcely exists anywhere today. Within the Anglican Communion, it is now normally conferred only within the Province of South Africa. The use of priests to fulfill all three roles puts the whole rite on an artificial and misleading basis. If ill-tom ei\ ed liturgical usage could confuse so great a theologian as Aquinas, it can certainly confuse the average lay person. Ceremonial and \esture ought to clarify, rather than obscure, what is happening.
On occasions when more than three clergy are present, the arbitrary concentration on three “sacred” ministers unnecessarily relegates the others to the side-lines. The use of ordained clergy for epistolers, furthermore, is very questionable. It may have been necessary in ages when the laity were illiterate, but today any congregation ought to have one or more competent lectors, and they ought normally to be able to perform their office without having to put on an elaborate costume which makes them look like ordained clergy in the eyes of the congregation.
Particularly regrettable is the still widespread assumption that the two assisting ministers can only function at a fully choral celebration. This view is still being implanted in younger clergy by the customs still followed in certain seminary chapels. Unfortunately, many congregations are not familiar with an elaborate choral rite, and they will only become familiar if it is introduced to them by degrees in a flexible manner. The rigid, authoritarian, “all or nothing” approach is no longer tenable—if indeed it ever was.
One young curate recently told me, with obvious bitterness, that during the entire period of his diaconate the rector under whom he served had never once permitted him to read the Gospel, prepare the elements at the offertory, or perform the ablutions. Then three days after he had been advanced to the priesthood, a solemn mass was performed in the parish and for the first time he was assigned to be “deacon”!
It is evident that the celebration of the Holy Mysteries, by a priest, deacon, and subdeacon represents simply one of many ways of arranging a group of clergy. In America at the present time, it is not normally the most reasonable or useful way. Practical convenience, pastoral sensitivity, and the theology of holy orders all require a more flexible and more realistic manner of deploying clergy and lay assistants in the liturgy. In the subsequent section of this essay, we will consider how this can be done.
In the previous section, we briefly surveyed the history of the solemn celebration of the Holy Eucharist. We saw that in varying times and varying places, varying numbers of clergy, in various ranks, have exercised their liturgical ministry. The limitation of the solemn rite to three ministers, whether called priest, deacon, and subdeacon, or celebrant, gospeller and epistoler, cannot claim to be either ancient or universal. In many cases, it is inconvenient, misleading, and otherwise unsuitable. But what then are some of the alternative patterns? In order to answer this question, we must first understand what we are trying to achieve.
THE REASONS FOR SEVERAL MINISTERS
The use of additional clergy and lay assistants has two major objectives, both of which are important. First, additional persons enable the rite to be performed more effectively and more expeditiously. It is easier to listen attentively to Epistle, Gospel, and Sermon if we hear them from different persons with differing voices. The dramatic force of the rite is enhanced if additional clergy enable the more rapid distribution of Holy Communion, and if they can dispatch the ablutions.
Secondly, additional persons give visual and audible expression to the corporate nature of the rite. When the Eucharist appears (as, alas, it so often does) as a “one man show” performed by the officiating priest, its very nature is compromised. The sacrament of Christ’s Body is the sacrament of the Church, in which different members perform different functions in an orderly manner. The solemn collaboration of different orders of persons in the liturgy expresses the holy community of the Household of God.
Other reasons for additional ministers also arise in particular cases. Thus, lay readers and young clergy cannot learn to perform their tasks properly if they have no opportunities to practice. The local church will have little idea of its place within the Church Catholic if visiting clergy from other places cannot be welcomed into the sanctuary.
PRACTICAL CONTEMPORARY SOLUTIONS
With these objectives in mind, we can consider concrete means of achieving them. The average congregation has only one ordained clergyman, the priest. In order to give the liturgy a more visibly corporate character, therefore, the role of lay readers must be zealously promoted. In many congregations it is an attainable to have a layman read the Epistle at every public celebration of the Eucharist, even the “simple, said service” at an early hour. Nor should the occasional presence of visiting priests cause the readers to be squeezed out of their regular role. This consistent use of lay readers in the Church’s chief act of worship can have a marked effect on a congregation.
If shortened Matins precedes the Eucharist (at least at certain seasons) this provides the occasion for a lay officiant at the office, and an Old Testament reader. When the Litany is sung or said before the Eucharist, this too can be assigned to a layman Thus the rector can have two or three lay ministers reading significant portions of the rite. He will of course also have servers and, in an increasing number of parishes, representatives of the congregation will bring die elements forward at the offertory. Thus the service ceases to be an individual performance by one clergyman.
Another kind of question arises with regard to the diaconate. In many parts of the Christian Church, its effective revival is now being called for. Some of us believe that the Holy Eucharist will never gain its rightful place in the life of the Episcopal Church, unless we also can provide at least one deacon in every parish to help administer Holy Communion in the liturgy and also to carry the sacrament to the sick (as well as helping in various other ways). Our canons now have clear provision for the diaconate, and in every
diocese there are many mature and experienced laymen who could be encouraged to study for this order while remaining in their secular professions and occupations. (See H. B. Porter, The Ministers of the Distribution of Holy CommunionSupplemental Report II, the General Convention, 1964.) Several dioceses already have a number of men serving very usefully in this order.
In certain larger centers and on certain special occasions, there is the problem of fitting several priests into the rite. Some form of concelebration is the answer to this question. Once it is understood that a group of priests can offer the Eucharist together, the exact details of arranging the rite can easily vary according to the number of participants, the size of the sanctuary, the nature of the occasion, etc. (For an extended Anglican discussion, see Basil Minchin, Every Man in His Ministry, London, 1960. For an excellent modern Roman account, see Mother Jean McGowan, Concelebration, New York, 1964.) Some of us who have repeatedly celebrated in this fashion have found it very satisfactory.
These remarks would be gravely incomplete if no mention were made of the episcopate. Our present rubrics require the bishop to give the absolution and blessing in the liturgy, but these are only peripheral ceremonies not integral to the eucharistic action as such. Should not the bishop, as bearer of the apostolic commission, preach the Gospel and preside at the Lord’s Table? In rubrical terms, this would mean delivering the sermon, and reciting the eucharistic prayer, beginning with the sursum corda. The local priests, as his collaborators and associates, would properly concelebrate with him. Performed in this way, the rite is extraordinarily impressive.
In conclusion, we see that the three authentic orders of sacred ministers are not those of priest, deacon, and subdeacon. Rather they arc those of bishop, priest, and deacon. Each of these orders can and should have their proper roles in the Holy Mysteries, whether they be represented by one or by several individuals. The fullest participation of ordained clergy, furthermore, should not crowd out all the functions of lay readers and other assistants. All of these, and the choir, should carry out their roles in such a spirit and in such a manner that the congregation as a whole is not suppressed, but is rather stimulated to a new awareness of itself as a community of priestly people who glorify God through Christ in the fellowship of His Life-giving Spirit.
Filed under Anglo-Catholicism, Bibliography, Book of Common Prayer, Liturgy
Early and Evening Communions, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1911)￼
To the Editor of The Living Church: 
I AM aware that the Rev. Daniel Wilson, an Evangelical clergyman, had an early celebration of the Eucharist. I do not think he began the practice. In the Annals of the Low Church Party, vol. I., p. 344, it is stated: “In 1828, Mr. Wilson commended a celebration of the Eucharist at 8 A.M., though how often we are not told. It was probably once a month.” Early celebrations were not a partisan movement inaugurated by the High Churchmen.
I was not aware that Dr. Hook had an evening celebration. I should be glad if anyone would cite the authority for it, as I do not find it referred to in his Life. Possibly he may have had a Maundy Thursday celebration, but that is a different thing. Evening celebrations, as established by Low Churchmen, have the aspect of a partisan movement, for the reason given for them, viz., to provide for the wants of the servant and laboring class, is evidently a fictitious one, as the Roman Church, which deals largely in this class, finds no need for evening Communion.
C. C. Fond du Lac.
 The Living Church, October 14, 1911, p. 815.
Proportionate Representation in the House of Deputies, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1901)
TO THE EDITOR OF THE LIVING CHURCH:
THE advocates of proportionate representation are wont to point to the correspondence between our national government with its Senate and House of Representatives, and our House of Bishops with the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies. They liken the House of Bishops to the Senate, and the House of Deputies to that of the Representatives. But do they not make a fatal mistake in overlooking the fact that the General Convention is composed of three houses and not, as Congress is, of but two? To be sure the clerical and lay deputies sit together, and on many questions vote, for convenience, as one body, but their house is composed of two distinct orders. These assert their independence by voting on all important questions separately, and each has thus a veto on the other. Thus the analogy breaks down. There are three Houses, not two.
Again, the House of Bishops is not in many particulars like the United States Senate. In the latter case the Senators are chosen by their State legislatures and represent their respective States. The Bishops, on the other hand, are not elected to the General Convention. They are not chosen by their Dioceses to represent them. They do not represent Dioceses. They do not come, as Senators do, for a term of years. They come there by virtue of their Order, of their prerogative as Bishops of the Church of God. They all have equal rights, whether Diocesan Bishops or Missionary Bishops, Coadjutors or Suffragans. They all belong to that same Order to which by Divine authority the government of the Church is primarily committed. So again the supposed analogy breaks down.
If there is any likeness in our General Convention to the secular government it is to be found in this: that the House of Deputies is like the Senate. It is utterly unlike the House of Representatives, for its members are not chosen by districts or by the people. Nor are the clergy chosen by the clergy of the Diocese to which they belong and so are their representatives, nor are the lay delegates chosen by the laity and so made their representatives. They are both chosen by their Diocesan Conventions or Councils, and so represent the Dioceses, just as Senators represent their States.
Experience has demonstrated the wisdom, in our civil polity, of having a governing body whose members represent the States and whose numbers are not based upon proportionate representation. The House of Clerical and Lay Deputies is this body in our Church and it would be as un-American to try to overthrow it as to overthrow State rights and State sovereignty and the system of their representation in our national government.
But this plea for proportionate representation is based upon a more grave mistake. It is based upon a worldly-minded and un-Christian policy. It is the evidence of a worldly mind to urge that numbers of communicants or amount of contributions should be taken into account. The deputies are not to represent either wealth or numbers. Like the Bishops, though elected, they represent both the Diocese that sends them (and so each Diocese sends the same number) and also their Order. The clergy represent the clerical Order; the laity, who are in their degree kings and priests unto God, represent their Order. The two do not come together to represent the people as the House of Representatives does. They represent, irrespective of the number who may have voted for them, or the wealth of their Dioceses, their own respective orders. As Church legislation does not represent and is not intended to represent the mind of the majority of the Church members, there is no need of any house for that purpose. Herein is a difference between civil government and Church government. In civil matters we are governed, or supposed to be, by the will of the majority. It is not so in the Church of God. We are governed, or seek to be governed in Church affairs, by the Mind and Will of God. To this end the Holy Spirit dwells in the Church and presides in its councils. What a Church council seeks by its debates and votes to ascertain is, not the mind of the majority of its Church members, but the Mind of the Spirit. Now the Mind of the Spirit is seen by making men to be of one mind in an house. It is by the agreement of the. Bishops, the clergy, and the laity, acting separately, that this Mind is shown. The plan of proportionate representation, in order that the voice of the majority may be learned, is then based upon a false principle. It is the endeavor to reconstruct the city of God upon the earthly principles of the city of Babylon.
The system proposed would moreover tend to increase one of the worst features of the American Church. Its worst feature is the political spirit, with its ambitions and popularity-seeking and maneuvering. That our whole system of elections engenders schools of theology many be beneficial, but party, or the political spirit, is a deadly thing. It would come to pass under proportionate representation that a few great Dioceses would control the Convention. Even if these were groups of Dioceses the evil would be the same or worse. It would lead to the Boss system, or government by bosses and cliques. It would increase a spirit harmful and dangerous and in marked contrast with the ways of God.
C. C. Fond du Lac.
 The Living Church, December 28, 1901; reprinted in Works, Vol. 7, pp. 197-201.
Bishop Grafton on Bishop Peterkin’s “Open Letter” (1911)
To the Editor of The Living Church:
MY good brother, Bishop Peterkin, is in favor of retaining the word Protestant in our Church title because it involves a denial of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, and Sacramental Confession. These doctrines, he holds are Roman errors, repudiated by our Reformers, and not in the Prayer Book. On the other hand, many conservative Churchmen of different schools object to the term “Protestant” because it has come to mean a rejection of authority, of the plenary inspiration of Holy Scripture, of the supernatural generally, and miracles. It echoes the rationalizing spirit of the day, tends to a denial of the Deity of Christ, of the Virgin Birth of Christ, of the Resurrection of the body.
Modern Protestantism stands, therefore, for a decadent Christianity. As conservative and evangelical Churchmen we wish, therefore, to get rid of the title.
In the interests of peace, I would point out that what we Churchmen agree in believing, is not the Roman doctrine but one which is largely repudiated by Protestant sectarianism. We believe in the Real Presence. But our belief does not involve the Roman doctrine of Transubstantiation. Rome makes the manner of the change wrought by the consecration a dogma. We do not pretend to define the manner, but leave it a mystery. The Presence is after a heavenly and spiritual manner, ineffable and sacramental, and not in accordance with natural laws. Sectarian Protestantism denies the Real Presence and regards the Communion as a mere commemoration service. The word Protestant is thus associated with Zwinglianism. This is not the doctrine of the Prayer Book or of our reformers. Do we wish to be Zwinglianists? Shall we not get rid of a title that so compromises us?
Then as to the “Sacrifice of the Mass.” We do not hold that the Eucharist is a repetition or an addition to the work of the Cross. We do believe it is a sacrifice or offering made to God. Thus our Prayer Book bids the priest say, “these thy Holy Gifts which we now offer unto Thee.” Our American Prayer Book also calls the holy table an altar, and an altar implies sacrifice. Now our Lord’s Sacrifice had three parts to it. He freely offered Himself in the Upper Chamber. He offered Himself with the shedding of Blood on the Cross. He presented Himself as the Lamb slain before the Eternal Father in heaven. In the Eucharist we commemorate the voluntary offering of Himself. We make an unbloody and symbolical memorial of His death on Calvary, and plead, in union with our ascended Lord, the all-sufficient merits of His sacrifice. But in Protestant sectarian meeting-houses there are no alters, for they have no sacrifice to offer. Protestantism thus denies the existence of a form of worship which is essential to our Church. Ought we not to unite in repudiating a title which denies what our Church and our Prayer Book teach?
Again, then, as to “Eucharistic Adoration.” We Catholics do not adore the elements. Why not take our word as brother Christians for it? If we knelt down in worship before Christ when visible, we could not rightly be accused of worshipping His dress. Now our acts of worship are not paid to the elements, which are like the veils of His Human Body, nor to His Human Body apart from His Soul, nor to His Soul apart from His Divinity, nor to His Divinity apart from His Divine Person. His Divine Person is the object to which our adoration is paid.
He does not move from the right hand of Power, but abiding in His Spiritual Body the Church, makes Himself manifest within it, even as we believe that, without moving, He appeared to Saul on the roadway to Damascus. Our acts of worship, being directed to the Person of the Son of God, cannot be censured as idolatry, or Romanism, or as denied by our Prayer Book.
The worship of God enters largely into our Communion. On entering the church, which is God’s covenanted meeting place, we kneel down and recognize His Presence, but do not worship the building. Protestantism does not do this. It does not believe in the doctrine of holy or consecrated places or things. It regards the Communion elements as simply unchanged bread and wine. It received them sitting in its pews, with the bread and wine passed around on a waiter. Why, out of fear that our Eucharistic Adoration means something we repudiate, do you wish to retain the term Protestant, which implies something Churchmen of all schools abhor?
“Sacramental Confession” is, I know, a bugbear. It cannot however be denied that provision is made in the Prayer Book for confession before God in the presence of a priest, and a form of absolution given for the priest to pronounce. When, by whom, or how often, it is to be resorted to, are too large questions for present treatment. But all of the Catholic school recognize that it is not obligatory—as Rome teaches—but voluntary. It is a prerogative of priesthood and the right of the laity to use it as they please. It is an ancient mark of the Apostolic Catholic Churches. To deny it, by the use of the term Protestant, is to disparage our own heritage. Our Church certainly holds that her priests have power to declare and pronounce to penitents, the absolution and remission of their sins. This, sectarianism denies. Why then adopt a name which rejects what we Prayer Book Churchmen hold?
Let all Churchmen try to draw together. Each school needs the others. They are, when charitably understood, complementary, not contradictory. Much of all our differences lies in words. It is largely through verbal misunderstandings that we are kept apart. Thank God, however, theology is not religion, and it is religion that makes us all of one heart.
C. C. Fond du Lac.
 The Living Church, October 14, 1911, pp. 813-814. This letter responds to Bishop George W. Peterkin’s open letter (September 30, 1911, pp. 744-745) on the shared “distrust of Catholic advance which so generally characterizes Virginians.” Peterkin was the first Bishop of West Virginia, serving from 1878 to 1902.
Evening Communions and Individual Communion Cups, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1911)
To the Editor of The Living Church: 
THERE are two un-Churchly customs, one of which, we believe, started in England. These customs are evening Communion, and the giving of the Sacrament in individual cups.
When the custom of having early celebrations increased in England, the Low Church partisans there introduced what was then unusual, the practice of evening Communions. It was a partisan move for the purpose of counteracting the practice of coming to the Communion early and so fasting. Fasting Communions became common, not on account of any English Church law, but as a matter of devotion and reverence. The fresh, early morning before the day’s work had come in was found to be a fitting time for devotion. The partisan excuse for evening Communion was that it met the wants of the servant class and working people. It was seemingly insincere, and a manufactured subterfuge to cover up a partisan movement; for it was obvious that the Roman Catholic Church, which largely dealt with those classes of persons, found no difficulty in getting them to early Communion. It is a growing sign of Christian consideration of others’ feelings that now evening Communions in England are diminishing. We trust it may be so here, where the restoration of good feeling amongst the different schools is the most important need for union.
The other un-Churchly custom is that of the introduction of individual cups.
We are sorry to think that the real reason for their introduction is a partisan one. It gives great pain to a large class of devout Church people, and introduces another cause of division amongst us. Love and charity towards their brethren should lead to its withdrawal. The excuse for it is the danger of infection. But as no instance of infection had been proved, and medical experts have said the danger was infinitesimal, the reason appears to be more fictitious than real. Moreover we believe that our Lord will protect His own Sacrament, and that His promise must here apply: “If ye drink of any deadly thing, it shall not hurt you.” Those who believe that the element, by consecration, has been changed from its natural use, cannot believe that any physical harm can come from receiving the chalice.
What, however, shall a Catholic-minded communicant do, finding himself where this un-Churchly custom has been introduced? In my judgment, the priest has broken the rubric. The rubric requires him, in consecrating, to take the Cup into his hands, and in giving the Sacrament, to give the Cup. Is it not the Cup which has been consecrated that he is to give into the hands of the people? He is not to give any cup, but the Cup in which the wine was consecrated. Would he not break the rubric by giving any other? If he should prepare all the individual cups previously and consecrate them, all the symbolical significance of drinking of one cup would be lost.
On the other hand, if he fill the individual cups from the chalice or vessel in which he has consecrated, he runs the great risk of spilling the sacred element. For the wine cannot be poured from the consecrated chalice or other vessel in which he has consecrated, in the small quantities of two or three drops, without some being spilt, if there are many cups. Nor can he cleanse all the cups, taking ablution in each, without seeming irreverence and greatly prolonging the service, or else falling into the greater irreverence of not taking the ablutions and so cleansing the cups.
What then is the devout communicant to do where the individual cups are used? The rubric and custom of the Church appear to be broken. Holy Scripture, in joining the partaking of the Cup of Blessing or one consecrated Cup, seems to be violated. Possibly Churchmen might be willing to be governed by our Lord’s action in the Last Supper, who did not have individual cups, but the one Cup which He blessed and of which all the apostles received.
The custom of individual cups seems to me so un-Churchly, unrubrical, so distrustful of Christ’s protection, that I should advise a devout communicant, where individual cups were used, to go to some other church to receive his communion, or to leave the parish.
C. C. Fond du Lac.
 The Living Church, August 26, 1911, p. 577.
Roman Imitations, by Charles Chapman Grafton (1911)
To the Editor of The Living Church:
I feel very strongly the importance of Catholics avoiding even an apparent imitation of Roman ceremonial. There is, or was (for I hope it has passed away with the late secessions), an idea, that if our ritual could be made like that of Rome, it would help on a reconciliation. But the present attitude of Rome shows this to be an impossibility. Reunion with Rome as an end of our movement should be dismissed from every Catholic-minded Churchman. For Rome does not ask for our agreement with her in Faith, but for submission to papal authority. There is a vast difference between the Catholic religion and the papal monarchical system. The latter is, we believe, a perversion of the Gospel, a destroyer of unity, a promoter of schism, a claim unsupported by Scripture or tradition, and a form of anti-Christ. Even if reunion were within the scope of possibility, an agreement with her in details of ritual would not aid the result. What we must do is to make it clear to our fellow-Churchmen that our Catholic movement has neither in thought or wish a return to papal submission. If we are to gain the good will of our Evangelical and High and Broad conservative brethren, we must make this obvious by our teaching and practice. It is only so that we can succeed.
Now the omission of the Nicene Creed in our weekly Eucharist gives the impression to our brethren that it is a Romish imitation. Are we not here, as in other cases, to consider our weaker brethren, and to avoid any appearance of evil? Ought we not to make any personal sacrifice in order to demonstrate our loyalty to our Book of Common Prayer? Does the allowed omission of the Nicene Creed in the first Prayer Book of King Edward VI. give us any authority to do so, who have promised our obedience to the present book? The omission is not so obviously a return to an English precedent, if such a return were allowed, as it is to an apparently Romish imitation. Allowing the good intentions of all our Catholic friends, we would, however, kindly ask them: Is the omission wise? Also, may we not say the same as to the shortened Mass?
Again, may we urge all our Catholic friends strictly to conform to the rubric which bids the consumption of the Sacred Elements left over from the Communion of the people to be made after the Benediction? It perhaps will surprise some churchmen to learn that there are any priests who consume the Sacred Elements after their own or the people’s Communion. Why do they do this? The only reason I know is that they do it in imitation of the Roman rite. Now our prayer Book, with seemingly great wisdom and devotion, reserves the Blessed Sacrament to the end of the service. The people standing, sing the Gloria in Excelsis in Its presence, as an act of devotion. We regard it as one of the most glorious heritages of our American Liturgy. But our friends set the rubric aside, and consume the Elements before the Benediction. No wonder the Church loses confidence in any party or cause that allows such a custom! Now wonder that these men look Romewards.
Another apparent imitation is the covering of the Sacred Elements, after the recitation of the canon, with a silk veil, instead of a “fair linen cloth,” a direction which we put in by the reformers for the purpose of protecting the Blessed Sacrament from pollution by flies or other insects. Symbolically, it has a beautiful reference to our Lord’s Body when taken down from the Cross, being wrapped in fair linen. It also bears witness to our Lord’s Blessed Body and Blood being present, though under sacramental veils. In the Roman rite, the Mass being over, when the priest has communicated, the Sacred Elements are covered with a silk veil, like that which is used by many of our clergy when bringing in the empty Chalice and Paten at the beginning of the service. A covering by the silk veil thus teaches the Roman doctrine that the Mass is over, and is a sign to our people that the Sacrament is no longer there. Be this as it may, it is a Roman and not an Anglican practice.
Again, we fear that some are still governed in their ritual by the book Father McGarvey put forth before his secession to Rome. He was, as his secession proved, a Romanist at heart. His apparent desire was so to interpret our rubrics as to make them conform with Roman practice. He sought in many ways to undermine the loyalty of our people. It seems a small thing, but why should a priest go to the epistle end of the altar to say the concluding prayers? The Roman priest does this, for having consumed the Blessed Sacrament which he had consecrated, he naturally returns for the concluding prayers to the epistle side, where he began the service. But with us the Blessed Sacrament is still unconsumed. Why then should not the priest stand before it, as he had previously done? Why go away, and leave It, and go to the Epistle side? It is, we grant, very immaterial.
There are a good many other smaller points like these which we would respectfully bring before our good Catholic friends, as one who has had the great cause so long and so deeply at heart. The first and great work to be done in the Church is to unite the Evangelicals, the Conservative-broads, the old-fashioned High Churchmen, and ourselves together in loving Christian fellowship, in mutual trust, and toleration, and cooperation in the building up of our communion.
C. C. Fond du Lac.
 The Living Church, July 1, 1911, pp. 303-304.