The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Sunday, November 11, 2012

More on the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham

During the recent Anglican Use Society Conference I had the chance to speak with some other people who have also purchased a copy of The Customary, and like me they are pleased with much of the material in the customary, although the layout and usability are a concern. A a member of the interdicasterial commission Anglicanae Traditiones wrote to me during the conference to point out that while the CDF did give give its permission for publication as an interim text, to supplement (per Msgr. Burnham's comment in the thread below) the Liturgy of the Hours or the Book of Divine Worship, it is not a mandatory text, certainly for the Ordinariate clergy in the USA, Australia and Canada.

The official Ordinariate daily office book, at least here in the USA, remains the office in the Book of Divine Worship. It is to be hoped that an official version of this will be re-published (as the BDW is currently out of print), in an easily handled volume that contains only the Daily Office. This would be a great boon for both the clergy, who are bound by canon law to daily recitation, and to the laity, many of whom recite the office regularly out of devotion.

The commission Anglicanae Traditiones will eventually prepare an official proposal, which will then need to be approved and confirmed by the CDF and CDW.


edited on 11/26/2012 to clarify the status of both the Customary and the Daily Office.


  1. Very interesting!

    So far as I can make out, a problem with compiling an official, final "Daily Prayer Book" for all the Ordinariates is that the tradition in each country is distinct: England has its 1662 and 1928 Proposed and then all the ASB's and whatnot, but for use in the Ordinariate of OLW the form of Mattins and Evensong in the Customary is very much straight 1662 with conservative adjustments (Wales and Scotland, despite having their own traditions, have very limited numbers involved in the Ordinariate); the USA has quite a distinct Prayer Book tradition ever since 1789, as demonstrated in the BDW (based on the 1979 US BCP - I understand that many would prefer the use instead of the 1928 US as a foundation); Canada, at present a Deanery of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, has a distinctive BCP tradition of its own; and Australia follows the 1662 forms in general (certainly the Evensong I attended in Melbourne at the new Ordinariate church was 1662 almost exactly word for word). It would seem to me that there would need to be an allowance of regional variants, or at least an assemblage of all the various options as used in the Office in different areas - but that brings into the Office that dreadful plague of options and variants which makes just praying all the more difficult...

  2. Joshua, as best as I can determine, the final "Daily Prayer Book" will be rather more conservative than not. It will definitely be a "Rite I" affair, as it seems clear that the feeling is that if a contemporary language version is desired, the Roman liturgy will be used. I know from his talk on Friday at the AUS Conference that Msgr Steenson feels there is too much variation from parish to parish, which is why the updated/corrected BDW liturgy for Mass will be issued so soon, to get everyone on the same page. The Daily Office will follow, I'm sure.

  3. Very good to hear, on both counts. The modern mania for variety ends up taking away from prayer, because all the changes distract from the one thing necessary.

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