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

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Revised Book of Divine Worship Soon to Arrive

In remarks at the annual Conference of the Anglican Use Society on Friday, November 9th, Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter said that work was nearing completion on a revision of the Book of Divine Worship. Following guidance from the Congregation of Divine Worship in Rome, this revision will include only the Rite I services; congregations wishing to use contemporary language are directed to use the Roman Missal, third edition, in the translation released in 2011.

Commenting on the new version of the BDW, Msgr. Steenson said that this was not the final version of the liturgy being prepared by the Anglicane Traditiones interdicasterial commission, but an update with three purposes:

1) The correction of errors in the first printed edition of the BDW.

2) The updating of texts that taken from the Roman Missal, such as the Prayer over the gifts at the Offertory.

3) The restoration of certain prayers, such as the Prayer of Humble Access, to their original versions.

The new text is expected to be in the hands of parishes of the Ordinariate and the Pastoral Provision in time for Advent. Once made available, this version will be mandatory for use in all the parishes using the Anglican Use liturgy.


November 12, 2012 UPDATE: In the comments, you'll see I've clarified that this revision to the BDW is only to the liturgy of the Mass, and it is by way of corrections and bringing certain texts into conformity with the new translation of the Roman Missal. It will not at this time include the Daily Office or other services.

I've been informed by a member of the ad hoc committee that has worked on this that it will not, at this time, include the older text of the Prayer of Humble Access or other prayers; that is apparently being considered for the definitive liturgy that will be promulgated by the interdicasterial commission.


  1. This is very good news. I think most of us already have made the revisions for the Offertory Prayers and the Words of Consecration, but the restoration of such things as the traditional Prayer of Humble Access is the realization of the long-time hope of many of us.

  2. If there's an option to pre-order it, let us know.

  3. But will it include the marriage and burial services recently published for all the ordinariates worldwide? And will the services of Morning and Evening Prayer will be those newly crafted and published in the Customary of OLW or still the old ones from the 1979 US BCP? Will the prayer taken from the Roman Rite be tweaked with "thee" and "thou" so as to not sound weird in a traditionnal language context? Much can easily be done to make the BDW even better fit for purpose, chiefly if this new edition is to be used for several years before the completion of a definitive ordinariate liturgy...

    + PAX et BONUM

  4. Mr. Cavanaugh, does the revised BDW still contain provision for a fourfold daily office? Will it be published in book form, or made available in PDF on the Ordinariate website?

  5. At this time the revision will contain an updated BDW Altar Missal and resources for congregational pew missals, which will be made available to Ordinariate clergy from the Principal Church, per guidelines from the CDW and as developed by the Ordinary's ad hoc liturgical committee. It will also be available to the Anglican Use parishes that are not part of the Ordinariate at this time. This updated Altar Missal simply provides a usable text of the BDW's Rite One Holy Eucharist, minimally corrected and updated with the new ICEL texts and with the Propers aligned to the US Ordinariate Calendar. It won't be the whole book. That work is still ongoing.

    I did write that Msgr. Steenson said the Prayer of Humble Access would be restored to its original wording, although another conference attendee thinks I may have picked this up from a different conversation. I'll be rendering the video of Msgr. Steenson's talk soon and will be able to double check then, but this is not the first time I have heard that this prayer would be restored. Unfortunately the letter from the CDW that had directives about the liturgy has never been published, so I've only heard about its contents second-hand.

    I haven't had the chance to see the revisions yet (I am hoping to see it soon), so I cannot say if the prayers taken from the Roman Missal are tweaked, although I suspect not. That will, I think, likely happen in the final, definitive version of the Eucharistic liturgy which is probably not going to be seen for a year or two, at least.

    The marriage and burial services that were promulgated this summer are the definitive services, so those are to be used. The Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham is not an official publication, and has no standing in the USA; even in the UK, its use doesn't have the an obligatory character, as it has not been approved by law. See the updates to my review of the Customary that I'm posting today.

  6. So, there will still be no office book for North American use, beyond Mr. Burt's unofficial volume?

    1. Apparently, since the customary of OLW is only for England, I'd say that the offices (Morning Midday Evening Night prayer) to be found in the Book of Divine Worship are to be used in the US...

      + PAX et BONUM

    2. Yes, but those are still uncorrected; they retain the 1979 BCP psalms for Noonday and Compline, and the office lectionary is missing a number of readings for feasts.

  7. What an unexpected pleasant surprise!

  8. Steve - Do you mean THIS Advent or Advent 2013?
    Will individuals be able to order copies for themselves?
    Will it be made available on-line to print out?

    Lot of 'splainin' to do Lucy!


  9. So, am I wrong to get the impression that the Ordinary is none too concerned whether his priests and laity say the office?

  10. Matthew, I do mean this advent. The texts for Mass, in formats for both an altar missal and a congregational booklet will be provided to the parishes. As far as I know, this will not be posted online for the general public.

    Of course, Brian, the Ordinary wants his priests and laity to say the office. But there have been neither time nor resources to update and correct the texts of the BDW's daily office. The BDW as originally published is available for download for those who do not have a copy, and it is certainly possible to print off the necessary texts and keep them in a binder and use this for prayer; I did that myself before I had my copy of the BDW. The Liturgy of the Hours is also available, as is the 1962 Breviary, as far as "official" prayer goes. Many others are using David Burt's Office book or the Anglican Use Liturgy of the Hours produced by the Anglican Catholic Church in Canada under Archbishop Wilkinson, or one of the older Anglican Breviaries.

    Most of those who are contributing their work to the Ordinariate are doing so on a volunteer basis, and their time is necessarily limited. What seems like a long wait to us while in the midst of things will doubtless seem like a short blip when viewed a few years down the road.

  11. Can I order one from Hong Kong