Liturgical Movement in Canadian Anglicanism
Background: The Liturgical Movement in the Roman
- Research and reflection into liturgical origins were stimulated by
the Benedictine revival of the 1830s Dom Guéranger (18051875),
the priory of Solesmes, Lannée liturgique (18411866),
Institutions liturgiques (18401851)
- Pius X
(pictured right): his "motu proprio" of 22 November 1903 called
for the active participation of the laity in worship; in 1905, he issued
a decree on frequent communion
- The re-discovery and attribution of the Apostolic Tradition of
Hippolytus, 19061910, gave liturgists a purported model of the
ante-Nicene liturgy. This was very influential.
- One of the most important and characteristic leaders of the early
Liturgical Movement was Dom Lambert Beauduin (18731960) of Mont
César. He critiqued individualistic piety at Malines in 1909.
He gave a theology of the body of Christ. He was influential in publishing
la vie liturgique, the Semaines liturgiques
- Less characteristic but also influential was Odo Casel (18861948)
of the Benedictine monastery at Maria Laach, author ofThe mystery
of Christian worship.
- Other Benedictine connections: Klosterneuberg; St. Johns, Collegeville,
Minnesota (which publishes the journal Worship)
- Within the Roman Catholic Church the Liturgical Movement was slow
to gather supporters, and was hindered by rivalries and disagreements.
Attempts were made to silence Beauduin
Pius XII (18761958; pope from 1939; pictured right) represents
a turning-point, since he both supported and set limits on the Liturgical
Movement. His encyclical Mystici corporis (1943) legitimized
Liturgical Movement thinking of the Church as the mystical body of Christ.
His encyclical Mediator dei (1947) generally affirmed the Liturgical
Movement, but included strictures on subjectivity and lex orandi
- In the following decade leading up to Vatican II, the cause of liturgical
form in the Roman Catholic Church was supported by liturgical conferences
and certain reforms in policy
- Vatican II represents the triumph of the Liturgical Movement. Things
to know: aggiornamento; the publication of Hans Küng et
al., The Council and Reunion (1963); the constitution Sacrosanctum
concilium (1963); Consilium (1964); new rites (missal 1970)
For further reading see John Fenwick and Bryan Spinks, Worship in
Transition (NY: Continuum, 1995)
The parish communion movement in the Anglican
- The classical shape of Sunday morning Anglican worship from the sixteenth
century to the 1890s was Morning Prayer Litany Antecommunion,
with Communion once a quarter. From then to the 1970s there were various
models, but a typical one was Morning Prayer three Sundays a month,
Communion once a month.
- Many voices were raised
in the 1920s in favour of weekly communion. These include Charles Gore
(18531932), pictured right, author of The body of Christ: an
enquiry into the institution and doctrine of Holy Communion (1901);
Henry de Candole (18951971) at St. Johns, Newcastle (19261931).
- In the 1930s the parish communion movement took shape. Very influential
in this was A.G. Hebert (18861963), who visited Mont César
and Maria Laach in 1932, and published Liturgy and Society (1935).
Themes of the book include: his protest against individualism; his understanding
of liturgical formation; a theology of liturgical mystery; a theology
of the whole people of God; a theology of offering in liturgy. His book
Parish Communion followed (1936)
- Several Anglican organizations emerged to champion parish communion,
most notably Parish and People (C of E), with origins in 1948; and Associated
Parishes (U.S.A.), with origins in 1946
- Most Anglican parishes in the English-speaking world moved to weekly
communion in the period 1960s1980s.
- The appeal of weekly communion:
It helped overcome wars of churchmanship
It sought to unites people liturgically
It clarified the office of the clergy and the ministry of the laity
It offered a highly integrated theology of Church, liturgy, and ministry
- Criticisms of weekly communion (here concentrating on criticisms made
by Michael Ramsey, then bishop of Durham, in Durham Essays):
It made communion a little too comfortable; the discipline of conscientious
self-examination came to be lost
The daily offices were seldom used afterwards
Ramsey detected a Pelagian tinge in the enterprise
For further reading see Alan L. Hayes and John Webster, What Happened
to Morning Prayer? (1997)
The Anglican Liturgical Movement
- The influence of the Roman Catholic Liturgical Movement on leading
Anglican thinkers, such as W.H. Frere, can be seen in the 1920s and
1930s. (The Liturgical Movement also influenced other communions as
- Exerting a huge influence in the Anglican world and beyond was Dom
Gregory Dix (19011952), and his almost inexplicably successful
book Shape of the Liturgy (1945). He took Hippolytus as the model
of early Christian worship, and emphasized the importance of tradition.
- Massey Shepherd (19131990), who wrote a large amount on Anglican
liturgy and was a principal speaker at the Anglican Congress of 1954,
Minneapolis, was also influential.
- Lambeth 1958 supported liturgical reform.
- At the Keele Conference of 1967, the first conference of Anglican
evangelicals, the final document gave a greater-than-expected support
to the direction of the Liturgical Movement
- Revisions of the Book of Common Prayer, or alternative liturgies,
dominated the worldwide Anglican agenda 19641985
For further reading see Alan L. Hayes, Tradition in the Anglican
Liturgical Movement 19451989, in Anglican and Episcopal
History 69 (2000) 2243
The Canadian scene
- The 1959 revision of the BCP, confirmed in 1962, was the last of the
- In 1965 General Synod called for a new BCP in modern English. Diocesan
bishops were permitted to authorize exploratory liturgical uses. There
followed the era of the paperback liturgies
- In 1971 General Synod mandated creating alternative services. See
BAS, Introduction, pp. 7ff.
- Creating the
BAS was given to the Doctrine and Worship Committee of General Synod
19711985. Paul Gibson as liturgical officer staffed the Committee.
Significant contributors included Eugene Fairweather (Trinity), pictured
right; David Holeton (Trinity / Vancouver School of Theology), William
Crockett (Vancouver School of Theology), Joachim Fricker (dean of Niagara,
later bishop of the Credit Valley), and, for music, George Black (Huron
College). The BAS was produced in 1985 (distributed 1986).
- The BAS was initially controversial and the response mixed, often
because of pastoral ineptitude in its introduction into various parishes
- Prayer Book Societies were formed or gathered membership. The Hoskin
Group / Liturgy Canada was formed.
- By the 1990s many, including some of its creators, were finding it
dated and deficient in some respects, but for many reasons little energy
could be found for further revision.