Thursday, April 8, 2010


The fanfare at the conclusion of the Vigil ceremonies of Easter signalling the commencement of the Mass proper, from Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario. Sadly due to low attendance we had to forgo the Vigil this year, but the Exultet was sung at the morrow Mass.


Paul Goings said...

Boy, receiving Holy Communion on Good Friday must really be doing the trick! No Easter Vigil? Maybe if things continue to go so well you can eventually cut out everything between Palm Sunday and Easter Day?!?

Geoff said...

I attend a particularly poor parish with low numbers at the moment. There are various reasons for this, none of them related to our observance of Good Friday. I continue to regard unelaborated assertions that allowing the faithful to receive Communion somehow "wrecks" the liturgy with bemusement. The Communion of the People is on the contrary an integral *part* of the liturgy and not optional under our rules. There is rubrical provision for a service of Ante-Communion if that is what is desired but under no circumstances is a solo self-administration of Communion either lawful or appropriate.

Geoff said...

I have to say I'm not a fan of "the witness of one known to us" but at least it isn't the dreaded "Hear what the Spirit is saying" that's begun to creep up at the Convent and at Trinity College.

Paul Goings said...


I've no idea what's lawful in Canada now. Certainly the Prayer Book dates from after the Pian rites, so would presume them, assuming that any provision is made for the Holy Week rites. If the online copy is accurate, the celebration of the Lord's Supper is appointed for Good Friday, as is true of all of the historical Prayer Books.

The B.A.S. permits either the celebration of the Eucharist or the distribution of the Holy Communion. In the latter case it is presumed that Holy Communion will be given to all and sundry, as one would expect from a liturgy compiled in 1983.

But so what? If either S. Magnus' or S. Clement's were interested in the au courant liturgical forms authorized in our provinces, they'd be using Common Worship and we the 1979 American B.C.P. But there is an Anglo-Catholic tradition of long-standing that embraces the use of the Latin Rite, or as much as one can get away with. Within this tradition, and within the tradition of those who wish to make use of what's now referred to as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, there is debate about which Holy Week rites should be used. The two parishes in question (along with some others in the U.S. and the U.K.) advocate the use of the pre-Pian rites, and for what I believe are good reasons.

The specific liturgical practice in question was an innovation in 1951, rejecting well over 1,000 years of tradition, both Eastern and Western. It hardly "wrecks" the Good Friday rite, but that's not much of a commendation. Rather, I think it is better to ask whether it fits well with the rest of the rite as we have inherited it. As a master of ceremonies, let me assure you that it doesn't, from the point of view of practical experience. Thus, when you assert that it is not appropriate to carry out the Mass of the Presanctified as the rubrics prescribe, are you simply expressing a heartfelt opinion, or are there any principles involved?

JCF said...

My parish, which has a part-time interim, didn't do the GVE OR Maundy Thursday!

I left town for a parish that did. ;-/

For me, the GVE IS Easter. [As much as Christ's Mass on Dec. 24---hopefully late night, though lately, my elderly (he'll be 90 in June) father likes to go to the late afternoon Eucharist---IS Christmas.]

That 10AM Sunday morning thang is for the unimaginative!

Geoff said...

JCF, I tend to agree. Fortunately my mother's parish still had the Vigil on offer.

Paul, I think you touch on the thrust of it with your reference to "as one can get away with." Up here, a Mass of the Presanctified where the priest is the lone communicant (and I say this as someone whose own sensibilities are largely pre-Pian) would be outside that scope. I think there are theological principles behind this - perhaps worth exploring in a future post.

I confess that I don't understand why the BAS introduced the explicit option of a full celebration on Good Friday, although as you note there was nothing to prevent the "Collect, Epistle, and Gospel" of Good Friday from being used in the same fashion as any other set thereof.

My understanding is that the Eastern Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified involves a Communion of the People. The Pian innovation may indeed have contradicted 1000 years of tradition, but I would want to ask, what was the tradition before those 1000 years, and what happened to it (and why)? Again, I'm a signed-up Friend of S. Clement's, but even I think that Prayers of the People are meet and right, despite having been absent from the Roman Rite for much of its history.

Anonymous said...

The McCausland Ordo compilers suggest that there NOT be a celebration of the Eucharist on Good Friday, even if it is allowed in the BAS. When the BAS was being prepared, there was adebate about whether not to allow for a Eucharist and they opted in favour, but most liturgically minded persons, especially Anglo-Catholics, would have known not to go through with it.