Saturday, December 24, 2011

Preface to the Ordo

Editorial principles

The choices made in the ordo are designed to expose the faithful to the broadest possible range of liturgical material in our repertoire. Every effort is made both to accommodate the widest possible selection of sanctoral commemorations and to maintain Archbishop Cranmer’s ideal of an orderly course of Scripture reading. This has sometimes entailed the choice of options at variance with what is envisioned by McCausland’s or the BAS itself. I have not, for example, followed the modern bias against clutter in the liturgy, as seen in the disparaging of octaves and commemorations. The latter I have suggested when a saint’s day falls on a Sunday and has no proximate candidate for transference, as an alternative to omission. The former I have retained in a modified way while preserving the integrity of the daily lectionary. For some occasions occurring on a Sunday (for example, diocesan services or civic occasions), a secondary afternoon or evening celebration may be appropriate in addition to the Parish Communion of the weekly proper.

References are given to the BAS Daily Office Lectionary. The Weekday Eucharistic lectionary may be used instead if the Office lectionary is in use at the Office, but the BCP’s lectionary is more suitable for the latter purpose. On Sundays, the single BAS page reference yields the lections and major propers printed together. On saints’ days, the major propers are taken from For All the Saints. I have, however, preferred to interrupt lectio continua as conservatively as possible, and so I do not recommend the readings of the day on saints’ days save those given in the BAS, as on feasts of Scripture. (An exception is feasts of Our Lady, which are all treated as holy days, notwithstanding the inexplicable distinction of the Conception and Nativity in the BAS). Minor propers are taken from the Anglican Gradual and Sacramentary. The same minor propers may be repeated during traditional octaves, while the lectionary continues in course.

I have been somewhat flexible in colour: while my normative baseline is the Use of Christminster Abbey, I have also taken account of Full Homely Divinity’s advice on local adaptation of the traditional ‘Western’ scheme. I have not made the distinction suggested by the BAS between “memorials” (which use the colour and readings of the saint) and “commemorations” (which use the ferial colour and readings, with a nod to the saint in the major propers). Rather, I have split the difference, recommending throughout the sanctoral colour (as on memorials) and the readings of the day (as an commemorations). This adjustment avoids the strange sight of saints’ days in green and endless repetitions of the Great Commission on the feasts of each and every missionary.

The Ordo is intended to conform to the authorized Canadian Calendar of Holy Persons. On feasts distinctive to this kalendar, since the Gradual is American in origin, an appropriate common has been suggested for the minor propers. Major historic anniversaries and some traditional ecclesiastical dates not listed in the calendar itself are noted as possible votives where appropriate and permitted by pontifical authority. On “free” days in green time, while continuing the course of the lectionary, I have suggested Daily Mass for the Dead instead of a recapitulation of the Sunday Mass. Likewise, traditional Incarnational votive Masses of Our Lady on Saturday have been referenced to the Gradual. Pastoral judgment will dictate the extent to which these options are used and the manner in which they are offered.

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