Learning to say mass

One thing about Traditional Anglican Churches is the insistence on using the 1928 Prayer Book. Or not. In fact, in many parishes, the Anglican (or American) Missal is used at the altar. Regardless of whether the prayer book liturgy is used or some degree of the missal, one’s approach to how one celebrates is incredibly important. In other words, one’s ars celebrandi. There’s an old saying that goes something like: “If the priest is holy, the people will be good. If the priest is good, the people will be ok. If the Priest is ok, then…” You get the picture. This applies to the liturgy too. If the priest approaches the liturgy haphazardly, then those in his charge can hardly be expected to appreciate the liturgy for what it is, the gathering of the People of God to both be the church and make the church, having moved from chronos time into kairos time, from the secular into the holy, to offer God his own of his own.”

Too often, priests are handed a missal and told to say mass. They are not trained. If we expect the priest to know and understand and practice the piety of the traditional western rite, at least to some degree, then we need to teach them how to do that. It used to be that one was taught in seminary. That is a reasonable expectation. However, so many of our priests (and this applies to ACNA readers too) do not go to Anglican seminaries. How can we expect our priests to learn the ceremony of the traditional western rite if they are not taught?

One thinks of resources such as Ritual Notes. Assuming that one selects a specific edition, that is a potential source of much knowledge and skill. However, one notes that modern technology can enable resources such as this video for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite:

Now, I’m not saying that an Anglican needs to celebrate according to the form in the video above. What I am saying is that perhaps we could use a resource in the same format at the above. I think such a project could be done, perhaps even well, if it was approached properly.

What do you think? Is anyone interested?


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