How Anglicans Worship – Part 7

Posted on January 20, 2014 by



Now we reach the very heart of the Eucharist.  For those awaiting my recommendation here, I would have thought it was obvious: the Gregorian Canon.  Naturally I refer to the one printed in the Anglican Missal, specifically, the American edition, but the version found in the English Missal is just as good.  I recommend it for a few reasons.  First, it is our ancient tradition, the canon brought to the British Isles by St Augustine, and not much different from that used for centuries prior to him.  Second, it is free from the distortions of anti-catholic changes of the reformation.  Third, it includes commemorations of the Communion of Saints, and of the Faithful Departed. Fourth, it has the epiclesis before, not after, the consecration.

As for technique, the traditional manuals deal in detail with those concerns, and if you follow Lamburn or Fortescue, you can’ t go wrong.  If you find yourself forced to use the 28 American canon, of course the Fraction should not occur in the Consecration.

There are, I understand, ecclesial bodies that will mandate the use of the 1928 American canon, and of course, in those places we must make use of the usual corrections that Anglicans have made over the years: moving the epiclesis to its proper place preceding the Qui pridie (to be more accurate, in this case I suppose we ought to call it the Qui eadem nocte) and inserting the commemoration of the departed.  These aren’t ideal, of course, but we do what we must.  I once knew an otherwise fine Anglo-Catholic bishop who forbad the Gregorian canon in his diocese, but he has since retired, and his successor did not continue the proscription, thanks be to God.  If you are forbidden the Gregorian but not required to use the 28 American Canon, then my secondary recommendation would be the 1549, with the needed adjustments, of course.

Our Father

Following the Canon we encounter the Our Father.  Ideally your congregation will have been taught properly and allow you to begin the prayer, then joining in with “who art in heaven.”  If they have been infused with modernist notions, though, you will probably have to teach them.  A reasonably gentle way to do so is to not even hesitate between “say” and “our;” they will eventually catch on.

I support praying the embolism in its traditional place, after “but deliver us from evil,” but there are many places that are not used to that and will barrel on right through the ascription.  One can often get the laity accustomed to the embolism by praying it afterwards, as the Anglican Missal prints it, and then gradually swinging them around to praying it in the customary place.  I value the embolism not merely because it has centuries of use, but because it offers some doctrinal reminders that Anglican laity often need to hear, so as much as I oppose the very concept of didactic prayers, here’s one I value.

Posted in: Liturgy