This entire conversation is fascinating to me. Between this dialogue and the small amount of research I have been able to do on the internet about the Anglican Use liturgy, I’ve learned a great deal.
I did re-approach my priest friend about the matter and it seems we were on two different pages, somehow: he was talking about priests and I was talking about laity. He confirmed that, indeed, any Catholic was free to attend an Anglican Use Mass, but explained that only former Episcopalian parishes that have “swum the Tiber” may celebrate it. He, for example, couldn’t simply abandon the Ordinary Form of Mass in his parish and opt to go all Anglican Use on everyone, instead. So that makes sense; I think I get it.
Here’s a list of the forms of the Roman Rite (Eastern rites used in the Eastern Catholic Church are NOT included on this list)
Roman (Latin) liturgical tradition
- Ordinary Form (This is the form of the Mass that you will find in virtually every Latin Catholic Church almost every day of the week. This Mass has existed since the mid-1960s, ever since reforms were made following the Second Vatican Council.)
- Extraordinary Form (This is the form of the Mass that was used in virtually every Latin Catholic Church from the Middle Ages until the mid-1960s. It may still be said in Catholic Churches should a priest choose to use it. Some of the differences from the Ordinary Form include the exclusive use of the Latin language (except for the homily), the receipt of Communion exclusively on the tongue and kneeling, the priest facing the same direction as the people (toward the altar and God) so he can lead the people in prayer, no lay participation on the altar, and usually, no responses by lay people.)
- Ambrosian Rite (Only permitted in the Archdiocese of Milan)
- Mozarabic Rite (Only permitted in the Cathedral of Toledo, Spain and a few surrounding churches of the diocese)
- Bragan Rite (Only permitted in the Archdiocese of Braga, Portugal)
- Anglican-Use Mass (This form was once only permitted in the extremely rare circumstance in which an Anglican priest converted to Catholicism and brings his entire parish with him. In that event, a parish could continue to use the Anglican liturgy, with corrections to make it conform with Catholic teachings. It was originally meant as a transitional liturgy, and upon the death of the pastor, the church would revert to the Ordinary Form. With the recent provisions announced by the Vatican to allow Anglicans into the Catholic Church and keep their traditions, it seems that the Anglican-Use will now become both far more widespread AND permanent.)
Rites of Religious Orders
- Dominican Rite
- Carthusian Rite
- Carmelite Rite
- Cisternian Rite
Note: Technically, the forms of the Roman liturgy listed above are NOT different rites, but variations of the SAME rite (the Roman Rite), although people do tend to commonly use the term somewhat erroneously in this context. The differences between the Roman “rites” are FAR less than those between the Roman liturgy and any of the Eastern Rites.)
That was very helpful; thank you!
I’m glad to read the remarks of those of you who have predicted more widespread celebration of the Anglican Use liturgy. As I mentioned in my original post, I’m no big fan of the way Mass is typically celebrated, to be honest. I know some people here will have a fit over that, but I really think the so-called “OF” Mass lacks something. It leaves me cold, in any case.
To me, what I’ve seen of the Anglican Use liturgies is what, I think, one might have hoped for from the liturgical reforms of the 1960s. All of that splendid Catholic solemnity and grandeur is maintained, but the Mass is in the vernacular and so forth. I’ve done the Tridentine Mass in the past–I attended it for years, in fact–but it’s like living in the past; like being in a museum. Every “EF” Mass looks like 1955; I’m always waiting for Wally and the Beaver to show up. That doesn’t interest me, I’m afraid, on the one hand.
On the other hand, the current Mass, the so-called “OF” Mass…man. Just lame. between the way the priests say it, the ugly vestments they wear, the pottery, the glassware, the 15 Eucharistic Ministers, the slovenly altar boys, the guitars, stupid music…basta. Even when there is a minimum of ugly or lame surrounding the celebration of the “OF”, there’s seldom ever any solemnity. At best–from my own experiences, mind you–the “OF” is just…boring.
The Anglican Use liturgy seems to feature elements of the reform coupled with traditional pomp, circumstance, and solemnity. The Anglican Use seems to be what I’ve longed for, liturgically speaking. A wedge of brie compared to the slice of American cheese that is the “OF”. I know some will say, “the OF can be performed with just as much pomp and solemnity as the AU or the EF.” I imagine it can, yes…but it never is. A very casual culture has arisen around the “OF” and that casualness has almost become inherent in it.
Alas, in my case, there are no Anglican Use venues nearby, so, as I say, I hope some of you are right: I hope the “AU” becomes more widespread. It’s not only a solution for Anglican converts, but also for lifelong Catholics who, without wanting to return to the days of Latin and the poodle skirt, require more pomp and circumstance in their Sunday liturgy than the typical diocesan celebration of the “OF” allows.