Anthony Delarue on “the legitimate English musical patrimony”

I shall quote one article from the FOTO newsletter, because it is a continuation of reflections which Anthony Delarue began earlier this year on Anglican liturgical patrimony:

What is the Anglican Patrimony?
A reflection in two parts: Part II

This is the second in a two-part reflection on the Anglican Patrimony and the Ordinariate by Anthony Delarue. In the first part, the author, who has been asked by the Friends to help with aspects of the liturgical life at Warwick Street, explored the history and development of the Anglican Patrimony, concentrating especially on liturgy, vesture and kneeling. In this second part of his thesis, Anthony Delarue concentrates on the themes of language and music.

By Anthony MJL Delarue


The importance of music lies not only in the fact that it is a great part of the patrimony of the Ordinariates, but that, as the Church of England abandons it, it will become more and more the patrimony only of the Ordinariates. Much has been lost of the richness and variety once enjoyed in the Church of England, as any English schoolboy will remember. There is a long and consistent tradition through the 17th to 19th centuries, with moments of great flowering interspersed with periods of dull neglect; such is the Anglican way.

Music, as it is introduced to the nascent Ordinariate liturgy, should be approached in its true context, the parish and cathedral traditions are quite distinct, and both worthy of preservation, and, for many younger people, of discovery. Warwick Street is in a funny position, undeniably a parish church, but possessing also, as the mother-church of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, occasionally the character of a cathedral, and at these times cathedral music will be appropriate.

It is important, however, that the people learn to sing those parts of the chant which belongs to them and to parish life, not just hymns, important as they are. There can be little doubt that one of the mandates we have received from Pope Benedict is the preservation and promotion of Anglican music, and indeed its transmission as a living tradition.

In the early days of Anglicanism, we think of such names as Tomkins, Weelkes and, later, Purcell, much of which is lamentably neglected, and far more appropriate than Catholic polyphony of the same periods. The wonderful verse anthems of the 18th century (by composers such as Blow, Boyce and Greene) are rarely heard nowadays. Later, in the great flowering of the 19th and 20th centuries, names such as Bairstow, Stainer and Walmisley come to mind. These too have often recently been ignored as Victorian or out of date, but wrongly so. Then there are the composers of Anglican Chant, such as Ouseley, Turle and Walford Davies, and the various settings of the Ordinary texts of the Mass, Merbecke of course, but also such as Martin Shaw and Healey Willan.

The whole question of the recent tradition of Anglican music is complicated by the fact that, in the years since the Second Vatican Council, when Catholic parishes were abandoning wholesale their often impressive musical repertoire, many Anglican choirs, particularly the university colleges, such as George Guest at St John’s, Cambridge, adopted much written for the Roman rite. Now that is it being restored to its rightful home we may be grateful for its preservation through these dark years; from the Anglican perspective, however, it remains an interlude under external influences, and not part of the natural Tradition. It is as absurd to hear Palestrina in an Anglican Use Mass as it is (and sadly one does) to hear Bach at a pontifical Mass in a French Cathedral. (Bach was banned in most Catholic churches until the 1970s, and rightly so; it is beautiful music, but it is not written to illuminate Catholic liturgy.) The argument that all is appropriate in the name of art is neither tolerance nor cultured appreciation, but liturgical indifferentism.


This brings us to the subject of Latin. Until recently, certainly at the time of my own conversion, Latin was forbidden to cathedral and parish use in England, indeed presumably formally is still. Ancient exception was made for the Oxford and Cambridge colleges. I recall quite clearly my surprise, and joy, on first hearing Latin in regular use in Scotland during my years as an undergraduate in Edinburgh, it felt so delightfully naughty. The Scottish Episcopal Church, of course, had never come under the Tudor legislation, and Latin singing survived here and there throughout its history, and has formed part of it liturgical repertoire for well over a century. When Anglicanism was exported to America, it was, by impediment of the Oath of Supremacy, the Scottish bishops who consecrated Bishop Seabury of Connecticut in 1783, and the American liturgical tradition owes much to Scotland, and Latin went too. It is interesting that it survives alive and well in the American Anglican Use, especially and ironically in the light of its near wholesale abandonment by the Roman Rite US Church.

In England, then, it is really only in the last 20 years that Latin has entered the Anglican cathedral repertoire, and that only, I suspect, for reasons of indifference, the sort of indifference which traditional Catholics are so keen to mistake for approval. The BBC will doubtless have played a large part, though we must be grateful to it for keeping much church music alive on the concert platform during the 1970s and 80s. I do not, however, believe for one moment that Pope Benedict expected the Ordinariate to be concentrating on Latin polyphony, and indeed I think it should be wholly avoided; there is far too much work to be done to restore and preserve the legitimate English musical patrimony.

Finally, and in conclusion, one might observe that it is perhaps ironic that the Catholic development of the Anglican tradition should take place in a church which combines Recusant Georgian with Bentley’s Liturgical Movement Romanesque, the only two aspects of modern English Catholic architecture which owe nothing to the pre-Reformation tradition. Nevertheless, this is wholly fitting, as it of the very nature of the Anglican Tradition, from the early days of the missionary saints, to absorb and harmonise many disparate traditions. I very much hope that over the coming years, all that which is good, beautiful and English about Anglican liturgy will be nurtured and take a firm root in the life of the Catholic Church. Then we shall have responded to Pope Benedict’s challenge.

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Friends of the Ordinariate – Newsletter Autumn/Winter 2014

The recently published Autumn/Winter 2014 edition of the FOTO Newsletter can be accessed by clicking here.

This edition includes two articles on the work of Ordinariate Expats (on our two events in Grimaud and Aix-les-Bains, France, at both of which an appeal was made for the Friends of the Ordinariate).

In his foreword the Ordinary, Monsignor Keith Newton, writes about the many people from outside Britain who show an interest in the Ordinariate.

We should certainly like to welcome any of you who may be visiting this website. Do not hesitate to send us an eMail at and we will make contact with you and, if you desire, add you to our mailing lists.

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About Our Lady of Hope, Kansas City

Hattip to Jan Mickiewicz for the link to Fr. Ernie Davis’ blog. Fr. Ernie writes:

After seven years at St. Therese, Bishop Finn allowed me to return to hospital chaplaincy. So now I am full-time Catholic priest-chaplain at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Blue Springs.  Sometime I might write a little bit about why I decided it was time to leave St. Therese. For now I will just say I was burned out, and St. Therese needed a chance to find another way ahead.

Sometime soon I may also write a bit about hospital chaplaincy. For now I will just say that much of my day is like sales – I make a lot of calls. Most of the time response seems to range from mildly pleased to mildly displeased. But on occasion there are people in situations in which I fulfill my vocation and make a difference.

The challenge in life right now is pastoring a new Catholic Church in Kansas City – Our Lady of Hope, a mission of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. We were part of St. Therese Little Flower for over five years (as a Pastoral Provision community – Ed). We didn’t join the Ordinariate immediately because we didn’t know how we could have one foot in a diocesan parish, and one foot in the Ordinariate. Finally, after some study and prayer, it seemed clear that our future had to be in the Ordinariate. Last January Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson received us as members. When I left St. Therese, it seemed time to finally decide where we ought to be located if we are to have a mission to include people from through out the metro area. So we are launching out on our own.

Beginning November 2, we will be located at Our Lady of Sorrows, 2552 Gillham Road, Kansas City, Missouri, for Sunday Mass at 9:15. (Our Lady of Sorrows is about 6 miles closer to the city center than St Therese – Ed). I will write about that, too!

Kansas City - Our Lady of HopeDoes Kansas City need a new Catholic Church? Only if the new one does something the others cannot do.

Just a couple of years ago it appeared that Kansas City might actually get two or three new Catholic Churches. There was some excitement that Kansas City’s two Traditional Anglican Communion parishes might enter the Catholic Church along with the whole TAC. The bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion had asked for a way that they and their churches could enter the full communion of the Catholic Church while retaining some of their Anglican traditions and retain some responsibility for their own governance. “United, not absorbed” was the goal of Anglican reunion with Catholicism as the early 20th Century Malines Conversations had described it. Pope Benedict offered Anglicanorum Coetibus. Based on that Apostolic Constitution, Ordinariates were established in Great Britain, the United States and Canada, and Australia. There was a lot of excitement prior to the Coming Home conference sponsored by the Anglican Use Community at St. Therese Little Flower and a number of Anglican priests participated. The former Anglicans at St. Therese believed that they could help facilitate the project of healing church divisions by sharing their experience in becoming Catholic. They were open to the possibility that they could cease to exist as a separate community and that they themselves could be absorbed into one of the existing Anglican soon-to-be-Catholic parishes when they entered the Catholic Church. But by then, the original excitement of the TAC was fading. Rome had made a very generous offer. But most of the Anglican parishioners in the pew didn’t want to be Catholic, and the TAC bishops apparently weren’t terribly enthusiastic about actually entering the Catholic Church. Several of the Anglican bishops and many of the Anglican priests did not meet the required educational standards for ordination in the Catholic Church, and several had marriage issues. A few TAC Anglican parishes around the country entered the new Ordinariate, but none of the local ones did. That meant the former Anglicans at St. Therese Little Flower had to mull over their own reason for being. What did it mean for them to be “United, not Absorbed”? What was their reason for being? Did they have a permanent future at St. Therese? How could they enter the Ordinariate when the parish they had joined would always be part of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph?

Four or five years ago it seemed that having an “Anglican Use” community as part of St. Therese Little Flower Parish could be a long-term mutually beneficial solution. I was thinking that I could remain at St. Therese until retirement. The Anglican Use community added resources to the struggling inner-city parish, and the parish provided space to worship, a link to the wider Catholic community, and assistance with pastoral programming. We began some projects that assumed we would have a long-term home at St. Therese.

When I was thinking that I could remain at St. Therese long-term, what I didn’t realize was that St. Therese Parish and the Anglican Use community had a deep and basic conflict. St. Therese Parish depends on attracting people who feel like they don’t fit in a regular parish. St. Therese Parish can be very warm and welcoming and some neighborhood parishes can be very cold. But some of our key parishioners had a deep animosity toward the church hierarchy and Catholic dogma and discipline. On the other hand, I and the other former Anglican converts who joined me at St. Therese had made an adult choice to enter the Catholic faith. And to enter the full communion of the Church we had affirmed that we believe what the Catholic Church believes. This was a rift that simply could not be bridged, and it continued to feed the suspicions of some parishioners that our presence and my pastoral leadership could not be trusted. It became clear to me that I would not be able to remain at St. Therese long-term, and it also became clear that one person could not be pastor of both communities.

The Anglican Use community at St. Therese never discussed this. Instead our discussion focused on our future. Our study of Anglicanorum Coetibus and the mission of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter convinced us that we needed to take charge of our own future and find a way to enter the Ordinariate.

Now that we are Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church we can embrace our Catholic identity in a way that would never have been possible at St. Therese Little Flower. Converts make joyful Catholics, and that should make us good evangelists. I am convinced that this is our fundamental mission, more important than anything else, that we put Christ first. We are taking steps to put our money and our program where our mission is, and to keep from getting diverted into things that will take lots of energy but aren’t directly related to our mission.

Our Lady of Sorrows, Kansas City

Our Lady of Sorrows, Kansas City

More to come!

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Australia-Wide – October 2014

To read this month’s newsletter of The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, “Australia-Wide”, click on the banner heading below:

Australia-Wide - Oct 2014

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Newman Fellowship settling in at Strafford – Reception into the Church on November 2nd !

Fr. Ousley reports the following good news on The Blessed John Henry Newman Fellowship, now of Strafford, Pennsylvania:

Blessed John Henry Newman Fellowship

The Sunday evening Fellowship Mass is now at six o’clock instead of five, and celebrated at Our Lady of the Assumption in Strafford (which is just west of Wayne on the Main Line). OLA is an Archdiocesan “ethnic” parish for Italians, located at the Strafford train station on Old Eagle School Road just above Lancaster. Fr Dennis Carbonaro, the Pastor, and the good people of the parish have made us wonderfully welcome, and are enthusiastic about the mission of the Ordinariate and of the Newman Fellowship. While Fr Carbonaro was away for our first Sunday, both of the other priests who live at OLA came to see if we needed any help setting up. Fr Woodeshick also stayed for Mass with us. We are most grateful to OLA for their generosity in taking us in and providing space for worship, fellowship and catechesis. As nice as the Latvian Lutheran Church was , it is much more comfortable spiritually to be in a Catholic Church, with our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament. At least through October, the schedule of Mass at 6, followed by supper and catechesis continues. If you hear of others who might be interested in an Ordinariate Mass on Sunday evening on the Main Line, please let them know we’re there!

As I mentioned last month, the formation process is drawing towards its conclusion, and we have set a date for the reception into the communion of the Catholic Church of those in the Fellowship who are prepared to make the commitment at this time. It is to take place on the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity, November 2nd, at the six o’clock Mass. Monsignor Steenson has asked me to minister the sacraments of initiation (penance, confirmation, communion) on his behalf. I hope that others, especially from St Michael’s, will be able to attend to support the members of the Fellowship as they join us in the full communion with the See of Peter. This is something that they have longed for and prepared for for a long time. I’m sure it will bring them an unexpectedly abundant share of the same joy we experienced two years ago. For those needing to make their confessions before being received, we have scheduled time on Sunday, October 26th, after Mass. If another time is better, let me know, and we can set something else.

Blessed John Henry Newman’s Feast Day is October 9th. We have transferred the Fellowship’s Feast of Title to the following Sunday, observing it on October 12th (that’s today), at the usual six o’clock Mass.

I want to extend a special thanks to the folks that helped with the move from the Latvian Lutheran Church to Our Lady of the Assumption: the Livezeys (Lisa, William & Trevor) and Raynor Sherlock. David and Rita Moyer also came to help clean up the Lutheran space so it could be left in good shape. Thanks also goes to Fr Grogan and our friends at St Therese and Holy Cross for the long-term loan of a cart to store the hymnals and service booklets at OLA, as we do for St Michael’s at Holy Cross. They had an extra cart which they were willing to share – which saves the Fellowship a significant expense. I also want to express my thanks (and awe) to those who have been providing such splendid suppers every Sunday after Mass. This sustains everyone for the formation class which follows. All very impressive!

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October newsletter of St. Michael the Archangel, Philadelphia, now online

The pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Ordinariate parish in Philadelphia, Fr. David Ousley’s words in his letter to the parish at the beginning of this month’s newsletter seem very much to echo the words which Cardinal Vincent Nichols addressed to the UK Ordinariate Festival just last month. You would do well to reread (or better still, to listen to) the Cardinal’s talk and then read Fr. David’s letter.

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Depressing Article by Digby Anderson

This month’s edition of “new directions”, the magazine of Forward in Faith, publishes a fundamentally dismal article by Digby Anderson, entitled “Disillusion and departure”. Fr. Anderson makes two basic points in his article. The first is that, as he puts it, disillusionment with the CofE is experienced by Anglo-Catholics as “part of their patrimony“. You might think that this statement in itself is defeatist enough, i.e. that there is not and never has been a logical future for Anglo-Catholicism in the CofE.

But he goes on to say that to his mind there is no natural home for Anglo-Catholics in any church. Not only does he equate the diocesan Catholic Church and the Ordinariate on the one hand with the separatist, if not heretical, SSPX on the other hand, but goes on to list the various Orthodox churches, the Old Catholics and the Continuing churches as apparently equivalent alternatives. And as a criterion of choice he appears even to raise practicality above principle.

There follow some excerpts from Fr. Anderson’s article,the complete text of which can be found here.

“Disillusion and departure are integral parts of Anglo-Catholic tradition. The Movement started in 1833, 181 years ago. By 1842, just nine years later, Newman, disillusioned, retired from it. Since then a succession of prominent members have experienced disillusion, like him, not with the faith but the church, and left. Those who are disillusioned today experience it as part of their patrimony. …”

“For those who wish to leave, there is a wider choice of destinations. There is Rome Central but also Rome Ordinariate and the Romeish SSPX. There are Greek, Russian, Serbian, Antiochian and other Orthodox Churches, Old Catholics and Continuing Churches. Many are valid if irregular. They may not all be practical destinations but their validity makes it impossible for conscientious catholics not to consider them. …”

“But what role should practicality play in choice? Should it not be principled as Newman’s was? Every disillusioned member will have some personal circumstance which he ought to consider, or should he?” For instance, should married couples try to be members of the same church? What about financial implications or change of address and responsibilities to older family members? …”

Interestingly he then asks:

“Who could you go to today for informed advice? …”

In his next section he proceeds to dismantle the Catholic Church, to try to rule it out as an alternative – not, as one might fear, because it is too papist or Unenglish, but because it is too liberal, And he takes the Popes as his principal witnesses:

“Pope Benedict was definite about the nature of the decadence affecting the modern church in Europe. It affected his church too. It was a problem of the decadence of European Christendom. It was specially manifest in the desacralization of the liturgy but also in the church’s “impurity” – he called for a smaller purer church. And other popes have talked of evil at the heart of the church.”

“… so many of their churches have the same infantilized liturgy as ours. So many of their bishops trot out the same soft-left secular welfarism as ours. They look like ours, they sound like ours, sigh and simper like ours. They, like ours, have stood by while governments dismantle the family. Though they maintain traditional marriage discipline in church, they do so half-heartedly and congregations are full of lone parents.”

He then accuses the Catholic Church of lacking in “sacramental conviction”:

“They may have technical sacramental assurance but there is little sacramental conviction. Which is worse; to lose sacramental truth or to have it on the altar and turn your back on it while you affirm community values and be there for people where they are.”

And, of course, Pope Francis is guilty of “impulsive liberal impulses”:

“There are currently murmurs from the Orthodox, very quiet because distant and under-reported, about some of the current pope’s impulsive liberal impulses on morality.”

Apparently for reasons of “ecumenical etiquette” Fr. Anderson does not go on to criticise the other churches. He would have done well to have used the same reserve in his biassed and unjust comments about the Catholic Church.

By its nature, the Catholic Church possesses a doctrinal stability, which, whilst not stifling theological or liturgical discussion, makes it clear what is the deposit of faith and what not. Pope Benedict would be justifiably offended to be named as a witness for excluding the current Catholic Church – with all its faults – from the alternatives open to an Anglo-Catholic. And most certainly the structure which he created for precisely this clientele, the Personal Ordinariates, can hardly be accused of “infantilized liturgy”, “soft-left secular welfarism”, “half-heartedly maintaining traditional marriage discipline”, lacking in “sacramental conviction”,  even neglecting the sacrament on the altar. What absolute nonsense!

I am reluctant to invite Anglo-Catholics to leave an Anglican Church in which they feel at home, however difficult their situation might be, and I am personally distressed when disillusionment takes hold of them and causes them to question their allegiance to their church.

However, it fills me with dismay that an Anglo-Catholic should not wish to remain an Anglo-Catholic, even in his new ecclesiastical home. The move from Catholic Anglican to Anglican Catholic is not enormous and is totally logical, moving from disarray and disunity into “Unity in diversity”, from doctrinal chaos into magisterial stability. Are the Ordinariates not the obvious home for those who treasure both their catholicity and their Anglican heritage and who wish to bring that patrimony into communion with the Universal Church?

It is derisive to refer to disillusion as Anglo-Catholic patrimony. Fr. Anderson would do well to reflect again on his conclusions.

David Murphy

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