Introducing Divine Worship:
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Divine Worship: The Missal?
Divine Worship is the liturgical provision for the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments for use by the Personal Ordinariates established under the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. As such, it gives expression to and preserves for Catholic worship the worthy Anglican liturgical patrimony, understood as that which has nourished the Catholic faith throughout the history of the Anglican tradition and prompted aspirations towards ecclesial unity.
2. Is the liturgical provision for the Ordinariates its own proper Rite?
No. The Anglican liturgical tradition draws on the English monastic tradition and develops entirely out of the context of the Roman Rite. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist expressed by Divine Worship is at once distinctively and traditionally Anglican in character, linguistic register, and structure, while also being clearly and recognizable an expression of the Roman Rite. The title page of the Missal itself bears the designation “In conformity with the Roman Rite.” The liturgical norms and principles of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal are therefore normative for this expression or form of the Roman Rite. The Missal also includes a Rubrical Directory which proves instructions for those areas in which Divine Worship diverges from the Roman Missal.
3. Why is it called Divine Worship?
Divine Worship is the name given by the Holy See to the liturgical provision for the Ordinariates. The Missal for the celebration of Mass is called Divine Worship: The Missal. The liturgical texts for baptisms, weddings, and funerals are collected in Divine Worship: Occasional Services. The Holy See chose the designation in part to harken back to the 2003 Book of Divine Worship, the first ritual book which authorized some Anglican liturgical patrimony for Catholic worship. The name Divine Worship purposely avoids some familiar but inaccurate designations for Anglican and Anglican-inspired liturgical forms (“Anglican Use,” “Anglo-Catholic,” etc.). This is in view of overcoming the confusion caused by the great variety of liturgical forms in the Anglican world, each of which advances a competing claim to authority as “Anglican use.” The intention is to situate Divine Worship firmly within the shape and context of the Roman Rite so that it might be approached in a manner which respects its own integrity and authority.
4. Can any Catholic attend Mass according to Divine Worship?
Yes. Ordinariate parishes and communities are part of the Roman Catholic Church. Any Catholic may licitly attend Mass in an Ordinariate parish.
5. Can any priest celebrate Mass according to Divine Worship?
No. Public liturgical celebration according to Divine Worship is restricted to the parishes and communities of the Personal Ordinariates established under the auspices of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. Any priest incardinated in such a Personal Ordinariate may also publicly celebrate the Mass according to Divine Worship outside the parishes of the Ordinariate with the permission of the rector/pastor of the corresponding church or parish. Priests of the Ordinariate may always celebrate Mass without a congregation according to Divine Worship.
In cases of pastoral necessity or in the absence of a priest incardinated in an Ordinariate, any Catholic priest in good standing may celebrate the Holy Eucharist according to Divine Worship for members of the Ordinariate who request it. For example, since the parishes of the Ordinariate are often spread out over a large geographic territory, the pastor of an Ordinariate parish may ask a priest at a nearby diocesan parish to fill in during illness or vacation leave.
6. Can any priest concelebrate Mass according to Divine Worship?
Yes. Any Catholic priest may concelebrate Mass according to Divine Worship.
7. What is the language of Divine Worship?
The liturgical texts found in Divine Worship are in English, but an idiom of English best described as “Prayer Book English.” Insofar as Divine Worship respects received texts in their integrity, variations of idiom and linguistic register have been harmonized so that the texts chosen are broadly representative of the classic Prayer Book tradition while also attempting to avoid undue preference for wordings distinctive to any particular country. The texts provide for a certain adaptability to local custom such as, for example, using “Holy Ghost” interchangeably with “Holy Spirit” throughout the celebration of Mass.
Divine Worship gives expression to and preserves for Catholic worship the worthy Anglican liturgical patrimony, understood as that which has nourished the Catholic faith throughout the history of the Anglican tradition and prompted aspirations towards ecclesial unity.
8. Does Divine Worship provide the texts of chants/minor propers?
Yes. In addition to the orations for Mass, the texts of the chants (Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Tract, Offertory, and Communion) are provided in Divine Worship as found in the musical patrimony of the Anglican tradition. The Coverdale translations of the Psalm texts in the chants are common to the Anglican Missals and Anglican translations of the Graduale Romanum. The Gradual and the Alleluia given in the Missal may always be replaced by the Responsorial Psalm and Alleluia of the Lectionary. In addition to, or in place of, the Introit, Offertory, and Communion, an appropriate hymn may also be sung.
9. How does Mass according to Divine Worship begin?
The rites preceding the Liturgy of the Word, namely the Entrance, the Reverence of the Altar, the Collect for Purity, the Summary of the Law, the Kyrie, the Gloria, the greeting, and the Collect have the character of a beginning and preparation. Their purpose is to ensure that the faithful who gather as one dispose themselves to listen properly to God’s Word and to celebrate the Eucharist worthily. The Missal includes several appendices with additional options for these preparatory rites. The Prayers of Preparation may be prayed by the Priest and Ministers in the sacristy before Mass, or the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar may be prayed at the lowest steps of the altar after the Priest and Ministers have vested. The Rite of Sprinkling of Holy Water as a memorial of Baptism may precede the principal Sunday Mass and is especially fitting during the Sundays in Eastertide. On occasion, especially during Lent, the recitation of the Decalogue may replace the Summary of the Law.
10. Is this the Penitential Rite?
No. The Penitential Rite emanates from the Liturgy of the Word and prepares the community for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. After the recitation of the Nicene Creed and the Prayers of the People, the Deacon or Priest incites all those present to take part in the Penitential Rite carried out through a formula of corporate acknowledgement of sin. This concludes with the Priest’s prayer for the forgiveness of sins which, however, lacks the efficacy of the Sacrament of Penance and is not a general absolution. The Penitential Rite may be followed by the recitation of The Comfortable Words.
11. Are the readings at Mass the same in Ordinariate parishes as in other Catholic parishes?
Yes. The readings follow the Year A/B/C cycle for Sundays, and the Year I/II cycle for weekdays. The scriptural readings at Mass are taken from the Lectionary in the Revised Standard Version (Second Catholic Edition).
12. Why are there two forms of the Offertory?
Divine Worship provides for two forms of the Offertory, in order to respect a divergence in the liturgical experience among the Ordinariate communities. The first form of the Offertory is drawn from the Anglican Missal tradition. The second form reflects the Roman Missal as revised following the Second Vatican Council. The choice of the Offertory form should reflect the overall shape of the liturgical celebration, such as the distinction between Sunday and weekday Masses, and is made within the context of the particular tradition of a parish of the Ordinariate. It is not meant to provide variety from Sunday to Sunday.
13. Which Eucharistic Prayer is used?
The Missal contains two Eucharistic Prayers. The Roman Canon is the normative Eucharistic Prayer of the Divine Worship celebration of Mass. The Alternative Eucharistic Prayer, which corresponds to Eucharistic Prayer II of the Roman Missal, is provided for Masses on weekdays, for Masses with children, and other Masses where pastoral needs suggest it.
14. Are there differences in the Communion Rite?
The Communion Rite in Divine Worship follows the same structure as the Roman Missal, with three additions drawn from the Anglican tradition. At the Fraction, the priest begins breaking the Eucharistic Bread while singing or saying the anthem, Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, to which the People respond, Therefore let us keep the feast. Following the Fraction, the Priest and all who will receive Holy Communion recite together the Prayer of Humble Access, a communal preparation for Holy Communion. When the distribution of Communion is concluded, the Priest and the People make a corporate act of Thanksgiving using the prayer, Almighty and everliving God. This is followed by the Postcommunion Prayer, in which the Priest prays for the fruits of the mystery just celebrated.
15. How does Mass end?
The Concluding Rites consist of the Priest’s greeting and blessing, the dismissal of the People, and the reverence to the altar. Where it is the custom, the Last Gospel (the Prologue of St. John’s Gospel) may follow as a concluding devotion and is recited immediately after the dismissal. The Last Gospel is especially appropriate in Christmastide.
16. Are there differences in the celebration of the liturgical year?
Yes. The notable difference between Divine Worship and the Roman Missal is that Divine Worship does not include a period called Ordinary Time. The period between the celebration of the Epiphany and Ash Wednesday is called Time After Epiphany (Epiphanytide) and Pre-Lent. Pre-Lent begins with the third Sunday before Lent, or Septuagesima. After Eastertide, the Sundays of the Year are collectively known as Trinitytide, beginning with Trinity Sunday and being numbered as Sundays After Trinity until the celebration of Christ the King. The liturgical time of Advent/Christmas, Lent/Easter are celebrated in common throughout the Church. The Divine Worship Missal also includes the celebration of the Ember Days in Advent, Lent, in Whitsun Week (Pentecost), and in September. Similarly, the Rogation Days, traditionally marked by processions and prayers for Divine assistance, are observed on the three days preceding the Ascension of the Lord.
17. How is the celebration of the Saints observed in Divine Worship?
The Divine Worship Missal includes all of the liturgical texts for the celebration of the Saints, either in proper prayers or in a series of Commons. The Calendar of the Missal follows the General Roman Calendar. Because of the geographic distribution of the Ordinariates, the Calendar also makes provision for the national calendars of Australia, Canada, England, the United States, as also the particular calendars of the three Ordinariates.
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