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Tuesday, 4 January 2022


The following is a response to an article by Dr. Ephraim Radner in FIRST THINGS - JANUARY 2022 -- THE BACK PAGE


In his meditation on climate, culture, language and catechesis, Ephraim Radner offers an insightful look at the directions open to society in this century. He concludes with a clarion call for catechesis in the Church, a call to which many will sound a great Amen.


There are two points to add to Dr. Radner’s pastoral call for biblical focus.  The first is in response to his lament: “The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) was suffused with a penitential spirit. It is no longer so.”


This is true. Myriad additions, subtractions and “woke” amendments to Anglican orders of service around the globe cover everything from Evensong to LGBTQ (add your letter) inclusivity rites and transgender “affirmations”. What is left of the BCP in the Anglican Communion (I use the term loosely) is a mess of potage, detritus on a sea of change blown by every wind of doctrine.


Fortunately, under the aegis of Pope Benedict’s farsighted Dogmatic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus (AC), there is a safe harbour for English (Anglican/Episcopalian) liturgy and patrimony.  The recently published English breviary for the Ordinariates: Divine Worship: Daily Office (CTS, 2021) is mandated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) for English-speaking clergy and people worldwide.  This book is a rich compilation of Anglican daily offices and other rites shaped in conformity with universal Catholic liturgical principles and approved by the CDF.


The Breviary retains the poetic English of the BCP tradition while offering all seven of the daily offices for religious communities and individuals. The breviary serves as a text and work book for grounded and ongoing catechesis.


This English form of The Liturgy of the Hours joins the previously published Divine Worship: The Missal (CTS, 2015) and Divine Worship: Occasional Services (CTS, 2014). These traditional texts provide contours for the second element we may add to Dr. Radner’s appeal – mystagogy, the learning through liturgy. Mercifully, these English prayer books have a home now in the Universal Church. 

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