Today on All Saints’ Day, the imminent publication of the very first pew missal for the Anglican Use liturgy has been announced. To be published by Catholic Truth Society (CTS) in the UK, and entitled “The CTS Divine Worship Sunday Missal (People’s Edition)”, this latest version of the Divine Worship missal is meant to be used by laymen in the pews. Until now, no such missal meant specifically for lay use has been published in the almost four-decade history of the Anglican tradition in the Catholic Church.
This pew edition will be distinct from “Divine Worship: The Missal” (in either its Altar or Study Editions) in that it will only contain the texts for Sundays and major Holy Days, omitting those for other weekdays. It will include the texts of the major propers from the RSV-2CE lectionary that otherwise are found in two separate volumes for use in the sanctuary. I suspect it will also omit the GIRM, which was included in the previous editions of the Divine Worship missal. You might even say this new book is for the prayers of us common folk in the pew. Might we consider it our new book of common prayer?
In fact, in each of these respects, this new lay missal hews more closely to the model of the Book of Common Prayer. But it is not only akin to the BCP in its inclusion of Sundays and feast days, collects and readings, and so much more of our Anglican patrimony. It’s very nature is meant to bear the Catholic substance of the BCP, as the various books of Divine Worship have been compiled to encapsulate the Anglican tradition principally found in the BCP, and also in the Anglican and English Missals, and even material from our ancient Sarum rite.
Let’s take today’s collect for the feast of All Hallows, known nowadays as All Saints’ Day. What follows is the Collect from the Book of Common Prayer (specifically the 1962 Canadian edition). In the Divine Worship missal, nothing of the BCP collect has been removed, and the few parts distinguished below (like ‘through their intercession’) are all that has been added for Anglican use in the Catholic Church:
“O Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that through their intercession we may come to those unspeakable joys, which thou hast prepared for them that unfeignedly love thee; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.”
As is immediately obvious, our Anglican tradition has not only been preserved in its essence and in its integrity, but it has been completed, made whole, and rendered not only even more Catholic but also fully authoritative. In a sense, our Anglican tradition has been perfected and made fully Catholic. While there is yet more to be done, the books of Divine Worship have been an incredible gift to Anglican Catholics.
In the Catholic Church and in the Anglican ordinariates, the Anglican tradition finds its fulfillment and its full Catholic expression. Anyone interested in more details about this new edition of our missal or how to acquire a copy, please see the CTS website.
As the Introit for today puts it, “Rejoice we all, and praise the Lord, celebrating a holy-day in honour of all the Saints: in whose solemnity the Angels are joyful, and glorify the Son of God. Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for it becometh well the just to be thankful. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”