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Found, not Manufactured: Newman, the Roman Rite, and Cranmer’s Prayer Book

Gary Scarrabelotti 11 November, 2014 0 Comments
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The Inaugural Blessed John Henry Newman Lecture was delivered by Dr Stephen McInerney (Senior Lecturer in Literature, Campion College).

…the Oxford Movement emerged in large part as a reaction against proposed alterations to the Anglican liturgy, albeit within the larger context of political and social reform deplored by the founders of the Movement – John Keble, Edward Pusey, Richard Hurrell Froude and John Henry Newman. It was, from its inception, what we in the Catholic Church today might recognize as a traditionalist movement.

Over fifty years ago, as he reflected on the legacy of John Henry Newman, Fr Frank O’Malley asked: “What was the spirit of this man who is with us a constant reference and a standard and a sign?” By way of an answer, he pointed to something that few Newman scholars before or since have sought to highlight:

the spirit of Newman moved within the spirit of the liturgy, the liturgy thought of in its most significant sense as the very rhythm of Christian existence, stirred and centred by the life of Christ. Newman absorbed the liturgical character of existence. He lived by the liturgy. (2)

It was as an Anglican that “the liturgical character of existence” first impressed itself upon Newman. On the eve of his fourteenth birthday his mother made him a gift of The Book of Common Prayer – or would have done had he not preempted her offer by buying the book himself for her to give to him, which she then did “without saying a word”, bemused no doubt by her “impatient headstrong” boy. (3) From the time of his ordination he preached regularly on the importance of the sacraments and the indispensability of public prayer, eventually coming to believe that the Church’s public prayer was the means through which the Church is visibly manifested in time and space. And during the early years of the Oxford Movement he came to regard the Prayer Book as the depository of Apostolic teaching in England, and a sure sign that the Anglican Communion belonged to and expressed the Catholic Faith – a belief he would gradually question.
Newman was known to celebrate the services of the Church with great care and devotion, (4) and to encourage the faithful to attend them regularly, believing (as Donald Withey writes) “the daily office and frequent celebration of communion to be of the essence of the life of the Church”. (5) “Religious worship”, Newman would assert, “supplies all our spiritual need…[and] suits every mood of mind and variety of circumstance”. (6) At Littlemore, as Pusey recounted in 1837, during parts of the Daily Service Newman followed the ancient practice of kneeling “towards the East, the same way as the congregation, turning to the congregation in the parts directed to them”, (7) though he always retained the protestant practice of celebrating the Sunday Communion at the north end of the holy table. (8) Although he was not principally concerned with ritualism, (9) he had a great appreciation for the importance of outward forms of public prayer and the liturgical cycle whose yearly round impressed the “great revealed verities”(10) of the Faith onto the memories and imaginations of the faithful.

High Mass for All Souls at the Birmingham Oratory (Ohoto: Rorate Caeli)

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Ten Years Without Michael Davies

Gary Scarrabelotti 22 September, 2014 1 Comment
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by Leo Darroch, Rorate Caeli

The Extraordinary Life and Times of Michael Davies, Latin Mass Hero
- and a list of his works

‘I have been profoundly touched by the news of the death of Michael Davies. I had the good fortune to meet him several times and I found him as a man of deep faith and ready to embrace suffering. Ever since the Council he put all his energy into the service of the Faith and left us important publications especially about the Sacred Liturgy. Even though he suffered from the Church in many ways in his time, he always truly remained a man of the Church. He knew that the Lord founded His Church on the rock of St Peter and that the Faith can find its fullness and maturity only in union with the successor of St Peter. Therefore we can be confident that the Lord opened wide for him the gates of heaven. We commend his soul to the Lord’s mercy.’

Michael Davies (

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger,
9 November 2004.

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Eucharistic Prayer Composed in Trattoria

Gary Scarrabelotti 20 September, 2014 0 Comments
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By Sandro Magister and Rorate Caeli, September 2014

“The unbelievable scene is not unknown, it has been mentioned elsewhere before, but now confirmed in the published recollections of one of the two men involved: during the mad rush to have the Novus Ordo Missae (the New Mass of Paul VI)  ready as soon as possible, the Consilium, the 1963-1970 organization charged with the upheaval and destruction of the Roman Rite under the guise of “reform” and under the control mostly of Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, had reached a new level of ignominy in composing a new “canon”. The draft was so bad and dangerous that the new Eucharistic Prayer had to be rewritten in a hurry and at the last minute during a late-night meeting by two men in a Roman restaurant.”

One of these, perhaps?


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Sacred Music in Secular Society

Gary Scarrabelotti 7 August, 2014 0 Comments
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Reviewed by Peter J Leithart, First Things, 8 July 2014.


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Summorum Pontificum, Seven Years on.

Gary Scarrabelotti 30 July, 2014 0 Comments
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By Nicholas Frankovich | First Things | 9 July  2014

An unexpected blessing of the liturgical developments that have sidelined the Mass of the Ages for the past half-century is that when we return to it now we see it with fresh eyes.


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