Hat Tip in the Fish-Eaters’ Forum

My statistics page picked up a site sending 7 hits to my page on the Sarum Use. This is the Fish-Eaters’ traditionalist forum running a thread on the liturgy. I am intrigued by the title, because there are loads of people who enjoy fish and seafood even on days other than Fridays. I am also amused at what fasting and abstinence rules have become, when technically a Catholic can eat lobster and caviar on Good Friday without offending! Perhaps eating vegetarian or vegan on fasting days might be more appropriate and authentic. Anyway…

In it, someone using the name formerbuddhist has this to say of me.

https://sarumuse.wordpress.com/the-use-of-sarum Good old Father Anthony Chadwick offers the Sarum Liturgy from his little chapel in Normandy. He’s got quite a lot of information on it, and is himself quite an interesting guy.  Sarum is probably never going to be revived on the mainstream level though, just like I’d argue neither will the Roman Rite and the full calendar as it was prior to 62 reforms, or before that the Pian ones.

Liturgies come and go, but they are interesting to study no doubt.

He seems to be writing about some glorious old bugger like Fr Montgomery. Don’t the years go by fast! I also recommend the Fish-Eaters my static site As the Sun in its Orb.

I haven’t much left to say about Sarum. I am working on a missal based on the Warren translation to make it as practical as using a modern Tridentine missal or our standard Anglican Missal. I would like it to be available for posterity, like the magnificent work being done in Canada by Dr Renwick on Latin and English versions of the Office with chant.

I think it does go without saying that Sarum isn’t going to be revived at any mainstream level. Our Buddhist convert (if that’s what he is) is honest enough to say that the fate of the pre-1962 Roman books is about the same.

There is not much to discuss about it. We need to see our vocations in life from a higher standpoint. As St Paul put it: We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. I am not mainstream nor do I have any calling to serve the mainstream. The trick is making sure someone takes care of our work in the event of our deaths, so that nothing is lost. I remember the case of Dr Raymond Winch in Oxford whose house would have been cleared out into rubbish bags had it not been for a careful soul who saved most of the papers and unpublished work. It is too easy for an eccentric to allow things to get untidy, because if they do, they will be lost.

I intend as much as possible to organise my computer archives on my external hard disk and think of where it should all be sent in the event of my lifeless body being found spread-eagled on my chapel floor or in some dreadful hospital. One must have order and discipline if anything is to survive.

We won’t find Sarum liturgies in parishes, probably ever, but the work must continue as was begun by university scholars in the mid nineteenth century. We use their work and make it progress – and we hope that our work will make some impression in the future.

I have often had the question. What is the use of it all anyway, since no one is interested in the liturgy? Not even the run-of-the-mill Roman Catholics? As with anything, I think of the quote from St Paul and the gratuity of the contemplative vocation. We are there for God and the good of our own souls, not for some social or political agenda. It sounds selfish, as contemplative life has always been judged by the “neurotypicals” of this world.

It isn’t about details of what a priest wears, the bits and pieces – but a whole attitude to life that is not of this world. That is the spirit of this blog and my view of life.

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7 Responses to Hat Tip in the Fish-Eaters’ Forum

  1. We won’t find Sarum liturgies in parishes, probably ever, but the work must continue as was begun by university scholars in the mid nineteenth century. We use their work and make it progress– and we hope that our work will make some impression in the future.

    Do you have an online repository for your work Father? What is the state of a complete Sarum rite, i.e., all major Feasts and Fasts and an Ordinary? I would like to pass this on to some people.

    The Enlightenment order under which we have lived since the 1780’s is at the beginning of its end and we don’t know what comes next. Maybe your work will have some place in that post-Enlightenment future.

    • The best I have been able to do until now is The Use of Sarum. It contains the missal I am working on (on the basis of Warren) and Dr Renwick’s work together with other resources.

      Your final paragraph has an interesting turn. This is why I have been interested in the various manifestations of Romanticism without which there would have been no gothic revival or interest in things medieval. Unfortunately, the post-Enlightenment would have no sympathy for people like me – it is the alliance between Daesh, Hitler on steroids and human-machine cyborgs.

      Fortunately, I don’t have too much of a complex about being somewhat redundant in all that!

  2. Father, do you see a tension between the work of liturgists whose goal is beautiful and cohesive liturgy and theologians whose concern is the communication of doctrine?

    • No, to each his talents. In civil society, you have academics, artists, civil engineers, politicians, scientists, businessmen, everything. Why not also in the Church? The problem is when you try to make an artist into a corporate manager. Problems only ever occur when the untypical is treated like rubbish by the majority. I then turn the question over to you…

  3. J.D. says:

    Whatever the case may be Father, you do make a difference by carrying on and quietly offering your Sarum Mass in the windswept hinterlands of Normandy. All the others that have and continue to labor to preserve and or translate the the Sarum Missal, Breviary and other things related to it are making a difference.

    What you’ve often said rings true, there are some of us who just can’t be happy in the corporate world of big mainstream churches. Most have moved on from all those older liturgies, older calendars, folk traditions and pieties. Men like you and the late Father Montgomery are inspirational to the rest of us on the margins.

    It’s interesting because most of us who read this blog are connected through prayer but separated by different confessions, continents, ages and styles of prayer, and yet there’s still a connection, a link that binds all of us. Perhaps we all share the romantic spirit, and perhaps places like this are where real ecumenism can be done. Like you say ours is an interior Christianity, not necessarily a Christianity of action, of dogmatic smugness and of hurling anathemas at everyone who doesn’t agree, but something more of the heart.

  4. Rubricarius says:

    I agree very much with ‘JD’ above – you do make a difference Fr. Anthony by simply carrying on with things and also by maintaining this thought-provoking blog. It is so useful to have a blog which is not simply some ‘party political’ propaganda exercise for self-confirmign the prejudices of the blog owner and those who comment.

    It does appear that ‘mainstream’ churches are in deep trouble and the future for Christianity is going to be very much a return to its beginnings with house churches etc.

    • I also appreciate your two blogs on the Roman rite, one following the Gregorian calendar and the other following the Julian calendar. Many are grateful for your painstaking work in compiling the Ordo. This is a precious role, because the religious communities of the future are not big expensive monasteries but diasporas of hermits scattered all over the place, praying for each other and living their own lives as real solitaries or married and able to get a bit of quiet time away from the wife from time to time.

      Together with our life of saying the Office, saying Mass is we are priests and living in a “monastic” way (inwardly, without the trappings), we have our academic and liturgical work behind the scenes. We also have to earn our living and look after the house. And there is recreation. I have music and my boat. This is a spirit I am trying to get across, because people can’t rely on outside authority to keep them in check. We have to be self-motivated with our own self discipline (cutting out the things that are just not appropriate – whatever they are). We need to find a distinct sense of vocation and purpose and adapt the way we do things to the way we are (extrovert, introvert, neuro-whatever, etc.).

      This blog seems to work like a kind of “ship’s log” where I indicate the vessel’s position, course, speed, wind and sea conditions, things that go wrong, the seagull that lands on the deck looking for a bit of fish, where and when I put into port, whatever. I can see a day when other “skippers” will publish their logs on the blogosphere, and things will get really interesting.

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