Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Catholic liturgist who had never heard of the Te Deum

"I was present back in the 90s at the ordination in Fort Worth Cathedral (Texas) of a former Anglican priest who had been received into the Catholic Church with his people (virtually all of them came). It was a moving event; and afterwards, back at the parish church . . . his first Mass was celebrated, and was followed by the singing of the Te Deum, of course in the old 1662 Prayer Book translation, and sung to the famous setting by Charles Villiers Stanford. The 'diocesan liturgist', who was present, presumably, to make sure that no reactionary enormities were perpetrated, asked me at the reception afterwards about the Te Deum, of which (I’m not making this up) she (a supposed liturgist) had never heard. 'Is that a typically Anglican prayer, would you say?', she asked me, quizzically."

     William Oddie, "Curiouser and curiouser:  the Pope has now turned the Book of Common Prayer (well, quite a bit of it) into a Catholic liturgy" (8 June 2011).  The Te Deum has been dated to the early 5th century.  I don't know that this (rather than, say, the one in C) is the Stanford setting Oddie considers the famous one.  Cf. Kreeft:  "When God saw that the Church in America lacked persecutions, he sent them liturgists."
     For a recent re-translation of the Te Deum, see Worship 90, no. 5 (September 2016):  462-469.

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