Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"I don't know if it's any better with the Anglican Church in England, but the Episcopalian Church in America seems to have gone stark raving mad."

The Poetry Foundation
     W. H. Auden, "Liturgy, Reform of," in A certain world:  a commonplace book (New York:  The Viking Press, 1970), 225 (225-226), as quoted by Alan Jacobs in "The poet in old age," Books and culture 22, no. 5 (September/October 2016):  33 (32-33).
     What Auden has in mind are "some features of a proposed reformed Holy Communion service", namely the omission of the Prayer of Humble Access, the General Confession, and the Filioque; the "futile attempt" "to pray for all sorts and conditions of men" during the Prayer for the Church Militant (italics mine); and the use of "some appalling 'modern' translation."
The poor Roman Catholics have had to start from scratch, and, as any of them with a feeling for language will admit, they have made a cacophonous horror of the Mass.  We had the extraordinary good fortune in that our Book of Common Prayer was composed at exactly the right historical moment. . . . Why should we spit on our luck?

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