Page 5, 15th March 1974

15th March 1974
Page 5
Page 5, 15th March 1974 — is the Sarum Rite in 'suspended animation'?

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Organisations: Council of Trent
Locations: Hereford, York, Lincoln


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is the Sarum Rite in 'suspended animation'?

In pre-Reformation England the common rite of the leitin Mass was that of usum praeelara et insignis eeclesia Sarishuriensis. There were other local "uses", e.g., those of York, Lincoln, Hereford, etc., differing from Sarum only in minor points of ceremonial: but Sarum was the rite commonly followed. and the most familiar.

Its popularity is shown by the fact that it was introduced into Ireland in 1172, and into Scotland about 1250. The Use of Salisbury was proscribed by the imposition of the Rooks of Common Prayer of Edward VI, when the Prayer Book was again imposed, Catholics perforce had to go "underground" in the practice of their religious duties, but the secret celebration of Mass stilll followed the Sarum Rite.

In 1568, Pius V issued the Bulls Quo Primum and Quad a nobis, which regulated and confirmed the decrees of the Council of Trent relating to the Roman Missal and the Roman Breviary respectively. These documents stipulated that all rites and "uses" which could not show a prescription of two centuries were to be abolished.

This, patently, could not apply to the Sarum use which could show a history from 1099. when the episcopal seat was transferred from Old Sarum to the present Salisbury by St. Osmund.

I am not certain about this, but no attempt appears to have been made to forward the privilege of retaining the Sarum Rite under the "two centuries" clause. We know that the sole spokesman of' the old English hierarchy was Thomas Goldwell. Bishop of St. Asaph, who attended Trent during its later sessions, his colleagues either having died, or languishing at Wisbech or in other prisons. In addition, at the Council of Trent, were three Irish bishops, o'Hart of Achonry,

MacCongail of Raphoe, and o'Herlihy of Ross. It could .be

said that the Sarum use has been in a state of "suspended animation" from that time to our own period, even though the Roman Missal came to be accepted. for example, at Douai in 1577, and was generally used afterwards.

In 1969, Pope Paul VI, in the

Constitution, Missale Romaaurn abrogated the Tridentine Rite, except in eerie i n specified cases, but. seemingly. no other slightly deviational rites. This peesumably means that the decree of Pius V was not abolished in its entirety. for certain Religious Orders Dominicans. Carthusians, etc. no doubt still retain their customary usage.

Would this apply equally well to the Use of Sarum, even at this distance in time, and even though it be in Latin? For Latin. officially, is still to be the norm. Such a possible "loophole" may still exist, as may he seen from the wording of the Constitution, De Sacra Liturgia, Cap. ii. 36(1) which says: "The use of the Latin tongue is to be maintained in the Latin rites. except where some special law obtains."

A point of academic interest? But one on which a liturgist, or Church historian, more competent than myself, may care to elaborate.

James Goldsbury

75 Bingham Road, Radcliffe-on:Trent, No

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