WORSHIP HAS BECOME DIVORCED FROM THE REALITIES OF LIFE
The High Church Tradition, A Study ol' Liturgical Thought of the Seventeenth Century. By G. W. 0. Addleshaw, M.A., B.D. (Faber and Faber, 7s. 6d.) Reviewed by PETER F. ANSON
THIS book is not likely to appeal to those extreme Anglo-Catholics whose veneration for everything " Roman " is so uncritical that they borrow all the worst features of our
ceremonial and popular devotions, including many which some of us would be only too glad to be rid of.
The Vice-Principal of St. Chad's College, Durham, belongs to a very different school of thought. He makes no attempt to apologise for the Book of Common Prayer. He deplores the increasingly frequent .efforts among a certain section of Anglicans to make the official rite " look like a vernaciilar edition of the pre-Reformation or modern Latin rite." He maintains that " this is exactly what the Prayer Book is not; it is a rite with a structure and meaning of its own and needs its own .schente of ceremonial. That used in the seventeenth century, though neither medieval nor Latin, bad at least the merit of providing at: intelligent accompaniment of the Prayer Book. which can seldom be said for the ceremonial prevailing in the majority of our churches to-day."
He goes so far as to say that "to become intelligible the Prayer Book order needs not only its traditional seventeenth-century ceremonial, if needs also churches either built or restored in the style of the period as an appropriate setting." He feels that the nineteenth-century Anglican ritualistsmade a great mistake when they ignored this traditional ceremonial, and, instead of trying to revive it, " tried to copy medieval or Latin fashions." with the result that " the movement of the Prayer Book is obscured and its real meaning hidden."
WHAT is ever more interesting is that Mr. Addlcshaw manages to prove that the seventeenth-century Anglican liturgists were trying to achieve in their own way very much the same thing as being attempted by the pioneers of the Catholic Liturgical Movement in our own day: " to lay emphasis on the Eucharist as the offering of Site whole Church and not of the priest alone." So in many places the altars were brought down into the middle of the chancels with rails round them on all four sides. the celebrant facing the people. "A Eucharist celebrated under these conditions must have had the corporateness of the early CiTuflriecha'' u thor appears to have made a careful study of the " movement in the Church of Rome, usually known as the Liturgical Movement. which is trying to find reintergration and wholeness of the liturgy." He refers to it again and again, and for this reason his book has a value for Catholic teaders as well as Anglicaas.
" Worship," he tells us, " has become divorced from the ordinary life of the world. There appears to be no relation between what is done at the altar and the grim realities of everyday working life."
It would seem that there exists a great diversity of opinion in the Church of England as to how public worship can be brought into closer touch with modern life. One thing is certain, that Mr. Addleshaw's solution of the problem will not be acceptable to those " Ultramarine " Anglo-Catholics who try so hard to believe that there is no essential difference between themselves and us.