The Ordinariates for former Anglicans established by Anglicanorum coetibus can be something mediocre and tame - but they can also be something truly great for the whole Church. The name of the game-changer is "The English Missal" (the Anglo-Catholic translation of the traditional Roman Missal in Early Modern English), not as the sole rite, but as a possibility open to all their priests - and our friend Shawn Tribe, of The New Liturgical Movement, explains why.
It all depends on the will and determination of the leadership in the Ordinariates. They can give this great gift to the universal Church, or they can just remain as a mostly uninteresting and uninspiring ghetto. It is their choice.
Some recent events put my mind once again to the matter of the English Missal.The English Missal, as many of you know, is essentially a hieratic English translation of the pre-conciliar Missale Romanum. It was a missal which had been used by various Anglican Catholics, or Anglo-Catholics, in the 20th century.Fr. John Hunwicke, who himself described the English Missal as "the finest vernacular liturgical book ever produced," summarizes its contents and its use accordingly:For most of the 20th Century, Anglican Catholic worship meant a volume called "The English Missal". It contained the whole Missale Romanum translated into English; into an English based on the style of Thomas Cranmer's liturgical dialect in the Book of Common Prayer. The "EM" took everything biblical from the translation known as the King James Bible or Authorised Version.
I have often commented on my own hope -- one which I know is shared by many others -- that we would see the English Missal (or something closely akin to it) form one of the liturgical options made available within the context of the Ordinariate. Now it will no doubt be quickly pointed out that the use of the English Missal was by no means universal even amongst Anglo-Catholics and would be generally unfamiliar to many other Anglicans; from what I have gathered from others far more familiar with the situation within Anglicanism, this is certainly true. In light of that, it perhaps would not be the right choice to make it the sole liturgical book of the Ordinariate (which should presumably include a liturgical book which is much closer to something like the Book of Common Prayer) but it surely could be made available as an additional option, a kind of "Extraordinary Form" if you will -- the analogy here is imperfect but I think it gets the basic idea across.The benefit, from my perspective, is that this liturgical book combines some of the very things which form an important and identifiable part of the Anglican patrimony -- namely, beautiful hieratic liturgical English with correspondingly beautiful English liturgical chant and options for the use of English sacred polyphony -- with the familiar Catholic texts and ceremonies of the Roman liturgical books. In that regard, my own feeling is that it provides a very worthy synthesis which could be well suited to the Ordinariate and its mission -- taken alongside another liturgical book more akin to the BCP. [Read the whole article at The New Liturgical Movement.]