Sunday, July 30, 2006

Two titles relating to the revival of Ritual in Anglican Britain

The scenario faced by the figures of the Oxford Movement presents a remarkable parallel, liturgically speaking, in the case of the Catholic Church today.

We face a variety of variants, with some parishes being liturgically more traditional (in Anglican parlance, "High" or "AngloCatholic") and then some being more "low" in nature -- that is, less traditional, less elaborate in its ceremonial, less ornamented generally. Of course, there is also the matter of theology. In the case of Anglicanism of course, these distinctions were far more hard and fast; in Catholicism, by contrast, it really comes down to what is legitimate liberty and what is simply dissent as compared to Catholic orthodoxy. That is a big difference of course.

Still, the liturgical parallels are interesting. Those Catholics with a keen sense of the need to "reform the reform" or preserve the classical liturgical forms face opposition and a "liturgically low" mentality from a number of quarters, be they some bishops, priests, or laity.

As such, I think it can be interesting to study the approach, trials and tribulations (not to mention the successes) of the likes of the Oxford Movement and Anglican Ritualists, as well as the Cambridge Camden Society who sought to restore an architecture suited toward Catholic liturgics.

In that vein, I wanted to share a couple of interesting titles with you.

Anglican Ritualism in Victorian Britain 1830-1910 by Prof. Nigel Yates.

Book Description:

This innovative book challenges many of the widely held assumptions about the impact of ritualism on the Victorian church. Through a detailed analysis of the geographical spread of ritualist churches in the British Isles, Yates shows that the impact of ritualism was as strong, if not stronger,
in middle-class and rural parishes as in working-class and urban areas. He gives a detailed reassessment of the debates and controversies surrounding the attitudes of the Anglican bishops towards ritualism, the impact of public opinion on discussions in parliament, and the implementation of the Public Worship Regulation Act of 1874. The book examines the wider historical implications by not simply focusing on ritualism during the Victorian period but extrapolating this to show the impact that ritualism has had on the longer-term development of Anglicanism in the twentieth century.

A Church As It Should Be

Book Description:

If you are interested in the Ecclesiologists or early Victorian church architecture, then this book, published in February 2001, will be of real interest.

It consists of an important new series of essays on the Cambridge Camden Society, founded in 1839 and renamed the Ecclesiological Society in 1845 (for a brief history of this society and the current society, see History).

The book has been edited by two members of Council of the present Ecclesiological Society, Christopher Webster and John Elliott. The book is of 460 pages, with 87 photographic illustrations.

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