Why do High Anglicans now seem to neglect the feasts of
the Holy Family, Sacred Heart, and Precious Blood?
There has been a shift of direction. A solid, but probably
diminishing, core of traditionalists continue to look to RC models
of liturgy and Ultramontane devotional practices. For these, the
Order of the Western Church, which provides for the observance of
these solemnities (although the Precious Blood was abolished in
1969), is de rigueur.
But increasing numbers of genuine Anglo-Catholics are content to
adhere to Anglican calendrical and liturgical arrangements, which
have never included these feasts. Primarily, strict loyalty to
Anglican principles is the reason that many do not keep feasts that
were introduced at papal instigation in the 18th and 19th
centuries, and emanated from the spiritualities of groups in the
This neglect in no way implies total rejection of truths about
the sacred humanity of our Lord which these festivals may teach,
but only a preference for upholding them within the pattern of
established liturgical commemorations. On the Nativity of our Lord,
for instance, High Anglicans not only celebrate the incarnation,
but at the Crib honour the Holy Family. On the first Sunday after
Christmas Day, Common Worship supplies a feast of the Holy
Family in all but name.
Similarly, the feast of the Sacred Heart is a kind of double of
Good Friday. A well-known Passion hymn gives glory to Jesus, who
"poured for me the life-blood", so that "Louder still and louder,
[we] Praise the precious blood"; or think of the verse "O dearest
Lord, thy sacred heart With spear was pierced for me" in a hymn of
Father Andrew SDC (New English Hymnal, no. 89).
The RC liturgist Josef Jungmann, in an important essay on the
Sacred Heart, wrote: "We will not be astonished if, as a result of
the opening up of the sources which flow in scripture and the
liturgy, and of the newly aroused preference for the
redemptive-historical perspective and for the primitive and dynamic
in piety, we do not find speech about the sacred heart coming so
directly and so readily. . . The mysteries of the story of
Redemption, which flow from one another in splendid sweep in the
course of the church year, have become much more luminous for us"
(Pastoral Liturgy, 1962).
An increasing number of High Anglicans would agree with that
statement and act accordingly.
(Canon) Terry Palmer
Why is Michael - an angel - a saint? Which liturgy do we
use on 29 September, as the liturgy for saints in Common
Worship assumes a saint was a human being? J. B.
Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question,
Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden
Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.