Joint Liturgical Study 6
An Anglican Symposium on the role and task of the Bishop in the field of Liturgy
A publication with the title of this one is rare. The famous landmark in Anglican publishing of this genre was the redoubtable The Bishop in Church (SPCK, 1961)
by Patrick Ferguson- Davie, ceremonial adviser to the then Bishop of Exeter. That particular book was ‘based upon the counter-reformed Roman use as laid down in the ‘Caeremoniale Episcoporum’. It has thus become a stranded whale on the beach of liturgical history – very weighty, a cause for admiration, but totally non viable. It is perhaps a comment on trends in Anglican theology also that the S.P.C.K., such a mainstream publisher, should less than thirty years ago have produced such a tome (it has well over 200 pages, and is in hardback) for what must surely have been a limited market. For to the reader to-day the ‘stranded whale’ effect comes from the following dated features: firstly, from the calm assumption of the author that contemporary Roman Catholic usage is the prime authority, secondly, from the extraordinary detail with which he then implements his programme; and, thirdly, from the inevitable unawareness of the author at the time of writing of the then imminently impending changes in the Roman Catholic Church itself.
Colin Buchanan (editor)
Reprinted from an original copy