So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ordinariate Liturgy: the Prayer of Humble Access

The Mass of the Anglican Ordinariate, celebrated according to Divine Worship: the Missal, contains many prayers from the Anglican patrimony. One of the more beautiful and noble prayers is the Prayer of Humble Access. The Prayer is said after the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) and before the Ecce Agnus Dei (Behold the Lamb of God, behold him that taketh away the sins of the world).

The Prayer was composed by the Anglican archbishop Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556) who, though not in communion with Rome, composed a prayer that accords with Catholic theology. Cranmer composed the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer much loved by traditionalist Anglicans.

An article from Wikipedia captures well enough the genesis of the current Divine Worship: the Missal.
In 2003, a Roman Catholic liturgical book, the Book of Divine Worship, was published in the United States. The book's development began in the early 1980s for former Anglicans within the Anglican Use parishes. It was published in a single volume, primarily for their own use, in 2003. The book is composed of material drawn from the proposed 1928 BCP, the 1979 Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America and the Roman Missal. Since 2011, the Book of Divine Worship has undergone additional revision to bring it more coherently in line with the language of the BCP (i.e., Book of Common Prayer), while also incorporating elements of the English Missal and the Anglican Missal. The updated edition was mandated for use in all personal ordinariates for former Anglicans from Advent 2013, although further revision is expected to incorporate most of the BCP propers as well.
In the Ordinariate Mass, the Prayer of Humble Access as well as the Domine, non sum dignus (Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof, but speak the word only, and my soul shall be healed.) are recited prior to the Communion of the Faithful.

The current version of the Prayer of Humble Access is precisely the same as the 1662/1928 version.
Then the Priest, bowing profoundly, says with all who shall receive Communion:
We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his Blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.
Link to Ordinariate Mass Booklet: click here.

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