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Waiting in Joyful Hope

The preservation and promotion of the rites

In the last article we looked at the various families of liturgical rites. With regards to Vatican II, we know that the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy wanted to suggest some changes to the way Catholic worship. The last sentence of paragraph 3 explains that "the practical norms which follow, however, should be taken as applying only to the Roman rite, except for those which, in the very nature of things, affect other rites as well." But what about all the other rites? What happens with those? Paragraph 4 of the text reads:

Lastly, in faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that holy Mother Church holds all lawfully acknowledged rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way. The Council also desires that, where necessary, the rites be revised carefully in the light of sound tradition, and that they be given new vigor to meet the circumstances and needs of modern times.

One of the most pressing questions facing any community of believers is "How shall we worship?" Worship is a community action, and so some sort of minimal order must be agreed upon. In the Catholic tradition the regulation of divine worship is the responsibility, first and foremost, of the local bishop, who is the "chief priest" of his local church with regards to the worship of God. He presides liturgical worship himself, and he issues directives on how worship is to be conducted if the people cannot attend one of his services. The responsibility to both preside and regulate liturgical worship is at the heart of the ministry of a diocesan bishop, and has been since the very origins of the Church.

Over time, however, local variations did creep in regarding the manner of divine worship, as one local church varied from another. As most people worshipped according to the rite in which they grew up, in the area in which they grew up, these local differences didn't make too much practical difference. On occasion, however, visitors from another local church would come to visit or stay temporarily, and they would notice the differences in practice. This raised questions in their minds, such as when the young St. Augustine asked the bishop of Milan, St. Ambrose, about the difference between Rome and Milan in the custom of fasting on Saturday. St. Ambrose replied, "When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan, I do not. Follow the custom of the Church where you are". This last comment is the origin of the expression "When in Rome, do as the Romans do", which is actually the statement of a liturgical principle.

Such principles worked well when the number of new arrivals was small, or if they were only visiting. History shows us, however, that when larger groups of people immigrate to a new territory, they bring their worship customs with them. Given that these other customs *are* equally legitimate, the new arrivals often resist letting them go in order to "do as the Romans do". It is more than a question of mere habits: the form by which we worship is an expression of our faith, full of meaning, and for many people to abandon a traditional form of worship whose meaning they understand, for a new form of worship whose meaning they don't understand as well, is tantamount to abandoning some or all of their faith. In practice, then, many parts of the world, particularly the more cosmopolitan areas like major cities, would have more than one liturgical tradition existing side-by-side.

It is unfortunate but true, however, that difference often breeds suspicion. We see someone behaving differently from us, in a manner we do not understand, and we assume the worst. I remember once hearing of an Orthodox man who, seeing how Roman Catholics make the sign of the cross, declared it to be an indication of our elevation of Mary and the Pope as a part of the Trinity (making it....what? A "quinity"?). While this may sound crazy, there are many examples in the history of the Church where unity of faith was confused with uniformity of worship. Difference breeds suspicion, and the response is an attempt to force liturgical uniformity. And these attempts almost always turn out badly, because (as I say) for those subject to the penalties, it is subjectively felt as an demand to abandon some part of their faith life. Many times in Church history people have chosen to enter into schism over such demands — because entering into schism, as bad as it is, is not as bad as what was perceived as a demand to enter into deliberate heresy. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Many do not know it, but the Great Schism of 1054 was preceded in 1052 by a command of the Patriarch of Constantinople that all the Latins living in his territory abandon their traditions and worship according to the Byzantine rite. He denounced things like the omission of the 'alleluia' during Lent and use of unleavened bread at Mass. This latter point might seem minor, until we learn that Latin tabernacles were burst open at the command of Chancellor Nicephorus and the hosts trampled on, to condemn the use of supposedly "invalid" bread. Many Byzantine bishops and monks supported these gestures, with Leo of Achridia writing, "Anyone who thus observes the Sabbath and uses unleavened bread is neither Jew nor pagan; he resembles a leopard." The schism started two years later, and is still going on.
  • In the wake of the Protestant Reformation a number of illicit alterations were being made to the liturgy in order to communicate the Protestant ideas. Rome therefore began to impose stricter liturgical laws in order to re-emphasize the Catholic faith. This, however, had the side-effect of stamping out many of the legitimate local liturgical traditions in favour of the newly revised Roman rite. Such efforts were seen as necessary to preserve the faith, but at times were taken too far. This was especially true with regards to Catholic relations with the East, where a practice of "Latinization" took hold. When the Portuguese, for example, arrived in India, they discovered a very ancient Christian culture that dated back to St. Thomas the Apostle. One of the first things they attempted to do, however, was to require these Christians to abandon their Syriac traditions in favour of the Roman rite, through decisions taken at the Synod at Udayamperur in June 1599. Within two generations the native Christians revolted against this Latinization, and the result was a schism which also endures to this day.

Given the history of explosive conflicts over liturgical practice, we see how paragraph 4 of the Constitution is very important, acting as an indicator on how inter-rite relations are to be governed. The key points are as follows:

  1. The declaration of equal rights and dignity among rites

    The Constitution sets to rest any discussions about one liturgical rite being "better" than another. They are different but fundamentally equal, so mutual suspicion should cease (as well as any liturgical superiority complexes). The Constitution does point out, however, that this declaration of equality only includes "lawfully acknowledged" rites. As I've said before, the liturgy is a mechanism by which a collection of individuals becomes a unit of the Church and manifests the presence of "the Body of Christ" in the world. A privately-determined liturgy, therefore, is an oxymoron: the lawful acknowledgement of the liturgical ritual in question is necessary if we want to be sure the manner in which we are worshipping will not corrupt our faith, and if we want our local worship of God to be in communion with the whole of the Church throughout the world.

  2. Preservation and fostering of rites

    The statement that "holy Mother Church wishes to preserve [all rites] in the future and to foster them in every way" is, in effect, a declaration of the end of Latinization. The Catholic Church, through paragraph 4, is declaring that its liturgical policy is "unity in diversity". I submit to you, however, that there is more to this statement than simply a change of direction for Church authorities. Liturgical chauvanism, xenophobia and lack of understanding can arise just as easily in the laity and lower clergy as in the higher elements of the hierarchy. It can also arise in members of the other liturgical traditions, as we saw in the attempt at forced "Byzantization" in Constantinople in 1052. If this wish of preserving and fostering the rites is truly to be an expression of the desire of Holy Mother Church, then we as members of the Church need to get involved. Do we honour and respect the other liturgical traditions? Do we even know anything about them? Real "unity in diversity" requires more than simply a mutual benign neglect.

  3. The revision of rites

    The Council asked that the rites — all of them — be revised "in the light of sound tradition". In the case of the Eastern rites in particular, this has recently meant going back to the traditional practices by removing many of the "latinisms" that either crept in (or were forced in) to their liturgical forms. Far from being intended as an insult to the Latin ways, the Council saw it as a way for preserve fidelity to a rich spiritual heritage.

    This being said, however, there is also always the danger of an excess devotion to the past, without striving to meet the needs of the present. For this reason the Council also asked that the rites "be given new vigor to meet the circumstances and needs of modern times". This last statement is meant to be more than a platitude: in some ways, it represents the greatest challenge of all. How can each rite become more "vigourous"? There are perhaps many ways, but the most obvious one to me is through the advancing of a genuine liturgically-connected spirituality, so that we may celebrate the liturgy with hearts more open to the fruitful action of the Holy Spirit. And what are the "circumstances and needs of modern times", and how can the rites serve to meet them? We need to pay attention to the "signs of the time", because what is at stake is the Holy Spirit's agenda for the world, and the place of the liturgical traditions — all of them — within the advancing of that agenda.

Reflections on cancer

Dr. Peter Gruener is a retired oncologist living here in Montreal, and he now volunteers with the pastoral department at the Lakeshore General Hospital. He once told me something which has remained with me: "Cancer is the body's attempt to become immortal." You see, all normal body cells have a built-in kill switch: they do divide in order to replace themselves, but they also die to make room for the new cells. Cancer cells, however, don't have this built-in regulation, and simply never die unless killed by an outside force. They possess, in a sense, the kind of immortality that St. Augustine said Adam and Eve had: possunt non mori, the possibility to not die.

The effect, however, is devastating: in their "quest for life" they drain it from the rest of the body, acting as parasites on the system, tending it towards death. Cancer is irony: in the end the cancer dies too, as the tumours cut off some vital system, or they simply drain the body of strength.

"Cancer is the body's attempt to become immortal." It does make me think of Adam and Eve: perhaps the declaration of the sentence of death by God on Adam and Eve is not purely a declaration of punishment, but something necessary for the health of the overall "body of humanity". Imagine a world full of immortal evil human beings: they truly would be a cancer on creation. In effect, God's declaration is not "If you eat the fruit, I will kill you", but rather "If you eat the fruit, I will have to let you die." It is a judgement, in fact, of mercy, for the human race as a whole.

As human beings we naturally fear death and reject it, despite how it looms. Are we willing, however, to admit that in our present state death is necessary for the sake of the greater spiritual and moral health of the body of humanity? Are we ready to thank God for his "sentence of death" upon humanity, admitting that without it, in our fallen natures, we would become cancer?

I pray that the Lord Jesus may come soon, and I am Waiting in Joyful Hope for that Day. When he does, though, because he will be bringing the gift of Resurrection and eternal life, it will necessarily involve a Judgement, in which the "cancers" are removed from the Body. In the meantime, am I willing to face the possibility of my own death in solidarity with those who share my fallen human condition?

The various families of liturgical rites

Paragraph 3 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy introduces us to the concept of "rites":

Wherefore the sacred Council judges that the following principles concerning the promotion and reform of the liturgy should be called to mind, and that practical norms should be established.

Among these principles and norms there are some which can and should be applied both to the Roman rite and also to all the other rites. The practical norms which follow, however, should be taken as applying only to the Roman rite, except for those which, in the very nature of things, affect other rites as well.

The word "rite" generally means one of two things. It can refer to a particular liturgical ritual, such a the "rite of baptism" or the "rite of marriage". It can also refer to the grouping of particular rituals into what might be called "families of rituals". Each of these families of rituals contains the same individual ceremonies — the seven sacraments, for example, are usually found in all the "families" — but the style with which they are celebrated is quite different, with each "family" placing its own unique emphasis on certain parts according to their historical and cultural tradition. The Roman rite, as the Constitution mentions, is one such "family" of rites, but there are many others. The purpose of this article is to introduce these different "liturgical families", and so the word "rite" will be used to describe, not just rituals, but the groupings of these rituals.

All rites can be basically subdivided into two categories: Eastern and Western. These subdivisions correspond conceptually to the subdivision by Diocletian of the Roman Empire into the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Roman Empire, with the East often called the "Greek" portion, and the West called the "Latin" portion. For this reason the Roman rite is also often called the "Latin rite", although this is somewhat of a misnomer. Despite the connection to the Roman Empire proper, territories east of the Eastern Roman Empire (for example, territories that were part of the Persian lands) are still called "Eastern", while independent territories in the West (such as Ireland) are nevertheless called "Western".


    Within the Eastern territory there were two ancient patriarchates which had the greatest influence: the patriarchate of Antioch, and the patriarchate of Alexandria. Each had its own approach to the study of Scripture, to theology, and to worship. The Eastern rites, therefore, can be broken down into two categories: the Antiochian group, and the Alexandrian group.

    • The Antiochian group

      The patriarchate of Antioch, located in Syria, generally held sway over the Eastern Christians outside of Egypt. This included, as mentioned before, those areas under Persian control. Because these latter Christians had less contact with the rest of the Christian world, they tended to develop somewhat autonomously. We therefore see the Antiochian group itself subdivided into two categories: the Western Syrian group, and the Eastern Syrian group. All are eastern, but some are more eastern that others!

      • The Western Syrian group

        The Western Syrian group comprises 4 actual "liturgical families": the Syriac rite; the Maronite rite; the Byzantine rite; and the Armenian rite.

        1. The Syriac rite

          The best-known characteristic of the Syriac rite is its continued use of Syriac, the successor language to Aramaic, in the words of the consecration at Mass. In other words, in a Syriac liturgy, one hears the words of Jesus in Jesus' own language. Syriac Christians are divided into several different ecclesial jurisdictions, including a number of Syriac Catholics who entered into communion with the bishop of Rome in the 17th century. While I cannot speak for the various Orthodox churches of Syriac tradition, those interesting in experiencing the Syriac tradition are welcome at the Syriac Catholic parish here in Montreal: Saint Ephrem parish, 3000 Edouard-Montpetit, Laval, 450-688-9579.

        2. The Maronite rite

          The Maronites constitute an autonomous church within the overall Catholic Church (i.e. they are in full communion with the Pope). There were a couple of Maronites studying at the seminary with me when I was there, and I enjoyed participating in the occasional Maronite service we would have. In particular, I remember being struck by an element of the ritual of ordination: it takes place within the Eucharistic prayer, immediately after the consecration. The bishop places one hand over the sacred species and imposes the other on the head of the ordinand as he says the prayer of ordination, to show that it is truly Christ who is ordaining. There are many Maronite parishes here in Montreal, and in fact they are organized into an independent diocese that covers all of Canada. St. Maron Cathedral is located at 1000 Gouin Est, in Montreal. The associate pastor is Fr. Sami Farah, one of my friends from the seminary. Say hi to him for me if you visit.

        3. The Byzantine rite

          The Byzantine rite is far and away the largest of the Eastern rites in terms of population of worshippers, and is often *the* rite we think of when we think of the Orthodox church or of Eastern Christians in general. It was the rite used in Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire (and later, the Byzantine Empire, from which the name of the rite is derived). This rite has a profound focus on transcendence, such that the experience of a Byzantine liturgy is meant to give the worshipper a mysterious foretaste of Heaven. The Byzantine liturgy has been adopted by many different nationalities, such as the Serbs, the Bulgarians, the Romanians, the Slovaks, etc. The two largest groups, however, are the Greeks and the Russians. There are fewer Catholics than Orthodox who worship according to the Byzantine tradition, but there are two significant populations who do: the Melkites of Lebanon, and the Ukrainian Catholics. My friend Fr. François Beyrouti is at the Melkite church of Sts. Peter and Paul, and my friend Fr. Roman Lahola is the Dean for the Montreal and Quebec region of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada. Catholics wishing to experience the Byzantine liturgy closer to Montreal can participate at the Melkite Cathedral of the Holy Saviour (Saint-Sauveur), 12325 Place de la Minerve, 514-288-7753, or at one of the several parishes listed on the website of the Ukrainian eparchy.

        4. The Armenian rite

          Armenia was the first nation to embrace Christianity as a whole, starting in 303 A.D.; it should not be surprising, therefore, that there exists an Armenian rite, one with an ancient and proud heritage. I experienced the Armenian tradition when Catholicos Karekin I (the Armenian Orthodox patriarch) came to visit Montreal. While being thoroughly Eastern, I noticed many similarities with the Western liturgy: the sign of the cross is made from left to right, the bishops wear mitres instead of the Byzantine crowns, and the bread they use is unleavened. There are also a number of Armenian Catholics, including here in Montreal: these are based out of Notre-Dame-de-Nareg parish, 858 Côte-Vertu, St-Laurent, 514-748-6435.

      • The Eastern Syrian group

        The Eastern Syrian group has 3 liturgical "families" of its own: the liturgy of the Assyrian Church of the East, the Chaldean rite, and the Syro-Malabar rite.

        1. The Assyrian Church of the East

          This is a very ancient church which sadly fell out of communion with the rest of the Christian world in 431 A.D. It was very active nevertheless, establishing the first ever Christian presence in China, and sending missionaries even as far as Indonesia. The conquest of the East by Islam, however, cut off these missionary endeavours, and the Assyrians have been in numerical decline ever since. Their liturgy is best known for an interesting particularity in one of their ancient Eucharistic prayers, known as the "Anaphora of Addai and Mari", which does not contain a formula of consecration. Nevertheless the Vatican has declared it to be a valid Eucharist prayer, and this (along with the signing of a Common Christological Declaration) has raised hopes for a re-union between the Assyrians and the Roman Catholic Church. There are very few Assyrian churches in the world, and because of persecution in their home in Iran they have had to relocate the patriarchate to Chicago, U.S.A. You can take a look at the web page for their Commission on Inter-church Relations and Education Development to find locations of nearby Assyrian parishes, should you want to experience their liturgy. I'm sure they would be delighted to find others interested in their traditions!

        2. The Chaldean rite

          While their history is different, liturgically the Chaldeans are Catholics who follow the liturgical usages of the Assyrian Church of the East, with a few modifications: all the Eucharistic prayers contain the words of consecration, and certain names are suppressed (such as "Saint Nestorious"). The Chaldeans are based in Iraq, and so their church has come under particularly hard times of late. Here in Montreal there is a small mission parish called Saint-Martyrs-d'Orient, 44 Guizot Ouest, Montreal, 514-381-2436. For more information on Chaldean Christians throughout the world you can also check out Chaldeans On Line.

        3. The Syro-Malabar rite

          Ancient tradition has it that St. Thomas the Apostle journeyed all the way to India and founded the first churches there. Over time these churches, located primarily in the present-day state of Kerala, came under the jurisdiction of the Assyrian patriarch. With the influence of the Portuguese in India (starting in the 1500's) this link was severed in favour of union with Rome. When my sister went to India several years ago for 4 months she worshipped regularly with Syro-Malabar Christians. Syro-Malabar Christians in North America now have the St. Thomas Syro Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago to serve their needs.

    • The Alexandrian group

      The Alexandrian tradition of liturgy has come down to us through two major rites: the Coptic rite, and the Ethiopian rite.

      1. The Coptic rite

        The Coptic rite is practiced by both the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Coptic Catholic Church. Oddly enough I am more familiar with the Coptic Orthodox, as their parish of St. George and St. Joseph is located not far from my own parish. I remember getting into a conversation with one of their priests about their practice of the liturgy, which is very long and for which the priests stand the entire time. I said, "I hope you folks wear comfortable shoes!" He looked at me in a puzzled manner and replied, "Oh no, we never wear shoes in the sanctuary." Just like Moses and the burning bush, there is a tremendous sense of being in God's presence. The web site of St. George and St. Joseph has a live video link for those who would like to witness a Coptic liturgy and can only do so from afar. For those closer to home, I am sure our Copts would be happy to welcome you (they hosted the last ecumenical gathering this January), and there is also a Coptic Catholic church here in Montreal: Notre-Dame-d'Egypte, 3569 Lévesque Ouest, Laval, 450-682-8244.

      2. The Ethiopian rite

        Many people are surprised to discover that Ethiopia is, in fact, a Christian nation, but we should not forget that the first non-Jew to be baptized was an Ethiopian (see Acts 8: 26-39). The Ethiopian rite is celebrated in Ge'ez, an ancient language now used only in liturgical services. While there are approximately 60,000 Ethiopian Catholics, the vast majority of Ethiopian Christians are Orthodox, organized into the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The nearest Ethiopian Orthodox parish to Montreal is St. Tekle Haimanot in Ottawa, and the parish of Virgin Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has a well-developed web site complete with audio files of some of their hymns. (As an aside, I should mention that since the creation of the nation of Eritrea from Ethiopia an independent Eritrean Orthodox Church has also arisen. I am not sure what liturgical form they follow, but I suspect it is based on the Ethiopian form.)


    The subdivision of Western rites is somewhat simpler than what we find in the East. This is not to say that there are not many different styles of worship — indeed there are! In general, though, there is a greater cohesion and similarity of style within the Western liturgical tradition. As well, certain liturgical traditions (such as the Gallican, or the Celtic) have disappeared, and are of historical interest only. Within the Western tradition, therefore, we find the following families of rites: the Ambrosian; the Mozarabic; the Roman; and the Anglican. There are also the various Protestant forms of worship, but these are extremely diverse and so will only be briefly mentioned here.

    1. The Ambrosian rite

      The Ambrosian rite is named after St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan in the 5th century. This ancient rite is still celebrated, although in only one diocese in the world: Milan itself. Nevertheless there is plenty of information out there regarding this rite, and a quick Google search on the term Ambrosian rite today shows over 700 sources of information. The music company Naxos has a CD of Ambrosian chant available, and small videos of an Ambrosian rite mass are available from

    2. The Mozarabic rite

      The Mozarabic rite is also known as the Visigothic rite, as it was established during the time of the occupation of Spain by the Visigoths. It is celebrated in only a few churches and chapels of the diocese of Toledo, Spain. Harmonia Mundi has put out a CD of Mozarabic chant, and offers clips of the various tracks (note the strong similarity to Eastern chants).

    3. The Roman rite

      The Roman rite, the rite used by almost all non-Eastern Catholics, is easily the largest of the liturgical traditions in the world: more Christians worship God through the Roman rite than in all other rites combined. The Roman rite is often called the "Latin rite", but this term sometimes leads to confusion: while Latin is still the official language of the Roman rite, other languages are also used. The rite is called "Roman" because of its connection to the Church of Rome and, in particular, to the Pope. While the Pope, as supreme pontiff of the Church, has the right to celebrate the liturgy in any rite, he is also first and foremost the Bishop of Rome, giving the Roman rite a special pride of place.

      The Roman rite is characterized by a simplicity and brevity in its rituals, relative to the other rites (for example, it is rare for a Roman Catholic mass to go for more than 2 hours, while an Eastern service rarely lasts less than 2, and can go to 3 or 4 in many cases). It also has a certain built-in flexibility, preserving a certain necessary core while at the same time allowing it to be easily adapted to different cultures. Within the Catholic Church the Roman rite has traditionally been one of the most powerful instruments of unity: it is possible to find, almost anywhere in the world, a Catholic church that celebrates the Roman rite, meaning that it is always possible for Roman Catholics to feel immediately spiritually at home.

      The prayers and rituals of the Roman rite come under the jurisdiction of the Vatican, which publishes the "typical edition" of each ritual book in Latin. Each national conference of bishops can then take those books and prepare local rituals in their own language and adapted to their own customs and cultures. These adapted books do not constitute their own rites, but still form part of the Roman rite, although there are some cases where the adaptations are so extensive that we begin to speak of the adapted rituals as a new rite. The "Zairean rite", an adaptation approved by the Church for use with the peoples of the Congo, is one such example, with another being a so-called "Indian rite" used in India proper.

      There are other variants within the Roman rite as well, particularly certain specialized usages within religious orders. Many religious orders have their own manner of celebrating the Liturgy of the Hours outside of the typical version found in the Roman rite. Some religious orders even have their own approved variations within the mass, such as the Dominicans, the Premonstratensians, and the Carthusians. As well, some dioceses in Europe have preserved certain ancient local variations in the litury, such as in Braga and in Lyons. The rite used in the latter see is often called the "Gallican rite", although my research indicates that this is a misnomer: it may preserve some elements of the ancient Gallican rites, but in fact it really is part of the Roman rite.

      The Roman rite underwent extensive revision after the publication of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy in 1963, culminating in a new order of service generically called the Novus Ordo. This is not the official name, but is an easy-to-use term that helps distinguish the ritual(s) from the previous publications, such as the previous edition of the Roman Missal in 1962. This previous edition is often called the "Tridentine rite", given that it was first published at the request of the Council of Trent in the 16th century, although today one typically sees the name "Traditional rite" instead. Persons wishing to experience a Roman rite liturgy need only go to their nearest Roman Catholic church, and they are almost certain to live a Novus Ordo mass; in Montreal, if you would like to experience a very classical style of worship, I would recommend visiting the magnificent Bascilia of St. Patrick, 460 René-Levesque Ouest, Montreal, 514-866-7379.; if, on the other hand, you would prefer to see a simpler "parochial style" of worship I would be glad to welcome you to the parish of St. Thomas à Becket, 4320 rue Ste-Anne, Pierrefonds, 514-626-4111.

      While the Novus Ordo form accounts for the vast majority of Roman Catholic worship, I should mention that there are some Roman Catholics who prefer to worship according to the 1962 form of the liturgy; these are known as Traditionalists, and celebrate the older rites according to the special protocol established by Pope John Paul II in the apostolic letter Ecclesia Dei. (Some Traditionalists, however, have gone so far as to declare that the Novus Ordo is an invalid way to celebrate the liturgy, and have left the Catholic Church to join so-called "Radical Traditionalist" societies.) Persons living in Montreal who would like to experience this form of worship can do so at the parish of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, 785 Brault, Verdun, 514-769-3459. Another well-known Traditional parish is St. Clement in Ottawa, which is served by priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

    4. The Anglican usage

      During the events of the Reformation in the 16th century a schism occurred in England, with Parliament declaring King Henry VIII and his successors to be the supreme head of the Church there (instead of the Pope). Within a few decades the liturgy was extensively modified, and a special ritual called the "Book of Common Prayer (BCP)" was produced to promote these new rites. While it has been modified here and there over the centuries, the Book of Common Prayer remains today the key reference point for Anglican liturgy throughout the world. Despite this unity, however, different national jurisdictions within the Anglican Communion have also begun publishing supplementary ritual books, which effectively propose an alternate liturgical form. Here in Canada the Anglican Church publishes the "Book of Alternative Services (BAS)", which has begun to replace the BCP in many areas. Despite this, there does exist a Prayer Book Society of Canada which seeks to promote this traditional form of Anglican worship. This results in a curious phenomenon in some Anglican parishes: some declare themselves to be a "BCP parish", others a "BAS parish", and some use both forms, with a BCP service at one time on Sunday and a BAS service at another time! Persons wishing to experience an Anglican liturgy might want to call ahead and find out which kind of service they will be attending.

      I should also point out that there does exist an "Anglican usage" ritual within the Catholic Church itself. Over time, and particularly within the last few decades, a certain number of Anglicans have joined with the Catholic Church, but desired to continue to worship in the traditional Anglican manner. A special Pastoral Provision was accorded, and an Anglican-usage Book of Divine Worship. The parish of Our Lady of the Atonement has produced a DVD showing the Anglican-usage liturgy in action.

As you can see, the many ways in which Christians worship are quite diverse. There are other ways as well, of course, typically found within the Protestant churches, and these are *extremely* diverse. There are Pentecostal and Evangelical churches which not only do not possess an fixed order of worship, they oppose the very idea! On the other hand, there are many "mainline" Protestant churches which do have an established liturgical practice, but because almost all Protestant churches are Western in origin these generally are rooted in the Roman rite (at least in their overall structure). Protestant theology has a very different notion of the place of worship in the life of a Christian, however, from that of the Catholic or Orthodox churches, so any discussion of Protestant worship necessarily becomes an ecumenical theological discussion as well. We will leave that discussion to a later time.