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The Ordinariate Form of the Roman Rite: So Now That Makes Three Forms, Right?

Updated: Feb 16, 2021

We all thought there were only two forms of the Roman Rite, the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form (commonly known as the Traditional Latin Mass). Yes, that's true, but Catholic blogger Shane Schaetzel thinks we are justified in including a third form.

"So, based on Bishop Lopes' explanation of Divine Worship, it is NOT the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite) in English, and it does a disservice to both Divine Worship and the Extraordinary Form to call it that. Rather, it is an entirely new form of the Roman Rite, neither Ordinary nor Extraordinary, but is more closely situated within the context of the Ordinary Form. Therefore, it can most accurately be described as the "Ordinariate Form of the Roman Rite" or the "Anglican Form of the Roman Rite."

Personally, I prefer the term "Ordinariate Form" over "Anglican Form," not only because Bishop Lopes appears to prefer it, but also because it reduces confusion, not among Anglicans but among regular diocesan Roman Catholics. For some reason, whenever the word "Anglican" is mentioned, the thought "Protestant" registers in their minds. Immediately what follows is a myriad of questions such as...

Well, is it Catholic or Protestant?

Is this really Catholic at all?

What? Now their letting the Anglicans in without becoming Catholic?

Shouldn't these Anglicans just convert and become Catholic?

Is this liturgy just for Anglicans or can Catholics come too?

If Catholics go to this mass, do they become Anglicans?


I think the problem here is that the words "Anglican" and "Protestant" have been too closely associated with each other for far too long in the Catholic collective consciousness. This is why I go with the more innocuous term "Ordinariate Form of the Roman Rite."

It's a shame really, because I do like the word "Anglican" and to me, it sounds more descriptive of what Divine Worship really is. So while I still do think the terms "Anglican Form" and "Ordinariate Form" are technically interchangeable, my experience dealing with diocesan Roman Catholics tells me to go with "Ordinariate Form" for the time being. It lowers resistance, reduces questions and breaks through the communication barrier.

So Divine Worship really is the third form of the Roman Rite -- the Ordinariate Form of the Roman Rite, written in Sacred English and containing therein the specific prayers and rubrics particular to the Anglican Patrimony for the last 1,000 years. These are based in the 11th century Sarum Missal, a Catholic liturgy used exclusively in England for 500 years prior to the English Reformation. In fact, the original 1549 Book of Common Prayer (a Protestant text) was based heavily on this medieval Catholic liturgy. So what we have in Divine Worship is the Catholic Church reclaiming a form of liturgy that was rightly hers to begin with. It is a form of liturgy that is in fact older than the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) in its origin.

Unfortunately the posting dates back to June 2017 and can be found only on an internet archive site at the moment. It's entitled "Divine Worship: The Ordinariate Form of the Roman Rite" in case you'd like to do some digging. There are some other great postings there as well pertaining to the Anglican Patrimony.

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