Friday, 16 October 2009

Genesis of the Ordo

Despite Royal Mail's industrial action, official or otherwise, a most anxiously awaited envelope arrived this morning.

Thanks to the generosity of the affable, erudite, delightful and distinguished Fr. Peter Morgan I now have the historically precious copies of the Ordo from 1973 - 1975. I suspect that no other copy of the 1973 edition, that was published in three parts, exists so I am very grateful indeed to Fr. Morgan for giving me his own copies.

I will be writing about the history of the Ordo in due course. The first edition of the revived traditional Ordo was published at the instigation of Fr. Morgan for 1973 and compiled by John Tyson. The Ordo was customised for use by both the SSPX, containing specific entries 'Pro Inst. S. Pii X' ,and for the English clergy with entries 'In Anglia'. In those halcyon days the liturgical books of 1962 were a horror of the past and Traditionalists were enthusiastically trying to restore the old liturgy and meeting with some considerable success. In England over twenty diocesan priests rallied around Fr. Morgan's vibrant leadership and a network of Mass centres was established that largely remain today. For anyone interested in this period in England a hisory has been written by Ronald Warwick, 'The Living Flame', 1997 (ISBN 0 9530714 0 5), although it is sad to see how support fragmented after the takeover of the Saint Pius V Association and the infamous 1983 betrayal of the Traditional liturgy by the SSPX.

What, sadly, few people today appreciate is that it was the Traditional liturgy, not 1962, being celebrated in those days. Organisations like the Latin Mass Society also celebrated the old liturgy and ignored the 1971 'Heenan' indult's "permission" to use the 1967 rite with its Chairman, the kindly Geoffrey Houghton-Brown, stating in a letter to 'The Tablet' in 1971 that the Traditional Roman liturgy had not been 'officially' celebrated since the changes of Pius XII.

More on the history of the Ordo later. Meanwhile Ordo 2010 has been printed and is at the cutting stage and its marketing and posting must take priority.


Anonymous said...

Father (?) Peter Morgan? Hmmmm!
Not to worry. My local Imam does a pretty natty Tridentine Mass, using the pre-1911 rubrics,and in gorgeous vestments packed with gold thread. In private of course.

Rubricarius said...

Well Anonymous you must have a rather interesting Iman but I cannot imagine vestments 'packed with gold thread' could be gorgeous, probably more like hideous sandwich boards.

As Fr. Morgan was the first priest ordained by Abp. Lefebvre for the SSPX I presume you must hold the 'Lienart hypothesis' and believe that Abp. Lefebvre was not validly ordained or consecrated and so could not in turn ordain anyone?

Anonymous said...

Dear Rubricarius,

Peter Morgan might as well have been ordained by Archbishop Thuc. He is a Protestant Minister and a married man.

Rubricarius said...


You seem sadly unaware of the facts regarding Fr. Morgan.

Many members of the hierarchy of Vietnam were consecrated by Abp Thuc along with numerous priests - was he invalid along with Abp. Lefebvre in your eyes?

The post is about the Genesis of the Ordo and not the current, or past, ecclesial status of Fr. Morgan or anyone else. If you wish to comment on Ordo 1973 or a related matter you are most welcome. However, if you wish to continue your erroneous and uncharitable attack on Fr. Morgan, or anyone else, please don't bother as it will not be published.

Xenophobic hobbledehoy said...

Most, if not all, discussion of the traditional Ordo in our present day has the Universal Kalendar of the Roman Rite as its exclusive focus. Do you have any information of the history and present state of Ordos of Religious Orders or Congregations who have maintained their traditional [pre-1962] usages and have a proper Breviary that is distinct from the Roman Breviary?

Another question [well, two questions really]: do you think it feasible [and/or commendable] for a Priest to take the Ordo for the Universal Kalendar and adapt it to the diocesan kalendar that would have been proper to the place in which he resides were it not for the disasters of the 1960's and beyond?

Thanks for all the good and erudite work.

Rubricarius said...

Xenophobic hobbledehoy,

I am afraid I am woefully ignorant of the Ordines of the Religious Orders and simply don't know the answer to your question.

As to the Universal and Diocesan Calendars I think the revival of the Ordo for the Universal Calendar (which of course always existed in the better days) was the only feasable model as the traditionalist movement was so geographically diverse.

A friend of mine produces a 1962 Ordo (shock horror!) for the Dioceses of England and Wales and that is far from a simple task as, depending on the 'cut off date' some dioceses didn't exist, the information on propers is scanty and sometimes contradictory etc.

I am half-way through doing a special calendar for another friend who did some proof reading for Ordo 2010. Adding a local feast may mean things like Mattins lessons being transferred etc and is not really a simple task.

In theory I would encourage the use of local calendars. A problem is that the Universal Calendar is rather too crowded to easily adapt to local use. Perhaps when normality is restored about 2250...?

Xenophobic hobbledehoy said...


Thank you for regarding my queries; and for tacitly reminding me of the importance of accurately declining Latin nouns ("Ordos"? What was I thinking!?).

When I recited the Monastic Breviary on a regular basis, I had to come up with my own Ordo as I carried along, since the Benedictine Breviary is distinct from the Roman Breviary. It was a taxing task: it gave me many an opportunity to anticipate Purgatory. Although I must say that the rubrics for the Monastic Breviary are immensely simpler when compared to the rubrics of the Roman Breviary [that is, before Cum nostra and subsequent decrees, which had some rubrical aspects of the Monastic Breviary as historical precedents]; or at least that is my opinion. The Norbertine Breviary is the most intimidating one, rubrically speaking: Triplex!

Anyways, I would like to recite the Proper Offices that would have been said [or, more accurately, should be said] in what would have been [or, more accurately, should be] my Archdioceses. The problem is that the texts of diocesan Proper Offices are extremely rare and can be expensive.

"Perhaps when normality is restored about 2250...?" Yes! By then I should still be in Purgatory and may meet someone there who can answer my many Breviary queries.

Keep up the good work.