A treat to see the great Fr Gilles Wach, Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, in choir at Saint Alyoggers at Vespers on Sunday. I am sure he will have admired the competence and naturalness with which the Oxford Oratorians do Vespers according to the pre-Conciliar Breviary. All right-minded people appreciate it, and I think a survey of how many Anglicans habitually turn up might yield interesting results. But there were some technical oddities for the M. le Prieur Generale to puzzle over.
We had Old Rite Vespers of Quinquagesima Sunday; but the liturgical colour was green as ordered by the New Rite. We omitted, of course, the Alleluia at the beginning, because in the old usage we say farewell to Alleluia on the eve of Septuagesima. But, between the Office and Benediction, we sang Chatterton Dix's great Anglican Eucharistic hymn "Alleluia, sing to Jesus" in which Alleluia re-echoes throughout every stanza.
In ecclesiis in quibus Ritus Romanus in utraque forma de more celebratur, quid agendum? In churches where the Ordinary Form is always or nearly always used, there are no Calendar problems. Ditto in those happy places where the EF is the standard. But what about churches which have a foot in both camps? Is Septuagesima time done in purple or green? Is Alleluia sung? Is the Paschal Candle extinguished and put away on Ascesion Day? Do we continue to use Paschal conventions through the Octave of Pentecost? And which dates for the memoriae of Saints does a priest observe who, like me, says the EF Mass perhaps as many as five times some weeks on weekdays but follows the OF for Sunday Mass and some weekday Masses? Switching from the one calendar to the other on a more or less daily basis would yield considerable confusion.
I suggest we could recover from the Hussites (who gave it a quite different meaning) the term Utraquist for such churches. And I think that, as the number of Utraquist churches grows, some guidance is called for. I expect many readers could suggest intelligent ideas. And, as the Pontifical Commission Ecclesis Dei is merged with the CDW, perhaps we could expect from the combined body some practical and sensible guidlines. (Incidentally. the same problems entangle those C of E churches in which some services are Common Worship and some are Book of Common Prayer.)
I wish I'd known Fr Wach was in Oxford. I would have invited him to preach in S Thomas's.