Forthcoming U.K. Daily Office Will ‘Resonate’ for Seekers of Jesus Christ
Divine Worship: Daily Office is the Ordinariate’s new published form of the Liturgy of the Hours.
Peter Jesserer Smith
LONDON – The Catholic Church’s Ordinariates for the Anglican tradition in the United Kingdom, Australia and Pacific Rim countries are on the cusp of jointly publishing an official, Vatican-approved form of the Liturgy of the Hours called Divine Worship: Daily Office (Commonwealth Edition).
The new office book published by the Catholic Truth Society is a one-volume divine office, which reflects the spiritual patrimony of the Ordinariates that had developed in those countries. The Ordinariate for the Anglican tradition in North America, the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, is weeks away from publishing its own “North America edition” of Divine Worship: Daily Office (Newman House Press) that draws from the Anglican liturgical tradition as developed in the U.S.
In this interview with the Register, Father Christopher Lindlar, the convener of the working group for Divine Worship: Daily Office (Commonwealth Edition), discusses the new Office book, which is expected to arrive on the shelves early 2021 and is another “treasure to be shared” with all Catholics serious about following Jesus Christ.
Why have the Ordinariates of Our Lady of Walsingham and Our Lady of the Southern Cross decided to collaborate on a “Commonwealth” edition of the Daily Office? What impact do you see this new Divine Worship: the Daily Office (Commonwealth edition) have on the life of the Ordinariate and its parish communities?
The Divine Worship: Daily Office (DW-DO) can be seen as a single enterprise in two editions, both of equal standing and value – the “two lungs” of the Anglican liturgical tradition, to adopt Pope John Paul II’s language. The Commonwealth Edition gives expression to the shared heritage based on the Book of Common Prayer tradition as it has been preserved in England and Wales from 1549 to our present day, the same strand of the Prayer Book tradition that found its way to Australia. By the same token, the North America Edition gives expression to the strand of Anglican liturgical texts that developed distinctly in the United States. Divine Worship: Daily Office as a whole will enrich the collective and individual life of prayer of all in the Ordinariates; both clergy and lay faithful alike.
How will the Daily Office play a role in each Ordinariate’s evangelization and formation of mission-oriented disciples? Can you tell me about some of the choices you’ve made with these goals in mind?
Divine Worship: Daily Office will, with the other liturgical books in the Divine Worship series, show forth the riches of the Catholic Faith, as it is expressed in the language and texts of the Anglican liturgical tradition, that will resonate for many who seek the Truth in Jesus Christ.
This is in part an exercise in textual conservation. We have sought to preserve the riches of the Anglican tradition of the Office, whilst also where necessary conforming it to Catholic faith and practice.
What are some of the distinctive features of the Commonwealth edition of the Daily Office?
The Commonwealth Edition will first of all be a liturgical book of beauty. It will be well-presented and produced by the Catholic Truth Society, simple to use and faithful to the well-loved Anglican tradition of the Office. The volume will contain a bound-in Lectionary, making this a one-volume Office book. We hope that this combination of features, together with affordability, will make it readily accessible to a wide range of potential users whether or not they are member of the Ordinariates.
This edition draws on the 1549 Book of Common Prayer and the stream of liturgical publishing flowing from that to the present day [mentioned above].
Who is able to make use of this office? Would any Catholic clergy or layperson, including those outside the Ordinariate, be able to make use of it?
Divine Worship: Daily Office is offered to anybody and everybody, as a “treasure to be shared” in the words of Anglicanorum coetibus. Catholics and non-Catholics, lay and ordained, will find things of beauty and value in Divine Worship: Daily Office, which is first of all a contribution to the worship of God by the whole Church, and by all God’s people. For clergy incardinated in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, using the Commonwealth Edition will fulfil the canonical obligation to recite the Divine Office.
What translation of the Bible will be used?
The Revised Standard Version Second Catholic Edition is mandated for use in the Ordinariates and for that reason is used in Divine Worship: Daily Office; other translations were not considered for the same reason.
What role does the Vatican have in the approval of the Daily Office? When do you expect the project to be finished and in the hands of the faithful?
The Holy See has been involved with this project from the outset and at every stage. TheCommonwealth Edition [of Divine Worship: Daily Office]is expected to be published in 2021. This will be a key moment in the life ofthe Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, and will notably coincide with the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the erection of Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.