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Catholic and Anglo-Catholic books


An Introduction to reading, collecting and trading classic Catholic and Anglo-Catholic Books

Collecting vintage and traditional Catholic and Anglo-Catholic books has the potential to be a fascinating and engaging hobby for the discerning collector, allowing you the delights of bibliophily (the smell of old bindings, the feel of high quality laid paper, the crackle of tissue over a fine colour plate, the sight of a carefully-composed initial or well-chosen engraving) as well as the chance to drink from the now often neglected well of traditional Catholic spirituality.

It also offers the usual collector's pleasures of the thrill of the hunt, the finding of a neglected gem or unrecognised treasure, a rare edition, fine binding or association copy and, of course, often the greatest pleasure, being able to share your find with others.

For those interested in trading it can also offer the chance to upgrade, to share the gems and to make your collection, in a small way at least, self-financing.

The aim of this page is to provide an introduction to the subject, to share information, images and tips and, hopefully, to help others enjoy collecting and reading these works as well.

[The intro image is by Laurence Housman, and is taken from Percy Dearmer's famous and sought-after Prayerbook Catholic altar book, "The English Liturgy".]

A glossary of terms which may be useful

This is a glossary of some of the terms which you may find used in this lens; I hope it may be useful. Most definitions are taken from the "Ecclesiantics Dictionary" hosted on the Ship of Fools website:, which I helped create and occasionally update!

Anglo-Catholic: Anglicans who emphasise continuity of doctrine between Anglicanism and the historic churches to which the Anglican churches are related. Usually High Church in ritual.

Anglican Communion: A group of churches descended from, or otherwise linked with, the Church of England, and acknowledging the Archbishop of Canterbury as the focus and spokesman of its unity.

Anglo-Papalism: school of thought within Anglicanism. Although not in communion with him, Anglo-Papalists have a strong loyalty to the Pope and to Catholicism in general, believing that the proper place of the Anglican church is in communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

Antiphon: part of the Daily Office, being one or more psalm verses or sentences from Holy Scripture sung or recited before and after each psalm and the Magnificat during Matins and Vespers.

BCP/Book of Common Prayer: Book of Common Prayer; the service book of the Church of England and (in variant forms) adopted by other churches within the Anglican Communion.

Benediction: A rite in which the consecrated host, contained in a monstrance, is exposed for veneration and then used to bless the congregation.

Benedictus: (if qui venit) Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord - part of the Ordinary of the Mass

Customary: a document or publication detailing the ceremonial that is used as standard for a particular parish church/diocese or similar

Daily Office: a set round of liturgical prayers said in the course of a day; an example would be the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours or Roman Breviary. See also Hours.

English Use: a movement or party within the Anglican Communion looking to pre-Reformation and Caroline precedents for liturgical practices to enrich the Book of Common Prayer. Often in opposition to the Western Use.

Episcopi Vagantes (often simply vagantes):- the plural form of episcopus vagans, which is a Latin term meaning wandering bishop. An episcopus vagans is somebody - usually, but not always, a man - who has received ordination to the episcopate (office of bishop), but is not attached to any particular church. He may have been regularly ordained and then left his church or simply been a layman who sought irregular ordination. The 20th century saw a rise in this phenomenon, with such bishops ordaining numerous other bishops and priests outside of any church structure. The sacramental nature of these ordinations is a matter of contention, and they are usually not recognised by any of the mainstream churches. A small minority have gone on to form stable churches which have been subsumed into some of the mainstream churches.

Evensong: Anglican office of Evening Prayer.

Genuflection:the act of kneeling as a form of reverence for persons or things, touching the right knee to the ground briefly whilst facing or being passed by the thing or person reverenced.

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High Church: Having a high/elevated view of the nature of the church; can be associated with strong sacramental doctrines and (often) with a developed system of liturgical ritual and ceremonial.

Hours, The: refers to the canonical hours of prayer, the collection of individual services that make up the daily office. The term is sometimes used as a synonym for the daily office.

Imprimatur: "let it be printed": an official declaration (generally by a bishop) that a work is free from error in matters of Roman Catholic doctrine and morals. See also Nihil Obstat.

Imprimi Potest: "it may be printed": certifying that a book by a Religious (member of a Catholic religious order) has been examined and approved by the religious superior or head of the religious order (or their representative.) Subsequent to the Nihil Obstat, a precursor to the Imprimatur.

Magnificat: a Gospel hymn or canticle, sung as part of the Roman Catholic office of Vespers and the Anglican office of Evensong or Evening Prayer.

Matins: the morning part of the Roman Catholic office of daily prayer, also the name of the morning office in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer

Monstrance: a liturgical vessel, often shaped like a sun, used to contain a consecrated host and employed in the rite of Exposition and Benediction

Nihil obstat: "nothing hinders" or "nothing stands in the way": official approval that a work dealing with faith or morals does not contradict Roman Catholic teaching. A necessary precursor to receiving an Imprimatur.

Office: A liturgical activity such as the Office of Readings from the Liturgy of the Hours or the office of Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer. See also Daily Office.

Old Catholic: Term for a range of churches, often close to the Roman Catholic church in faith and practice, which split from that church over a range of matters principally but not exclusively relating to dogma, over the last two hundred years.

Prayerbook Catholic: A strand of thought within Anglicanism which stresses its Catholic heritage but within a liturgical and doctrinal framework which cleaves closely to the Book of Common Prayer. See also English Use.

Rite: loosely, the term can refer to any liturgical ceremony. More specifically, a rite is a collection of liturgical and spiritual traditions and disciplines which form a unit. Different rites have existed and still exist in the Christian churches. Elements peculiar to various rites include the texts, rubrics, and rituals of services; styles, colours, and arrangement of vestments; musical traditions; fasting disciplines; prayer disciplines; liturgical kalendars; arrangement of services, and so forth. Some examples of these include the Latin Rite/Roman Rite, the Mozarabic Rite, the Byzantine Rite, the Melkite Rite, the Maronite Rite, among others. Cf. Use.

Roman Canon: the key texts of the Mass, beginning after the conclusion of the Sanctus, as used in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and Eucharistic Prayer 1 of the Ordinary Form of the Roman rite.

Roman Rite, Ordinary Form: The Rite followed by the majority of Catholics within the Catholic Church, also known the Novus Ordo, derived from the Roman Missal as reformed according to the decrees of the Second Vatican Council. The Missal of Pope Paul VI/1970 Missal.

Roman Rite, Extraordinary Form: The Rite followed by the majority of Catholics within the Catholic Church until the promulgation of the Missal of Pope Paul VI and still licit. Also known as the Tridentine Rite, Traditional Rite, etc. The Missal of Blessed John XXIII/1962 Missal.

Sarum Rite: a mediaeval development of the Roman Rite as practised at Salisbury Cathedral and in many places throughout the British Isles. Suppressed at the Reformation, except for a time under Mary I of England, it provided some material for Archbishop Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer, and later was a source of inspiration for those seeking to enrich the provisions of that book. See also English Use.

SMVPH: The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Primrose Hill - the first church of which Percy Dearmer was incumbent; a flagship for English Use/Parson's Handbook ceremonial.

Use: a variation within a Rite where local customs have developed coherently. A local liturgical Use may be peculiar to a diocese, a country or other geographical area, or a religious order. Examples of Uses include the Sarum Use of the Roman Rite and the modern Greek Use of the Byzantine Rite.

Western Use: A movement or party within the Anglican Communion looking to modern Roman Catholic precedents for liturgical practices to enrich the Book of Common Prayer.

Peter F. Anson's Bishops At Large

Peter F. Anson's Bishops At Large

Peter F. Anson's classic Bishops at Large

A classic work on the Episcopi Vagantes phenomenon

Bishops At Large

By Peter F. Anson [former Anglican monastic, received into the Catholic Church c.1912 will other members of the Caldey Anglican Benedictine community)

Faber and Faber (1964), Hardcover, 593 pages

A legendary tome, one of Peter F. Anson's defining works, a loving-compiled catalogue and history of the modern phenomenon of the "wandering bishop" - originally a bishop without jurisdiction but now applying to a class of bishops claiming apostolic succession from one or more of the historic churches but more often than not not recognised by the responsible See and presiding over a smaller or larger splinter body owing allegiance to them and displaying a variable allegiance to orthodox doctrine. Endlessly fascinating and very scarce in this, the original edition (allegedly owing to the eagerness of the said prelates in buying-up copies to see what was said about them!) With approximately 16 pages of good quality black and white photographic plates (rather better than in the decade-old Aprocryphile Press reprint, which is itself scarce now).

The illustrated example is a sound copy, with a little wear to corners and edges and dulling to gilding on spine, with nice text block, in a fair film-protected dustjacket.

SSPP Anglican Missal, 1946

SSPP Anglican Missal, 1946

The Anglican Missal by the Society of Saints Peter and Paul

A rare Anglican altar missal

The Anglican Missal, and its variants the People's Shorter Anglican Missal, An Abridged Anglican Missal (an expansion, by popular demand, of the People's Shorter Anglican Missal) and the Church Missonary Missal, were all produced by the Society of Ss Peter and Paul (SSPP). The selection of texts is slightly more eclectic and the translations more literary than in the English Missal - doubtless due in part to the influence of Fr Ronald Knox, author of quite possibly the last one-man bible translation! Inter alia, the SSPP also functioned as a church furnisher in a small way and brought the world "Lambeth" incense and the "Ridley" votive candle stand! Of the various missals available, the Anglican Missal is (perhaps oddly, given that the SSPP were very baroque/Ultramontane in their devotional and furnishing style) the one which uses most material from the 1549 Book of Common Prayer, and also the one most literary in its translation of the Latin texts used. The forerunner of the Anglican Missal was the SSPP "Music of the Mass", which came out in 1912, the same year as the first edition of the "English Missal" (or "Missale Anglicanum" as it was published.) It is interesting that the second edition of the "English Missal", in 1923, incorporated some phrases from SSPP translations of the Latin Mass. These translations featured in the "Exeter Books", a series of SSPP publications of the various parts of the Mass from which the first true "Anglican Missal" was compiled in 1921. The "Anglican Missal" was revised in 1939 and then again in 1946.

The particular example illustrated is in a handsome blue leather binding which has clearly been reglarly used at the Altar! As is common, the Canon of the Mass, Prefaces and Communion sections are tabbed (including a typewritten sheet of exhortations interpolated into the latter) and there is wear and repairs to a number of the pages in this section, plus taped repairs to the first ten pages of the votive masses section, and the odd manuscript correction or interpolation throughout, thus indicating which sections were the most used. Structurally, the front hinge is broken and the rear hinge webbing is exposed.

Original altar editions are very rare - at the time of writing only one other original copy is available online, being offered for £525 (a price which may reflect the particularly fine binding of that example. Expect to pay £200-£300. (NB: my own copy is for sale: see it via one of my eBay listings above!)

BCP & English Hymnal combination  Mowbray Royal Brevier

BCP & English Hymnal combination Mowbray Royal Brevier

The Book of Common Prayer and English Hymnal bound up in one

A classic "Anglican breviary" combination


bound with



Royal Brevier

No date

A beautiful pocket-sized BCP/English Hymnal combination, this is an Anglo-Catholic classic due to the liberal provision of English translations of Catholic office hymns, which can then be added to the BCP offices thus making it a sort of "Anglican breviary". This hadsome presentation-quality copy is in blue grained imitation leather with gilt titling, all edges blue/gilt, blue ribbon, and features charming Margaret Tarrant illustrations. Mowbray Royal Brevier. A serviceable copy which has clearly been prayed, with the usual signs of wear and marks, but still nice overall.

Pearson Sarum Missal in English  1st Edition

Pearson Sarum Missal in English 1st Edition

Pearson's 1868 The Sarum Missal in English

A rare Sarum Rite liturgical text

The Sarum Missal done into English

Believed first edition

The Sarum Missal done into English, A. Harford M.A. B.C.L., believed first edition, London, The Church Printing Company, MDCCCLXVII (1867). The rare first edition of this famous work. Pp lv+14+618. A must-have for anyone interested in English liturgy, this mammoth work includes in its 700-odd pages general rubrics, essays on Low and High Mass, Kalendar, propers (of the seasons, and of the saints), prayers and thanksgivings, the ordinary and canon of the mass, votive masses, masses for the dead, benedictions, and appendices.

This particular edition is still in its original black cloth ruled and gilt-embossed binding, with front hinge broken but webbing still intact, tape repairs to spine edges, some loss to top edge of spine and wear to spine and cover edges. The text block is in fair-good condition, front endpaper part removed, ffep-page vi loose, likewise page xix, but all present. In protective mylar jacket.

THE ENTHUSIAST - An Enquiry into the Life Beliefs and Character of The Rev. Joseph Leycester Lyne alias Fr. Ignatius O.S.B., Abb

A fascinating look into the life of an eccentric Anglo-Catholic cleric!


An Enquiry into the Life Beliefs and Character of The Rev. Joseph Leycester Lyne alias Fr. Ignatius O.S.B., Abbot of Elm Hill, Norwich and Llanthony, Wales


Arthur Calder Marshall

Faber and Faber


1962 (First edition?)

Pale blue cloth hardback, pp304 - an endlessly entertaining exploration of the life of this mercurial man who made it his life's goal - and for a time succeeded - to bring back Benedictine monasticism into the life of the Church of England. A fair copy, boards marked towards edges, slightly shaken with some warping, light foxing to edge of text block, faded spine.

Peter F. Anson's classic "The Call of the Cloister"

A survey and history of relgious communities and kindred bodies in the Anglican Communion


Religious communities and kindred bodies in the Anglican Communion

Peter F. Anson [former Anglican monastic, received into the Catholic Church c.1912 with other members of the Caldey Anglican Benedictine community)



1962 (Second revised edition, fuller than the first and corrected)

Pale beige cloth hardback with dustjacket, pp650 - The sought-after and fuller second revised edition of this seminal study of the history of the religious communities of the Anglican Community. This is a fascinating and comprehensive survey, by a former Anglican monastic, Peter F. Anson, of the revival of the religious life in the Anglican Communion. Available in two editions, the expanded and updated second edition is the more sought-after. The illustrated example is a nice copy, good spine, clean straight boards and text block, fair dustjacket protected by mylar cover, top edge of ffep cut off to remove ownership inscription.



The Supplement to the missal, the proper of masses: In commemoration of thirty-nine beati of the Anglican Communion

An amazing asociation copy!

A fine ex-library (but what a library!) copy of the Oxford Centenary [Supplementary] Missal, author signed (Clement Humilis, the nom-de-plume of James Tait Plowden-Wardlaw, Vicar of St. Clement's, Cambridge) and from the personal library of Alfred Hope Patten, refounder of the Anglican Shrine at Walsingham, ex-Walsingham College Library! In a nice red cloth cover with some water and other marks, faded spine, usual library and owner markings, top edge gilt, mark to text block, four ribbons slightly faded, foxing to first and last few pages, sound overall, and an incredibly rare association copy. I can't tell you how pleased I was to find this one!

The Ordinary and Canon of the Mass commences (after "the customary preparation") with the Collect for Purity, Introit, ninefold kyrie (English or Greek), Gloria, Collects, Epistle, Gradual, etc., Creed, Offertory, Secret and Preface to the Canon in traditional Western form. The Sanctus and Benedictus then open the Canon, which commences with a prayer in recognisable kinship with the BCP Prayer for the Church except for the presence of a passage in praise of the saints, and prays for the sanctification of the gifts before entering into the Words of Institution, concluding with Cranmer's amended Supplices the Rogamus. The Lord's Prayer then follows, succeeded by the Fraction, Agnus Dei, Priest's Communion, Exhortation, Confession of the People, Absolution, Comfortable Words, Prayer of Humble Access, Communion of the People, Ablutions, postcommunions (entitled The Communion), "Almighty and everliving God", Blessing and Last Gospel.

Apart from its interesting use of the 1549 Canon of the Mass, the chief feature of this book, of course, is to give proper texts for masses for thirty-nine servants of God of the Anglican Communion, some going back to the Caroline and Non-Juring period and some deceased within recent memory of the date of publishing (the hundredth anniversary of the Oxford Movement, hence the spine title of the Oxford Centenary [Supplementary] Missal - the Missal it is supplementary to being presumably the English Missal, also published by Knott.

Please see my featured lenses, below, for a more detailed photo essay on this book.

Coram Sanctissimo - Mother Mary Loyola, Bar Convent, York

Traditional Catholic Eucharistic meditations before the Blessed Sacrament

Coram Sanctissimo

Mother Mary Loyola, Bar Convent, York

(Ed. Father Thurston, S.J., Cardinal Vaughan imprimatur)

18th edition, 1923

Sands & Co, London & Edinburgh


An attractive small maroon cloth hardback with gilt title and cross to cover, comprising eucharistic meditations composed by Mother Mary Loyola for the benefit of those paying visits to the Blessed Sacrament. A combination of prose and poetry with an interesting introduction on the history of this form of devotion by the famous Jesuit priest Father Herbert Thurston, S.J. Topics covered in the forty meditations on this undervalued and somewhat neglected form of devotion include praise, one's inward disposition, contrition, etc. The book overall is in sound to good condition, with some tanning to the endpapers, a mark on the back cover and the corners rounded.

Anson - Benedictines of Caldey

Anson - Benedictines of Caldey

Peter F. Anson's classic "The Benedictines of Caldey"

The story of one Anglican community's conversion to Catholicism


Peter F. Anson [former Anglican monastic, received into the Catholic Church c.1912 with other members of the Caldey Anglican Benedictine community)

Catholic Book Club



A sound 1940 Catholic Book Club edition of P.F. Anson's "The Benedictines of Caldey" - the story of the corporate reception of this Anglican Benedictine Foundation into the Catholic Church. Illustrated by the author, a Benedictine of Caldey and later a writer of great interest on many ecclesiastical topics. An interesting read for anyone interested in Anglican monasticism, the Religious life, Anglo-Catholicism in England or conversion.

Parish Priest at Work

Parish Priest at Work

The Parish Priest at Work - Forder

A useful introduction to systematic pastoralia and the running of a parish


An Introduction to Systematic Pastoralia

by Charles R. Forder

Second edition (Revised)

S.P.C.K., London


This is an interesting work of systematic pastoralia, designed to help the new or aspiring parish priest to discharge his pastoral and other responsibilities effectively.

It is divided into five parts, the first of which deals with the manner in which the priest should administer his work and parish, whilst the second deals with parish administration in the co-operative sense; working with others such as the PCC to manage the parish as an entity. The third section then turns on to more human considerations, talking about how the priest should discharge his cure of souls en masse, through the offering of the liturgy, work amongst children, the young and adults and more widely. This is then taken to the next level when the ministry to the individual is considered, through visiting, through confirmation and through the occasional services. Finally, Forder discusses considerations more personal to the priest; his freehold, his first days in the role, and his behaviour, not excepting the particular needs of country or specialist ministry. With a foreword by the Archbishop of York.

Prayer Manual MacNutt

Prayer Manual MacNutt

THE PRAYER MANUAL - For Private Devotion or for Public Use on Divers Occasions

A compendious selection of prayers from sources Ancient, Medieval, and Modern


For Private Devotion or for Public Use on Divers Occasions

Compiled from all sources Ancient, Medieval, and Modern



A.R. Mowbray & Co. Limited, London

1961 (Seventh impression of the 1954 3rd edition, first published 1951)



A fascinating and wide-ranging posthumous compendium of collects and similar prayers, by sometime Canon of Canterbury and Provost and Archdeacon of Leicester, F.B. MacNutt. The collection (ultimately of 1,400 prayers) was commenced by the author in 1915, whilst a chaplain to His Majesty's Forces and became a life's work, being published in this shortened form by his widow shortly after his death. It is in succession to his 1939 War Primer and is along similar lines to Milner-White's "After the Third Collect", being designed in part to complement the Book of Common Prayer morning and evening offices by providing supplementary material for public prayer after the third collect of such services, but goes further by providing extensive material for private prayer. The first section is concerned with the latter need, with 291 prayers providing prayer material for a full month of five Sundays and thirty-one weekdays. The second section, consisting of over five hundred prayers, provides public or private prayers for a huge range of needs and occasions, liturgical, state, private and public, personal or for general good. The range of sources is similarly vast, taking in contemporary luminaries such as Percy Dearmer, saints such as Augustine, ancient and modern liturgical books, hymns, private writings, guild and society prayers (including that of the Order of the Garter!) and many others. With a complimentary foreword by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Ceremonial of the English Church

A seminal work of Prayerbook Catholic/English Use Ceremonial

Ceremonial of the English Church

Vernon Staley


1918 (4th edition, revised)



16 illustrations

This seminal work on the Rites, Ceremonies and Ornaments of the English Church by one of the great Prayerbook Catholic writers on liturgy and ceremonial, Provost Vernon Staley, had run into four editions by 1911, having first been published in 1899, and was still being printed into the 1920s, which is some indication of its enduring popularity. Reflecting the author's didactic concerns as well as his liturgical interests, it is split into three parts, the first being concerned with a defence of the principle of liturgical ceremonial, the second with the way in which liturgical ceremonial in the English church is to be regulated, whilst the third covers the ornaments and ceremonies of the English church itself, with appendices concerning the concurrence of liturgical days, an index to authorities, rubrics, canons etc quoted, and a general index.

Staley himself had a particular interest in post-Reformation and Caroline ceremonial; his contribution to the seminal Library of Liturgiology and Ecclesiology for English Readers, in addition to editing it, was to produce an enlarged version of the Cambridge Camden Society's Hierurgia Anglicana, a catena of telling quotations illustrating the "Catholicity" of ceremonial in the Caroline period. (I review this work elsewhere on this page, and am currently auctioning a copy.) This book reflects this viewpoint, as well as his generally law-abiding approach, by focusing on what is legitimate from immediate post-Reformation precedent to inform what later would become known as the "Prayerbook Catholic" movement within the Church of England. In this case he particularlyfocuses on the ornaments of worship (vestments and church furnishings, etc) and ceremonies which were ordered under the prayer book "as were in place in the second year of King Edward VI". Staley demonstrates how this order should be interpreted in a direction which allows a maximum of the old ceremonial provided it does not contradict the content of the Reformed rite. Staley does not limit himself only to the rubrics of the Prayer Book, however, but also addresses himself to the canons of the Church of England, Injunctions, and various other greater and lesser acts of crown, parliament and church to support his contentions.

His first section goes over the usual ground, justifying religious ceremonial by reference to scripture, tradition and natural law, and is a useful introduction to the presuppositions underlying what follows.

In his second section, Staley is at one with other Anglican Catholic writers of various schools in insisting that the scanty rubrical and ceremonial directions of the Prayer Book must be supplemented; his distinctive contribution, in contradistinction to Western Rite advocates, was to insist - like Percy Dearmer - that this must be undertaken from English liturgical sources rather than liturgically borrowing from (then) modern Rome. He parts company from the true Sarum enthusiasts, though, and continues his commonality with Dearmer's position, by insisting that the use of the old ornaments and ceremonies to beautify the Rite must be controlled strictly in accordance with the rubrics, and that there must be no resurrecting of rites and ornaments implicitly or explicitly repudiated at the Reformation on the plea that they are widely used in other parts of the Catholic Church. Conversely, he is careful to point out that such rites and ornaments as are covered by the Ornaments Rubric were not to be merely retained, but also to be *in use*, and that such a requirement retains its force today, so that loyalty to the Prayerbook demands that they be still used. His discussion of the point culminates in his interesting, and surprisingly extensive, list between pages 94 and 96 of the paperback volume, of ornaments and ceremonies permitted within the Church of England, which includes the processional cross, the chasuble and maniple, wafer bread, the mixed chalice, plainsong, liturgical colours and incense amongst others.

He then goes on to discuss, in three parts, the ornaments of the church and of its ministers, and the ceremonies of the church. Each of these sections is interesting and worthy of review in its own right, but largely follow the lines given above. The focus throughout is on defending the use of Catholic ceremonial.

This is certainly highly recommended for any English Use library.

The Server's Handbook (Part of the Parson's Handbook series)

A guide to the duties of the clerk at a plain celebration of the Holy Communion - and much more!

The Server's Handbook

Being a guide to the duties of the clerk at a plain celebration of the Holy Communion, at the administration of Holy Baptism, the Solemnisation of Matrimony, the Visitation of the Sick, the Churching of Women and the Burial of the Dead

With the text of the liturgy and private prayers

Rev. Percy Dearmer, M.A., D.D.

Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press

1917 (5th impression)

This is Percy Dearmer's very useful guide for clerks and servers in an English Use church. In many respects, this represents Dearmer at his best. Loyalty to the Prayer Book is discreetly assumed rather than asserted, the prose is crisp and the tone is brisk without being overly didactic; the book is the better because of it. Unless one is an English Use partisan, Dearmer's attitude to the Roman Rite is not one of his more attractive qualities, and here it is blessedly absent. Instead he concentrates on directing the thoughts and actions of the server, clerk or acolyte in a clear and unfussy fashion and does so very well. In terms of content, the claim on the title page that the book contains "the text of the liturgy" is a little generous as the text is not complete (the Long Exhortation, for example, is missing), as well as being slightly oddly arranged (the text of the liturgy and associated directions is at the top of the page, separated by a line from the devotions below, but often the devotions take up more of the page than the liturgy does!) but the provision for private prayers from Eastern, Sarum and Roman sources is generous, as is the provision for the Priest's confiteor before Mass (although printed as a footnote). The order of service also provides for the preparation of the elements in two places, before the service commences and at the offertory, and rounds off with brief but pithy notes on all the occasional offices provided for in the BCP.

Part of the Parson's Handbook series (a guide to church law being another part) this is a fairly rare book, and strongly recommended for those interested in the English Use.

Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described - Adrian Fortescue

A rare early edition

The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described

by Adrian Fortescue

In accordance with the rubrics of liturgical books, the decrees of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, the Code of Canon Law, and approved authors.

Containing all such ceremonies as may occur in a parish church, the rules for pontifical functions and directions for the administration of the sacraments. With plans and diagrams by the author and with a preface by His Eminence Cardinal Bounre, Archbishop of Westminster.

This is an interesting early edition of this classic liturgical manual, in the original version prepared by the inimitable Adrian Fortescue as a replacement for the (he says) rather out of date, irrelevant and inaccurate Dale-Baldeschi "Ceremonial according to the Roman Rite", which was the dominant Catholic liturgical manual in Britain at this time. It is one of the definitive tomes on the ceremonies of the (Extraordinary Form of the) Roman Rite, with the stated aim of providing everything by way of ceremonial guidance that a secular parish priest in England might want. To do this it is generously provided with explanations and diagrams in the text, covering the vestments and furnishings of the Roman Rite with extensive sections on the Mass, Vespers, the Liturgical year, occasional functions (including pontifical), ceremonies of the Ritual, and funerals.

It benefits from his rather cutting explanation as to why, having been asked by the publishers to prepare a new version of Dale-Baldeschi, he decided to abandon his attempt and write a new book instead, in which he is rather expansive about the deficiencies of the former work! His careful use of traditional English liturgical terms in preference to terms derived from Italian is also interesting as a signifier of his preferences and provides a point of comparison with the various English Use/Western Rite authors writing on the Anglican side at this time. His insistence that, in the event of a matter not being settled by approved authors, the proper recourse is the custom of one's own diocese rather than that of the diocese of Rome, could also prove an interesting point of commonality, although he is careful to disclaim any "nonsense" about "national churches", noting instead that the diocese represents the real point of unity within the wider unity of the Catholic Church.

The coverage is impressive, commencing with general principles concerning ceremonies, covering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in its various forms (including Pontifical High Masses at both Faldstool and Throne), evening services (including Pontifical Vespers and Benediction, which Fortescue describes as the pre-eminent English evening service in his time), the liturgical year in all its richness and complexity, and concluding with a section on occasional services from the Forty Hours, through canonical visitation and confirmation, to funerals.

Particular strengths in the handling arise from the careful provision of guidance for the celebrations of Low Mass and the Missa Cantata (a sung Mass without deacon or sub-deacon, the most common Sunday Mass at this time), together with the provision for the celebration ofg Holy Week for churches with only the one minister, and (in relation to the evening and occasional services, the description of the services of Benediction and of the Ritual according to the forms required in England and set out in the Ritus Servandus and Ordo Administrandi respectively.

It also features some well chosen plans, skilfully drawn by the author to demonstrate the placing of the various sacred ministers and liturgical reuqisities in the sanctuary for a range of liturgical functions.

A biography of Father Fortescue, and also of Canon J.B. O'Connell, who revised the later editions of Fortescue's work, taken from the recent 15th edition, is given below:

"Adrian Fortescue (1874-1923) was a Roman Catholic priest and Englishman who was an influential liturgist, artist, calligrapher, composer, polyglot, amateur photographer, Byzantine scholar, and adventurer. He has been described by Michael Davies as, 'the greatest authority on the liturgy of the Roman Rite the English speaking world has ever known". [Although I personally think that J.B. O'Connell may deserve this honour, not least for his "The Celebration of Mass".]

Canon J.B.O'Connell (d. 1977). Ceremonial and rubrics were his life's work and on the death of Adrian Fortescue in 1923, he was asked to prepare the third edition of this book. Over the next forty years he prepared a further nine editions. Canon O'Connell was a secular priest of the Menevia Diocese. " (His anniversary of death is 2 December 1977, should any kind soul wish to remember him.)

The earlier editions benefit from an attrative binding with a device similar to the St. Benedict cross on the cover. Fairly rare and certainly an important adjunct to any Roman Rite library.

Notes on Ceremonial from the Ancient English Office Books

A Guide to the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist and to the general arrangement of Altar and Choir Services

Notes on Ceremonial from the Ancient English Office Books

A Guide to the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist and to the general arrangement of Altar and Choir Services

H.G. Morse

5th Edition, revised


Pickering & Chatto, London


pp. 222

This is a rare and informative guide for priests of the Prayerbook Catholic or Anglo-Catholic traditions seeking to enhance the office of the book of common prayer from traditional English liturgical sources.

It is full of Sarum-Rite influence (more so than Dearmer's Parson's Handbook, for instance) and also draws on the liturgical practices of the ancient French diocesan Uses (such as that of Lyons, for example) to provide a complete picture of a Book of Common Prayer Eucharist celebrated with full "English" ceremonial, in Low, High and Missa Cantata (Sung Mass without additional liturgical ministers) forms. As well as traditional prayer forms for the sacred ministers, it contains vestry and altar preparations, directions for processions, detailed instructions for all ministers from candlebearer, thurifer and clerk up through the Orders through Sub-Deacon and Deacon to priest-celebrant for the three types of Mass mentioned above, plus extensive notes on the divine office (Mattins and Evensong), funerals and the commemmoration of the dead, and pages of notes on disputed and antiquarian points on lights, the kalendar, liturgical colours and so on. It is interesting that notwithstanding its Sarum Use sympathies, it mandates the use by the sacred ministers of the biretta! It is also interesting to note that although it gives liturgical colour sequences derived from Sarum, it cautions against adopting these outwith the ancient diocese of Salisbury, noting that even where a cathedral (the mother-church of the diocese) adopted Sarum ceremonial, the diocesan colour sequence did not necessarily follow.

Whilst the text of the liturgy itself is to be found in the companion "Priest's Ceremonial" (1888-1928), the Rite can largely be reconstructed from the ceremonial directions, which presuppose a eucharist offered according to BCP order, followed strictly, but generously clothed with Sarum Rite elements. It commences with a preparation along Sarum lines (a form for which is given in the book) and Introit and then moves into the BCP introduction, with the insertion of Sarum blessings of incense and of water (also supplied) at appropriate points. Salutations ("Let us pray" &c) are also provided for at the traditional points, including at the Collect and at the Gospel, which itself is clothed with Sarum ceremonies, including provision for a Gradual. Sarum offertory prayers are also inserted at the appropriate point, as is the Sarum Canon and the prayers following it, save Quam Oblationem, which Morse argues should be omitted on the grounds that it duplicates the Prayerbook's "and grant that we receiving..." The Benedictus qui venit is added for quiet recitation after the Sanctus and an additional Lord's Prayer after the Canon, although the author suggests that this need not be used, as duplicativ e of the Prayerbook provision for it. The Gloria remains in the Prayerbook position and the ablutions are taken after the Blessing. Provision is made for a Last Gospel, to be said returning from the Altar.

Definitely a must for any "English Use" collection.

Issued in six editions, generally as a black cloth hardback, up to Royal Octavo in size.

Hierurgia Anglicana - Documents and Extracts illustrative of the ceremonial of the English Church after the Reformation

Volumes 1,3 and 5 of the Library of Liturgiology & Ecclesiology for English Readers by the noted liturgist and antiquary Vernon Staley

The rarer three-volume edition, not the two-volume expansion of the 1848 Cambridge Camden Society edition, but much bigger!

These three volumes between them cover practically everything anyone might wish to know about ritual, rite, ceremony, custom and observance in the Anglican Church from Caroline times up to the turn of the nineteenth century. It comprises an extensive catena of references and pertinent illustrations on every post-Reformation liturgical and ecclesiastical subject under the sun and is a recommended resource. This particular edition was prepared under the editorship of Provost Vernon Staley, author of "The Ceremonial of the English Church" and "The Catholic Religion", and must surely rank as one of his greatest contributions to that part of the Anglican Church attached to the Catholic faith as practised by the divines, priests and laity of the post-Reformation English church. It took and expanded upon the work of the Cambridge Camden Society, first in two volumes and then, as here, in three, and was published as part of his magnificent opus, "The Library of Liturgiology and Ecclesiology for English Readers", a collection of liturgical and ecclesiastical works for the general and specialist reader including essays, reprinted source texts (e.g. the 1549 Prayer Book, first Roman Ordo and Sarum Missal) and collections of references such as this one.

Handsome red cloth bindings, top edges gilt, side and lower edges rough-cut, gilt-titled spines somewhat sunned. Foxed in places, especially the endpapers, moderately thumbed, and the loss/damage to the tops of the spines suggests that the learned antiquary was not above tugging them out of their place on the shelves by the top, but sound overall. Rare in any event, full three-colume sets such as this are particularly hard to find and expensive.

This interesting set is distinguished by the presence of the handsome armorial bookplate of the equally noted liturgical historian Ernest Hermitage Day.

Printed in London by Alexander Moring of the noted De La More private Press

1902, 1903 & 1904

pp 279, 313 & 368

The Shape of the Liturgy by Dom Gregory Dix

A marvellous survey and explanation of the development and shape of the Christian Eucharist

This is a fascinating book, one of the definitive works of its kind, which I am only selling as it is a duplicate copy. Dom Gregory Dix is a very engaging writer, as well known for his clear prose as for his engaging sense of humour, and this book does him full justice. Developed out of an essay delivered to the Anglican Religious, the Cowley Fathers, this is Dix's attempt, as a talented liturgical scholar, to identify a definite "classical" shape for the Eucharist (which he finds in the fourfold action of offertory, prayer, fraction and communion) and then explain how this might have come about. Whilst not assented to by all, his work remains well worth the reading.

Smart green cloth with gilt spine title, a few marks and foxing to text block, rubbing to corners, hinges fair. Owner's (a cleric) inscription on front pastedown, underlining on p.744 (a particularly moving passage of Dix's on the ubiquity of the Eucharist), otherwise good.

A Theological Introduction to the Thirty-Nine Articles

A moderate Catholic interpretation of the Articles


by E.J. Bicknell, D.D.

Longmans, Green & Co, London

1929 (new impression)

An invaluable survey of the thirty-nine articles of religion of the Church of England, interpreting these in a moderate Prayerbook-Catholic manner.

A synthesis rather than an original work, it gathered a lot of relevant material together for the first time. It is a practical book, directed towards the need to equip ordination candidates to assent to the Articles, and also to recognise the continuing focus of Bishops' examinations on the Articles. It is also in some senses an apologia for the study of Articles, which, as the author notes, still deal in many cases with fundamental problems of theology and evidence a typical Anglican attitude towards these.

Codex Iuris Canonici : Latin Code of Canon Law

This is a compendium, in Latin, of the canon law of the Catholic Church, as issued by Pope Pius the Tenth, but dated 1956. It is divided into a number of books, parts and titles and supported by a selection of relevant documents (mainly the Constitutio of various Popes) and a very extensive (150 pages+) index.

This substantial pocket-sized volume is in a simple brown cloth binding with ruled edges and rounded corners, the words "codex iuris canonici" stamped in gilt capitals on the spine, coloured headbands and natural edges to the text block, with single ribbon and thumbnail for Index. The spine shows light rubbing at top and bottom and at the edges as well as minor spotting to the covers themselves. A quick leaf through indicates that there has been some annotation in ink, underlining and excision, although this seems to affect a very small proportion of the text, and is mainly (although not exclusively) confined to the Matrimonial section. The pages are a little yellowed, although this may be their natural tint. Sound to good overall.


Pii X Pontificis Maximi

iussu digestus

Benedicti Papae XV

auctoritate promulgatus

praefatione Emi. Petri Card. Gasparr


Indice analytico-aplhabetico



Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis


The Ritual Reason Why

A classic Anglo-Catholic ceremonial guide for the laity

The Ritual Reason Why

Charles Walker revised by T.I. Ball





A reading copy only of this quasi-legendary Anglo-Catholic work, written in an interesting question and answer format (which now looks rather quaint) designed to introduce the layman to the ceremonies of the Church. A work of considerable longevity, first appearing in 1868 and being reprinted for much of the succeeding century, this is a new impression of the 1919 new edition, revised by the Very Reverend Thomas .I. Ball, provost of the high-church Cumbrae Cathedral (the cathedral of the Isles.) It is not fully clear which is Walker's work and which Ball's but some text is put in smaller (but still legible) type.

The book commences with an introductory discussion on the purposes of, and justification for, ceremonial in church, drawing on historical and scriptural sources. The next area of consideration is then the ornaments (fixtures, fittings, liturgical vessels, etc) of the church, taking in everything from the altar to the sanctus-bell and houseling cloth. Part three then covers the ornaments (i.e. vestments, but including garments such as the cassock) of the ministers themselves, including by extension those of choir, servers and Religious. The explanations cover both the historical, practical and symbolic/typological aspects of cassocks, cottas, rochets, etc., and also cover things such as the liturgical colours, evenhandedly covering both the Western and Sarum uses. The fourth part covers benedictions, focusing on the various forms of prayer by which objects are set aside for the service of the church or of the laity (not excluding rare practices such as the blessing of the eulogia/holy loaf. Section five then deals with the church's Kalendar, under the heading "Feasts and Fasts", addressing the seasons, the fasts (rogation days and vigils) of the church, the classifications or ranks of feasts, the processes of translation, occurrence and concurrence of feasts, all taking concurrence of the Roman system as well as the Red- and Black-letter days of the BCP kalendar. The next three parts deal with the various sections of the choral office, Mattins and Evensong, the solemn The Deum and the Litany, covering the purpose of public prayer, the reasons for it being choral, the methods of choral singing and historic "tones", liturgical postures, etc. The ninth section then deals with processions, their purpose, order, and accompaniments such as banners, etc. The tenth section discusses at length the celebration of the eucharist in the form of a "low celebration" (that is, without choir or servers). It deals with everything from the name of the service (including the controversial term "Mass") through the manner of approach to the altar, the postures, position and gestures of the officiant priest, the order of the service, the use of reverences, disputed practices such as the commingling of water and wine at the eucharist and the type of bread used, to the manner of the dismissal. The commentary is an interesting mixture of the practical, historical and symbolical/typological, as before, but also addresses controversial topics in a discursive terms. This is then supplemented by a section on the high or solemn celebration, addressing in particular the roles, actions, postures and so forth of the acolytes and other sacred ministers. The twelfth section addresses funeral or mortuary celebrations, addressing the principle of offering the eucharist for the departed, and the particular ceremonial for such services. Section thirteen deals with occasional services such as baptism (touching on tpoics such as the purpose of conditional baptism and the use of two colours of stole), marriage, the visitation of the sick, the burial service and the churching of women. The penultimate chapter covers seasonal ceremonial, such as the laying aside of the diaconal and sub-diaconal vestments in Lent and Advent, the use of candles at the Purification, the Reproaces, etc. Finally, section fifteen (rather oddly treated as an appendix) deals with the canonical hours of the Roman and pre-Reformation English church, Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline, their arrangement and ceremonial. There is also a useful index.

Charles Walker, the author, was an interesting man, having been heavily involved in the Ritualist/Anglo-Catholic movement for a long time, initially associated with the Sarum/"English Use" tendency but gradually moving more towards a "Western Use" framework until he eventually made his submission to Rome, the mother church of that Use. Like many liturgists of his school, his early studies were concerned with the Sarum Use, and he was the author of a useful (albeit these days somewhat overlooked) translation of the Sarum Missal and kalendar. Other works, such as this one, were more focused on helping the laity to understand, appreciate and participate in the worship of the church. I believe he also wrote "The Congregation in Church" along similar lines. He was particularly interested in Anglican religious foundations and tried his vocation as a lay brother in at least one before realising that he did not have a vocation to the Monastic life.

The Rivers of the Flood - Dom Anselm Hughes, Monk of Nashdom Abbey

A personal account of the Catholic Movement in the 20th Century - by "one who was there"!

This book is (as the back cover says!) a witty, concise and highly readable account of the Catholic Movement in the Church of England from the immediate post-Tractarian period to the end of the 1950s. Whilst laced with pithly-expressed personal opinions, it is not merely a collection of reminiscences but is programmatic, as evidenced by the title (a quotation from Psalm 46): the "rivers of the flood which make glad the City of God" are the Catholic Movement itself, and this book is the chronicle of its forward movement. Dom Anselm, as well as being a monk of the famous Anglican foundation, Nashdom Abbey, was also a priest, staff member of the Society of the Faith and Faith House, and associate of the "Twenty One" who stood against "Uncle Arthur" Winnington-Ingram's prohibition of open Reservation of the Sacrament in his London diocese, thus giving an almost unparalleled breadth and depth of experience in this period. His discussions of the rise and fall of the Sarum/"English Use" movement (which he associates with the spiritual journey and vicissitudes of its Apostle, Percy Dearmer), the changing relationship of the Bishops (about whom he has some pithy observations) to the Movement, and the role of what he calls the "High-Church/Central/"No party" party are highly interesting, but the historical events affecting the Movement are also covered (Kikuyu, 1928 Prayer Book, the Congresses, South India) and the ongoing features (music, worship and the liturgy, and social activism) are not left without a mention. Published by the Faith Press in two editions, 1961 and 1963 (the latter at least being paperback), this is a highly entertaining book, collectable, and strongly recommended for any Anglo-Catholic library.

Proper Lessons to be read at Morning & Evening Prayer on the Sundays and other Holy Days throughout the year

A compact book of BCP Lessons (including for Gunpowder Treason, Charles King and Martyr and Restoration services) plus the complete New Testament

A very handsome compact leather-bound volume, featuring all the Proper Lessons for Sundays and other Holy Days for Morning and Evening Prayer (i.e. Matins and Evensong) in the regular BCP, plus lessons for the traditional services left out of later versions including the "Gunpowder Treason" service, service for Charles, King and Martyr, and the Restoration service. It also features a complete New Testament. A very nice little volume.

It is bound in grained black leather with double-ruled border with extensive gilt-tooled decorations to the covers, six compartment banded spine with gilt title in second compartment, and all edges gilt. The spine shows rubbing to the base, head, bands and sides, whilst the covers show marks and scratches and rounding to the corners. The hinges and text block are largely sound, although the latter is spotted throughout. There is one gift inscription, dated 1850, to the front free endpaper. Whilst it has clearly seen use in the daily offices of the church over a century and a half, the condition overall is sound.

Proper Lessons to be read at Morning & Evening Prayer on the Sundays and other Holy Days throughout the year

bound together with

The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

London, Eyre & Spottiswoode

1847 & 1848


4 1/2" x 2 3/4" x 1 1/4"

Dictionary to the Pian Psalter

Dictionary to the Pian Psalter

Dictionary of the New Latin Psalter of Pope Pius XII

A useful aid to understanding and fruitful use of the Pian Psalter

This attractive slim volume is a handy dictionary designed to help seminarians and "Old Psalter" priests to adapt to, and adopt, the then-new Pian or Bea psalter. The psalter of pope Pius XII, as established by the Apostolic Letter "In Cotidianis Precibus", was designed as a replacement for Saint Jerome's second Latin psalter, that taken from the Greek. Like his third psalter, it was a fresh translation straight from the Hebrew, in this case written to eliminate the inaccuracies subsisting in the Greek version which served to obscure the force of the original Hebrew. Whilst the translation is purposefully Classical/Ciceronian, it was recognised that not all of the words used in it woul dbe immeidately accessible or familiar to students, hence the production of this dictionary. In plan, it gives as many citations as there are meanings to the word when used in the Psalter, which appears an efficient use , and ensures the slim length of the volume. Whilst not of the same ambition and scope as Father Matthew Britt's dictionary of the Old Psalter, this should nonetheless find a welcome on any shelf where the New Psalter, as found in the breviaries of the 1950s and 1960s, is used.