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Author Topic: Discovering the Anglo-Saxon Church  (Read 1852 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 17, 2008, 11:57:19 PM »

This thread is an attempt to formulate the development of the Undivided Church in England up to the schism and following invasion of 1066.  The liturgy used in England, Ireland and Scotland had more in common with Constantinople than the Roman movement away from Orthodoxy.  Archbishop Tikhon examined the Book of Common Prayer (1549 edition), which resulted in one of the liturgies available to Orthodox of Western Rite.

This is also an opportunity to share information regarding pre-schism Saints of the west that have been obscured by the Latin flavor of Roman Catholicism.
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2008, 12:11:58 AM »

One can start with the writings of St. Bede who wrote about the history of the Church there, including (but not limited to) the Voyage of St. Brendan and St. Cuthbert bishop of Lindensfarne.
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2008, 01:08:30 PM »

I believe the Early English Text Society has published some Anglo-Saxon liturgy. Try trawling through their catalogue if it is on-line.

Some while ago, a service was held in Anglo-Saxon in a disused church - abandoned, I believe, at the time of the Black Death. I didn't go, because it was held not as an act of theocentric worship but as a linguistic and cultural curio, and I felt the Lord might not be pleased with me if I knowingly joined in worship which was quite intentionally taking his praise on our lips whilst remaining far from him in our hearts. It was in Suffolk or Norfolk, I forget exactly where. The event does imply that Anglo-Saxon liturgy is available. I could contact one of the organisers, if you wished, and ask if you may correspond with him. Let me know if you would like me to.

You might enjoy "An Anglo-Saxon Passion" by David Scott (SPCK, London, 1999). It is in modern English.

And do be sure to get the West Saxon Gospels to enjoy reading in the original - again, Early English Text Society.

We sculon wuldrian and herian urne Drihten on eallum ðam ðingum þe he for ure lufe gefremode, us to alysednysse and to ecere blisse. - Ælfric
« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 01:09:51 PM by David Young » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2008, 04:16:35 PM »

It was in Suffolk or Norfolk, I forget exactly where. The event does imply that Anglo-Saxon liturgy is available. I could contact one of the organisers, if you wished, and ask if you may correspond with him. Let me know if you would like me to.


That would be terrific.  Wasn't the liturgy for Rite One in BOCP taken from Anglo-Saxon sources?
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2008, 06:16:31 PM »

Wasn't the liturgy for Rite One in BOCP taken from Anglo-Saxon sources?

No idea! You'd need to ask an Anglican who is interested in the history of liturgy. There must be many.
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2008, 10:27:57 AM »

You might try studying these two books:

(1) The Durham Collectar
Edited by Alicia Corrêa ISBN: 9781870252409


Few liturgical historians are aware that a book of collects for the Divine Office formed part of the service-books owned by a monk or priest in Anglo-Saxon England. The Durham Collectar, misnamed the`Durham Ritual' and tentatively dated to the tenth century, is the earliest collectar to have survived in England. Where did it come from, and how was it used? To answer the first, a new edition of the Latin text is presented in this volume, with extensive collation tables showing at a glance the most influential liturgical sources. In the introduction, the function of the collectar is discussed.

2) The Book of Prime
ISBN 09516209-3-2 from Anglo-Saxon Books, Swaffham, England

This is in Anglo-Saxon with parts in Latin. It is the service that was used at the church I mentioned a few lines further up this thread. The best manuscript of it is Bodleian Junius 121. The published version has about 32 pages of text has about 32 pages of text. If you can't get a copy, I might be able to get a photocopy done for you.
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2008, 07:50:32 AM »

David,

I found a copy on-line of The Book of Prime.  This is a terrific suggestion, thank you.

Ian Walke's book "Harold" has an interesting appendix addition regarding Aethelric, monk of Christ Church, Canterbury.  He is referenced in Vita Eadwardi, and is presumed to be the same monk that who was appointed Bishop of Sussex in 1058.  What's interesting is that he was deposed in 1070 by King William and imprisoned.  The pope attempted to intervene and wished him tried canonically, which was ignored. This might lend some credence to William gaming the church in England to fit political expedience and using the papal relationship as seemed necessary.  I would think that Norman bishops would be much easier to control and this would have helped fortify Norman rule via church and state, while erasing Anglo-Saxon clergy from leadership in a methodical fashion.

Shalom,
Michael
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2008, 02:52:11 PM »

Norman bishops would be much easier to control and this would have helped fortify Norman rule via church and state, while erasing Anglo-Saxon clergy from leadership

Only Bishop Wulfstan of Worcester survived the purges. He lived to a great old age, the sole remaining English bishop. Two or three biographies of him have been published, which I could find the full titles and authors of and list here, if you wished. I have two myself.
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2009, 05:50:02 AM »

My post under today's date on the "Paganism in Orthodoxy" thread has much to say about the Anglo-Saxon church.
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"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
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