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Lex orandi, Lex credendi...


An English edition of the Old-Catholic Altar Book was edited by the Commission on the Divine Liturgy of the Old Catholic Confederation, approved by the Synod of Bishops and promulgated by the Prelate on September 9, 2014 for use within the Old Catholic Church in the United States. Upon the completion of translation from the original Latin, the Old-Catholic Altar Book will be published by the Old Catholic Confederation Press.

The Old-Catholic Altar Book for the Solemn Celebration of the Divine Liturgy in Accordance with the Ancient Rites of the Venerable Church of Rome and the Great Church of Constantinople makes use of the ancient Rite of Pope St. Gregory the Great, as prepared in the OCC edition, with the inclusion of the Great Litany and the Trisagion Hymn taken and restored from ancient Rite of Constantinople attributed to St. John Chrysostom. While Latin permitted and used within the Altar Book, the vernacular language is the custom within the parishes of the Old Catholic Church in the United States.

Further, the Commission on the Divine Liturgy has corrected (and, in some cases, restored) the liturgical colors of sacred vestments for use during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and in the celebration of the sacred Rites of Holy Matrimony and in accordance with the conferral of the minor orders and for Ordinations to the Holy Orders of Deacon, Priest and Bishop.

The Commission most gratefully acknowledges its consultation of The Celebration of the Eucharist in the Catholic Diocese of the Old Catholics in Germany, translated by the Rev. Dr. Thaddeus A. Schnitker, second edition (Munich: Bremberger Brothers Publishing House, 1997), and recommends the use of the Collects, variations on the Eucharistic Preface and Solemn Blessings, with permission, for use by Old-Catholics in the United States, in accordance with local norm and decree of local bishop.

The Old-Catholic Altar Book is divided as follows: Part I) Introductory Rite, including the Entrance, Reverence of the Altar, the Incensation of the Altar, the Opening Doxology and Greeting, the Penitential Rite, the Kyrie (extended), the Gloria and the Collect. Part II) The Liturgy of Catechumens, including the Reading from the Epistles, the Gradual, the Alleluia, the Entrance of the Holy Gospel (followed by the Incensation of the holy Gospel, the Proclamation of the holy Gospel followed by the Sermon or Homily and the Profession of the Faith (the ancient Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed in its original formula.) Part III) The Liturgy of the Faithful, including the Great Entrance (especially during solemn celebrations and with the bishop), the Great Litany (on Sundays), the Offeratory, the Sursum Corda, the Eucharistic Prayer (Holy Anaphora from the ancient Roman Canon), the Epiklesis (the Invocation of the Holy Spirit) and the Mysterium Tremendum (the Consecration), the Doxology, the Great Amen, the Lord’s Prayer, the Peace, the Agnus Dei, the Fracture, the Elevation of the Holy Mysteries, the Trisagion Hymn, Holy Communion and Ablution of the Holy Mysteries. Part IV) The Closing Rite and Final Blessing, including the Closing Collect, the Final Blessing, the Reverence of the Altar and the Recession.

This Altar Book may be used in conjunction with the Revised Common Lectionary (Old Catholic Edition) published by the Old Catholic Confederation Press.

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