HANDBOOK TO THE CHRISTIAN LITURGY - By James Norman, M.A. - Archdeacon of the Herbert, North Queensland. - first published by the SPCK 1944. - This Edition prepared for katapi by Paul Ingram 2003.


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This Church repudiated the authority of the Pope in the year 1534.
In 1549 the liturgy was reconstructed, effecting a compromise between the Eastern and Western types by retaining the Western variable system, but restoring the Epiclesis, placing it before the Institution. Three years later the Book of Common Prayer, in which the Mass was contained, was altered in a Protestant direction, and, though in 1559 it was to some extent restored, the rite has since remained much reduced. In 1928 an attempt was made to induce Parliament to legalize a new book containing a more complete liturgy than that of 1549, but without success. 

It placed the Epiclesis after the Institution and Anamnesis, and put the Lord's Prayer in its ancient place before Communion. Though Parliament refused to authorize it by law, it had received the assent of the Convocations of the Church, and expressed the mind of the Church. 

The Church of England consists of Provinces, Canterbury and York. Both Archbishops have the title of Primate, but in practice they work harmoniously, the Archbishop of Canterbury having a quasi-patriarchal position in the whole Anglican Communion. 

The Church of England has given rise to numerous other Churches both within and outside the British Empire, the former by the establishment of colonies of British people, the latter through missionary activities. Many of these Churches are autonomous, and all use the English liturgy, with small alterations, in the language of the country. 


was founded in the fourth century.
From 1107 till 1920 it was joined to the Province of Canterbury;
but since the latter date it has been autonomous.


The Reformation in Ireland proceeded from the Government, and did not make much way among the people, but the Episcopal succession was maintained, so that the reformed Church, while numbering less than one-sixth of the population, is the true representative of the ancient Church.
The Archbishop of Armagh is Primate. 


After the Reformation the Scottish Church for some time retained Episcopacy, but was forced into Presbyterian government during two periods, at which times Episcopalians suffered much persecution.
Eventually Episcopacy was restored;
but in 1689 the Church was disestablished, and a Presbyterian Church established by law.
The small body that remained loyal to Catholic traditions assumed the title of 'Episcopal Church in Scotland'.
The present liturgy is similar to that of the English Prayer Book, but on more traditional lines.
The Church is under the leadership of a Primus, who is elected from among the Bishops, retaining his see. 


having been refused by the English Government permission for the consecration of a bishop, received its succession from the Scottish Church in 1785.
The liturgy is, with few alterations, that of the Church of England. 

These Churches in England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, America, and their colonial and missionary offshoots, form the 'Anglican Communion'. 


This Church is Lutheran in theology and practice, but has retained the apostolic ministry.
Its liturgy has little resemblance to the normal rites. 


is the result of the Vatican Council of 1870.
Those members of the Roman Church who could not accept the dogma of Papal Infallibility seceded, and set up their own organization.
The Roman rite is in use with modifications, and said in the common tongue, chiefly Dutch and German.


There are two features that clearly distinguish the Western rites from those of the East.
The first is the manner in which special occasions are expressed in the worship of the Church.
The Lections and Chants everywhere vary with the season or day. For the rest the East has either an invariable liturgy, or, more frequently, uses an entirely different rite, or one of several different Anaphoras, on certain occasions.
In the West there is a fixed framework, but a number of parts of the liturgy vary with the season or occasion.
In Rome these variables are few; in Gallican and Mozarabic rites they form the bulk of the liturgy.

The second difference is one of style.
The Eastern Churches are diffuse and rhetorical; they abound in adjectives and superlatives, in honorific titles, in quotations from Scripture, in expressions of humility.
They are, for example, very fond of privative adjectives, as in this passage: σὺ γὰρ εἶ νέκφραστος περινόητος ἀόρατος κατάληπτος (Chrys: Thanksgiving).
The Western texts are simpler, more concise, more direct;
but there is a great difference between those of Rome and those of Gaul and Spain.
Bishop succinctly characterizes the 'genius of the Roman rite' as being 'marked by simplicity, practicality, a great sobriety and self-control, gravity and dignity'.
The Mozarabic forms given in Appendix B show the profusion of expression belonging to that rite.
Exclamations and apostrophe, parallelism, and play on words, are frequent, and a mystery or scriptural incident is often illustrated by a wealth of analogies.
Long series of parallel phrases often lead to obscurity and extravagance. Yet the phrases show the same conciseness as in Rome, or even greater. 


The Eastern rites have a close similarity in structure, but each region has its own character.
The following are the principal features of the Syrian liturgy:

  1. The Anaphora begins with the salutation, 'The Grace of our Lord', &c., instead of 'The Lord be with you'.
  2. The Great Thanksgiving takes up the word 'Holy' in the Sanctus instead of one of the other modes of connexion.
  3. The Intercession comes after the Invocation.


  1. 1. The Anaphora begins with 'The Lord be with you'.
  2. The Great Thanksgiving uses the word 'full' as the link between the Sanctus and what follows.
  3. The Intercession come is used in describing the Church.
  4. The Anamnesis begins, 'Proclaiming the death', instead of 'remembering'.
  5. Prayers addressed to God the Son are frequent.


  1. There is no Institution-narrative or Anamnesis.
  2. The Invocation contains no prayer for the change of the elements.
  3. The Diptychs of the departed precede the Anaphora, and there is no true Intercession in the Anaphora, a prayer for the whole Church precedes the Invocation, which is the central rite of the Anaphora.
  4. Incense is used at the Preface.
  5. Communion is in both kinds.


The ancient form is much the same as the Syrian, but in the modern form it is distinguished by:

  1. The elaborate Prothesis and Enarxis.
  2. The use of the Zeon (warm water in the chalice).


  1. The Roman Preparatory Prayers.

  2. The Last Gospel (as Rome).

  3. No water in the Chalice.


  1. The use of variable prayers such as the Collect, Secret, and Post-communion instead of variable anaphoras as in the East.
  2. The dislocation of the Canon.
  3. The dating of the Institution 'the day before he suffered' instead of 'the same night that he was betrayed'.
  4. The absence of the Invocation.
  5. The reduction of the Intercession to a few phrases, and the separation of the Intercessions for living and departed.
  6. The position of the Kiss of Peace after the Consecration.
  7. The absence of the deacon's litanies and proclamations.