18,000 Pages of Pre-Schism Western Rite to be Placed Online (Milan Synod)

Update: A central blog’s been made to place links and the ability to see all the uploaded texts here: http://orthodoxengland.blogspot.com

(NFTU) Translations of ancient Latin liturgical texts– having taken more than three decades to complete– of hundreds of complete, pre-schism Western Orthodox services were authorized for online publication and free download by Archbishop John of New York and New Jersey (Milan Synod). The project is being worked on by Holy Name Abbey, which has used the monastic offices of these texts for decades, and approximately 5% of the texts– over 500 pages– are now available online on different pages (The first upload, uploaded last Friday, is linked here). A weblog is being created to navigate through what will eventually be about 18,000 pages of complete Western Orthodox liturgical texts in English.

The texts consist of services that were used by Orthodox in England before the Great Schism, particularly the uses of Sherborne and Worcester. While they are commonly labelled as “Sarum”, “Sarum” is actually a misnomer– in fact the texts predate the Sarum use by about 150 years, and they eventually became an integral part of the Sarum use. In actual fact, the ambitious project will be the first time a completely pre-schism, Orthodox Western Rite will be available online for download and inspection by the Orthodox public. The texts had been sold previously as about 35 large volumes on the Synod’s St Gregory Press website (and still are) but the online distribution will be free to the public to make the ancient Western Orthodox tradition more accessible to the public at large.

We will be interviewing Archbishop John later this week to learn more about this ambitious project and what is motivating him to put the entire text online.