Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Inner Anglican: The Urge to “Verge”

With the recent wave of conversions of traditionally-minded Anglicans to communion with Rome, the Western church may benefit from traditions which are particular to the northern end of our heritage. One of them is mentioned specifically by Father Adrian Fortescue in his essential guide Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described, and that is the role of the verger. This role basically combines those of a sacristan and "shadow" master of ceremonies, but has seen little if any role in the Roman liturgy over the centuries.

The verger is deserving of attention by those interested in the future of tradition in Catholic worship, as it provides a single, and proactive role, for one specifically dedicated to enabling its preservation.

Charles Williams is the Dean's Verger at Saint Paul's (Anglican) Cathedral in London. Here he provides the address for the Fourth Sunday of Advent. He also explains the role of the vergers in preparing the services and events that take place at the cathedral.

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