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The Use of Sarum

The Church of Salisbury shines as the sun in its orb among the Churches of the whole world in its divine service and those who minister it, and by spreading its rays everywhere makes up for the defects of others.

Bishop Giles de Bridport c.1256


This page has been around for about eight years, during which quite a lot of water flowed under the bridge. In 2005, I joined the TAC directly under Archbishop Hepworth’s Patrimony of the Primate and attended the College of Bishops meeting in Portsmouth in October 2007, officially as a translator. Bishop Peter Elliott, an Australian Roman Catholic prelate and former Anglican, encouraged hopes that Sarum would at least be an option in the yet future Ordinariates. Disillusioned in late 2011 and 2012 and “orphaned” by the Archbishop’s downfall, I did not apply to the Ordinariate but joined the ACC in April 2013. At this stage, I separate my work of reviving the Use of Sarum from my ecclesiastical title as a priest. I celebrate the Use of Sarum with the blessing of my Bishop, but it is not my Church’s official rite.

Time has shaped and developed my essential philosophy of this question, my attitude in regard to liturgical codification and reform as was characteristic of the Reformation;, the Counter-Reformation and the Liturgical Movement of the twentieth century. I go into these considerations in my introduction, because Sarum and other historical local rites are not for me a mere subject of academic study.

The question of reviving the present-day use of the Sarum liturgy is one of both love and hate. Most Anglicans and Roman Catholics, especially English and American, have been trained that positive law and authority outweigh jurisprudence and immemorial custom. There is also the notion that a custom falls if it is not maintained continuously, leaving only the 1570-1962 Roman liturgy, the Novus Ordo, the various Anglican Prayer Books or the new or experimental service books containing creations by liturgical “experts”. For me and a few others, there is a true need to revive medieval liturgical usages in the same spirit as the rites of Milan, the Dominicans, Rouen and the prevailing situation in France up to the mid nineteenth century (some remnants of local usages survived in areas like Normandy until the 1990’s).

There is no prospect of any large-scale revival of Sarum, even in the Continuing Anglican Churches. It will be gone again when I “kick the bucket” and my own use of it is irrelevant since I do not have a stable community of clerics and lay people. The greatest hope is continuing the work of university dons in the mid nineteenth century, men like Percy Dearmer and those who were influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement that fell into irrelevance on the outbreak of World War I. This site is intended to help keep the pot simmering, as is the purpose of some sites to which I link.    

Sarum liturgical books are hard to find, and when they do turn up as rare books in second-hand bookshops, the asking price is often high. The Latin edition by Dickinson and the English editions by Warren and Pearson are available from the Internet in pdf format. It suffices to collate the pages into a DTP programme and bind the books. Work is being done to publish Sarum texts and the plainchant books for both the Mass and the Office.

This part of my site is dedicated to promoting the Use of Sarum and helping readers to understand its significance in the Anglican patrimony as a liturgical standard for supplementing familiar Anglican rites and usages, the Prayer Book in particular.

I will add files to this page from time to time, and will also collate valuable material from my Sarum e-mail list and its archives.


Facebook groups

Use of Sarum with 448 members as of September 2016. Another group worth joining is Medieval Catholicism and Culture with 2,569 members.


Blog posts on Sarum and Liturgy

·         Sarum

·         Liturgy 

Major Resources

·         The Sarum Rite by Dr William Renwick. This is a monumental ongoing project of making the Sarum Missal and Breviary, complete with the plainsong notation from the Gradual and Antiphoner, available for practical use and study. These books are being done both in Latin and classical English. This site also contains a liturgical calendar for each year following the Gregorian computation. All pages can be downloaded in pdf format.

·         Vitrearum's Medieval Art – “Articles, links and features about all aspects of medieval and medieval revival church art.” Rev’d Allan Barton.

·         My own ongoing project of compiling a complete Sarum missal designed to be practical at the altar (keeping cross references to a minimum). The translation is that of Canon Warren (see below) and the King James Bible for the lessons, epistles and gospels. These are unfinished compilations in Word (doc) format: Temporal and Sanctoral. These texts may be copied into booklets or other formats as needed. I have just added the Order of Mass in its full version with the rubrics and a simplified version for use at the altar which presumes that the priest has learned the ceremonies.

Most of the links below from open pages with available texts (no longer under copyright) in various formats including pdf or text format for re-editing and printing.

·         Sarum Missal in English (Warren) Vol. 1

·         Sarum Missal in English (Warren) Vol. 2

·         Sarum Missal in English (Pearson)

·         Lectionary for the Sarum Missal in English (King James Bible)

·         Sarum Missal in Latin (Dickinson)

·         The Use Of Sarum: I. The Sarum Customs As Set Forth In The Consuetudinary And Customary

·         The Use Of Sarum: II. The Ordinal And Tonal

·         The Sarum Breviary 1

·         The Sarum Breviary 2

·         The Sarum Breviary 3

·         Processionale ad usum insignis ac praeclarae ecclesiae Sarum

·         The Pie

·         The Ancient Liturgy of the Church of England, According to the Uses of Sarum, York, Hereford, Willam Maskell

·         J. Wickham Legg, Tracts on the Mass

·         Manuale et processionale ad usum insignis ecclesiae Eboracensis

·         Ceremonies and processions of the Cathedral Church of Salisbury

·         Search for anything connected with Sarum (different degrees of relevance)


Videos and Practical

·         Tutorial Video for Low Mass

·         Video of Low Mass

·         High Mass at St Thomas, Toronto part 1. See other parts on Youtube

·         High Mass (Purification 1997 at Merton College, Oxford)

·         Photos of the York Use at All Saints, North Street

·         English Lenten Array photos

·         Instructions for Low Mass - taken from the Pearson English version


Further reflections

Please note, as mentioned above, these “reflections” were written in 2011-2012 when I was in the TAC and Archbishop Hepworth’s situation was not yet clear. There were still naïve hopes that Anglicanorum coetibus would involve the corporate union of the TAC with Rome in spite of Archbishop Hepworth’s irregular situation as a former Roman Catholic priest and being divorced and remarried. Having left the TAC to join the ACC, I am no longer thinking in that perspective (the Ordinariates are what they are), but I see little point in rewriting these articles. We all change as circumstances force us to evolve and learn in life.

·         Sarum: Answers to a Few Difficulties

·         Sarum Missal in English

·         The Future Liturgy of an Anglican Ordinariate: Why not Sarum?

·         The Hermeneutic of Continuity in Anglicanism and the Reform of the Reformation

·         Four Riddel Posts Do Not Constitute the Sarum Rite

·         Unity from Diversity


To study the Use of Sarum

I recommend the following links to articles about Sarum (academic and historical):


·         New Advent Encyclopaedia article

·         Article by Canon J. Robert Wright

·         Order of Mass in Latin

·         The Sarum Missal - a good link for the Latin and English texts for the Order of Mass

·         Russian Orthodox version

·         A link with some pictures of Dearmer style / Sarum altars

·         The Easter Sepulcre Ceremony

·         Wikipedia also has a good article -

·         New Liturgical Movement articles on the Use of Sarum

·         Sarum and Parisian Liturgical Colours


Files to copy onto your hard disk

Right button of your mouse - Save target as...

·         Church of Sarum - uncorrected scan of a 19th century translation of the Order of Mass with explanation

·         J. Wickham Legg version of the Latin Sarum Missal (uncorrected scan and quite garbled)

·         Another Order of Mass in Latin

·         Masses of the Dead in Latin (Dickinson)

·         Compline in English I

·         Compline in English II

·         Order of Mass in Latin of the York Use


Practical Sarum Revival work - Victorian Ritualism and in our own time : links to choral groups, interested laymen and priests

Victorian Ritualist era

[Note: Percy Dearmer did not attempt to revive the Use of Sarum, but to adapt the Prayer Book by the introduction of Sarum customs.]

·         English or Roman Use? by E. G. P. Wyatt, MA - the 19th century Ritualist attempt at reviving the Sarum Use in the Anglican Church

·         Percy Dearmer (1867-1936)

·         Project Canterbury article on Percy Dearmer

·         Percy Dearmer's The Parson's Handbook

·         The Alcuin Club

·         Anglican Ritualism - to some extent favoured the revival of Sarum


·         The Sarum choral group's website

·         Sarum Mission - an Anglican lay initiative

·         Fr. Finnegan on the canonical status of the Sarum Use in the RC Church (this priest celebrated the famous Sarum Masses in Oxford back in 1997.

·         Sarum Candelmas - first of a series

·         Real Liturgy as seen through Sarum

·         Sarum Mass in Scotland

·         The Tallis Scholars recording of the Missa in Gallicantu

·         Medieval Mass reconstruction - not Sarum but an old Danish use