Crafting a Liturgy
Leaving Bishop King in charge of day-to-day activities in England, Bishop Wedgwood took to the seas again. Back in Sydney, Australia, he met his old friend, Charles Leadbeater. They talked about the group's new freedom from any parent organization and about the kinds of things a mystical Christian church could accomplish.
On July 22, 1916, Bishop Wedgwood welcomed his old friend into the new church. Leadbeater had been ordained as an Anglican priest years before. He was baptised, confirmed, and given minor and major orders through priest, all conditionally. He was consecrated a bishop of the new Church on July 22, 1916. Bishop Leadbeater was given regional authority over all of Oceania.
More importantly, the two bishops began working together on the liturgy. Although they both wanted to update the rituals, they did not want to break with the past completely. The new church was to be an evolution of the old liturgy. It was not going to be a radical break with tradition: the goal was to modify the ancient liturgy of the catholic church but make it more mystical. This work lasted two years, mainly in Sydney, Australia. The two often worked into the night. Relying on prayer and each man's study of world religions, they kept the heart of the old liturgy but let its soul evolve into something new and grand.
In 1917, the first version of the new liturgy was printed in London. This first printing contained only the Holy Eucharist. It would be another two year's work to complete all the liturgies. The first complete set of rituals was printed in 1919 in Sydney. This First Edition is available in a facsimile reprint from the St. Alban Press.
Gone were the gruesome references that had been added by the Roman Rite over the centuries. Gone were references to eternal damnation. They were replaced with strains of hope, of charity, of partnership with God. All those negative references and threats were replaced by an outflowing of power and love, for those present at the liturgy and for the entire world.
The next page shows the structure of our Mass.