Good Energies Spread
The liturgy of the Liberal
Catholic Church was written during the final years of World War I. The grim
wartime focus on trying to stay alive was replaced by an explosion in spiritual
growth. The young church with its new liturgy spread quickly: to New Zealand,
Holland, the United States, and Canada.
In 1917, a church council
formally adopted the new liturgy. It also changed the name of the church. The
group would no longer by called the Old Catholic Church. The new name was the
Liberal Catholic Church, or Ecclesia Catholica Libera in Latin. In 2007, the
Universal Catholic Church became an independent entity within the Liberal
One of the new
American priests began work on what would become a valuable reference book for
Liberal Catholic Movement clergy. Published in 1934, Irving Cooper's work, The Book of
Ceremonies of the Liberal Catholic Rite, affectionately known as "The Blue Book" (even
though it was originally distributed in a black binder and is now published in
a variety of colors) added practical technique to the lofty words of the new
liturgy. Cooper's book is every bit as important to Liberal Catholic priests as
Adrian Fortescue's The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described was to priests of the Roman Rite
before Vatican II.
The original work, as well
as a Revised version reflecting the opening of clergy to women amoung other changes, is available through the St. Alban Press Supplies page.
But there's more to the story, for conflicts arose. See the next page.