THE SARUM USE
If two Ritualists happen to meet in the street, before long their conversation will turn to something called the “Sarum Use.” As far as our agents have been able to determine, this term refers to a long-dead tradition of idolatrous liturgical customs practiced by dyspeptic monks and scrofulous abbots during the darkest years of the Middle Ages. As its name suggests, the Sarum use is named after the evil wizard Saruman in the medieval epic The Lord of the Rings, which gives some idea of the contempt in which these corrupt traditions were held by the common people of England.
With the advent of Ritualism, a movement to recover the Sarum liturgical tradition was launched. Dyspeptic medievalists and scrofulous paleographers descended into the deepest recesses of our cathedral libraries and emerged with moth-eaten tomes detailing the customs of their medieval forebears. Long-forgotten details of the Sarum liturgical tradition were unearthed from their deserved obscurity and brought into use in ritualist parishes, where even the immortal words of Archbishop Cranmer are yoked to the most hateful practices of the Sarum ceremonial that it was his life’s work to destroy.
Among ritualists it is a matter of some controversy whether their ceremonial should follow the corrupt idolatry of medieval Sarum or the corrupt idolatry of Baroque Romanism. The loyal churchman will resist both with equal fervour, because even after long study he is unable to tell the difference.