The name given to those who sought to introduce more elaborate ceremonial into the services of the Anglican Church.
At the time of the breach with Rome, the Church of England retained practically the whole of the current Catholic ceremonial but with the ascendency of Calvinism and Puritanism, much of this was discarded.
One of the results of the revival of Catholic doctrine was the desire for the ancient ceremonial.
This desire was not shared by all the Oxford leaders, but even so their care and reverence in the conduct of service won for them the name Ritualist.
They have made steady progress and today practically all Anglican Churches use a ceremonial far more ornate than the early Ritualists ever suggested.
New Catholic Dictionary