"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012

The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch

Friday 6 November 2015


The ordinariate liturgy is even more splendid in action than it seemed on the page; the Church has absorbed elements of the Anglican patrimony I hadn’t anticipatedOne or two people have asked me how it went: the Oxford ordinariate’s first celebration of the newly authorised ordinariate liturgy, about which I wrote in this week’s print edition of the paper (my piece can be read online).
Well, it was wonderful. The prayers translated by Cranmer from the Sarum liturgy, and even two long prayers actually composed by him, together with important elements of the old Anglo-Catholic English Missal (a Cranmerised version of the Tridentine Mass), all celebrated with great care and devotion, and beautifully sung by a small but expert choir (not a voice in it below professional standards), together with the choice of plainchant settings for introit, gradual and alleluias, and the actual Mass setting itself, was at times breathtakingly beautiful. And it wasn’t just a “sacred concert”, as I have heard High Masses elsewhere described: it was all wonderfully conducive to prayer; truly all celebrated to the glory of God.

by William Oddie
 posted Friday, 6 Dec 2013Catholic Herald

by Monsignor Andrew Burnham

The New Missal for the Ordinariates will enkindle much interest.  Liturgical
scholars will find it a fascinating new addition to the Roman Rite.  Fans of the old English Missal – mainly elderly Anglo-Catholic clergy – will recognise something very similar to what they know.  Enthusiasts for the Latin Mass as celebrated in 1962 – before the full impact of Vatican II on the liturgy – will see much that they value restored.
Many texts recovered

Critics of the 2010 edition of the Roman Missal will seize on some of the more felicitous translations of ancient Latin prayers.  Former Anglicans who loved the Prayer Book Communion Service will be delighted to find many of the texts recovered; the Collect for Purity;
the bits that were sung to Merbecke; the Confession; the Comfortable Words; the Prayer of Humble Access;the Prayer of Thanksgiving. People who used to turn to the texts at the end of the English Hymnal (‘Introits and Other Anthems’, numbers 657-733) will find many of these texts (‘Propers’) in the new Missal and, if we are sensible,
sung once more to the simple tones we used to use, week-by-week.  (They are now on-line as The Anglican Use Gradual).

The English Gradual

Much of what is being recalled is from a very long time ago.  It was the 1960s when we last used to hear the ‘Propers’ of the English Gradual sung in this
fashion.  By the 1970s, most Anglo-Catholics who looked to Rome for liturgical guidance had moved on
to the Missal of Pope Paul VI in one or other dilution.  Some used the Anglican liturgy – Series III (1970) and then Alternative Service Book Rite A (1980) – for everything except the Eucharistic Prayers. Others used the new Roman Missal and Lectionary for everything except the Eucharistic Prayers.  (The
Beckwith-Brindley concoction – the Third Eucharistic Prayer of Rite A – had quite a few Roman phrases init, making it sound a bit like Roman Eucharistic Prayer 2).   Broadly speaking, Anglo-Catholic churches until 1970 seemed rather like Roman Catholic churches, but with the liturgy in English.  More hymns, fewer worship songs; more ceremonial, less informality Anglo-Catholic Churches after 1970 seemed rather like Roman Catholic churches but less folksy and stark.  More hymns, fewer worship songs; more ceremonial,
less informality.  Bastions of the English Missal remained, but they were few and far between. This recollection is perhaps necessary, not least for those who are under 55 and unlikely to have experienced the old way of doing things.  It is quite possible to have been a cradle Anglican and to have grown up without encountering either the ‘old Mass’ or even the Book of Common Prayer Order. In Anglican theological colleges they have to have special Prayer Book celebrations of Holy Communion to ensure that newly-ordained clergy are not bewildered and
incompetent when they have to minister to certain congregations at certain times.
Similarly, some of our younger Ordinariate clergy and lay faithful will be approaching the Divine Worship Missal without having known anything
like it before. Yet it is one of the strange features of our culture that the young are instinctivelymore enthusiastic about the old way of doing things – a way that they never personally experienced – than are the old.  It is the older clergy, and older lay faithful, who may find recovering the   conventions of half a century ago harder to adjust to. 

The Customary
of Our Lady of Walsingham

Some of these conventions are about text.  Those prayers again, including the collects, which have regained familiarity through the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham and that hardy perennial of Ordinariate worship, Evensong and Benediction. 
Other conventions are about how things are done.  It is perfectly possible to celebrate the Ordinariate Missal
with the priest facing the people, over the counter, and in quite a simple way.   
There are traditional language versions of the Jewish table prayers - ‘Blessed art thou, Lord God of all creation...’ (of which more later), and of the Second 
Eucharistic Prayer, based on the so-called Prayer of Hippolytus but, according to the memoirs of Fr Louis
Bouyer, concocted in a Roman trattoria fifty years ago.

ad orientem

What is more striking in the celebration of the Ordinariate Mass is when the priest leads the people in facing East – towards the rising sun – and begins
Mass with what one very senior priest referred to as ‘the nodding donkeys’ (the ministers bowing low to
confess their sins during the Preparation), or finishes with the Last Gospel – the beginning of St John’s
Gospel – not entirely familiar even to elderly Anglocatholic laity because so often, in the old days, it was recited sotto voce during the final

A sung celebration of the Ordinariate Mass – or, indeed, High Mass with three sacred ministers– feels very different from the Roman Mass as we had got used to celebrating it. 

Accessible, helpful and moving

The Divine Worship Missal will not be suitable for every context.  Where Ordinariate Groups form a small part of an existing worshipping congregation,
our Missal would be an imposition or intrusion.   Yet there is plenty of evidence that, encountering an Ordinariate liturgy for the first time,
many find it accessible, and even helpful and moving. 
It was striking, for example, that when the Ordinariate Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Di Noia in Westminster Cathedral in September 2015, the large
congregation, most of whom would have had no familiarity with the rite, were able to join in fully. 

Flourishing Ordinariate congregations

My own guess is that the Divine Worship Missal – indeed Ordinariate liturgy in general - will have three very important results in the life of the English speaking Catholic Church.  
One is that, in time, there will be flourishing Ordinariate congregations which use that liturgy, day by day and week by week. 
A second is that there will be celebrations of the Ordinariate liturgy in many places, from time to time:
a regular mass one weekday, one of the Sunday masses, Evensong and Benediction, a baptism, a wedding, a
A third is that the Ordinariate culture will bleed into the wider Church, and be very influential.  We have
seen something of this already in the influx of former Anglican clergy, particularly over the last quarter
of a century.  This influx has affected the dignity of ceremonial, the choice of music, the re-integration of the English Bible tradition. 

Future revision of the Roman Missal

But what I am thinking of is even wider than that.  Cardinal Robert Sarah, the new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, after the approval of the  Divine Worship Missal, has suggested that a future revision of the Roman Missal might include, as options, three features of the rite which are found in the pre-conciliar Missal but not in the current Roman Missal.  
One of these is what, for fun, we referred to earlier as ‘the nodding donkeys’. 
The second is the traditional Offertory section, in which the extended prayers over the oblations – ancient in origin – were replaced in the Missal of Pope Paul VI by Jewish table blessings.  The Divine Worship Missal includes as alternatives both forms – the traditional
Offertory section (which is said secretly) and the Jewish table blessings.  
The third is the Last Gospel.
What continues to elude me – though I was part of the Anglicanæ Traditiones Commission which produced it – is what the Vatican experts who have promoted the Divine Worship Missal really expect to happen to re-invigorate the worship of the English-speaking world
No one can foretell the future but sometimes I thinkthey are hoping to re-invigorate the worship of the
whole of the English-speaking world with a relaunch of a traditional sacral language for the liturgy.  At other times I perceive a more modest, and yet worthy ambition: to re-integrate the liturgical treasures of the Anglican tradition within the family of the Latin Rite. There are, after all, smaller liturgical groups than the Ordinariates in the Latin Rite.  Fewer will nowadays
experience the Ambrosian rite in Milan or the Mozarabic rite in Toledo.  What, I wonder, will happen within the Providence of God?

Coptic Mass
The liturgy is “above all things the worship of the divine majesty” - Cardinal Sarah

The new Cardiff statue of Our Lady of Walsingham is blessed at Belmont Abbey
Posted on October 20, 2015 by Ordinariate Support Group for Expats in Europe

David Prichard of the Wales (SE area) Ordinariate Group reports that on Sunday 18th October 2015, a group of twenty or so Catholics associated with the Wales (SE) Area Group of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and their guests converged on Belmont Abbey, Herefordshire: this being nearly four years to the day since an Exploration event had been held at the same venue to test the viability of such a Group.
Cardiff's OLW at Belmont Abbey

This latter occasion was therefore joyful: a newly commissioned Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham was presented before the Group in the Abbey Grounds, which was then solemnly blessed and consecrated for use by our Ordinary, Mgr. Keith Newton, in the presence of our Pastor, Fr. Bernard Sixtus.

The Statue – looking resplendent upon a Litter decorated with lilies and other flowers with a Marian theme – was sprinkled with Holy Water from the Well of Penrhys before being incensed with wonderful Walsingham Rose Incense. The Image was then processed solemnly into the beautiful Pugin Abbey Church to the strains of that great Catholic hymn, Immaculate Mary.

At the Narthex the organist launched into Praise to the Holiest (in honour of our Patron, Bd. John Henry Newman) before Mgr. Keith continued with a beautiful celebration of Solemn Mass in accordance with the Ordinariate Rite, a ‘first’ at Belmont Abbey. Mass concluded with the singing of the Angelus whereupon we repaired to Hedley Lodge to enjoy that vital part of our Anglican Patrimony – namely, a convivial Sunday lunch in good company!

Later that afternoon the Image accompanied the Ordinary back to Cardiff, where Mgr. Keith – by invitation of the University Chaplain, the Very Revd. Dr. Gareth Jones – preached at the 6pm Solemn Mass at Newman Hall, the splendid new Catholic Chaplaincy complex at Nazareth House. Such is the success of the Chaplaincy that the designated chapel has been rapidly out grown; therefore the Chaplain and students are accommodated by the Sisters within the superb Nazareth House Chapel (the ‘University Church’) for celebration of Holy Mass. Fr. Jones was most welcoming and wrote, ‘… we are honoured by the presence of Mgr. Newton and members of the Ordinariate who have brought the newly carved and painted Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham to the University Church … let us continue to pray for the conversion of England and Wales to the Apostolic Faith’.

The Image of OLW is now in residence within the University Church until the next Ordinariate Group Mass in November, when it will be translated to the Metropolitan Cathedral of St David, to be installed in the central niche of the Ordinariate Chapel Reredos. This is assuming that we can persuade the Sisters to part with the Image – for they have already expressed their joy and delight at its presence in their midst at Nazareth House!

The holy and venerable Image of Our Lady of Walsingham with the Christ Child is one that is instantly and intrinsically familiar and reassuring to those Catholics who have entered into Full Communion with the Holy See, and those who (for whatever reason) have yet to take this step. We can only hope and pray that all who stand before this tender yet powerful and holy Image may be granted that same encouragement, peace and grace.

In conclusion, we are most grateful for the welcome and hospitality afforded to us by both the Abbot and Benedictine Community of Belmont, and Fr. Gareth Jones of the University Chaplaincy.

Our Lady of Walsingham, Pray for Wales.


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