The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Melismatic Propers for Midnight Mass at Christmas

Many people who attend Anglican Use liturgies are aware of The Anglican Use Gradual, edited by C. David Burt, a fellow congregant of mine at St. Athanasius Parish in Boston. The AUG sets the minor propers of the liturgy (introit, gradual, alleluia, tract, offertory and communion) to simple psalm tones so that even a small schola or choir can chant them. I have heard the chants of the AUG sung not only in Pastoral Provision and Ordinariate parishes, but even in regular Roman Rite parishes.

Mr. Burt's gradual was the first English language gradual to appear for Catholic use, although there are now many others available, thanks to the work of folks like the hard working people at Corpus Christi Watershed.

But The Anglican Use Gradual remains the best suited for the Divine Worship liturgy, as it has congruent language, the texts being taken from the Coverdale psalter and the King James and Revised Standard translations of the Scriptures.

Over the years, we have published additions to the gradual in Anglican Embers, adapting the melismatic tones found in the Solemnes books and chants from the Sarum tradition. These are available on the Anglican Embers page at the Anglican Use Society web site, but here's a link to an appropriate one, the Midnight Mass propers for Christmas, published in our Advent 2010 issue:

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Catholicism of Henry VIII

It is doubtful that Henry Tudor thought he was changing the faith of his realm when he wrested control of the English Church from its natural obedience to the Holy See. In his will, he provided for two Masses to be said daily for his repose; only one of that will's provisions that wouldn't be carried out, as the regents of his son Edward began the purge of Catholicism from the English Church before his body was cold!
We have five articles in Anglican Embers dealing with the first centuries of Anglicanism, and the struggle for Catholic faith in England, which, despite the hierarchical separation that was made permanent after Elizabeth I's accession, was never complete as long as there were members of the faithful who clung to their faith.
The first of these was published in volume 1, number 12 (Advent 2006), and bears the same title as this post. Especially for those who haven't spent much time looking at the history, these may prove to be helpful.
Find the article at:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Voices from the Patrimony on the Psalms

One of the positive achievements of the reformers in the Church of England was the renewal of the daily office in parish life. The combination of Matins and Lauds into Morning Prayer and of Vespers and Compline into Evening Prayer (a situation that was commonly done de facto in many English parishes and cathedrals at the time) in the Book of Common Prayer, and the canonical requirement for pastors to recite the offices in the parish church daily brought this important liturgical element once more into the daily lives of Christians. Far from being only an Anglican concern, the renewal of daily liturgical prayer was also frequently urged by Popes and Councils.
On the Anglican Embers page at the Anglican Use Society site ( we have made available two articles in our "From the Anglican Patrimony" series. The first is from the writings of William Law, who was a nonjuror and mystic in 18th century England. His classic book A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life influenced many readers, including John and Charles Wesley, William Wilberforce and John Henry Newman. This selection from Law's work "On the Singing of Psalms" ( gets to the heart of the importance of the psalms in Christian worship, and the psalms are, of course, the heart of the Divine Office. This except from Law's work was published in our Lent 2010 issue.

The second article is by Canon Charles Winfrid Douglas, an erudite and key Anglican clergyman of 20th century America, who was chief editor of the Episcopal Church's new hymnal in 1918 and one of the editors of The Hymnal 1940. Canon Douglas' article "The Importance of the Psalter in Worship" (…) is from his The Hale Lectures. Church Music in History and Practice: Studies in the Praise of God. Here again, we are instructed in a short but wise essay on the value of the psalter to our daily prayer. Canon Douglas' article was published in our Pentecost 2012 issue.

(Cross-posted on the Facebook page of the Anglican Use Society.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Anglican Patrimony and the New Evangelization

For those who have not visited the web site of the Anglican Use Society (, please do! 

The page devoted to Anglican Embers ( has several free articles, and more will be made available in the coming months.

Yesterday we released "The Anglican Patrimony and the New Evangelization" by Msgr. John Jay Hughes. Msgr. Hughes article was published in the Advent 2012 issue of Anglican Embers, and is based on a talk he delivered at that year's Anglican Use Society conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Vatican lifts ban on married priests for Eastern Catholics in diaspora

Not exactly about the Ordinariates or Pastoral Provision, but this has relevance all the same. I wrote about the situation with the Ruthenians in my article "Whither the Anglican Use in the Catholic Church?" in the Lent 2006 issue of Anglican Embers; that article was also included as a chapter in the book Anglicanism and the Roman Catholic Church: Recent Developments.

  • November 17, 2014
VATICAN CITY - The Vatican has lifted its ban on the ordination of married men to the priesthood in Eastern Catholic churches outside their traditional territories, including in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Pope Francis approved lifting the ban, also doing away with the provision that, in exceptional cases, Eastern Catholic bishops in the diaspora could receive Vatican approval to ordain married men. In recent years, however, some Eastern Catholic bishops went ahead with such ordinations discreetly without Vatican approval.
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, signed the decree June 14. It was published later online in the "Acta Apostolicae Sedis," the official periodical through which Vatican laws and decisions are published.
The new law says the pope concedes to Eastern Catholic bishops outside their traditional territory the faculties to "allow pastoral service of Eastern married clergy" and "to ordain Eastern married candidates" in their eparchies or dioceses, although they must inform the local Latin-rite bishop in writing "in order to have his opinion and any relevant information."
"We are overjoyed with the lifting of the ban," Melkite Bishop Nicholas Samra of Newton, Mass., told Catholic News Service in a Nov. 15 email.
The Vatican decree explained that in response to the "protests" of the Latin-rite bishops in the United States, in 1890 the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples prohibited married Ruthenian priests from living in the United States. And in 1929-30, the Congregation for Eastern Churches extended the ban to all Eastern-rite priests throughout North America, South America and Australia.
The 1929 prohibition, known as "Cum data fuerit," had significant repercussions for the Eastern Catholic churches in the United States. Cardinal Sandri's decree noted that soon after the law was promulgated, "an estimated 200,000 Ruthenian faithful became Orthodox."
Ruthenian Bishop John Kudrick of Parma, Ohio, told CNS Nov. 16 that he sees the end to imposed celibacy for Eastern priests in the diaspora as an acknowledgement of the Eastern churches' "obligation to maintain their integrity" and "of the right of the various churches to equal responsibility of evangelization throughout the world."
"The world needs the church in its fullness," he said, adding he believes the "change of policy results from the longstanding experience of married priests in the Western world, especially the Orthodox, but also Eastern Catholic."
Bishop Kudrick said Eastern churches in the diaspora have a responsibility to minister to new immigrants, who are accustomed to married priests.
"Because of the dual responsibilities to maintain continuity with our past and to reach out to the society to which we are called, some degree of freedom is necessary," he said...
Read the rest at The Catholic Regsiter

Saturday, November 15, 2014

RIP: Servant of God Jerry McGreevy

I am saddened to report that George Gerald (Jerry) McGreevy, long-time treasurer of the Anglican Use Society and a founding member of St. Thomas More Catholic Parish in Scranton, died on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 in Palm Beach County, Florida, where he had resided for the past 16 months. He was instrumental in the establishment of the mission of St. Thomas More to reconcile our separated brethren to Holy Mother Church, accompanying Fr. Eric Bergman on many trips to share with others the work of their community of converts to the Faith. 
Jerry (right) with my family on his visit to Boston.

I met Jerry when he accompanied Fr. Bergman to Boston so that he could have his initial evaluation with the faculty at St. John's Seminary, which was the faculty that worked with Pastoral Provision clergy candidates at the time. Jerry stayed with us in Brockton, and it was the beginning of a warm friendship. He returned the hospitality when David Burt and I stayed with him when we attended the first annual Anglican Use Conference in Scranton in 2005. Jerry was received into the Church and confirmed later that year, along with more than 30 others, on All Saints Eve in 2005. 

While he will be buried in Florida, a Requiem Mass for Jerry will be offered on Saturday, December 6 at 10 AM at St. Joseph Church in Scranton, with a pot luck lunch in the Parish Hall to follow. Please mark this date on your calendars and make every effort to assist at this Mass, offered for the repose of the soul of one of God's faithful servants.

Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord,
And let light perpetual shine upon him.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed
Through the mercy of God rest in peace.

Mount Calvary choir to sing at Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

On St. Nicholas Day, December 6th at 6 pm.  The choir of Mount Calvary Church This will continue its collaborative efforts with the Mother Seton Shrine and St. Mary's Spiritual Center. Their choir will be singing at shrine, which is 2 1/2 blocks away from the church on Paca Street in Baltimore.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

St. Luke's Ordinariate Community to Offer Advent Lessons and Carols on December 7th

The Washington, DC Ordinariate community of St. Luke's, which calls Immaculate Conception Church its home in the city, will hold a service of Advent Lessons & Carols on December 7th at 7:30 pm. Music will include Gregorian Chant, Palestrina, Poulenc, Rachmaninoff, and more. Vist for more information.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Anglican Use Community Welcomed To New Home On All Souls Day

Father Ernie Davis, leader of Kansas City’s Our Lady of Hope Anglican Use Roman Catholic community, celebrates Mass on All Soul’s Day at the community’s new home, Our Lady of Sorrows Parish next to Crown Center.

By Kevin Kelly, Catholic Key Associate Editor

KANSAS CITY — It was a stunning question to open a homily, and one that had more than one answer.
“What in the world are we doing here?” Father Ernie Davis asked his congregation of Catholics who in 2008 came into full communion with Rome as one former Anglican community.
Yes, they were celebrating Mass for the first time in their new home, Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, adjacent to Crown Center.
Yes, though still small in number, they still dream big and of one day becoming a full parish in the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, an organizational structure established by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for united Catholics from the Anglican, Episcopalian and Methodist traditions to celebrate unity while retaining their adapted prayers and liturgy.
But what a day for all this to happen. All Souls’ Day. Anathema to the European and English Reformations of five centuries ago.
“Praying for the dead? Mass for the departed?” Father Davis told his congregation. “This was done away with 500 years ago. It was the first thing that was erased in the English Reformation. We would have been thrown in jail,” he said...

Read the rest at The Catholic Key.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


STONEHAM, MA — 2014 marks the hundredth anniversary of the start of the conflict originally called the Great War or the War to End All Wars; from 1919 until 1954 “Veterans Day” was “Armistice Day” because World War One ended on November 11, 1918. To commemorate both these events a Solemn High Requiem Mass with a Special Intention for all touched by war, especially the dead of the Great War, 1914 – 1918, will be celebrated by Saint Gregory the Great Ordinariate Catholic Church Tuesday, November 11th at 7:30 PM at Saint Patrick’s Church, 9 Pomeworth Street, Stoneham. All are invited to attend; a reception will follow.
Traditional black vestments will be worn by the Priest, Deacon, and Subdeacon; the solemn Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) will be chanted (no longer required at funeral Masses, it is now more familiar from its use in Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and many, many horror films); and a selection of the hymns chosen for the interments of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey (in 1920) and the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery (in 1921) will be sung to organ accompaniment. The vestments, ceremonial, and many of the prayers will be familiar to older Catholics or those who attend the Traditional Latin Mass; however the prayers won’t be in Latin but Elizabethan English, for this Mass will be in the Ordinariate Use, a unique liturgy approved by the Vatican in 2013.

The Ordinariate is a new element of the Catholic Church set up by Pope Benedict in 2009 as a response to requests from groups of Anglicans and Episcopalians around the world who (like Stoneham’s parishioners at Saint Gregory the Great) wanted to undo Henry VIII's break with Rome while retaining elements of their 500-year heritage. Many distinctive features of the Requiem Mass on November 11th in the Ordinariate Use will be the result of this unique, centuries-long blending of Catholic and Anglican traditions. Saint Gregory the Great has been warmly received by Stoneham’s Pastor Mario Orrigo and the people of Saint Patrick’s parish, where the young community has made its home since July.
As he prays for all those touched by war Saint Gregory’s Pastor, Jürgen Liias, will be praying for his own parents’ souls as well, for their lives were shattered by World War Two. Born in Germany after the war he came to the United States with his mother and father — a German and an Estonian — as Displaced Persons in 1952; they were given a home at an Episcopal Rectory in Charlestown. During almost three decades of his 40-year career as an Episcopal parish priest in the Boston area he was drawn towards Catholicism; the creation of the Ordinariate convinced him the moment to become a Catholic had arrived. He entered the Church as a layman and was Ordained a Catholic Priest of the Ordinariate in 2012.
Saint Gregory the Great offers a weekly Mass in the Ordinariate Use incorporating the Consecration and Offertory Prayers of the Traditional Latin Mass and some of the most beloved prayers from the Book of Common Prayer, all in reverent and beautiful Elizabethan English. Much of the Mass is sung, including traditional hymns with organ; lasts about an hour and a quarter; and is celebrated with Priest and People facing East. Coffee and light refreshments follow. Ordinariate Use Catholic Mass. Every Sunday, 9:30 AM; Saint Patrick’s lower church, 9 Pomeworth Street, Stoneham. For further information, visit or write