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

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Choral Evensong & Benediction

At the Anglican Use congregation of St. Athanasius in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, a regular feature of devotional life is Choral Evensong and Benediction. For the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul the congregation celebrated this office of prayer in the chapel of their host parish, St. Theresa of Avila on Sunday, June 28. Because the chaplain, Fr. Richard Bradford had to be out of town, the service was led by Fr. James O'Driscoll of Holy Family parish in Rockland, Mass. and Deacon Michael Connolly of the Armenian Catholic Church, both regular attendees and assistants at the Anglican Use services.

A schola of 4 provided the lead for the congregational singing, which featured hymns and psalms sung according to Anglican Chant. After Evensong concluded, Fr. O'Driscoll preached on the priesthood of Christ and the ordained priesthood, for which Pope Benedict XVI has proclaimed a special holy year.

Following the sermon, the office of Benediction was prayed.

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