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

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ex-Anglicans break out of the ghetto

Thanks to Pope Francis the ordinariate is no longer only for former Anglicans
By William Oddie
Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Recently it was, for various reasons, not possible for my wife and me to get to Mass on Sunday, so we looked around for a Saturday evening vigil Mass. Our nearest happened to be the weekly Sunday Mass of the Oxford area ordinariate.

We went to that. I had never attended an ordinariate Mass and was looking forward to experiencing the new ordinariate liturgy. I was therefore a little disappointed that, since the newly authorised liturgy was still being carefully rolled out, what was actually still being celebrated was the Novus Ordo in English. I sometimes have a certain sense of being flattened by this liturgy, even in the new translation. I know the Mass is the Mass; all the same, I am used to the Novus Ordo in the form of the Latin High Mass at the Oxford Oratory: enough said.

One of the things that often irritates me about the Novus Ordo in English as a sung Mass is the way so many parishes sing it to a setting cooked up by some member of the congregation (who has often written nothing else), rather than to a more widely used and recognisable setting. This seems to me to be (literally) the most blatant congregationalism; it’s a most un-Catholic practice. Why not to a plainsong setting? Cradle Catholics have the extraordinary notion that plainsong can only be sung in Latin, that only Latin fits the notes. But there are plenty of notes, and Anglo-Catholics have known for years that most plainsong settings can be fitted to English translations perfectly well.

Anyway, the new ordinariate liturgy is being gradually introduced, I learned, during the week, and in Oxford the first Sunday Mass for which it will be used will be Advent Sunday. I will certainly be there: not only because the new liturgy itself (of which more anon) seems to me potentially thrilling. It is because of the way I know it will be celebrated: with the same care and reverence and great beauty that the Novus Ordo was celebrated when I went to the ordinariate Mass earlier this month...

Read the entire post in The Catholic Herald.

Hat tip to Mary Ann Mueller.

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