Learning to respect our Catholic tradition through the Ordinariate

Picture 1Writing in the latest edition of the Friends of the Ordinariate Newsletter (Eastertide / Summer 2014), the acclaimed organist and composer, Colin Mawby, discusses the great gifts the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is bringing to the wider Catholic Church. He also writes of the ways in which “Catholic musicians can be of assistance” in fusing traditional Catholic music with the Ordinariate’s Anglican musical heritage.

Among other things, Mawby highlights in his article the “unequalled musical tradition” of the Anglicanism from which the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham comes. “Anglicans”, he writes, “respect their music and musicians, unfortunately, most Catholics do not! If we could imitate this attitude of respect the Ordinariate would have an extraordinary effect on Catholic music.”

Writing of how the Ordinariate embodies the best of both Anglican and Catholic, Colin Mawby writes: “The most important thing to learn from the Ordinariate is how to show respect for our great tradition. Most of our heritage has been cast aside – iconoclasm on a vast scale. When Catholics develop the same respect for their music as the Anglicans have for theirs a great step forward will have been taken, a step that could well lead to the reintroduction of much that has been lost. Cross-fertilization of our two traditions can only result in a progressive and welcome development of our liturgical music.”

The composer also refers to English “sacral language” as an area in which members of the wider Catholic Church in England and Wales may be helped by the Ordinariate. “The King James Bible, Coverdale’s translation of the psalms and Cranmer’s fine prose are of great spiritual and literary value”, he writes. “Listening to the prophecies of Isaiah in the noble language of the King James Bible is infinitely preferable to hearing them read in the matter of fact words of the Jerusalem version.”

Writing of the “highly eccentric modes of celebration” which the Mass of the Roman Rite has recently been subjected to, Mawby suggests that the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, as a structure that unifies the best in the liturgical worship of two fine traditions, might lead to a Catholic “liturgy that offers beauty and simplicity, a worthy and viable antidote to the rampant secularism that infects English society.”

Also in the current issue of the Newsletter is an article by the blogger Fr Timothy Finigan, in which he discusses the way in which the Personal Ordinariate is enriching the life of diocesan parishes. In a wide-ranging and original paper, Anthony Delarue discusses the exact nature of the Anglican Patrimony, while Edmund Matyjaszek sees a parallel with the Ordinariate in the history of the National Shrine at Walsingham, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.

To read the Eastertide / Summer edition of the Newsletter, please click on the image above or follow the links below:

Friends of the Ordinariate Newsletter (Eastertide / Summer 2014, pdf)

Friends of the Ordinariate Newsletter (as found on our Miscellanea page)