The new text has been devised for use by Ordinariates throughout the English-speaking world as a way of putting into practice Pope Benedict XVI’s vision of allowing former Anglicans who wish to enter the full communion of the Catholic Church to do so whilst retaining aspects of their spiritual and liturgical traditions. Benedict XVI described these as “precious gifts” and “treasures to be shared”.
The new liturgy — the work of a special commission established by Rome and now approved by the Holy See — includes material from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer (1662) as well as the Roman Rite. It will be unveiled with a Mass followed by a media launch at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, Soho.
The Mass will be celebrated by the Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Monsignor Keith Newton, and the preacher will be Monsignor Andrew Burnham, Assistant to the Ordinary and a member of the commission which devised the Use. Music, drawn entirely from the English tradition, will include Howells’ Collegium Regale.
Mgr Burnham said: “For some time, the Ordinariate has had its own liturgy, approved by the Holy See, for marriages and funerals and the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham already provides a daily office in the Anglican tradition. But the introduction of this new Ordinariate Use is very important because it means that we now have our own distinctive liturgy for the Mass which brings to the Roman rite beautiful Anglican words which have been hallowed for generations. It gives the Ordinariate unity and a corporate identity.”
The Roman Rite in both its ordinary and extraordinary forms remains available for use by Ordinariate priests and there will be no requirement for them to adopt the Ordinariate Use. However, all Ordinariate clergy will be expected to familiarise themselves with it. Some priests are expected to use it regularly, while others – especially in parishes with a large concentration of “cradle” Catholics in the congregation – may only wish to use it from time to time.
The Mass will be celebrated in Our Lady of the Assumption & St Gregory’s Church at 6.30pm on Thursday 10 October. All welcome.
(Poster image: ‘Blessed John Henry Newman’ by the artist Stephen B Whatley — painted on the day of Blessed John Henry’s beatification. Reproduced by kind permission. More details: Stephen B Whatley; Flickr)