Monday, November 23, 2009

The T.A.C. in W.A.

In the spirit of Pope Benedict's friendly outreach to incoming Anglicans, my mate Rob, himself a fairly recent convert from Anglicanism, who lives in Perth, Western Australia, went along to visit them on Sunday; he sent me this report to pop online:

In an effort to make my ecumenical presence (in the true and proper sense of the word) more visible in regards to the TAC's desire to enter into full communion with the Holy See, this Sunday I attended Evensong and Benediction (for the Feast of Christ the King) at their main place of worship in Perth, the Parish of St Ninian & St Chad's in Maylands.

The congregation was small (about 15, including two other priests), though as this was not their main Mass I was not particularly discouraged by this (from what I've heard Perth's TAC faithful number about 120 in all and are spread out over the metropolis at a few different churches and chapels). Led by an elderly priest, the service was straight from the 1662 BCP and was sung according to Anglican chant. Apart from abbreviated readings (a newer lectionary I supposed) and only one psalm chanted [this has been common ever since the 1872 'Shortened Services' Act (UK) - ed.], there were no additions to the order of service.

Evensong had been sung in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Benediction was some sort of Anglo-Catholic translation of the traditional Roman Rite and was all done very nicely. During adoration, the celebrant, Bp. Harry Enwistle, recited special prayers for unity, especially for their journey towards unity with the Holy See. I liked this as it conformed to my own private prayers which were of a similar intention (for reasons plain to many I was privately refraining from active worship of the Host, though I was certainly joining in such prayers!).

After the service I chatted briefly to Bp. Entwistle and to a few of the faithful. It was all very pleasing to see such an open and cheerful attitude towards unity with the Holy See. What a contrast to the closed-minded spirit of so many liberal Anglicans who regard themselves smarter than the testimony of the ages! Indeed, as I had arrived I'd briefly introduced myself to one of the clergy who had been part of the congregation. I let him know that I was a Catholic visitor and he replied by saying that 'we'll all be that soon', which I thought to be an attitude that typified the spirit of the place.

– Rob

Book of Common Prayer Evensong coram Sanctissimo! Now that's both very Anglican and very Catholic! What sweet revenge on Cranmer, that detestable Zwinglian, to make use of his incomparable prose in such a manner...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love to think of the Thirty Nine Articles which state that the Sacraments must not be 'carried about' or 'gazed upon'!