Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Brisbane Ordinariate Ordinations

Praise the Lord: two more men to be ordained priests for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.  The Ordinariate's official website states:
Your prayers are asked for Lyall Cowell and Antony Iball to be ordained priest, and for Stephen Hill to be ordained to the transitional diaconate, in St Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane, on the evening of the Feast of St Luke, Thursday October 18th 2012.
The ordinations will be conducted by the Most Reverend Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane, on behalf of the Very Reverend Harry Entwistle, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.
A quick check of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia's directory reveals that Antony Iball is currently curate at the ACCA's Patmos House Community in  Brisbane; I assume the others are also associated with the same – certainly a 2011 report lists Stephen Hill as "the youngest priest of the TAC" and also as a curate there.  There is a Padre Lyall Cowell listed as an Anglican Army chaplain... so he may come, not from the TAC, but from the Brisbane Anglican diocese.

Patmos House was for some time in the care of Bp David Chislett, prior to his leaving the ACCA a year or more ago.  Is the Patmos House Community of lay faithful to enter the Ordinariate en bloc?  Pray that it be so.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ordinariate Low Mass

Having been glad to attend Sunday worship at Holy Cross, South Caulfield, with the new Ordinariate parish based there, I determined to come back on Monday evening the 10th of September for the advertised 7 pm Mass, which was to be Fr Seton's first as a Catholic priest and sole celebrant – he had announced that it would be a Votive of the Holy Ghost, in thanksgiving for priesthood.  This late evening Mass was also very convenient for me, since I spent Monday visiting both Ballarat and Bendigo, following the route of the upcoming Christus Rex Pilgrimage between those cities in order to further familiarize myself with it, and so I drove the better part of four hundred kilometres!

The evening Mass was to be followed at 8 pm by the weekly meeting of the Ordinariate Discussion Group, but of course I didn't stay on for that; I was a little surprised that so few attended the Mass before it however: apart from Father and his two adult servers, there were only four communicants present.  Clearly the servers are used to serving at Mass ad orientem: since the credence table was on the right side of the sanctuary (as seen from the nave), but they had to go to the left side of the altar to bring up the cruets, etc., they seemed a bit puzzled as how to best move around the sanctuary.  I sympathized, as I remember having the same problem in the Lithuanian Chapel under St Peter's Basilica, where Fr Rowe said Mass at an altar at which – as at Holy Cross – it was impossible to celebrate facing liturgical east.

Mass took about forty minutes (there was no singing nor sermon, unfortunately – I must still look forward to hearing Fr Seton preach, good preaching being of course an element of Anglican Patrimony that the whole Church is desperately in need of receiving – but, luckily, no collection: I had heard horror stories of Anglicans taking up collections even at weekday services). The minor propers used, as also the readings and orations, were all, of course, in honour of the Holy Ghost; the service was seemingly that found in the existing Book of Divine Worship for Catholics of the Anglican Use (presently undergoing revision in a more traditional direction – I believe the Roman commission looking after this is called Anglicanæ Traditiones, significantly enough.)

There is something very fine about beginning Mass with the Collect for Purity, especially in this case:
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen. 
(This is one prayer that I myself have taken to heart, repeating it in my private prayers morning and night, and before Mass.)

Similarly, before the Offertory, to hear the Invitation "Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins...", to join in the general confession with its sobering words, and to hear the words of the absolution pronounced is to benefit greatly from the real treasures of the Anglican Patrimony, now brought into full union with the Catholic Church.  As David Schütz said to me, the average Catholic doesn't think about sin in the way that the Anglican general confession talks about it – but should:
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, maker of all things, judge of all men: We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we from time to time most grievously have committed, by thought, word, and deed, against thy divine Majesty, provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; the remembrance of them is grievous unto us, the burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee in newness of life, to the honor and glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Again, how good to hear the longer Anglican version of the Preface of the Holy Ghost! I quote now from the 1662 BCP, as I have it to hand – though I am unsure whether this was the exact wording employed at Mass – since its words are so very apposite for such recently-received persons as the celebrant and his flock:
It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God, through Jesus Christ our Lord; according to whose most true promise, the Holy Ghost came down as at this time from heaven, with a sudden great sound, as it had been a mighty wind, in the likeness of fiery tongues, lighting upon the Apostles, to teach them, and to lead them to all truth; giving them both the gift of divers languages, and also boldness with fervent zeal constantly to preach the gospel unto all nations; whereby we have been brought out of darkness and error into the clear light and true knowledge of thy Son Jesus Christ. Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name; evermore praising thee, and saying, 
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory: Glory be to thee, O Lord most High. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
(The Sanctus of course included the Benedictus at this Mass, which is why I quote it here, despite not being in the 1662.)

The Roman Canon and the other prayers of the Mass were beautiful in their sacral English wording.  But to my mind best of all (unfortunately, it had not been used at the Sunday Mass) at the point just before Communion when the server at a Low Mass would say the Third Confiteor (as Fr Rowe prefers), Fr Seton's servers instead led us in the Prayer of Humble Access:
We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.
Communion was distributed to all under both kinds, all kneeling.

All said, apart from some few differences (above all, being in sacral English rather than in Latin), the service was closer in reverence, ethos and structure to the EF Low Mass one may find in the next suburb (at St Aloysius) than to the OF otherwise found in average parishes.  As a confirmed Traddie, I would have liked it if the prayers at the foot of the altar, the Last Gospel and such other EF devotions had been read at this Mass, but truly I can hardly complain – I caught myself thinking how convenient it was that it was in English not Latin, which is not my normal default setting when at worship.  I suppose this form of Mass is if anything closest to the 1965 transitional Missal, of which I have a copy in the form of a Mass booklet as used here in Australia at that time: if only the reform of the liturgy had proceeded no further...

Given this most reverent liturgy, I also went to Holy Cross on Tuesday morning, hoping to experience it again, but found it was the ordinary scheduled OF parish Mass instead of the Ordinariate Mass I had been expecting – of course, Mass is Mass, so I was glad to stay on and receive Communion.

Ad multos annos, Fr Seton; God grant that the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross expand and flourish.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ordinariate Evensong and Benediction

Last weekend, I joined in celebrating with the new Ordinariate parish in Melbourne, based henceforth at Holy Cross, South Caulfield.  As I was staying with a friend in Essendon, I had quite a drive to get there – about 20 km across town; and I didn't have an e-tag for the tollway...

Two friends of mine attended the Ordination of the Ordinariate's four Melbourne priests on Saturday, Our Lady's Birthday, and with one of them I attended the Ordinariate Mass on Sunday the 9th of September.  But David has already blogged about that, and I've left some comments there on his blog also, so I won't repeat those details here.  (Apologies for not blogging here earlier, but I didn't have my laptop with me.)

Now, however, I will mention my experience of Ordinariate Evensong and Benediction, celebrated for the first time last Sunday, at 7 pm.  Fr Christopher Seton presided in green cope (which was changed to white for Benediction), assisted by two servers in cassock and surplice (they carried candles, and one doubled as thurifer); the same organist as in the morning doubled as soloist for the singing.  The congregation was very small, less than a dozen (there had been seventy at the morning Mass – and I know that some had been going to the first Mass of one of the new priests at Mentone late that afternoon, which may explain the low numbers, as also the fact that the newly-received Ordinariate flock is spread throughout metropolitan Melbourne), but this will grow.  An organ prelude accompanied the entrance of the ministers.

As is the general Anglican practice, at least on feasts when the service is sung, the penitential preface to Evensong was omitted, as was all after the Third Collect (instead, Benediction followed).  In place of the penitential opening, Fr Seton began "In name of the Father...", then – still standing – intoned the familiar versicles "O Lord, open thou our lips...", "O God, make speed to save us...", the "Glory be" and "Praise ye the Lord".

The psalms chanted were Pss 73, Quam bonus Israel, and 77, Voce mea ad Dominum. While they were sung with Gregorian (or Sarum) psalm tones (I. 4. and II. 1.), as I have never attempted to chant in Tudor English before, it seemed more prudent to simply listen to the music.  The Magnificat (during which the altar, then the priest, servers and congregation were censed) after the First, and the Nunc dimittis after the Second Lesson, were sung in like manner.

First one, then the other server went to the lectern to read the First and Second Lessons, according to the RSV (I checked this by reading along on my iPhone), these being Isaiah 45:1-13 and St Matthew 22:1-33 (I wonder if the server had been meant to stop at verse 13, but just kept reading).  They announced and concluded the Lessons in the  appointed words of the BCP.  Following that old Anglican custom, the Office Hymn – Deus Creator omnium, "Creator of the earth and sky" (New English Hymnal, 152) – was sung after the First Lesson, before the Magnificat.

Bizarrely, a collection was taken up during this hymn!  I've never liked the Anglican love of collections at each and every service, nor the curious practice of putting the offerings into an alms-dish held by the server, and then lifting up the same before the priest, who makes the sign of the cross over it (sanctifying the money, I suppose) before it is borne off for safekeeping in the sacristy.

The exact wording of the 1662 BCP was followed for Evensong, even reading the Collect for the 14th Sunday after Trinity; so I joined with all in the Lord's Prayer beginning "Our Father, which art in heaven...".  After the Third Collect, however, the service was concluded with "The Lord be with you", "Let us bless the Lord" and "May the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God rest in peace".  Evensong took forty minutes.

Benediction came next, lasting for twenty minutes, thus filling out the hour.  The altar and surrounds were bedecked with no less than thirty-six candles!  (I have a eye that notes such minute details, as readers may have by this point deduced.)  We sang, not an anthem, but a hymn, "Virgin born, we bow before thee" (NEH 187), in veneration of the Blessed Mother and her Divine Son, while all was readied for Benediction.

Benediction began with the very familiar words and tune of O salutaris hostia (in English), so I was glad to break into full voice at last while the Sanctissimum was solemnly exposed in the monstrance.  Fr Seton, kneeling at a prie-dieu before the altar, led us all in three short prayers before the Blessed Sacrament (I recall him quoting words of St Anselm and St Augustine), then was sung Tantum ergo (in English) with the usual versicle and collect, albeit in a slightly unfamiliar translation.  (After the service, I mentioned to him the usual Australian practice of saying the prescribed Prayer for Christian Unity just before Tantum ergo.)  First being vested with the humeral veil, he then went up the altar steps and gave Benediction while the servers censed and rang the bell.

The Divine Praises were next repeated (the only verbal difference being "Comforter" in place of "Paraclete"), then the singing of Adoremus and Psalm 116(117) – in English, however, which I have hardly ever done, and in the Prayer Book version.  This business of worship in a sacral vernacular is unfamiliar to me, especially at Benediction, which even today is often sung mainly in Latin in my experience.

The Blessed Sacrament having been reposed in the tabernacle, we all sang "Let all mortal flesh keep silence" (NEH 295), Moultrie's great Englishing of the ancient anthem sung in the Liturgy of St James during the Great Entrance.  The organ played as the ministers processed out.

It was good to meet and chat a little with Fr Seton after the service, and to receive his blessing.  Ad multos annos!  And may the Ordinariate flourish under the protection of the Most High.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Off to Marvellous Melbourne

I love Melbourne; and will be glad to fly over there for a little holiday break this evening.  To-morrow, I'll attend the inaugural Ordinariate Mass at Holy Cross, South Caulfield, at 11 am – and also Evensong at the same at 7 pm, if I have read their schedule aright.

For those four priests just ordained this morning, I pray every blessing, that their ministry be fruitful, and they give great glory to God and a good hope to men.  May their congregation, just-received into the full communion of the Catholic Church last night, alike receive every blessing from the Lord, that they persevere and grow in holiness to his honour and their own salvation, preaching the Gospel by their very lives, and thus evangelizing all.  Our Lady of the Southern Cross, rejoicing with these co-heirs and adopted brothers and sisters of her Son, on this happy feast of her Nativity, will no doubt intercede with a mother's love for them all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ezekiel 20:25-26

I was reading at Mattins the other day a passage from "the terrible" Ezekiel (as Dom Guéranger termed him) – when I reached the twenty-fifth verse and following of the twentieth chapter, what I read struck me with horror!  In the words of the Revised Standard Version:

Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life; and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD. 

The reader will no doubt exclaim with me, What! is Marcion right? - can this be the God of Israel admitting to telling the people to obey harmful laws, and to follow murderous practices?  But as St Paul would immediately say, Mē genoito, By no means, may it not be, perish the thought, God forbid!  Therefore this passage needs careful interpretation, that God's honour be vindicated, that the faithful not be scandalized by this darksome word, lest scoffers blaspheme the Lord.  But I will declare forthrightly, to begin with, that I take a rightly Augustinian stand on matters concerning theodicy: God is just, and man is not.

In context, the Lord God by the Prophet Ezekiel proclaims that the people of Israel had profaned His Sabbaths and rejected His righteous laws: therefore, the Lord gave them up to follow evil laws and to practise abominations.  It is a figure of Hebrew speech and thought to attribute all things to the Lord: so, as when King Saul in a foul mood threw a spear at David, it is said that an evil spirit from the Lord moved him to act (I Samuel 18:10-11); and likewise when David, having become king in his turn, ordered a census, the Lord is said in one place (II Samuel 24:1) to have stirred him up to do so, while in another (I Chronicles 21:1), this same census (which the Lord viewed as a sinful act) is attributed instead to a suggestion of Satan.  Hence, this arresting passage in Ezekiel may be interpreted in a like manner: the Lord permitted rather than enjoined the sinful Israelites to follow laws that were not good, and to offer up unacceptable sacrifices, even offering their children to Moloch, that detestable Canaanite idol or rather demon, by passing them through fire, slaying them.  God himself upbraided sinful Jerusalem for practising such horrors, as is written only four chapters earlier, in Ezekiel 16:20-21, so it cannot be in any sense that He made them do so; but rather He gave themselves up to the foul evils that they craved to commit.

The old King James Version (whose phraseology descends to us in the R.S.V.; and which sometime relied upon the Douay, though without admitting to it) rendered these verses as follows:

Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.

I read somewhere that "give" may mean "permit": this helps render the sense less shocking.

The Douay version of this worrisome passage reads thus:

Therefore I also gave them statutes that were not good*, and judgments, in which they shall not live. And I polluted them† in their own gifts, when they offered all that opened the womb, for their offences: and they shall know that I am the Lord.

The commentary printed with it suggests the following interpretation of these verses:

* Statutes that were not good: Viz., the laws and ordinances of their enemies; or those imposed upon them by that cruel tyrant the devil, to whose power they were delivered up for their sins.
† I polluted them: That is, I gave them up to such blindness in punishment of their offences, as to pollute themselves with the blood of all their firstborn, whom they offered up to their idols in compliance with their wicked devices.

Having got over my initial shock at reading these verses, I come to reflect that God has done just this to we miserable offenders, the peoples of Australia and many other proud Western countries, luxuriating in riches and power surpassing even kings of old, forgetful of religion and the very law of nature: for we have given to ourselves laws different to those that come from the Lord, and slay very many unborns every day.  The Lord has given, that is, permitted, perhaps even in His Providence allowed it to happen that our nations make laws that are not good, pretending to equate sodomitical pseudogamy with marriage; tolerating, nay, encouraging, divorce, remarriage, fornication, living in sin, unnatural acts, contraception, and above all the sin of abortion – which, being in essence murder, is (like the sin of Sodom) a crime crying to Heaven for vengeance.  We, too, pass little children through fire.

Even reason teaches that to destroy the fabric of society by breaking up the family unit through all these perversions and deformations is to bring about the destruction of our people: it is hardly surprising that, surfeited by pleasure, we yet give birth to too few of the next generation (rather preferring them dead).  Disastrous demographic decline looms ahead for the West.

God teaches us even when he permits us to give way to our temptations and to sin without let or hindrance: for sin is its own punishment.  God is not the author of sin – God forbid! – but we are: in following our own hearts' lusts, we walk the broad way that leads to destruction.  Whether we will or nill, we will be bound, whether in this life or the next, to learn the bitter lesson of our crimes, and either all unworthy receive the grace of conversion from our merciful Father, or too-deservedly merit the sentence of damnation pronounced upon the reprobate by our most just Judge.

Lord, do not give us up utterly!  For without the grace of repentance, we are foredoomed to destruction.  As the Lord spoke by the prophet Hosea, so it applies to us also, we who have turned away from Christ and God, back to idols and paganism: "Destruction is thy own, O Israel: thy hope is only in Me." (Hosea 13:9, Douay Rheims)

Fit for Purpose? - II

Over at Deborah Gyapong's blog, Foolishness to the World, there has been some discussion (this being the latest) in posts arising out of my posting Fit for Purpose? (which concerned what parts of the classical Anglican Eucharistic service constitute an acceptable and orthodox Anglican Patrimony suitable to bring into the Catholic Church) which I wrote almost a month ago.  Here is my latest reply to the issues raised by a Canadian interlocutor there, whose name I know not, but whose scholarship I respect.


Let us now establish what is at issue here.  Having opened the classical BCP – never mind that few now use it, whether here in Australia, or in the UK; and of course Canada has its own BCP (not that there it is used much either), and likewise for other corners of the Anglican Communion – I looked to see what of its Patrimony, as regards the Eucharist, was “fit for purpose” or, rather, doctrinally orthodox, and thus assimilable for use in the full communion of the Catholic Church in union with Peter.  I left aside High Church ceremonial, and all such considerations; I left aside all old attempts at fitting together the Holy Communion from the BCP with the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass; I looked at the BCP Communion Office, and (to my satisfaction at least) showed how virtually all of it could be suitably adapted for use as part of a variant of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Mass – which is confirmed by finding precisely that done in the already-existing Book of Divine Worship for use in the USA by Catholic parishes following the Anglican Use. But I did note that some parts of the BCP’s Eucharistic rite would not pass the test of orthodoxy: above all, the Prayer of Consecration; also, some phrases in other parts needing rewording or deleting (such as the second half of the words of administration of the Sacrament, which date from the notoriously Protestant 1552 BCP).

As I think I may have mentioned, if any Anglican liturgy were found acceptable in toto for the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, it would be that found in the Scottish BCP of 1929; or again, that of the Nonjurors, as drawn up in 1718.  But to be frank, the latter was never used but by a tiny remnant for a generation three centuries ago; and the former is not so much used even among the tiny Scottish Episcopalian denomination any more (having been replaced in the main by odder more modern liturgies).

However, as the Prayer of Consecration in the 1662 BCP consists of a thankful remembrance of the all-sufficient sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, followed by a prayer that those receiving the bread and wine would be partakers of His Body and Blood, and then a recital of the Institution Narrative, it is clearly insufficient to express Catholic doctrine about the Eucharist – instead, it well inculcates receptionism (Hooker’s new heresy) and the Protestant tenet that Christ’s Sacrifice is not made present here and now in the Eucharist, but was offered up once for all.  Whatever may be claimed, rather tongue-in-cheek it may seem, in Sæpius officio (wherein its Anglican authors had the bare-faced cheek to claim their mutilated remnant of a Eucharistic Prayer, being as it is derived from the Roman Canon, is somehow clearer in its exposition of Catholic doctrine than the hallowed and most ancient Canon itself – a rude claim, be it noted, that falls under a Tridentine anathema against any who would impugn the Canon of the Mass), the Prayer of Consecration in the 1662 BCP is manifestly heretical: indeed, how could it be otherwise, since it was specially designed to teach novel doctrines.  If a priest in valid orders pronounced it, it would of course serve to consecrate the Sacrament validly – but just as plainly it would be grievously sinful to use such a prayer.

The learned Canadian who has replied so courteously to my initial foray has, I think, mistaken me in a way: for he surely realizes that, while offering oneself up in union with Christ is excellent and holy, and to adore with all worship Christ as one receives the Sacrament is but our bounden duty, and to consider reading the Ten Commandments as a restatement of the Covenant (though that be pious), is still not to acknowledge that the 1662 BCP’s Prayer of Consecration is hardly a suitable Eucharistic Prayer: Taylor and Cosin and many other Anglican divines privately hoped for a better, as their drafts at the time of its imposition demonstrate: they and such worthies as Johnson, Vicar of Cranbrook, while defending the validity of the 1662 service and what they saw as its orthodoxy (an attempt I charitably seek to sympathize with, yet unquestionably reject), felt that the 1549 was arranged in the proper order, and had been mucked with in deference to Continental Protestants, and had not been returned to in 1662 only because of the hopes of reconciling Protestants to the newly-restored Church of England, hopes that proved abortive.  Their liturgical heirs, the English Nonjurors (who died out) and the Scottish Episcopalians (who survived persecution and still survive in small numbers), therefore restored the rightful order as they saw it to the Eucharistic Liturgy.

Quite frankly, to say that all the Anglican attempts to restore the older and more Catholic order of the Liturgy, by producing a fuller Eucharistic Prayer, are somehow lesser than Cranmer’s project, more ambiguous even, is to be manifestly contrarian and to oppose all serious liturgical scholarship.  Protestant Anglicans may be pleased by the 1662 BCP’s Eucharistic rite: Catholics will never be, and it is hardly ecumenical to put forward something that most Christians – the Catholics, the Orthodox, and members of other ancient Eastern churches – would see as not a true and proper Eucharist at all.

Even if the 1549 BCP’s arrangement of the Prayer for the Church, the Prayer of Consecration (including a rather more acceptable epiclesis, praying that the elements may “be unto us” Christ’s Body and Blood, which is capable of bearing the interpretation that the bread and wine not merely subjectively but objectively cease to be bread and wine, and truly and wholly become His Body and Blood) and then the Prayer of Memorial (i.e. Anamnesis) and Oblation were used, it would still constitute a Eucharistic Prayer that is mala sonans – suspect and disturbing, because it was Cranmer’s first chopping about of the immemorial Canon of the Mass.  The later Scottish tradition, drawing on the abortive 1637 BCP for Scotland, and refined throughout the first two-thirds of the eighteenth century, reaching its classic form in 1764 before being brought to final form in the 1929 Scottish BCP for the small Episcopalian body in that country, better orders and phrases the Eucharistic Prayer, by setting the Prayer of Consecration first (containing the Institution Narrative), then the Prayer of Memorial, Oblation and Invocation (putting a proper Epiclesis after the Words of the Lord, as done throughout the Christian East), and then the Prayer of Intercession, pleading the merits of the Lord’s Sacrifice for all the quick and the dead.  But even this most Catholic arrangement still may be taken as dangerously ambiguous, I am constrained to note; though a Catholic would of course read it in conformity with sound doctrine.  For the avoidance of all doubt, the only Anglican Eucharistic Prayer that evades Cranmer’s seductive phraseology (and thus repudiates his sophistry) is that of the Nonjurors, drawn up in 1718: for it replaces Cranmer’s Prayer of Consecration and Prayer of Oblation with extracts from the Liturgy of St James and that of the Apostolic Constitutions – needless to say, such is hardly Anglican Patrimony however, and it would be mad archæologism to ever propose its revival.

So, as to being “strictly BCP” in worship, of course the laudable Offices of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer are to be retained; but as to the Eucharist, the best that can be done is to combine all acceptable parts of the BCP’s Order for the Holy Communion with “the Secret and the Canon and the Dominus vobiscum” as a humorous poem puts it.  Such a combination, whether, like the various Anglican Missals of old, adding the best BCP bits into the matrix of the Traditional Mass, or doing the same with the modern Mass, as the first edition of the Book of Divine Worship has demonstrated can be done, is manifestly dignified, well-phrased and pleasing (we pray) to God and man, insofar as any imperfect human service may be said to be.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Prayers for Those to be Ordained

I will fly to Melbourne this Saturday afternoon, God willing – though I'll be too late to attend the Saturday morning ordinations at St Patrick's Cathedral on Our Lady's birthday, I will be attending the Sunday Mass to be concelebrated by four of those newly-ordained at Holy Cross, South Caulfield, and there share the joy of those just come into full communion with the Catholic Church, as the first Victorian members of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross join in solemn worship, offering Christ to the Father, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good, and the good of all the Holy Church of God.  Of course, we must not forget the other four men also to be ordained priests of God and ministers of the New Testament: they, too, will be celebrating their First Masses in Melbourne this Sunday.

The Anglican Patrimony that such incomers bring with them contains such gems as these following prayers for those to be ordained: while I should have posted them earlier, at least now I have tardily done so I hope readers may spare a moment to pray them for all those soon to be ordained, particularly these four for the Australian Ordinariate: James Grant, Neil Fryer, Christopher Seton and Ramsay Williams.  It will be my pleasure to assist at their Mass, to receive their blessing, and to congratulate them on their brave move into full communion.


Let us pray for those that are to be admitted into Holy Orders.

V. Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness;
R. And let thy saints sing with joyfulness. 

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who hast purchased to thyself an universal Church by the precious blood of thy dear Son: Mercifully look upon the same, and at this time so guide and govern the minds of thy servants the Bishops and Pastors of thy flock, that they may lay hands suddenly on no man, but faithfully and wisely make choice of fit persons to serve in the sacred Ministry of thy Church. And to those which shall be ordained to any holy function give thy grace and heavenly benediction; that both by their life and doctrine they may set forth thy glory, and set forward the salvation of all men; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  

ALMIGHTY God, the giver of all good gifts, who of thy divine providence hast appointed divers Orders in thy Church: Give thy grace, we humbly beseech thee, to all those who are to be called to any office and administration in the same; and so replenish them with the truth of thy doctrine, and endue them with innocency of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee, to the glory of thy great Name, and the benefit of thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

V. O ye Priests of the Lord, bless ye the Lord:
R. Praise him, and magnify him for ever.

Our Lady of the Southern Cross, pray for them.
St Augustine of Canterbury, pray for them.
Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for them.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

To Hobart To-morrow

Time to M.C. again: the weather finally warming up, I'll head off early to-morrow morning and motor down to Hobart, assist the priest at our Missa cantata, lunch, then drive back home in the after-noon.  Of course, to-day I kept the memory of St Joshua my namesake: may he intercede for me, and for us all.