Some of the happiest weeks in my life were spent ministering in the Episcopalian diocese of Glasgow. Mind you, the pleasure was diminished by the fact that the lovely little church I served - windows by Comper - had an empty and cobweb-filled Tabernacle, and the Mass vestments were all scrumpled up in a box under the table. I did wonder where it all was leading. As we all discern our futures, I do find myself hoping that there will be some valiant Pisky priests in an Ordinariate of Great Britain. But would they not be reneging on a proud history of Scottishness if they allowed themselves to be subsumed into an English Ordinariate? Well, let us take the great Patron Saint whose cult is integral to what it means to be Scottish. Because a careful look at his cultus suggests to me that there is something curiously unifying about him.
The Book of Common Prayer, which may provide propers for an optional new Anglican Use Missal to be authorised by the Holy See for the Anglican Ordinariates, gives, for the most part, the same Sunday Collects, Epistles, and Gospels as the Missal of S Pius V. But the Reading and Gospel for the Sunday Next Before Advent (taken, like most such Prayer Book material, from the medieval Sarum Rite) were, unlike the other Epistles and Gospels After Trinity, quite different from those in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. A few days ago I did a post on this ... with help from Abbot Rupert of Deutz.
The BCP Gospel not only contains the John 6 account of the Miraculous Feeding, so suitable as an eschatological meditation on the Messianic Banquet, but also gives prominence to S Andrew. I wondered if this is one reason why that pericope got selected; it was chosen at the time when the readings in the earliest Roman lectionaries for the 'Green' season often reflected the themes of adjacent great festivals: for this is the time of the year when we celebrate S Andrew. And S Andrew is, in the authentic ancient Roman Tradition, a very major solemnity; an all-night vigil was held and the 'Leonine Sacramentary' offered three Masses in addition to the Vigil Mass; possibly because of S Andrew's closeness to S Peter.
And the English Church, so laudably Roman in its early days, perpetuated this bias. The 'Leofric Missal', which, before it made its way to eleventh century Exeter and then, at the Reformation, to the Bodleian Library, started its life as the working book of the Archbishops of Canterbury; and, in its provision for the Consecration of Churches, seems to assume that S Andrew will have a lot of churches in his honour. And in fact, the percentage of Andreian churches in England is well above statistical expectation. After all, S Gregory the Great named his great monastery on the Caelian Hill (from which S Augustine and his fellows came) after S Andrew, and it was pretty certainly he who added S Andrew to the Libera nos [he is absent from the pre-Gregorian form found in Stowe].
What a shame that the modern Roman Rite has so little respect for this tradition. Not least because Andrew is not only the Patron of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, but the splendiferous, coruscating day on which Cardinal Pole reconciled this Kingdom to the Unity of Peter back in 1554. A day, surely, to line the bottles up; and to reread Eamon Duffy's account of Mary's and Pole's Counter-Reformation.
Everybody thinks that an British Ordinariate has to be named after Blessed John Henry Newman. I have no problem with that. How could I possibly? But "The Ordinariate of S Andrew" would, for the Englishman, have delightful resonances echoing through English Church history right back to the day when that little gaggle of Italian monks from S Andrew's monastery in Rome approached the King of Kent under the early summer sky. It would embody our continuities.
And, as a wonderful bonus, it would give Scottish members of an Ordinariate a sense, which they deserve, that the Ordinariate was just as much theirs too.