14 June 2015

Why the worship of the Ordinariate matters to everybody.

I reprint an old post of mine because Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has recently expressed a hope that the next edition of the (OF) Roman Missal will include, in the interests of Mutual Enrichment, the (EF) Praeparatio and Offertory Prayers. Just as I do in this piece. For the next few days, as well as my usual fresh post around 10.00 every morning, I shall reprint later in each day an old post on this same theme: Bring Back the Praeparatio and the Offertory Prayers as options in the OF!

Where now, I ask, are the sourpusses who were once so sure that our beloved Holy Father would appoint Piero Marini to CDW and thus usher in a new Dark Age of deteriorating Liturgy?

Tomorrow being the Anniversary of the Inauguration, by blessed Benedict XVI, of the British Ordinariate, I venture to repeat the warmest of invitations to Traditionalist Catholics to experience the Ordinariate Rite of Mass. You will know that this Use is authorised by the Holy See; and when we had our great Ordinariate celebration in Westminster last year, with Cardinal Nichols there to show his enthusiastic support, Mgr Keith Newton, our Ordinary, emphatically urged as many of his clergy as possible to use our own rite and thus to display our distinctiveness. 'Our' Mass can be accessed in London at the Assumption, Warwick Street; go there! But I invite you also, if you can get to Oxford, to visit this splendid Rite as celebrated by the Oxford Ordinariate group for the Sunday Vigil Mass on Saturday evenings at 6.00.Why not come? Why not book your flights from Rio or from Tasmania or from Samarkand?

For a Vigil Mass, you cry? I know what you mean. A Vigil Mass can (prescinding from the fact that the most blessed and august and holy Sacrifice of the Mass is always inherently a matter of joy to the entire Cosmos and to the Angels and to ourselves) seem, in its ritual and social expression, a rather sad event in which people are "getting it over with" as painlessly as possible so that they can "enjoy" their Sunday. Fine music and a 'traddy' atmosphere are not commonly evoked by the phrase "Vigil Mass". But with us, the music is of the best, and the heart of Archbishop Lefebvre himself would have been melted by the entire liturgical effect. I will stick out my neck by saying that the Oxford Ordinariate Vigil Mass is, as Vigil Masses go, unique.

And, as I hope you know, the Ordinariate Ordo Missae breathes new life into a venerable liturgical tradition. Until the majority of Anglo-Catholic clergy most unwisely decided, in many cases with great reluctance, that it was their duty to adopt the Novus Ordo in the 1960s and 1970s, Catholic Anglican worship in the Church of England was a marvel. Ignorant people sometimes used to say that "If one Sunday Fr Murphy down at the Sacred Heart happened to flick a fly from his shoulder, the gesture would instantly be mimicked in the local Anglo-Papalist church". Nothing could be more ridiculous, or further from the truth. It was Rome itself that we Anglo-Papalists "aped", not the church-down-the-road. O'Connell-Fortescue was, for us, the last and greatest book of the Bible, and sat comfortably on the Sacristy bookshelf. Heaven (really!) forgive our arrogance, we rather prided ourselves on being different from, and a distinct cut above, Fr Murphy at the Sacred Heart! High Mass, largely unknown among English Roman Catholics, was our Sunday norm.

The Ordinariate Mass gives us back a great deal of our lost ancient glories. The language is the Tudor English which Archbishop Cranmer and King James's Bible translators created to be the superb sacral dialect in which our worship commonly took place. It is a mirror image of the artificial hieratic Latin in which the Old Rite is written.  And, in the Ordinariate Use, we have recovered a vast amount of 'Tridentine' material which the Western Church so sadly lost when the Novus Ordo came marching in: most particularly, the Tridentine emphasis on the Mass as a true propitiatory Sacrifice, to be offered with awe and reverence rather than with folksy chumminess. We can start off humbling ourselves with the Praeparatio at the foot of the altar; we honour the Altar each time with a kiss before we turn away from it; we are able to use the Tridentine Offertory Prayers with their unambiguously sacrificial language; we genuflect both before after each Elevation and after touching the Most Holy; we are encouraged always to use the Roman Canon, and the Libera nos as it was before Archbishop Bugnini 'improved' it; we can end on the magnificently triumphal note of the Last Gospel to bridge that gap between the Incarnate Word and World He was incarnated to redeem. We all truly face God's East, and are not bullied by a laity which demands its rights to watch Father's thoroughly repulsive face at every moment in the Mass. There is a magnificent schola and much of what it sings is, as Vatican II encouraged, in Latin. Patrimonial early Tudor English Church music is one of our specialities. The Ordinariate Rite is an example to the whole of the Latin Rite Church.

'Nuff Said. 6.00 on Saturdays, at the Church of the Holy Rood just South of Folly Bridge in Oxford (jokes about this will be deleted). Angelus before Mass; Anthem of our Lady and wine afterwards.

The thread contains comments offered to a previous edition of this piece, with which I celebrated my return to blogging after a silence which I had deemed prudent because of the attempts that had been made to prevent me from being admitted to the Ordinariate priesthood, on account of my liturgical preferences.

27 comments:

Joshua said...

Unfortunately work commitments preclude me from accepting your most kind and attractive invitation; asking for a few days off work in order to fly to Oxford, via London, and back for the weekend might also engender admiration. But if I were free I would certainly come. Do remember me at God's altar; I shall be there in spirit; and, after all, we are never closer than when we are each at Mass, wherever the One Sacrifice be pleaded.

John F H H said...

Wonderful to see you posting again :-)

IanW said...

Welcome back. And tremblingly, bowl in hand: "Please, sir, I want some more".

Pastor in Valle said...

Great to have you back; I do hope it isn't just a one-off.
I've been searching on the internet and in bookshops for a copy of the Ordinariate Use, but in vain. Does anyone know where it might be found?

Conchúr said...

Great to see you blogging once more Fr Hunwicke.

Fr Finnegan, the Ordinariate Eucharistic liturgy hasn't been published yet and probably won't be for some time to come. If you want a good unofficial overview I recommend the following links:

http://www.stalbanfellowship.org/what-s-happening/divineworship-theordinariateorderofholymass

http://www.stalbanfellowship.org/what-s-happening/divineworship-introductoryritesuptotheofferatory

http://www.stalbanfellowship.org/what-s-happening/divineworship-theoffertory

http://www.stalbanfellowship.org/what-s-happening/divineworship-standingbowingkneeling

http://www.stalbanfellowship.org/what-s-happening/divineworship-thecanonandconcludingprayers

http://www.stalbanfellowship.org/what-s-happening/overallreactionstodivineworship

austin said...

Seeing a new post has made my day (hitherto rather dismal). I look forward to the first time I will be able to attend a mass of the Ordinariate to which I formally belong.

Fr.Nathan said...

Welcome back. I have missed reading your blog very much.
I believe that the entire Mass text has not yet received approval from Rome, so it is awaiting publication until that happens.

MenAreLikeWine said...

Wonderful news Fr.

GOR said...

Good to see you back, Father!

Charles Coulombe said...

Wonderful post, AND glad you're back!

Zauq said...

Welcome back, Father Hunwicke. I echo IanW's sentiments

johnf said...

Good to see you back in the blogosphere, Father. I was sad to hear about your shoulder ( as one who is suffering from a frozen shoulder, I can empathise).

I would love to attend the Vigil Mass, but here at Weymouth we are somewhat off the beaten track.

You mention Folly bridge. I have happy memories helping to decorate Folly Bridge House in the 60's when Opus Dei set themselves up there - to great suspicion from both the Catholic Hierarchy as well as the secular press. Are they still there?

Woody said...

Father, I join the others in rejoicing that you are back on the air, so to speak. We at Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston have had the Ordinariate Use for some months now and it goes well, evennif here the choices are all rather Ordinary Form-ish.

Please give us more soon.

Archimandrite Gregory said...

Whre can I view a copy of the ordinariate Ordo Missae on line?

Maureen said...

I missed your posts. I am glad you are back! Be well and please, please keep posting

Fr PJM said...

Aah, Father. I had the joy of assisting at a Nuptial Mass, a Sunday mass, and some low masses at St John the Evangelist, in Calgary, Alberta in Canada. I even got to administer the Precious Blood to the kneeling communicants. Long live the Ordinariate! God bless you and prosper you!

Woody said...

An update from US Ordinariate circles is that on Monday, February 2, the Feast of rhe Presentation of the Lord, the US Ordinariate Chancery complex will be dedicated by Cardinal William Levada following choral Evensong. The Ordinariate Missal is also scheduled to be presented in the conferences that will accompany this event. As to the offertory prayers,so far it seems to have been deemed more prudent to continue use of the Novus Ordo version, at least at the principal church, but I still harbor hopes that the time for the return of the traditional version will come.

Woody said...

My error, the dedication of the new chancery complex is Sunday, 1 February, following the Evensong.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

But, Ansgarus, the way that Mass was celebrated during the 50s in the Essex Church which I attended in my boyhood, and in the Oxford churches I attended in the 60s, WAS as close as makes no odds to what the Ordinariate use gives us.

ansgerus said...

If it is as close as makes no odds to what the Ordinariate uses gives you today, why did you then had to elaborate a new Use? Could you not simply apply the old anglo-catholic liturgical books as you did before? Adding a new Name where it is necessary is no difficulty and was necessary also in case of the old books whenever a Bishop changed...

priestofthechurch said...

I do not always agree with you, Fr., but on this occasion find myself unreservedly elated to read what you have to say.

About a year ago, I found myself in a debate with an Ordinariate priest over the issues you address here, and left the conversation wondering if there were not too many Ordinariate priests playing coy with their own splendid inheritance.

What I said then may be of interest: https://priestofthechurch.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/the-liturgy-and-the-anglican-ordinariates-an-evangelical-opportunity/

Stephen said...

Why, oh why, does the hired gun Bugnini get all the opprobrium? Why the blind eye so often to the fact that liturgical reform, including the Novus Ordo, was actively pursued by Popes themselves?

William Tighe said...

"If it is as close as makes no odds to what the Ordinariate uses gives you today, why did you then had to elaborate a new Use? Could you not simply apply the old anglo-catholic liturgical books as you did before?"

Is this for real? One of the big problems today in the Catholic Church is liberal (or simply ignorant) clergy playing fast-and-loose with prescribed liturgical forms. Those formerly Anglican clergy who have taken advantage of the gracious welcome offered by Anglicanorum coetibus and the Ordinariates, and been ordained, should avoid any suspicion (and much more the reality) of "doing their own thing" liturgically, and so emulating their disobedient Catholic clerical brethren.

ansgerus said...

Liturgical forms always shall be follwed strictly, but I really would appreciate very much to re-allow the application of once officially approved, widely used liturgies like the pre-1955 Roman Use, the Sarum Use, and other historic uses and rites with their specific beauty and - not to forget - specific music traditions, and this should include also the use of the English Missal as well as the morning and evening services according to elder editions of the Book of Common Prayer. But if any elder use is applied, of course, it shall be followed strictly in every detail.

TheRoyspears said...

Always went to Solemn High Mass before all the changes came at Christ Church St-leonards before Vatican 2.. It was a glimpse of Heaven.

Neil Addison said...

I have been to Holy Rood Ordinariate Mass when down at Oxford and thoroughly recommend their Saturday evening service to anyone who can get there.

Its an example of how a well done liturgy can transcend the environment. It's not the most attractive of Churches perhaps but the Ordinariate Mass and the absolutely wonderful Choir is absolutely beautiful and you forget the building and just concentrate on the Mass which is of course how things should be

Sixupman said...

A pre-war Anglo-Catholic Missal, once in my possession [never lend books] was identical to my St. Andrew's Missal [larger addition] except for the form of reference to the Pope. At the time of daily Choral Evensong, on BBC, one could follow the Office from the St. Andrew's Missal.

All thrown away for a mess of pottage.