22 May 2016

Ordination Season

Trinity Sunday, according to the tradition of the Latin Church, used to be the main day for Ordinations in the West: prepared for by the Pentecost Ember Week. Before both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion fiddled with their respective rites, the same words appeared in both the Roman Pontifical and the Prayer Book Ordinal as the Bishop laid hands upon the ordinandi: the Lord's own paschal and pentecostal words Accipe Spiritum Sanctum to his disciples about the Gift of the Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. Fittingly; for the priesthood we are given to share is at the heart of the Paschal Mystery. And the First Reading at Mattins, in both ecclesial bodies, used to be that unforgettable passage from Isaiah about the Divine Glory: Et audivi vocem Domini dicentis: Quem mittam? Et dixi: Ecce ego. Mitte me. "And I said: here am I; send me". Gratias tibi, Deus, gratias tibi, vera et una Trinitas, una et summa Deitas, sancta et una Unitas.

And what a wonderful feast, how full of joy, today's solemnity is. A particular pleasure is that of praying in the Divine Office that great paean of praise, the Quicumque vult. During the period of 'formation' we in the British Ordinariate's presbyterate had to go through, the lowest point for me was when one lecturer informed us that part of that Creed was "heretical". Our Patron Blessed John Henry Newman had described it as "The most simple and sublime, the most devotional formulary, to which Christianity has given birth". It is a shame that people and people, in the Catholic Church, do not know it better; are no longer shaped by its pin-point orthodoxy as well as its beautiful cadences. (A shame, too, that in the OF the Preface of the Most Holy Trinity is no longer heard Sunday by Sunday during the 'green' season.)

48 years ago, on a Trinity Sunday, Harry Carpenter laid his hands on me, on exactly the same spot as a previous Bishop of Oxford did the same thing on a Trinity Sunday to Blessed John Henry Newman ... just a few yards from the bones of Oxford's Saxon Patron S Frideswide and those of Dr Pusey and the tomb of the last Abbot of Oseney, first Bishop of Oxford and the only one to have been in full communion with the See of S Peter.

My warmest good wishes to all brother priests who were ordained on a Trinity Sunday.

5 comments:

Banshee said...

Congratulations, and many happy returns of the day!

Woody said...

Axios! Many years!

geneticallycatholic said...

I echo Banshee's wishes - in spades!

Colin Spinks said...

Athanasian Creed heretical?! How so? It is one thing for the Church to change teaching on (to my mind) trifling social issues, quite another to meddle with the Creeds.

Protasius said...

Congratulations.
However, I think the traditional ordination day is Ember Saturday, so Trinity Sunday would be the day of the First Mass of the Neophytes.