27 May 2018

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. Or, to be pedantic, ordinations happened at the Mass of the Ember Saturday, when the various orders were conferred after each of the lections.

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, pointing to the Gift of the Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. Fittingly; because 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 (6) 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.

Sacrosanctum Concilium (23) decreed that "innovations, should not happen unless a true and certain usefulness for the Church demands it". I still wonder why the Liturgia Horarum rejected that chapter from Isaiah about the Glory of God in the Temple of God ... what true and certain usefulness it was that (so the Experts decided) demanded its elimination. Strangely, the Church of England revisers have remained unaware of the doubtless profound reasons which required this change. However, in more recent years, the C of E has moved the Ordinations to a newly invented "Petertide", so as to allow a full final academic term in the Summer. A shame.

Because what a wonderful feast, how full of joy, today's solemnity is. I find it difficult to to feel sympatheia with PF when he grudgingly utters sour words about "the rigidity of abstract doctrine", as if dogma, which by definition must imply an abstractio from particularity and materiality, lacks the ability to thrill and to enchant and to be entered into and to be lived and to be shared with others. Poor chap ... what an impoverished life he must lead. Perhaps that's why he always looks so miserable.

A particular pleasure is that of praying in the Divine Office that great paean of praise, the Quicumque vult. 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". I wonder what he would have said could he have known that, in a century, the Catholic Church would have eliminated it from her worship!

Its loss among both priests and people in the Catholic Church is probably a big reason for the doctrinal collapses in the Latin Church. The poor robbed clergy are no longer shaped by its pin-point orthodoxy as well as its beautiful cadences. A shame, too, that in the OF the profoundly beautiful Preface of the Most Holy Trinity is no longer heard Sunday by Sunday during the 'green' season. It is no wonder that, deep down and instinctively, so few people now really believe in the Holy Trinity. You hear both homilists and laity talking about "God and Jesus". I sometimes feel that only Byzantine Christians really believe in the Trinity. But, to give credit where credit is due, I've read several things by Vincent Nichols teaching the Godhead of the Son with great clarity.

On June 9 1968, which is when Trinity Sunday fell that year, 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.


Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Welcome Message
from Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, D.D., J.C.L.


The Diocese of Palm Beach is comprised of five counties in Southeastern Florida: Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee. From Sebastian to Boca Raton and from Palm Beach to Pahokee, the 225,749 Catholics of the Diocese of Palm Beach span the economic and cultural spectrum of the area and contribute to a rich and vibrant faith experience in our 53 parishes and missions.

In the ever increasing blessings of The New Theology of the New Pentecost in the Civilisation of Love, there were two priests ordained by the Diocese this year and three priests retired. The next priests to be ordained in this diocese will receive Holy Orders in 2023, at which time something like 60% or more of the priests will be in their 60s.

O, what's that? How many Real Masses are permitted in our Diocese. Well, there is one in the southern deanery in the trad ghetto at Holy Spirit in Lantana at the fetching hour of 2:0 P.M. and there is one in the northern deanery at a place in time that escapes me right now.

It is of no use to endlessly point out that real men will not respond to vocational recruitment in the anthropocentric feminised social-work culture of this spiritually dead diocese because the diocese is proudly and defiantly marching to its own demise because vibrancy and richness.

Besides, who needs a masculine priesthood when by the mere gathering of our communities of faith we actualise the Lord's Supper.

Prayerful said...

I try always to pray for priests, most particularly new ordinards, His Cross will be heavy, but the blessings gained and given will mean His yoke will be sweet and His burden light.

Colin Spinks said...

I'm surprised that Pope Francis thinks the doctrine of the Trinity "dry and rigid". Most sermons one hears on the subject these days talk at length about the Godhead being a dynamic inter-relationship rather than a dusty academic theory. Perhaps he should listen to Anglicans more?! After all it was our own St Thomas Becket who instituted the Feast of the Holy Trinity on the Sunday after Pentecost, before the rest of the Western Church reluctantly followed. Felicitations Father on your own Anniversary of Ordination to the Sacred Ministry.

Confitebor said...

In my "domestic church," some years ago I started an annual family tradition of praying aloud the Quicumque vult in a somewhat archaic English translation at our family dinner on Trinity Sunday. This year I've also been taking my kids through a late edition of the Baltimore Catechism, and yesterday we covered the 1st commandment, "Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me," in which we discussed sins against faith, hope, and charity. The Quicumque vult fit in perfectly with its intensive delving into just what sins against faith are -- "Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith; Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly."

Confitebor said...

I should have added that the correlation between our catechism lesson and the Quicumque vult was coincidental, not planned.

Jhayes said...

Confitebor, the line you quoted and the similar expression at the end "This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved" can lead to the Feeneyite misinterpretation of "Extra ecclesian nulla salus"

As Lumen Gentium clarified it:

"But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things, and as Saviour wills that all men be saved. Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience."