Very best wishes to our three bishops as they tomorrow revisit the concept of diakonia. I wonder if they will wear their old light-weight pontifical dalmatics for the ceremony.
On Saturday there will follow necessary formalities ensuring that their sacerdotal ministrations are acceptable to all Roman Catholics everywhere. I suppose that later in the year there will be similar ceremonies for those priests and deacons who decide to apply for entry to the ministry of the Ordinariate and are accepted. God bless them, whoever they may be.
I wonder if they will all be 'done' simultaneously. Let us suppose - just to pluck a number out of the air for the sake of hypothesis - that some 50/60 or so priests were concerned. Wouldn't that be rather a lot of prostrate bodies to accommodate on one floor? We wouldn't want Fr X to kick Fr Y in the eye ... er ... purely, you understand, by accident.
If there were two such events, would it not be be very much in the spirit of Summorum pontificum for one of them to be OF and the other Antiquior? There would be an additional bonus of an ecumenical kind. It would mean that, when the Vatican is finally reconciled to the SSPX, those ex-Anglicans who had been 'done' antiquius would not have the inconvenience of having to be 'ordained' yet again to satisfy SSPX scruples. It would also make our orders acceptable to all those other fussy traditionalists who have noisy doubts about the adequacy of the post-conciliar Pontificale and even amusingly suggest that it falls under the condemnation of Apostolicae curae.
Mgr Rifan must be one of very few working bishops in full canonical union with the See of Ss Peter and Paul to have been consecrated with the glorious old Prayer for Episcopal Consecration used in the Roman Church before iffy Oriental formulae were substituted by Bugnini (if one wanted to be tendentious, a failing which I have always avoided like the very plague, one could argue that the Rite of Episcopal Consecration in the Prayer Book Ordinal retained more features and phrases from pre-Reformation rites than does the current Pontificale). So Rifan would be the ideal chap to do this job. Orders conferred by him would never need to be repeated (until, that is, the Latin West submits in all humility to Third Rome).
Aesthetically, it would be rather jolly if the antiquior ceremony were done within the genuine baroque lay-out and furnishings of the Brompton Oratory - the Gesu near Harrods - rather than in the midst of the totally unconvincing 'Byzantinism' of the Hagia Sophia by Victoria Station. Those involved would feel more at home, too; there is somehow something cosily familiar and Anglican about the atmosphere of Romanita created in their churches by the Sons of S Philip. I wonder why.
*New readers, if any, may - passim - be assisted hermeneutically if I confess that I have sometimes been suspected of writing with my tongue in one of my cheeks.