Just back from Bishop Andrew's First RC Mass in the Oratory ...
Well, it must still be All Right to refer to him as "Bishop Andrew" because Fr Aidan Nichols did so in his brilliantly characteristic homily. Fr Aidan has been House Theologian to the Ordinariate during all those many long years before The Project actually turned into The Ordinariate; he first sketched the theological meaning of an Anglicanism united but not absorbed in his The Panther and the Hind. Since then, there have been meetings of the FIF theological group with him in the cellars at Gordon Square; Fr Aidan always so gracious, so sympathetic, so helpful, so erudite, so generous. The first time I read a paper - a very poor one - in his presence, I remember how nervous I felt; but there was no need to.
Fr Aidan returned, today, to the great enterprise of gathering up the fragments that none be lost; of appropriating, for the good of all the church, the Anglican inheritance discerned through the purifying prism of Catholic Orthodoxy. He mentioned that Bishop Andrew is engaged in the liturgical side of that - but made clear, referring especially to Blessed John Henry and the Tractarian Fathers, that there is much more to it than Liturgy. His homily, I think, counts as the Programmatic Statement of the Ordinariate as far as theology is concerned. I hope he stays involved.
If Fr Aidan's homily was characteristic, so was Bishop Andrew's liturgy. Fine music (Byrd; Morales); Latin from the Sursum corda until the Communion. We had examples of what the American blogosphere now calls Common Sense and Mutual Enrichment. Sanctus covered the (silent) first half of the Canon Romanus and Benedictus the second half; we were spared those horrid 'Acclamations' after the Consecration. At the Invitation to Communion, Bishop Andrew continued his custom of using the New ICEL translation of Ecce Agnus Dei.
I arrived home to hear the end of the celebratory peal rung on the S Thomas's (ten) very fine bells. That's Patrimony, too.