UPDATE: Bishop Robert did brilliantly! You'd have thought he was an Anglican!!! The whole event was joyfully triumphal and triumphalist, evoking thoughts of our old triumphalist Anglo-Catholicism with its relishing of the spectacle, the music, the versus Orientem ... memories perhaps, too, for some of us, of the old Chrism Masses in the diocese of Chichester in Bishop Eric's days when we used, as we did today, the processional hymn Lift High the Cross ... and a fine sermon from Mgr Keith, starting from the Olive and reminding us of the need to be distinctive when we have so many riches we can put on display ... was this the first time Bishop Robert has used liturgically Dr Cranmer's fine prayer We do not presume ...?
And good to meet old friends, including m'learned friend Dr James Bradley, now back with his triumphant Doctorate in Canon Law from America (Ad multos annos ...). His thesis was directly related to the Ordinariates, so he will be a great source of strength to us. For the time being, Dr Egan has given him a cura animarum in the Diocese of Portsmouth.
QUAERITUR: When a priest has charge of a Ordinariate Group and a Diocesan Parish, should he be keeping two lots of the oils for separate use with his two congregations?????
SEQUITUR the original post.
Like many jurisdictions, the Ordinariate has its Chrism Mass earlier in Holy Week than Maundy Thursday: so, today, off to London.
Since our foundation, because our Ordinary did not receive episcopal Consecration in full communion with the See of S Peter, we have needed, so to speak, to 'buy in' a bishop for such events. (It is rumoured that there were members of the CBCEW who were surprised that we intended to do something as 'divisive' as having a Chrism Mass of our own ... I will make no comment ...) And, until now our choice has been Tony Mennini, the Apostolic Nuncio who was recently transferred back to the Curia. What a man ... older readers will remember the courageous role he played in the events which followed the kidnapping of Aldo Moro. The relationship he built up with us meant that the applause he received was every bit as sincere as it sounded. And he was a link with our beloved Founder, Pope Benedict.
That the Papal Nuncio should celebrate our Chrism Mass was theologically appropriate, since the Ordinariate is subject, not to any canonical structures in this country however eminent, but (via the CDF) to the Roman Pontiff himself. It was also personally appropriate because of the Benedict Connexion. (We were a bit puzzled when it came out in 2013 that the 'new' pope had reportedly made negative remarks about the Ordinariate scheme over breakfast with an Anglican Evangelical Archbishop, but we soon cottoned on to the fact that he tends to say to people other than Curia members and Traddy clergy what he thinks they will like to hear: and so then we became much less upset.)
But who could take Archbishop Mennini's place? Happily, Bishop Robert Byrne, of the Congregation of the Oratory, has agreed to do so. I call this 'happy' because Bishop Byrne (a Birmingham auxiliary) served as the Catholic Observer at the Church of England's General Synod ... which gives him interesting 'form' ... but mostly because of the obvious affinity in terms of liturgical culture, spirituality, and style between the Sons of S Philip and the Ordinariates. Blessed John Henry, pray for us all!
And I am taking with me chasuble, maniple, and stole. Because ... but no: my views on Concelebration are already expressed in detail on this blog (see the search engine ... if you can't find it, I am told you may need to turn off your adblocker). Suffice it to say that I stand within the Second Millennium ethos of the Latin Church and willingly concelebrate at major episcopal, sacramental events such as Chrism Masses. I shall not enable comments which rebuke me for doing this without having read my series on the subject and without being aware of the teaching of Innocent III, Benedict XIV, S Thomas Aquinas, etc. etc.. So there!