At the invitation of the Pastor, the following presentation was given to the parishioners of the Personal Parish of Saint Luke, Washington, D.C., a parish of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, on the occasion of the inauguration of Divine Worship: The Missal, on the First Sunday of Advent 2015.
Some canonical considerations on the appointment of a bishop-ordinary for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter.
In succession to The Reverend Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, P.A., today the Holy Father appointed The Reverend Monsignor Steven Lopes as the second ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, and its first bishop. Monsignor Steenson was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in January 2012, and led the personal ordinariate for the United States and Canada from its genesis, to a point where it boasts around forty communities, seventy clergy, a territorial deanery in Canada, an administrative and canonical infrastructure, and the facilities required (in terms of church buildings and a chancery) to establish itself permanently within the life of the Catholic Church in the United States. As he relinquishes this responsibility, the clergy and faithful of all three personal ordinariates can be grateful for his relentless work and commitment to this project, and for the example that he leaves for the development, growth, and success of the personal ordinariates as distinctive communities of Catholic life and faith, rooted in the liturgical, pastoral, and spiritual traditions of Anglicanism.
In a recent interview with The Ordinariate Observer, Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, was asked about Divine Worship: The Missal and its relationship to the Anglican patrimony. His response was instructive, and is perhaps a useful means of understanding how the communities of the personal ordinariates will receive anew those traditions and practices which sustained their life within Anglicanism, and which have prompted within them aspirations to full communion with the Catholic Church. He said: “Anglican patrimony can be defined by as many people that happen to be in a room at that time. The Holy See helped us to define what is genuinely Catholic in these Anglican texts. Left to our own devices, we could not have defined our patrimony, simply because it is too various and too diverse; every congregation has a definition of ‘what is’ the distinctive Anglican patrimony of those they represent. Anglican patrimony was principally expressed locally, not universally. The Holy See needed to come in and help us ‘see it.’”
As a sign of her conformity to Christ in the midst of the world, the Church maintains her own calendar of feasts and fasts, which mark not only the principal commemorations of the life of Christ, her Lord, but also the lives of the saints, and the turning of the annual cycle of the year. This respects, of course, the cycle of nature; a fact seen in the timing of the Ember Days and Rogations. But the calendar of the Church’s feasts, the liturgical calendar, also provides something of superstructure that guide the Christian through the year, in accord with the life of Christ and his saints, as what we might topically describe as a liturgical “pathway of accompaniment” toward sanctification in the sacramental life of grace.
In his paper to the annual festival of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in London on Saturday 19 September 2015, Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia OP, Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, presented what might be understood to be the primary theological rationale for the liturgical provision of the personal ordinariates erected under the auspices of the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum cœtibus. Archbishop Di Noia is well placed to make these observations, both as one who was intimately involved in the evolution of the personal ordinariates (even before they came into existence) and latterly as the Chairman of the Interdicasterial Working Group Anglicanæ traditiones, which was formed in 2011 to compile the liturgical provision mandated by Anglicanorum cœtibus III.
Following several years of work, it is a joy to learn today that Divine Worship: The Missal is to be published in time for Advent this year. This missal represents the definitive expression of the Anglican liturgical patrimony within the Catholic Church, primarily for the use of the communities and parishes of the personal ordinariates in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Australia. It is accompanied by Divine Worship: Occasional Services, which contains the rites for baptism, confirmation (including the reception of converts), marriage, and funerals.
At the invitation of Father Lee Kenyon, I have just returned from a most remarkable and wonderful Holy Week at Saint John the Evangelist in Calgary, a church of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. The parish was received into the Church in December 2011 with around 65 persons, and they have received the same number again since then, and attracted a large number of 20-35 year young adult Catholics from the area. Regular Mass attendance is now well over 100. The parish celebrates exclusively according to Divine Worship, the liturgy prepared for the ordinariates, and has a daily celebration of the Mass and the public recitation of Morning and Evening Prayer according to these rites. This includes Mattins sung to plainchant twice a week with homeschooled children who have begun to meet together in the parish to form a cooperative and to form the beginnings of a choir school.
The music at Saint John’s is supported by an amateur parish choir. The English Hymnal and the Canadian equivalent, The Book of Common Praise, supplement the complete propers sung in English to settings from Wantage and the English Gradual. The Ordinary of the Mass is sung to settings by Merbecke and Healey Willan, with great confidence and gusto by all. A good pipe organ assists with this, together with the singing of many the parts of the Mass as prescribed for a said or sung celebration.
The General Roman Calendar provides the basic structure and content for the proper (i.e., specific) calendars of the personal ordinariates established under the auspices of Anglicanorum cœtibus. In an explanatory note on 8 March 2012, Monsignor Andrew Burnham made the point that the proper calendar for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham makes ‘very few modifications to the General Roman Calendar or to the National Calendars of England and Wales’. This is similarly the case for the ordinariates in the United States (together with the deanery of Saint John the Baptist in Canada) and in Australia. In each case, the ordinary form of the Roman rite is the basis of the calendar’s constitution.
This week the Catholic Church, together with other Christian communities, celebrated the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. For those from the Anglican tradition, the origins of this week are significant, because it was the effort of Anglican ecumenists that founded what was originally known as the Church Unity Octave, and which had the express intention of the reunion of Anglicans with the Apostolic See. The involvement, in 1933, of the French priest Fr Paul Couturier saw this develop into the Week of Universal Prayer for the Unity of Christians, again, with unity with Rome at the very heart.
What is the Anglican patrimony? This is a question that has thousands of different potential answers, and yet it is also one that many find very difficult to answer at all. For the past four years suggestions have been made, serious academic papers have been written, and many people have come to their own mind about what it is that the personal ordinariates are (and are not) supposed to preserve and promote.
For the most comprehensive collection of essays on this subject we can turn to the Catholic League’s special edition of The Messenger, which is available to download here. Suggested categories there and elsewhere have tended to include the Anglican musical tradition, the liturgical texts and language, the Anglican approach to preaching, even the ‘coffee hour’ or simply the people themselves.