The Beauty of the Anglican Usage Liturgy (the Ordinariate)

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The beauty of the liturgy is part of this mystery; it is a sublime expression of God’s glory and, in a certain sense, a glimpse of heaven on earth.—Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis #35

 

The mission of the Ordinariate is particularly experienced in the reverence and beauty of our liturgy, [emphasis added] which features Anglican traditions of worship while conforming to Catholic doctrinal, sacramental and liturgical standards. [emphasis added]   Through Divine Worship: The Missal — the liturgy that unites the Ordinariates throughout the English-speaking world — we share our distinctive commitment to praising God in the eloquence of the Anglican liturgical patrimony and Prayer Book English. —Ordinariate Questions and Answers

“Be Positive!” is one of my Lenten resolutions, and in that spirit I offer this post.  My wife and I watched a DVD  of the installation of Bishop Steven Lopes;  Bishop Lopes presides over the Ordinariate of The Chair of St. Peter, which is a diocese for those Episcopalians and Anglicans in Canada and the US who have swum the Tiber and now follow the Anglican Usage of the Latin Rite.

Perhaps the greatest blessing Pope Benedict XVI bestowed on his Church was instituting The Ordinariate by the ordinance of Anglicorum Coetibus.  The Personal Ordinariate of Anglican Usage offers to our Church a renewal of beauty in the liturgy, a return to what is established, holy and worshipful.   This was evident in Bishop Lopes’s Ordination Mass, displayed in elements carried over from Anglican and Episcopal liturgy–Thee’s and Thou’s, and other parts of the Mass derived from the Anglican “Book of Common Prayer” (see here for more specifics).  What was missing in the ordination Mass (possibly because of Church architecture and congregation size) was  ad orientem worship by the priests and Holy Communion received kneeling at an altar, with an intincted host.

Perhaps most welcome in the Anglican Usage liturgy is the absence of those hymns which cater to the “Catholics can’t sing” axiom.   The Anglican Usage hymns, taken from the Anglican Hymn Book, have both melody and message.   Here’s an example, a YouTube video of the Recessional Hymn at the Ordination of Bishop Lopes:

One other point is of interest:  the congregation was dressed to show respect for the occasion;  as my wife remarked, “They must all be former Anglicans, or maybe somebody told the Catholics what they should wear.”

And here, for those who would like to see a full Anglican Usage Mass, is a link to a YouTube video of Bishop Lopes celebrating Mass for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity.  I’ve also written on this here and here.

And let’s all pray that our Liturgy can be restored and revitalized,  such that we can focus on the beauty of receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion.

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5 Comments

  1. At our Ordinariate parish here in western Canada, Mass is celebrated ad orientem and Communion is received kneeling and on the tongue, and I believe this is the norm. So as you say, it might be something particular to that church or that occasion.

    The Ordinariate’s Divine Worship really does fix almost everything that’s wrong with the Novus Ordo, and anyone who’s fortunate enough to have an Ordinariate community nearby should try it out. It might not satisfy dedicated Latin Massgoers–perhaps too many congregational responses, or the use of even an elevated form of the vernacular–but for Catholics who have grown tired of the ceaseless banality of so many Novus Ordo parishes, the Ordinariate is an oasis of reverence and beauty.

  2. Back around 2009 I was assigned to teach a nuclear training course to engineers in well-known company that does a lot of work for Naval nuclear propulsion down in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I was there for two weeks, so on Sunday I got to attend Mass at St. Mary the Virgin, an Anglican-use Ordinariate Parish.

    https://stmarythevirgin.org/

    All I can say is heavenly. Absolutely heavenly. This is how the Mass is SUPPOSED to be conducted when done in English!

  3. Even if you have to drive 60 miles each way, it is worth it to worship God and not worship each other, not worship an effeminate (at best) priest. Big Plus: you simply will not believe the sermons, yes, sermons, not blahblahblahluvluvluv “homilies.” But be warned – they reject the no-hell no-sin paradigm of Jorge church. I know a family that does drive 120 miles each Sunday to attend OL of the Atonement – and they rejoice coming and going. Especially since the Bergoglian Gestapo failed in its attempted putsch to take over the property. If you want to remember what it is like to receive Our Lord kneeling at a communion rail, from one ordained, go to one of their churches. My only fear: you know the demons in the Vatican are right now trying to figure out a way to eradicate this Holy Sacrifice Of The Mass and replace it with their performances. Guy McClung, Texas

  4. The Ordinariate’s Divine Worship really does fix almost everything that’s wrong with the Novus Ordo, and anyone who’s fortunate enough to have an Ordinariate community nearby should try it out. It might not satisfy dedicated Latin Massgoers–perhaps too many congregational responses, or the use of even an elevated form of the vernacular–but for Catholics who have grown tired of the ceaseless banality of so many Novus Ordo parishes, the Ordinariate is an oasis of reverence and beauty.

    As an article I once read put it, Divine Worship is what the Novus Ordo would be if the reforms had actually stuck to the mandate given by Vatican 2.

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