All glory, laud and honour…

Here is a photograph of Fr. Behruz Rafat in the moments before this morning’s Palm Sunday celebration. There are no prizes for guessing which hymns were sung as we started Holy Week in fitting devotion. A very good turnout from the Ordinariate and from the established congregation ensured that most every seat was taken.

Palm Sunday 2011 begins a truly epic week for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. This Holy week many hundreds of people throughout Britain will be received into the Catholic fold and the first wave of the Ordinariate will have landed safely on the ground that was prepared for them. It is to be a time of great rejoicing.

Jesus said ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’ Well those entering the Ordinariate were certainly willing to die to known comfort and our old ecclesial life in order to proclaim the truth of the Gospel. Seeking unity, biblical fidelity and sacramental assurance we  sacrificed churches and their contents, money we had raised, homes and guaranteed income risking hostility, anger and pain.

It was not easy and much work remains to be done but at last the process of our death is over and we prepare to be raised up to a new life. With gratitude and joy we can begin to build our new home safe on the rock of Peter and the faith that comes from the Apostles. Safe from every whim and innovation of synod we can get on with the work of the Gospel and listen attentively to the voice of Christ our true shepherd.

Please pray for the 72 members of the Tunbridge Wells Ordinariate who will be received into the Catholic church on Tuesday. Pray for Fr. Edwin Barnes who comes to lead a special Ordinariate led Triduum in Pembury and pray for Fr. Behruz who leads the Triduum in Paddock Wood.  Pray for Bishop John Hine who will be with us on Easter Day. And pray for the unity that the ordinariate might bring to this land as our actions point others to the only real hope for unity.  May all Christians out of communion with Peter seek reconciliation that we might be one.

An otherwise excellent article in the Sunday Telegraph gets it wrong when it speaks of ‘the faithful torn apart’ and alludes to much division, defection and subterfuge. The Ordinariate is not a dissident movement aimed to rip apart the Church of England but a visionary movement that might undo the deep damage caused by the English reformation. May the blessed John Henry Newman and Our Lady of Walsingham pray for this work to be done. Bring on the Second Spring…

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