Mass: Ordinariate Use


This morning I have been busy collating booklets to enable us to celebrate Mass according to the new Ordinariate Use, a rite officially launched to coincide with the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham which falls today.

How exciting for the Ordinariate to have its own beautiful liturgy enabling us to offer something truly distinct in our life as former Anglicans residing with joy within and alongside the wider Catholic Church. For this is a Mass steeped in the treasury of English spirituality which we hope and pray might enable us to speak powerfully to the people of this nation, in their own language and culture, as we seek to end the scandal of reformation divide and call people home to unity and sacramental assurance with Peter.

This liturgy has been carefully put together by the Vatican to ensure it is thoroughly sound in its expression of the faith. It is not only for former Anglicans, therefore, but for the benefit of ALL Catholics. A fully valid Mass which fulfils our obligation following as it does the Roman Canon of the Mass. It just happens to contain prayers and devotions drawn from the Book of Common Prayer which sprang from the ancient Sarum Rite trampled underfoot during those painful years of division. A thoroughly English Catholic Mass then and written in the stunning language of the prayer book.

Here at Saint Anselm’s we will not replace the Novus Ordo Mass with the Ordinariate Use but put the two celebrations alongside one another. A fitting expression of our dual nature being a community that breathes with two lungs, one diocesan and one Ordinariate.

At first, and beginning today, Low Mass on a Tuesday will be offered according to the Ordinariate Use. Over the coming weeks and months the servers and clergy will then meet to rehearse Solemn Mass together to ensure we can offer it with the appropriate amount of dignity and reverence. When we feel confident and ready we will then host a special evening Mass, to which we will invite all comers from the deanery and beyond.

Then, if it seems appropriate, it is possible that we will use the Ordinariate Use Mass for our 9.15am Sunday Mass leaving the 11am Mass as a Novus Ordo celebration.  In short we need to experiment a little with open minds to help everyone get used to what is new without losing what we also love. Here is the official blurb on the launch of this new liturgy:

History will be made in the Catholic Church on 10 October when a new text for the Mass which includes traditional Anglican words is officially introduced in London.

The text has been devised for use by the Personal Ordinariates – the structures established by Pope Benedict XVI which allow former Anglicans who wish to enter the full communion of the Catholic Church to do so whilst retaining aspects of their spiritual and liturgical traditions. Benedict XVI described these as “precious gifts” and “treasures to be shared”.

 The liturgy – the work of a special commission established by Rome and now approved by the Holy See – includes material from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as well as the Roman Rite. It will be unveiled with a Mass, to be followed by a media launch organised by the Friends of the Ordinariate charity, at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, Soho.

 The Mass will be celebrated by the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Monsignor Keith Newton, and the preacher will be Monsignor Andrew Burnham, Assistant to the Ordinary and a member of the commission which devised the liturgy, known as the Ordinariate Use. Music, drawn from the English tradition, will include Howells’ Collegium Regale.

 Mgr Burnham said: “For some time, the Ordinariate has had its own liturgy, approved by the Holy See, for marriages and funerals and the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham already provides a daily office in the Anglican tradition. But the introduction of this new Ordinariate Use is very important because it means that we now have our own distinctive liturgy for the Mass which brings to the Roman rite beautiful Anglican words which have been hallowed for generations. It gives the Ordinariate unity and a corporate identity.”

The Roman Rite in both its ordinary and extraordinary forms remains available for use by Ordinariate priests and there will be no requirement for them to adopt the Ordinariate Use. However, all Ordinariate clergy will be expected to familiarise themselves with it. Some priests are expected to use it regularly, while others – especially in parishes with a large concentration of “cradle” Catholics in the congregation – may only wish to use it from time to time.

The Mass will be celebrated in the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption & St Gregory’s at 6.30pm on Thursday 10 October. All welcome.

14 thoughts on “Mass: Ordinariate Use”

  1. Where is the rite available?
    Our local Parish had a Sung Mass of Our Lady of Walsingham with the Ordinariate included in the intentions.

  2. Will the US Ordinariate be able to celebrate the Extraordinary form also?

    The Ordinariate stated a few months ago it would not be allowed, however, I would think that Rome has the final word and not the Ordinary who it appears has been influenced by a certain Cardinal to deny the use in the US.

    One will find that there are many US Bishops who are more or less anti tradition and some against the Ordinariate.

    1. To Bernadette, the EF was not denied to parishioners in the US. As a priest in the Ordinariate in the US, I can state that what our Ordinary put forth was the guidance that the use of Latin (not to confuse linguistic use with a specific liturgy) was not an integral part of the Anglican Patrimony – the primary reason for the creation of the Ordinariates. He encouraged us to learn Latin and the EF, but reminded us that a true key element of our patrimony was celebrating the Mass in the vernacular, i.e. English. This liturgy will be used in our parishes in the US, and we as clergy will receive guidance on it during the October clerical retreat for the Ordinariate. Please be patient and gracious. It is possible for God to work through the Church and our leaders, rather than in spite of them.

  3. Reverend Father, would you be able to put up a copy of your booklet in a .pdf file? I am very eager to see this liturgy. Do you have a link where this liturgy can be seen? Thank you.

  4. Thank you Fr. Bolin for the “updated” information. As I recall from the Ordinary’s statement a few months ago, he said that the Ordinariate parishes may use the OF (which is not Anglican), however, not the extraordinary Mass, although he encouraged priests that were interested to learn how to celebrate the EF. There were many Catholic websites that also interpreted the statement as I did.

    Hopefully this has changed as your comment implies. Although I don’t attend the EF, I do divide my time between an Ordinariate , Anglican Use Mass and a very traditional OF parish.

    I am waiting to read an official statement from the Ordinary that our parishes may now offer the EF. There are many Catholics who would be interested in attending as it is difficult to find a parish where the EF is offered.

    Are you a Pastor of an Ordinariate parish and if so, would you mind saying which one.

    Again thanks for clarifying what the US parishes are allowed to celebrate as liturgy.

    1. I thought Rome made it clear from the start that Ordinariate priests would have the same entitlement as any Roman Rite priests to use the OF (in Latin or the vernacular) or the EF (in Latin only, but with vernacular readings permitted)

      In my Anglican (& English) youth in the 50′s & 60′s all real “western” A/C priests were expected to know how to say the Roman Mass as “professionally” as their RC counterparts, while incorporating as much material from the 1662 BCP as they felt they should or were pastorally obliged to. Not all Anglican clergy felt at hope with Latin, but the “English Missal” , of blessed memory, made it almost possible for those who did to say all the “sotto voce” parts of the TLM in Latin. I remember the thrill when I was serving Mass one day in the late 50′s when I realized the Vicar was saying the offertory prayers & Canon in Latin.

      Anglican Papalists always believed that the Roman Rite was truly part of our heritage. Moreover, although most of the old tridentine Anglican papalists must, sadly have passed away, or like me, long since crossed the Tiber, there must still be at least a few survivors who loved the old Roman Rite or the tridentine/BCP miscellany. Not everyone can have gleefully embraced the Novus Ordo in its cheap and tacky vernacular garb. But from what I have seen so far there is at least one version of the Ordinariate rite which is very close to the vernacular version we used to know of the tridentine Mass, and yes, it was a genuine part of Anglican Heritage.

  5. I’ve pasted below the text of Msgr Steenson’s actual statement. Notice up front that it specifically went out due to questions on use of Latin in the EF. Yes, we were given specific guidance on liturgies to use, and I have no doubt that we’ll be given revised guidance next month with the unveiling of the new, final Ordinariate Use liturgy. Keep in mind that the guidance on liturgical use came not just from our Ordinary, but also from the working group that included the CDF and the CDW. The key in all this is to use the liturgies and elements of worship that are appropriate to the context. I personally trust our leadership, and look forward to seeing where we go. As an example, an Ordinariate priest, who has been trained in the EF in Latin, could offer it at another local parish that desires the EF in Latin but has no priest trained to conduct it. All that would take is pastoral coordination. FSSP offers regular training on the EF, and I considered going to it this December out in Nebraska, but will wait until sometime next year.

    To answer your other question, I am a priest in the Ordinariate, but also an Active Duty US Army Chaplain. I’m on a special schooling assignment in Washington, DC, and caring for a small community in formation, St. Timothy’s, in Catonsville, MD.
    In response to certain questions that have been asked about the use of the Latin Mass in its Extraordinary Form in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary, issued this statement:

    “We rejoice in the liturgical richness of the Catholic Church. We in the Anglican tradition certainly welcome the Holy Father’s concern that the Mass be understood as a living, continuous tradition. The communio sanctorum compels us to read and engage with the Church’s tradition with a hermeneutic of continuity.

    “The particular mission of the Ordinariate is to bring into the fuller life of the Catholic Church those enduring elements of the Anglican liturgical patrimony which are oriented to Catholic truth. This liturgical identity seeks to balance two historic principles — that Christian prayer and proclamation should be offered in the vernacular and that the language of worship should be sacral. This is what Anglicans understand when they speak of the prayer book tradition.

    “The liturgy of the Ordinariate is superintended by an inter-dicasterial working group (of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW)). At the time the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was established, the CDW provided important guidance for our liturgical use: The Book of Divine Worship Rite I should be amended to bring it into conformity with the Roman Missal 3rd edition, particularly the words of Consecration. For those congregations that prefer a contemporary idiom, the Roman Missal 3rd edition could be used.

    “We have therefore asked that the congregations of the Ordinariate follow this direction. Some of our clergy want to learn also how to celebrate according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. They are certainly encouraged to do so, under the provisions of Summorum Pontificum and under the supervision of the local bishop, to assist in those stable communities that use the Extraordinary Form. But as the Extrordinary Form is not integral to the Anglican patrimony, it is not properly used in our communities. The Ordinariate will remain focused on bringing Christians in the Anglican tradition into full communion with the Catholic Church. We also are pleased that the Church has provided for the continuing use of the Extraordinary Form, particularly as a pastoral response to traditional Catholics, and regard all of this as a well-ordered symphony of praise to the Blessed Trinity.”

    1. If I could just say Father Ken, I think that is a sensitively nuanced but also extremely clear statement. It has certainly helped me, as a middle of the road Roman Rite Catholic who has been a little puzzled by the Ordinariate, appreciate a little more about how it understands itself and its mission. Thank you!

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