Monday, 17 January 2011

Some more Ordinariate

I have been exploring in my mind what it is that constitutes the "Anglican patrimony" that can be part of the life of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. In my earlier thoughts on this matter I indicated, based on a personal experience, that I did not feel that a liturgical regeneration was a likely implication of the Ordinariate:
The music was not, on the whole, that which would gain the approval of the Catholic tradosphere. All of which is to suggest that, on the whole, the Ordinariate will not bring to the Catholic Church a great liturgical regeneration. There may be exceptions, but I guess that the great choirs and music often associated with the Anglican tradition will not be part of the Anglican patrimony the will come across to the Ordinariate, at least not in its beginnings.
In this context, it is interesting to read the account of Fr Andrew Burnham's first Mass at the Oxford Oratory and this little section of Fr Aidan Nichols OP's sermon at that Mass:
We rejoice today for Andrew personally as a long odyssey is completed, but since no share in priesthood is ever conferred for the individual’s satisfaction but only for some wider good, we also have to draw attention to the task that awaits him. Newman spoke of the ‘concentration and adjustment of great Anglican authorities’. Andrew has already begun working on the liturgical dimension of this, entrusted by the Holy See with co-ordinating efforts on that front, in recognition of his outstanding competence in that area.
The account of the Mass suggests what I might call "flexibilities" (rubrical breaches) with regard to one or two aspects of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, though they are "flexibilities" that are not beyond my own direct experience elsewhere than the Oxford Oratory. I refer to the Eucharistic Prayer being said while the singing of the Sanctus and Benedictus continues and the use of the new translation of the Ecce Agnus Dei.

In terms of the liturgical development within the Ordinariate, one can read this as EITHER a sign of continuing to choose or adapt liturgical forms to suit that goes with Anglo-Catholic life OR a sign that the Liturgy of the Ordinariate will become a place to put into practice the mutual enrichment of the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite that belong to Summorum Pontificum and Pope Benedict's accompanying letter.

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