Years ago, back when I had rather recently joined the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada parish of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ottawa, I had a conversation with our then bishop that exposed me to the notion “sensus fidei.”
Bishop (now Msgr.) Robert Mercer is known for his memorable stories and insights that we used to pass on to others with an attempt at imitating his accent. This was never done to make fun of him, but rather to express our deep affection and to lend authority to what he had said. These were his words, not ours, we were sharing.
One story he told was of making a visit to the home of a charwoman in England many years ago. She had her television on when he arrived and for a while, it stayed on while they chatted. That is, until a Church of England bishop came on the screen who had recently introduced some modernist novelties into theological discourse.
The woman got up and turned off the television. “I’ll not have that man in my house,” she said.
[Bishop] Mercer told this story to illustrate how even an uneducated, simple woman who cleaned other people’s homes for a living had the sensus fidei to recognize this bishop had veered into heresy.
He attributed the strength of the sensus fidei among ordinary Anglicans to the habit of praying the daily offices of Morning and Evening Prayer that steeped lay people in Scripture and Tradition.
The encounter with the charwoman must have taken place decades ago, because I am not sure how much that habit has remained active among Anglicans. But it’s one that I have tried to maintain since joining our parish and one I hope can be widely encouraged in the Personal Ordinariates.
There’s a group on Facebook called the Anglican Ordinariate Informal Conversation Forum where there is often lively discussion on various matters. The other day, I asked:
So, how many of you pray the daily offices at home? If so, why? If not, why not? And if not, why not start? I try to do them everyday, though I don’t do the whole thing, usually just the Psalms and the readings and the canticles. Coming into the Traditional Anglican Communion more than 17 years ago from the evangelical world, what a joy it was to have the daily pattern of Scripture reading, rather than to rely on my own determination of what I should read. My own reading usually led me to the same passages that I knew and loved and avoided more difficult bits. Do you have access to an ordo?
I got a range of responses and since it is a closed, aka non public discussion group I won’t share them verbatim here. Answers ranged from using the Roman Breviary; the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; the 1928 Book of Common Prayer (US); the 1962 Canadian Book of Common Prayer (1962), the IprayBCP app for Android users; and the more contemporary Roman Catholic daily readings.
I was most grateful that John Covert responded with this link to his website with the canticles and readings for both Morning and Evening Prayer available electronically.
Lo, and behold, you can even participate via conference call! The time is 8:45 am Eastern Time! I think I’ll join them today.
The conference dial-in number is 914-226-2403.† After the welcome you will be placed into the conference, initially muted. You may mute and unmute by pressing 1. The assigned reader will need to unmute when he “stands” to read.
If you call in and no one begins within a few seconds after the bells sound, please take on the role of officiant. Those arriving later will join in with you. Please don’t get discouraged if occasionally you are the only participant. We are building critical mass.
We are using the official Ordinariate Lectionary published by the Office of Worship of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter.
The Ordinariate Daily Office is awaiting approval from the Vatican. This webpage includes everything necessary to read the Office according to our best understanding of the proposal. Notes in red refer to differences from the Walsingham Publishing Morning and Evening Prayer Book with the Psalter and the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
There is a direct link to the Psalms for each day in the Order of Service below.
The officiants and readers are John & Pam Covert, Brett Marlina, Elise Sweet, Nancy Gilpin, and Fr. Wootton. Additional officiants and readers are welcome.
What a great resource. I hope to at some point get some help in putting a link to this site as a side bar for this blog.
We get a monthly ordo through the Canadian Deanery of St. John the Baptist of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter.
A friend whom I drive to Mass on Sundays told me she preferred having an online mode of accessing the daily offices because using an ordo required too much “looking up” passages in books.