Anglican chant–beautiful compilation

Here is a compilation on YouTube of the Psalms sung in Anglican Chant by English choirs. I am hoping our web elf will put a link to this on the side bar.

How many parishes or communities keep Anglican Chant alive?

We do it for the canticles of Evensong a couple of times a month.  We usually do the Psalms in plainsong.  This is patrimony and may we preserve it, and pass it on.

Use it or lose it.

In search of “orthodox” Anglicanism

I ran into someone last week that I used to work with 17 years ago, around the time I first started attending Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, then a Traditional Anglican Communion parish in Ottawa. It is now a Catholic parish of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

Since we last met, my friend has become active in the Anglican Network in Canada, the Canadian diocese of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA),  groups that broke away from the official Anglican and Episcopal Churches in Canada and the United States but still affiliated through GAFCON with the Canterbury Communion.

In conversation, I was taken back to the days when, as part of the Anglican diaspora, I would often come across the phrase  “orthodox Anglicanism” yet notice there were still big differences on what that meant in terms of sacramental theology, the Prayer Book, liturgy and interpretation of Sacred Scripture.  We at Annunciation were considered “nose bleed” Anglo-Catholics, because we were so high church with our smells and bells, cassocks, male priests and liturgy. We had broken with the Anglican Church of Canada over the ordination of women in the late 1970s.   ANiC formed when the authority of Scripture was challenged over same-sex blessings. They include Anglo-Catholics but are generally more low church, and evangelical in character.

Just now, I was just prompted to visit David Virtue’s Virtueonline, and sure enough, the tagline for it is “The Voice of Global Orthodox Anglicanism.”

I remember in the run-up to our coming into the Catholic Church, a retired priest and academic who decided he could not continue with us waved the red Canadian 1962 Book of Common Prayer open to the 39 Articles during our coffee hour and thundered these Articles represented the orthodox Anglicanism we were abandoning.

A few years ago, I attended the ANiC Synod that was held here in Ottawa and even wrote a story about it for Catholic papers.  I loved being there.  What a joyful group of people with a palpable love of Jesus Christ!  Here’s a little excerpt of the story I wrote:

Now a province of the Anglican Church in North America (ANCA), ANiC’s roots are in the Anglican “Essentials” movement that began in the 1990s. ANiC formed officially in 2005 and began offering episcopal leadership in 2007 under Bishop Donald Harvey, who sought Primatial jurisdiction under Anglican Primate of the Southern Cone, Archbishop Gregory Venables, who is now Bishop of Argentina.

On Nov. 6, the new primate of the Anglican Church in North America, Archbishop Foley Beach, installed Bishop Charlie Masters as Diocesan bishop. Masters succeeds Bishop Harvey as the founding moderator of the ecclesial body. Venables was present for the installation as were 13 other bishops from ANCA and ANiC.

One of Canada’s foremost Christian apologists, J.I. Packer, 88, a member of ANiC, spoke on the importance of ongoing catechesis for all ages “to maintain orthodoxy in our midst.” ANiC has produced a catechism that was five years in the making.

Catechesis must be regular, i.e. “we keep doing it,” he said. “Things will not be too good if this is neglected.”

Without ongoing catechesis, which has been overlooked in the past 100 years, the denomination has been “invaded by liberal theologians who encourage as many different theologies as there are persons to think them,” Packer said. It also kept clergy from evangelistic and Biblical ministry because they “were not able to offer cogent catechizing through a tried and tested method of spreading God’s Gospel message in Christ.”

The result has been that so many Anglican brothers and sisters are confused about their faith, thinking that “what you believe is not important,” it’s only important how you behave, he said.

“They do not love the Lord,” he said. “They really are not Christian. What can we do about it?”

“I’m an evangelist for catechism,” Packer said, noting everyone needs catechesis for “strength, stability, clarity and punch!”

“I believe in a Christianity that has punch!” he said. “The milk and water prospect of gentle Christianity is not what’s necessary.”

The other day, I arrived at a lecture I planned on attending just as people were leaving and who should I run into but the new pastor of one of Ottawa’s ANiC parishes St. Peter and St. George and his wife, Fr. Brent and Karen Stiller.  We had a great conversation and I expressed my hope we could build bridges with them.  Some of our young people already socialize with their young people and our priest Fr. Doug Hayman once served at St. George’s, the name of St. Peter and St. Paul’s when it was still in the Anglican Church of Canada.

Well, the other day my old friend sent me an invitation to Fr. Stiller’s induction service on Sunday night, so I think I will go and celebrate with them.

I believe there can be great fruit in the pursuit of orthodox Anglicanism—even if people mean different things when they use those words.  And for us in the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society, there is relevance   for the Catholics among us, because what is it about our Anglican/ English Catholic patrimony that remains a “treasure to be shared” with the wider Church.

Back in the days when I was a member of a seeker-friendly Baptist Church, I began searching for  an Apostolic faith.  I was initially drawn to this church because I was not required to sign on the dotted line as believing any creed.  My personal relationship with Jesus and believer’s baptism was enough for membership. I’m grateful for their ministry because their approach—very Pope Francis-ish before there was a Pope Francis—gently met me where I was and accompanied to a deeper, more orthodox Christian faith. As I discovered how important believing sound doctrine is in living a victorious Christian life, the more my desire for finding that Apostolic faith grew.

Desiring an Apostolic faith—one like that which was passed on by the eyewitnesses of Jesus Christ—led me first into the Traditional Anglican Communion and ultimately into the Catholic Church.

So, desiring orthodox Anglicanism—may that longing, too, can become a vehicle for ever deeper conversion to Jesus Christ and towards Christian unity, the kind only the Holy Spirit can bring.


More on Atonement and Fr. Phillips

Shane Shaetzel at Catholic in the Ozarks has a blog post up about the news that Our Lady of Atonement is now part of the Ordinariate—and what it means that Fr. Phillips is now Pastor-emeritus.

Go on over and read the whole thing.  Here’s an excerpt.  By the way, Shane is a member of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society board of directors and full of great ideas.

As pastor emeritus, Fr. Phillips will re-assume the exact same pastoral roles he previously had over the parish and the school, minus administrative roles. This is for very practical reasons. The process of transferring OLA from an Archdiocesan to an Ordinariate parish will be long and tedious. Financially untangling OLA from the Archdiocese will be no easy task. It’s one of the Archdiocese’ largest parishes, one of its more substantial financial contributors, and is undergoing a major construction project with loans currently guaranteed by the Archdiocese. So untangling OLA from the Archdiocese of San Antonio is going to be a full-time job in itself, for people with expert financial wisdom, who are used to handling this sort of thing. Responsibility for this has been given to Ordinariate priest Fr. Timothy Perkins, who will act as the parish administrator from afar — at the Ordinariate chancery in Houston. For all practical purposes, on a pastoral level, Fr. Phillips is still the man in charge at OLA.

In addition to Rome’s decree that OLA enter the Ordinariate, Rome has also decreed that all remaining “Anglican Use Pastoral Provision” parishes and communities be transferred to the Ordinariate as well. (I am only aware of one other parish that meets this specification — the Congregation of St Athanasius in Boston, Massachusetts.) Once these communities are transferred the “Anglican Use Pastoral Provision” will effectively cease to exist and become a page for the history books.

Go on over and read the whole thing.

Some pictures from Atonement last night

17426243_1096947547099113_2374033667945304540_nWe expect to post more details of what happened at Our Lady of Atonement in San Antonio, Texas last night when Bishop Steven Lopes met with parishioners and Father Christopher Phillips to announce the parish and its school is now part of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.


Meanwhile, here’s a note of Fr. Phillips that was posted on Facebook yesterday:

This has been an historic day. Our Lady of the Atonement is now a parish of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Fr. Moore and I are incardinated as priests of the Ordinariate.

Of course, there is an immense amount of work to be done in moving from one jurisdiction to another. Bishop Lopes described it as “trying to untangle fish hooks.” There will need to be ongoing conversations and cooperation with the Archdiocese of San Antonio as our property, including all the buildings, are transferred. We have construction loans presently guaranteed by the archdiocese which now need to be redone. The list of practical details go on and on. Because of that, the Vicar General of the Ordinariate, Fr. Timothy Perkins, has been appointed to be Administrator in order to facilitate those things. He will, of course, continue his work in Houston, visiting the parish once or twice a month. Bishop Lopes is in conversation with the archbishop, working out the details concerning the continued service of our faithful and long-time deacon, Dn. Michael D’Agostino, and Fr. Moore is appointed to be Parochial Vicar.

I return to the parish as Pastor Emeritus to carry on my regular pastoral, liturgical, and sacramental ministry, and especially what I love the most — back to my place in the school with our wonderful students.

I am delighted with this! As I told some of our people today, “I get to continue to do all the things I love, and poor Fr. Perkins has to do all the hard stuff!”

As of today we return to being the parish family we have always been, but poised for even greater adventures. I am grateful for our years in the Archdiocese of San Antonio — it was the soil in which we grew and flourished. But I am now looking forward to new relationships in the Ordinariate, and to serving God under a new bishop, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Steven Lopes.

I posted the Ordinariate’s news release in a previous post. You can find it here.

“But if not …” and lost Biblical literacy

If only we could revive the practice among lay people of praying the daily offices of Morning and Evening Prayer!

I can’t say enough praiseworthy about John Covert’s website that provides us with all the Collects, Psalms, Readings and Canticles of the day.  Not only that,  if you want to join in saying the prayers, at the website there’s a call in number so you can participate via phone at 8:35 AM ET and 4:45 PM ET.   John sent me a call in number for Ottawa so there are no long distance charges and he has numbers for other cities that he would be happy to provide to anyone who is interested.

Edith Humphrey, a New Testament scholar and friend who teaches at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, is a former Anglican who eventually left with her husband Chris to become Orthodox.  I got to know her and her husband when they lived in Ottawa, and still remember a talk she gave at the Anglican Essentials Conference here in Ottawa when Anglicans troubled by a push for “same-sex blessings” met to discuss what was next.

She has a story in one of her books  (I just tried to find it and because I do not have a librarian, when I need it I can’t!) that illustrates the huge contrast between the Biblical literacy of ordinary people in England during the Second World War and today.

She wrote of how the British Expeditionary Force became stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk. The commander sent a three word telegram to home office that was immediately understood.  “But if not.”

Okay, stop for a moment.  If you got a telegram with those three words would you have a clue what was meant?

Interestingly, however, when the contents of this telegram was made known to the British people, they knew immediately what it meant too.

They knew it referred to Daniel 3:18

Here is the verse in context from the King James Version:

16Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Ordinary people launched every boat or craft capable of crossing the English Channel to rescue the stranded British soldiers.

That story to me shows the power of lay people praying the daily offices and becoming steeped in Scripture through daily exposure.

Dr. John Patrick, president of Augustine College that offers a one year program in the foundations of western civilization, has often spoken of the Biblical literacy of farmers in the 19th Century, men who had only an 8th grade education but they knew Scripture and because of that attained greater literacy than the people of today.  He has a Bible metaphor test up on his website. See if you know all of these.  I confess, I did not.

Our Ordinariate Parish has a close association with Augustine College.  Our pastor Fr. Doug Hayman is chaplain and teaches the Scripture course. One of our parishioners is their webmaster.  He and several of our young people are alumni of Augustine College.

Peter Louis Bergman is born !!!!

It is with considerable joy that we can announce that the tenth child of Father Eric Bergman and his wife Kristina has been born.

Fr, Bergman is the pastor of the Ordinariate parish of St. Thomas More in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He is also a members of the Governing Council of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter and the Chaplain and a member of the Board of Directors of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society.

The official news release from St. Thomas More Parish states:

Dear Members & Friends of St. Thomas More Parish,

A quick note with the joyful news that Peter Louis Bergman was born this morning (Tuesday, March 21) to Fr. & Mrs. Bergman (their 10th!), measuring 19 inches and weighing in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces. Mother and baby are doing well. You can view a photo here:

Thank you as always for your prayers and for your generous support!

Your Friends at St. Thomas More Parish, Scranton

Here is a photo of Pope Francis with Father Eric and Kristina Bergman and one of their ten children: