Today is Thanksgiving up here in the Dominion of Canada, and a fitting occasion to recall all that our Lord has given us.
The obvious thing for which all of us Catholics of Anglican rite have to be eternally grateful is the answer to our many prayers for the growth and confirmation of the Anglican heritage in the Catholic Church. For generations prior to the 1980s, Anglicans prayed for a way to become fully Catholic without loss of their culture or community, and former Anglicans prayed for a way to recover those treasures they had freely given up in becoming Catholic.
Those prayers were answered in 1980, at least partially, with the Anglican provision of Saint John Paul II. But over the following three decades, those prayers continued and were intensified, encouraged by what had been given to a handful of our communities in the United States.
In Canada, we prayed specifically that the Anglican Use would be permitted outside the US, and that hierarchs would cease to impede its spread but would facilitate it in a spirit of visionary generosity and evangelical courage.
In those American communities where the Anglican identity, heritage & corporate integrity had been preserved, the prayer continued for the preservation and blessing of the same, and I am copying below for those who haven’t yet seen it, the Prayer for the Anglican Use that originated, I believe, in our Texan parishes but has been spreading ever since.
As everyone knows, Pope Benedict XVI’s Anglican provision in 2009 was the major fulfillment of this prayer. And yet the prayer remains in use, as we continually seek God’s blessings.
While it is Thanksgiving for Canadians, it is never a bad time for everyone to give thanks and to redouble our prayers, that we the people of the Anglican Use might find favour in the sight of the Lord and increase in both holiness and in number, and that our heritage might always be watched over by him who is our strength and our Redeemer:
For the Anglican Use.
O Holy Ghost, the Lord, who gavest the Church the gift of tongues that Christ might be known by peoples of divers nations and customs; watch over the Anglican heritage within thy Church, we pray thee; that, led by thy guidance and strengthened by thy grace, that Use may find such favour in thy sight that its people may increase both in holiness and in number, and so show forth thy glory; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Son, one God, world without end. Amen.
Mindful that this prayer has already been so wonderfully answered (and grateful for the labours of those who made this possible), both in the fall of 2009 and continually in the years since: