Recently I have been at two events here in Southern California that attempt to conjure the spirit of Merrie England in sun-baked Los Angeles: The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, and the far more modest Summer Faire of the British Home in California (one of a chain of well-run old age homes managed by the Daughters of the British Empire). Different as these two events were, they had one thing in common – a folkloric part of the Patrimony: Morris Dancing.
Now to be fair, one either gets Morris Dancing or one doesn’t – this writer does. But regardless of one’s own feelings in the matter, one thing is sure: those who do are Anglophile to a greater or lesser degree. I have written about the utility of Anglophilia in evangelisation for the Ordinariate in an earlier post. It seems to me that using Morris Dancers for an Ordinariate parish’s fundraising or celebrations (when appropriate) would have several advantages. First, some of those who would come to see them might very well have an interest in the Ordinariate when exposed to it; some of the members of the local Morris side might be as well; and attendance by Ordinariate parishioners at other such functions by the Morrismen might also lend themselves to spreading the word to possibly interested parties. There are quite a few Morris sides in the United States and Canada – so if convenient, have a look. No less a figure than the redoubtable Msgr. Edwin Barnes – sometime Bishop of Richborough – has spoken about such things as the traditional musicians of the New Forest in his blog, and if it is good enough for him – well then!