Public Masses suspended in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

20191027_104947Fr. Doug Hayman, the Dean of the Canadian St. John the Baptist Deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter has put the following noticeon the website of the Ottawa parish of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:


“Let me first acknowledge the heaviness of heart that I feel in “canceling Mass.” As a pastor myself, I grieve for our people who feel themselves denied the intimacy of Our Lord’s presence in Holy Communion. But let us also be clear: our action now in suspending Mass is a pastoral response! We are caring for our most vulnerable parishioners in this way. I know many of you have creatively tried—I have tried!—to keep Mass available for as long as possible. But the time has come for this pandemic to run its course and for all of us to follow the guidance of the experts. Until further notice, the celebration of public Mass is suspended in the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

Specifically, this means:
 The public celebration of all weekday and Sunday Masses are suspended effective
today, March 18, 2020.

 Priests should celebrate private Mass daily. Pastors and Parochial Administrators are still responsible for the pro populo Mass on Sundays and Solemnities, as well as for satisfying any Mass intentions that have been accepted for certain days. Private Mass means no congregation, no servers, no choir. If a private Mass is being live-streamed for the benefit of the faithful, it is permissible to have one server and perhaps a cantor.”

Fr. Hayman will be livestreaming a private Mass this evening at 6 pm EDT for the Solemnity of St. Joseph.  It will be from Annunciation’s Facebook page.

He also announced that Mass will be offered privately each day, and the church will be open from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. daily for prayer, with Confession available from 3:00 – 4:00
p.m. in the Lady Chapel

Whatever physical, biological factors might be at play, all pestilence has a spiritual root to it. Sin is fundamentally our separation from God, and hence from the abundant life for which we were created, and for which all creation was designed. The first and most important response to any time of affliction is to turn with heart and mind and soul and strength in repentance to the LORD.

That’s not an assignation of particular blame to any one of us, but a fervent desire to put away anything which might have come between us and our heavenly Father, and His perfect will for us and all of those for whom we might pray.

Lent is a time for repentance, fasting and prayer. We don’t usually think about fasting from the Eucharist—in fact we often try to make more time to participate in Mass, perhaps receiving daily, and to pray and meditate before the Blessed Sacrament, or at least upon the Mysteries of Christ’s precious Body and Blood—yet there are times when we must. Sometimes there is no celebration available in which to share; other times are own health or other circumstances make it impossible for us to receive the physical Elements of Communion. At such times, we do well
to offer that fast as a sacrifice to be gathered up in the once-for-all Sacrifice of our Lord, and to trust Him to anoint the prayers which we offer in that context; and we ought to make an act of Spiritual Communion (see some prayers below). Further to that, in order to meet our Sunday obligation in the absence of the opportunity to participate in the Mass, Bishop Lopes has decreed that we ought to undertake one of the two following pious practices:

a. Prayerful reflection upon the Sunday Scripture readings, concluding that time by the recitation of the Prayer of Humble Access or the Anima Christi;
b. The recitation of the Rosary as a family.


St. Ignatius of Loyola

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me;
Blood of Christ, inebriate me;
Water from the side of Christ, wash me;
Passion of Christ, strengthen me;
O good Jesu, hear me;
Within Thy wounds hide me;
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee;
From the malicious enemy, defend me;
In the hour of my death, call me;
And bid me come unto Thee;
That with Thy saints I may praise Thee;
For ever and ever. Amen.


How to Receive Spiritual Communion
St. Leonard of Port-Maurice
In order to facilitate a practice of such great excellence, ponder what I have to say. When the priest is about to give himself Communion in holy Mass, do you, keeping composed externally and internally, excite in your heart an act of true contrition, and humbly striking your breast, in token that you acknowledge yourself unworthy of so great a grace, make all those acts of love, of self-surrender, of humility, and the rest, which you are accustomed to make when you communicate sacramentally, and then desire with a lively longing to receive your good Jesus, veiled in the sacrament for your benefit. And to kindle your devotion, imagine that most holy Mary, or some saint, your holy advocate, is holding forth to you the sacred particle; figure yourself receiving it, and then, embracing Jesus in your heart, reply to Him, over and over again, with interior words prompted by love: “Come, Jesus, my Beloved, come within this my poor heart; come and satiate my desires; come and sanctify my soul; come, most sweet Jesus, come!”

This said, be still; contemplate your good God within you, and, as if you really had
communicated, adore Him, thank Him, and perform all those interior acts to which you are accustomed after sacramental Communion.
Act of Spiritual Communion
St. Alphonsus Liguori (A.D. 1696-1787)
My Jesus, I believe that Thou art present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things and I desire Thee in my soul. Since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though thou wert already there, I embrace Thee and unite myself wholly to Thee; permit not that I should ever be separated from Thee.

Act of Spiritual Communion : As I cannot this day enjoy the happiness of assisting at the holy Mysteries, O my God! I transport myself in spirit at the foot of Thine altar; I unite with the Church, which by the hands of the priest, offers Thee Thine adorable Son in the Holy Sacrifice; I offer myself with Him, by Him, and in His Name. I adore, I praise, and thank Thee, imploring Thy mercy, invoking Thine assistance, and presenting Thee the homage I owe Thee as my Creator, the love due to Thee as my Savior.

Apply to my soul, I beseech Thee, O merciful Jesus, Thine infinite merits; apply them also to those for whom I particularly wish to pray. I desire to communicate spiritually, that Thy Blood may purify, Thy Flesh strengthen, and Thy Spirit sanctify me. May I never forget that Thou, my divine Redeemer, hast died for me; may I die to all that is not Thee, that hereafter I may live eternally with Thee. Amen.

2 thoughts on “Public Masses suspended in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

  1. In this time of isolation, we still have full use of the divine office (the Liturgy of the Hours (AKA the divine office), which provides prayer for several times throughout the day, as we can pray the Liturgy of the Hours in our homes with no need for participation of clergy. This is an excellent way to pray as a family. In particular, the hours of Morning Prayer and Evensong have long been a central element of Anglican patrimony which members of the ordinariates can preserve through this time of trial.

    Those who live alone and are not infected can gather in small groups (ideally, no more than three or four — any group that gets to be larger than five should split into two smaller groups!) for this prayer. That would be consistent with the national guidance here in the States to keep gatherings under ten people. Alternatively, anybody who lives alone and can’t join with others who live alone could join a small family that lives nearby for this prayer.



  2. There’s an interesting canonical nuance in this situation. Here are the relevant canons from the official translation of the Codex Juris Canonici (Code of Canon Law) on the Vatican’s web site. And, for your amusement, Canon 12 is a classic example of “white man speak[ing] with forked tongue” in Catholic ecclesiastical documents — the law applies universally everywhere, except where it doesn’t….

    Can. 12 §1. Universal laws bind everywhere all those for whom they were issued.

    §2. All who are actually present in a certain territory, however, are exempted from universal laws which are not in force in that territory.

    Can. 87 §1. A diocesan bishop, whenever he judges that it contributes to their spiritual good, is able to dispense the faithful from universal and particular disciplinary laws issued for his territory or his subjects by the supreme authority of the Church. He is not able to dispense, however, from procedural or penal laws nor from those whose dispensation is specially reserved to the Apostolic See or some other authority.

    Here’s the bottom line.

    * A dispensation or commutation granted by a diocesan bishop renders the respective law “not in force” in the respective diocese, and thus applies to both (1) the bishop’s subjects (persons who have either domicile or quasi-domicile within the diocese and are not members of a personal jurisdiction), whether present in the diocese or not, and (2) all members of the church, or at least of the Roman Rite, who are physically present in the respective diocese. The latter encompasses “travellers” (persons who have domicile or quasi-domicile in another place), “transients” (persons who have neither domicile nor quasi-domicile), and members of any ordinariate who happen to be present in the respective diocese, regardless of where they have domicile or quasi-domicile.

    * A dispensation or commutation granted by the ordinary of an ordinariate applies to all members of the respective ordinariate, regardless of where they reside or happen to be, but it does not extend to anybody else because the ordinary’s jurisdiction is personal rather than territorial.

    The situation with Coronavirus is far from uniform throughout North America, but even the web sites of the least affected dioceses here in the United States show that public celebration of mass is suspended, with some sort of dispensation or commutation of the obligation that would extend to members of the ordinariate who are physically present therein — who therefore get to choose between the dispensation or commutation of the local diocese and the commutation by Bishop Lopes.

    That said, I strongly recommend that members of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter who fall under a dispensation from a diocesan bishop perform either of the pious acts of the commutation promulgated by Bishop Lopes anyway, with full knowledge that they actually are not canonically required to do so. Time clearly is not an issue since one can’t do anything else, and grace abounds all the more when one undertakes such acts as a matter of free choice rather than under a sense of compulsion.

    I’m not familiar with the situation in either the United Kingdom or Australia, but the same canonical principles obviously apply to members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.



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