Evensong & Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

Our worship at the 2019 Anglican Tradition Conference culminated with Choral Evensong and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, which can now be viewed online on Facebook and YouTube in full, and what an Anglican Catholic celebration it was!

sm-DSC_6208This particular service really shows in a most potent and beautiful way how the Anglican tradition and the wider Western Catholic tradition are in perfect harmony.

Our famous Anglican service of Evensong is of course a favourite of many, a popular manifestation of liturgical worship that draws worshippers and tourists to Anglican cathedrals across the English-speaking world. Now it can draw them to Catholic cathedrals as well, thanks to Pope Benedict’s ordinariates!

sm-DSC_4717Combining the Latin services of Vespers and Compline from the Daily Office, Evensong is formed principally of psalms, preces & responses, canticles, an anthem, and a hymn. On this occasion, we sang a number of Anglican choral classics. The Mag & Nunc canticles were from the Gloucester Service by Herbert Howells. The anthem was Bring Us O Lord, a setting by William Harris of a prayer by John Donne. The versicles and responses were by Bernard Rose, former Choirmaster at Magdalen College, Oxford. The music of each composer is widely sung in Anglican cathedral and collegiate churches.

In more Anglo-Catholic churches, the liturgical form of adoration found in Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament has long been appended as the conclusion of Evensong either regularly or on special occasions. For this service, we sang Healey Willan’s solid hymn Lord Enthroned with Heavenly Splendour (St Osmund), along with a climactic descant by Matthew Larkin, our organist at all three conference liturgies. The choir, directed by Peter Mahon, also sang Willan’s beautiful motet Ave Verum, which more than gives William Byrd’s version a run for its money! It was nice to do music by Dr Willan at each service for a conference held in Toronto, his adopted hometown.

While the particular form of Benediction has taken shape over the past 800 years, in the Anglican community its adoption was an expression of Anglicanism’s recovery of its own Latin Christian identity. Including most centrally a time of adoration and a blessing of the congregation by the priest with the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance, the ancient hymns O Salutaris and Tantum Ergo, both by St Thomas Aquinas, were sung in a patrimonial chant setting, as was the Laudate Dominum (psalm 117) with the Adoremus in Aeternum antiphon. These plainsong chants are derived of course from the Latin originals and deserve to be much better known. They can be incredibly stirring, as can be heard in the video, and effectively raise one’s heart and mind to the solemn act of worship being conducted.

To celebrate this very Anglican and very Catholic service at the end of our conference marking ten years of Anglicanorum Coetibus was both fitting and deeply moving. It was a beautiful way to end our time of thanksgiving and was duly followed by a patrimonial drinks reception!

Watch the video here:

Fr Barker on how Anglicans got an ordinariate

The remarks by Fr Jack Barker at our recent Anglican Tradition Conference this past November can now be viewed online on both Facebook and YouTube.

img_0156One of the pioneers of the Pastoral Provision and the Anglican Use and a participant in the discussions between Anglicans and the Holy See as far as as the 1970s, Fr Barker’s talk was the third at our Toronto conference this past November. Society VP Clara Chung read the remarks on behalf of Father Barker, who for health reasons was unable to attend in person.

Entitled Behind the Petition: A Brief Account of How Anglicans Received Ordinariate Status, the talk surveyed the dialogue that sought “to help complete our hopes for a special status for groups of Anglicans in the Catholic Church, to wit: the Ordinariate.” The discussions and prayers met with success, and “An Anglican Use Liturgy was also approved for use in Anglican Use Parishes that were established in various parts of the country.” Later on, they achieved “the creation of a jurisdictional entity that would allow them to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while retaining… the common elements of their Anglican identity that they sought to preserve…”

claraNoting that “the “continuing” church movement was to be used by God later to help complete our hopes,” Father Barker recounts numerous informative, insightful, and even humorous anecdotes. On a visit to Rome, one Cardinal remarked “Ah, the sweet English tongue…I often said to my brethren why translate the liturgy into English when the Anglicans have already done such an excellent job with their beautiful Prayer Book.”

Ultimately the many years of dialogue and prayer yielded the fruit we celebrate and for which we had all assembled in thanksgiving. “It took thirty years but thanks to the influx of many new persons to this Anglican-Catholic reunion we now have Ordinariate jurisdictions in England, Australia and the US and more perhaps to come. Deo Gratias.”

 

Here is the YouTube video:

If you haven’t already seen them, you’ll also want to watch the videos previously posted of the talks by Bishop Lopes and David Warren, as well as of our Solemn High Mass and Choral Mattins. In the near future we will be posting the talk by Fr Derek Cross of the Oratory and our service of Choral Evensong and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Stay tuned!

Choral Mattins at our 2019 Anglican Tradition Conference

DSC_6019-sOn the morning of Saturday, November 16th, the participants in our Conference on the Anglican Tradition in the Catholic Church crossed the street to pray mattins in Toronto’s St Michael’s Cathedral. The video is now online and can be viewed on Facebook or on YouTube.

The service was a great opportunity for our community to experience choral mattins in a true Cathedral setting with a crowd larger than our usual parish gatherings, and with a splendid ensemble of musicians. The service was preceded by prelude music sung by the choir, namely the Stanford in B-flat Jubilate. The preces & responses were in Anglican chant from the Canadian Psalter, as were the psalms. The canticles included the Venite in Anglican chant, the Te Deum in Vaughan Williams’ G major setting, and Stanford’s Benedictus in C.

The anthem was the epic O Praise the Lord by Healey Willan, composed for a previous generation’s gathering of Anglicans in Toronto at the Anglican Congress of 1963, which was held at Toronto’s famous Maple Leaf Gardens. On that occasion, held while the Catholic Church was still engaged in the sessions of the Second Vatican Council, about 17,000 representatives of the Anglican Communion from all around the world, including Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey, came together to discuss the mission of Anglican Christianity.

Screenshot (491)-cComing to our service of Choral Mattins, held on the margins of the Society’s ninth conference on the Anglican tradition in the Catholic Church, those in the congregation had just heard Bishop Steven Lopes speak about the mission, and identity, of the ordinariate. While the Anglican Communion has suffered severe decline since 1963, the ordinariate, a Catholic church in the Anglican tradition formed of Anglicans who have entered into full communion with the successors of St Peter, bears a hope of future growth. Our trust is in the Lord, and we will build our future on the sure foundation of the Catholic faith.

Watch the video here:

David Warren on Anglo-Catholicism for Real

David Warren, a well-known Toronto-based writer, columnist, and former editor of The Idler, was the second speaker at our Anglican Tradition Conference this past November. We will be publishing a full version of this talk in our journal in due course, but his remarks on the day – full of his typical erudition and humour – can be viewed in full on Facebook and on YouTube now.

DSC_6067-sHe talked about his conversion experience, both to Christian faith and then to the full Catholic form thereof (“The Catholic religion is the Christian religion par excellence”), and the role that Anglicanism played in that experience.

He talked about smells and bells and the marks of Anglicanism that drew one into the faith, including “formality, dignity, reverence, manners, dress, comportment, modesty, custom, courtesy, propriety, decorum, form, taste, decency, reason, logic,” and so on.

It was ironic that the Anglican church claimed to be Catholic at a time when many Catholic priests he came across avoided proclaiming their Catholicism, almost as if they were embarrassed by it.

“All Christians share, not only Anglicans, this sense of homecoming associated with the Church, and indeed the Anglican ordinariate has a great deal to do with coming home.”

DSC_6068-sHe spoke of Sir Thomas More – whom we ought to consider a great patron of the ordinariate – and other luminaries of the Anglican church, including Lancelot Andrewes, Richard Hooker, Austin Farrer, and Eric Mascall. What they all had in common – and what made them so Anglican – was reverting to Roman teaching.

The ordinariates do of course make the liturgy “understanded of the people”, and we must share our mass in its more ecclesial English.

But the Anglican ordinariate is about more than just making the mass available in a Church English; it is about re-assimilating into Catholicism a marvellous, broad, Catholic tradition that goes back before Thomas More, which goes back to the 12th century and earlier, back to the arrival of the Normans, and even to before them.

“If the Anglican ordinariate fulfills its vocation within the Church… it will do something glorious.”

People speaking the English language are now leading the movement in the Catholic Church back to Catholicism, and the ordinariates can now develop an authority, and recover the marvellous qualities of the old Anglican ministries and the old Anglican services.

David Warren’s talk was entertaining, informative, and most appreciated, and we’re delighted to share this with a wider audience. His lengthier article on which this talk was based will be published in an upcoming issue of our journal, but for now we are pleased to present this video of his talk.

Bishop Lopes at our Toronto conference

Bishop Lopes came all the way from Houston to speak at our 2019 Conference on the Anglican Tradition in the Catholic Church in Toronto about the mission of the ordinariates ten years on from the promulgation of Anglicanorum Coetibus, and his talk can now be viewed online on both Facebook and YouTube. The bishop, who had joined us for our Solemn Mass and Te Deum in Thanksgiving for Anglicanorum Coetibus the evening before, as well as the reception afterwards, touched on a lot of great topics:

Screenshot (262)The Anglican patrimony goes beyond just the liturgical, but it is nourished by what we celebrate in the liturgy. What we do as Catholics should have a distinct accent and shape as we live out our faith. And when people aren’t sure who we are or what we’re about, it opens up a conversational space for real evangelization and catechesis.

Screenshot (200)Our tradition goes back well before the Reformation, and saints like Augustine, Gregory, and Osmund brought about a patrimony that expresses the faith differently from Rome, that is older in some respects than the Tridentine books, and that is rich and only beginning to be explored. Our liturgical patrimony isn’t the entirety of it, but it is the most tangible part and opens up the space for exploring the less tangible elements. The Catholic liturgical principle of seasonality can help accommodate the varying options contained in our missal.

Young people are particularly evangelized by authentic charity, beauty, and intellectual seriousness, in each of which areas the ordinariates are well equipped. Anglo-Catholicism always placed a strong emphasis on direct service to the community. “From the drip of the high candle to the poorest of the poor there’s a direct line.” Our Anglican liturgical patrimony certainly gets high marks in its beauty, which communicates far more than words, in its imagery, its sound, its colour. And with respect to intellectual seriousness, with Newman, the Oxford Movement, and some of our other thinkers, we can certainly hold our own in the intellectual conversation as well.

The bishop spoke highly of the ordinariates’ ability to be a powerful evangelizing force. His full talk is worth a listen:

Thanks to His Grace for this great kick-off to our conference.

Papal Nuncio greets Anglican Tradition Conference on behalf of Pope Francis

Attendees of the AC Society’s 2019 Conference on the Anglican Tradition in the Catholic Church received programme booklets for the conference that included not just the conference schedule, the liturgical orders of service, and bio material on speakers, musicians, and special guests, but also letters of blessing and welcome from Bishop Lopes our ordinary, and Cardinal Collins in whose Cathedral we celebrated our liturgies. But we were particularly honoured to receive a letter of greeting from the Papal Nuncio to Canada, Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, on behalf of His Holiness Pope Francis:

Greetings-Nuncio

His Excellency’s letter is a most generous affirmation of Anglicanorum Coetibus and our conference in thanksgiving for its tenth anniversary. Saying Pope Benedict’s creation of the ordinariates showed “his pastoral heart as a father” for the Church and for Anglicans approaching full communion, the Nuncio spoke very touchingly about our community and imparted to us the Apostolic Blessing of Pope Francis. Read the whole letter!

Cardinal Collins gave warm welcome to Anglican Tradition Conference

Attendees of the Toronto Conference on the Anglican Tradition in the Catholic Church, November 15–16, were warmly welcomed by Cardinal Collins, in whose cathedral we celebrated our main liturgical services.

In addition to letters of greeting from Bishop Steven Lopes and the Papal Nuncio to Canada, Cardinal Collins sent us a generous letter for our conference programme. His Eminence cited Anglicanorum Coetibus, noting that as the Anglican approaches to the Holy See had been motivated by the Holy Spirit, “This is why it is most fitting that your thanksgiving on this occasion will begin with a votive mass of the Holy Ghost, celebrated in St Michael’s Cathedral….”

Greetings-Collins

The Cardinal spoke of Anglicanorum Coetibus as a “prophetic gesture,” and said “The development, under both St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, of an Anglican form of Catholic liturgy within the Latin Church has been truly historic… Catholics of the Anglican tradition are living examples of unity in diversity. The tradition and common identity of the ordinariates, being shared with a community outside full communion, is thus an open door for them to the fullness of the Catholic faith.”

We owe Cardinal Collins our tremendous gratitude for having hosted us and for having so warmly welcomed everyone to his Cathedral for our 2019 Anglican Tradition Conference. After the mass, the AC Society presented His Eminence with a gift to thank him for his role in helping to establish the ordinariate in Canada almost a decade ago. Read his whole letter!