Masses for Our Lady of Walsingham in our rite featured on NLM

The influential blog New Liturgical Movement today featured an article by Gregory DiPippo on Anglican Use masses being held for the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham.

As is also noted in the article (Ordinariate Rite Masses for Our Lady of Walsingham, September 24), this is the first time in the Diocese of St Petersburg, Florida, that “the celebration of the Mass according to the rite used in the Ordinariate” will occur.

Other masses featured are being held in Ottawa, Ontario, and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and no doubt there are many others being held all around the world in Anglican ordinariate communities.

Julian of Norwich, Anglican Saint

A bright young Jewish Catholic friend of mine recently told me about her visit to the cell of Mother Julian of Norwich, an English anchoress and mystic venerated widely in the Anglican community. Amongst Anglicans, she is not infrequently called Saint Julian of Norwich,julian-new-for-web and yet while she is not (yet) canonized formally by the Holy See, she is indeed also venerated in the Catholic Church, as the father of the Anglican ordinariate, Pope Benedict XVI, affirmed in 2010, and as the Catechism of the Catholic Church indicates.

Is there amongst English Latin Catholics an over-reliance on the formal process of canonization? After all, canonization is supposed to reflect an already existing social veneration of the saint in question. Have Anglicans come to venerate Mother Julian’s memory more freely than Latin Catholics?

Lady Julian’s book, Revelations of Divine Love, written around 1395 AD, was the first English-language book published by a woman. T.S. Eliot incorporated some of her writings into his works, particularly the line “…All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church cites Dame Julian along with another great saint of Anglican devotion, Sir Thomas More, in its section on how God works everything to good.

313 “We know that in everything God works for good for those who love him.” The constant witness of the saints confirms this truth:

St Catherine of Siena said to “those who are scandalized and rebel against what happens to them”: “Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.”

St Thomas More, shortly before his martyrdom, consoled his daughter: “Nothing can come but that that God wills. And I make me very sure that whatsoever that be, seem it never so bad in sight, it shall indeed be the best.”

Dame Julian of Norwich: “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly keep me in the faith. . . and that at the same time I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in what our Lord shewed in this time – that ‘all manner [of] thing shall be well.'”

Pope Benedict XVI spoke about her at length in 2010:

“I still remember with great joy the Apostolic Journey I made in the United Kingdom last September. England is a land that has given birth to a great many distinguished figures who enhanced Church history with their testimony and their teaching. One of them, venerated both in the Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion, is the mystic Julian of Norwich, of whom I wish to speak this morning.

…It is known that she lived from 1342 until about 1430, turbulent years both for the Church…

As Julian herself recounts, in May 1373, most likely on the 13th of that month, she was suddenly stricken with a very serious illness that in three days seemed to be carrying her to the grave. After the priest, who hastened to her bedside, had shown her the Crucified One not only did Julian rapidly recover her health but she received the 16 revelations that she subsequently wrote down and commented on in her book, Revelations of Divine Love.

And it was the Lord himself, 15 years after these extraordinary events, who revealed to her the meaning of those visions.

“‘Would you learn to see clearly your Lord’s meaning in this thing? Learn it well: Love was his meaning. Who showed it to you? Love…. Why did he show it to you? For Love’…. Thus I was taught that Love was our Lord’s meaning” (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).

Inspired by divine love, Julian made a radical decision. Like an ancient anchoress, she decided to live in a cell located near the church called after St Julian, in the city of Norwich — in her time an important urban centre not far from London.

She may have taken the name of Julian precisely from that Saint to whom was dedicated the church in whose vicinity she lived for so many years, until her death.

…We also know that Julian too received frequent visitors, as is attested by the autobiography of another fervent Christian of her time, Margery Kempe, who went to Norwich in 1413 to receive advice on her spiritual life. This is why, in her lifetime, Julian was called “Dame Julian”, as is engraved on the funeral monument that contains her remains. She had become a mother to many.

…In this book we read the following wonderful words: “And I saw full surely that ere God made us he loved us; which love was never lacking nor ever shall be. And in this love he has made all his works; and in this love he has made all things profitable to us; and in this love our life is everlasting… in which love we have our beginning. And all this shall we see in God, without end” (Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).

The theme of divine love recurs frequently in the visions of Julian of Norwich who, with a certain daring, did not hesitate to compare them also to motherly love. This is one of the most characteristic messages of her mystical theology.

The tenderness, concern and gentleness of God’s kindness to us are so great that they remind us, pilgrims on earth, of a mother’s love for her children. In fact the biblical prophets also sometimes used this language that calls to mind the tenderness, intensity and totality of God’s love, which is manifested in creation and in the whole history of salvation that is crowned by the Incarnation of the Son.

God, however, always excels all human love, as the Prophet Isaiah says: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will never forget you” (Is 49:15).

Julian of Norwich understood the central message for spiritual life: God is love and it is only if one opens oneself to this love, totally and with total trust, and lets it become one’s sole guide in life, that all things are transfigured, true peace and true joy found and one is able to radiate it.

…If God is supremely good and wise, why do evil and the suffering of innocents exist? And the Saints themselves asked this very question. Illumined by faith, they give an answer that opens our hearts to trust and hope: in the mysterious designs of Providence, God can draw a greater good even from evil, as Julian of Norwich wrote: “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly hold me in the Faith … and that … I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in … that ‘all manner of thing shall be well”’ (The Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 32).

Yes, dear brothers and sisters, God’s promises are ever greater than our expectations. If we present to God, to his immense love, the purest and deepest desires of our heart, we shall never be disappointed. “And all will be well”, “all manner of things shall be well”: this is the final message that Julian of Norwich transmits to us and that I am also proposing to you today.”

Pope Francis has also quoted Julian of Norwich to teach about God’s mercy.

Cardinal Adam Easton, an Englishman & contemporary of Julian’s, may have been her spiritual director, and his story is quite fascinating in itself (made Cardinal by Pope Urban VI, he later became Dean of York & Prebend at Salisbury Cathedral, arranged the wedding coronation of King Richard II & Queen Anne, was deprived of his cardinalate by the same pope and restored by Pope Boniface IX).

Perhaps we Anglican Catholics in the ordinariates ought to promote her cause for canonization. It took 900 years for Hildegard of Bingen to be finally recognized a saint in the Church’s liturgy, so we’re still ahead of the curve for Julian!

My friend Amanda Achtman delves into Julian’s life further on a visit to her cell in this video:

Patronal of Canadian Anglican Use Catholics

Today is the Feast of St John the Baptist. St Jean Baptiste au basilique de Sainte Anne de Beaupré à QuébecThe Baptist is well-known as the patron saint of French Canada, and la Saint-Jean or la Saint-Jean-Baptiste, as today is known, is the major cultural holiday of French Canadians across the Dominion, and in Quebec it is also known as la Fête nationale.

To mark the occasion, fellow contributor to this blog Charles Coulombe (who is himself of French Canadian heritage) has posted elsewhere online the fourth verse of the original French version of O Canada, saying that “Because Canada was discovered by John Cabot on June 24, 1497, St John the Baptist is also the patron of… Anglo-Canadians….” And so he was adopted as patron for the Anglican ordinariate community in Canada as well, and the Deanery thus marks our national patronal on this day.

Amour sacré du trône et de l’autel,
Remplis nos cœurs de ton souffle immortel !
Parmi les races étrangères,
Notre guide est la loi :
Sachons être un peuple de frères,
Sous le joug de la foi.
Et répétons, comme nos pères,
Le cri vainqueur : « Pour le Christ et le roi ! »
Le cri vainqueur : « Pour le Christ et le roi ! »

Bonne St-Jean à tous!

Anglican Rosaries

There have been a number of occasions on which members of our Anglican Catholic community have commented, both online and off, about the ‘Anglican Rosary’, or Anglican prayer beads, and whether members of the ordinariates pray it.

It seems there are very few of us who do, but the reason for this is likely nothing other than that few of us prayed it even as Anglicans.

Anglican_BreviaryThe so-called ‘Anglican prayer beads’ consist of a chaplet of four groupings of seven beads called ‘weeks’, separated by four ‘cruciform’ beads (so named because of the cross shape they form in this arrangement), and prefaced by a cross or crucifix and an invitatory bead.

Because this is a relatively recent innovation in the Anglican world (it seems to be no older than the Anglican Use liturgical provision in the Catholic Church), there is no long history of use, nor an established or authoritative manner of praying it. This has led to some rather humorous takes on attempts at adopting this devotion.

Some Anglicans use the Jesus Prayer for the small beads and the Trisagion for the big beads. Another proposal uses the Agnus Dei. (Although, as found in these schemes, it would be rather unfortunate to avoid a Hail Mary in a devotional nicknamed ‘rosary’). Another suggestion online proposes praying St Patrick’s Breastplate with Anglican prayer beads. Other people doubtless have different prayer customs, and of course one can always simply use the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be.

Some Catholics, however, have objected to the ‘Anglican Rosary’, seeing it as nothing more than an avoidance of the more renowned Marian alternative, the common rosary used by hundreds of millions of Catholics around the world, sometimes also known as the ‘Dominican Rosary’. As Anglicans, most of us who prayed the rosary prayed this commonly known Catholic version, the Dominican one. We did so, however, in a distinctively Anglican way.

So I would suggest that, if anything is to be considered truly the ‘Anglican Rosary’, it is simply the common Dominican rosary as used by Anglo-Catholics, with customary Anglican forms of the constituent prayers:

In the + Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

I don’t think we should reject the otherwise so-called ‘Anglican Rosary’, but before seeking any hearty ecclesiastical endorsement of it, it might be prudent to wait upon its natural, organic adoption by the Anglican Catholic faithful of the ordinariates. What might it take to establish this other ‘Anglican Rosary’ as a commonly-prayed devotion?

It is a question of holiness. If saints pray it in a saintly manner, and it thus becomes an instrument of the sanctification of souls, then it will become something worthy of being taken up on a more widespread basis.

Until then, let us continue to use the ‘Anglican Rosary’ we have always used: the one common to all Latin Christians, prayed in our Anglican idiom. And let us continue to ask Mary for her intercession on behalf of the Anglican ordinariates and all our separated Anglican brethren.

Anglican Catholicism in the ‘Broken Vase’ analogy

A gentleman raised the Aidan Nichols ‘broken vase’ analogy on an online forum yesterday morning:

“You might like my comment on the name of the Ordinariate: We can keep the “Anglican” name as this is how it was set up by Pope Benedict; but as Aidan Nichols says in his excellent book on the Ordinariate, we bring together the two shards of the broken vase of English Catholicism: the recusant tradition and the Oxford movement and its ‘High’ church forbears. The English Martyrs are a great inspiration and when I kept their feasts as an Anglo-Catholic I always was aware I was on the wrong side of history; now we are not!… The Ordinariate Use reflects that patrimony, especially choral evensong; but we can also claim the TLM (EF). We can claim Elgar, Howells, Bairstow, C.S.Lewis, Tolkien, Chesterton, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Ronald Knox, Newman and many others. I hope this does not smack of cultural imperialism!”

Some might think it a minor distinction, but it gets to the heart of the question of our identity in the ordinariates, so I figured it was worth clarifying the vase analogy:

“Those are some good reflections, Robert. You’re quite right that the name ‘Anglican’ applies to us Catholics in the ordinariates of Pope Benedict XVI, but the broken vase or jar analogy of Fr Aidan Nichols is slightly different from how you’ve recalled. img_9414.jpgIn his book ‘Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony’, he describes the relationship between the Catholic Anglicans of the ordinariates and the Roman Catholics of post-Reformation England as being similar to that between two complementary shards of a broken jar. “The notion that the post-Reformation Roman Catholic community in England constitutes with Catholic Anglicans of an orthodox outlook the two shards of a broken jar completes the picture: this will be an Ordinariate, whose members not only profess the Catholic faith as understood at Rome, but do so in canonical unity with the dioceses of Latin Catholics maintaining, however, as their shard-character qualifies them to do, those ‘liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions proper to the Anglican Communion’…”

“In other words, the reconstituted jar represents the whole of English Catholic Christendom in its Roman and Anglican halves, restored in Catholic unity. In this analogy, the ordinariate itself is not the juridical form of the whole jar reconstituted, but the Anglican component or shard. The Roman half or shard is found in the post-Reformation Latin dioceses of England.

“In this way, we can see how the Anglican tradition is retained in its integrity in the ordinariates, and not merged or hybridized with the Anglo-Roman heritage of the post-Reformation English Latin Church.

“The Anglican Catholic heritage and identity of the ordinariates do have an ongoing relation to the Anglo-Roman Catholic heritage; indeed, because of their common history, they have a bearing on each other.

“This doesn’t mean the Recusant history isn’t in some way a part of the Anglican heritage as well; after all, one could say that St Thomas More’s rejection of our community’s schism has since 2009 been divorced (pun intended) from the legitimate heritage of our formerly separated community, and his Catholic witness and martyrdom have been internalized by our Anglican community on entering these ordinariates and made our own as well.”

This would also apply to the English Roman Catholic shard: their culture and identity are not unmarked by their common history with Anglican Catholicism either.

Not just an Anglican ritual enclave

One year after Anglicanorum Coetibus was published, but before any Anglican ordinariates had actually been stood up, Claudio Salvucci wrote about them over at New Liturgical Movement, and his remarks are worth recalling seven years later.

He was responding to those seeking to sow doubt on what Pope Benedict had done by suggesting they’d be and forever remain “a tiny, negligible enclave of Anglo-Catholics” that would be lost in the sea of “the giant megalith that is Roman Catholicism” and that it wouldn’t expand much beyong “the handful of parishes that now comprise the Anglican Use in the United States”. Yet Salvucci clearly saw the potential of the ordinariates and correctly understood that size wasn’t the real indicator of their success.

“Size matters not… Judge me by my size do you?”
– Yoda

yoda-memeSalvucci then reviewed some of the different ritual traditions in the Catholic Church and pointed out how tiny so many of them are. We minority communities in the Church can’t all be the UGCC! He mentioned the Albanian Byzantine Catholic Church (3845 members, 9 parishes, 1 bishop), the Greek Byzantine Catholic Church (2525 members, 4 parishes, and 1 bishop), the Bulgarian Catholic Church (10,000 members, 21 parishes, 1 bishop), and the Georgian Byzantine-Rite Catholics who “number perhaps only 500”. There is also the Russian Byzantine Catholic Church, also known as the Russian Orthodox in communion with Rome, but they too are one of the smallest of the Catholic Churches and have been without an exarch for decades now. Yet their existence is a great sign of hope for Catholics of the Russian tradition.

Similarly, the continued existence of such tiny communities as those of the Mozarabic or Iroquois traditions is a great sign of the universality of the Catholic Church. (He even mentions the Hebrew vicariate in Israel, which brings to mind the idea of a Jewish ordinariate that some have called for.) The loss of any of these legitimate and dignified rites or traditions, including our own, would be a major loss for the Church.

The Church’s dignity is such, that for her to be monolithically of one rite only would contradict her nature. The plurality of rites beautifes and glorifies the Church and shows forth her inner nature as truly universal. The Church is not contingent on any one particular culture, not even the Roman. (Peter himself was Jewish, after all.)

This is a reminder that we have to be diligent and work hard to preserve our Anglican way of being Catholic. Salvucci continues:

“These little ritual enclaves have struggled, in many cases, against great odds and sometimes the hostility of priests, bishops, and even popes, to survive. Some others, unfortunately, weren’t so lucky.

“The church in my mother’s Albanian-speaking town in Italy originally had an iconostasis and was bi-ritual (Latin and Byzantine). It ceased to be so, however, in the mid-1700s, apparently due to mounting hostility from Latin bishops…

“Whatever their numbers, these little enclaves are, in their own way, evidence of the Church’s universal nature. Catholicity is defined not only, as we sometimes tend to think, by the mere quantity of membership but also by the way it crowns each and every culture with which it has come into contact. That the Church can speak not only in Latin but also in Iroquois, Hebrew and Malayalam is a different kind of universality than mere numbers–and it is no less important.”

At the end of the day, “The Church is a family of unique individuals all tied together by love. And in every family worth the name, it is always the case that the littlest members are the most precious and dearest of all.”

We in the Anglican family who are now full members of the Catholic Church are witnesses to the rest of our Anglican brothers and sisters of the vitality of our Anglican tradition in the fullness of Catholicism.

So yes, we have work to do to evangelize, to expand and promote the ordinariates, and to ensure the preservation of our Anglican way of worshipping and being Christian, but we should also keep in mind that our small size and slow, organic growth in no way means we are failing. Rather, our continued existence as a Catholic Church of the Anglican tradition is a sign for all whom we come across of the truth and universality of the Catholic faith.

The Anglo-Roman Missal

The English Missal, or Knott Missal, is in different ways an important part of both the Anglican and Roman patrimonies, being the essential way in which Anglicans celebrated the Roman rite in the 20th century, and the principle liturgical vernacular of what we now know as the Extraordinary Form. Fr Hunwicke calls it the “finest vernacular liturgical book ever produced.”

“O send out thy light and thy truth, that they may lead me and bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy dwelling:
That I may go unto the altar of God, even unto the God of my joy and gladness; and upon the harp will I give thanks unto thee, O God, my God.
Why art thou so heavy, O my soul? And why art thou so disquieted within me?”

Shawn Tribe writes on this and on sacral hieratic (or prayerbook) English in the new Liturgical Arts Journal:

“One wonders: had the vernacular been introduced in a way that was more sacral and majestic, augmenting rather than displacing Latin, and had the treasury of sacred music not only continued to utilize Latin but also expanded to include vernacular forms of chant and polyphony – in the vein of a Tallis, Byrd or Healey Willan – how very different our experience and reaction might be?”

The use of the vernacular, at least in part, was permitted by the Holy See for the older form of the Roman rite in certain lands and tongues, but never in English. Were it to be done, we should hope that it would be the established sacral English translation that has already been in use for generations, as found in the English Missal, and not a newly-devised translation.

EMIt is worth pointing out that the English Missal illustrates well the distinction in Anglican usage and history between the ‘Anglican rite’ (as found in the BCP, or perhaps the Anglican Missal) and the ‘Western Rite’, as it was often called (i.e. the ‘Roman rite’). While not licitly used by Latin Catholic priests (although it has been done), the English Missal cannot be said to be a different rite than the Roman, as it is merely a translation. But the Anglican liturgy more properly so-called, while closely related to the Roman, was distinct and is descended from its own Sarum antecedent. The Divine Worship Missal used in the ordinariates aims to give expression to this Anglican liturgical patrimony but is influenced by the English Missal as well.

Given that Anglicanorum Coetibus grants to us the use both of our own Anglican liturgical books and also of the Roman rite, it could be argued that ordinariate priests should be able to avail themselves of the latter part of this provision by the use of the English Missal.