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Blogs of Interest
- Ordinariate News (from Ordinariate Support Group in Europe) claims no rights to the photographs, videos and texts by third parties which are posted on this blog. If for any reason any object is called into question, or if the particular owner has an objection to its being displayed, please contact us and it will be removed.
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Today the new edition of The Portal magazine has been published online. You can access it by clicking on the front page picture below and then on the tab “Read The Portal”
- Joanna Bogle – LOGS four years on
- Snapdragon – Music and the Liturgy
- Fr Mark Woodruff on the Eastern Churches
- James O’Donnell – Director of Music at Westminster Abbey
- Dr Stephen Morgan – Newman and the Rosary
- Paul Barber – The Catholic Education Service
- Fatima 1916: The final apparition of the Angel
- Donato Tallo – The Importance of Ecumenism
- ACN – Islamist attacks take new form in Nigeria
- Being a Chorister at Westminster Cathedral?
- Robert Macneil’s CD of the month
- Geoffrey Kirk – Second Thoughts, Contemplating Europe
. . . and much more.
In May 2014 we reported that Fr. Matthew Venuti of St Gregory the Great Ordinariate Community in Mobile, AL, suffered a severe heart attack. He was very fortunate in being restored to satisfactory health relatively quickly so that in September of the same year he was able to be appointed Parish Administrator of St. Joan of Arc diocesan Catholic Parish.
Sadly Father Venuti was taken ill again in the spring of this year and it has now been announced that as of September 16th he has retired from his post as administrator for medical reasons. There will, however, continue to be a monthly Divine Worship Mass for St. Gregory’s (although this was reduced from a regular weekly Mass some time ago).
We ask you all to continue to pray for Father Venuti and his family as well as for the St Gregory the Great community.
Monsignor Harry Entwistle, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Australia, has written to inform us that, “as part of a scheduled visit to Rome, Msgr Entwistle, accompanied by Ordinariate members, Fr Stephen Hill and Mr Brian Moyle, was privileged to meet with Pope Francis and present him with a copy of the Ordinariate’s icon of Our Lady of the Southern Cross written by Michael Galovic. This event occurred during the Pope’s General Audience on Holy Cross day, September 14th. Copies of the icon were also given to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whose ecumenical vision gave rise to the Ordinariates, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith who are responsible for their ongoing development.” The following photographs are copyright of L’Osservatore Romano.
53 men from all over the United States and Canada have already arrived in Houston for the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, secondary patron of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. These men are candidates for the Ministry of Acolyte in the Ordinariate. They are in Houston for a weekend of prayer, study and reflection from 23rd to 25th September. Their Institution as Acolytes will take place on Sunday at the 11.15 am Solemn Mass in the Cathedral.
Following the Second Vatican Council the Major Order of Subdeacon and the Minor Orders were abolished. Instead the lay Ministries of Acolyte and Reader (or Lector) were introduced, and in his Motu Proprio Ministeria Quaedam of 15th August 1972 Blessed Pope Paul VI decreed that:
4. Two ministries, adapted to present-day needs, are to be preserved in the whole Latin Church, namely, those of reader and acolyte. The functions heretofore assigned to the subdeacon are entrusted to the reader and the acolyte; consequently, the major order of subdiaconate no longer exists in the Latin Church. There is, however, no reason why the acolyte cannot be called a subdeacon in some places, at the discretion of the conference of bishops. …
6. The acolyte is appointed in order to aid the deacon and to minister to the priest. It is his duty therefore to attend to the service of the altar and to assist the deacon and the priest in liturgical celebrations, especially in the celebration of Mass; he is also to distribute communion as a special minister when the ministers spoken of in the Codex Iuris Canonici can. 845 are not available or are prevented by ill health, age, or another pastoral ministry from performing this function, or when the number of communicants is so great that the celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged. In the same extraordinary circumstances an acolyte may be entrusted with publicly exposing the blessed sacrament for adoration by the faithful and afterward replacing it, but not with blessing the people. He may also, to the extent needed, take care of instructing other faithful who on a temporary basis are appointed to assist the priest or deacon in liturgical celebrations by carrying the missal, cross, candles, etc., or by performing other such duties. He will perform these functions more worthily if he participates in the holy eucharist with increasingly fervent devotion, receives nourishment from it, and deepens his knowledge about it.
As one set aside in a special way for the service of the altar, the acolyte should learn all matters concerning public divine worship and strive to grasp their inner spiritual meaning: in that way he will be able each day to offer himself entirely to God, be an example to all by his gravity and reverence in church, and have a sincere love for the Mystical Body of Christ, the people of God, especially for the weak and the sick.
Since one of the ways of celebrating the Divine Worship Mass foresees the office previously reserved to the Subdeacon, Bishop Lopes has decided to institute these new Acolytes to fulfil this role in the communities and parishes of the Ordinariate.
Let us pray for the new Acolytes and commend them to the intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham.
“We do not come to the Church to celebrate what we have done or who we are. Rather, we come to celebrate and give thanks for all that Almighty God has done, and continues in His love and mercy to do, for us. What He does in the liturgy is what is essential; what we do is to present our ‘first fruits’—the best that we can—in worship and adoration. When the modern liturgy is celebrated in the vernacular with the priest ‘facing the people’ there is a danger of man, even of the priest himself and of his personality, becoming too central.”
Of course Cardinal Sarah is right. There are these dangers in vernacular liturgy celebrated facing the people. I could wish though that the good Cardinal had also pointed up some of the dangers in a liturgy not “understanded of the people” (Cranmer, I believe) and also in ‘ad orientem’ celebrations.
It is possible for a mass to become so liturgically correct, so observant of every foot-note in Fortescue and O’Connell, that those celebrating (not least, but not only, the Servers) can lose sight of what they are about. I have witnessed ‘North end’ celebrations in the Church of England which were deeply devout and prayerful. Equally I have seen priests celebrating Mass facing the apse who have been quite switched off – and certainly inattentive to the needs of the worshippers as they gabbled the Latin and dropped into supposedly pious inaudibility, while self-important servers fussed about the altar.
When we began to adopt the westward facing Eucharist in my CofE days I tried, with my curates, to recognise some of the pitfalls of that change. We spent time together with members of the congregation working out how best to introduce liturgical change. Yes, one could become too informal, more a ringmaster than a celebrant. It was more important than ever to focus on the sacred elements rather than on one’s fellow worshippers. Those dangers are still present now that I am a Catholic. Attentiveness, attention to the text, clarity of speaking, refusal to rush, all these and more are needed to give the Mass its proper dignity. There is no place for idiosyncratic modes of speech, or elaborate gestures.
The Ordinariate, I hope, brings with it as part of its patrimony a reverence for “the beauty of holiness”. But this does not depend on choreography of Byzantine complexity, Latin vestments more suited to the Knave in a pack of cards than to the reality of the human body, or language from fourth century Rome or sixteenth century England. Repeatedly through history there have needed to be reforms, usually of over-elaboration and clericalism in worship which have treated the laity as mere pew-fodder. We should be grateful to Cardinal Sarah for reminding us that all our worship ought to be focus on the Almighty. Perhaps, though, his particular remedies are only suitable for relatively few Cathedrals and greater churches. More important by far is to get the music sorted out. Drop the meaningless ditties of the 20th Century or the maudlin attention to death of the 19th. Restore to the Catholic Church some of the treasures of hymnody and psalmody from previous generations [and our own], and there is a chance that the people will discover something of God in the Church’s worship. For where two or three are gathered together in his name (and no advice in scripture on which way they should be facing) there is the Lord in the midst of them. (Matt.xviii 20)
(This is reposted from the blog “Antique Richborough” at the specific request of Monsignor Barnes, hoping that it might encourage comment.)
We have just received the following info from the States:
Choral Evensong for the Solemnity of Our Lady of Walsingham from the Cathedral in Houston will be streamed live on Facebook this Sunday at 4PM Central (that’s 5PM Eastern, 10PM UK, 11PM Central Europe, 5AM Monday Australian Western and 7AM Monday Australian Eastern). To follow on a laptop or desktop computer, go to facebook.com/CSPOrdinariate/posts (apparently some glitch in Facebook’s system is keeping posts from populating on the main page). To follow on a smartphone or tablet, go to facebook.com/CSPOrdinariate