Divine Worship: The Missal was formally promulgated for use from Advent Sunday, and Mass will be celebrated in the Ordinariate Use on Mondays at 7:30 in the Lady Chapel at Our Lady of Ransom Church, starting on Monday 30 November with the Feast of St Andrew.
It brings into modern Catholic worship as a permanent fixture ancient texts such as the Leonine Collect for Purity and the post-Reformation Prayer of Humble Access; things of the Anglican tradition which are now welcomed as “treasures to be shared”. It’s been approved for the three existing Personal Ordinariates in Britain (Our Lady of Walsingham), Australasia (Our Lady of the Southern Cross) and North America (The Chair of Peter), and will be used by future Ordinariates, too. The text allows melodies to be used such as that written by John Merbecke for the first English Prayer Book of Edward VI in 1560, or Martin Shaw’s English Folk Mass, which will be familiar to many former and present Anglicans.
But it’s not an Anglican liturgy — it’s a truly Roman liturgy, approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship, which has identified the Anglican patrimony which can be shared. All communicant Catholics can attend and participate and receive the sacrament at a Mass celebrated in this form; and where it’s celebrated on a Sunday it will satisfy the Sunday obligation. It will be used for the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at 11:30pm at St Gregory’s Church.
Fr Mark Lewis of St Luke’s Ordinariate Parish in Washington DC told the Catholic Register that the Divine Worship missal sends a powerful signal to Anglicans that they can become Catholics and keep their Anglican patrimony, which is now permanently grounded in the Catholic Church.
“With this missal, it gives us stability. We’re going to be here — this is forever,” he said. The stability of the liturgy will not only help parishes evangelize, but also provide a bridge for Anglicans that have taken a wait-and-see posture toward joining the Church.
Father Lewis said the approved variation of the Roman rite also sends a powerful message to the entire Church that the faithful in the Ordinariate are “solid Catholics, faithful to the magisterium and the teachings of the Church” and are here to stay.