Behold the Dowry

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The first dedication was made by King Richard II in Westminster Abbey on 13 June 1381 — the feast of Corpus Christi — as he sought the protection of Our Lady in the face of great political turmoil. At this point, England received the title Mary’s Dowry; meaning that England was “set aside” as a gift, a dowry, for Our Lady under her guidance and protection.

Re-Dedication 2020

On Sunday 29 March, The Re-dedication will take place throughout our country. As King Richard II once gave England as a gift to Our Lady for her guidance, so we, too, seek Mary’s protection and prayers, giving ourselves through this act of dedication. We respond to this invitation on the day of The Re-dedication, in two ways:

  • A Personal Promise

    By praying The Angelus Promise, a prayer in which we say “yes” in union with Our Lady through the words of the Annunciation.

  • A Communal Entrustment

    As the people, we will, once again, renew the vows of dedication made to Mary by King Richard II, praying together the Act of Entrustment.

There are other events too:

Friday 21 February: 33 days to Morning Glory

All are invited to begin a personal 33–day consecration to Jesus through Mary following the method of St Louis de Montfort, and updated by Fr Michael Gaitley, MIC.

Visit Behold2020.com for information on how to participate and receive the 33-Days to Morning Glory prayers.

Wednesday 18 March: Our Lady in Parliament

The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham will go to Parliament for Mass and the Rosary in The Chapel of Our Lady Undercroft.

Whilst this is a private occasion for Members of Parliament, the whole country is invited to pray for the gift of wisdom for the law-makers of the UK in their work at this particular moment in or country’s history.

Wednesday 25 March: The Solemnity of the Annunciation

This is the day when the Message of Our Lady at Walsingham is celebrated.

‘Take the measurements of this house and erect another one like it in Walsingham, dedicated to praising and honouring me. All who come there shall find help in their need.
‘It shall be a perpetual memorial to the great joy of the Annunciation, ground and origin of all my joys and the root of humanity’s gracious Redemption.’ (Pynson Ballad)

All who have followed the 33 Days Retreat will make their consecration this day to Jesus through Mary.

It’s planned that all the Catholic Churches and congregations in Eastbourne will celebrate this together.

Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 March: Triduum of Prayer

This will be three days of prayerful preparation focused on Eucharistic adoration. We will ponder and treasure the words of Mary, asking for her intercession for the intentions of the Church, and the world.

Sunday 29 March: Re-dedication of England as Mary’s Dowry

This Re-dedication is both a personal promise of the people of our country, and a renewal of the entrustment vows made by King Richard II in 1381. On this day we accept God’s gift of His Mother, the cause of our joy, as she leads us to Christ through her example as the First Disciple, and invites us to “Do whatever He tells you.” (John 2:5).

The Re-dedication will take place on March 29th, 2020. It will be fulfilled by a communal act of prayer across the country through the The Angelus Promise and The Act of Entrustment.

The Re-dedication may be celebrated at Mass, or another liturgy in Church, or wherever you may be on that day. Plans are still being made about what happens in Eastbourne and the Ordinariate congregation. A Plenary Indulgence will be granted by the Bishop of East Anglia for all who make The Re-dedication, subject to the normal conditions.

The Dowry PaintingMass will be celebrated at the Catholic National Shrine followed by a procession with the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham and the new Dowry Painting, to the site of the original Holy House in the Priory Grounds at Walsingham, where The Re-dedication will take place. We shall be joined there by our Anglican brothers and sisters who will process from the Anglican Shrine to meet us in the Priory Grounds. The Dowry Painting, by Amanda de Pulford, will be present in Walsingham on March 29, after its Papal blessing.

The Dowry Painting

This painting will be blessed by Pope Francis on 12 February 2020 in Rome before returning home to Walsingham for The Re-dedication of England as Our Lady’s Dowry.

After The Re-dedication, The Dowry Painting will begin a journey to every Catholic parish in the country, never to return to Walsingham.

The Universe Group have agreed to print copies of the painting and send them to every parish in the country.

This article will be updated from time to time, and events will appear in the website calendar as they are finalised.

    Homily from Mary Bacon’s Requiem.

    The choice of readings and hymnody for Mary’s requiem are her own. One might be
    asking oneself why these readings, and in particular this gospel? Mary never saw herself
    as saintly, but neither could one say that Mary’s life had a great deal in common with the
    thieves on their crosses either side of the Lord. The impact of Mary’s life has been
    profound, more than she would ever realise and the reaction to her death in many people
    is testimony to this fact.

    So why this reading? I believe Mary chose this gospel reading because it demonstrates a
    profound truth about the nature of God and the means of our salvation. The thief that
    asked the Lord to ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom’, received a
    response that he could never have expected — ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with
    me in paradise.’ This thief couldn’t claim that he had led a good or holy life and therefore
    deserved to get into heaven. He had no appeal to make other than to be aware of his own
    sin and asked to not be forgotten by the Lord.

    The truth that is so wonderfully and terribly revealed in this encounter of the thief and the
    Lord, is that the complexities of our lives, with all that is beautiful and true and that which
    is not so beautiful and is destructive is not payed out on the scales. This would be an
    utterly precarious position hoping that one may out weigh the other – if it were, then none
    of us could have much to look forward too. Heaven or hell and the drama of our lives are
    played out on the much larger canvas framed by the grace, mercy and love of the Father,
    revealed in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Even in our human relationships, although we have rights and responsibilities towards
    each other, we are diminished if alongside that there isn’t an element of grace, mercy and
    love. A parent may house, clothe, feed and educate a child but if that child doesn’t
    experience grace, mercy and love as well, the child will be impoverished and will find it
    difficult to thrive and flourish as a person.

    Relationships are not meant to be contractual but covenantal where each person freely
    gives themselves to another. This self giving in love is something that we all long for in the
    depths of our hearts. St. Paul put this rather well when he stated that if I can speak in the
    tongues of men and angel and understand all the mysteries of the world but don’t have
    love then I am like a clanging cymbal, I gain nothing, I am nothing.

    Keeping this in mind we return to our gospel reading. One thief sees something more in
    the person at the centre of all this drama. In his silence and vulnerability, for those who
    are willing to look beyond themselves, a dignity, holiness and innocence, that speaks of
    the divine, is evident – and the thief perceives it. How often do the innocent pay the price
    for our own folly?

    Here humanity has cast it judgement upon love, truth and holiness and sought to crucify
    it. Yet even while the Lord in his humanity is dying he reveals the nature of God’s will by
    uttering; ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do’ and to the thief, ‘today you
    will be with me in paradise’.

    On the Cross the Lord reveals the longing of the Father’s heart that all might turn to him.
    In the Church we call this movement towards God repentance, and it is in turning to him
    that we find our true life, hope and joy. Mary, I believe, tasted something of that joy. She
    knew that, although rightly we all have a duty to do the right and avoid the wrong, it was
    in seeking to rest in the Lord’s grace, mercy and love that we would find our true life and
    joy. This seeking and resting in the Lord allows something of that grace, mercy and love
    to be reflected in our words and deeds and enable others to discover the way of great joy
    that is found in the Lord.

    Mary, however imperfectly, had a faith that is rooted in trust, a hope that is based on a
    promise and a love that is rooted in the divine. It is why Mary chose the psalm to express
    the longing of her own heart to follow the Lord wherever it might lead and the beautiful
    vision in Isaiah of the heavenly banquet where every tear and reproach will be wiped away
    of which the mass we have celebrate is a foretaste and a promise. The mass also put
    right at the centre of the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross and allows us to plead for ourselves
    and for others that the Lord would not forget or forsake.

    Faith, hope and love knows that death in the Lord is not the end. Death could not contain
    or extinguish His love and divine life, and his humanity was raised with him into glory.
    Mary’s identification with the thief was not about the way they lived their lives but that
    Mary in faith, hope and love could turn to the Lord, as the thief had done, and say
    ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom’ and in return hear those most beautiful
    words ‘truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise’.

    We have gathered here before God, not in the first instance to celebrate Mary’s life, there
    will be plenty of opportunities to do that, but in thanksgiving to prayerfully offer the mass
    to the Lord for Mary. Beseeching him that Mary might be enfolded by the wonder of his
    merciful love and find her way in the presence of the Lord alongside the Blessed Virgin
    Mary and all the saints and martyrs in the worship and everlasting joy of heaven.


    Requiem Mass

    Mass was celebrated in the Ordinariate Use | Booklet (PDF, 521kB)
    St Mary Magdalen Church, Upper North Street, Brighton : 8 January 2020

    Introit: Requiem aeternam
    Ordinary of the Mass: John Merbecke
    Reading: Isaiah 25:6–9
    Psalm: 41(42) Like as the deer that yearns for flowing waters, so longs my soul for God, the living God (Watson)
    Gospel: Luke 23:33, 39–43
    Offertory: Lady of Walsingham (Rogers)
    Communion: Russian Kontakion; Soul of my Saviour
    Ceremonies after Mass: May the choirs of angels (Ernest Sands); Praise to the Holiest

      Avenge me of mine adversary (Luke 18:1-8)

      In the Parable of the Unjust Judge and the Persistent Widow we are given a purely human account of how ‘justice’ works. Men grant ‘rights’ and follow ‘laws’ simply out of convenience, rarely if ever, and seldom for the right reasons, groping towards the natural law. What is justice, anyway? When we confront this knotty, Socratic question, we often find ourselves caught up in a culture of entitlement, litigation, conflict, and division. Some semblance of order may sometimes result, but it never lasts long, and it’s hard to see what it is we really want.

      The Unjust Judge “neither feared God nor respected man”. After much nagging, he reluctantly gives the widow her rights, but his actions are not motivated by charity. What motivates our actions is known only to God and our conscience. Only Our Lord –appearances can deceive – is able to tell who is or is not like the Unjust Judge. If, unlike the Unjust Judge, we find unaffected, sincere, selfless love within ourselves, we are keeping Christ’s commandment to love, and “whatsoever we ask, we receive of him” (1 John 3:22). For, God, utterly unlike any earthly judge, is Love, and by his nature is also Just.

      When we appeal to God, as the Persistent Widow did to the Unjust Judge, we are praying in a particular way. Petitionary prayer is perhaps the most common form of prayer, especially in times of distress and need. When we ask God for things, we often behave like we are pleading with an arbitrary, human judge. But while man-made law deals with externals, and with our surface-level desires and needs, God is different. Even those of us who are filled with charity will not always receive from God those things for which we ask. When we pray, like the widow “avenge me of mine adversary” – whether a person, evil spirit, or a particular sin – God often refuses. This is because prayer is itself the expression of a desire, a desire for union with God above all. When we ask for something and God does not give it to us, this does not mean that we lack charity. Rather, it means God is loving, healing, and judging us in a way which transcends human understanding: he knows best. In doing this, he fulfils our primary desire for union with him, rather than other desires. Instead of asking God for our ‘rights’, we should simply love our God and neighbour. We should understand that God allows us to suffer in particular ways for our own good. This love is what keeps on coming back to God, as did the widow to the judge, and we know that God does whatever is necessary to fulfil love’s desire by bringing us to eternal life.

      Prayers and best wishes,
      Keir,
      seminarian on placement

        Celebrating the Canonisation of our patron, St John Henry Newman

        This weekend was very significant in the life of our Ordinariate. St Peter’s Square in Rome was packed for the canonisation of Saint John Henry Newman, one among five that day. Because he is our patron many Ordinariate clergy and laity were there, as many photographs on social media proved.

        Here in Eastbourne we had a more modest affair yesterday evening. Our 7:30 evening mass was the focus for celebrations, followed by some refreshments in the hall afterwards. It was a Solemn Mass, with a special souvenir order of service, and featured the Te Deum at the end. Fr Thomas celebrated and preached. The regular congregation were joined by extras from the 4pm Sunday mass community, people from Christ the King and members of the local Newman Association.

        Thank you to those who contributed to the evening and who brought food and drinks.

        Graham, Fr Neil and Keir Martland serving.

        Graham, Fr Neil and Keir Martland serving

        During the Te Deum after Mass

        During the Te Deum after Mass

          Novena with Newman: Day 9 — Model of Friendship

          Cardinal NewmanAll over the world, people are preparing to celebrate the canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman on Sunday 13 October.

          This is a time of special grace for us to join together and form links in a great chain of prayer, where we call upon the soon-to-be-Saint to crown our prayers with his intercession in heaven.

          Everyone can form links in that chain by joining in the Novena with Newman — nine days of prayerful preparation for the canonisation, starting on Friday 4 October and finishing on Saturday 12 October on the eve of the canonisation.

          Day 9: Friday 12 October (S Wilfrid; S Ethelburga)

          Intention: That we are helped to cultivate the gift of charity.

          From his writings:
          The love of our private friends is the only preparatory exercise for the love of all men.

          Prayer: A decade of the Rosary (any you choose, although it’s usually the Joyful Mysteries on Saturday) for this intention, and then:

          O God our heavenly Father, we offer you heartfelt thanks for the life and holiness of John Henry Newman. In him you give us an inspiring example of priest and teacher, heroic and humble in his labour for the salvation of souls and the pursuit of holiness. Through his intercession we ask you to lead us by the kindly light of the Holy Spirit, and so grant us peace and joy in the one fold of the Redeemer. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

          If you would like a leaflet to print, we’ve a PDF of the entire Novena on one side of A4 (Originally published by the Oratories of England):
          Novena with Newman

            Novena with Newman: Day 8 — Servant of the Church

            Cardinal NewmanAll over the world, people are preparing to celebrate the canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman on Sunday 13 October.

            This is a time of special grace for us to join together and form links in a great chain of prayer, where we call upon the soon-to-be-Saint to crown our prayers with his intercession in heaven.

            Everyone can form links in that chain by joining in the Novena with Newman — nine days of prayerful preparation for the canonisation, starting on Friday 4 October and finishing on Saturday 12 October on the eve of the canonisation.

            Day 8: Friday 11 October (Pope St John XXIII)

            Intention: That we are given the grace to see the Church as more than a human institution but the Body of Christ.

            From his writings:
            The Church of God cannot change; what she was, that she is. What our forefathers were, such are we; we look like other men, but we have that in us which none others have — the latent element of indomitable fortitude. This may not be the age of Saints, but all times are the age of Martyrs.

            Prayer: A decade of the Rosary (any you choose, although it’s usually the Sorrowful Mysteries on Friday) for this intention, and then:

            O God our heavenly Father, we offer you heartfelt thanks for the life and holiness of John Henry Newman. In him you give us an inspiring example of priest and teacher, heroic and humble in his labour for the salvation of souls and the pursuit of holiness. Through his intercession we ask you to lead us by the kindly light of the Holy Spirit, and so grant us peace and joy in the one fold of the Redeemer. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

            If you would like a leaflet to print, we’ve a PDF of the entire Novena on one side of A4 (Originally published by the Oratories of England):
            Novena with Newman