History will be made in the Catholic Church on 10 October when a new text for the Mass which includes traditional Anglican words is officially introduced in London.
The text has been devised for use by the Personal Ordinariates — the structures established by Pope Benedict XVI which allow former Anglicans who wish to enter the full communion of the Catholic Church to do so whilst retaining aspects of their spiritual and liturgical traditions. Benedict XVI described these as “precious gifts” and “treasures to be shared”.
The liturgy — the work of a special commission established by Rome and recently approved by the Holy See — includes material from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as well as the Roman Rite. It will be unveiled with a Mass, to be followed by a media launch organised by the Friends of the Ordinariate charity, at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, Soho.
The Mass will be celebrated by the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Monsignor Keith Newton, and the preacher will be Monsignor Andrew Burnham, Assistant to the Ordinary and a member of the commission which devised the liturgy, known as the Ordinariate Use. Music, drawn from the English tradition, will include Howells’ Collegium Regale.
Mgr Burnham said: “For some time, the Ordinariate has had its own liturgy, approved by the Holy See, for marriages and funerals and the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham already provides a daily office in the Anglican tradition. But the introduction of this new Ordinariate Use is very important because it means that we now have our own distinctive liturgy for the Mass which brings to the Roman rite beautiful Anglican words which have been hallowed for generations. It gives the Ordinariate unity and a corporate identity.”
The Roman Rite in both its ordinary and extraordinary forms remains available for use by Ordinariate priests and there will be no requirement for them to adopt the Ordinariate Use. However, all Ordinariate clergy will be expected to familiarise themselves with it. Some priests are expected to use it regularly, while others — especially in parishes with a large concentration of “cradle” Catholics in the congregation — may only wish to use it from time to time.
The Mass will be celebrated in the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption & St Gregory at 6.30pm on Thursday 10 October. All welcome.