Pope Benedict XVI in the UK in 2010. © Mazur/CATEWIn 2009, Pope Benedict XVI issued an Apostolic Constitution named Anglicanorum Coetibus which allowed — and continues to allow — Anglican laity and their pastors to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. At the same time, they can retain the elements of their heritage which is in keeping with the Catholic faith. This enabled the Eastbourne Ordinariate Mission to be established.

As a member of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and the Eastbourne Ordinariate Mission, you would be fully integrated into the life of the Catholic Church, by having been received into full communion. You would be in every sense Catholic, whilst also retaining some of the distinctive richness of your Anglican tradition.

These rich traditions, which have helped your Christian faith to mature and now have brought you to the door of the Catholic Church, are often referred to as ‘Anglican Patrimony’. They include a wide range of different elements, from liturgical services to approaches to pastoral ministry in parish life.

Historically many Anglican traditions developed from older Catholic traditions, especially in Britain, and so many of these elements are very similar to the services, devotions, and traditions already familiar to Catholics. Unlike the Eastern Catholic Churches, we cannot describe this as a different Rite or Church, but rather a nuance of the Latin, or Western, tradition.

When received into the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham you become a full member of the Church, entitled to receive the sacraments in any Catholic Church. Likewise, your new Catholic friends may receive the sacraments from a Priest of a Personal Ordinariate: it is no different from stepping into a neighbouring diocese. Attending a Sunday Mass celebrated by a Priest of a Personal Ordinariate, for example, fulfils the normal obligation for the receiving of the Eucharist.

It’s Not All New!

Mgr Keith Newton, Ordinary, at the inaugural Mass for Divine WorshipWithin the Personal Ordinariate, certain services may be celebrated which have been drawn from the Anglican tradition. Elements of the Anglican tradition that are compatible with the Catholic faith are authorized for use in the Catholic Church, whilst other elements of the Anglican tradition have been revised to bring them into conformity with the wider understanding of the Catholic Church. Services which can be used within the Ordinariate include the traditional celebration of Evening Prayer, known as Evensong, of Morning Prayer (Matins), and a Marriage and Funeral service familiar to those formed in the Anglican tradition. Priests of a Personal Ordinariate may celebrate Holy Mass using certain texts which have been approved for use by the Holy See, or according to the Roman Rite in either the Ordinary Form or Extraordinary Form.

In all these celebrations, the richness of the Anglican musical tradition can often be found, particularly in collections of hymns and anthems — often with a traditional choir — rich theological and devotional language is found set alongside well-written music which has a broad appeal and is easily learned.

Lectionary readings at Mass are taken from the Revised Standard Version (Second Catholic Edition), which draws on the English bible tradition of translation, keeping many of the phrases and sayings found in literature and poetry.