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Ordinariate launches its new liturgy

11 October 2013

THE new liturgical Use for the Roman Catholic Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was due to be launched yesterday with a sung celebration at Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, Soho, in London.

The new text for the mass, which includes traditional Anglican words, was devised for English-speaking Ordinariates, with the aim of enabling former Anglicans in communion with Rome "to retain aspects of their spiritual and liturgical traditions". The new liturgy, drawn up by a commission, includes material from the 1662 Prayer Book, such as the Prayer of Humble Access, as well as from the Roman Rite.

The Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, was due to celebrate, and his Assistant, Mgr Andrew Burnham, to preach. The Tudor English unison setting by Merbecke was chosen for sections such as the Gloria and Lord's Prayer. Other items included pieces by later English composers such as Howells, Elgar, and Bairstow.

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, who are not required to adopt the new Use, although all will be expected to familiarise themselves with it. It is expected that some will use it regularly, while others, especially in parishes with many "cradle" Roman Catholics, may wish to use it only from time to time.

As in the Customary, traditional language is used throughout. Much of the service is familiar from Alternative Services Series 1 and 2, ASB Rite B, and the traditional-language services in Common Worship. The "Deliver us" prayer (embolism) at the Lord's Prayer is the old version found in the English Missal.

The invitation to confession, and the confession, absolution, and Comfortable Words are close to 1662; and they follow the Prayers of the People/Bidding Prayers, for which alternatives are provided, including one close to Series 1/1928, and the prayer for "all sorts and conditions". Similarly, there are offertory sentences before the Roman offertory prayers and canon.

The rubrics appear to allow for local variation in, for example, whether the Introductory Rite is said at the altar or sedilia, and whether the Gospel is read at the altar or a legilium.

There are a few fresh renderings into "traditional language". For example, one of the offertory prayers reads: "Blessed art thou, O Lord, God of all creation, for of thy bounty have we received this bread which we offer unto thee, fruit of the earth and the work of human hands: whence it shall become for us the bread of life."

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