Friday, March 7, 2014


Please note how the students at this Mass genuflect as the crucifix in the procession passes them. This is very Anglican and I see many of our parishioners here do it as well. It is a very wonderful custom. Combined with this, please note the extraordinary reverence shown by the elementary and high school students at this Mass and how well they pay attention to the details of their actual participation. Note too, how marvelous the student schola is. There is no reason why this experience of Mass in the Ordinary Form should not be the norm for all Ordinary Form Masses. Why it isn't is the scandal some 50 years after Vatican II!

This is a Catholic Mass through and through, but with Anglican options, such as the way the Introductory Rite is celebrated and the old English. In fact, I could see the old English as a "scared language" for worship, like Latin and Greek. In our worship, we step out of our time into eternity, God's time, as it were.

Note too that the Mass is ad orientem and how the ashes are imposed and Holy Communion is received. All and all, despite the Anglican peculiarities for those of us of the pure Latin Rite, this is a recovery of awe and reverence and traditional Catholic spirituality, piety and devotion during Mass. Bishops would do well to promote this kind of spirituality, piety and devotion during Mass if there is any hope of recovering Catholic identity and sensibilities not only in worship but doctrine and morals, faith and good works.

But most of all, look at the altar servers at the singing of the Holy, Holy! The priest uses Eucharistic Prayer III, but at the words of consecration, he lowers his voice. While audible, this is very reminiscent of the EF's hushed toned Roman Canon. Note also the double genuflections after the consecrations. Why in the name of God and all that is holy are not these options extended to the regular form of the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite? Or is this a harbinger of things to come for us?


Unknown said...

Father, don't you know this is nothing more than a fad of liturgical silliness?

John Nolan said...


I have yet to attend an Ordinariate Mass per se, and all the Masses I have attended which were celebrated by Ordinariate priests have actually been in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. It was noticeable in this Mass that certain rubrical elements were derived from Anglo-Catholic practices, but it was basically a Novus Ordo (EP III was used in the current translation rather than the Roman Canon in Tudor English).

However, a lot of the liturgical silliness which accompanies most OF celebrations was studiously avoided. The congregation knelt to receive the ashes from one of the two priests. They did not queue to have them imposed by a lay person in the interest of saving time. There were no girl altar-boys and the first lesson was read by a server in choir dress. And there was not an extraordinary monster in sight.

The organist should have been told that in Lent he should only accompany, but all-in-all this was preferable to what happens in nineteen out of twenty Catholic parishes.

Anonymous said...

"Please note how the students at this Mass genuflect as the crucifix in the procession passes them. This is very Anglican and I see many of our parishioners here do it as well. It is a very wonderful custom."

Actually, I'd say instead that it's very Catholic, rather than very Anglican. Before the 1960s collapse of liturgy and belief, this and the other practices of reverence shown here were typical of all Catholics.

Anonymous said...


When my wife and I came home to the Roman Catholic Church about five years ago after being long-term Anglo-Catholic Episcopalians, I greatly missed the awe and reverence implicit in the Old English Rite 1 Episcopal service, and the "personal piety" practices by congregants during the service. The Mass should require us to leave our worldly existence, and enter into God's kingdom. The difference of Old English from a more modern usage certainly emphasizes that difference, and set a much more poetic atmosphere. Say what you will about current Anglican Biblical orthodoxy or the lack thereof, the liturgy of the Anglican heritage is both pleasing to the ear and evokes a sacred atmosphere.

Love your blog!


Unknown said...

Mr. Nolan (I respect you too much to call you by your first name... and you're decades my senior),

I was joking, using PI's terminology. I actually watched the video through once, and then watched certain parts again. I love it.

I think the Anglo-Catholic practices (which I picked up on) are amazing. Although I wish the Sarum Rite were revived, I recognize the impossibility of such ever happening. The Ordinate's liturgy is one I connect with, not least because I used the 1662 BCP as my daily spiritual guide when I first emerged from atheism.