Wednesday, 12 October 2011

From Lepanto to Le Barroux

How to follow yesterday's post, Memories of Bourne St, Lepanto and Fr Hunwicke?  There's a challenge.  Traffic on this blog was double usual levels yesterday, and the post has rushed straight up the hit parade to be the most read blogpost we have yet put up.

Perhaps readers of this blog have a particular devotion of Our Lady of Victories and Our Lady of the Rosary.  Surely so, but no doubt the post was also happy reading for those present at St Mary's Bourne St when Fr Hunwicke delivered the homily quite brilliantly, and no doubt the post was manna to those who are fans of the Liturgical Notes blog.

Thanks are due once again to the homilist for his kind permission to reproduce his work.  Thanks also to friends of this blog who shared the Facebook post announcing the publishing of the blogpost : keep up the publicity!  New readers, please sign up to join our Facebook group to receive regular updates, the link is shown on the right.

The one unfortunate effect of having focussed on Our Lady of Victories yesterday is that we couldn't get in a mention for St Firminus of Uzès.  Uzès has a special significance for a significant number of current and former members of St Mary's Bourne St, with many happy memories of holidays spent near there in small and large groups at a traditional Mas belonging to a member of the St Mary's congregation.

Meeting the Sunday obligation there often involves attending Mass at Uzès Cathedral (a rather good photo can be found here), and for a special treat might involve a trip to Le Barroux.

Today's saint of the day is St Wilfred.  Over the past year or so, St Wilfred has become a slightly tricky saint to discuss in the context of Anglo-Catholicism and the Ordinariate.  An Anglican society has been named in honour of St Wilfred and St Hilda, attempting to seek to secure some kind of provision for Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England for the new era that will dawn once General Synod votes in favour of the ordination of women to the Church of England's episcopacy.  Since it is a tricky subject, I shall steer well clear, other than to echo the sentiments of others who find the naming of the society rather strange at at time when the Ordinariate is in existence, as both St Wilfred and St Hilda are saints who, in their time on this earth, were renowned for sorting out the English Church and, particularly in Wilfred's case, prioritising obedience to Rome over obedience to Canterbury.  I leave the polemics to others more skilled in the matter, and wish to assure all our Anglican friends of the prayers and support of the members of the Marylebone Ordinariate Group.  Shared years kneeling together at the same altar are not easily forgotten.  In the unlikely event that there are any comments on this particular topic, I regret to say that they will not be published: there are plenty of far more suitable places to discuss what is going on in the Church of England than here. 

All this talk of ex-Anglicans and remaining Anglicans brings to mind an article that the Ordinariate Portal highlighted earlier this week.  The piece by William Oddie talks of the significance and genesis of the Ordinariate project, not so much in  terms of the practical discussions of the last couple of years, but in terms of Blessed John Henry Newman's vision; of the conversations between the then Cardinal Ratzinger, Cardinal Hume and Monsignor Graham Leonard (then Anglican Bishop of London) that might, had things been different, have led to an Ordinariate far earlier; and of William Oddie's prescient book The Roman Option

While the article seems to assume that everything would happen at once, we know of course that those coming over will come over in a number of waves.   Avid readers of blogs will know that several new Ordinariate groups have been announced in recent weeks, including yet another one in Central London and one in Balham, as well as a number outside London.  We also note the pleasing article in the Catholic Herald, referring to statements by Cardinal Wuerl, made upon the occasion of his visit to Stirling in Scotland, about the imminent launch of an Ordiniarate in the US.

William Oddie concludes the article with a most wonderful extract from Blessed John Henry Newman's Apologia pro Vita Sua.  We have now added that same extract to the right hand sidebar of this blog.  It is indeed very moving, expressing a hope that one day we shall all be united, and reunited, into One Fold and under One Shepherd.
… I gather up and bear in memory those familiar affectionate companions and counsellors, who in Oxford were given to me, one after another, to be my daily solace and relief; and all those others, of great name and high example, who were my thorough friends, and showed me true attachment in times long past….
And I earnestly pray for this whole company, with a hope against hope, that all of us, who once were so united, and so happy in our union, may even now be brought at length, by the Power of the Divine Will, into One Fold and under One Shepherd.
Powerful words indeed.  We finish with one of the most Catholic, if you will, settings in the Byrd Gradualia, Tu es Petrus.  As Anglican Patrimony, however, we have posted a version being sung by King's College Cambridge.  The performance is very much of its time, but the words and the music are as potent as ever.

St Wilfred, St Firminus, pray for us.

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