Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Marylebone Group's First Anniversary

We are now Catholics of one year's standing.  What a joy that is.  As mentioned in our previous post, One Year On, September 3rd, the Feast of St Gregory the Great, marks the first anniversary of the day when Monsignor Newton received the first three members of the Marylebone Ordinariate Group into the full communion of the Catholic Church.  We celebrated this happy anniversary in some style yesterday: due to work commitments, sadly one of our group couldn't be with us, but we did what we could to make the day as jolly as possible, notwithstanding his absence.

As well as having another favourable mention in the parish notes at St James's, and having Fr Christopher Pearson in attendance to concelebrate with Fr Colven, we were invited to prepare our own leaflet, to be distributed to all the congregation attending the 1030 Solemn Mass.  The production of the leaflet allowed us to share in the Ordinariate's ongoing task of explaining its purpose to our fellow Catholics.  Thanks are due to Fr Colven for offering us this opportunity. 

The leaflet also included the words and the melody of a hymn we have mentioned before, Though The Streets of Heaven, written for St Mary's Bourne St, our former home in our Anglican days.  To mark our first anniversary in full visible communion, the post-Mass hymn at St James's yesterday was that very Bourne St hymn, so typical of the heyday of Anglo-Catholicism, and so much a part of the patrimony we bring with us.  The same hymn had been sung at our reception one year earlier.   We have previously posted footage of Though The Streets of Heaven being sung at Bourne Street, here it is being sung at St James's yesterday.

My only regret is that, by inadvertently touching the wrong button at the wrong time, I stopped recording not only just as the congregation were getting to know and indeed to enjoy the hymn, but also before the organist dazzled us with his reharmonisation of the last verse.

Perhaps those readers who run parishes or ordinariate groups, or who are responsible for the music there, might consider introducing this great example of Anglican Patrimony into their regular repertoire.  Here are the words and music of Wilfred Knox's 1921 hymn: do download this and try to find an occasion to sing it.

The setting of the ordinary of the Mass was the Mozart Missa Brevis in C K257.  Having had the privilege of Viennese settings so often at Bourne Street (not that, in any way, we can easily call that an example of Anglican Patrimony), it was particularly pleasing that yesterday was a day when we were similarly blessed. 

We are happy below to include a few photos taken during yesterday's liturgy (better quality versions can be found on our Flickr photostream).  The photo of Fr Colven giving the homily shows not only a Crucifix and the image of the Sacred Heart, but also a large statue of St Peter.  In this context, Fr Colven's homily might perhaps have reminded us of one of the many Newman quotations that we have recently included on this blog.  The readings at Mass talked of the importance of looking beyond the externals of religiosity and ensuring that there is true faith, love and right belief underlying religious practice.  This is not to say that religious practice, religion, the Church are unimportant, far from it, but it is to say that they are part of a bigger picture.  Blessed John Henry Newman :
Look into the matter more steadily; it is very pleasant to decorate your chapels, oratories, and studies now, but you cannot be doing this for ever. It is pleasant to adopt a habit or a vestment; to use your office-book or your beads; but it is like feeding on flowers, unless you have that objective vision in your faith, and that satisfaction in your reason, of which devotional exercises and ecclesiastical appointment are the suitable expression. They will not last in the long run, unless commanded and rewarded on Divine authority; they cannot be made to rest on the influence of individuals. It is well to have rich architecture, curious works of art, and splendid vestments, when you have a present God; but, oh! what a mockery if you have not.
This and the other photos tell their own story, of faithful and respectful liturgy executed properly, in the full communion of the Catholic Church, in communion with the Successor of St Peter. 

After Mass, we continued our festivities with another example of Anglican Patrimony, a long lunch in honour of a special occasion.  Deo gratias, and, Deo volente, may there be many more anniversaries to be marked. 

Fr Colven gives the homily, under the splendid tester with its dove symbolising the Holy Spirit.  To the left of the photo, you see the statue of St Peter to which we referred above.

Offertory 1.

Offertory 2.

Offertory 3.

Offertory 4.


Hoc est enim corpus meum.

Ecce Agnus Dei.

The group sits down to a celebratory anniversary lunch with Fr Pearson and Fr Colven.

The group by the 1973 Gavin Stamp poster for St Mary's Bourne St,which includes the Martin Travers image of Our Lady holding St Mary's.

In the post A New Direction, we referred to prints of Pusey and Newman hanging side by side.  Here's the proof. 


  1. Can you repost, or email to me, "Though the Streets of Heaven"? I can't save it in a large enough format to be useful. I have a rather poor copy that I have been using here in Canada.
    I attended St. Mary's Bourne St. in the 1980s.
    I am now a member of a group of over 20 people and several former Anglican priests waiting for a Canadian Deanery of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter to be established. scottvannan@hotmail.com

  2. Thank you for your comment, Scott. I have emailed you what I hope is a better quality version.