Monday, December 28, 2015

So I Found A Catholic Parish With An Organ And Choir

that doesn't use that comic-book Breaking Bread missalette. Not only that, but although the diocesan parish we're in the process of leaving is five minutes away, this new one is all of fifteen.

Now, I'm not all that particular. I'm plenty happy to have the organ prelude (which contributes greatly to a reverent atmosphere) and hymns that are somewhat more likely to have Charles Wesley or Isaac Watts involved with them, but frankly, I don't miss the Comfortable Words, the Cranmerian prayers, or threefold Lord-I-Am-Not-Worthies. In fact, leaving mass yesterday, I had a reaction a little like Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning: he suddenly realized the spirits had done it all in one night; I looked at my watch and realized this parish had done it all in one hour.

Having been raised Presbyterian, I don't have a sentimental cradle attachment to Anglicanism. I'm happy simply to have something that seems like church. And this seems to be a large and prosperous parish, on which the Archdiocese smiles by providing it with nearly half a dozen priests and several deacons. Do you think there might be a correspondence between this and a place that actually seems like a church?

So I e-mailed a visitor here with the remark that I wasn't sure what "Anglican Patrimony" brought to the party if a mass that simply seemed like church could do just as well (or, if it took one hour instead of two, possibly a little better). He replied,

Mr Bruce: Perhaps there is no real Ordinariate "brand." I look around and see that Incarnation, Orlando has Knights of Columbus and Monday night bingo, hardly elements of Anglican patrimony. St Timothy's Catonsville has both male and female altar servers, a guitar-playing cantor who leads the singing up front with a mic, a versus populam celebration, and the general feel of a typical OF Catholic mass, except that they use [The Book of Divine Worship]. Every mass is taped and posted on their Facebook page, so you can judge for yourself Other places, like Bl John Henry Newman, Irvine are of course of the lace cotta and fiddleback chasuble school. My personal take has always been that the essential element of the Anglican Patrimony is being an Anglican, and once you take that away it evaporates. Conversely, you can put Idi Amin in a kilt but that doesn't make him a Scot.

The idea that the Ordinariates are a template for the evangelisation of Protestants or similar intellectual posturing is an attempt to gloss over their failure to attract any significant numbers, in my opinion.

There seems to be a lot of dancing around, but not quite getting, the idea that maybe you can evangelize lots of people simply by acting like a church.