Friday, 22 June 2012

Introibo ad altare Dei

As previously posted, we are now expectantly looking forward to the coming ordination of Deacon John Hunwicke to the Priesthood at the Oxford Oratory on Wednesday 27th June at 19:00. And with even greater joy and gladness we are able to relay news that Fr Hunwicke's First Mass will be celebrated according to the Extraordinary Form at the London Oratory the following day at 11:30.

Those familiar with Fr Hunwicke during his time in the Church of England, not least the many many devoted fans of his wonderful and informative blog (which has helped more than a few Ordinariate members, both laity and clergy, to find their way to Holy Mother Church), will recall his ardent devotion to the liturgy, particularly in its most traditional forms, and as such it comes as little surprise that he will celebrate his First Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, a form regarded by the Holy Father himself as an 'venerable and ancient usage'.

Yet again, the Ordinariate continues to show itself as fiercely loyal not only to the patrimony of centuries of separated yet worthy practice and belief developed during its members' former days, but also to the inheritance of the wider Latin Church. That which countless generations before have held as sacred continues to be proclaimed by those individuals who, through the generosity and grace of the Holy Father, find themselves as heirs to that age-old tradition.

The wonderful diversity of the Church Catholic, even in the Latin Rite, is proclaimed by Fr Hunwicke celebrating his second Mass in the Ordinary Form of that same Rite, at the Church of the Holy Rood in Oxford. He is scheduled to celebrate that Mass as the Ordinariate Group in Oxford's usual Saturday evening Mass at 18:00 on 30th June, when the setting of the ordinary of the mass will be Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli.

Certainly members of the Marylebone Group (having good reason to be particular fans of Fr Hunwicke) will be in attendance at these wonderful occasions to which all are invited, and reports on this 'blog will follow in due course.  What is about to unfold is something for which Ordinariate members have been praying ardently, and we rejoice that our prayers have been answered.

In these days leading up to this most significant week in the life of the Ordinariate and the Church in England, we renew our commitment of prayer for Fr Hunwicke as he prepares for ordination to Christ's Priesthood, and ask the intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham and Blessed John Henry Newman, but also of S. John Vianney that his fidelity and love for the Sacred Heart of Our Lord may be all the more imprinted on our ordinand too.


  1. Since when was the Extraordinary Form (?in Latin) part of the Anglican Patrimony?

  2. I am glad you asked that question, and I promise, dear readers, that "Anonymous" is not a stooge or a patsy set up to ask it.

    Joining the Ordinariate is about becoming a Catholic, it is about Unity. It is a means to an end, not about setting up a cosy club for ex Anglo Catholics to relive the "good old days" in splendid isolation, safely hidden from the wider Catholic Church.

    I refer you to this article, where we dealt with the same point.

    As to the use of the Extraordinary Form, you will be aware of the English Missal and the Anglican Missal, which are - excuse the short cut language - the EF in Cranmerised English. These have a long and honourable history in the CofE.

    On the topic of Latin, well where it is "understood of the people" it has a long history in the CofE. There is even a Latin version of the BCP, and perhaps you know of the termly celebrations of a Latin communion in the University of Oxford. In Oxford, there are even Latin sermons (including one given by Fr Hunwicke recently).

    Latin is in regular use at St Mary's Bourne St, as mentioned in the article linked below. We well recall Rowan Williams given benediction in Latin at Bourne St in 2005 or 2006.

  3. @Anonymous: I believe it falls under "the inheritance of the wider Latin Church".

  4. The Once-and-Future Fr Hunwicke has many admirers, not only Roman Catholic and Anglican, but also Orthodox. I am one of the latter.

    1. Absolutely. Fr Hunwicke has many followers and admirers, and we all share in the same delight that he will very soon be ordained as a priest in the Catholic Church.

    2. Fr Dn Paulinus28 June 2012 at 01:41

      And what a wonderful occasion it was!

      (that was me above, by the way... I'm sure I wasn't anonymous when I posted it!)

  5. I hope someone makes a video of the first Mass.

  6. Et Expecto, I don't know if there are any plans to take some video or not (it would be lovely if there were), but we can be sure that at the very least, plenty of photos will surface, including some on this blog.