Friday, 11 February 2011

New Ordinariate Liturgies for Rite of Election

As previously reported the RC dioceses are playing a prominent role in the genesis of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. It is hoped that by next year there will be a principal church and that there will be the human machinery in place to enable the Ordinariate and the Ordinary to stand on their own two feet. If all this happens, next year the Ordinariate will probvably have its own Rite of Election. For the 'first wave' the dioceses have generously invited those entering into the full communion of the Catholic Church to join in with diocesan Rites of Election. The liturgy will probably vary slightly from place to place, but thanks to Fr Keith Newton, the Ordinary, and the Diocese of Westminster we can begin to see how the Rite of Election has taken shape and accommodated the Ordinariate innovation. Reproduced below is the 'use' of the diocese of Westminster as agreed with the Ordinary.

The Rite of Election was originally designed for catechumens (i.e. the unbaptised) but developed in modern times to include a rite for those who have been baptised but are entering into the full communion of the Catholic Chruch. Previously Anglicans and people from other denominations have gone through this route. Clearly the Ordinariate is a different route and this is recognised in this year's Rite of Election. The liturgy seems to be based on the US Combined Rite of Election and Calling of Candidates. This can be found along with the rest of the RCIA material in 'Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults' published by Catholic Book Publishing Co. with the relevant section being found on pp.69-83.

In order that there is a distinction made between the parchial candidates and the Ordinariate groups use has been made of the variant forms available. The Ordinariate groups are called with a text adapted from Option A, while parochial candidates have Option B with the series of questions for sponsors. It seems to be envisaged therefore that Ordinariate groups will not necessarily have sponsors. In addition it appears that they may be called as a group rather than by name.

In the adaptation of Option A there are significant references to words spoken by Pope Benedict XVI and his recent visit to Britain. This is both found in the bishop's introductory words, and significantly in the exhortation to the assembly to 'be generous in your welcome and offer them a place in your hearts and in your communities. Be ready, in turn, to be enriched by the gifts they may have to offer'. This echoes the Pope's words: 'It helps us set our sights on the ultimate goal of all ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all. Let us continue to pray and work unceasingly in order to hasten the joyful day when that goal can be accomplished.'

Here is the relevant text. I have chosen to follow the edition that uses 'bishop' though of course in Westminster and other places 'Archbishop' will be used:


Bishop: The Holy Father, Pope Benedict, when he spoke at the end of his visit to this country asked that we should be generous in our welcome of those who seek to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church within the Ordinariate.
Within our own diocese groups who seek this full communion have been preparing for admission to the Sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist at the end of Lent.
I now invite those who desire to participate fully in the sacramental life of the Church, to stand. (or come forward).

The Candidates stand or come forward

Bishop: My dear friends, these candidates, our brothers and sisters, have asked to be able to participate fully in the sacramental life of the Catholic Church. Those who know them have judged them to be sincere in their desire. During the period of their preparation they continue to reflect on the mystery of their baptism and have come to appreciate more deeply the presence of Christ in their lives. They have shared the company of their brothers and sisters, joined with them in prayer, and endeavoured to follow Christ's commands more perfectly.
And so I am pleased to recognise their desire to participate fully in the sacramental life of the Church.

Recognition of the Candidates

Dear Candidates, the Church reognises your desire to be sealed with the Holy Spirit and to have a place at Christ's Eucharistic table. Join with us this Lent in a Spirit of repentance. Hear the Lord's call to conversion and be faithful to your baptismal covenant.
Candidates: Thanks be to God.

The Bishop addresses the whole community
Bishop: My dear friends, I ask you to support these candidates in faith, prayer and example as they prepare to participate more fully in the Church's Sacraments. Be generous in your welcome and offer them a place in your hearts and in your communities. Be ready, in turn, to be enriched by the gifts they may have to offer. May they see in you a love for the Church and a sincere desire for doing good. Lead them this Lent to the joys of the Easter mysteries.

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