'Anglican Use' Catholic Liturgy
Our Lady of Walsingham was born as the second Anglican Use Catholic parish within the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.
"Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit..." the familiar voice said.
"And blessed by His Kingdom, now and forever," came the thunderous reply.
The voice was that of His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston, who was celebrating a solemn pontifical Mass commemorating the 25th anniversary of Our Lady of Walsingham Anglican Use Catholic Church -- the second foundation of an Anglican Use parish in the United States -- and honoring the members of the Anglican Use Society who had gathered in Houston for their annual meeting, June 11-13.
Friday's (June 12) Mass was a carefully choreographed pageant of sights, sounds and smells that used the Anglican Use Book of Divine Worship as the Book of Common Prayer. The gold leafed high altar simmered and glistened in the stained-glass filtered sunlight. There the Cardinal was joined in Our Lady of Walsingham's sanctuary by a host of other ordained clerics including the Most Rev. Kevin Vann, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth, monsignors, priests and deacons, all elaborately vested in vivid red in honor of the Holy Ghost.
The Catholic Church of Our Lady of Walsingham belies it's Anglican roots and could easily be an ancient Church of England chapel nestled in the countryside of Great Britain. The walls are the palest of green. The floor is made from light colored shale. Massive gray stone pillars dot the sanctuary while stone arches highlight passage ways. The recessed stained-glass windows cast jewel-toned points of light that dance off the walls, floor and the altar's inset ornate reredos. The lectern is the classic Anglican stole-draped carved wooden eagle.
Quietly, Thomas Moore and John Fisher, two Catholic saints from the English Reformation struggle, watch over all liturgical proceedings. The two men are depicted in their distinctive 16th Century garb. Both men challenged King Henry VIII and were rewarded with death for their efforts.
Choir members are vested in red cassocks overlaid by long draping surplises with deeply pointed sleeves. The women wear traditional Anglican white neck ruffles. The choir's voices are perfectly matched for the challenge and the intricacies of the unique cadence of Anglican chant. It shows that many hours of rehearsal went into producing such a polished sound.
The choir interplays with the Cardinal, responding to him in song and chant, creating an angelic sound which is raised towards heaven on the smoky clouds of incense, making it a heavenly liturgy with angelic resonance.
Cardinal DiNardo inherited the Anglican Use parish when he became the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in 2006.
The Revs. James Ramsey and James Moore founded Our Lady of Walsingham as a Roman Catholic Parish of the Pastoral Provision of Pope John Paul II in 1984. Both were former Episcopal priests who had renounced their Episcopal clerical ordinations and accepted the dogmas, doctrines and discipline of Roman Catholicism embracing the fullness of Catholic faith complete with obedience to the Bishop of Rome as the Vicar of Christ and became practicing Catholics. After Catholic theological study, they were re-ordained as Roman Catholic priests. This was done in keeping with the newly minted Pastoral Provision instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1980 to embrace and incorporate beleaguered married Episcopal priests who were converting to Roman Catholicism with the hope that somehow they could recover their priesthoods.
The two Houston priests, along with other like-minded Episcopal laity, who could no longer remain in the spiritually self-destructing Episcopal Church, yet wanted to maintain some of the flavor of their Anglican heritage, liturgy, piety and ethos, set out into deep unknown waters to establish an Anglican-style worship Catholic community in Houston. So Our Lady of Walsingham was born as the second Anglican Use Catholic parish within the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. The first such parish, Our Lady of the Atonement, was founded the year before (1983) in San Antonio, Texas. A third Texas Anglican Use parish flourishes in Arlington as St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Use Catholic Church. All three Texas Anglican Use parishes honor the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The late Most Rev. John L. Morkovsky was the first bishop to take the fledging Anglican Use parish under his protective episcopal care. Shortly after the foundation of the parish, the good bishop retired and The Most Rev. Joseph Fiorenza became the ordinary of the Houston diocese and assumed episcopal oversight of the new but growing Anglican Use parish. For more than two decades, Bishop Fiorenza interacted with Our Lady of Walsingham. As bishop, he ...
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- US Supreme Court Accepts Religion Case: Will Legislative Prayer Survive Religious Censorship?
- Two Oklahoma men killed in tornadoes; Kansas, Iowa batten down for severe weather
- Supreme Court to decide if prayer before town meeting is permissible
- All survive terrifying plane 'belly landing' in Newark
- Nebraska Bishop: Gosnell clinic was 'reminiscent of Auschwitz'
- Why even if you lose, playing Powerball isn't such a bad bet after all
- Cheap cigarette outlets in U.S. may be funding terrorists
- Shocking report reveals 38 men, 33 women are raped each day in the military
- Father Frank Pavone: Houston Abortionist Killing Babies Born Alive
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?