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Adoremus, Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy

Online Edition:
September 2012
Vol. XVIII, No. 6

First Liturgical Texts for Ordinariates Approved
— for Weddings and Funerals

The Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter (usordinariate.org) released an announcement on July 3 concerning the Holy See’s recent approval of new liturgical books for the ordinariates in the United Kingdom, the US and Canada, and Australia. Following is an edited version of that report. — Editor


The first liturgical texts approved for worldwide use by the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans were promulgated by the Holy See on June 22, the feast day of the English saints of the Reformation, John Fisher and Thomas More.

The Order for Funerals and the Order for the Celebration of Holy Matrimony are to be used by the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the United Kingdom; the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter in the United States and Canada; and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.

The new liturgies replace existing texts, including those from the Book of Divine Worship [the ritual book for Anglican Use Catholic parishes in the US, also adopted by the ordinariates - Ed.]. Drawn from the classical Anglican prayer book tradition, the texts incorporate elements of the Anglican patrimony now in the full communion of the Catholic Church.

Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, noted, “This is an important moment in the development of our distinctive liturgical and ecclesial life. We saw the world stop to watch the Royal Wedding last year, now a very similar and beautiful liturgy is available for use in the Ordinariates of the Catholic Church — it is a great privilege for us to be part of that obvious working-out of practical, receptive ecumenism.”

“We welcome with gratitude these texts, which bring into Catholic liturgical life some of the most beloved and memorable texts in the Book of Common Prayer. These texts have blessed and comforted generations of English-speaking Christians and will be deeply appreciated in the ordinariate communities,” said Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary for the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

The new texts were developed under the guidance of Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, OP, former Secretary for the Congregation of Divine Worship. Archbishop DiNoia, now the vice president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, who has been re-appointed as chairman of the Holy See’s Anglicanae traditiones Commission tasked with developing the new liturgical texts for the Personal Ordinariates. The Reverend Uwe Michael Lang, CO, until recently a consultor for the Congregation for Divine Worship, will also continue his role in the development of liturgical texts for the ordinariates.

Quotes from the new texts:

The Order for Funerals includes Scripture passages from the Revised Standard Version–Catholic Edition [RSV-CE2, the version adopted for use by all the ordinariates] and allows for the recitation or singing of the sequence Dies Irae. As the coffin is lowered into the grave, the celebrant prays:

Forasmuch as it hath pleased almighty God of His great mercy to take unto Himself the soul of our dear brother/sister here departed, we therefore commit his/her body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change the body of our low estate that it may be like unto His glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself. [first option]

At the exchange of consent in the Order for the Celebration of Holy Matrimony, the man says:

I, N, take thee, N, to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse: for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

During the exchange of rings, the man says:

With this ring I thee wed; with my body I thee worship; and all my worldly goods with thee I share: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Texts online:

The Order for the Celebration of Holy Matrimony: usordinariate.org/documents/AC_Marriage_Rite.pdf

The Order for Funerals: usordinariate.org/documents/AC_Order_for_Funerals.pdf

Ordinariate media contacts:
Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (UK): Father James Bradley, +44 (0)7880 540727 and james.bradley@ordi nariate.org.uk

Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (US and Canada): Susan Gibbs, 202-525-9554 and media@usordinariate.org


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