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Types & Order of Mass

A Xt3 Member asked at 6:24pm on May 17th 2018
I was searching for a church to attend on a weekend away that I am planning and ofcourse did not want to miss out on Mass. I stumbled accross a church that had next to one of the Mass times "Ordinariate". Can you please explain what this is.

Also I would like to know why and how different Catholic churches will have different ways of celebrating Mass and what was the reason behind changing the Order of Mass.

God Bless! :)

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Hi Ann, the 'Ordinariate' is the name given by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 to those Anglicans who wished to join the Catholic Church while remaining in their former Anglican parishes or communities. He was answering a request by Anglicans deeply upset by their own Church's allowing women priests as well as with its other liberalizing tendencies. Just as a bishop can be responsible for the military of a countrym wherever they're stationed, which is called a military ordinariate, so an Ordinariate of former Anglicans can cover a whole country, or as in North America, two countries, with a Bishop appointed by the Pope, responsible for all those in his area.

Benedict's response was Anglicanorum Coetibus (available on the net) which generously went further than anyone expected. Former Anglican priests and bishops who wish to serve in the Ordinariate are ordained as priests in the Catholic Church (since Anglican orders are not regarded as valid by the Catholic Church), and can then continue ministering as priests in the Ordinariate, including those already married, as many of those Anglican clergy joining the Ordinariate are. However, if former Anglican bishops have been married, after priestly ordination they cannot be accepted as bishops in the Ordinariate, since the longstanding tradition, not only in the Catholic Church but also in all the Orthodox Churches which have married clergy, is that bishops must be celibate. In England, the Ordinariate has Our Lady of Walsingham and Blessed John Henry Newman as patrons, in Australia, the Ordinariate is dedicated to Our Ladyof the Southern Cross and St Augustine of Canterbury, and in the United States and Canada it's known as the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, with some 44 parishes.

When they don't have their own churches, they're allowed to share existing Catholic churches, and non-Ordinariate Catholics are always allowed to attend their Eucharistic liturgies and receive the Eucharist there. They celebrate the Eucharist and the other sacraments, according to the liturgical rites proper to the Anglican tradition and approved by the Holy See. This is 'to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.' Personally, I've always loved the Anglican tradition of psalm-singing with the Myles Coverdale translation into chunky old style English and music that beautifully suits the language. I've no doubt they're a wonderful enrichment to the Catholic Church.

Your other question about the different ways Mass is celebrated in the Catholic Church may refer to the fact that the rite normally used was introduced with the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, and it'd be a good idea to read the Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (again, it's on the net) for the background to that renewal. Most people agree that not all the reforms after the Council were good ones, and those who strongly objected asked to be allowed to use the Latin Mass as laid down in the Missal of 1962. Pope Benedict XVI made it much easier for those wishing to celebrate the Latin Mass, and many churches, as does the church I'm attached to at St Mary's Cathedral Sydney, have a Latin Mass every Sunday for those who want it. Very best, Fr Brendan
Xt3's Ask a Priest answered at 4:19pm on May 27th 2018 reply

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