Tuesday, April 03, 2012

First Chrism Mass of UK Ordinariate at St. James, Spanish Place

A press release was issued by the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham yesterday:


On Monday the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham celebrated its’ first Chrism Mass at the beautiful London church of St James, Spanish Place (by kind permission of the Rector).

The Mass was celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio to the United Kingdom, His Excellency the Most Reverend Antonio Mennini, at the request of the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate, Monsignor Keith Newton.

Mgr Newton, who received the Renewal of Priestly Promises and preached at the Mass, said “The jurisdiction given to me, unlike that of Catholic diocesan bishops, is vicarious on behalf of the Roman Pontiff. It is therefore particularly appropriate that our Chrism Mass should be celebrated by the Holy Father’s representative to Great Britain particularly as at this time we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of full diplomatic relations between the British Government and the Holy See”.

Around sixty clergy, including five former Anglican bishops, concelebrated the Eucharistic Celebration, with hundreds of laity from groups across the United Kingdom.

Speaking of the Priesthood - which is one of the central themes of the Chrism Mass - Mgr Newton said, “No man possesses the priesthood just as no one possesses baptism or marriage. They are something shared. You cannot be married on your own and you cannot live the baptised life apart from other Christians. No, the priesthood possess us. It is a life. It is a particular way of living the Christian life. But it is not for ourselves but for Christ and his holy people. It is a life of sacrifice. Although much is written about priesthood, it is far too complex to be reduced to simple statements which we can easily understand because it is nothing less than a particular sharing in the eternal priesthood of Christ. That sharing is expressed visibly today as we gather round the altar to celebrate this Mass”.

This week sees the continuing growth of Pope Benedict’s offer to Anglicans, with over two hundred members of the Church of England and the Traditional Anglican Communion being received into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

A full photo set has been made available by the ordinarate. Here are a couple of the photographs. (Photographs © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk)

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