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Visiting an Anglican Ordinariate parish: “You know that you are in a different place, a place set aside for holy use”


© Devin Rose & Rosalind Chan

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 08/24/15


I’d be curious to experience this liturgy sometime. It sounds like something I’d like. Here Devin Rose describes his first experience visiting Our Lady of Walsingham in Texas:  

The parish is beautiful. It is like an acre of England has been cut out and dropped in Houston. The church itself looks like a classic Anglican (originally Catholic!) church. The language of the liturgy is English, but the phrasing and words used are elegant, dignified, and mellifluous. They have a great organ and accompanied it with traditional English hymns, sung very well. Much of the Mass was sung or chanted. The Order of the Mass for the Anglican Ordinariate is what the English Mass should be: traditional, yet in the vernacular; accessible, yet reverent. We’ve been to the Extraordinary Form (Latin) multiple times, and of course to the normal Ordinary Form (English) thousands of times, and the Ordinariate Mass captures the best of each Form in its own unique style. …You walk into Our Lady of Walsingham and know that you are in a different place, a consecrated place, a place set aside for holy use. Yet the people have cheerful demeanors. They are peaceful and happy. It is not a stifled, stilted, or rigidly legalistic mood. The music is sacred and solemn, yet beautiful. Many women are wearing veils. Because they want to. People are generally dressed in nicer clothes–not because they are richer–but because they know they are coming to a holy place and should dress appropriately. They have an altar rail, which makes for reverent yet efficient reception of the Holy Eucharist. The best of both worlds. People receive on the tongue from ordained hands by intinction.

Read more.

One of the reasons I love my parish in Queens is—as Devin Rose put it—”you know you are in a different place, a consecrated place, a place set aside for holy use.” The liturgies are well-planned and beautifully celebrated. As I often tell people, “After folks come here, they feel like they’ve been to church.”

Our church in Queens, in fact, has English roots; it was modeled on the Anglican cathedral in Durham, England.  The story goes that Bishop McEntegart of Ogdensburg, New York came to our parish for a funeral back in the 1940s and was so taken with the building, he used it as the inspiration for his own diocesan cathedral.

They don’t build them like this anymore. Maybe they should.

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