So now we have a sixth ex-Anglican bishop in the Ordinariate — and a very distinguished one indeed — Robert Mercer C.R. no less. It was so good to be present with a number of Ordinariate priests at his Ordination to the Catholic Priesthood in Portsmouth Cathedral yesterday, the Feast of the Annunciation, transferred to Monday.
There will, I am sure, be many more 'official' photographs of the occasion. I have some taken at odd moments which might give a sense of the very happy day when I can get them downloaded!
There was some Anglican Patrimony in the hymnody — "Sing of Mary, pure and lowly" written by a Cowley Father, Roland Palmer, (and sung lustily to Beethoven's 'Hymn of Joy'), and, at the end, Percy Dearmer's "Jesus, good above all other" sung to Quem Pastores. The Cantor throughout the Mass was Catherine Christmas, who fulfilled the same duty at my ordination a year ago. Where has that time gone?
Also traditional was the Cathedral Bunfight — good to be celebrating on a Solemnity so that we could all enjoy a glass of wine with a clear conscience. Especially good, too, that there were many present from the TAC congregation which worships at St Agatha's Portsea — several of them will very soon, I hear, be following Fr Mercer into the Ordinariate. So let's keep our prayers going for them, and all who are soon to be following this path.
Among those enjoying the hospitality were the Parish Priest of St James' Spanish Place and the Chaplain to the University of Canterbury — trail-blazers both, one the former Master of SSC, the other the one-time Secretary General of the Church Union. Ah, those were the days! I have pictures of them; but for some reason I cannot download them, so I shall cut this post short and try to insert pictures into my own Ancient Richborough site. Sorry!