Fr. Harry Entwistle, the new Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia gave a talk at a recent Melbourne information day that is now posted on the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham site. (H/t Fr. Smuts)
Here's an excerpt of Fr. Entwistle's talk on Anglican patrimony that I thought was interesting. There's a lot more that is significant in the talk, so go on over and read the whole thing.
The Holy Father wants us to bring the treasures of our Anglican heritage with us, and offer them as a gift to the Church. I think we need to rediscover what those gifts really are. We talk of singing proper hymns, of preaching, of good music and pastoral care, but I have come to believe that these are consequences of something deeper. What we must rediscover and bring, is our English Spiritual Tradition, which claims continuity with the desert fathers and mothers, with the Celtic Church, St Augustine of Canterbury, SS Benedict, Anselm, Bernard, Aelred, the English mystics of the 14th century such as the author of The Cloud of Unknowing, Margery Kempe, Henry Rolle, Walter Hilton, Julian of Norwich and later, the Reformers, the Caroline Divines of the 17th century and the Tractarians, in particular Blessed John Henry Newman.
The English School of Spirituality is a middle way, a via media. Not so much as a half way position between Catholicism and Protestantism, but as holding in balance theological and spiritual study, or head knowledge, and how we express that knowledge in our worship and live the Christian life in the world. It is a balance between piety and living the gospel in the world, not a little of each, but giving both equal weight. Being only a head knowledge Christian or a charismatic feeling Christian concerned only with justice matters is not the way of English Spirituality.
In our tradition, there is equality in the Church. Clergy may like to be on a pedestal, and some laity put them there, but the Church militant here on earth is made up of equal partners who each have their own ministry. This is why the
daily prayers of the Church are that of the whole. Laity is expected to recite or hear matins and evensong. The daily office is not only for the clergy. This is something we should revive but remember Mgr Burnham’s new book may be a
place to start but is not an authorised text.
The Ordinariate is not an Anglican Preservation Society, living in some imagined golden age. It is a non-geographical diocese within the Western Catholic Church, committed to proclaim the gospel and be evangelistic. We will have our liturgy that reflects our English tradition, but it is not an end in itself. It reflects what we believe and pray, and its language will be of our tradition.
I particularly like what he says about equality. There is a way of respecting the roles of clergy and lay people without having them bleed into each other — having lay people take over specifically clerical functions. Doing the daily offices is a boon to my spiritual life and growth and it would be great to see this continue to be encouraged.
I also like what he says about liturgy not being an end in itself and that the Ordinariates are not meant to reflect some "Golden Age" or become historical preservation societies. Yet, I hold that view in tension with a certain sympathy for those who would like to see the King James Version of the Bible and the Prayer Book have more influence on the ongoing liturgical discussions. I would like to see the Authorized Verson authorized!
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