The following story has been posted at the blog of the Anglican Use Society of St. Bede the Venerable in Collegeville, Minnesota, where you will find more photos from the new group's second gathering.
Over the weekend of January 1-2, the Anglican Use Society of St. Bede the Venerable (SSBV) had its second meeting. A severe winter storm—severe even by the rather high standards of Minnesota—put a bit of a damper on attendance. Only five were present for Evensong on Saturday night, but 15 managed to make it for Mass on Sunday afternoon in the Abbey’s St. Francis Chapel. The congregation was a mix of Anglicans who have already entered the Catholic Church and of local Catholics showing their support.
Fr. Nathanael Hauser, O.S.B., celebrated the Mass of the Epiphany and preached a very good sermon, asking why the Wise Men would consult with a notorious tyrant like Herod. The reading from Isaiah might well hold the answer he told us, as well as giving some guidance for the present on gathering, rebuilding, and celebrating.
The ceremonies of the Mass were kept simple, given the space and the size of the congregation, but at this month’s Mass, there was significantly more singing, thanks to Br. John-Bede, who along with his sister, Susan Schleper, provided a schola to lead us through the Willan setting that has become the Anglican Missa de Angelis in many places. The gradual psalm was sung to plainsong and the Mass ended with the singing of “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise.” Even with the diminished numbers at Evensong on Saturday night, the group managed to sing the psalms and canticles. Another significant addition to this weekend’s Mass was a congregational Mass booklet of the Book of Divine Worship texts compiled by Fr. Nathanael, which was a great help to those of us who are having our first experience of the BDW.
The weather definitely put a damper on things, but, all-in-all, it was a very good public launch. We can hope (mind you, that’s only HOPE) for fairer weather at the next gathering, March 5-6. The Society of St. Bede the Venerable is still very much a work in progress. If you live in the area, please join us in March and tell your friends.
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