|The Westminster Abbey Choir at St. Peter's in Rome|
Since then many have attempted to examine the nature of the Anglican Patrimony to which the Holy Father is referring, to determine what it is the Ordinariates are bringing to the Church, and why His Holiness is so enamoured of it. (So enamoured, in fact, that he issued a personal invitation to the Choir of Westminster Abbey to sing at St. Peter's for, not just any feast, but the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul! I find it astounding that this event went by largely unnoticed. It wasn't that long ago the English were still hanging, drawing and quartering Catholics after all.) Several laudable articles have been produced, including this one by one of the Episcopal Vicars of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham himself, Monsignor Andrew Burnham, this one by Shawn Tribe of New Liturgical Movement, and one by Dr. James Patrick of the Walsingham Society in four parts: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four.
While all of these efforts are certainly commendable, I like the notion that an essential part of the Anglican Patrimony is what's been referred to as the peculiar Anglican "ethos," and this can be very hard to pin down. It can be difficult to explain to a Roman Catholic exactly what it is about Anglicanism, especially Anglican liturgy, which is so beautiful. Nevertheless, this is an extermely important task. If the Holy Father's goal of mutual enrichment is to be realized, those in the Ordinariate must take it upon themselves to bring the gift of their Anglican heritage and traditions to the wider Church.
I think perhaps the best way to come to an understanding of the Anglican Patrimony is to experience it firsthand. So, in an attempt to contribute something in that vein, here beginneth a new series on PopSophia entitled "Treasures of the Anglican Patrimony," in which I shall present particular (especially liturgical) elements of our tradition and provide cursory examinations of the same.
First Up: The Prayer of Humble Access