Signs of over-excitement in the blogosphere. Since my last posting it has had over a thousand hits a day - which shows there must be a few people interested in the Ordinariate. Oh, I know Fr Ed will regularly get two thousand hits per diem, but you don't come here looking for controversy. Let's just take Michael Winner's advice in the ads, and calm it.
So today is nice and sober. Some thirty or so, including four clergy, met this afternoon in a Catholic Church just over the Dorset border in Christchurch for our latest session on the Ordinariate. After an Anglican eucharist, celebrated by Fr Brian Copus, Fr Graham Smith was able to give us all news of the Timetable for those seeking to join the Ordinariate. My own experience of the eucharistic fast (before being Received and Chrismated in two weeks' time) was explained, to help some realise just what was meant by not being able to receive Communion throughout Lent. In preparation for all this the Bishop of Portsmouth is calling together members of the various groups exploring the Ordinariate in his diocese. We shall be invited to St John's Catholic Cathedral on Saturday March 12th, when this stage on our journey will be marked liturgically.
The completion of this period of fasting will be on Maundy Thursday, when the Group will be received together into the fulness of Communion in the Catholic Church. Through Lent too those former Anglican priests joining the Ordinariate will undertake a special course at Allen Hall, the Catholic Seminary in Chelsea, as part of their preparation. The five former bishops will participate in this, too.
It is a busy and exciting time. Several at the meeting are planning to be at the Ordination of the three recent PEVs in Westminster next week, and any day now we should know who is to be our Ordinary. To me, this seems like the fulfilment of what the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation both set out to achieve - the renewal of the Faith. This time not through schism but by beginning the work of re-uniting Christ's Church, his Body. I lived through the seond world war (just); these events seem to me every bit as historic. Never has persistent prayer been more necessary.
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