Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Beauty of Holiness

“The Sacred Liturgy is at the centre of the new evangelization,” said the Bishop of Frejus-Toulon in announcing an international conference on the Sacred Liturgy next summer. So as this year of faith begins our little Ordinariate Group in Bournemouth is trying to do something about bringing with us into the Catholic Church an Anglican emphasis on the beauty of holiness. Almost the first thing we did on arrival at Our Lady Queen of Peace was to acquire (through good Church of England friends in Southampton) copies of English Hymnal.

That book has come as a revelation to some of the long-time Catholics who join us at Mass now and again. "But there are hymns by St Thomas Aquinas! And Blessed John Henry Newman! And G.K. Chesterton ... how wonderful!".

We also have the advantage of a first-class organist, and some parts of his Mass setting (the Dorset Mass) were sung at the Ordination of our two latest Ordinariate priests in Portsmouth diocese. We have cantors, and full-throated congregational singing. What we lack, though, is a worthy instrument for our organist to play; the parish's keyboard has been fine when all it had to do was accompany "Deep within my heart I know Jesus loves me" or "Colours of Day" but strangely those do not appear in English Hymnal.

So this Sunday we are having a newcomer in our midst; a three-manual electronic organ (picture above) on loan. This is the instrument which our little music committe has looked at and decided it would be the best answer to our needs, without being hugely extravagant. So far we have raised a couple of thousand pounds towards it - and this without undermining our giving to the Ordinariate. The Parish is very interested in finding ways of helping, and together we shall attempt to raise the money to enable us to have such an instrument installed in the gallery of Our Lady Queen of Peace, to be used by Parish and Ordinariate.

We believe firmly that music can be a part of our major task of evangelization. So if you, dear reader, know someone who has a few thousand pounds (or even a few pounds) burning a hole in his or her wallet, do put them in touch....


  1. I hope you got the old English Hymnal and not the revised one.

  2. But of course! You would expect nothing else,surely!

  3. One never knows, after all one of the revisers was not only an old boy of St Stephen's House but also Vicar of St Stephen's, Bournemouth.


    A recommended blog.