14 November 2009

Have Liturgy - Will Travel...


Our Anglican Use liturgy is well-travelled, and it travels well.  During our pilgrimage we celebrated Mass according to the Book of Divine Worship in so many places which are important to our faith - in the Basilica of San Clemente, in St. Peter's Basilica, in the Basilica of St. Francis at Assisi, in the Chapel of the Eucharistic Miracle at Orvieto, in the Basilica of Santa Croce at Florence, in the Basilica of St. Francis at Siena in the presence of the Miraculous Hosts, in San Onofrio which is the lovely little church staffed by the Graymoor Friars and is the church of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, in the Basilica of St. Mary Major - and in nearly everyplace we celebrated the Mass there were people who asked the same two questions: when they saw our students in their uniforms they would ask "Where are these beautiful and polite students from," and then they would ask about the impressive liturgy. 

All we'd have to say about the students is that they were from San Antonio, Texas, and the immediate response was, "Ah! Texas!"  When it came to the liturgy we would mention the new Apostolic Constitution, and there would be immediate recognition and big smiles.  It's pretty amazing: people are fascinated by the Holy Father's generous provision for former Anglicans.  People who perhaps haven't given much thought previously to Anglicans are now beginning to see the immense importance of Anglicanorum Coetibus.  And it was the experience of a life-time for our pilgrim students.  To be in Rome at the very time of its announcement, and for them to see the response of others to it all, prompted one of our young people to say to me, "Father, it's like our parish is ground zero!"

Indeed it is.  The past twenty-six years of our parish's existence have helped to lay the groundwork for this great day, and it's really humbling to have even this small part in it all.