The Personal Ordinariate
of Our Lady of Walsingham
Prayer for the conversion of England
O BLESSED Virgin Mary,
Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother,
look down in mercy upon England thy “Dowry”
and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee.
By thee it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope
was given unto the world;
and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more.
Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and
accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother.
Intercede for our separated brethren,
that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the supreme Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son.
Pray for us all, dear Mother,
that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home.
by Cardinal Wisemann
The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (‘The Ordinariate’) is an Ecumenical and Evangelical structure within the Roman Catholic Church which enables groups and individual members of the Anglican Church to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, whilst preserving those areas of custom and tradition which are to be highly valued.
The Ordinariate was the fruit of many years discussion during which Anglicans had repeatedly petitioned the Church for a way in which they might enter into full communion with her. Pope Benedict the XVI issued the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus (‘Groups of Anglicans’) on 4th November, 2009.1 In this document the wounds of division are acknowledged: ‘Such division openly contradict the will of Christ.’2 The means of healing are also noted: ‘...many elements of sanctification and truth are found outside her visible confines. Since there are gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, they are forces impelling towards Catholic unity.’3
What are the elements of ‘sanctification and truth’ that the Church wishes to embrace from Anglicanism? A reverent style of worship including Morning and Evening Prayer and a distinctive celebration of the Holy Eucharist; the theology of the Caroline Divines and the Oxford Movement; its musical tradition. Recognising these golden threads of Catholic continuity in the Anglican tradition serve to bridge the spiritual and structural injury created by the Reformation.
What this means in practical terms for both Anglican converts and Roman Catholics is that the Ordinariate is a means for spiritual growth, renewal and faithfulness. It is not an a structure in the Catholic church that should be seen as exclusive in any way, but rather quite the opposite: it is a sign of the Church’s inclusivity and her continual call to the world for conversion.
This last point needs to be emphasised. The Ordinariate is a call to conversion to Anglicans so that they can enter into full communion with the Church and it is a call to conversion for the Roman Catholic Church to actively and faithfully seek to heal wounds inflicted on the body of Christ.
All Ordinariate services are fully ’Catholic’ and all who are in full communion with the Catholic Church may participate fully in Ordinariate services. This includes receiving Holy Communion when ‘Divine Worship’, the Ordinariate Rite of the Mass, is used. If you would like further information on how to join the Ordinariate, please speak to Fr. Andrew
More information on the organisation , structure and implications of are available by reading Anglican Coetibus (which is available from CTS and on the Vatican website), Understanding the Ordinariate4 (which is available in the narthex of the church) or referring to the Ordinariate Website: http://www.ordinariate.org.uk.
1 Pope Benedict XVI, Anglicanorum Coetibus, (CTS, 2009)
2 Dogmatic Consitution Lumen gentium 1, in Anglicanorum Coetibus, p. 5.
3 Ibid . p.7.
4 Tomlinson, Fr. Edward, Understanding the Ordinariate: Catholic of the Anglican Patrimony (CTS, London, 2016).