Peter Jesserer Smith is a staff reporter for the National Catholic Register. He covered Pope Francis’s historic visit to the United States in 2015, and to Jerusalem and the Holy Land in 2014. He has reported on the Syrian and Iraqi refugee crisis, including from Jordan and Lebanon on an Egan Fellowship from Catholic Relief Services. Before coming on board the Register in 2013, he was a freelance writer, reporting for Catholic media outlets as the Register and Our Sunday Visitor. He is a graduate of the National Journalism Center and earned a B.A. in Philosophy at Christendom College, where he co-founded the student newspaper, The Rambler, and served as its editor. He comes originally from the Finger Lakes region of New York State.
This Candlemas (Feb. 2), Catholics have a wonderful, not-to-be-missed opportunity to experience the beauty and splendor of the Roman Rite united with Anglican patrimony, and see Church history in the making.
EWTN is broadcasting live the consecration of Bishop-elect Steven Lopes as the first bishop of one of the three ordinariates (non-territorial dioceses) established for Catholics of the Anglican patrimony.
The Ordination Mass commences Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT, and is also being livestreamed by EWTN.
The Mass itself will be celebrated according to Divine Worship: the Missal, which is the [Anglican] Ordinariate Use of the Roman Rite. This past advent, Divine Worship became one of three authorized missals for celebrating Mass in the Roman Rite, alongside the extraordinary form (1962 Missal) and the ordinary form (2002 Missal). Therefore, it is the first time ever that the Ordinariate use of the Roman Rite will be used for the consecration of an ordinary. The episcopal consecration itself will be according to the ordinary use of the Roman Rite.
Here is a closer look at some of the beautiful music that will accompany the Mass.
Cardinal Mueller, who heads the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, will be the principal consecrator, with Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, and Cardinal William Levada as principal co-consecrators. Many other bishops and priests will be in attendance as well.
Bishop-elect Lopes has chosen as his episcopal motto, “Magna Opera Domini,” meaning “Great are the works of the Lord.” He will be the first bishop for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, and the ordinariate’s principal church of Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, Tex. will become his cathedral.
This consecration Mass is a joyous occasion to see in action how the Ordinate and its beautiful liturgy, prayers, and customs are enriching our Church. In North America, more than forty Ordinariate communities celebrate according to this use of the Roman Rite.
I have provided three particularly beautiful prayers from Divine Worship: the Missal that Catholics can join in and pray with the congregation during this evening’s liturgy. The prayers of Divine Worship are written in what is called Prayer Book English, and in my opinion, are worth committing to memory for one’s own personal devotion.
Before the offertory of the Mass, the people and priest recite the Penitential Rite:
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; we acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, against thy Divine Majesty, provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; the remembrance of them is grievous unto us; the burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee In newness of life, to the honour and glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
After the Agnus Dei, the Prayer of Humble Access is said before Holy Communion:
WE do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.
After Holy Communion, the Prayer of Thanksgiving is said:
ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee for that thou dost feed us, in these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us; and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs, through hope, of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of the most precious death and passion of thy dear Son. And we humbly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
Further resources from the Register:
Historic Day for Catholics of Anglican Heritage as Pope Francis Names First Ordinariate Bishop
First Personal Ordinariate Bishop Talks ‘Wonderment of Being in God’s Church’
Our Lady’s Dowry: New Ordinariate Missal Makes Advent History