Imagine the Church of the Holy Sepulchre when different rites (churches) are simultaneously celebrating Mass or the Divine Liturgy. Upstairs, a Mass in Portuguese; downstairs, a Mass in hieratic English with Latin anthems. The two liturgies leapfrogged each other at times. The bells of the Gloria rang out twice during the evening. That hardly seems inappropriate given the solemnity being celebrated, and the fact that the upstairs Mass could occasionally be heard downstairs didn't seem to bother anyone.
In a word, the Ordinariate Vigil was beautiful. It's form and content is easily recognizable to any Catholic of the Latin West. The Exultet was well handled by the celebrant, Fr. Carl Reid, who was assisted throughout the Vigil by three other Ordinariate priests, including Monsignor Peter Wilkinson. Father Birch preached a theologically rich homily to an attentive congregation.
The schola cantorum, though small and tested by the vicious malady which has attacked everyone here it seems, managed a solemn evening of chant, polyphony and hymnody. The virus took its toll on the group comprised of four singers, but their heart more than made up for any loss of vocal power.
The English chant was very much a delight, and the fact that the congregation navigated the Proper chants well suggests that Ordinary Form parishes, by giving preference to saccharine contemporary songs containing non-liturgical texts, are underestimating people's ability to chant. As mentioned, the congregation included a few roaming Catholics from Ordinary Form parishes who managed the chant well enough. Everyone chanted the very accessible formulas. Let it be known that Roman Catholics can and do sing confidently when given the opportunity to sing/chant music worth singing.
The Vigil was held in the basement chapel (... a comfy cubbyhole) of Our Lady of Fatima Church, a Portuguese parish on Vancouver Island. The parish very generously shares its home with the Ordinariate. However, during these high holy days the Portuguese community rightly required use of the upper church for their celebration of the Holy Saturday Vigil. There was/is something immensely appealing and satisfying about meeting in a church basement with a small community that exhibits a reverence sorely lacking in non-Ordinariate parishes.
The Anglican patrimony that preserves the Apostolic Faith, versus the confused Anglicanism of the ACoC, TEC and much of the CofE, is safe in the hands of the Ordinariate folk who are Catholic in the fullest sense of the word.
|The Lesson (Old Testament Reading)|
|Schola hard at work.|
|Monsignor Peter Wilkinson|
|This is my body... .|