We moved to Ad Orientem worship, exclusively, early in 2013, I wrote the following on a previous blog I had, on February 22, 2014 …
It’s been a little over one year since we removed the freestanding altar and committed to ad orientem worship for all of our Masses. Without a doubt, it was a leap of faith, as I simply trusted God would provide.
The initial response from some of the old guard was a bit nerve-racking. In fact, a handful of them decided to no longer attend here, as they dispersed to local parishes.
First, the spiritual benefits are palpable. Our parish has a sense that we are truly worshiping, and it simply feels so right. This is visibly seen in such things as the altar boys who are more reverent and precise. People are coming early to pray the rosary, and many are staying afterwards to offer prayers of thanksgiving. Everyone is offering the “proper” gestures (bowing, etc.) at the appropriate times.
Our choir has doubled in size over the past year, and they are chanting and singing polyphony so beautifully that I am thinking they should make a CD. Even our men’s schola went from 7 members to nearly 20 in just this past year. [...] Virtually all of these men are young professionals.
I haven’t looked at any statistics, but it seems that, over just this one year, the average age of our parishioners went from 65 to 35, as so many young families are discovering us and joining the parish.
Contributions are up 30% IN ONE YEAR!!!
A new Oratory in-formation is being inaugurated at Sacred Heart Church in Bournemouth on the 8th of September of this year (2016).
Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth has invited Fr Dominic Jacob CO (co-founder of the Oxford Oratory) and Fr Peter Edwards and Fr David Hutton, generously released by the Archbishop of Southwark for this project, to begin an Oratorian Community of St Philip Neri as part of a major evangelisation drive for the diocese.