|Fellowship of Bl. John Henry Newman, Victoria, BC / CS2017|
If brief encounters between liturgies in a shared parish amount to any indication, Catholics who attend the Ordinary Form of the Mass are somewhat perplexed by the Ordinariate. Often, it seems, cradle Catholics are not aware that Ordinariate Catholics are, in fact, Catholic.
Most cradlers are indifferent to any other rite or liturgical variant existing under the Catholic umbrella, which is comprised of four main liturgical traditions (Latin, Antiochian, Alexandrian and Byzantine) expressed in more than 20 distinct rites.
For Thine is the Kingdom
What most Ordinary Form Catholics barely realize, or stubborn avoid admitting, is that they already pray in sacred English every time they pray the Our Father or the Hail Mary or the Glory Be or the Hail Holy Queen, etc.
Hail Mary, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.Thee, thou, thine, thy—poetry, language so much more lyrical and intimate than stubbing your toe against a generic 'you' in a sentence.
There is no doubt as to Whom the Ordinariate Mass is directed. Divine Worship is directed to God. Given the many gestures, acclamations and responses that place one in the presence of God, Divine Worship is thoroughly Trinitarian, and one would have to be devoid of basic skills of observation to miss the fact that Christ is really Present and acknowledged in the consecrated Host and the Precious Blood in the Ordinariate Form of the Mass.
Full Body Workout
Catholics who attend Divine Worship make additional Signs of the Cross during Divine Worship. And, the repeated and nuanced gestures—various kinds of bows, kneeling—are not superfluous in any way. Rather, through the repetitions, God through His Liturgy offers an immersive encounter with the Cross, i.e., the Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Like many eastern Catholic and Orthodox liturgies, Divine Worship is longer than your average Ordinary Form Mass, though only a little longer. That said, when musicians wax on during the Ordinary Form (OF), as is often the case, and the homily drones to 20+ minutes, the OF liturgy can be unnecessarily and tediously long. The typical Sunday Divine Worship liturgy of the Ordinariate lasts around 70 minutes, though because of its lyrical beauty, many folk tend to wonder where the time goes, so engaging is the ritual that immerses the community in the mysteries of God.
The various communities of the Ordinariate are scattered around North America, some gathered in pockets and others remotely placed. Like leaven in a very large loaf of bread, the Ordinariate, like the various communities which celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, is bringing reverence and dignity back to the celebration of Holy Mass.