First Sunday of Lent

Mass at Buckfast Abbey
The Buckfast ordinariate group joined for worship at the 10.30am mass in the Abbey.  My family and I were seated in the transept which gave us a good vantage point.  We were treated to an inspiring experience as the Abbey Choir was in very fine form, singing stunningly beautiful sacred music.  In his homily the Abbot spoke of Lent being a joyful season, and while penance was a part of Lent, if we could not celebrate Lent joyfully then he questioned whether we would be ready to celebrate Easter joyfully.  He also reminded us that the work of Lent was primarily God's work in us and not work done in our own strength.  This seemed to me to echo the Holy Father's homily for Ash Wednesday, that the call to conversion that we hear in Lent is not least a call to recognise God's holiness, power and majesty.  It is only God's power working in us that can effect lasting change for the good. 

Following Mass we went to the Violet Evelyn Hall to be treated with very good coffee or tea and biscuits.  This hall was once Anglican, now it is part of the Abbey and brought into the Catholic fold.  It is in this hall that we shall be receiving catechesis from the Abbot.

It was a beautiful sunny day and to top it all my sons found frog/toad spawn in the Abbey's medicinal garden pond!

Most of the Buckfast Ordinariate Group

Rite of Election(Enrolement) at Plymouth Cathedral
Many of the candidates for the Ordinariate in the southwest gathered at Plymouth Cathedral to be welcomed by Bishop Christopher during the course of the liturgy that enroles catechumens and candidates for confirmation at Easter. 

We were called in our groups to the Altar by Fr David Silk of the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham.  Each group pastor lead his group to the Altar. Once assembled we formed quite a 'gang'! In the words of the liturgy the Bishop recognised our desire to be brought into full communion with the catholic church and exhorted us to conversion and faithfulness to our baptism.  As we returned to our seats we were greeted with a spontaneous applause by the rest of the congregation.  More than one of us found it very emotional.  Overall it was very joyful time.

Some of the candidates for the Southwest Ordinariate outside the Cathedral

Tenpin bowling
Following the Cathedral service some of the younger ones (myself included) went tenpin bowling. Twenty-five assembled in five lanes.  The youngest player (age 2) scored a strike. What a sight to see Fr Lashbrooke jumping with glee when he had a strike! Rumour has it that Fr Simon scored the highest but that was not confirmed.

A lovely day for the beginning of Lent, and our journey into the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham.  Joy was a keynote to the day.
Fr Ian

See the Eastbourne Ordinariate blog for the liturgy specifically for the Ordinariate:
http://eastbourneordinariate.org.uk/archives/118