Twelve New Catholics of the Ordinariate with their sponsors
It was a very beautiful and still afternoon at Buckfast Abbey when twelve members of the Buckfast Ordinariate Group were Received into full communion with the Catholic Church. In a rite lead by Father Abbot, members of the Ordinariate recited the Nicene Creed and added the words: I believe and profess all that the Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God. At this we were brought into full communion with the Catholic Church and then immediately received the Sacrament of Confirmation with the Abbot praying for the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit and chrismating each of us in turn. I found it to be both a very beautiful moment yet one of simplicity too. As I thought about the journeys each of us has been through to bring us to this moment, how wonderful it was to be blessed with such simplicity and peace at the culmination of our preparation. But this is not the end but a beginning. We were reminded in the Epistle reading (1 Cor 12:4-13), that by the gifts of the Holy Spirit each of us is provided with the means of taking our unique part in the Church. Specifically that will be the new Ordinariate Parish when it is created in due time.
In his homliy Father Abbot reminded us that as members of the Catholic Church we accepted the universality of Christ, that we accept that Christ did not belong to one race, people or nation. In this sense no one can claim that Christ is on their side; what we all have to decide is whether we are on His side.
It was my privilege to be invited to lead the intercessions. We prayed for the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit to persevere faithfully in the choice we had made; that all Christians may come to perfect unity; that all whom God's grace has touched may be lead to the fullness of truth in Christ; that those who do not believe in Christ may enter the way of salvation led by the light of the Holy Spirit; and that we who have received the gift of faith may persevere in it to the end of our lives. In silence we also offered our own intentions.
Then came the collect and blessing. The rite was complete and we were now Catholics in the Personal Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham.
We went to the hall for brief refreshment. Father Abbot was on hand to remind us we would need to keep the hour's fast before receiving Holy Communion. We had just time to drink the Abbey's good coffee or tea with a biscuit. So we had our photo taken and went into the Abbey Church for the Mass of the Lord's Supper. On this night before our Lord was betrayed, amongst other things our Lord prayed that His disciples be one. The Sacrament of Unity, of Communion, was given to us for we had publicly accepted the faith that the Catholic Church teaches and proclaims.
How amazing, in one evening we received the sacraments of Penance, Confirmation and Holy Communion! We look forward to further instruction by Abbot David, but we owe him a great debt of gratitude for guiding, enlightening and then Receiving us.
Ian Hellyer, Group Pastor
(Music at the Mass of the Lord's Supper included - Introit: If ye love me by Thomas Tallis; Gloria: William Byrd's Mass for four voices, Washing of Feet: Ubi Caritas by Maurice Durufle and Gibbons' Drop, drop slow tears, Offertory: O Bread of heaven beneath this veil, Offertory Motet: Stainer's God so loved the world, Sanctus: Plainsong Mass XIII, Agnus Dei: Byrd's Mass for four voices, Communion Motet: Ave Verum Corpus by Byrd, Procession of the Sacrament: GLory be to Jesus, At the Altar of Repose: Tantum Ergo Sacramentum. Congratulations to the Choir whose voices soared and inspired us yet again.)