A number of Catholics have contacted me recently, inquiring where they might find worthy, traditional, orthodox and reverent Catholic societies they might support in the wake of the current crisis now unfolding in the Church, both in the United States and worldwide. Naturally, the first thing I tell them is to support any traditional parish that might happen to exist nearby. However, if one does not exist, I’ll point them to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) as the standard-bearer for the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), otherwise known as the Vetus Ordo (Extraordinary Form) Mass. There are, of course, similar institutes and societies to choose from, but the FSSP is the largest and most widespread. However, a number of Catholics have asked me if there are traditional, orthodox and reverent societies that celebrate the Holy Mass in English. The answer, of course, is yes! But if you’re talking about individual parishes, celebrating a reverent Novus Ordo (Ordinary Form) Mass, they’re randomly scattered and not well documented. (This video will demonstrate what I’m talking about.) If you happen to live near one, by all means support it financially, and tell others to do the same! The comment box below is available to anyone who would like to advertise for such a reverent and traditional Novus Ordo Mass. I invite you to add a listing. However, if you don’t live near a reverent Novus Ordo (Ordinary Form) Mass, there is another alternative.
It’s called Divine Worship (DW) otherwise known as the Traditional English Mass (TEM), and it’s based on a liturgy that is actually older than the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). Before King Henry VIII forcefully severed English Catholics away from Rome, and against their will, a rite called Sarum was widely used throughout England. It was celebrated in Latin at the time, but it was based on traditions and prayers that were uniquely English in character. When Henry broke the Church of England away from Rome in 1534, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, began work on an English translation of the liturgy for Mass, Sacraments and the Divine Office. His work borrowed heavily from the Sarum Rite (or Sarum Use) and preserved much of it within the wider context of the Anglican Patrimony. This Patrimony, essentially Catholic in nature, remained very much a part of the Church of England, and her daughter churches throughout the colonies. In subsequent centuries, later generations of Anglicans would draw upon this Anglican Patrimony in a deeper way, resurrecting more and more Sarum in the celebration of their liturgies. This eventually led some Anglicans to reunite with the Catholic Church in the form of Personal Ordinariates, and in doing so, Rome readopted this Anglican Patrimony, and with it the elements of Sarum that were lost centuries earlier in the English Reformation (Revolution). Now this Anglican Patrimony, what Rome nurtured in England centuries ago (the Sarum Use), and lost in the revolution of a mad king, has now returned to her bosom within the Anglican Patrimony. This is the liturgy of Divine Worship (DW), otherwise known as the Traditional English Mass (TEM)…
Between 2011 and 2012, three Ordinariates (or super-dioceses) were erected by Rome in which this liturgy may be celebrated freely. The first one overlaps the United Kingdom, and is called the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (POOLW). The second one overlaps the United States and Canada (Anglo-America), and is called the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter (POCSP). Finally, the third one overlaps Oceania which is primarily in Australia, and is called the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross (POOLSC). You can find parishes and communities where this liturgy is celebrated simply by visiting these websites. Because the Ordinariates operate within the Roman Rite, and are under the same Code of Canon Law, crossover is permitted between Ordinariate members and regular diocesan members. This means any Ordinariate member may join a regular diocesan parish, but likewise, any regular diocesan member may join an Ordinariate parish/community. That means you can visit any Ordinariate parish/community you want, fulfill your Sunday obligation there, and even join that parish/community if you like. You don’t need to be a member of an Ordinariate to join an Ordinariate parish/community and live a fully sacramental life there.
To help further the work of the Ordinariates, you can give to these jurisdictions as well, in the hope of spreading their reach and forming new parishes/communities. You can give to the Ordinariates directly, or you can give to parishes/communities within an Ordinariate.
Right now, the greatest need is within the parishes/communities themselves, particularly the small ones. Currently, many of them are graciously being hosted by established diocesan parishes. While this provides a temporary home for them, it doesn’t provide a strong opportunity to grow and become independent. They need funds to spread their wings and find their own facilities to grow and become a fully functional parish. Below is a map of these Ordinariate parishes and communities. There you will find among them some that are meeting in diocesan chapels. These are the communities that need our help the most. If, in charity, you would consider adopting one, and sending a regular donation there directly, you would be helping to spawn a renewal of traditional English liturgy.
Now that I’ve explained where the real need is, I do hope you will consider adopting one of these emerging Ordinariate parishes/communities. If you could send the one you adopt, it should be a small one, perhaps the one closest to you, a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly donation (of any amount) it would be a great help to them, and you would be working to re-establish both an historical and organic English liturgy (traditional and orthodox in every way) for this present generation and future posterity.