On Tuesday in Holy Week, the 19th of April 2011, members of the East Kent Ordinariate Group were received into the fullness of communion in the Catholic Church, at the Church of St. John the Evangelist Mongeham in Deal on the East Kent coast.
A beautifully celebrated Mass of Reception began with the hymn Praise to the holiest in the height by Blessed John Henry Newman. The first Reading, from the prophet Ezekiel, spoke of the Lord God gathering us together and bringing us home to our own land. A Reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians spoke of charity, gentle ness and patience in preserving the unity of the Spirit. In the Holy Gospel according to Matthew, the candidates were reminded of Our Lord’s call to ‘take up your cross and follow me’ The celebrant, Fr. Ivan Dawson CSsR, based his homily on the 1916 Robert Frost poem ‘The Road Not Taken’, re-interpreting the piece to urge us not to be tempted by the way of worldly pleasures and cares but the Way of Christ that leads to Truth.
Generously supported by many folk from St. John’s, the Ordinariate candidates recited the Nicene Creed and then each added their profession of faith, ‘I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God’. The Sacrament of Confirmation was administer, with each candidate being carefully quizzed about their choice of confirmation name.
In the Liturgy of the Sacrament, the newly-confirmed rejoiced to break the Eucharistic fast that had been observed since just before the beginning of Lent and to receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ as members of the Catholic Church. The wonderful 14th century Marian pilgrim hymn Maria Matren Virginem was sung as a Communion Motet and the Mass concluded with the Passiontide hymn My song is love unknown.
At the Après Mass celebration, Fr. Dawson was presented with a token of the Anglican patrimony in the distinctive square Our Lady blue bottle. Members of parish and Ordinariate celebrated together our small part in this historic development in the long life of the Catholic Church. Finally, a rousing toast was offered to Pope Benedict XVI, on the anniversary of the Holy Father’s election as Successor to Peter.