January 1, 2013
In response to certain questions that have been asked about the use of the Latin Mass in its Extraordinary Form in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary, issued this statement:
"We rejoice in the liturgical richness of the Catholic Church. We in the Anglican tradition certainly welcome the Holy Father's concern that the Mass be understood as a living, continuous tradition. The communio sanctorum compels us to read and engage with the Church's tradition with a hermeneutic of continuity.
"The particular mission of the Ordinariate is to bring into the fuller life of the Catholic Church those enduring elements of the Anglican liturgical patrimony which are oriented to Catholic truth. This liturgical identity seeks to balance two historic principles -- that Christian prayer and proclamation should be offered in the vernacular and that the language of worship should be sacral. This is what Anglicans understand when they speak of the prayer book tradition.
"The liturgy of the Ordinariate is superintended by an inter-dicasterial working group (of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW). At the time the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was established, the CDW provided important guidance for our liturgical use: The Book of Divine Worship Rite I should be amended to bring it into conformity with the Roman Missal 3rd edition, particularly the words of Consecration. For those congregations that prefer a contemporary idiom, the Roman Missal 3rd edition could be used.
"We have therefore asked that the congregations of the Ordinariate follow this direction. Some of our clergy want to learn also how to celebrate according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. They are certainly encouraged to do so, under the provisions of Summorum Pontificum and under the supervision of the local bishop, to assist in those stable communities that use the Extraordinary Form. But as the Extrordinary Form is not integral to the Anglican patrimony, it is not properly used in our communities. The Ordinariate will remain focused on bringing Christians in the Anglican tradition into full communion with the Catholic Church. We also are pleased that the Church has provided for the continuing use of the Extraordinary Form, particularly as a pastoral response to traditional Catholics, and regard all of this as a well-ordered symphony of praise to the Blessed Trinity."