The worshipping life of the Oxford Ordinariate Mission is centred on the Mass. We offer Mass most days, during the week in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, and on Thursday and Saturday evenings in the form of the Mass proper to the Ordinariates, known as the Ordinariate Use. The Ordinariate Use combined features of traditional Catholic worship with the spiritual, liturgical and linguistic heritage of Anglicanism. All Catholics are very welcome to attend, and may receive Holy Communion, just as they would in their own parishes.
‘What’s it like?’
Our form of Mass, called the Ordinariate Use, has features which will be familiar to most Catholics, and parts which won’t be. It’s mostly in ‘traditional English’, the way of talking to and about God which has developed in our language over a thousand years. It’s offered facing East, so that priest and people face in a common direction of prayer together. Our Sung Masses have incense, candles, choral music and hymns – we aim to help lift our hearts and minds to God through sincerity, beauty and truth.
‘Is it a Catholic Mass?’
Many people who visit us for the first time find that the Ordinariate Use contains elements which are familiar, and certain distinct forms of words and ways of doing things which they haven’t previously encountered. Though different, the Ordinariate Use is a valid, regular form of the Mass, and fulfils all the needs and obligations of all Catholics in communion with the See of Peter.
‘What happens at an Ordinariate Use Mass?’
The Ordinariate Use of Mass begins ‘In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’. Then follows a prayer, or series of prayers, preparing us to celebrate the Mass. The Kyrie, eleison (Lord, have mercy) and the Gloria follow, and then the Collect, the prayer of the day is said or sung. The readings follow, taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. On certain days, we recite the Creed, and we then confess our sinfulness, in order to proceed to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Bread and wine are offered to God, and the Prayer over the Offerings moves into the Preface. We then use one of two Eucharistic Prayers, followed by the Lord’s Prayer, the Peace, and the Agnus Dei (O Lamb of God). Then, we declare together our need of the graces of this Sacrament in the ‘Prayer of Humble Access’, before saying three times, ‘Lord, I am not worthy…’. After Holy Communion, a Prayer of Thanksgiving is prayed, and Mass finishes with the blessing and dismissal. Sometimes, the ‘Last Gospel’ may be recited: this, usually taken from the first few verses of St John’s Gospel (‘In the beginning was the Word…’) reminds us of the mystery of the Incarnation, and is a further act of thanksgiving for the mystery in which we have just participated.
If you would like to find out more, why not join us for Mass?