The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

18 January to 25 January

Beginning today, the entire Christian community is invited to a week of prayer in communion with each other and Jesus “that they may all be one”. (Jn 17:21) Join us, and Christians around the world, as we pray for Christian unity and work together to bring about justice in the world. More information can be found here.

The traditional period in the northern hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is January 18 to 25. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Servant of God, Fr. Paul Wattson, Founder of the Society of the Atonement, to cover the original days of the Feasts of the Chair of St. Peter (January 18) and the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25), and therefore have a symbolic significance. (via Franciscan Friars of the Atonement)

O God, who dost restore them that have gone astray, gather together them that are scattered abroad, and preserve them that thou hast gathered: we beseech thee of the mercy to pour out upon all people the grace of thy communion; that, divisions being done away, they may be one flock, in one fold, under one Shepherd, and do thee worthy service; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Letter from Fr. Allen - January 10, 2019



Dear Friends,

Like everything else involving the Church's liturgy, there are disagreements about when the proper ending of the Christmas season ought to be, and of course throughout both the history and the broad geographical and cultural expanse of the Church, there are differing traditions on that matter: does it conclude with the Epiphany on 6 January? With Candlemas on 2 February? Why not extend it to 24 March and then start the whole process over again on the following day, the Solemnity of the Annunciation? Well, as an official liturgical matter, in the Western Rite of the Church, the Christmas season now ends this Sunday, the Baptism of the Lord. So, one last time: Merry Christmas!

If Christmastide is ending, then school must be beginning. Wednesday School resumes next week, on 16 January. Catechesis will continue for young people, and the adults will start a new study, "The Prayers of the Mass," in which we will look at the proper "orations" - Collect of the Day, Prayer over the Offerings, and Postcommunion - for the coming Sunday, with the hope of informing and increasing our "active participation" in Mass. And not only will we talk about praying, but we will actually pray Compline together each week. There's a notice [here], and please be sure to RSVP for supper.

There will be a meeting for parents of children anticipating First Communion or Confirmation during Wednesday School on 30 January.

I also commend to your attention and charity and prayer Josh and Katie Johnson and their children, born and unborn - a beautiful Ordinariate family from Greenville. Please read about their plight [here] and give prayerful consideration to how you might support them.

God bless you,
Fr Allen

More Copies Available For Sale: People’s Edition of the Ordinariate Missal

We have a limited number of copies of Divine Worship Sunday Missal (People’s Edition) available for purchase.

All the readings and prayers for every Sunday and Solemnity are included.

We have a limited number of copies available for purchase. The cost is $40, and they may be purchased here. Once purchased, the missals may be picked up from the parish office.

From the publisher:

Catholic Truth Society presents the first people's Sunday Missal combining the Revised Standard Version (2nd Catholic Edition) lectionary approved for use in the Personal Ordinariates established under the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus and the texts of the Mass from the Divine Worship Missal. 

This Missal beautifully presents all the essentials needed by the laity in the Mass: the Order of Mass alongside propers for Sundays and Holy Days (Year A, B, & C) including Advent and Christmas, Lent, Holy Week and Easter, ember and rogation days. Music is included for the people's responses and a table of Correspondence of Named Sundays to Ordinary Time for every year until 2050. 

Durably and attractively bound with three placeholder ribbons, the Divine Worship People's Missal features clear layouts, beautiful artwork and easy to read fonts. 

Epiphany Evensong Cancelled!


Dear friends,

Our music director, Larry Long, is ill and unable to be with us this Sunday (1/6). Therefore we must cancel Evensong and Benediction for the Epiphany. However, King Cake and punch will be served immediately following Mass!

Please pray for a quick and full recovery for Larry.

God bless you,
Fr Allen

Letter from Fr. Allen - January 3, 2019



Dear Friends,

While more personal notes are forthcoming, I want here to express my gratitude to all of you who made this such a lovely Christmas for me and my family. You all love us well, and we are very grateful! (My children are particularly grateful to the anonymous giver of two Harry & David Cinnamon Swirls...)

Of course Christmas is not yet over, and I hope your celebrations continue. And speaking of celebrations, I hope you will join us for the great feast of the Epiphany this Sunday, not only for Mass in the morning, but for also Evensong and Benediction at 4.30PM, which will be followed by a reception featuring King Cake - y'all come! [Update Saturday morning, 5 January: Evensong is cancelled due to illness. The King Cake reception will now take place immediately after 11.00AM Sunday Mass.]

The Epiphany is rich and symbolism and mystery: there are the "wise men from the east," the star that guided them, Herod's rage. There are Epiphany traditions: the blessing of chalk and marking of doorways (see [here]) and King cakes. But at its heart Epiphany is the story of a God who is not silent but reveals himself to those who earnestly and diligently seek him. Let us take the magi, these mysterious strangers, as our model, and never turn back from the path on which God is leading us, till at last we see the Lord face to face, and like the wise men, fall down and worship.

Pope Benedict put it this way:
"Let us return to the Wise Men from the East. These were also, and above all, men of courage, the courage and humility born of faith. Courage was needed to grasp the meaning of the star as a sign to set out, to go forth – towards the unknown, the uncertain, on paths filled with hidden dangers. We can imagine that their decision was met with derision: the scorn of those realists who could only mock the reveries of such men. Anyone who took off on the basis of such uncertain promises, risking everything, could only appear ridiculous. But for these men, inwardly seized by God, the way which he pointed out was more important than what other people thought. For them, seeking the truth meant more than the taunts of the world, so apparently clever."

God bless you,
Fr Allen

Epiphany Blessing of Chalk this Sunday

Epiphany Blessing of Chalk this Sunday!

"For the glorious feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, it is an old and holy tradition to mark the doors of homes with blessed chalk. The letters have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat: 'May Christ bless the house.' The letters recall the day on which the inscription is made, as well as the purpose of blessing.

The crosses represent the protection of the Precious Blood of Christ, Whose Sacred Name we invoke, and also the holiness of the Three Magi sanctified by their adoration of the Infant Christ.

The inscription is made above the front door, so that all who enter and depart this year may enjoy God’s blessing. The month of January still bears the name of the Roman god Janus, the doorkeeper of heaven and protector of the beginning and end of things. This blessing 'christens' the ancient Roman observance of the first month. The inscription is made of chalk, a product of clay, which recalls the human nature taken by the Adorable and Eternal Word of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit."

(From Vultus Christi)

May each of our homes be known to all who visit as places of peace and welcome, where Christ may be found!

Letter from Fr. Allen - December 20, 2018



Dear Friends,

The waiting is almost over and Christmas is almost here. On this fourth Sunday of Advent we will hear again of Our Lady's reaction to the Angel Gabriel's message, which is active love. She goes "in haste" to her kinswoman Elizabeth, bearing a child in her old age, to help and console her, and also to share her joy. In this Christmas season, let us also respond to the glad tidings of the Lord's nativity with active love, seeking out the poor, the sick, the lonely with help and comfort.

I hope by now your preparations are nearly complete for Christmas in your own homes, and that with at least some measure of peace and quietness you will be able to enter in to the mystery of this Child in the manger who is Emmanuel, God-with-us. You will see [here] a schedule of Christmas Masses for St. Mary's (Roman Missal) and Corpus Christi (Divine Worship). I want especially to encourage you to attend, if you are able, our own "Midnight Mass" on Christmas Eve, which will begin at 11PM and have us adoring our Eucharistic Emmanuel, God-with-us on the altar just at midnight. I know (trust me!) that Midnight Mass is difficult, but I believe you will find it more than worth the sacrifice as, with the shepherds of old to whom the angels first announced the birth of the Lord, we keep watch by night, and then rejoice to find "this most holy night to shine with the brightness of the Light of life," as we will pray in the collect. (By the way, as part of our candlelight adoration, we will sing "Silent Night"; did you know this Christmas marks the carol's 200th anniversary?)

Do you need further aesthetic or more mundane encouragement? Well, on the one hand, the music will be beautiful, and on the other, the parking will be easy. So come, let us adore him!

God bless you!
Fr. Allen

Lighting of Advent Wreath Candles: The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Lighting of Advent Wreath Candles: The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Click here to print (pdf) this week.

All make the Sign of the Cross as the leader begins: 

℣ +Our help is in the name of the Lord.

℟ Who hath made heaven and earth.


The following Scripture is read: Luke 1:26-33; Revelation 22:20

IN  the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Light the first and second purple candles in order, then the rose candle, and then the final purple candle..  With hands joined, the leader prays:

RAISE UP we beseech thee, O Lord, thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us: that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sorely hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; who livest and reignest with the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.  ℟ Amen.

The devotion may conclude with a verse from "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel": 

O come, thou Wisdom from on high, who orderest all things mightily;

to us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
shall come to thee, O Israel.

Click here to print (pdf) all four weeks of devotions to pack away with your Advent wreath so it’s ready for next year.


Christmastide Schedule December 2018 - January 2019


Christmastide Schedule

The Nativity of the Lord

a holy day of obligation

Christmas Eve, Monday, 24 December

3.30 PM Children’s Pageant

4.00 PM Holy Mass with Children’s Choir, Roman Missal

6.00 PM Holy Mass with Choir, Roman Missal

11.00 PM Holy Mass with Choir, Divine Worship

Christmas Day, Tuesday, 25 December

11.00 AM Holy Mass, Roman Missal

Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

a holy day of obligation

Monday, 31 December

6.00 PM Holy Mass, Divine Worship

Tuesday, 1 January

11.00 AM Holy Mass, Roman Missal

Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Sunday, 6 January

9.00 AM Holy Mass, Roman Missal

11.00 AM Holy Mass, Divine Worship, followed by a reception with King Cake

Evensong cancelled

Letter from Fr. Allen - December 13, 2018



Dear Friends,

Advent is a season rich in symbols and in devotions for the faithful, both ancient and new. Let me highlight just two, one briefly and the other at more length. First, this Sunday we keep the more recent tradition of blessing the Christchild figurines from our home crèches. Please bring your own Christchild to Mass; they will be collected by children of the parish who will present them to be blessed at the conclusion of Mass.

Another Advent devotion, this one more ancient, is a series of anthems for the last seven days of the season (so always 17 - 23 December) known as the "Great O Antiphons." The earliest reference I know to the "O Antiphons" is from Boethius, writing about the year 500, and they have been part of the Daily Office/Liturgy of the Hours since at least that time. The anthems are now sung or said before and after the Magnificat at Evening Prayer, and they also form the verse for the Alleluia before the Gospel at Mass on their proper days.

Each of the anthems addresses the Lord with a Messianic title taken from the Hebrew Scriptures, and then beseeches the Lord to come and redeem us with imagery more or less appropriate to the title. So, to take just one example, "O Key of David... come and bring the prisoner out of the prison house" (cf Is 22.22). Another layer of meaning is added when, working backwards from the last antiphon, the initial letter of each title is taken to form an acrostic in Latin, ERO CRAS - or, "Tomorrow, I will come."

There is one more of these antiphons not included in the Roman Missal and peculiar to our patrimony in the Ordinariates; It shows up in our missal as the Alleluia verse for the morning Mass on Christmas Eve day, O Virgo virginum: 

O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be? For neither before thee was any like thee, nor shall there be after. Daughters of Jerusalem, why marvel ye at me? The thing which ye behold is a divine mystery.

This was an eighth "O Antiphon" in medieval England, when that green and pleasant land was known as "Mary's Dowery." With this antiphon, the reverse acrostic then becomes VERO CRAS - "Verily, I shall [come]."

All of the Great O Antiphons are provided for you [here]. I encourage you to meditate on them in these latter days of Advent and to enter more deeply into the mystery of redemption that is brought to us through this Child who comes to us. You might especially make them part of your family devotions, either as you say grace at meals, or at the lighting of your Advent Wreath, or as a devotion before your home crèche.

God bless you,
Fr Allen

P.S. An update for those of you who have ordered the Divine Worship Missal: People's Edition - the missals have been ordered and are expected to ship from England this Monday. There is just this slightest chance that they may be here by Christmas Day, but more likely they will arrive a couple days after Christmas. In any case, as soon as they arrive I will let you know, and we will have them available to be picked up at Mass. And yes, there will be extra copies available for purchase if you have not pre-ordered.

The Advent Anthems: Great O Antiphons

The Advent Anthems: Great O Antiphons

December 17
O Sapientia 

O WISDOM, which camest out of the mouth of the Most High, and reachest from one end to another, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: come and teach us the way of prudence.

December 18
O Adonai

O ADONAI, and Leader of the house of Israel, who appearedst in the bush to Moses in flame of fire, and gavest him the Law in Sinai: come and deliver us with an outstretched arm.

December 19
O Radix Jesse

O ROOT OF JESSE, which standest for an ensign of the peoples, at whom kings shall shut their mouths, to whom the Gentiles shall seek: come and deliver us, and tarry not.

December 20
O Clavis David

O KEY OF DAVID, and Sceptre of the house of Israel; that openest, and no man shutteth, and shuttest, and no man openeth: come and bring the prisoner out of the prison-house, and him that sitteth in darkness and the shadow of death.

December 21
O Oriens

O DAY-SPRING, Brightness of the Light everlasting and Sun of righteousness: come and enlighten him that sitteth in darkness in the shadow of death.

December 22
O Rex gentium

O KING OF THE NATIONS, and their Desire; the Corner-stone, who makest both one: come and save mankind, whom thou formedst of clay.

December 23
O Emmanuel

O EMMANUEL, our King and Lawgiver, the Desire of all nations and their salvation: come and save us, O Lord our God.

Lighting of Advent Wreath Candles: The Third Sunday of Advent

Lighting of Advent Wreath Candles: The Third Sunday of Advent

Click here to print (pdf).

All make the Sign of the Cross as the leader begins: 

℣ +Our help is in the name of the Lord.

℟ Who hath made heaven and earth.


The following Scripture is read: Isaiah 9.2, 6-7, 40.3-5, 52.7, 7.14-15

THE people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman′u-el.

Light the first and second purple candles in order, and then the rose candle.  With hands joined, the leader prays:

INCLINE thine ear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to our petitions: and, by the grace of Thy visitation, enlighten the darkness of our minds. Who livest and reignest with the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.  ℟ Amen.

The devotion may conclude with a verse from "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel": 

O come, thou Dayspring from on high, and cheer us by thy drawing night;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadow put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
shall come to thee, O Israel.


This Sunday is Bambinelli Sunday

Each year on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, children in Rome gather with their families in St. Peter’s Square for Benedizione dei Bambinelli, bringing with them the Christ Child figurine from their family’s home crèche. At the noon Angelus, the Pope blesses the children, their families, and the figurines they have brought. This Sunday we will unite our hearts to the Holy Father’s and the children and families gathered with him and bless our own Bambinelli. Bring your Christ Child figurine to be blessed during Mass this Sunday.