In a letter that Pope Benedict XVI sent to the bishops of the world on the occasion of the publication of his Apostolic Letter Summorum pontificum regarding the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the 1970 reform, the Holy Father expressed a hope that the Extraordinary Form (according to the 1962 books) and the Ordinary Form (according to the post-Vatican II reforms) would be “mutually enriching.”  That is, both forms have something to contribute to the way we celebrate, and further, that one has things to say to the other, thereby making each better.  This will be a slow and gradual process.

In this letter, the Holy Father was only speaking of the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms.  However, it seems to me that “mutual enrichment” is going to come from another source as well: the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans.  Their manner of celebrating the sacred liturgy has the potential to bring enrichment to the way we celebrate in non-ordinariate parishes.

The following photos, of liturgies from the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the UK, speak for themselves, and I hope that some of these practices will “enrich” the celebration of the Ordinary Form generally.

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Bring on the mutual enrichment!  Coming to a parish near you …