Monday, July 24, 2017

First Holy Mass of Rev. Jonanthan M. Erdman

the Summary of the Law
Of course, given these ecclesiastical times, and given all that goes on throughout a normal church year, I'm unexpectedly silent. I'm busy! Please forgive me for that. I take a break from my silence and slowly becoming a crotchety old man to rejoice in the ordination of Father Jonathan Mark Erdman of the Personal Ordinariate of St. Peter and the celebration of his first Holy Mass of thanksgiving. He celebrated this on the Third Sunday after Trinity, the 2nd July.

The Mass was preceded by the Veni Creator Spiritus in English to the plainsong melody, following custom for a first Mass, as well as "Thou who at thy first eucharist." The Introit, Alleluia, Offertory, and Communion were sung to the Palmer-Burgess Propers, and the psalm Misericordias Domini, Psalm 88, was sung to Anglican chant. The community usually sings a setting by Robert Knox Kennedy, born 1945. Healey Willan's Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena was sung for the Ordinary.

Following his first Mass, Father Erdman gave the faithful his first priestly blessings and presented his hands to be kissed by the faithful.

Father Erdman comes from a family dedicated to the Anglican ministry; his brother and father remain priests in the Episcopal church. (Ut unum sint...)  His curacy was served at St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue in New York City under Rev. Andrew Mead, with the famous Canon John Andrew serving as rector emeritus; he had been responsible for making the church the Anglo-Catholic giant that it is. Following his curacy, Father Erdman came to Louisville to become the rector of Calvary Episcopal Church.

One of my favorites from the set.
To fast forward to 2015, Father Erdman refused in conscience to perform same-sex blessings. A reader of Father Hunwicke's blog might note similarities to behavior of bishops in the Church of England. At any rate, after a period of prayer and discernment, Father Erdman, who is married to his lovely wife Andrea and has four children, was received into the church by Father Paul Beach, the pastor of St. Martin of Tours, and several other members of his former parish entered the Roman communion as well.

Bishop Lopes deaconed Father Erdman on his patronal day, the feast of St. Mark, this year at St. Martin's. This allowed him to formally become administrator of the Community of Our Lady and St. John.

There is much more to say about the Community. It is a great joy to have them. There is lovely music, from Healey Willan Masses to Anglican chant to English adaptations of plainsong propers. The liturgy is celebrated in a gentle manner. Father Erdman cares deeply about giving the texts to the people in a beautiful manner, and he is a gifted orator and writer. Some examples will be shared in the future.

For now, this shall suffice, from the website of the Community of Our Lady and St. John.
Jonathan is passionate about preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is committed to pastoral ministry and worship, and in making the riches of the traditions of the Church available, especially the patrimony of the Anglican tradition.  He is dedicated to faithful liturgy, and making the love of Christ known in worship and in the outreach of the church.

For some Masses, Father has kept his hand on the altar
in a nod to the Sarum usage.
Hopefully, the fruits of the Community's presence will be made known in the wider parish community of St. Martin of Tours. Liturgically, they are sound, and even if the customs are sometimes more Anglican than Roman-the Ordinariate liturgy is sometimes confusing even to former Anglicans- the general principles of edifying serving, beautiful sung liturgy, incense, solemnity, and manifesting the communion in charity via liturgy will benefit us all.

In a nod to tradition, later in the week, Father Erdman celebrated the Requiem Mass for all souls, the Mass of the Holy Ghost, and the Mass of Our Lady on Saturday. These were traditionally promised by the ordinands to the ordaining pontiff at the end of the Roman Mass of ordination.

The celebrant and MC came from Calvary into the Roman church. 


More photos are available on Flickr. I am sorry that some of them are not quite at the right angle or that I did not crop those which I adjusted... copyright Matthew Roth, all rights reserved. If you would like to share them, the best would be to share the link, but please feel free to contact me for sharing individual photos. 


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