Washington, DC Ordinariate-bound Group to Mark First Anniversary of Founding with Anglican Use (Catholic) Mass

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The abbey church of St. Anselm's Abbey in Washington, DC will once again be filled with music, incense and bells as The St. Thomas of Canterbury Anglican Use Society of Washington, DC and Northern Virginia celebrates its first anniversary on June 11th.

On Saturday, June 11 at 4:00pm, at St. Anselm’s Abbey in Washington, DC, the St. Thomas of Canterbury Anglican Use Society of Washington, DC and Northern Virginia (STCS) will celebrate Mass according to the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite, commemorating the first anniversary of the Society’s founding.

This will be a Vigil Mass for the Feast of Pentecost and will fulfill the Sunday obligation for Catholics. Members of all faiths are invited to join the Society's members at this service to experience the beauty of the Anglican Use Mass. There will be a reception following the Mass where visitors can learn more about the Society and its plans for the future, including plans to begin services at a second location in the Washington area (in northern Virginia).

Music for this Vigil Mass for the Feast of Pentecost will be led by the St. Thomas of Canterbury schola and will include works by Byrd, Titcomb, and the plainsong sequence for Pentecost, as well as classic Anglican hymns, and propers from the Anglican Use Gradual.

This will be the second Anglican Use Mass celebrated by the STCS this year at the abbey church of St. Anselm’s Abbey in Washington, DC. The first was held on March 19, 2011, and drew a standing-room-only crowd for the Mass and the reception afterwards. The STCS's goal is to form an Anglican Use parish for the Washington, DC area which will become part of the Anglican Ordinariate once it is established in the United States under the terms of the apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus ("Groups of Anglicans"), promulgated by Pope Benedict in 2009.

The celebrant for the Mass will be Fr. Eric Bergman, a Pastoral Provision priest and chaplain of the St. Thomas More Society of Scranton, PA. Fr. Bergman is a former Episcopal priest who was ordained a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton in April of 2007. The 1980 Pastoral Provision of Pope John Paul II made it possible for former Anglican priests, even if married, to be ordained as Catholic priests, and for personal Anglican Use (AU) Catholic parishes and congregations to be established in the US. Fr. Bergman will speak at the reception after Mass on the practical aspects of forming an AU parish and exciting developments around the country regarding this historic initiative.

In addition to the Society's regular Evening Prayer services at St. Anselm’s Abbey, the St. Thomas of Canterbury Society will begin holding regular Evening Prayer services at a second location, Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Annandale, VA, on Sunday, June 26, the Feast of Corpus Christi. For directions or to learn more about the STCS, visit the website:

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James Farr
St. Thomas of Canterbury Church
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