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Was Ordinariate history made in Coventry?
On Saturday 5th September at St Joseph the Worker Catholic church, Coventry, John Ingram and Sarah North, both members of the Coventry Ordinariate group, were married in a beautiful Nuptial Mass celebrated according to Divine Worship.
Whether this is the first of its kind - 2 ordinariate members and and Ordinariate Use Nuptial Mass from Divine Worship, we don't know, but it was a great day for all present.
John and Sarah came from different Anglican parishes and met through the establishment of the Ordinariate (what the Lord won't do to bring a man and a woman together!). John worshipped at St John the Baptist, Coventry and Sarah at St Nicholas, Coventry (with her parents, who are now also are part of the Ordinariate group).
They met when we those new Ordinariate members were meeting for weekly catechesis in preparation for reception. Much to their delight, members of the group watched them grow in friendship and love over the years, until John proposed to Sarah on Christmas Day 2014 and the rest, as they say, is history. The group now say they are looking forward to their first Baptism!
Around 250 guests - including the whole Ordinariate group, family and friends packed into St Joseph's and lifted the roof with the singing of hymns chosen by John and Sarah, including Immortal, invisible, God only wise and Love divine, all loves excelling. Friends from both their former Anglican parishes were present at the wedding and reception afterwards, which was great.
The Divine Worship Ordinariate Use Nuptial Mass liturgy is very beautiful - the Admonition and Scrutiny at the beginning and other elements of the Mass clearly resonated with some practising Anglicans and non-churchgoers in the congregation. Their comments afterwards were very favourable.
Fr Paul Burch, pastor of the Coventry group, celebrated and preached and Fr Matthew Pittam, a priest of the Ordinariate and relative of John, concelebrated, along with Fr Harry Curtis, parish priest of St Joseph's. The readings were read by Graham Marcer, Sarah's former parish priest at St Nicholas' and Catherine Burch.
After Mass the day before the wedding people helped to get the church ready by moving in extra seating, preparing the flowers and making sure everything was just right for John and Sarah. On the day, they full serving team were on duty ... everyone from the Ordinariate group was present, both in church and at the reception afterwards.
It was a wonderful occasion as Fr Paul Burch commented: "It all made me immensely proud of our small congregation and thankful for the sense of community we have."