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Ordinariate Priest Composes Mass Setting
Thursday 13th February 2014

A new Mass setting, composed by the parish priest of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham's central church in London, was performed for the first time on Sunday 9 February at the church, in Warwick Street, Soho.       

The Mass of St Gregory was written by Fr Mark Elliott-Smith, a priest of the ordinariate, who is the parish priest of the church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, which was dedicated to the life of the ordinariate in January last year.       

The ordinariate is the structure set up by Benedict XVI, which allows former Anglicans to enter the full communion of the Catholic Church individually or in groups, bringing with them some of their spiritual, liturgical and musical traditions. Pope Benedict described these as "a treasure to be shared".

Fr Elliott-Smith - an accomplished musician, whose own background is steeped in the Anglican choral tradition - played the organ himself at the first performance of the Mass, which was sung by the choir at Warwick Street, conducted by Jonathan Kingston, associate director of Music at the church. The celebrant was Fr Alan Griffin.

Fr Mark says of the Mass of St Gregory: "I am sure that the Anglicanism in my backround has sub-consciously influenced the piece and that the setting has something of the Anglican spirit about it. But my main intention was to produce something which was tuneful and joyous, which would be singable by a congregation, but with an optional choral part which would be within the capabilities of a parish choir. The words are those of the new translation of the Roman rite and I would hope that the setting might be be used at any Catholic Mass, whether by Ordinariate or Diocesan Catholics".

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The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
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