1339 Sun 19 Aug 2001
At the end of Mass last Sunday Archbishop Hart explained that this week Bishop Connors (from Ballarat) would do the "investiture" of people into the order of "The Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem."
So it happened at Mass today. About the first ten rows of pews (i.e. seats) were reserved for them. They were included in the entrance procession wearing white capes. Some of them were given special places to sit in the sanctuary. One made a welcoming speech and read out some of their constitutional documents. After the homily Bishop Connors invested two men as knights placing a sword on their shoulder, one woman as a dame, and Father David Cartright's investiture was done with him getting a mozetta and a cross. This took quite a long time, so the Mass went for about 85 minutes.
My problem is that I do not think this is in accordance with liturgical law. According to the "Book of Blessings", n. 28:
There are quite a few of these: for a family, married couple, missionary, or catechist. There are other "sacramentals" for institution of lectors and acolytes, admission to candidacy for ordination, consecration to a life of virginity, and religious profession to become a brother or nun.
But to the best of my knowledge, admission to an association, such as "The Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem", should not be done in the Mass. It concerns me that by having this investiture in the Mass it tends to devalue the religious orders and liturgical ministries, which may legitimately be included in the Mass.
Canon 306 talks about those in associations having "rights and privileges, indulgences and other spiritual favours". But they should not be given priveleges that conflict with the rights of people to have liturgy done lawfully. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps there are laws I am not aware of that allow this. I will try and find out more about it.
1538 Sun 19 Aug 2001
I have been looking for information on them and have added links to some of their pages. I have not found a "constitution", but they seem to be what Canon Law calls an "association" (rather than being an "Institute of Consecrated Life", where there would be no problem with profession of the evangelical virtues in Mass.)
In class on Friday we discussed the Church's teaching: that one must follows one's conscience, even though it may be wrong. But that "ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1791.) There seems to be widespread ignorance of the liturgical laws.
I read some of the Catechism on the train this morning, reading about "The Person and Society" about political things I have been thinking about from yesterday. Here is a line that seemed important to me from CCC 1907: "Society should permit each of its members to fulfill his vocation." For me the vocation is to be a lector, yet "society" refuses to permit me to fulfill it (at least to the extent of reading in accordance with liturgical law).
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 19 August 2001. Updated 28 August 2002, 21 October 2002.
Links to other sites on the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem: