Given the appalling weather, I think my annual walk to the top of the Skirrid mountain (where there are the foundations remaining of a pre-reformation chapel dedicated to St Michael - see last year's post here) will have to be postponed. 'Wimp' - do I hear you say?
O Everlasting God,
who hast ordained and constituted the services of angels
and men in a wonderful order:
mercifully grant; that as thy holy Angels
alway do thee service in heaven,
so by thy appointment they may succour
and defend us on earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
(1662 Book of Common Prayer, one of Cranmer's better efforts at translation - no hidden agendas)
The modern Anglican collect - (Common Worship and its derivatives) largely keeps the prayer intact apart from the horrible substitution of 'mortals' for 'men.' We are all aware of what that is trying to achieve, but whatever else it may be it's not English, and these days just sounds like something lifted from a popular novel about vampires - all the rage I gather!
In current circumstances, perhaps the Leonine prayer is more appropriate for us:
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
But this analysis from Fr Hunwicke is devastating.
For once, I'll be clear: I'm a wholehearted supporter of the Ordinariate, but I know from my own experience that it's a difficult line to tread, the tightrope between speaking the truth in love to our friends and the dangers of being uncharitable and causing further divisions. But I don't think the critics of the new Society have crossed that line; they are only concerned to act and think clearly, consistently and theologically, perhaps never a popular move in the ecclesia anglicana. But we must, as the Anglo-Catholic Movement's systemic inability to act corporately becomes ever clearer and we seem to be heading in different directions, be careful to build bridges, keep doors open and prove that, even in the midst of our natural anxiety, anger, disillusionment and sense of betrayal as old certainties crumble to dust around us, we are motivated by the love of Christ. As the Holy Father said - we must all look into our hearts.