Bishop Jenner (the retired Bishop of Dunedin) in accordance with an arrangement made last year has visited Père Hyacinthe Loyson’s Catholic Gallican Church recently, and officiated there several times. On Sunday, the 27th ult., after celebrating the Holy Communion in English, at 8:30 A.M., he presided at the ceremony of First Communion, which, as practiced in the Roman Catholic Church, has been retained by Père Hyacinthe. The church was decorated as on high festivals, and at 10 A.M. the folding doors at the western entrance were opened, and a procession advanced up the centre of the edifice. First came four young female candidates, all in white, wearing long veils of white muslin, with wreaths of white roses on their heads: five boys followed, each wearing a white badge on the right arm; five acolytes came next; then followed singly the two vicaires, the Rev. Messrs. Lartigan and Goul; next the rector, Père Hyacinthe, wearing a chasuble; and lastly. Bishop Jenner, vested in purple soutane, lace rochet, purple mozette and embroidered stole, and wearing a white silk mitre embroidered with gold brocade, of the ancient form. He also carried a handsome pastoral staff. The large congregation, in which were several English and Americans, stood, on the entrance of the procession, which having reached the altar-rails, the girls occupied the front chairs on the right, the boys being seated on the left.
Père Hyacinthe began the Eucharistic Service, and after the Gospel he addressed the bishop by name, and thanked him for having crossed the sea and come once more to preside over the Catholic Gallican Church. He then turned to the young candidates, and thanking them far their diligent attendance and attention to the careful instructions of the first vicar, exhorted them to prepare their souls by fervent prayer and earnest resolutions for their first reception of the precious Body and Blood of Christ their Saviour, and to adore Him by simple faith, as truly and really, though invisibly, present. Dwelling on the true doctrine of the Eucharist, M. Loyson explained that in the reform of the Roman Catholic Church, in which he, in common with the Old Catholics elsewhere, were ingaged, they had retained all the primitive Catholic doctrines and ritual, rejecting nothing but errors and superstitious abuses. They had taken warning from the mistakes of certain Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century, who, in their hesitating and doubting faith, had not sufficiently and clearly retained the true Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, from whence had arisen divisions and differing schools of thought. Consequently, in the reform of the Church in the nineteenth century, which was ardently to be desired, M. Loyson considered that a firm belief in the doctrine of the Real Presence, and the adoration of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, must be among the chief points to be established.
The mass having been celebrated, the priests and acolytes communicated, and an acte de foi was then recited by one of the young girls in the name of the rest, after which Holy Communion in both kinds was administered to each. Several members of the congregation then communicated. The Nunc Dimittis concluded the service.
At vespers the candidates were confirmed, the congregation being even larger than in the morning. The confirmation office is taken entirely from the “Fonctions, Pontificales Romaines.” The bishop having made an address, and offered up certain suffrages and prayers, seated himself in his chair before the altar rails, and two candidates, one boy and one girl, knelt before him. The name of each candidate was then mentioned to the bishop, who, taking a little of the sacred oil with his thumb, marked the sign of the Cross on the forehead of each, repeating these words: “Je te marque du signe de la Croix et je te confirme avec le Chrême du Salut, au nom du Père, et du Fils, et du Saint Esprit. Amen.” The rest of the confirmation office was then said.
In the new edition of the Liturgy of the Catholic Gallican Church, as revised by Bishop Jenner, prayer is offered in the opening supplication of the “Canon” for the “Pope of Rome, the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Archbishop of Canterbury”—to which this note is appended:—“We pray here for the three bishops who preside over the three principal branches of Catholic Christianity, and we pray to God for the union of the Churches at present divided.”
From The Churchman (New York), June 30, 1883, p. 704.