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Liturgy

The Biblical Roots of the Liturgy

November 26, 2017 13 Comments
The Biblical Roots of the Liturgy

Catholics are often unaware just how biblical the Sacred Liturgy is. The design of our traditional churches; the use of candles, incense, and golden vessels; the postures of standing and kneeling; the altar; the singing of hymns; priests wearing albs and so forth are all depicted in the Scriptures. Some of these details were features […]

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A Sobering Reminder on the Liturgy from the Book of Leviticus

October 5, 2017 13 Comments
A Sobering Reminder on the Liturgy from the Book of Leviticus

There is a sobering passage in the Book of Leviticus that speaks to the need for priests to be faithful to the prescribed liturgical norms. While the offense described in this passage is complex, the main point is clear enough: The liturgy is revealed by God and is not the personal plaything of the priest […]

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Strange Moments In Liturgical History – How a Paragon of Liturgical Tradition May Have Caused Unintended Effects

September 12, 2017 2 Comments
Strange Moments In Liturgical History – How a Paragon of Liturgical Tradition May Have Caused Unintended Effects

I have been asked by a number of people what I think of Pope Francis’ recent decision to remand a lot of the task of translating sacred texts to regional bishops’ conferences. To be honest, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I share many of the concerns about how the norms will be […]

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How the Liturgy is Healing Medicine for Strident Times

July 13, 2017
How the Liturgy is Healing Medicine for Strident Times

One of the most concise and cogent descriptions of these often strident times came from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in 1986. It is contained in, of all places, his treatise on the theology of sacred music in a book called The Feast of Faith (Ignatius Press, 1986). His comments have been republished in a larger compendium […]

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Pray for Priests! An Urgent Call Based on a Teaching by Robert Cardinal Sarah

June 29, 2017 13 Comments
Pray for Priests! An Urgent Call Based on a Teaching by Robert Cardinal Sarah

One of the most consistent concerns expressed both by my readers and by attendees at the various talks I give, is the large number of tepid and problematic clergy. We clergy give our people much to endure, yet for the most part they are so very patient and loving with us despite our foibles and […]

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A Short Consideration of a Central Liturgical Principle

June 7, 2017 14 Comments
A Short Consideration of a Central Liturgical Principle

Some years ago, I was praying with a group of servers and other liturgical ministers just prior to going forth from the sacristy to celebrate a rather complex liturgy. I remember asking God in the prayer, “Please Lord, help us to serve you well, but above all, help us not forget to worship you.” For […]

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On the Power of Liturgy and Prayer

May 31, 2017 0 Comments
On the Power of Liturgy and Prayer

There is a text from the Acts of the Apostles (read last week at Mass) that sets forth quite well some of the qualities of the Sacred Liturgy. Although the “liturgy” cited in this passage is not a Mass, the description should apply to all our liturgies; from the Liturgy of the Hours to baptism, […]

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You Forgot! A Reflection on a Central Spiritual Struggle

May 30, 2017 6 Comments
You Forgot! A Reflection on a Central Spiritual Struggle

One of the more basic human problems in our relationship with God is that we forget. Over and over again in the Scriptures comes an almost exasperated accusation from God: “You forgot!” Consider just a few of hundreds of such texts: You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you […]

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