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Liturgy

When a Priest Should Not Sing – A Reflection on an Often-Forgotten Rubric

May 14, 2017 5 Comments
When a Priest Should Not Sing – A Reflection on an Often-Forgotten Rubric

I received a question last month in my Question and Answer Column at Our Sunday Visitor that I answered only briefly. I’d like to expand on it here. The new priest in our parish just stands there at the altar when we sing the acclamations such as the mystery of faith, the great Amen, Lamb […]

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The Key Question of Every Liturgy

May 4, 2017 9 Comments
The Key Question of Every Liturgy

There is a legend that explains how the liturgy and the faith took hold in Rus (Russia): Prince Vladimir of Kiev, seeking a right worship for his people, sent representatives to look into various faiths as well as liturgies. When emissaries went south to observe the Greek Christian Liturgy, they returned saying that they were […]

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Liturgy is About God! A Soulful Reminder from Cardinal Sarah

April 5, 2016 4 Comments
Liturgy is About God! A Soulful Reminder from Cardinal Sarah

Cardinal Sarah, in his book-length interview with Nicolas Diet, God or Nothing, has many good observations on the Sacred Liturgy. His remarks should cause all of us to think as well as to repent. His fundamental insights are that the Sacred Liturgy is about the adoration and worship of God, and that it is our […]

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Why the Acclamations at the “Mystery of Faith” Need Further Consideration

January 31, 2016 24 Comments
Why the Acclamations at the “Mystery of Faith” Need Further Consideration

There is a moment in the Eucharistic Prayer in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite at which the priest awkwardly summons the people to respond by using a sentence fragment: “The mystery of faith” (mysterium fidei). The 1970 translation from the Latin tried to complete the fragment by supplying some additional words: “Let us […]

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What Is Meant by the “Sacrifice of Praise” in Scripture?

January 4, 2016 7 Comments
What Is Meant by the “Sacrifice of Praise” in Scripture?

Please consider the following reflection more of a pastoral meditation than a formal exegesis. I do not seek here to compare every use of the phrase in the Scriptures but rather to ponder how we seem to have lost the connection of personal sacrifice to liturgy and worship. Scripture clearly connects them. Let’s look at […]

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The Sanctus – A Far More Remarkable Prayer than You Might Imagine. A Reflection on a Teaching of Joseph Ratzinger

September 13, 2015 3 Comments
The Sanctus – A Far More Remarkable Prayer than You Might Imagine. A Reflection on a Teaching of Joseph Ratzinger

What we call the Sanctus, or the Holy, Holy, Holy of the Mass is not one prayer or one acclamation, but two. And this fact presents a teachable moment for us as well as providing a defense of a practice that is often scorned by modern liturgists. The two parts of the Sanctus are as […]

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Titles and Descriptions of Satan from the Rite of Exorcism and What They Have to Teach Us

September 7, 2015 15 Comments
Titles and Descriptions of Satan from the Rite of Exorcism and What They Have to Teach Us

In the realm of demonology there is a cautious balance to maintain. Sadly, an exorcist must usually inflict pain upon demons in order to drive them out. This is done through the prayers of the Rite of Exorcism and through other things recommended by the rite such as the use of holy water, the use […]

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Healing Medicine for Strident Times – A Reflection on a Teaching on the Liturgy from Joseph Ratzinger

August 30, 2015 5 Comments
Healing Medicine for Strident Times – A Reflection on a Teaching on the Liturgy from Joseph Ratzinger

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 recently been republished in a larger […]

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