Holy smokes: an electric incense thurible?

A reader mentioned this to me in an email, and I didn’t even know such things existed. But through the miracle of Google, I found it: NO MORE CARBON – only the aroma of incense all around. INSTRUCTIONS: It is extremely easy to use and fully automatic. After having added your incense, all you need to [Read More...]

Archdiocese bans photographs during all religious services

View image | gettyimages.com Details:  Dublin archdiocese is banning photographs being taken during religious ceremonies, in order to protect children from potential abusers. Each diocese in Ireland has been directed to have guidelines governing the filming and photography of children while they are on church grounds. The move derives from standards issued by the National [Read More...]

A Catholic funeral for…a dog?

Check this out:  It happened on April 22, 2015 in the city of Sambreville, Belgium, in St. Victor Church of Auvelais. The parish priest, Fr. Francis Lallemand, took the initiative of celebrating the first religious service for a dog that we know of. He opened his church for the burial religious and preached a homily [Read More...]

What happens if a priest can’t continue Mass?

The tragic story of a priest who died at the start of Mass last Sunday raises the question of what happens in such circumstances. The document De Defectibus, promulgated by Pope Pius V in the 16th century, offers this: If before the Consecration the priest becomes seriously ill, or faints, or dies, the Mass is discontinued. If [Read More...]

Lay minister wearing a deacon stole?

A deacon reader passed this along. This question popped up at Zenit and is answered by Fr. Edward McNamara: Q: In Vietnam, the Eucharistic minister wears a deacon’s stole, as you can see in the attached picture. Is this right? — N.T., Vietnam A: Our reader accompanied the question with a photo of a gentleman [Read More...]

Journey to Jordan: deacon at work!

Saturday, we spent a few hours at the Italian Hospital in Amman; I’ll post more on our extraordinary visit to this wonderful facility later. But at the end of our time there, I found myself unexpectedly—and happily—pressed into diaconal service. Several people on our tour were dismayed to learn that we would not be able [Read More...]

Journey to Jordan: The most amazing Easter of my life

On a cold and drizzly Saturday night, I found myself standing in a small, crowded Catholic church 6,000 miles away from my home parish in Queens, and I couldn’t help but weep. Dozens of people were holding candles. Incense filled the air. And a deacon climbed into the pulpit and began the familiar chant that [Read More...]

Why I’m celebrating Easter a second time

An explanation:  Catholics in Jordan will celebrate Easter on April 12, in accordance with a new agreement that unites the day of the Easter celebration for Orthodox and Catholic believers in the Holy Land. In 2012, the Catholic ordinaries of the Holy Land made a commitment to celebrate Easter at the same time as the [Read More...]

Easter Vigil in Seattle, 2010

Someone posted this on Facebook. It’s something to see. Here’s how they did the Easter Vigil at St. Patrick’s in Seattle five years ago. For further viewing: Pentecost 2014 The Story of Lazarus, Lent 2014 Footnote: someone who saw this commented on the curious arrangement of the altar and the ambo: both essentially equal, neither one [Read More...]

Lumen Christi! Scenes from our Easter Vigil

Photographs by Maria Ribar, Rosalind Chan-Ghanzi, Niranjan Fernando and me at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Forest Hills, NY at the Easter Vigil 2015.  Bishop Paul Sanchez, Pastor With my friend, ordination classmate, and the DRE at my parish, Deacon Bill McNamara. Team Triduum: While virtually every one of the 140 or so servers at [Read More...]