I’ve changed my mind. It’s time to bring back the altar rail.

It’s not about architecture. It’s about attitude. I write about it here:  Hey, I’m as surprised as anyone else that I feel this way. Two years ago, I rhapsodized on the Feast of Corpus Christi on the theology behind standing to receive communion, and defended it. And why not? I’ve received that way for most of my adult [Read More...]

Happy Feast of the Ass

I kid you not. I’m actually early with this; today is technically the vigil of the Feast of the Ass.  But I wanted you to be able to get a jump on things. A seminarian friend writes: How can we ever come to receive the fullness of the treasury of the Church’s liturgical tradition ignoring [Read More...]

Was Don Bosco rolling over in his casket?

The saint’s relics arrived in England’s Liverpool Cathedral last weekend, where the performance below took place. The thing that surprises me the most isn’t the dancing during Mass, but the light attendance.  Turnout looks to be rather sparse. You can read more about the tour of the relics here.  [Read more...]

Behold: the three kings of Juana Diaz

A friend in Florida sent me the picture above just before Christmas, with this explanation: Juana Diaz is a little town on the south coast of the island of Puerto Rico, next to my home city of Ponce. In 1884 an Spanish priest started something like a Medieval Epiphany play. The entire town (literally) participated [Read More...]

Experiencing the Christmas liturgy in Rome: “The most moving part of the Mass for me…”

Over at the Evangelical Channel of Patheos, sociologist Margarita Mooney recounts her experience of attending Midnight Mass at St. Peter’s:  The most moving part of the Mass for me was after everyone had received communion and returned to their seats, a peaceful quiet came over the basilica. Suddenly, trumpets blared announcing the birth of the [Read More...]

Midnight Mass in Queens

The gifted photographer Niranjan Fernando captured these beautiful images from last night at my parish, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, in Forest Hills. [Read more...]

“Once in royal David’s city…”

Still and forever my favorite Christmas hymn. This serves as the processional for Midnight Mass at my parish.  The lights dim, a hush falls, and a small armada of 40 or so red-cassocked altar servers begin gliding into the church, working down the side aisle, rounding a corner, then up the center. The line grows, [Read More...]

Deacon on strike??

From the mailbag of Fr. Z: From a deacon: Dear Father Z, my parish priest is leftist and modernist (like the vast majority of priests and bishops here in ___) and always changes the words of the Missal, adding his personal opinions. His homilies are more about ___ than the Gospel. My question is: as [Read More...]

When it’s appropriate to clap at Mass: a handy list

Marcel over at Aggie Catholics has a helpful post about applause during liturgy. While it’s frowned upon—the pope is not a fan of it—there are a few instances when it might be acceptable: Clapping is usually done for a human achievement and is not for God. So, it is a misplaced act in most liturgies. There are [Read More...]

Survey: one year on, most Americans have accepted new missal

The world did not end, and people actually seem to be just fine with it.  Details: American Catholics have widely accepted the changes in the Roman Catholic Mass to reflect a closer translation of the Latin that was introduced last year, even if these revisions may signal greater centralization in the church, according to a [Read More...]