Report: Church officials “extremely interested” in adding prayer at end of Mass for persecuted Christians

From The National Catholic Register:  A concerted effort is under way in Rome and in dioceses around the world to have Pope Francis introduce a prayer for the poor, persecuted and oppressed at the end of every Sunday Mass. The Register has learned that Church officials at the highest levels are “extremely interested” in having [Read More...]

Holy Saturday: Easter Vigil rehearsal

My Holy Saturday always begins with coffee and bagels with the RCIA folks in the rectory basement, followed by a two-hour rehearsal in the church of the Vigil, led by Deacon Bill McNamara (my ordination classmate and my parish’s DRE) and Father Frank Passenant, our administrator.  Also on hand is David James the head of [Read More...]

Our servant pope: wearing a deacon stole to wash feet

An alert reader sent these my way: snapshots from Pope Francis this afternoon. A report from Associated Press:  Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 elderly and disabled people Thursday – women and non-Catholics among them – in a pre-Easter ritual designed to show his willingness to serve others like a “slave.” Francis’ decision in [Read More...]

Whose feet will the pope wash? This year’s list includes a Muslim and an Ethiopian woman

From Vatican Radio:  For the second year in a row Pope Francis has chosen to celebrate the Mass of Our Lord’s Supper among people often pushed to the margins of society. He will once again visit the Don Gnocchi centre in Rome’s Casal del Marmo area, close to the Youth Detention Center where the Pope [Read More...]

Must-see: special Mass for kids with autism

An former colleague from my days at CBS sent this my way: a brief video he produced about a Palm Sunday Mass for children with special needs in New York City.  As the website notes:  On Palm Sunday The Church of the Blessed Sacrament in New York City held a special needs mass for families. The church [Read More...]

On the Holy Thursday foot washing: “It didn’t exclude women until 1955…”

Some interesting history on this controversial rite, from David Gibson at Religion News Service, via NCR: Accounts of Christian foot-washing rituals go back as far as the sixth century. As Peter Jeffrey writes in his 1985 book, A New Commandment: Toward a Renewed Rite for the Washing of Feet, there were generally two forms: the “Mandatum [Read More...]

The Passion: who reads what?

After reading the post about Elizabeth Scalia’s forgettable Palm Sunday, a couple folks on Facebook noted that, in fact, the congregation (voicing the “crowd”) isn’t really supposed to be involved in this gospel reading. Similarly, the voice of Christ should only belong to the priest (unless, for some reason, that’s just impossible.) I was surprised [Read More...]

A Palm Sunday to forget

This sounds just awful. From the vault, Elizabeth Scalia’s reflections on last year’s Palm Sunday fiasco at her parish: This past Sunday”Palm Sunday”the assembly was invited to put down their missalettes. The priest celebrant was escorted from the sanctuary and into a pew, and members of the liturgy committee entered with bare feet and grave [Read More...]

Deacon, on a mission from God

The third Blues Brother has been discovered. Palm Sunday vigil Mass at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Forest Hills, Queens. Photo by Rosalind Chan-Ganzhi [Read more...]

CARA study shows unhappiness with new missal

From my conversations with clergy around the country, this result isn’t all that surprising. But the sampling is: just 539 parishes responded, out of 6,000 that were invited to participate (from about 17,000 parishes in the U.S. ) Nonetheless, here’s what those in the poll are saying, via NCR:  Leaders at 539 parishes across the [Read More...]