A long day's journey into the Easter Vigil

What can you do for the Easter Vigil in a place where it doesn’t get dark until 10:30 at night? From The Catholic Anchor, in Alaska: In an ancient Christian custom, the Catholic Church begins the celebration of Easter in the dark of night before – on Holy Saturday. But in a land famous for [Read More...]

"Sing choirs of angels…"

My voice is far from angelic, but I’m laboring mightily to — once again — chant the Exultet this Easter. The hardest part, I think, is just learning it.  And to that end, I’ve been helped immensely by this recording by Fr. Tim Hepburn, from the Archdiocese of Atlanta.  Back in 2008, for my first [Read More...]

"What I tell my altar servers…"

A few thoughtful words from Fr. Dwight Longenecker… Snip: You’re not really employed to be useful. You’re employed to help lead the worship. As long as you understand that, everything else that we teach you will follow. You see, all of us work together to lead the people of God in the worship of God [Read More...]

Roll out the barrel: polka mass?

This is a new one to me, though apparently it’s been floating around YouTube for a while. Take a look and give a listen. I wonder what Karol Wojtyla would think… [Read more...]

Now hear this: priest orders kids out of mass for not singing loudly

Now I’ve heard everything — including a story about a priest who evidently didn’t hear enough. Check this out: Some parents with students in Nebraska’s largest Catholic grade school think their priest went too far in ordering 250 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders out of Mass because they weren’t singing loudly enough. Incensed, the parents say [Read More...]

Taking the iPad to church

A priest has already started using it for mass, as you can see from the image below (albeit, the altar was a little un-traditional): You can read about him here. Meantime, our Protestant brothers and sisters aren’t wasting any time.  Moses carried tablets — and now they do, too: When pastor Dennis Newkirk stands before [Read More...]

The buzz on the new "Exultet": here come the bees!

With Easter rapidly approaching, deacons everywhere will be clearing their throats and getting ready to give voice to the great hymn of the Paschal Proclamation — also known as “The Exultet,” a seven-minute a capaella chant that fittingly, as the lyric proclaims, “humbles earthly pride.”    It is the Mother of All Chants, an epic [Read More...]

A really bad idea: a "flash mob" during Ash Wednesday mass

Really. It happened in South Dakota: Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent . It a time for penance, reflection, fasting and apparently, dance for one group of catholic students. We attend one Ash Wednesday Service that was interrupted by an unexpected, but emotional flash mob. Not long after receiving the ceremonial [Read More...]

"What if we said 'wait'?" missal critic says: nevermind

An outspoken critic of the new missal is reversing course: A prominent Catholic pastor in Seattle is “letting go” of his campaign against a new Latinized translation of the church liturgy, but not his convictions in starting it. “It is the people who will have the last word on the new missal once it is [Read More...]

Receiving ashes: it's not just a Catholic thing

And it seems a lot of Protestants are embracing the penitential practices of the season, too: Although receiving ashes on the forehead as a visible sign of penance has been a traditional Roman Catholic practice for centuries, many Protestant denominations have adopted the tradition, too. “Lutherans receive ashes at Ash Wednesday services,” said the Rev. [Read More...]


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