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...]

More on the Holy Thursday washing of the feet

Further evidence that it’s a big Church. The Diocese of San Jose has posted the following on its website, which offers some questions and answers—and some theological analysis—about the ritual that has lately gotten a lot of attention.  To wit:  The priest who presides at the Holy Thursday Mass should be the primary example for [Read More...]

Wisconsin bishop enforces ban on washing feet of women on Holy Thursday

It’s unusual to see something like this in a secular paper, but a reader spotted this in the Madison State Journal:  Just a few weeks after his election last spring, Pope Francis stunned papal observers by washing the feet of two women during a Holy Week ritual. The rite — on Maundy Thursday, just prior [Read More...]

A liturgical practicum for deacons?

I spotted this notice on an Orthodox website, and thought something like this might benefit Roman Catholic clergy, too—both priests and deacons: The Eighth Annual Diaconal Liturgical Practicum — a program held in conjunction with the Orthodox Church in America’s Diaconal Vocations Program (DVP) and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary — will be held Sunday, June 22 through Wednesday, [Read More...]

“Remember you are dust…”

The scene this morning at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. [Read more...]

Canadian archbishop issues decree banning eulogies

Details: Ottawa Catholics are no longer able to give eulogies for lost loved ones during funeral masses, after the Archbishop for the region issued a decree ending the practice this month. Archbishop Terrence Prendergast issued the decree, effective as of Feb. 2, because he said eulogies take away from what the funeral mass should be [Read More...]

Want to understand the Mass? There’s an app for that.

Miami is promoting an app that helps everyone to understand the Mass better: Called “Mass Explained,” it was created by a local Catholic, Dan Gonzalez, who made it completely interactive, with pictures, sounds and links to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, church documents and much more. Want to hear the Jewish blessing that precedes the [Read More...]

A kiss from the East: offering the “sign of peace” in the Divine Liturgy

If you want a deeper appreciation of what it means to exchange the “sign of peace,” take a look at this document, describing how this ancient custom will be reintroduced next month in one Eastern Rite diocese.  (In the Eastern tradition, in many places clergy have been the only ones exchanging the “kiss of peace.”  This [Read More...]

And now the “Les Mis Mass”

From our Church of England siblings in the Diocese of York in the U.K. comes this press release:  A communion service set to the music of Les Miserables will be held at York Minster at 7.30pm on Sunday 19th January. Led by Transcendence, a team which holds a regular Multimedia Eucharist at York Minster, this [Read More...]

“How to Build an Awesome Altar Serving Program in 10 Easy Steps”

People who visit The Bench regularly know that I never tire of gushing about my parish’s altar servers. We have about 140 of them, boys and girls, aged 9-22.  As I’ve posted pictures and sung their praises, readers have asked repeatedly, “How do you do it? What’s the secret?” Well, after much prodding, the moderator [Read More...]


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