A “Tango Mass”?

Yes, there is such a thing. An Argentine composer introduced it a number of years back, but it’s gaining new life and new audiences, now that we have an Argentine pope. (It was played in concert at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City about 15 years ago.) Now it’s found its way to Rome. [Read More...]

Behold, a “Circus Mass,” complete with clowns and belly dancers—UPDATED

Really?  REALLY?  Two first impressions: It’s German. And you would be hard-pressed to find anyone in the congregation under the age of 50. Curiously, the celebrants aren’t wearing chasubles, just albs and stoles.  Which makes me wonder whether it is, in fact, a Mass, or some other liturgy (though it does indeed look like a [Read More...]

Want to nurture young Catholics? Here. Try this.

We installed new altar servers at my parish this morning: 38 kids, the largest class ever. This brings the grand total of servers to something close to 150 (not sure the exact number…it might be 140.)  The picture here shows the new recruits lined up in the main foyer of the rectory, waiting for the [Read More...]

Did they do this at your church for All Souls?

Here’s something you don’t see too often: the solemn high Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Assumption Grotto in Detroit, (complete with black vestments and catafalque – the stand used to hold a coffin –  mindful of the souls in purgatory).  Big diaconal bow to Diane over at Te Deum ladamus for posting these. Check out the rest [Read More...]

When was the last time you saw a funeral like this?

I can’t remember attending a funeral with black vestments (although my parents might have taken me to one when I was very young.) Diane over at Te Deum laudamus has some striking images from the funeral of Grace Perrone, the mother of Father Eduard Perrone of Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit. It was a Mass celebrated [Read More...]

Lost in translation: French make adjustment to Lord’s Prayer

And you thought translating the Roman Missal into English was problematic. Details: France‘s Catholic Church has finally corrected a “blasphemous” error that crept into the Gallic version of The Lord’s prayer half a century ago. After a 17-year debate, theologians and writers concluded that the French equivalent of “And lead us not into temptation” implied [Read More...]

A young priest responds to charges of clericalism

Today, my blogging neighbor Fr. Michael Duffy read over Fr. Dan Horan’s reflection on clericalism in the newest issue of America—wherein Fr. Dan notes: Most people are quick to remind me of how young a friar and priest I still am. That statement of fact is often, but not always, accompanied by some well-meaning remark [Read More...]

All are welcome—except those who aren’t: addressing non-Catholics and Communion at Mass—UPDATED

A deacon from the midwest dropped me an e-mail this morning about a practice he’s witnessed frequently: priests at some Masses (notably weddings or funerals) who give strict instructions to the congregation about who may or may not come forward to receive Communion. I told him that, while I know this is done, in my [Read More...]

Extreme Makeover: the Clergy Edition

The New York Times this weekend offered something surprising, a profile of the popular vestment manufacturer CM Almy, which is creating new fashions for female clergy: Stephen Fendler, president of CM Almy, shows off a rack of samples from his brand-new women’s collection, pointing out a piece he’s particularly proud of: a black blouse in a [Read More...]

A former atheist gets it

It’s our own Leah Libresco, writing about priests and vestments: When an actor puts on costuming and grease- paint, she does it to become someone else, both to the audience and to herself. A director I worked with once told me to start working on a show by getting different shoes, or, failing that, by [Read More...]


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