Have you ever seen a diaconate ordination like this?

A reader sent this my way, with this explanation: Deacon Greg, Knowing your interest in all things deacon-ish, I thought I’d pass along a video showing scenes from the ordination of a new deacon in Christ the Savior Cathedral according to the rites of the Russian Orthodox Church by Patriarch Kirill. Take a look. It’s [Read More...]

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People, look east: Bishop announces celebration of Mass ad orientem during Advent

From Bishop James Conley in Lincoln, Nebraska:  Since ancient times, Christians have faced the east during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to remember to keep watch for Christ. Together, the priest and the people faced the east together, waiting and watching for Christ. Even in Churches that did not face the east, the priest [Read More...]

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Mass in the Extraordinary Form at a Brooklyn church—UPDATED

Some may remember the pictures I posted last week, showcasing the newly renovated Holy Name of Jesus church in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. Saturday, they put the beautiful James Renwick-designed altar to good use and celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The pastor, Fr. James Cunningham, reports close to 200 people showed up. Fathers Brandon O’Brien, [Read More...]

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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...]

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“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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How I spent Epiphany Sunday

I spent part of the day with these guys: Our 11:30 Mass included the presentation of gifts by the magi, and a lovely procession of altar servers, carrying candles and torches. Our administrator, Fr. Frank Passenant, also began the liturgy with an old tradition: blessing chalk, and then scrawling the date above the entry to [Read More...]

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Are we walking to heaven backward?

That’s the provocative headline to this post by Msgr. Charles Pope, who raises some compelling points about the priest’s orientation during the celebration of Mass. Snip: There are many factors that have fed the crisis of the leadership among the clergy. But I propose that liturgical orientation is both emblematic of the crisis of leadership and [Read More...]

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The Cat in the Hat Eucharist

N.B.: This is not a Catholic Mass. It comes from our Anglican siblings in Canada. This is a couple years old, but for some reason it fluttered across my Facebook feed yesterday. The rector says: “We take the Eucharist seriously, but we do so with humor, with love, with invitation.” Alrighty then. That helps explain [Read More...]

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On the Extraordinary Form: “Pope Francis has not contradicted Pope Benedict”

This moved last week.  It’s a followup to the story about the Vatican’s action regarding the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. From one of the Franciscans: Pope Francis has also severely restricted our use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and this has been [Read More...]

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Meet the man who sang at Rio’s Eucharistic Adoration: “The arms of St. Peter’s are really big”

It was a mesmerizing and deeply moving moment during the pope’s visit last week.  But who was the guy on his knees strumming the guitar? From Religion News Service:  Growing up Roman Catholic in Newfoundland, Matt Maher never imagined that his childhood interest in music would lead to a career as a Grammy-nominated, chart-topping Christian rocker — [Read More...]

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