Sanity and Clarity

After some of the heated emotions stirred up by yesterday’s news regarding the Extraordinary Form, two responses bring a level of sanity, clarity—and, I think, charity. First, from the Franciscans:  The fact is that Pope Francis has not forbidden the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite to the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate. Simply put, after personally [Read More...]

Priests and deacons and blessings (oh my!)

With ordination season rapidly approaching, some helpful information from canon lawyer Dr. Ed Peters:  1. The practice of receiving a priest’s “first blessing” after his ordination Mass is a praiseworthy custom, but there is no specific indulgence attached to receiving such a blessing or, for that matter, to attending a cleric’s ordination Mass. 2. There [Read More...]

Happy Candlemas

In my church tonight, we’re introducing a special liturgy to mark Candlemas, featuring Vespers, the blessing of candles and concluding with Benediction. So: what exactly is Candlemas?  Glad you asked: Today is a day of purification, renewal, and hope. On this day, exactly 40 days after Christmas, we commemorate Mary’s obedience to the Mosaic law [Read More...]

Homily for November 27, 2011: 1st Sunday of Advent

[Click here for the readings.] If I had to name the most inspiring hour of television I’ve seen this past year, it would be no contest: it was Diane Sawyer’s interview earlier this month with Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. To see and hear Gabby Giffords, to see how alive she was after so many had literally [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...]

Quote of the day

“I must honestly tell you that our Christmas Eve liturgy was so slap-dash, so irreverent and untrained and featured music so poorly chosen and executed that it was joyless, perfunctory and at times just so awful as to feel more like torture than celebration. Even my husband, who never has a bad word to say, [Read More...]

God rest ye, merry gentle friends

Visiting a parish in Maryland this weekend, I was surprised that the recessional hymn at today’s mass wasn’t altered for political correctness. But no: to my amazed ears, they actually sang “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.” The reason this surprised me was because the entrance hymn, on the other hand, was changed from “Good Christian [Read More...]


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