A dal-what? The story behind the deacon’s vestment

  Wearing the dalmatic for Midnight Mass a few years ago, with my late pastor, Msgr. Joseph Funaro. Periodically, people ask me about that “robe” I wear during Mass. How come it has sleeves? What’s up with that?? My blog neighbor Kathy Schiffer, thankfully, has found some interesting answers, courtesy Zenit and Fr. Edward McNamara. [Read More...]

This Sunday, we rejoice. But why do we wear rose? Why not another color?

A lot of people have wondered. Last weekend, when someone asked about it, my pastor joked, “You want to know? Check ‘The Deacon’s Bench’!” Heh. I was curious myself, and after digging through mounds of meaningless googling which said, again and again, “It’s because we rejoice,” I dug up this explanation, which is one of [Read More...]

Altar servers: “Apostles who help make Jesus present”

From The Catholic Standard in Washington: Altar servers play an important role in the Church’s celebration of the “mystery of God with us,” said Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl in his homily during a Mass to honor archdiocesan altar servers from parishes in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and the District of Columbia. “Every time you [Read More...]

Cardinal says Francis has no intention of restricting access to Latin Mass

Details:  The former prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy has told a traditionalist group that Pope Francis has no intention of restricting access to the Extraordinary Form of the Latin liturgy. “I met Pope Francis very recently and he told me that he has no problem with the old rite, and neither does he [Read More...]

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...]

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 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...]

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...]

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...]

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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