It’s Fourth of July Weekend: Will Your Parish Sing Patriotic Hymns?

US Flag - backlit

Will your parish include patriotic songs in the liturgy this weekend? I'm talking about the old "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" and "God Bless America" and "America the Beautiful" sort of tunes.I read a discussion about this sticky issue over on Reddit:  Some very reasonable Catholics take exception to the practice of interrupting the sacred liturgy with a celebration of a secular holiday--in this case the Fourth of July. The Redditor who complained over on /r/Catholicism said, We have Christ -- … [Read more...]

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St. Patrick’s Feast Day Has Been Hijacked–Don’t Give Away the Parade, Too!

St._Patrick_Parade,_Fifth_Ave.,_New_York_1909

TODAY IS ST. PATRICK'S DAY, and in New York City, there's going to be some kind of a parade or something.I'm kidding.  Everybody knows that America's largest, oldest and most famous St. Patrick's Day Parade takes place on March 17 in New York City.  Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day--or so they say!--and for 253 years, New Yorkers have been celebrating the feast of the Catholic saint by marching a mile and a half down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.  This year, an estimated 150,000 mar … [Read more...]

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Begin Advent With Joy, Courtesy of Scott Hahn

Joy to the World

Lowly shepherds.  Skilled astronomers.  An evil king.  An unaccommodating innkeeper.  A pregnant virgin.  A nurturing foster-father.  A host of heavenly beings.  Some cows, and a baby. *     *     *     *     * This cast of seemingly unrelated characters is brought together in an unlikely pastiche that has become one of the most familiar stories of all time:  the Christmas story.   And it's possible--even likely--that you simply accept this improbable story without challenging its veracity.  Bu … [Read more...]

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