What Should a Pastor Say?

The presence of so many people on Easter (like at Christmas and on Ash Wednesday) is, shall we say, the 800 pound gorilla in the room. [Read more…]

We are the body of the risen Christ

During last week’s Masses we heard the story of the apostle Thomas, whom we might recall as an early religious skeptic. When the other apostles joyfully inform him that they have seen the risen Jesus, he shakes his head, obstinately affirming that until he can touch Jesus’ wounds, he will not believe. When Jesus reappears, [Read More…]

Easter Chantey (reprise)

I first posted this ditty  6 years ago, shortly after I joined Vox Nova; now that we have a new audience, I want to share it with you.  I wrote it when the kids were little and today, my son (who is 24!) asked me to sing this in the car on the way to [Read More…]

On hearing the passion three times

This past weekend I had the opportunity to hear the Passion read three different times.  My pastor was in a car accident a couple weeks ago and is laid up for Holy Week.  (Please remember him, Fr. Metzler, in your prayers.)  Since I served as his master of ceremonies for the last Triduum, he asked [Read More…]

Two Thirds of the Way to Orthodoxy

Despite my overall misgivings about the translation principles involved, I have been making a gradual, uneasy peace with the new Missal.  But one thing has been increasingly bothering me that I had not anticipated: the more frequent appearance of the memorial acclamation that says, “When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim [Read More…]

Nova’s Ordo: Easter Sunday

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll [Read More…]

An Everyday Faith

Fifteen years ago this evening, I was received into the Catholic Church in a brief but beautiful ceremony during the Easter Vigil Mass. In one fell swoop, I received the Sacrament of Confirmation and made my public profession of fidelity: “I believe and hold to be true all that the Catholic Church proposes and teaches.” [Read More…]

Reflections While Awaiting the Easter Vigil

I meant to write this yesterday after the Good Friday service, but I think it is still valid today. Yesterday during the service we sang the classic spiritual “Were You There?”  Some small part of me always smiles when I hear this beautiful hymn.  To understand the joke, some history.  The alma mater of Trinity [Read More…]

Good Friday: Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

Today we celebrate the crucifixion of the Lord.  Reread that sentence.  We celebrate Jesus’ death.  To Christians this is a great comfort.  We know that Jesus died out of love for us in order that we might be saved.  To many non-Christians this is an outrage.  Why should someone need to die in order that [Read More…]

Prayer for the Triduum

In the year 1224, St. Francis withdrew to the Mount of La Verna to mark the “small Lent” from the feast of the Assumption (August 15) to the feast of St. Michael (September 29).  On the night of September 17 (approximately, the sources say “a few days after the feast of the True Cross” September [Read More…]