Liturgy

Richard Becker, who describes himself as a “God-haunted lunatic,” has an entertaining rant against the use of missalettes at Mass. Being a God-haunted lunatic myself, allow me to counter-rant in the same spirit. In his piece, Becker poses a number of arguments against using missalettes at Mass. Let’s take a look at them:   1) […]

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Recently there was some discussion on Facebook of how ashes should be placed on the head, with some folks thinking that the form of the cross is mandatory. It isn’t. There is no set form, and in some countries–like Italy–the norm is to sprinkle ashes on the top of the head. Today I ran across […]

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This Sunday is the first Sunday of Lent, and we read about events that occurred at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Following his baptism, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness—his own, personal equivalent of Lent. It was a time of preparation for the beginning of his public preaching in Galilee. Here are 9 […]

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Ash Wednesday is upon us again! Here are 9 things you need to know and share . . .   1. What is Ash Wednesday? Ash Wednesday is the day that Lent begins (see: 9 things you need to know about Lent). The name comes from the fact that a particular rite is always celebrated on […]

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1. What is Lent? According to the Universal Norms for the Liturgical Year and the General Roman Calendar [.pdf]: 27. Lent [is a liturgical season that] is ordered to preparing for the celebration of Easter, since the lenten liturgy prepares for celebration of the paschal mystery both catechumens, by the various stages of Christian initiation, and the faithful, […]

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This Monday we’re going to be celebrating the solemnity of the Annunciation. This day celebrates the appearance of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to announce of the birth of Christ. What’s going on and why is this day important? Here are 8 things you need to know.   1. What does the word […]

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If you look at old indulgences (e.g., as found on holy cards from before the 1960s), you’ll find that they often contain a reference to a certain number of “days.” What do those days represent? If you’ve got a 500 days indulgences, what does that mean? Does it mean you get out of purgatory 500 […]

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The Gospel reading for December 19 contains the familiar story of Zechariah in the temple. You can read it here. It is the occasion when the Angel Gabriel appears to him to announce the birth of John the Baptist. Although the story is familiar, there are some fascinating details in this account, and their significance […]

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The third Sunday of Advent is known as “Gaudete Sunday.” In the readings, we hear about miracles associated with the Messianic age, its coming, and what we need to do to prepare. We also learn about the doubts of John the Baptist, how he dealt with them, and the blessing that makes us even more […]

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December 12 is the commemoration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In the United States, the day is a feast. Linked to this day is December 9, which is the optional memorial of Juan Diego, to whom she appeared. Here are 6 things to know and share . . .   1) Who was Juan Diego? […]

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