Tag: liturgy

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The Catholic Mass in Scripture, the Early Church, and Today

Abraham Bloemaert, The Emmaus Disciples (1622)
In Luke 24:13-35, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus have a surprise encounter with the risen Lord, Jesus Christ. There are basically four "stages" of communion in this encounter, and it's the same four stages, in the same order, that we find in the earliest Christian worship, and that we see in the Mass today. So let's look at each of the four stages, and then consider why it matters that they should all follow the same structure and pattern....

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The Worship of Beauty, and the Beauty of Worship

Johann Jakob Zeiller, Saint Benedict in Glory (1748)
A frequent source of in-fighting amongst Christians involves beauty. How beautiful should our churches be? How beautiful should our Liturgies be? And why? In these discussions, there are two points that often go overlooked: 1. We Worship Beauty. 2. Created Beauty Points towards Divine, Uncreated Beauty. If you want to understand the Mass, and why there's such an emphasis on beauty (instead of the stripped-down worship services and whitewashed churches of some Protestant denominations), consider these two points, and how they play out in the life of Israel, the Church on earth, and in Heavenly glory.

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7 Mysteries of the Faith Unlocked by the Eucharist

Lamb of God, Waldburg Prayer Book (1486)
The scroll and seven seals of the Book of Revelation couldn't be opened without the Lamb standing as though slain, the Eucharistic Christ. Here are seven other mysteries of the faith that we need the Eucharist to unlock: (1) the New Covenant; (2) the Old Covenant; (3) the Mass; (4) Early Christianity; (5) the Church; (6) the lives of the Saints; and (7) your own spiritual life.

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The Poetry of the Saints

It’s not news to say that we Catholics struggle with beautiful music these days. More than two decades ago, Thomas Day released Why Catholics Can’t Sing: The Culture of Catholicism and the Triumph of Bad Taste, and the problems still exist. We mutter along with the responsorial Psalm; and mumble through the hymnody, with its milquetoast lyrics set […]

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Five Senses in which the Eucharist is the Host

Pope John XXIII elevating the Host Ever wonder why we refer to the Eucharistic species as “the Host”? The Latin hostia means “sacrifice,” and it is from this definition that the Eucharistic Host takes the name, as a reminder that in the Eucharist, Christ is the Sacrifice for our sins. But the Latin word hostia comes from hostis, which […]

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Why Bishops Don’t Say, “The Lord be With You”

When we switched to the new translation of the Mass this past Advent, much was said about the fact that now, when the priest says, “The Lord be with you,” we respond, “and with your spirit,” instead of “and also with you.”  In a 2005 newsletter announcing this change, the USCCB explained: Eugeniusz Kazimirowski,Divine Mercy (1934) Where […]

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