Why do Catholics call their Church the "Catholic" Church? Why not just call it the Christian Church? Is the Catholicity of the Church important? Is it Biblical? What does it even mean to say that the Church is "Catholic"?
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....
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.
Think Mass if boring? You might change your mind after considering these 8 parts of the Mass, and their connection to Sacred Scripture.
If you're not in the habit of praying or chanting these antiphons, today's a great day to start, since it's the beginning of a new season. It's a good way of drawing closer to Mary, of keeping in sync with the liturgical season, and of ending each night on the right note.
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.
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 […]
There are lots of fights over the way that the Mass is celebrated, and about liturgical beauty more broadly. I think it would help to bear in mind two rules, both of which are borne out a simple reality: the Mass is the place in which we encounter Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. With that […]
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 […]
One of the most beautiful things about Catholic worship, particularly when it’s done well, is that it’s a full-body experience. We smell the incense, we sing Psalms and hymns (and hear these being sung), we listen to the Scriptures and the homily, we see the Sacrifice of the Mass (and the priest’s liturgical gestures are […]