Tag Archives: Sacraments

The Placement of the Corporal – and the Hands

There is a lot that can be written about the corporal — the square piece of linen that is folded and unfolded in a very particular way, set beneath the chalice and paten during the celebration of Mass. In the … Continue reading

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More on Communion Rails

I had resolved to avoid getting into a rut of posting on the same topics continually (as was happening at one point recently), but someone forwarded this article to me today. It is well worth sharing, even if I recently … Continue reading

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Reflecting on Altar Rails

For me, one of the simplest arguments for having an altar rail along the sanctuary of the Church is an aesthetic one: it just looks better. It brings greater order to the division between sanctuary and nave; it sets off … Continue reading

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The Parish Ritual – UPDATED 2/27/19

UPDATE 2/27/19: Since posting the following review on 2/24, someone really close to the project/publisher called me to discuss some of the concerns I raised. He gave some helpful background on all the (heavy) work that went into compiling this … Continue reading

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How Many Intentions Per Mass?

I’ve written before about the Mass “for the people” (pro populo) that pastors are bound to offer on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligations for the sake of their parish(es). But at the other Masses each week, For how many intentions … Continue reading

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Where May the Blessed Sacrament Be Reserved?

I’ll never forget the time, many years ago in a far-off place, when an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion who visited the sick told me about the “stash” of the Blessed Sacrament that she kept in a pyx in her … Continue reading

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May Deacons Use the 1962 Blessings?

Following upon recent posts, I have received several comments and emails from deacons, asking if they may use the blessings contained in the 1962 Rituale Romanum. I have declined to post these comments or answer them privately because it is a … Continue reading

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How to Incense the Altar

123. The Priest goes up to the altar and venerates it with a kiss. Then, if appropriate, he incenses the cross and the altar, walking around the latter. That’s the extent of the directions the General Instruction of the Roman Missal … Continue reading

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A Change of Rubrics

The Church teaches that the faithful have the right to the liturgy celebrated according to its laws — according to the rubrics — for they express the mind of the Church and are a guarantee of the catholicity of our … Continue reading

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Where should the priest look during Mass?

What is a priest supposed to do with his eyes during the celebration of Mass? The question probably seems trifling and frivolous to many, but the answer to it can greatly affect the experience of those assisting and praying at … Continue reading

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A Meditation on One of the Requiem Chants

Our mid-day Mass for All Souls here at the Cathedral of St. Paul will have a simple musical accompaniment: a chant schola singing the Church’s beautiful requiem propers. In my homily, which I copy below, I reflect on a surprising … Continue reading

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Smartphone in Confession?

A couple of years back, I started to notice an uncanny occurrence: often things that I had spoken about (out loud) during the day would suddenly appear in online ads (e.g., on my Facebook). It didn’t take long for me … Continue reading

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