Tag Archives: liturgy

Fowl Advice for Receiving Holy Communion

Recently I had the pleasure of participating in a Byzantine Rite liturgy for the first time. One of the most unusual experiences in this Liturgy is how we received Holy Communion. In the Byzantine Rite, the Consecrated Bread is placed in the Chalice with the Consecrated Wine and is administered directly into the mouth by a small spoon.  I am accustomed to receiving Holy Communion in the hand and in drinking the Consecrated Wine from the Chalice. I am sure this is how many of us receive Holy Communion. Gold communion spoon, Ukraine, late 17th …

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Rounding Third and Heading for Home

This year, opening day fell the day after Easter. Two events that serve as harbingers of spring—no matter what the weather is—in the closest possible proximity. They are days that give us hope that winter will be ending sooner than later and that the long, hot days of summer can’t be far off.  (I personally am much fonder of heat than cold, so this is a time of celebration for many reasons.) For me, this time of year also signaled that I am in the home stretch of my “initiation” into life at a new …

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The Christmas Season

One of the many beauties of our Catholic liturgy is the “seasons” that we celebrate for the two great events of our saving history: Christmas and Easter.  First we spend a relatively long period of time preparing to celebrate them by getting ourselves and our parish community “in the mood” so these feasts impact our lives as individuals and parishes. Secondly, we celebrate the feasts not for just a single day but for many days. I recall a Christmas season that was full of some difficult experiences. My mother had died recently and if ever …

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Participation in the Liturgy

2012 marks fifty years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council.  When thinking of Vatican II, most people think of the changes in liturgy that it brought about, and when people think of Vatican II’s changes in liturgy, they usually think of the shift in language from Latin to the vernacular, and the priest turning around to face the people. These changes, while obvious and easy to see, are only a hint of what Vatican Council II intended for the reform of the liturgy.  As many remember, the key to the liturgical reform was …

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One Mass, Three Days

Time is a funny thing. We say that time flies. We also say that time crawls. Sometimes, it seems that the days go by so quickly it’s difficult to really appreciate the gift that it is. From my vantage point, it seems that Lent just started and we’re already at the Triduum! The Triduum is both the shortest Liturgical Season and the longest continuous liturgical celebration – three days of prayer, reflection, and celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Perhaps it is the Church’s way to slow us down enough to recognize and …

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The Sacred Three Days

Like every year, it seems, Lent has flown by and is nearly over. Soon we will be celebrating the Paschal Triduum, our annual three-day observance of the paschal mystery of Jesus’ saving death and resurrection, the culmination and center of our liturgical year. Which days are the three days?  This is something often misunderstood.  Numerous times over the years I have read or heard people assert that the three days are Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.  The Triduum is then presented as preceding Easter Sunday.  Not so.  “The Easter Triduum begins with the …

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Mishaps at Mass

As a Church historian I must confess that I get a certain pleasure out of reading old liturgical manuals. Perhaps it is because there is proof that there were not always “perfect liturgies” in the past, nor today.  So it makes me feel better about my own goofs and blunders while presiding at Mass (especially with the new translation of the Roman Missal). In the Middle Ages, there was a “Handbook for Curates” that contained answers to many hypothetical Mass mishaps. For instance, what is the priest to do if he realizes that instead of …

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