Remembrance and Memorial

The whole Church is present at the Mass, where Heaven and Earth meet. (I don’t know where this image comes from, it’s all over the web with some variations.)

Today was Memorial Day. Too often we hear words without really hearing them. We think “memorial” has to do with simple memory, as when we remember to call a friend or we remember to pick up dog food on the way home from work. But there is a deeper meaning. In the Bible the word is used in this deeper way, in a technical sense. I suppose one disadvantage to reading the Bible in the vernacular (which is the only way I can read it) is that we take for granted that we understand it when all we grasp is the surface, most often not suspecting that there is anything deeper.

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The Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, a video by Dr. Brant Pitre

Taking a break from collecting some thoughts for writing, watching this wonderful talk by Dr. Brant Pitre: Jesus & the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist. This is a good video to watch during Lent, preparing for Passover. Will also be watching The Passion of the Christ with the study guide this time, a first for me.

Thank you for stopping by. Lent continues and I’m staying off of social media except for posting here at the blog and answering necessary emails. May this season of preparation bring you closer to our Lord. God bless you! Peace be with you.

PS: Hey, see that tabernacle? It’s empty during Dr. Pitre’s talk. Would that more parishes would take care to do this when holding non-liturgical events in the worship space, if no more suitable space is available, such as a parish hall.

emptytabernacle

Gestures and Postures of the Congregation at Mass

Well, this is helpful. Wish I’d known it was out there before now. I’m sure that in another place and time these things were noted in the rubrics. But somewhere along the way we tossed such helpful things and since then nobody ever knows what they’re supposed to do or when or how. Adoremus has a PDF file (from February 2010) called Gestures and Postures of the Congregation at Mass which is explains what we are to do, how and when. If I find an updated version, I’ll pass it along. See below for more from the Adoremus website:

**In response to reader requests,
“Gestures and Postures of the Congregation at Mass”, which originally appeared in the February 2010 Adoremus Bulletin, is now available in PDF format, or go to google document, especially formatted for printing on standard 8.5 x 11 paper (2 sides).

Permission is granted to reproduce this file for personal or parish use. For all other uses, please contact us.

**See also Church Documents page for official instructions and statements of the Holy See on these same topics.

And with your spirit: the new, beautiful, English translation of the Roman Missal

Update, Mar 14, 2020: We’ve been using the “new” (then) translation of the Missal for years now. I haven’t made any kind of formal study of it by any means. But in recent years I’ve become aware of so many troublesome things, including in the liturgy itself or with changes that have been foisted upon it, that I almost winced when I came across this post today. My mind is in flux about many things, not about the Church or the Faith, but about things I used to take for granted. So forgive or ignore this post and chalk it up to a period of exuberance past. I don’t even know what I think about it (the post or the translation, either) anymore.

Update, Dec 6, 2011: At the end of this post I listed some related posts from around the web. Update, Dec 8, 2011: I’m making this a featured post since we’re still getting used to the new translation of the Mass. See the comments at the end for a discussion that represents two very different reactions to the translation.] I went to Mass this morning [Note: This post was originally written on the First Sunday of Advent.] at the chapel at EWTN. The first day of the liturgical season of Advent, the first day using the new English translation of the Roman Missal, and the first day using the new Mass cards showing the changes in the responses of the congregation. (See notes at the end for more resources.) Thank goodness we had these cards.

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Who is to blame for the culture of death?

Christ is the True Manna from HeavenWho is to blame for the culture of death? Not atheists or progressives or democrats or republicans or pro-choice advocates. No, according to Dr. John Cuddeback in his talk, Spiritual Warfare: The Battle for Life in a Culture of Death, we Christians have no one to blame but ourselves. For we have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten to put on the mind of Christ. We have forgotten how to pray. We have forgotten that prayer is necessary to the life of the Christian. We have forgotten that the Eucharist, the highest form of prayer, is absolutely necessary to the life of the Christian. Prayer and reception of divine grace in the sacraments is not optional, not something extraneous to the Christian way of life but is absolutely central to it. Continue reading “Who is to blame for the culture of death?”

The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Baptism, Part 2

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. Baptism: Part 1, Part 2

This is part of a continuing series of posts on the Mass, salvation and the sacraments. Acknowledgments may be found at the end of this post.

Why do we get baptized or baptize our children? Why do we even need to go to church? I often hear people ask these questions of various believers, some of them teachers of the faith. Rarely do I hear them receive a good answer. Even more rarely do I hear them receive a true answer. I’ve heard people say that we go to church because we need the fellowship of other believers in order to stay faithful on our walk with the Lord. I’ve heard people say that we get baptized to show the Lord that we’re serious and ready to commit our lives to Him. I’ve heard that we Catholics baptize children because of some silly notion that baptism actually does something when anybody can see that it is merely symbolic of a decision made by a person who can reason about such things; so obviously a mere child isn’t capable of benefiting from it, much less, a baby.

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The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments – Baptism, Part 1

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4. Baptism: Part 1Part 2

Journeying Toward God in the Barque of Peter
Journeying Toward God in the Barque of Peter

The following is part of a continuing series on the Church, salvation and the Sacraments. We’re beginning our exploration of the Sacraments themselves and where better to begin than with Baptism, the Sacrament by which we become members of the Body of Christ.

In the series to follow this one we’ll be looking more closely at the Old Testament background of the Church and the Sacraments, but I want to spend some time reflecting on the Church as the Barque of Peter, carrying the faithful safely across the crashing waves of the world, guiding them on their journey home to the Father. I’ll base these reflections mostly on the sources listed below in the acknowledgements. I offer the drawing below in the hopes that it will help you to visualize what I’m saying and will help me too.

Let’s look first at the entry into the Church, the Sacrament of Initiation par excellence: Baptism.

Continue reading “The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments – Baptism, Part 1”

The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Part 3

Economy of Salvation, The Annunciation and Incarnation

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

The following is Part 3 in a continuing series which began as a write-up of a talk by Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP, but instead took on a life of its own and has become some rather broad reflections on salvation history as it leads up to the founding of the Church by Christ, and the Church’s role in salvation. In the next set of posts we’ll go deeper and into more detail.* Notes and credits at the end of this post.

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The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Part 2

Economy of Salvation, The Fall

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

The following is Part 2 in a continuing series which began as a write-up of a talk by a talk by Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP, but instead took on a life of its own and has become some rather broad reflections on salvation history as it leads up to the founding of the Church by Christ, and the Church’s role in salvation. Soon we’ll go deeper and into more detail.* In this part we are still looking at how mankind got itself into a situation wherein it needed to be saved. Acknowledgments at the end of this post.

Continue reading “The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Part 2”

The Church as the Body of Christ, with another graphic

Below is an illustration I made tonight of the Church as the Body of Christ and the fact that as members of the Church we unite ourselves with Christ on His cross during the Mass. The image of Christ Crucified overlays the image of the Church building in the shape of a cross, with Christ’s Head in the Sanctuary and with His Body in the nave. He and the tabernacle, the Host, the Priest, the Altar, are all in the Sanctuary. The doorway into the vestibule lies at His Feet. We the congregation form the Body of Christ. The Priest represents Christ for us. Continue reading “The Church as the Body of Christ, with another graphic”