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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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.

The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Part 4

Economy of Salvation, The Crucifixion

The following is Part 4 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.* Come along with me now as we join the disciples of the Lord at this, the darkest time of their lives. Acknowledgments at the end of this post.

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The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Part 3

Economy of Salvation, The Annunciation and Incarnation

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

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”

Diagrams, revised set on the way

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

I took the day off and didn’t get online all day yesterday. I was thinking about Part 2 of the Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments series and I got an idea for a revision of the diagrams I made for that and for Fr. Nolan’s workshop audio (available from Una Voce’s site in a zip file, updated link Oct 19 2012, link broken again May 22 2019).  I’ll post them as soon as they’re finished.

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The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, first in a series

In the Beginning

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

(Updated again, May 22 2019, currently all links to the Una Voce Northern Alabama site appear to be broken. Updated: Aug 14 2017: Fixed broken image links. Updated links to the workshop audio as of Oct 19 2012.) The following is Part 1 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. After we gain a broad overview, we’ll go deeper and into more detail.* Acknowledgments at the end of this post.

Sacraments: Rivers of Grace

Prayer and the sacraments (and the Eucharist, the Mass, among them) are the foundation of the serious Catholic disciple’s way of life. We don’t just go to church or go to Mass on Sunday or even daily. We pray the Mass. We study it, reflect on it, we try to live a life that pre-disposes us to receive Holy Communion worthily, which doesn’t mean that we consider ourselves worthy, far from it.** We learn about the faith to deepen our faith, to give God the worship He deserves to the best of our ability, so that, through our worship and active participation in the sacraments, God can give us, and we can receive, His sanctifying grace necessary for our salvation. As Fr. Nolan says, This is how we are saved. It all comes from God, from Christ Jesus, from whom all grace and graces flow as rivers of grace from His wounded side.

We need to go deeper now to discover the real meaning of the Mass, to explore and understand and develop this life of prayer and study and reception of Christ’s grace in the sacraments. This is the heart of Catholicism, of Christianity. Without this, the rest of it has no meaning whatsoever. So let’s go back to the beginning, to the creation story in Genesis.

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Shhh! Keeping silence before the Blessed Sacrament

Just a few weeks ago I was at Mass with my friend who I’m sponsoring in the RCIA and the two families in the pew in front of us talked all the way through the service. I mean, they talked before Mass, during Mass and after Mass. Well, not after Mass, because as soon as the final hymn started up, they were out the door, exeunt stage left and right! The blast from their speedy departure purt near blew the missalette right outta my hands when I got caught in the crosswind. Talk about turbulence. Oy. Continue reading “Shhh! Keeping silence before the Blessed Sacrament”

Awe inspiring rites

Of all the religions I’ve studied (and I’ve studied a few), Catholicism is the most vast, beautiful and truly awe-inspiring. That is, by the way, what the rites of initiation used to be called: the awe-inspiring rites of initiation. And that is what they should be. Awe inspiring. Continue reading “Awe inspiring rites”

At the Pro-Life Mass and Rosary last Saturday

This past Saturday I went to the Pro-Life Mass downtown. I guess between twenty-five and thirty people were there. The floor in that church building is concrete. And there are no kneelers. But when the time came to kneel, every one of us got down on our knees. (For the life of me, I can’t understand why on earth anyone would design and build a church and not include kneelers. Especially after reading Cardinal Ratzinger’s (Pope Benedict’s) The Spirit of the Liturgy. Did you know there’s an old tradition that the devil has no knees?) Continue reading “At the Pro-Life Mass and Rosary last Saturday”