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Sacraments

Learning the Priesthood: The Role of Altar Service in Vocational Discernment

On March 15, 1994, a virtual tsunami struck the Liturgy of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Antonio Ortas wrote a document to the Episcopal conferences announcing that the Vatican had, for the first time, permitted altar girls. Over 20 years later, many question the impact of this decision as the Church continues to reap…

The Identity Crisis in the Priesthood: Diminution by Design?

Let us begin with this certitude of Catholic Faith: anything—and I do mean anything at all—that harms the priesthood or the path of priestly formation in any way most definitely comes straight from the Evil One. Of this we can be quite sure. Why? Because the Catholic Priesthood is the sublime, sacramental participation of those…

Armor and Armament Abandoned: Priestly Prayers Purged (Part I – Júdica Me)

A critique of the 1965 Order of Mass, in three parts A recent online discussion of more reverent Catholic liturgy has revived consideration of the 1965 “transitional” Roman Missal and its similarities with the 1962 Roman Missal (called the Vetus Ordo, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, or the Traditional Latin Mass). As a…

Liturgy, Adaptation, and the Need for Context

  Historically authentic productions of Shakespearean plays are occasionally in and out of fashion. Recently a movement championing “original pronunciation” purports to let us hear Shakespeare’s words precisely as they would have been spoken when the plays were originally written and performed. It is artistically irresponsible to mount a performance of a Shakespearean play —…

Making Mass “Relevant” is Irrelevant to Evangelization

Many Catholics have witnessed or read about Masses gone wild: polka Masses, life-size scary puppet Masses, and probably worst of all, Los Angeles Religious Education Congress closing Masses. In these extreme cases, it is clear that there is something fundamentally wrong with how the organizers understand the Mass. Yet even some sincere, faithful Catholics wish…

An Orwellian Reform of Worship: “We Have Always Been at War With Liturgica”

“October 18th was a memorable day in the long history of the Roman Church. On that day, fifty years ago, Pope Paul VI celebrated Mass according to the unique rites of the papacy for the very last time. Papal Mass, which synthesized the primitive Roman tradition with the international Gallican praxis, remained virtually unchanged since…

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