Liturgy

Transgender Totalitarians

An Ohio college professor who refused to comply with a male student’s request to be addressed as “ma’am” instead of “sir,” was ordered by the university to comply with the student’s wishes. When a Florida middle school gym teacher refused to participate in a plan to allow a female student who identifies as a boy [...]

Longing for Eternal Presence

It is this silent swerving from accuracy by an inch that is the uncanny element in everything.  ∼ G.K. Chesterton In the digital age of LED lighting, we risk losing all sense of the uncanny. Of course, in the age of science in general, we tend to grow numb to the mystery that calls us [...]

Restore or Rebuild the Church and the Mass?

Our youngest daughter and I recently found ourselves at a Latin High Mass at the beautiful Oratory of St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis. It had been a few years since I had been there; while my attraction to Mass in the old “extraordinary” form has been strong, and opportunities abound in St. Louis, [...]

Some Church Architectural Styles Really Are Profane

Architecture speaks, and, like a homily or proclamation of scripture, it can change us profoundly. It preaches and teaches every time we enter a church building. When it speaks truth it reminds us that God is central, and that we are broken and in need of a savior who offers us a place of eternal [...]

A Modest Proposal to End the Vocations Crisis

Allow me to touch a liturgical third rail: Communion in the hand. Before I do, look at the July 4th edition of La Croix International. It reports that of the 96 dioceses in the country of France, 58 produced not a single ordination to the Priesthood. Truth be told, this crisis is not restricted to [...]

When Will Our Priests Sing Again?

Imagine the scene, if you dare—for some readers this might be triggering or flat-out traumatic. There he is, a once-young, now-aging priest celebrating Mass, arriving at the homily, with Britney Spears headset microphone in place, center “stage” (er … Sanctuary), ready to “share” (not a homily, God forbid!), dripping and gushing with vacuous platitudes and, [...]

Novus Quodlibet: The New Whatever Liturgy

I have attended the Novus Ordo Mass all my life. I do not believe it was necessarily a mistake to have the Mass translated into the vernacular so that people could more readily understand the words and actions. Yet I have great sympathy for people who flock to, or flee to, the traditional rite, and [...]

Our Gestures at Mass Really Do Matter

When I lived in the northeast I had an embarrassment of riches in terms of the availability of Masses. There were 27 options for daily Mass within five miles of my northern home. At our new home on the border of the Carolinas there are only two or three options within 15 miles. Visiting different [...]

God and Mass at Yale

“For God, For Country, and for Yale.” This phrase is etched into the stone arches that dot the landscape of Yale University. Yale, though founded by the Puritans for the purpose of missionary training, Christian education, and familiarity with the humanities and Biblical languages, has fallen far away from its original mission. This is nothing [...]

The Latin Liturgy Appeals to Catholic Youth

Washington D.C. is no stranger to making history. This past Saturday was no exception. You would not have found throngs of people marching with angry placards, but hundreds of Catholics on their knees. They were not assembled at the National Mall, but at the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. They were not participating in [...]

Restore Liturgical Beauty with Chant and Polyphony

The tragedy of the loss of beauty in liturgy is not something which we should dismiss lightly, for if there is one thing we can glean from Scripture, and from the Church's two millennia of Tradition, it is that we should offer the very best to God in our worship of him; yet what we [...]

Re-Asserting a Feminine Tradition

I have this weirdly clear childhood memory of an old lady sitting a few rows up from my family at Mass. She was wearing a doily on her head. I had just learned the word doily—I think—because I had seen them for sale at a home decorating store just a few days before. I asked [...]

The Traditional Mass: A Remedy for Modern Man’s Spiritual Ills

King Henri IV, after a long and bitter fight for the French Calvinist cause, finally sought to quell the fires of religious war by adopting his country’s traditional faith. “Paris is well worth a Mass,” he is rumored to have said, confirming the impression that he continued to reject Romanish ritual in his heart, even [...]

Reflections of a Summorum Pontificum Pilgrim

Over the weekend of September 16, 2017, I was privileged to attend the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage in Rome, marking the tenth anniversary of promulgation of the motu proprio that has restored to the Church the “Extraordinary Form” of the Roman Rite. This is a short reflection on the experience. The city of Rome remains the [...]

Liturgy Amidst the Challenges of Modern Culture

I offer this reflection for the tenth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum, which occurred on July 7, which provided greater access to the traditional Latin Mass (now known as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite). Summorum represents a highlight of Benedict’s reform in continuity. It’s no secret that Pope Francis is not [...]

Worship Worthy of God

July 7 is the tenth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum, a decree that allows priests to celebrate the form of the liturgy of the Mass before it was reformed in 1970. For most Catholics, this will likely fall into the category of ecclesiastical arcana, and pass unnoticed. Yet this same decree’s widespread obscurity—enacted [...]

Cardinal Sarah’s Defense of Summorum Pontificum

Editor's note: The following address by Cardinal Sarah was delivered at the colloquium "The Source of the Future" on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the publication of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI, March 29 – April 1, 2017, in Herzogenrath, Germany. Introductory Message First of all I wish to thank [...]

Abandoning Latin Changed Liturgical Music … for the Worse

After 35 years as a liturgical musician, it’s amazing how little I really know about the liturgical music of the Roman Rite. Then again, what should I expect when my earliest memories of music at Mass tend to involve now-forgotten attempts to make Ray Repp tunes, guitar-group versions of Beatles songs, social-justice-pop-folk songs, and patently [...]

The Liturgy as Educator

“I have understood more than all my teachers: because thy testimonies are my meditation.” —Ps. 118:99 Mine is a familiar story. Having grown up Catholic in the 1980s, I was well into my twenties when I first encountered the concepts—not to mention the terms—transubstantiation, real presence, or holy sacrifice. Having fallen away from any semblance [...]

Liturgy and the Dance Band on the Titanic

I'm in the dance band on the Titanic Sing "Nearer, my God, to Thee" The iceberg's on the starboard bow Won't you dance with me.                   ∼ Harry Chapin, 1977 Back in the late 1970s, when I was an impressionable young lad, I was introduced to the [...]

Re-turning to the Lord: A Call for Ad Orientem Worship

Lent is a season of conversion. During this time, it’s common to encounter readings, orations, and teachings from the saints in the Mass and the Breviary that direct us to “turn away” from sin and error and “turn to” God. An example is Joel 2:12-14, which happens to be the First Reading of the Mass [...]

MENU