What are novenas?

By Santiago Cortes-Sjoberg| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Scripture and Theology Spirituality
For 16 years I prayed them with my entire family before Christmas.

I prayed them as a teenager, for the repose of the soul of parents of friends; I prayed them as a teacher with students to honor the school’s patroness, St. Rita of Cascia, on the days before her feast day; and just this year I prayed privately to Our Lady of Guadalupe in preparation for important meetings on U.S. Hispanic ministry. Novenas have been part of my life from its beginning and part of the life of the church since its very first centuries.


Poorly worded: Can we have a Mass that speaks to real people?

By Father William J. O’Malley, S.J.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Prayer and Sacraments
The translators of the new Mass prayers have neglected one cardinal rule: Consider your audience.

As the days dwindled before their triumphal entry, the new liturgical changes had not yet risen to even an underwhelming response. “One in being” in the creed pretty much satisfied the mass of still-loyal Catholics, since they neither understood what it meant nor cared enough to Google it. And its replacement, “consubstantial,” is hollower and even less intriguing. Parishioners’ only real problem is why such stuff even matters.


Poorly worded: Can we have a Mass that speaks to real people?

By Father William J. O’Malley, S.J.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Prayer and Sacraments
The translators of the new Mass prayers have neglected one cardinal rule: Consider your audience.

As the days dwindled before their triumphal entry, the new liturgical changes had not yet risen to even an underwhelming response. “One in being” in the creed pretty much satisfied the mass of still-loyal Catholics, since they neither understood what it meant nor cared enough to Google it. And its replacement, “consubstantial,” is hollower and even less intriguing. Parishioners’ only real problem is why such stuff even matters.


Where did the new Mass translations come from?

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Prayer and Sacraments Scripture and Theology
How did we arrive at this translation of the Mass?

As Catholics in the United States get accustomed to new responses and prayers at Sunday Mass, many will probably ask: Why did the Mass change? The answers have to do with changes to the Latin text upon which the English translation is based and on the rules according to which the translations are made.


Why do we anoint the sick?

By Victoria M. Tufano| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Scripture and Theology
One of the great mysteries of our faith is the incarnation, our core belief that the eternal and almighty God became a human being, a man who could and did suffer just as we do.

During his ministry on earth, Jesus had a particular concern for sick people; he healed them not just with a word of power, but also with a human and compassionate touch.


You’re cut off: No more cup for the people?

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments

UPDATE: Since this article was published, the diocese of Phoenix has overturned its initial decision about eliminating communion from the cup. Read this USCatholic.org blog post for more information.


You’re cut off: No more cup for the people?

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments

UPDATE: Since this article was published, the diocese of Phoenix has overturned its initial decision about eliminating communion from the cup. Read this USCatholic.org blog post for more information.


When do the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ?

By James Field| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Scripture and Theology
The question of exactly when the eucharistic gifts become Christ's Body and Blood has commanded attention and debate for centuries.

From the supper at Emmaus, disciples have cherished the Eucharist as the clearest sign of the Risen Lord's abiding presence.


Why can't Catholics wed outdoors?

By Heidi Schlumpf| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Scripture and Theology
Of the four wedding invitations currently posted on my refrigerator, only one is for a ceremony to be held in a church.

The others? All will be outdoors: in a hotel garden, under a restaurant gazebo, or in a park. The beauty of God's creation seems a perfect setting for making a lifetime commitment. So why doesn't the Catholic Church allow couples to get married outside?


Why does the priest pour water into the wine and put a piece of the bread into the cup?

By David Philippart| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Scripture and Theology
Both actions are very ancient and began as practical necessities, but eventually the necessities disappeared and were even forgotten.

Later when Christians started to ask what these two gestures meant, they began to interpret the actions symbolically. While these symbols may never have been intended in the beginning, the better ones made sense and became part of our rich tradition.


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