What are the "12 days of Christmas"?

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology
As we're reminded every Advent, our Catholic Christmas customs are somewhat at odds with the secular "holiday season," which starts before Thanksgiving and goes on until the last college bowl game.

But even though we Catholics wait a bit to get going, we have a similarly long season of celebration, of which the "12 days," made famous by a certain 12-verse carol, are but a piece.


What are the "12 days of Christmas"?

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology
As we're reminded every Advent, our Catholic Christmas customs are somewhat at odds with the secular "holiday season," which starts before Thanksgiving and goes on until the last college bowl game.

But even though we Catholics wait a bit to get going, we have a similarly long season of celebration, of which the "12 days," made famous by a certain 12-verse carol, are but a piece.


Web Only: More from Phyllis Zagano on women deacons

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology Vatican Women

With so many lay ecclesial ministers and directors of religious education out there, many of whom are women, why would a bishop “need” a woman as a deacon?

If I were a bishop, I would want a cadre of people I have trained and ordained, and to whom I have given faculties. The ordained women deacons would be catechists and would prepare people for sacraments. After they have prepared women and men to marry or to be received in the church, these deacons could actually perform the ceremony.


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.


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.


Has hell frozen over?

By J. Peter Nixon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology
Church teaching has shifted away from damnation and now focuses on salvation. Is that a good thing?

To a young girl attending Catholic school in the 1940s, eternal damnation was no abstract concept. “The nuns really terrified us,” says Pat Conroy, who grew up in Maryland. The list of potential transgressions—from eating meat on Fridays to missing Mass on Sundays—was long. “It seemed like almost anything was enough to send you to hell. I became so scrupulous and worried about everything I did.”


Has hell frozen over?

By J. Peter Nixon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology
Church teaching has shifted away from damnation and now focuses on salvation. Is that a good thing?

To a young girl attending Catholic school in the 1940s, eternal damnation was no abstract concept. “The nuns really terrified us,” says Pat Conroy, who grew up in Maryland. The list of potential transgressions—from eating meat on Fridays to missing Mass on Sundays—was long. “It seemed like almost anything was enough to send you to hell. I became so scrupulous and worried about everything I did.”


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.


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.


Is Dia de los Muertos the same as All Souls Day?

By Joel Schorn| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Hispanic Catholics Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology

For three days every year Mexicans and Mexican Americans gather for Día de los Muertos. In cemeteries and homes people come together to remember their deceased loved ones. The last of those days, November 2, falls on the traditional Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed—All Souls Day. Are the two celebrations the same?


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