Does the church have any "mothers"?

By Michael Cameron| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology Women
Writers on the early church speak often of "Church "Fathers," but were there any "Church Mothers"?

Because of the cultural situation of the time, women wrote little and wielded power even less, so it's hard to speak of "Church Mothers" in the same way we do the "Fathers." Nevertheless, many ancient Christian women were known for their heroic faith as martyrs, spiritual guides, teachers, and, of course, mothers. They were often commended for their unique purity of life, their inner strength, and even their "virile" courage.


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.


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 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.


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.


Why do we hold hands during the Our Father?

By David Philippart| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Scripture and Theology
A how the practice of holdng hands at the Lord's Prayer began is like asking who invented kissing. We may never know for sure, but it's easy to guess.

Some families and households hold hands to say grace before meals. Maybe this practice migrated to church, as the Our Father is the final "grace" that we say before sharing in the Lord's Supper.


Why do we hold hands during the Our Father?

By David Philippart| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Scripture and Theology
A how the practice of holdng hands at the Lord's Prayer began is like asking who invented kissing. We may never know for sure, but it's easy to guess.

Some families and households hold hands to say grace before meals. Maybe this practice migrated to church, as the Our Father is the final "grace" that we say before sharing in the Lord's Supper.


Is the mass still a sacrifice?

By Joel Schorn| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Scripture and Theology
It's in there. At Mass Catholics pray to God to "look with favor on your church's offering and see the victim whose death has reconciled us to yourself. . . . Calling to mind the death your Son endured for our salva-tion . . . we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice."

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