Who picks the holy days of obligation?

By Victoria M. Tufano| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology

Holy days of obligation-days when Catholics are required to celebrate Eucharist-are a result of tradition, devotion, and church law, and their number has varied according to history and place.

Before the mid-17th century, individual bishops could determine what holy days would be observed in their diocese. This resulted in vastly different church calendars from diocese to diocese and a huge number of holy days.


If Lent is 40 days, why are there 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter?

By David Philippart| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology

"The 40 days of Lent" has always been more of a metaphor than a literal count. Over the course of history the season of preparation for Easter Sunday has ranged from one day (in the first century) to 44 (today in the Roman church). Officially since 1970, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sunset on Holy Thursday.


Why does Easter seem to go on forever?

By David Philippart| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology

At the heart of our faith is the Passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus. We celebrate this mystery—this Paschal Mystery—every Sunday, in every Eucharist. Yet since the first century we have set aside one Sunday a year, in conjunction with the full moon of spring and the Jewish Passover, to celebrate the Paschal Mystery in a most solemn way.


How did the Mass become BYOB?

By John Switzer| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Scripture and Theology

Wine possesses a multi-layered significance that brings Christians into communion with Christ but also with one another, with our Jewish heritage, and with cultures preceding our own. It serves as a flavor-enhancing, pleasure-giving element of the messianic banquet. Receiving it in faith, we are “enthused,” filled with the divine reality that is the source of all life. In a sacramental sense we know it as the Blood of the Lord. But how did wine get involved with religion in the first place?


Pardon our dust

By Bryan Froehle| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Scripture and Theology
We live in a messy time of transition in the Catholic Church. Sociologist Bryan T. Froehle offers four tools to help us through the renovation.

How is the Bible true?

By Joel Schorn| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology
 
"Since many have undertaken," St. Luke begins his gospel, "to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, I, too, decided... to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed: (1:1, 3-4).

Editors' book picks

By Kevin Clarke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Reviews
Catherine O'Connell-Cahill, Senior Editor
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by J.K. Rowling (Arthur A. Levin, 2007) I stood in the Walgreens checkout line after work in downtown Chicago. It was Friday; the seventh Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, had been out less than one week.


The greatest story ever sold

By Heather Grennan Gary| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology
The Bible comes in every size, color, and translation. But before you get to the check-out line, check out our guide on how to find the one that's right for you.

Who framed Mary Magdalene?

By Heidi Schlumpf| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology
How the first witness to Christ's Resurrection was made into a prostitute, and how women today are restoring their reputation.

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