The instinct of Christianity has always been that people should worship in a language they understand.
The first language of Christian liturgy was Aramaic, the common language of the first Christians, who were Palestinian Jews. While Hebrew was the language of scripture and formal worship, Christian worship occurred in the home where Aramaic was spoken. The words Abba and maranatha are Aramaic.
From colonial times until recently, Hispanic Catholics in lands now in the United States have been on the margins of their church. During the Spanish and Mexican periods, Catholics lived too far from the seats of their dioceses. At one time in New Mexico, a whole 70 years passed between bishop’s visits.
Opponents of the modern liturgy could use a history lesson, says this scholar of the church's prayer. Overall, the liturgical reform has been a great success.
Last year father James Chukwuma Okoye C.S.SP. went home to Nigeria for a visit.
He had no sooner gone to church for Sunday Mass than he found himself witnessing a clash of cultures.
Sister Catherine Bertrand, S.S.N.D. entered religious life on a dare. "It was either that or the Peace Corps." After 25 years she continues to be surprised by all that her life has to offer, and she dares all Christians to respond to the gospel call to fidelity and commitment--whether they are single, married, religious men and women, or ordained priests.
According to Bertrand, every vocation involves asking yourself the questions, "How are you Good News to others? How do you bring life? And how do you share that life?"
Father J. Glenn Murray, S.J. describes what a good liturgy means from an African American perspective.
Most Catholics are most Catholic when they attend Sunday Mass. The liturgy is the primary place to plug into the spirituality and traditions of the church. For that reason, Father J. Glenn Murray, S.J., has a big job to do. As director of the Office of Pastoral Liturgy for the Diocese of Cleveland, Murray's challenge is to see that Mass is celebrated properly and relevant to the congregation.
It's a common scene in any hospital. A person is rushed in with a life-threatening condition. Family members wait in the emergency room. Two doctors approach, tell the family that things don't look good, and then explain options ranging from very aggressive treatment to comfort care. They ask which course they should pursue.
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).
"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.