Understanding the sacraments: The Word of God in the liturgy

The Lectionary for Mass Supplement contains additions for a number of optional memorials By Father Randy Stice In its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Vatican Council II stressed the multifaceted role of Sacred Scripture in the liturgy. “Sacred Scripture is of the greatest importance in the celebration of the liturgy. …

Understanding the sacraments: To rise with Christ

Vatican’s Congregation for the Faith issues instructions on burial and cremation practices By Father Randy Stice In October the Congregation for the Faith issued an instruction titled To Rise with Christ (Ad resurgendum cum Christo) that reiterates the Church’s “doctrinal and pastoral reasons for the preference of the burial of …

Understanding the sacraments: Pope Francis on the sacrament of penance

Priests must remember that in the confessional it is Christ who listens, forgives By Father Randy Stice In a recent message for National Liturgical Week in Italy, Pope Francis wrote that “all the liturgy is a place where mercy is encountered and welcomed in order to be given; a place …

Understanding the sacraments: The Mass — a mystery of mercy

It is ‘the place where the mercy of Christ is not only recalled but received’ By Father Randy Stice The tragic events of recent weeks and months recall the prophetic words of St. John Paul II in 1980, that as the human  conscience becomes increasingly secularized it “moves away from …

Understanding the sacraments: The ordination of permanent deacons

Diaconate again flourishes after centuries of decline within the Catholic Church By Father Randy Stice On June 11, Bishop Stika will ordain 24 men as permanent deacons. Permanent deacons “have embraced this ordained ministry as a permanent state of life” while “transitional” deacons will eventually be ordained priests. (Newsletter, USCCB …

Understanding the sacraments: A multilingual celebration of Mass

Guidelines for liturgy can enhance our cultural and linguistic diversity By Father Randy Stice One of the riches of diocese is its growing cultural diversity, with Mass celebrated in a number of different languages, including Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean. In this respect we mirror the diversity of the Church in …

Understanding the sacraments: Revising the Liturgy of the Hours

Also known as the Divine Office, it is the official prayer of the Catholic Church By Father Randy Stice In recent columns we have looked at several revised liturgical books: the Order of Celebrating Marriage, the Order of Confirmation, and the third edition of the Misal Romano, the Spanish Missal. …

Understanding the sacraments: Misal Romano, Tercera Edición

Latest edition of Roman Missal’s Spanish translation may speed up approval of U.S. version By Father Randy Stice In recent columns I have discussed the new Order of Matrimony and the new translation of the Order of Confirmation. In this column I want to introduce the Misal Romano, Tercera Edición, …

Understanding the sacraments: ‘Order of Matrimony’ confirmed

Rome blesses English translation of second edition that outlines marriage rite By Father Randy Stice The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDWDS) has approved the English translation of the Order of Celebrating Matrimony, Second Edition (OCM). The first edition was issued in Latin in 1969 …

Understanding the sacraments: Preparing for Lent

Looking at our campaign of Christian service as we anticipate the Easter celebration The opening prayer for Ash Wednesday describes Lent in striking military language—we are embarking on a “campaign of Christian service” in which “we take up battles against spiritual evils” and arm ourselves “with weapons of self-restraint.” A …

Understanding the sacraments: Nourishing our relationship with God

Introducing the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy In my previous column I discussed the Synod on the Family’s emphasis on the importance of popular piety and family devotions. In that column I mentioned the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (DPPL), produced in 2001 by the Congregation …

Understanding the sacraments: Nurturing family devotions

Synod on the Family to address Church concerns, including safeguarding and promoting forms of popular piety On Oct. 5 the third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops begins its work on the “pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization.” In preparation for the synod, the …