Addressing the Trinity during Mass

In sacramental communion, we receive the Trinity and become ‘partakers of the divine nature’ By Father Randy Stice The Trinity is the central mystery of our faith and life. The entire Christian life “is a communion with each of the divine persons, without in any way separating them.” When we …

External forms of participation in the Mass

From posture and gesture to the saying of ‘Amen,’ we can engage more fully in the liturgy By Father Randy Stice Our participation in the Mass is most fruitful when we do so “fully aware of what [we] are doing, actively engaged in the rite, and enriched by its effects” …

How we respond interiorly to God’s action

Opportunities for such participation make our experience of the Mass richer and more fruitful By Father Randy Stice I began my January column with St. John Paul II’s assertion that “the liturgy is the privileged place for the encounter of Christians with God” (Vicesimus Quintus Annus, 7), an encounter that …

In the Mass: ‘God himself acts’

‘The liturgy is the privileged place for the encounter of Christians with God and the one whom He has sent’ By Father Randy Stice The Liturgy,” wrote St. John Paul II, “is the privileged place for the encounter of Christians with God and the one whom He has sent, Jesus …

Understanding the Sacraments: The ‘peculiar graces’ of the Mass

The saints, including St. John of the Cross and St. Faustina, experienced this liturgical presence in profound ways By Father Randy Stice The meaning and power of the liturgical year was elegantly summarized by Vatican Council II: “Within the cycle of a year, moreover, she [the Church] unfolds the whole …

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Understanding the sacraments: The Word of God in the liturgy – a closer look

The performance character of and the sacramentality of the Word are two aspects not fully appreciated today By Father Randy Stice In a previous column, I introduced the new Lectionary Supplement and briefly discussed aspects of the Word of God in the liturgy. In this column, I would like to look …

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 …