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Father Bryan P. Babick

Glorious novelty

A regular musical feature sung at the Lord’s Supper is the Gloria. The Gloria is one of the most ancient of Christian hymns. The most recent version of the guidelines governing the celebration of Mass calls for a wider use of this venerable chant. The inspiration for its text comes from Luke 2 as the […]

Godly ringtones

One feature church buildings of many Christian denominations have in common is some system of ringing chimes. From full towers to systems of electronic imitation, the sound of bells seems to be something that diverse traditions have preserved. One of the first mentions of using bells in the Christian milieu comes from St. Gregory of […]

The eternal flame

A distinguishing feature of any Catholic church is its tabernacle. Meaning “dwelling place” in Hebrew, the tabernacle may be made of diverse elements and found in different parts of a church, but always features a prominent light nearby. In the Old Testament, the tabernacle was first edified by the Israelites in the desert. After being […]

The holy smoke

We live in strange times. Cigarette smoking is demonized, but recreational marijuana is decriminalized to the point that, according to the University of Michigan, daily usage is at a 35-year high on college campi. Like secondhand smoke, usage of incense in liturgical celebrations may be irritating. However, since Vatican II its usage has been permitted […]

The heavenward rails

A consideration of the spiritual benefits of why Catholics kneel during Mass does raise other questions. Why do the faithful kneel during the time bread and wine become Christ’s Body and Blood, but remain standing to receive it? Kneeling prayerfully before Jesus occurs frequently in the New Testament. The sick, rulers, desperate parents and the […]

Kneeling before love’s fire

Christianity is often viewed as outdated. Admittedly, from unusual musical chant to burning incense, the Mass looks at times like something that has been dropped onto planet Earth from another world. At the heart of the criticism is the false premise that suddenly everything that ever happened before was incorrect and everything new is enlightened. […]

Unifying positions

One distinctive mark of the Mass is the sitting, standing, and kneeling that takes place at different moments throughout. Catholic liturgy asks worshippers to conform to certain formal gestures, but can be a point of confusion for non-Catholics who attend a Mass. Common postures have traditionally been observed out of deference, or respect. When a […]

The liturgical inspiration

Catholics are often asked why we commemorate saints at Mass. Some see it as a distraction from focus on the Lord that risks elevating commemoration to outright worship. The Mass is the action of Christ Himself. It’s visible in whose “memory” believers gather, but commemoration of the saints can help those who worship tap into […]

Providential cycles

It is sometimes scary how providential the preselected biblical readings are for Mass. One aim of the 20th century liturgical reform was to open more lavishly the treasures of the Bible over a set cycle of years to remind believers of God’s guidance in history and today. A two-year cycle of weekday first readings is […]

The style divergence

The recent ordination of two priests gave us the opportunity to reflect upon the kinds of vestments used in the liturgy. Like any worn article, it should be noted that liturgical vestments come in all shapes, sizes and styles. This is true for the chasuble, the outer-most vestment worn by priests. Coming from the Latin […]

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