Saturday, July 26, 2008


The XXIV WYD is in Spain in 2011!


A Catholic altar is primarily used for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, where we believe a priest consecrates bread and wine into the substance of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Catholic altars are traditionally made of stone, often marble, or wood. Before Vatican II, regardless of its material, a Catholic altar had to have an altar stone containing the relics of a Catholic martyr, thus making an altar a true altar. This altar stone is usually a flat square tablet, several inches by several inches with five crosses cut into it in an "X" pattern along its top surface; this stone is inset in the front top surface of the altar where the priest would reverence it during Holy Mass with several ceremonial kisses. The altar stone is usually difficult to spot as most altars are covered with linens during ceremonies and covers when not in use. If an altar stone is removed, the altar is desecrated and must be reconsecrated. Tabernacles, the little box-like compartments once found on most altars, were usually made of the same substance and style of the altar, though, according to Canon law, they had to be anchored to the altar so as not able to be moved. In the modern Church, tabernacles are rarely installed or have been allowed to remain on the altar and altar stones are all but discontinued save in traditional or pious channels.

In a nutshell, any flat surface can serve as an altar. A Greek corporal - a portable "altar stone" with relics sewn into it - can then be used by the priest. Mass can then be said on anything from a card table in a hotel to an ammunition crate in a war zone, as has been done by missionaries and military chaplains. In a case of emergency, Mass can be said without an altar stone almost anywhere, as the case of Cardinal Mindszenty who said Mass on his own chest while in prison. (sweet!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Server's Purpose in the Mass

I think that the server's purpose in the Mass is to make sure the Mass itself, technically, will go as perfectly and smoothly as possible-- so that the priest will be able to perform his spiritual, priestly duties to the best of his abilities. This means having things there for the priest, ready to go, and having things tidy and organized. The server's purpose is also to make the priest look good (to put it bluntly). But mainly to make sure nothing gets in the way of the priest and his works, that being distractions (that's a biggy; cell phones, dripping candle wax, if his vestments are causing a problem, and so many that I won't waste your time in naming them all), and making sure everything is set to go as smoothly as possible. Not to mention being completely reverent as possible along with all of this.

With all of this being said, as a server, you have no time to meditate or think about what's happening right before you. I understand that this is part of being a server. You sacrifice yourself for the Mass. But that's why servers will obtain higher indulgences than lay people while attending Mass. Which means that server positions should not be thrown around to whomever.

All together, servers add a tremendous dignity and eliminate many errors and distractions from our divine worship. This is an essential part of the reverent offering of the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist.

Thoughts From a Teen

I feel so comfortable at church. I could just sit in a pew and think for hours. I try to go to everything that is offered from the liturgies of the church, and yet, I still want more. I know that my presence there is enough, but I feel obliged to serve at the Mass-- not sit in the pew, or even sing in the Schola. I feel as though serving at the foot of the altar is MY place in the Mass (I say "MY" place, because not everyone is called to serve at the altar at Mass, but to serve in many different ways given to them by God). That is one reason why the priesthood is such a definite probability for me. I feel at home in the church (as should everyone I realize) and little things keep putting me in positions and having things happen that seem to be building me in a very certain way, connected to our Mass. Maybe priesthood, maybe a father of a priest...

Like I said in my other post, I've started the Liturgies of the Hours and that has helped feed my hunger somewhat. I feel that I am constantly fighting (from the media, school, and other people) the tendency to put God and Mass just for the hour on the weekends, because it should be the entire focus of everything I do, and it is.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pope Benedict considering changes to celebration of the Mass?

A rumor at this point, but a notable one, claims that Pope Benedict has instructed the Congregation for Divine Worship to study the possibility of making changes to the manner in which the Mass is celebrated, including but not limited to:

-Using Latin in the Eucharistic Prayer (specifically the words of institution)
-Moving the Sign of Peace to the Offertory
-Wider use of Latin in the celebration of other Sacraments

Oh Baby!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Today's Catholic-

It is not easy being a catholic. Especially in the present day. With the lack of respect, and dignity, and the overwhelming grasp of ignorance that has taken over many people. Yet, the church still grows and survives. For nearly 2,000 years. But, if you LOVE God, wouldn't your life be devoted to him? Our protestant brothers and sisters take their idea of an easy road. They "recognize God as their Lord and Savior" and then they're set for life, don't need to prove it or work for it because "God knows I love Him". But as catholics we believe that we have an entire life of penance to God. That we keep trying and showing our honor and respect and love towards God.

Lately I've been thinking about how when ignorance will come into my life (not only religiously, but also in that outside of Catholicism, if there is such a place) and i feel forced to convert or to teach until that conflict meets my standard and my knowledge of THE Truth. Yet, none of these battles have worked or will work to the point that I'd like them to. Then, after discussing this matter with my mom (in less specific terms) i realized that to show an example of Christ or to live a holy and catholic life, you do not necessarily need to be fighting the battles, or be a martyr of the church. But to live a holy and catholic life, and in that alone, you are setting a loving and nurturing example of love for others, and putting yourself in that mindset.

For any teens, or adults interested in more, i strongly encourage you to read "Letters to a Young Catholic" by George Weigle. It's main concept is catholic mentality, and catholic life and challenges.

I encourage you all to add on to this, and discuss this with one another- and me.

Organ Arrangements

As most of you know, my dad is our parish music director and the director of the Schola Cantorum. Yesterday, Father, and my dad decided to change around our organ arrangement. Before it was jetting out into the front of the church where "everyone could see the performer" and now, with it up in the choir section on the side, it gives a much more respectful feeling to the church at whole. You know what is the most important thing when you walk into the sanctuary.