Mass

GUEST COLUMNIST | Sacred language can lift worshippers

Upon hearing about the Latin Mass, the first response often is a question: Isn't the use of Latin in Catholic worship outdated — something Vatican Council II wanted the modern Church to leave behind?

In fact, the Council's Constitution on the Liturgy decreed, "The use of the Latin language is to be preserved, ... but since the use of the vernacular ... may frequently be of great advantage to the people, a wider use may be made of it, especially in readings, directives, and in some prayers and chants" (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 36).

MLK Mass: Don’t lose connection with the divine

Father Arthur J. Cavitt, pastor of St. Nicholas Parish and director of the St. Charles Lwanga Center, delivered the homily at the 42nd annual Archdiocesan Mass for the Preservation of Peace and Justice commemorating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. likely would have had much to say about the times in which we live today. Dr. King, who would have been 89 this year, was remembered at the archdiocese's annual Mass commemorating his birth and legacy Jan. 14 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Don’t rush through silence at Mass

Silent prayer of Mass should not be hurried, Pope Francis said in his weekly audience Jan. 10. St. Matthew parishioner Martha Buck at the funeral Mass for Sister Antona Ebo at St. Alphonsus Liguori "Rock" Church in November.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has described the silence that precedes the opening prayer at Mass an opportunity for Christians to commend to God the fate of the Church and the world.

At his weekly general audience Jan. 10, the pope urged priests "to observe this brief silence and not hurry. ... I recommend this to the priests. Without this silence, we risk neglecting the reflection of the soul."

Continuing his series of audience talks on the Mass, Pope Francis spoke about the Gloria and the opening prayer.

Christians, Muslims join for Christmas Mass in liberated Mosul

Chaldean Christians in Mosul, Iraq, attended Christmas Mass at St. Paul Cathedral Dec. 24. Christians and Muslims attended the Mass in a show of unity just months after the city was liberated from the Islamic State militants.

MOSUL, Iraq — Cries of joy and seasonal hymns once again filled St. Paul Cathedral in Mosul as Christmas Mass was celebrated there for the first time in three and a half years, following the northern Iraqi city's liberation from Islamic State militants.

The Iraqi national anthem opened the Mass as women wailed with emotion. Armored police outside protected the worshippers.

Led by Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad, Christians and Muslims attended the Christmas Mass Dec. 24 in a display of unity.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Get to Mass early; don’t calculate how late you can be

Pope Francis blew out a candle on a 13-foot-long pizza at a special meeting to celebrate his 81st birthday Dec. 17 at the Vatican’s Paul VI hall. A group of children receiving assistance from the Vatican’s St. Martha Dispensary, a maternal and pediatric clinic, gave the pope a birthday party Dec. 17 marked with singing, dancing and a cake adorned with gold and white fondant decorations.

VATICAN CITY — Don't be late for Mass believing the introductory rites don't matter, Pope Francis told visitors and pilgrims.

The words and gestures that open the celebration help the faithful come together as one and prepare them to listen to the Word of God and celebrate the Eucharist worthily, he said Dec. 20 at his weekly general audience.

"It is not a good habit to be looking at the clock" and calculating how much of the beginning of Mass would be OK to miss and still fulfill one's obligation, he said.

Simbang Gabi is Filipino Advent tradition honoring the Blessed Mother

Parishioners Kevin Eulalia, left, Fely Eulalia and Merlinda Eulalia served Filipino delicacies after a Simbang Gabi Mass Dec. 18. Simbang Gabi is a novena of Masses honoring Mary. The tradition of Simbang Gabi traces back to the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the Philippines about 500 years ago. At the time, they had a tradition of celebrating pre-Christmas novena Masses in honor of the Annunciation.

Lily Elznic has fond childhood memories of celebrating Simbang Gabi growing up in the Philippines.

She and her family, who lived about an hour outside of Manila, would head to church for Mass in the early hours of the morning — for nine days straight.

"With all our friends in the neighborhood, we'd all go to the church," she said. "Along the way we'd watch the (Christmas) lights on the houses. After Mass, there would be a line on the street with food vendors — all of our favorite foods. Every morning it was a celebration."

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