Tag Archives: liturgy

Don’t rush the praying of the Liturgy

Mass, St Mary's Norwalk.jpgHow does one form a deacon, priest and bishop to celebrate the ars celebrandi of the sacred Liturgy? Being side-by-side these sacred ministers I am often scandalized by the lack of composure and gravitas in the praying of the Mass and other liturgical rites. Several priests and bishops I know are such poor celebrants of the Mass that I would argue that Mass celebrated so poorly does in fact lead others away from the Church’s worship. And let’s not even speak of the many deacons who have no clue and poor presence in the sanctuary! Two cardinals I’ve seen celebrate the Mass in their cathedrals have the habit of running down the isle and up the stairs into the sanctuary with evident exterior indication of what is about to happen. Another needs a seat belt in the cathedra. Is it too much to ask for beautiful gesture, beautiful music, beautiful words, beautiful art and architecture in the sacred Liturgy? Beauty and prayer also warms interpersonal relations!

Father John Zuhlsdorf (Fr. Z) over at the blog What the does the Prayer Really Say?  has it right: save the Liturgy, save the world.

I think Archbishop Joseph Raya will have the last word on this topic today: “It
is absurd to hurry: this shows a lack of understanding and respect and may be
an occasion of scandal” (
Byzantine Daily Worship, Alleluia Press: 1969).
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Christ our Light

Head of the Redeemer GBellini.jpg

In the days
since Christmastide mysteries of faith many theological matters come to mind in
knowing Jesus. All of the spiritual masters tell us that it’s crucially
important for us to come to personally know Jesus Christ, our Lord, in his true
light. The image of Christ as a light is reinforced in the baptismal rites
where we talk about the sacrament bringing us into inexpressible light. It is
also recalled in the Creed. Our enlightenment into the mystery of Jesus’
divinity continually needs our reflection, especially when the gospels of the
Transfiguration and the Resurrection are proclaimed. As Jesus is transfigured
and resurrected, so us: are Children of the Light. We know that Jesus really
lives in the light of the Trinity. There, the ultimate grace given by God the
Father is having Jesus revealed to us in his true Light. The recognition
(awareness) of this grace can only be given to those who are willing to ask for
it: “ask and it will be given to you,” the Lord says. 

The Maronite Church
proclaims the joy Christmas and the belief in Christ as Light of the Cosmos at
the Sedro for the Sundays of Epiphany: 

You have clothed us with your baptism:  the robe of glory and the seal of the
holy Spirit. You have called us to be spiritual children through our second
in baptism.

May the Light of Christ, the Risen Lord, continue to be the Light
of our lives every day
;  May it
never leave any corners of darkness in us untouched; May the forgiveness and
healing his Light brings fully transform us; That we too, the children of the
Church, may truly become the Light of Christ for the world, as we pray before
the altar at the end of our Eucharistic Celebration.

Holy Name of Jesus

In the Name of Jesus let every knee bow, of those that
are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: and let every tongue confess that
the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. (Ps.8. 2). O Lord
our Lord: how admirable is Thy Name in the whole earth!

O God, Who didst constitute Thine only-begotten Son
the Savior of Mankind, and didst bid Him to be called Jesus: mercifully grant,
that we who venerate His holy Name on earth, may fully enjoy also the vision of
Him in heaven.

Holy Name of Jesus.jpg

“If you ask the Father anything in my name he will
give it you.” (John 16:23)
By no other Name are we saved!

Cardinal Burke celebrates Mass for the Franciscans of the Immaculate, Rome

RL Burke in cappa2.JPG

Thanks to JP Sonnen for this picture of His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, JCD, following his singing the Pontifical Mass at the Church of St. Mary of Nazareth on Via di Boccea, Rome. The parish, staffed by the Franciscans of the Immaculate, is located west of Vatican City State in the Diocese of Porto-Sant Rufina, the historic suburbicarian diocese

Beautiful Liturgy is hard work, Monsignor Guido Marini reminds


The worship of the Triune God is our single most important work. No other work of the faithful, laity and clergy alike, is equal to praise of God through the sacred Liturgy and personal prayer. Jason Horowitz of The Washington Post published an article on December 25, 2010, “Pope’s master of liturgy helps Benedict restore traditions.” Very interesting indeed. I, for one, am very grateful to Monsignor Guido Marini for the hard work he’s done in helping the Church pray more authentically, particularly at the Liturgy celebrated by the Supreme Pontiff. A native of Genoa, born in 1965, Monsignor Marini is the Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, a position he’s had since October 1, 2007. In a previous incarnation Marini served Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi (now archbishop of Milan) and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, (now Secretary of State), both former archbishops of Genoa. He earned a doctorate in the psychology of communication and also holds the duel doctorate in canon and civil law.

In Rome on
a rainy Christmas Eve, Pope Benedict XVI followed a procession of Swiss guards,
bishops and priests down the central nave of St. Peter’s Basilica to celebrate
midnight Mass before dignitaries and a global television audience.

Monsignor Guido Marini, as always, followed the pope.

A tall,
reed-thin cleric with a receding hairline and wire-framed glasses, Marini, 45,
perched behind the pope’s left shoulder, bowed with him at the altar and
adjusted the pontiff’s lush robes. As Master of Pontifical Liturgical
Celebrations, he shadows the pope’s every move and makes sure that every
candle, Gregorian chant and gilded vestment is exactly as he, the pope and God
intended it to be.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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