Tag Archives: liturgy

Vespers for All Saints and a lecture “Art, Beauty and the Sacred” in NYC

The Catholic Artists Society is hosting a lecture on October 31st at 6:30pm titled “Art, Beauty and the Sacred” given by Oratorian Father Uwe Michael Lang. The evening will include the celebration of First Vespers of All Saints in the Church of Saint Vincent Ferrer (NYC). The flyer can be viewed here: Catholic Artists Society All Saints and lecture.pdf


We will celebrate the ancient and beautiful liturgy of Solemn First Vespers for All Saints, officiated by our special guest, Father Uwe Michael Lang, C.O. Father Bruno Shah, O.P. from Saint Vincent Ferrer, and Father Michael Barone from the archdiocese of Newark, will assist in the liturgical celebration. Gregorian chant and polyphonic settings will be provided by a professional choir led by David J. Hughes, Organist & Choirmaster at Saint Mary’s Church, Norwalk, CT.
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Guardian Angels

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The 27th Sunday through the year trumps the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels. BUT I can’t resist thinking about angels. Today in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd I spoke to the children about the angels, though I centered my thoughts on the Archangels but the Guardian Angels factored in, too. Remember to say a prayer to your Guardian Angel intercession before God the Father.
Our belief in the existence of the guardian angels is not a pious idea that we teach to children; angels are biblical; Jesus speaks of the angels and the Church continues to give witness to the existence of angels in our lives.
So, what can we conclude? We conclude that God has concern for every human being by the protection of the Guardian Angels. Pope Benedict encourages us not to forget our angels in weekly audience (read about it here).
The Church prays….
O God, who in Your unfathomable providence are pleased to send Your holy Angels to guard us, hear our supplication as we cry to You, that we may always be defended by their protection and rejoice eternally in their company.
Angels are spirits. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “The existence of spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith (329).
What do these spirits do? What is the nature of spirits?
They angel. Again, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church we hear of the Saint Augustine of Hippo who taught “‘Angel is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what they are, ‘spirit’, from what they do , ‘angel'” (329).
What does the word “angel” mean?
What does the Church teach about angels?
Angels “are servants and messengers of God. Because they ‘always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven’ (Mt 18:10) they are ‘the mighty ones who do his word’ (Ps 103:20).
The Jewish people are familiar with angels –there are plenty of angels in the Old Testament (see Genesis 28-29; Exodus 12-13 and 32:34; Psalm 90:11; Job 38:7 among many sources). The Prophet Daniel (c. 550BC) speaks of Michael as “the great prince which stands for the children of His people.” And Our Lord speaks of the 12 legions of angels as being at his side.
Do angels exist? I think so. The witnesses are hard to beat.

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Mike Aquilina’s 2009 book, Angels of God, is an excellent resource.
I recommend all of Mike’s writings, so purchase everything!!!
AND send an angel postcard given here
Pray for the monks of the American-Cassinese Congregation who have the Holy Guardian Angels as their heavenly patrons. Monasteries in this congregation places like St Vincent’s (Latrobe, PA), St Anselm’s (Manchester, NH), St Martin’s (Lacey, WA), St Mary’s (Morristown, NJ), Newark Abbey (Newark, NJ) and a few more.

Saint Michael the Archangel and the archangels

Tadolini's Michael.jpgNo better day than today to recall the work of the archangels: Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

Raphael is least known, but he’s remembered because of his ability to heal in God’s name and then there’s the famous Gabriel who announces to a young Jewish girl, Mary, that she’s to bring into history God, the Incarnate Word of God known to us as Jesus and then we know Michael because he’s best known for throwing Lucifer to hell (he was the 4th archangel turned Satan or known as the devil). Michael means “who is like unto God.”
Catholics know Saint Michael for 4 things:
1. he provides aid for the spiritual struggle fought by all people;
2. he is present at every deathbed, giving hope for one’s redemption;
3. weighs the merits of a person’s soul following death: you are judged worthy of heaven, purgatory or hell;
4. he guarantees Jesus Christ’s promise to that the gates of hell won’t prevail upon the Church and that the Church will last to the end of time.
Since the time of Pope Leo XIII in the 19th century, we’ve prayed …
Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, Oh Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl about the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

The Liturgical Commentaries of St Symeon of Thessalonika

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I am happy to recommend my friend’s recently published book, The Liturgical Commentaries of St Symeon of Thessalonika.

From the book:

This volume contains an edition and facing
English translation of Explanation of the Divine Temple and “On the Sacred
Liturgy,” the two commentaries on the pontifical (hierarchal) Byzantine Divine
Liturgy by St. Symeon of Thessalonika (†1429). This edition is based on MS
Zagora 23, which contains extensive corrections and additions apparently added
to the text by the author himself. The book opens with a historical and
theological foreword on liturgical commentaries and mystagogy by Archimandrite
Robert Taft. The introduction surveys the life and career of St. Symeon,
analyzes the structure and theology of the commentaries, and concludes with an
account of technical and editorial questions. The index includes references to
names, places, and topics in Symeon’s text and in the introduction and traces
key terms in the commentaries in both Greek and English.

A review:

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With this book Fr.
Steven Hawkes-Teeples, SJ, Professor of Byzantine Liturgy at the Pontifical
Oriental Institute in Rome, fills a gaping hole in the scholarly literature
associated with the overlapping academic fields of Byzantine Studies, Medieval
Studies, Orthodox Theology, and Oriental Liturgiology. The present volume
represents the first translation into any modern western academic language of
both commentaries of St. Symeon of Thessalonika (d. 1429) on the Byzantine
Divine Liturgy or Eucharist. Such neglect is surprising, for St. Symeon is an
author of the first importance. As the last and most prolific Orthodox
liturgical theologian of the Byzantine era, who lived at the point when the
Byzantine Empire was moving toward its demise before the Ottoman onslaught, he
crowns and closes his era. — Robert F. Taft 

Vox Clara Committee meets in Rome this week

The group of bishops and experts who oversee the translation and promulgation of liturgical texts in English met in Rome this past week. Read the CNS story on the meeting by Cindy Wooden. Here is the press release.

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The Vox Clara
Committee met from July 24-26 in Rome. This Committee of senior Bishops from
Episcopal Conferences throughout the English-speaking world was formed by the
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on July
19, 2001 in order to provide advice to the Holy See concerning English-language
liturgical books and to strengthen effective cooperation with the Conferences
of Bishops in this regard.

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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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