Category: Church

How To Properly Address Church Officials Of Different Ranks.

How To Properly Address Church Officials Of Different Ranks.

Ever wonder how to properly address Church officials of various ranks? Never fear – we’ve got you covered!

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it will help you in most situations!

Mother Superior

Reverend Mother






Reverend Monsignor

Archbishop & Bishop

Your Excellency

Your Grace

The Most Reverend


Your Eminence

Most Eminent Cardinal


Your Beatitude


Your Holiness

(Most) Holy Father

Next time you meet a high-ranking Church official, you’ll be ready!

The Faithful Are NOT To Use the Orans Posture During the Our Father

The Faithful Are NOT To Use the Orans Posture During the Our Father

A discussion that is common in Catholic parishes between the more orthodox members of the parish and the more “progressive” members is whether or not the faithful should use the Orans Posture during the Our Father. When such a question comes up, the obvious solution is to go to the rubrics. Unfortunately, in this case, the General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM) is relatively silent on the topic. Because of the GIRM’s silence, many people have taken this to mean that the faithful may do whatever they want. However, this is not the case. In the document, Instruction On Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priests, put out by the Vatican on August 15, 1997, we read,

“In eucharistic celebrations deacons and non-ordained members of the faithful may not pronounce prayers — e.g. especially the eucharistic prayer, with its concluding doxology — or any other parts of the liturgy reserved to the celebrant priest. Neither may deacons or non-ordained members of the faithful use gestures or actions which are proper to the same priest celebrant. It is a grave abuse for any member of the non-ordained faithful to “quasi preside” at the Mass while leaving only that minimal participation to the priest which is necessary to secure validity” (ICP Practical Provisions 6 §2).

What the above statement means is that we may not say the Eucharistic prayers along with the priest — believe it or not, I see people mouthing the words along with the priest every week. More importantly to this topic, this also means the faithful may not use the same gestures that are reserved for the priest celebrant.

As mentioned above, the GIRM is silent with regard to the posture of the faithful during the Our Father, however, the Sacramentary (the book of prayers for Mass used by the priest) states that the celebrant is to pray the Our Father with hands extended. Looking back at ICP, the faithful are NOT to use gestures or actions proper to the priest celebrant. Using this argument, one would think that the rubrics could be used to appeal to the faithful. Unfortunately, many of the faithful view the rubrics as another set of rules and those of us who wish to enforce the rubrics are no better than the Pharisees.

In that regard, let us look instead to another reason why the Orans Posture (and subsequently, holding hands) is not an appropriate gesture for the faithful during the Our Father. The Our Father takes place during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. This time of prayer and offering is directed to God (as is the entire Mass, but more specifically during the Liturgy of the Eucharist). As it is directed toward God, the extending and/or holding of hands creates a horizontal emphasis on the prayer, as opposed to the vertical emphasis that it demands. Many people who prefer hand holding or the Orans Posture argue that the Our Fatheris a community prayer, and as such holding and/or extending hands is a visible sign of that community. However, the Our Father is a community prayer, not because we hold or extend our hands, but because we pray it together as the Body of Christ.

On September 3, 1958 the Sacred Congregation for Rites issued a document titled De musica sacra et sacra liturgia(Instruction on Sacred Music and Sacred Liturgy). This document stated, “Since the Pater Noster is a fitting, and ancient prayer of preparation for Communion, the entire congregation may recite this prayer in unison with the priest in low Masses; the Amen at the end is to be said by all” (DM Prayers and Hymns § 32).

It was at this time that the faithful were given permission to pray the Our Father with the priest. However, the faithful maintained the same posture as before – standing, with their hands folded in prayer. Prior to this Instruction, the priest prayed the Our Father on behalf of the faithful. The Orans Posture is representative of praying on behalf of others. The next time you are at Mass, watch the priest’s gestures closely. Anytime he offers prayers on behalf of the faithful, he uses the Orans Posture. Anytime he is offering other prayers, his hands are folded together. Having a better understanding of what particular gestures mean will lead to a better understanding of the Liturgy.

American journalist Hunter S. Thompson was dead on when he said, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.” We are talking about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass here. The Eucharist, “the source and summit of the Christian Life” (LG 11) is consecrated here. Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords makes Himself present during the Mass. It is of the utmost importance that we treat the Mass with the respect it deserves. This is not the time nor the place to get creative and inject one’s own style and preferences.

Source: Catholic365

Why We Wish People “Merry Christmas”!

Why We Wish People “Merry Christmas”!

A look at the history behind this turn of phrase.

All across the Globe, it is quite common to offer season’s greetings with a hearty “Merry Christmas,” or perhaps a “Happy Holidays” if you’re in a department store. So how did it come to be that holidays are merely happy, but Christmas is supposed to be merry?

The phrase “Merry Christmas” can be traced back several hundred years, to the 16th century. The earliest known reference to the greeting is found in the letters of an English Catholic bishop, John Fisher, who wrote in his correspondence to Thomas Cromwell:

“And this our Lord God send you a merry Christmas, and a comfortable, to your heart’s desire.”

In the same time period, the carol “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” was written, although it was not published in the modern form until the 18th century. In those days the English language looked very different and the line “rest ye merry” did not mean to relax and be happy.

The word “rest” meant “to keep, cause to continue to remain,” and merry could mean happy, but also “bountiful” and “prosperous”. Why Christmas points out that the opening line could also be translated to, “[May] God keep you and continue to make you successful and prosperous, Gentlemen.” This definition of “merry” makes sense in regards to the Nativity, which brought great prosperity to the world through it’s salvation.

It should be noted that the comma should always come after the word “merry” in the carol, as it would change the meaning if it were placed before. With the comma after “merry” is saying, “God keep you prosperous, gentlemen,” but when it comes before it looks more like, “God keep you, prosperous gentlemen.” It is a common mistake to misplace the comma, which may explain where “Merry Christmas” came from, since it’s only a little jump from “Merry Gentlemen” to the seasonal greeting.

There were two sources in the 19th century which helped popularize “Merry Christmas,” both of which come from 1843. One was the very first Christmas card, sent by Sir Henry Cole, with the words “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You”.

The very same year Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol, in which the phrase “Merry Christmas” appears 21 times. Dickens also quoted “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” however he changed it to, “God bless you, merry gentleman! May nothing you dismay!” Note he moved the comma.

It would appear that the phrase developed over several hundred years. What we find to be a greater mystery than where the greeting came from is that it is no longer what people say in the UK, where they tend to wish each other a “Happy Christmas.” The term was developed in England and cemented into the vernacular by arguably the greatest English author of the 19th century, so how did it fall out of fashion in its country of origin?

From a writer’s perspective, it would be best not to say “Happy Christmas and a Happy New year” because the repetition makes the phrase seem lazy and feel dull. Adding a unique descriptive term, one which we only tend to use for Christmas, gives it a certain special feeling and helps get us in gear for the Christmas season.

Here is wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New year! 

The Most Incredible Truth Concerning Prayer

The Most Incredible Truth Concerning Prayer

There is something that I know, that I need to know. Most of the excellent talks I’ve heard on spiritual matters are reinforcements of things I’ve heard before. It’s amusing how we humans desire to listen and re-listen things in order to let them go down into our hearts.

It recalls to my memory of how the word “knew” in the Bible often construe not just to an intellectual knowledge, but to a closely acquainted knowledge (i.e. referring to the act of marriage- Adam knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain).

Anywise, here is something that I know, but I need to know.

God made me for deep intimacy with him. He made me to be a saint, which means to be made perfect in charity through his grace.

And here is something I truly need to know. There is only one path to apprehending this in my life and it is to spend time with him. The path to sainthood is a path of prayer.

The good tiding: prayer is not rocket science. It is not the custom of the wonderful, but the normal.

Tweet Quote

Fr. Jacques Philippe says in Time for God:

The crucial act of prayer, after all, is to place ourselves in God’s presence and stay there.”

He goes on later to betone:

If our prayer comprise of nothing more than that- holding ourselves before God without doing anything or thinking anything special, without any particular feelings, but with a heartfelt attitude of accessibility and trusting renouncement- then we could not do any better.”

Isn’t that incredible?

While some people can reach the highest point of athletic greatness, all can reach the heights of sanctity.

Because that’s what we’ve been made for.

Do you want to be a saint? Are you been made bold to hear that what is most requested is to simply be with God?

If you’ve made this determination before, to pray regularly, and struggled to keep it, I want to suggest something that may aid.

I downloaded a free app called CommitTo3. It motivates you to focus on 3 specific commitments each day, and it sends you reminders if your day passes and you haven’t checked any off.

My CommitTo3 has the following routine that I have tried to use everyday, but sometimes get away from me.

They are:

1) Mental prayer (which I try to do for 30 minutes, but you could start with even 15)
2) Pray Rosary
3) Daily Examination

In inclusion to having the reminders, select a good time for each in your calendar. If you miss it you can make it up later, but its nice to get a good routine or habit going.

Another great way is to start a timer when you’ve started praying. Set it to go off after 15 minutes and then you’ll understand, not regarding of “quality” of prayer, that you’ve spent that time with God.

%d bloggers like this: