liturgy

The Mass, Explained by an App

Mass Explained Logo

The Mass Explained App for iPad looks like a pretty awesome app ("coming soon") from Agnus, LLC. I haven't seen the app in action (just screenshots), but even if it's just a bunch of static pages like an interactive book, it looks like the content is high-quality:

iPad Mass Explained App

I really hope the app function as good as it looks. If so, I think this would be a good template for other similar apps explaining sacraments, sacramentals, the Rosary, prayer, saints, the Vatican, etc.

Basically take encyclopedic knowledge of a Catholic subject, and marry that with some great illustrations, images, and 3D models, and make a very nice interactive app or iBook. I would buy the whole series!

Pope Benedict on Silence

Continuing his Lenten messages pertaining to the value of silence in our lives, Pope Benedict XVI delivered another pointed message at this past Wednesday's general audience:

The interplay of word and silence that marks the prayer of Jesus during his entire earthly life—especially on the cross—also touches our own lives of prayer, in two ways. The first concerns our welcoming of God’s Word. Interior and exterior silence are necessary in order that this word may be heard. And this is especially difficult in our own day. In fact, ours is not an age which fosters recollection; indeed, at times one has the impression that people have a fear of detaching themselves, even for a moment, from the barrage of words and images that mark and fill our days.

He continues, speaking specifically of personal prayer and liturgy:

Changes

Hat tip to The Forum, for the following from Arizona [Catholic Sun]:

Plans are underway in the Diocese of Phoenix to implement new local norms for the distribution of Holy Communion that will bring the local Church in line with universal Church guidelines.

As a result, the Precious Blood will not be offered at every Sunday Mass, but instead be reserved for special occasions, left to the determination of each parish pastor.

The change will bring local Catholic celebration of the Eucharist into union with the practice of the faithful around the world. Receiving Communion under both kinds is uncommon in most countries.

"What many people don't realize is that we've had experimental privileges," said Fr. Kieran Kleczewski, executive director of the Office of Worship. "We're now under the same norms as the Church in the rest of the world."

Tenebrae (an Explanation)

I have had more than a few people ask me about the purpose, meaning, etc. of the ancient Tenebrae (latin for 'darkness' or 'shadows') service held during the Easter Triduum, especially after hearing we've re-started the tradition of having all the Seminarians, together with the Archbishop, pray this office every year on the eve of Good Friday at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

Here's a basic explanation of the Ancient Office of Tenebrae, found on the programs we were given this year:

Taking Pictures During Liturgies

Note: I wrote this article back when I was studying to be a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis; I am no longer a seminarian (or a priest), but I will continue to update the article over time so it can be of use to my fellow photographers.

Picture of Holy MassAs a seminarian, I often participate in very big liturgies at the Cathedral Basilica or other places at which many families are present. Invariably, there's always a few picture-takers who end up disrupting parts of the Mass or other liturgical functions in one way or another, and they usually don't even know they're doing it. Nor, more importantly, do they know how to not disrupt the liturgy!

New Article Posted - Taking Pictures During Liturgies

Offeratory Procession for Graduation Mass

I posted a new article today concerning photography during liturgies such as Mass, Confirmation, a Wedding, etc. In it, I describe five basic things anyone taking pictures at a liturgy should do:

  1. Turn off your flash.
  2. Don't move around all over the place.
  3. Turn off the camera's sound.
  4. Turn off the 'focus assist' light.
  5. Turn off the camera's LCD.

But most of all, a person wishing to take pictures during a liturgy should remember this golden rule: Thou Shalt Respect, and Not Distract, when Taking Pictures During Liturgies!

Read the article in its entirety here.

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