12 results
December 15, 2014

I recently received a couple of apologetics inquiries that may not seem related on the surface, but that I believe are suggestive of a common problematic approach to the Mass. The first was about the propriety of Christmas pageants in church. The inquirer was very obviously put off by the common custom of small children acting out the Christmas story for the benefit of parishioners, and wanted to know if this kind of spectacle was appropriate in a church dedicated to the worship of God:...

October 15, 2014

I'm not a person who naturally thrives in silence. During Lent, I have a hard time keeping the radio turned off in my car for the ten-minute drive to work. It is rather amazing then how annoyed I can become with unnecessary noise before and after Mass. And if the questions on the subject that the apologists get at Catholic Answers are any indication, many Catholics are disturbed by unnecessary noise at Mass. Here is a representative example:

I attend daily Mass after I...

August 13, 2014

I was flipping through the National Catholic Reporter recently and paused when I came to the letters to the editor (July 18–31). While NCR is a good source of reporting on Catholic affairs, its editorial slant very much leans left, and the readership often reflects that perspective. Sometimes the letters can be quite entertaining, and this time was no exception—at first glance, anyway.

A reader...

May 7, 2014

The wedding bells are beginning to ring, and the scent of orange blossoms is filling the air. It is the start of Wedding Season, the most dreaded time of the year for priests and deacons. Not a few of them will comment, in private, that weddings are the part of their ministry they despise the most. (Nota bene: For the sake of this post, I am distinguishing the wedding ceremony and the travails necessary to plan and celebrate it from the rest of pastoral care for engaged couples.)...

April 23, 2014

Catholic Answers Director of Apologetics Tim Staples and I were bouncing around ideas for blog posts when he told me of two common, related questions he receives while on the road speaking for Catholic Answers. Often, Catholics he meets are extremely frustrated with the quality of the liturgy at the parishes they attend. They are on edge at Mass, wondering what novelty their priest is going to dream up next. Why can't priests just "say the black, do the red"?—a cri de coeur...