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Archive for category Sacramental Theology

Confirmation, Faith, and Emil Nolde’s “Pentecost”

Sometimes we forget the many languages spoken at Pentecost and expect a common sacramental experience/formula in our pastoral approach to Confirmation. Nolde offers us an artistic corrective.


There Is a Lot Behind

The Coptic Church selects its pope by lot. What does that mean for the elected, the non-elected, and the electors?

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Liturgy Lines: Do We Really Know What We Are Doing?

The connection between sacrifice and communion is broken and confusion between altar and tabernacle reinforced when the faithful are fed week after week from the tabernacle and not from what was consecrated on the altar at the Mass being celebrated.

Auxiliary bishops and why they are (not) needed

The existence of auxiliary bishops in the Catholic Church is comprehensible, but not very helpful for the theology of episcopacy according to the Second Vatican Council.

Viewpoint: Recovering the Notion of Original Sin

The transition from the Sin of Adam to the Grace of Christ is not a matter of a few minutes of ritual.

“Worship is like…” – Thoughts on Root Metaphors

I have been pondering root metaphors lately – those key images and analogies we invoke for the church’s life of faith and worship.  What prompted these reflections was a recent class in which the presenter used the image of “falling in love” to describe his journey of faith.  I cringed.  Not that I do not […]

CDF Issues Instruction on Cremains

This new document explicitly seeks to clarify and reinforce existing canonical and liturgical (ritual) norms already in force. But the Congregation notes that in many regions cremation is markedly increasing, making a reiteration of the norms and their theological bases advisable.

Liturgy and the Virtues: Rooted in Hope

I’ve slid into a choir stall in the Abbey Church three or four times a day most days for the last two years. I am not vowed to this routine, and there are many times when class or work could keep me plenty occupied. But the liturgy gives me hope, and that hope draws me in day after day.

Liturgy and the Virtues: Anointing of the Sick and Prudence

How do I cling to God at the office? How do I engage in self-offering love at school? At home, do I make it my business to help others love more easily? How do I build up the community into a true fellowship, a body for so great a head?

Gathering and Eschatology

How often do we and our assemblies view gathering as a mere sociological happening? Or perhaps as a mere prelude to worship? How often do we reflect on our gathering as playing a role in a / the eschatological drama?

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