Book Excerpt: What’s The Smoke For? Part Two

Before the concept of inculturation was even invented, Mary wisely started to inculturate Christianity. Had it not been for Mary in her apparition as Our Lady of Guadalupe, for example, Christianity would have had a much harder time taking root in the Americas. No wonder Our Lady of Guadalupe has since been declared the patron saint of the Americas and thus shrines dedicated to her have appeared in many churches.

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Book Excerpt: What’s The Smoke For? Part One

In recent times we have become more aware of the importance of the senses. Remember, for example, how the slightest whiff of a certain perfume can whisk you off to a totally different place and time, as it reminds you of a certain person or event. Similarly, incense is used as a reminder of the sacred so that every time we smell it we are reminded that we are at prayer.

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Too Many Masses? Pastoral-Liturgical Practice on Ash Wednesday

Given the history of Ash Wednesday’s emergence and various morphings over the centuries as a ritual-symbol inaugurating a season of penitence, I simply do not see why, in the Roman Catholic Church, at least, the most apt liturgy would not be based on the sample penitential services (basically, liturgies of the word) found at the end of the Rite of Penance.

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January 7: A Convergence of Feasts

Liturgy was preceded by a few carols, the choir usually sang well, and after liturgy, the choir would gather at the rectory for two hours of caroling and festive foods prepared by my grandmother and mother. We agreed that “Ukrainian” Christmas was the “religious” observance of the holiday.

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