An Uncommon, Extraordinary “Sanctus” Lent at St. Mark, like in many parishes, is a season of greater liturgical simplicity. The decor of the church is subdued, largely devoid of any color but purple. The greenery behind the altar and crucifix has been replaced by bare branches, and there are no flowers in the church. Music during Lent often consists…

Everyone knows this by now – your parish Music Director is positively OBSESSED with the Mass Propers, those seemingly insignificant little snippets of scripture and their associated chants which define the “processional” moments of the liturgy – the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion antiphons and their associated verses. The antiphons are given in our Lumen Christi…

ALLELUIA! During my days as a Lutheran pastor, I became very attached to a certain piece of music that was played and sung at every communion service in the Lutheran liturgy. The piece of music is also known as the hymn, “This Is the Feast” which we’ve sung here at St. Mark several times in the…

 Exploding the Myth of “the spirit of Vatican II” [NOTE: This was an article which I found on a Catholic blog, “ChurchPOP” which I thought was important to share in its entirety.] “[O]ften men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie,…

We probably all know a family that is bilingual – perhaps the father is American, the mother is from Latin America, and the children were born in America and speak English.  The mother wants her children to learn about their roots, to learn to speak Spanish and sing some traditional songs from her country. It is…

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the company of scoffers. Rather, the law of the Lord is his joy, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted near streams of…

I have a confession to make. I am a music geek. NOT as much of a music geek as my friend and colleague Alex Hill, (he’s a PROFESSIONAL music geek, after all), but there are times when music becomes my prayer, and I find myself almost “living in” a song, or even just a refrain from…

Those words, shouted by the religious leaders of Jerusalem on the morning of Jesus’ crucifixion, never fail to shock me when we read them aloud during the Good Friday liturgy. Sometimes, in my imagination, I can almost personalize those words – I HAVE NO KING BUT CAESAR! That shocks me even more and I have to…

The great 14th century Latin poem “Ave verum corpus” (Hail, true body), about the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, has a line which is somewhat hard to translate effectively: Esto nobis praegustatum in mortis examine – “Be for us a foretaste in examination of death.” What is this “examination?” Does it mean “at the time of death” or just “when we…

[image: Praying Monks, 14th c. fresco, Naples] Sometimes we Catholics forget how many ways the Church provides for us to worship God.  St. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” What are some of the…