Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Catholic Q&A: Part 4

Here is a recent batch of questions that I answered in the "Catholicism" category at WikiAnswers. Also see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
  • What are the material signs of a sacrament?

    The material signs of a sacrament are those elements of the sacrament that effect our senses and direct our minds to the spiritual reality that the elements signify.

    Each sacrament has its own material signs:
    • Baptism: water, oil, candle, white garment
    • Confirmation: oil, laying on of hands
    • Eucharist: bread, wine
    • Reconciliation: the confession of the penitent and the words of absolution from the confessor
    • Holy Orders: oil, laying on of hands
    • Matrimony: the bride, the groom, the vows they make
    • Anointing of the Sick: oil, laying on of hands, water

    Where in the Bible do you find the stories of Holy Thursday?

    The readings for the Mass on Holy Thursday evening commemorate the Passover, the Last Supper, the institution of the Eucharist, and the institution of the priesthood.
    • Reading I: Exo 12:1-8, 11-14
      Responsorial Psalm: Psa 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18
      Reading II: 1 Cor 11:23-26
      Gospel: Jn 13:1-5
    Read these different passages and you'll find the stories of Holy Thursday.

    Why do Catholics honor and celebrate the rosary?

    Catholics honor and celebrate the rosary because it is a time-tested method of contemplating the significant events of the life of Christ, it is a powerful weapon against the devil, and because it helps to strengthen our relationship with Christ and our devotion to His mother.

    What does the priest say at the end of Mass?

    He says, “Go in the peace of Christ,” or “The Mass is ended, go in peace,” or “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” We respond by saying, “Thanks be to God!”

    Does a saint have only one feast day?

    Typically, a saint only has one feast day, but there are a handful of saints who have more than one. For example, St. Peter has three (Feb 22, June 29, Nov 18), St. Paul has three (Jan 25, June 29, Nov 18), and St. Joseph has three (March 19, May 1, Dec 27). Mary has 17 different feast days (!!), at least one in every month except April.

Do you know your faith? Help me tackle some unanswered questions. Of course, if you have any questions of your own, just leave me a comment or send me an email.

Pax Christi,


Anonymous said...

Dear "phatman,"
Thanks for all that you do.

I was glad that you wrote these words, especially hoping that many priests would see them and realize that they are doing the wrong thing:
"[At the end of Mass, the priest] says, 'Go in the peace of Christ,' or 'The Mass is ended, go in peace,' or 'Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.'"

I have found that the great majority of priests FAIL to use one of these three "dismissals," even though the Church requires their use (without modification).

(1) Almost no priests use the first one (Go in the peace of Christ).

(2) MANY priests illicitly combine the other two dismissals, saying, "The Mass is ended. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord"!

(3) Many other priests alter the phrasing, probably because they are consciously or subconsciously afraid to seem to be bossing around the laity by using the imperative mode -- a command, "GO" -- even though the Church COMMANDS the priests to use a command! These priests use the subjunctive, rather than the imperative, mode, saying (a) "The Mass is ended; LET US GO in peace" ... or (b) "LET US GO in peace to love and serve the Lord ... or, worst of all, the subjunctive combo with optional trailing doodads: (c) "The Mass is ended; LET US GO in peace to love and serve the Lord [AND OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS]."

Please, dear priests, do not violate the liturgical law! "Read the black and do the red [rubrics]," as the saying goes. Your ordination gives you the right, the power, and the duty to COMMAND us laity to "GO" at the end of Mass. What you say is not a "dismissal" if it is in the subjunctive mode!

Of course, a year or so from now, there will be a whole new set of dismissals. Please, dear priests, do not alter or combine them either!


phatcatholic said...

I feel your pain, AnUnSi! What kills me is when priests botch the blessing before the dismissal by saying, "May almighty God bless US" instead of "bless YOU." This man's ordination gives him the power to give us a blessing, but when he says "bless US" he is not actually blessing us at all. It's almost as if some priests are ashamed of the power that they have received in the sacrament of ordination. Ugh!!

letters to emily said...

as a non-catholic but fervent follower of Jesus, i loved learning a bit about your worship.

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