What is happening at Mass?

As many Catholics know, the Second Vatican Council famously referred to the liturgy as the “source and summit of the Christian life.” And following the prompts of the great figures of the liturgical movement in the first half of the 20th century, the council fathers called for a fuller, more conscious and more active participation in the liturgy on the part of Catholics.

A new liturgical translation?

The immortal Yogi Berra said it best: “It’s déjà vu all over again.” That was my first reaction to the news that a new Vatican commission had been established some time back to consider — again — the question of liturgical translations.

In this Jubilee of Mercy, what about God’s justice?

Q: I have a question regarding the relationship between God’s mercy and justice. While I am excited that we are celebrating a Jubilee of Mercy, I have a concern. Aren’t we forgetting about or diminishing the importance of justice in God’s relationship with us?

Why do priests kiss the altar at Mass?

Q: I have a question that I have been meaning to ask for some time. At the beginning and end of Mass I’ve noticed for years that the priest kisses the altar. Why does he do that? Is it a simple act of reverence or is there another reason?

Should lectors preach on the readings during Mass?

Q: My family and I were on vacation last summer and attended Sunday Mass at another parish. At one point, the lector came up to the ambo and proceeded to “break open God’s word,” giving a lengthy teaching about the weekend’s readings. Isn’t this the role of the priest or deacon? Is lay “preaching” like this permitted?

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