St. Patrick

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: How can St. Patrick be a saint if he was never canonized? == A: There were no canonizations at all for the first 1000 years of church history. That practice developed only later. People just knew the saints among them, and celebrated their ministry and death.

Saint Veronica

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Do you have any knowledge of celebrating Saint Veronica on July 12th (along the lines of what’s permitted by GIRM 355c)?  On the one hand, although that’s the feast day usually ascribed to her, she is not (as far as I know) included in the Martyrology – no doubt because of the reasonable question of her historicity.  On the other hand, I know there are parishes and other institutions named for her.  Any insights into whether she could be celebrated on this day?  (I don’t mean in a parish named for her – just by ordinary folk who are …

Sacrament of Penance

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Kindly clarify why it is best to refer to the Sacrament of Penance rather than the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or Confession. ==A: The ritual book is called the Rite of Penance, and it includes many celebrations, one of which is the sacrament that may be called penance, reconciliation or confession.

Entrance antiphon

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Congratulations on your new book, Ars Celebrandi! I read it last week, and it’s so well written and practical. Now there were a few hints I accidentally ignored LOL— but you know how we priests are with liturgy!My biggest challenge is this: My introduction at the beginning of Mass, especially for weekdays. I always prepare a two sentence (usually Gospel based) intro for weekends, but weekdays?  I know we’re supposed to use the entrance antiphon (I’m 60 — I grew up with priests who never used it at Mass — I’ll blame them for me following in their footsteps).  But do you recommend any models …

Historical readings

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I would like to know what readings were read in the liturgy of the Eucharist on March 29, 1969 and on April 20 of the same year. Could you please help me to find the answer to my question? == A: I’m guessing that they were the ones still assigned to the 1962 missal. Pope Paul VI signed off on the new liturgical calendar on February 14, 1969, and had it take effect on January 1, 1970. So, the previous missal was in force in the March and April of 1969. Alternative readings were available ad experimentum, but not …

Statue on the altar

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I am pretty sure we are not to have anything on the altar of sacrifice except the Missal, Candles, Crucifix.  I just returned to Mass after a heart attack and see a statue of Jesus carrying His cross on the right-hand side of the altar.  Is this permissible?  I love your blog and am grateful for all of your instruction.  God bless you. == A: I hope this finds you recovering from your heart attack. What a scare that must have been. A statue of Jesus carrying his cross may not be placed on the altar. Seeing one might …

Penitential ‘acts’ within the Mass

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Please also confirm the number of penitential ‘acts’ within the Mass. My understanding is that the Sign of Peace is penitential, not a cheerio call to fellow pew dwellers. I surmise that “Lord I am not worthy…” is also penitential in nature. Is this correct? == A: There is only one penitential act properly called, taking place near the beginning of Mass. The sign of peace is not penitential. As I point out in my book Let Us Pray, the Order of Mass 128 calls it a sign of “peace, communion and charity.” It is one of the signs of communion …

Alleluia – updated

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I am sharing the Pope’s visit to Iraq with my students. It’s pretty amazing that he went to Ur, because for all of my years at Sion, I’ve taught about Abraham coming from Ur! It doesn’t take much to excite me, right? So, in looking at the beginning of the Mass in the stadium, the girls were listening to the music, and I was too.  We think we heard “Alleluia.” One of the girls who goes to St. Vincent’s asked why they were singing “Alleluia” during Lent.  What do you think? It was during the incensing of the altar …

The psalm-prayers in the Divine Office – Updated

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: First of all, thank you for such a helpful and informative blog. By explaining matters so that they make sense, you are doing all of us a real service. The psalm-prayers were written at the time of the revision of the Breviary, but were not published as part of it.  One of the points that arose in discussion was, apparently, how to offer without mandating: there are people for whom the psalm-prayer is an enriching experience and people for whom it could be an additional burden and a distraction. My question concerns how one should do the psalm-prayers, if …

Proclaiming the gospel

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I’m concelebrating the confirmation Mass in our parish with the bishop. There will be a vested deacon assisting. May I proclaim the gospel as the pastor? == A: No, that belongs to the deacon. Every minister should do what pertains to that minister.