Category Archives: The Armchair Liturgist

The Armchair Liturgist: Visual Observance of Feasts

A nearby parish has an artistically sensitive pastor. When I visit there, I often see icons or other images on feast days and during seasons. I have an icon of the Transfiguration, so I placed it in my parish’s narthex … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist: A Parish Prays For Itself

My parish’s last two writers have included these in the Sunday intercessions the past two weeks: That members of the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish know that the Lord desires to answer our prayers and we only need to ask, to … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist: Names in the Intercessions

In my parish we mention deceased people by name in the Sunday Prayers of the Faithful, if the family requests it. We frequently mention the sick, though not always. Sometimes people prefer to remain anonymous. And once, someone was listed … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist: Hanging on a Priest’s Ear

Our parish’s new sound system includes those wireless microphones that fit over the speaker’s ear. Our departing associate pastor gave them a thumbs-down. But he also moves his head side-to-side quite a bit while speaking, and doesn’t always give a … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist Tries To Coordinate Mass Schedules

I played a wedding at our sister parish, St Cecilia, yesterday. They had posted a sign on the doors, something to the effect of “Our air conditioning system needs repair. We understand it will be a warm weekend, so if … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist Goes To Mass Easter Evening

The Roman Rite prescribes the account of the disciples’ encounter of the Lord in the Breaking of the Bread at Emmaus for an Easter evening Mass. During the main academic year, we provide a 7pm Sunday Mass with a few … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist: Acclamations During The Passion Reading

This might be in that twilight zone of things recently frowned on, but my parish has a long tradition of musical acclamations inserted within the Passion Gospels. I see the Lucan refrain of the thief on the cross used in many … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist Plans Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday will be something of a scramble in temporary worship conditions in my parish. Ordinarily, our church is conveniently located across the street from campus–the student union in fact. And we get droves of people for four Masses–one at … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist: Nativity Stations

I’ve seen here and there an effort to translate the experience of the Nativity of the Lord into a devotion akin to the Way of the Cross. As I make it out, Advent and/or Christmas deserve some particular spiritual pilgrimage. … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist: Scripture Homework at Mass

The priest at daily Mass today dropped a piece of “homework” at the end of his homily. “Deuteronomy 11:12,” he said. “Look it up–that is your message.” I did look it up. It’s here. What do you think of this … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist Addresses Connecticut

The General Intercessions/Prayers of the Faithful/Prayer Petitions/Universal Prayer continue to be a liturgical locus where the universal and the personal and the places in between get a bit blurred as they stir and mix together. The relevant sections of the … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist Ponders the Gloria at Wedding Masses

By now, many clergy and wedding musicians are familiar with the expanded prescriptions of the Gloria, including its provision in ritual Masses, including weddings, and even on a Lent or Advent weekday. I had a wedding Mass this past weekend … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist Announces Music

If you’re in a parish that has long announced the liturgical music for people to sing, perhaps you find it a difficult locus for renewal. In my current parish, a choir member invites people to stand and greet. After about … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist Celebrates Immaculate Conception on Saturday

Spending a chunk of office time earlier today setting up the liturgical schedule on the parish calendar, I noted that the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception falls on Saturday. In my parish, this puts us in a bit of a … Continue reading

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The Armchair Liturgist: A Ritual Skip

This is one for the clergy in the reading audience, mainly. But anyone, feel free to chime in. At the end of the preparation rites, just before the preface dialogue, the musician(s) wake up (or sleep walk) and start up … Continue reading

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