Tone Down The Peace

In an effort to insure a more sober ritual, the Vatican has urged bishops to clamp down on singing, moving around and other casual expressions of affection when the sign of peace is exchanged during Mass.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments led by Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, has sent a letter to bishops around the world expressing concern about what it considers to be ritual abuses.

Among them, he said, were turning the sign of peace into a “song of peace,” the priest leaving the altar during the interlude, or use of the ritual to offer congratulations at weddings or condolences at funerals…

Read on here.



Fears of Jeans and Hoodies in Pulpit: Synod to Decide Over Clergy’s Robes

  • Peter Owen-Jones said he would wear this outfit for some services if his parishioners in East Sussex were happy with the rulesTraditional robes could be voted out in bid to make services more modern
  • Vicars could wear whatever they deem appropriate under new rules
  • Conservatives warn changes would dilute the identity of the Church
  • Others welcome news describing ‘power dressing’ as a barrier

The Daily Mail:

Never mind the cassocks – vicars could soon be conducting services in shell-suits, shorts or even football shirts under radical plans to overturn centuries of Church tradition.

Rules requiring the clergy to don traditional vestments are set to be swept aside as part of a ‘makeover’ designed to make services more relevant to modern congregations.

If the Church of England Synod approves the reforms, vicars could wear whatever they deem appropriate for all their services – including weddings, baptisms and funerals.

Although most are likely to favour smart jackets, some have indicated they would adopt a ‘dress-down Sunday’ approach…

But traditionalists are enraged by the proposals, with one senior Synod member saying it could lead to clergy  conducting services in tracksuits.

He said: ‘Some clergy already won’t wear a clerical collar. Soon they will be wearing shell-suits in the sacristy. We need to keep a sense of  identity as Anglicans, and the robes are a way of providing that.’

Read whole piece here.



Are We Walking to Heaven Backward?

Are we walking to heaven backward?  Msgr Charles Pope writes on the Priest’s orientation during the celebration of Mass.

… The liturgical questions of the history of the eastward orientation and its recent loss, of how and why we got into the modern closed circle mentality, and the erroneous understandings of the liturgists of the 1950s about the practice of the early Church,  are all discussed more aptly by others more liturgically versed than I.

Please consider dear reader that my proposal is not for a sudden and swift change in our liturgical stance. Rather, that we begin to ponder if, by our inwardly focused stance in circular and fan shaped churches, facing each other, we are communicating what we really intend. Does our stance project that our real focus here is God? Does it communicate the goal of the liturgy to lead us to God? Does it inculcate a spirit of leadership in our clergy who are called to lead us to God? Does a largely closed circle manifest an outward trajectory to evangelize outward and unto the ends of the earth?

Whatever pastoral blessings come with “facing the people” (and there are some blessings) there may be value in continuing to reassess whether our modern pastoral stance of an inwardly focused liturgy serves us well and communicates what we are really doing and experiencing…

Read it all here.



Priest Celebrates ‘Star Wars’ Communion


in Germany.


It wasn’t Darth Vader who gave the blessing to the first communion children. This was personally undertaken by Pastor Christoph Nobs with a bright green laser sword at the celebration of a Star Wars First Communion Mass. The idea for the stars-War Communion came from Nicolas Gkotses community director. Star Wars had been a theme for the children in their religious instruction and so he tried to communicate the gospel in this way in a timely manner. – “May the force be with you!”