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Liturgy & Prayer

Catholic Rites and Teachings

A series of reflections on the Catholic Mass and the New Roman Missal

By Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. of Denver. - How we pray shapes what we believe - Nature of Priesthood Marks Catholic Faith - Mass a Conversation of Love With God - Deacons: Ministers of the Word, Altar and Charity - Mass Shared Dialogue Between Priest and Faithful - Introductory Rites - Liturgy of the Word - Homilies: Nourishment From the Table of the Word - Presenting Gifts Allows Each to Make Offering of Self - The Eucharistic Prayer: Heart of the Mass - The 'Our Father': Appropriate Gestures for Prayer - The Rite of Peace - Communion Rite - Ordinary, Extraordinary Ministers - Receiving Communion - Communion - Concluding Rite - Liturgy Series Concludes See also these statements on the Eucharist by members of the U.S. hierarchy: - All Praise and All Thanksgiving by Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick - The Eucharist: To be Loved, To be Lived by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin - The Eucharist: Sacrifice of Love by Bishop John J. Myers

Addresses to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota

A collection of Pope John Paul II's annual addresses to the Church's top "marriage court." Provides excellent and developing insight into the Church's belief in the sanctity of marriage and the issue of "annulments."

Apostolic Constitution on Penance (Paenitemini)

Issued in 1966 by Pope Paul VI.

Apostolic Constitution on the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick

Issued in 1972 by Pope Paul VI.

Christian Funerals

An excerpt from The Catechism of the Catholic Church: - The Christian's Last Passover - The Celebration of Funerals

Christian Marriage

An excellent defense of the Church's teachings, issued by the Bishops of Ireland in 1969.

Circular Letter Concerning the Integrity of the Sacrament of Penance

Issued in 2000 by the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments.

Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest

An important 1997 document clarifying the respective roles of the priest and lay people during the celebration of the Mass. Issued jointly by the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy; Pontifical Council for the Laity; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Congregation for Bishops; Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; Congregation for Institutes of Consecretated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life; and Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts.

Concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church (Christus Dominus)

The decree of the Second Vatican Council, issued in 1965. See also: - Ordination Rite: Order of Bishop

Decree on First Communion

Issued in 1910 by the Vatican's Sacred Congregation of the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Decree on Penance

From the Fourteenth Session of the Council of Trent, 1545-1563. See also: - Canons on Penance

Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy. Principles and Guidelines

Issued in 2002 by the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests

An instruction by the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy (1994).

Doctrine on the Sacrament of Matrimony

From the Twenty-Fourth Session of the Council of Trent, 1545-1563. See also: - Canons on the Sacrament of Matrimony - Decree on the Reformation of Marriage

Documents On the Tridentine Indult

In 1984, Pope John Paul II granted permission (an "indult") for the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal - the so-called Tridentine Mass. The following are documents relating to that Tridentine Mass: - On the Use of the "Tridentine" Liturgy (Quattuor Abhinc Annos) by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 1984. - The Church of God (Ecclesia Dei) by Pope John Paul II, 1988. - Guidelines for the Celebration of the "Tridentine" Mass by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, 1991. - Clarification on the Celebration of the "Tridentine" Mass by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei,1995. - Clarification on the Celebration of the "Tridentine" Mass by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, 1997.

Educational Guidance in Human Love

Written in 1983 by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education as an outline for authentic Catholic sex education, this document serves as a good primer of the Church's teachings on nuptial love.

Eucharist, A Sacrament to be Adored

Pope John Paul II's letter marking the 750th anniversary of the first celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi. See also the Pope's: - Pope John Paul II Recalls and Encourages National Eucharistic Devotion (excerpt)

General Introduction to the Lectionary

Issued by the Vatican's Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship in 1981, contains a good discussion of the principles of the Liturgy and the role of the Bible in the celebration of the Mass. See also: - Introduction to the Book of the Gospels

Instruction on Prayers for Healing

A helpful 2000 clarification from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Instruction on Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery (Eucharisticum Mysterium)

An important teaching on the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Issued in 1967 by the Sacred Congregation of Rites. See also: - Instruction on Certain Norms Concerning the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery (Inaestimabile donum) by the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments Divine Worship, 1980 - Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass (Eucharistiae Sacramentum) by the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments Divine Worship, 1973 - Perpetual Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament by the U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1997.

Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum

(On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist). Issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament, March 25, 2004

Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life. A Christian Reflection on the "New Age"

A helpful 2003 analysis by the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

Living Together

An excellent discussion of the Church's teaching on marriage in a "Question and Answer" format. By the Pennsylvania Catholic Bishops.

Mystery of Holy Anointing (Byzantine Catholic)

In many Byzantine parishes, it's the custom to administer this Sacrament on the Wednesday of Holy Week. For a good history of the practice and meaning, see: - Mirovanije: The Anointing With Holy Oil

Norms for the Translation of Biblical Texts for Use in the Liturgy

by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

On Certain Aspects of the Celebration of Sacrament of Penance (Misericordia Dei)

Pope John Paul II's 2002 Apostolic Letter. For an insightful introduction to Misericordia Dei, see: - Intervention by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

On Christian Marriage (Casti Connubii)

Pope Pius XI's 1930 Encyclical Letter.

On Marriage Impediments And Dispensations (Magnae Nobis)

Pope Benedict XIV's 1748 Encyclical Letter. See also Pope Benedict's: - On the Validity of Marriages (Nimiam Licentiam)

On Priestly Training (Optatam Totius)

The decree of the Second Vatican Council, issued in 1965.

On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone

Pope John Paul II's 1984 Apostolic Letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. For earlier Vatican pronouncements on the subject: - Declaration on the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1976) For a fine commentary on the subject, written in 1978, by Father Louis Ligier, S.J., a consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: - The Question of Admitting Women to the Ministerial Priesthood

On the Bishop, Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World (Pastores Gregis)

Pope John Paul II's 2003 Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.

On the Celibacy of the Priest (Sacerdotalis Caelibatus)

Pope Paul VI's Encyclical Letter of 1967.

On the Eucharistic Prayers

A letter 1973 letter to the world's bishops by the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship.

On the Holy Eucharist (Mirae Caritatis)

Pope Leo XIII's encyclical letter of 1902.

On the Ministry and Life of Priests (Presbyterorum Ordinis)

The decree of the Second Vatican Council, issued in 1965. See also: - Ordination Rite: Order of Priest

On the Regulation of Human Birth (Humanae Vitae)

Pope Paul VI's landmark 1968 Encyclical Letter. See especially his discussion of "God's Loving Design for Marriage."

On the Sacrament of Extreme Unction

From the Fourteenth Session of the Council of Trent, 1545-1563.

On the Sacrament of Order

From the Twenty-third Session of the Council of Trent, 1545-1563.

Papal Documents on Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

By Pope Leo XIII: - Annum Sacrum: On Consecration To The Sacred Heart (1899) By Pope Pius XI: - Miserentissimus Redemptor: On Reparation To The Sacred Heart (1928) - Caritate Christi Compulsi: On The Sacred Heart (1932) By Pope Pius XII: - Hauerietis Aquas: On the Sacred Heart (1956) By Pope John Paul II: - His Heart Is the Heart of the Church (1999) - Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy! (1999) - Heart of Jesus, Our Peace and Reconciliation (1999)

Pastoral Letter on Penance

A fine statement by Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick.

Pastoral Norms Concerning the Administration of General Sacramental Absolution

Issued by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1972.

Prayer in the Christian Life

An excerpt from The Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Revelation of Prayer - The Universal Call to Prayer</b>">The Revelation of Prayer - The Universal Call to Prayer In the Old Testament</b>">In the Old Testament - In Brief In the Fullness of Time</b>">In the Fullness of Time - In Brief In the Age of the Church</b> ">In the Age of the Church - Blessing and Adoration - Prayer of Petition - Prayer of Intercession - Prayer of Thanksgiving - Prayer of Praise - In Brief The Tradition of Prayer</b>">The Tradition of Prayer At the Wellsprings of Prayer - In Brief The Way of Prayer - In Brief Guides for Prayer - In Brief The Life of Prayer Expressions of Prayer - Vocal prayer - Meditation - Contemplative Prayer - In Brief The Battle of Prayer - Objections to Prayer - Humble Vigilance of Heart - Filial Trust - Perservering in Love The Prayer of the Hour of Jesus - In Brief The Lord's Prayer The "Summary of the Whole Gospel" - At the Center of the Scriptures - The Lord's Prayer - The Prayer of the Church - In Brief "Our Father Who Art in Heaven" - We Dare To Say" - Abba - "Father!" - "Our" Father - Who Art in Heaven" - In Brief The Seven Petitions - "Hallowed be Thy Name" - "Thy Kingdom Come" - "Thy Will Be Done on Earth as It is in Heaven" - "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread" - "And Forgive Us Our Trespasses, as We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us" - "And Lead Us Not into Temptation" The Final Doxology - In Brief

Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage

A 1996 document of the Pontifical Council for the Family. See also, the Council for the Family's sound explanation of the Church's teaching on married love in: - The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality - Vademecum for Confessors Concerning Some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life

Reconciliation and Penance in the Mission of the Church (Reconciliatio et Paenitentia)

Pope John Paul II's 1984 Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation. See also, by Pope John Paul II: - Purpose and Benefits of Sacramental Penance

Reflections on Priestly Celibacy

(from the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy): - The Biblical Foundation of Priestly Celibacy - Purity and Priesthood in the Hebrew Scriptures and Rabbinic Tradition - The Spirituality of Priestly Celibacy - Priestly Celibacy in Patristics and Church History - The Theological Basis for Priestly Celibacy - Sign of the Charity of Christ by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Reflections on the Identity and Mission of the Priest

(from the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy): - The Priesthood of the Old Covenant - Priesthood in the New Testament - The Image of the Priest in Vatican II's Presbyterorum Ordinis - Priesthood: A Greater Love - Life and Ministry of Priests - Priests and Confession - The Priest and the Bishop - The Blessed Virgin Mary in the Life and Ministry of the Priest - The Necessity of Continuing Formation for the Priest - To All Priests in the World (On the 30th anniversary of Vatican II's, Presbyterorum Ordinis)

Rite of Eucharistic Devotion

The prayers and blessings in Latin and English.

Rite of Marriage During Mass

From the 1970 Roman Missal. See also: - Rite of Marriage During Mass (From the 1962 Roman Missal) For a short history of the revised rite of marriage, published in 1969 by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, see: - The Rite of Marriage

Rite of Penance, Introduction

Issued in 1974, contains a good chapter on "Mystery of Reconciliation in the History of the Church."

Ritual of Marriage

(Byzantine Catholic) How the rite is celebrated by Eastern Catholics.

River of Mercy

A powerful pastoral letter on Penance and Reconciliation by Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. of Denver.

Sacramentals

An excerpt from The Catechism of the Catholic Church: - In Brief

The Holy Mystery of Penance and Reconciliation

(Byzantine Catholic) How the Sacrament is celebrated by Eastern Rite Catholics. Includes an Examination of Conscience

The Liturgy of the Hours in Our Lives of Prayer

In this 1998 pastoral letter, Archbishop Elden Curtiss of Omaha, Neb. urges priests to renew their devotion to praying the Divine Office.

The Mystery of Faith (Mysterium Fidei)

Pope Paul VI's 1965 encyclical letter on the Eucharist.

The Office of Christian Burial with Divine Liturgy (Byzantine Catholic)

How funeral Masses are celebrated in the Byzantine Rite of the Catholic Church.

The Priest and the Third Christian Millenium

An instruction by the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy (1999).

The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist: Basic Questions and Answers

A helpful, short document drawn up in 2001 by the U.S. Catholic Bishops.

The Reception of the Holy Communion by the Divorced and Remarried Members of the Faithful

Issued in 1994 by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Revised Book of the Liturgy of the Hours (Laudis Canticum)

Pope Paul VI's Apostolic Constitution of 1970. See also: - The General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours

The Sacramental Economy

Excerpts from The Catechism of the Catholic Church: - The Father - Source and Goal of the Liturgy - Christ's Work in the Liturgy - The Holy Spirit and the Church in the Liturgy - In Brief

The Sacraments at the Service of Communion

An excerpt from The Catechism of the Catholic Church - The Sacrament of Matrimony - Marriage in God's Plan - The Celebration of Marriage - Matrimonial Consent - The Effects of the Sacrament of Matrimony - The Goods and Requirements of Conjugal Love - The Domestic Church - In Brief

The Sacraments on Healing

An excerpt from The Catechsim of the Catholic Church: - The Anointing of the Sick - Its Foundations in the Economy of Salvation - Who Receives and Who Administers This Sacrament? - How is This Sacrament Celebrated? - The Effects of the Celebration of This Sacrament - Viaticum, the Last Sacrament of the Christian - In Brief

The Shrine - Memory, Presence and Prophecy of the Living God

A 1999 reflection by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples. Contains an excellent explanation of the Church's belief in the spiritual importance of shrines and holy places.

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