When Ruslana Makarenko was trying to think of how to design the 30 new shields that run along each side of St. Michael’s Cathedral, two things came to mind.

Published in St Michael's Cathedral

What you sing and how you sing it on Sunday mornings is about to get a little more fine tuning. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched a search for hymns, songs, chants and Mass settings to include in a new national hymnal.

Published in Faith

LONDON, Ont. - Every other year, student trustees from across Ontario meet in a designated city for a weekend of faith, fellowship and leadership development.

Published in Youth Speak News

An open letter to Roman Catholic bishops

Dear Bishops

I write to you as a loyal son of the Catholic Church, with a particular request: Could you make an addition to our eucharistic prayers to include an explicit invocation for other Christian churches and for those who lead them?

Published in Fr. Ron Rolheiser

TORONTO - For almost 100 years in Toronto, thousands of Sunday worshippers have relied on Sunday only streetcar stops to help get them to church on time.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

As I wrote last week from Jerusalem, just months after the massacre at a synagogue in Har Nof, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood, I felt a duty to make a visit, to pray for the dead and to offer, in a small way, solidarity with those who suffered the desecration of their house of worship.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

Fossil Free Faith has launched a new program recruiting youth to lead the conversation in their faith communities about divesting in fossil fuel companies.

Published in Faith

Third Sunday of Lent (Year B) March 8 (Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 1:18, 22-25; John 2:13-25)

The Ten Commandments are often viewed as obsolete and out of touch with the modern world. They are unfortunately treated as if they were the 10 suggestions rather than commandments. Even those who use them as weapons in the culture wars of our times are sometimes hard-pressed to name all of them.

Published in Fr. Scott Lewis

God has given us two churches, one is found everywhere and the other is found at select places. Some of us prefer one of these and struggle with the other, but both are sacred places where God can be found and worshipped.

Published in Fr. Ron Rolheiser

The beginning of a new liturgical year is a suitable time to think about the liturgy in a broader and deeper way. Two recent books from Ignatius Press help us to do so in a devout and scholarly way. They are not for the casual reader, but parishioners looking to challenge their priests with some serious reading this Christmas would do well to consider them as gifts.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza
September 13, 2013

Revisit Taizé prayer

One evening this past summer, I walked down a set of dark stairs into a candlelit basement. I was with a group of 20 young adults. Eastern icons of Jesus on the cross were placed around the room, representing for me the sacred history of God’s interactions with His people.

Published in YSN: Speaking Out

Ottawa - The pre-Vatican days of Latin-language Masses are on the rise among Catholic youth.

In Ottawa, St. Clement’s parish moved its daily traditional Latin Mass to St. Anne’s Church in Lowertown to accommodate its growing congregation, including many young families.

Michael and Rebecca Trolley, a couple in their 20s, are very active at Annunciation Anglican Use Catholic Church. “Anglican Use” refers to a particular form, or “use,” of the Roman rite (or Mass) which draws heavily upon the Anglican liturgical and musical tradition, incorporated into a Catholic context.

“We were both nerdy bookworms,” said Michael, who is very interested in Church history. “For a lot of young people, I think there’s a deep skepticism about contemporary culture. And if they want to do something spiritual, the last thing they want is something that looks like everything that’s going on around them. If they’re going to do something different, they’re going to do something really different.”

Prior to 1970, the Roman Mass was celebrated in Latin; this older form of the Mass is now commonly referred to as the traditional Latin Mass. After the Second Vatican Council, the Mass was translated into many different languages, including English. Some communities such as St. Clement’s, however, still celebrate the traditional Latin Mass.

The Trolleys note the similarities between their traditional Anglican Use liturgy and the older form of the Roman rite.

“The differences aren’t so much the text of the liturgy,” said Michael. “In the way that they’re celebrated, our Mass has a great deal in common with the Extraordinary Form (the traditional Latin Mass). They’re both celebrated facing east, it’s usually chanted, with incense. It’s quieter in some ways, it’s more formal, a greater spirit of reverence.”

Rebecca disagrees: “I wouldn’t say it’s more quiet, especially when we do a High Mass. It’s very noisy, because we’re singing a lot. Music is more a part of our tradition. Anglicans like to sing, Catholics don’t,” she jokes, referring to the tradition from which their liturgy derives.

Many young Catholic Canadians do not know much about traditional forms of worship, what a traditional liturgy consists of and how it differs from what is seen in a regular Catholic parish.

“We’ve actually tried to bring back some of what were originally monastic practices into the life of a parish,” said Subdeacon Andrew Bennett, a regular worshipper at Ottawa’s Holy Cross Ukrainian Catholic Chaplaincy.

“The vast majority of people at the chaplaincy are students,” said Bennett. “In a culture that often lacks an understanding of what mystery is, an understanding of how we as human beings need liturgical worship to enter into the mystery of God present in His Church, I think young people crave authenticity. And in the Christian tradition, if they see authenticity, they’re drawn to it.”

“Monastic practices” refer to the services regularly observed in monasteries. Thus, worshippers at the chaplaincy sing Matins (a service of morning prayer) before the Divine Liturgy (the term for the Mass in the Eastern churches) every Sunday morning.

“A Roman Catholic coming in off the street would notice first of all that it’s longer and that we sing everything,” Bennett said.

Everything in the Divine Liturgy (except the homily) is chanted in the Byzantine rite, a collection of Eastern churches which have come into union with the Roman Catholic Church. But according to the subdeacon, this custom is not exclusive to Byzantine Catholics such as those who attend the chaplaincy.

“The Roman rite has this tradition as well, but in most parishes since the Second Vatican Council, this tradition of the sung Mass has been lost,” said Bennett. “But now you’re seeing again a return to some of these traditions in the Roman Catholic Church.”

(Candy, 21, is a third-year English student at the University of Ottawa.)

Published in Youth Speak News