RSSFaith Fundamentals

Confirmation basics, part two

Confirmation basics, part two

| Father Michael Van Sloun | May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

Last month’s column provided the first half of a list of the basic aspects of the sacrament of confirmation: the duty to receive it, the prerequisites, the appropriate age, preparation with prayer and study, and the qualifications and duties of the sponsor. This article completes the list. Combined, the lists offer a general overview of confirmation.

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Confirmation basics

Confirmation basics

| Father Michael Van Sloun | April 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

Confirmation is one of the seven sacraments, and it belongs to a special group of sacraments, the sacraments of initiation, along with baptism and Eucharist.

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Confirmation: The next series on the sacraments

Confirmation: The next series on the sacraments

| Father Michael Van Sloun | March 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

The objective of this column is to help Catholics, in particular, as well as anyone else who has a desire to learn about our beliefs, to better understand the basic teachings of the Catholic faith. The sacraments are an excellent place to start because they have such a central role in the spiritual life. So important, in fact, that an “active Catholic” is defined as someone who is receiving the sacraments.

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Jesus’ gift to us at Christmas and always

Jesus’ gift to us at Christmas and always

| Father Michael Van Sloun | December 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

Gifts are a big part of Christmas. We shop for gifts, give gifts and look forward to receiving gifts. The practice of gift giving at Christmastime finds its origins in the Magi who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Jesus (Mt 2:11); and in St. Nicholas, who gave his wealth to the poor, food to the hungry, encouragement to prisoners and three separate gifts of gold to a father to pay the dowry for his three daughters. The single greatest gift of Christmas is Jesus himself, the gift of the Father to the human race.

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Tabernacles inside and outside of church

Tabernacles inside and outside of church

| Father Michael Van Sloun | November 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

The tabernacle is where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. It is usually located in the sanctuary area in the front of the church, often either behind the altar or in its immediate vicinity, or it may be located in a reservation chapel.

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The Litany of the Holy Eucharist

The Litany of the Holy Eucharist

| Father Van Sloun | October 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

A litany is a prayer that consists of a series of invocations, each followed by a response. A litany may be recited or sung with a congregation with the invocations given by a priest, deacon, cantor, lector or layperson and the responses made in unison by the congregation. A litany may also be prayed privately by a single person who recites both the invocations and the responses.

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Eucharistic devotions

Eucharistic devotions

| Father Michael Van Sloun | September 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

Eucharistic devotions are spiritual practices outside of the Mass that give honor to Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament, as well as opportunities to pray to Jesus in an intensified and personal way in his very presence.

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Reverence for the Eucharist

Reverence for the Eucharist

| Father Michael Van Sloun | August 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

Imagine for a moment a personal audience, not with the president, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a Nobel laureate or a highly acclaimed author — but with Jesus himself, the Son of God. What an awesome privilege. Nothing could be better. This privilege happens every time we are in the presence of the Eucharist or receive holy Communion. As we would hold a person of high stature in great esteem, all the more should we offer our utmost respect and reverence to Jesus in the Eucharist. There are ways to express that reverence:

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The Eucharist as remembrance

The Eucharist as remembrance

| Father Michael Van Sloun | July 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

Jesus asked his apostles and those who would follow to continue the eucharistic celebration that he began. Paul was the first to record the specific request that Jesus made. After Jesus took the bread and broke it, he said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in memory of me” (1 Cor 11:24). Likewise, after Jesus offered the cup he said, “Do this, as often as you drink it, in memory of me” (1 Cor 11:25).

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Summer Sunday Mass: option or obligation

Summer Sunday Mass: option or obligation

| Father Michael Van Sloun | June 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

Sunday is the Lord’s Day. Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday morning, so Sunday is sacred and reserved as the Christian sabbath, the day to remember the Resurrection and to offer our praise and worship. God gave us the Third Commandment as a solemn obligation, not a suggestion or an option: “Keep holy the sabbath day” (Ex 20:8-11; Dt 5:12-15; see also the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 2174–2178).

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The Eucharist as sacrifice

The Eucharist as sacrifice

| Father Michael Van Sloun | May 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Eucharist, in addition to being a meal, is also a sacrifice. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (Jn 1:29), and as the sacrificial lamb on the altar of the cross, he took upon himself the sins of us all (Is 53:6b).

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Holy Thursday: the Eucharist and service

Holy Thursday: the Eucharist and service

| Father Michael Van Sloun | April 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Eucharist is at the forefront of Holy Thursday. The Easter triduum begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The liturgy commemorates the institution of the Eucharist by Jesus, the faithful receive the Eucharist during the Communion Rite, the Eucharist is carried in procession at the end of Mass as it is transferred, and the night concludes with eucharistic adoration.

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