ASK FATHER: Must the Exsultet be sung by a cleric?

From a reader


Must the Exultet be sung by a cleric?

Short and simple.

The short answer is: It ought to be.

In the Novus Ordo I believe it is permitted for a non-cleric to sing the Exsultet. I guess that option looks more to the aesthetics of the moment than to the true dignity of the laity and the proper role of the clergy.

In the traditional Roman Rite, the singer must be a deacon or priest. A priest would vest in the dalmatic.

Come to think of it, a bishop could do it.  That would be interesting.

The Exsultet, also spelled Exultet, is the liturgical year’s moment for the deacon, par excellence.

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

LENTCAzT 41: Monday in Holy Week

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Today is Monday of Holy Week.

Examine your consciences.

Have you made your good confession?

Today I use a cut from the Choeur Gregorien De Paris: Gregorian Chants / Liturgy for Holy Week.  Also hear something from the wonderful  CD of music for Lent by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.

These daily podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day,

This project during Lent has been a token of thanks to my donors.

Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

And you thought you had problems!

I think they are being told to but out.

Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged | 16 Comments


My native place of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has its large share of loony dissent.  Some of it is so strange that you wonder if you are actually imagining it.

That said, I am not making this up.

From the Minneapolis Star Sickle comes this big puppet liturgical horror for Palm Sunday at the über-weird St. Joan of Arc parish, in the running for the weirdest parish in these USA.

Actors and musicians presented Palm Sunday Family Mass with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre [apt mane] at Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Community in Minneapolis. Christians around the world celebrated Palm Sunday with the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, when the crowds waved palm branches.

“Celebrant”? in costume? Who knows.  It could be anyone.

Yep, at least the tabernacle is in the center of the … wildlife sanctuary!

It’s the raccoon that does it.  No?

I am pretty sure that the parts of the “liturgical” ministers were performed by the Guardians of the Galaxy.*

*Not to be confused with these guys.

By the way, not far from St. Joan of Arc there is another church where they worship rocks in American Indian rituals.  No kidding.

Posted in Liberals, Lighter fare, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, You must be joking! | Tagged , , , | 58 Comments

How Italians differ.

I recently rediscovered this great filmette about the … well… you’ll see.

Funny and true.

I’ll be in Rome soon, so I will fire up once again my donation button in case anyone would like to pitch in for a cup of coffee, cab fares, lunch, a new vestment, a Bugatti… you know… the usual stuff one gets.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 23 Comments

Z-SWAG: In The Wild – Phoenician Edition


From a reader:

Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

I came across Save the Liturgy, Save the World” and “Say the Black, Do the Red!” while reading Fr. John Lankeit’s bulletin letter to the parishioners at Sts. Simon and Jude Cathedral, Phoenix, Arizona (Diocese of Phoenix; Bp. Thomas Olmsted.) [May he thrive, and his flock with him.] Someone must have given him your mugs! HERE

Fr. Lankeit is a very faithful Catholic priest who has been tirelessly and patiently teaching his flock the truth and the beauty of the Sacred Liturgy ever since he became rector there at SSJ (as we call it.) You may be interested in reading some of his bulletin letters by going to this site: HERE

Thank you so much for your care of Catholics everywhere, by your blog. I find it to be a valuable source for information, affirmation, and solid Catholic teaching. It helps me to appreciate and deepen my own faith.

You are welcome.

Hearty greetings to Fr. Lankeit.  I’ll send him a couple more bits of Z-Swag.

Posted in In The Wild, Lighter fare | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Your Palm Sunday notes

So, what was Palm Sunday like where you were?  Were there palms? Olive branches?  Was there a procession out of doors?  Did Father preach at all and was there any good points?  Was the Passion spoken or sung?  By deacons?  Was there a choral turba?

Let us know.

For my part, we had a sung Mass with the 1962 Missale Romanum this morning.  There was Gregorian chant.  We had a procession but just inside church.  I sang the Passion, the whole thing, in the different parts.  The Mass with distribution of palms, procession, Passion, everything, took about 1’20″.  Of course, as is proper, we began in red and switched to purple.  The color liturgical changes in our rites always make a deep impression on me.  They feel like a big changes of gears when on a long incline.

I want publicly to thank our MC, who does a great job.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged | 65 Comments

LENTCAzT 40: Palm Sunday – “pause, take time to reflect”

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Today is Palm Sunday. Holy Week begins.

Examine your consciences and then…


These daily podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day,

I persevere in this daily project in thanks to my donors. a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

Today I use a cut from the Choeur Gregorien De Paris: Gregorian Chants / Liturgy for Holy Week

Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I’m sure the content has nothing to do with their choice.

This is rather amusing.

From The Week:

Obama’s press secretary decorates home with Soviet propaganda

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and his family are featured in a worshipful profile in this month’s Washingtonian magazine.

It’s the sort of adoring journalistic exercise reserved for only the most handsome of the power elite. In it you can find out details about the Carney dog (a cousin to presidential pooch Sonny!), and how much the press secretary’s tie costs ($135).

But keen observers may notice the kitchen decor in the photo: Soviet propaganda posters. They really are the perfect pop of color whether you are the dour and sincere Nikita Khrushchev or the cheeky press-wrangler for a president who is constantly accused of being a socialist himself. –Michael Brendan Dougherty

I’m sure they just admire the … efficiency and technique of those posters, much as we would read, say, Gramsci or Alinsky and conclude, “Yep, they were pretty good at what they did, alright!”

But… then again… I wouldn’t decorate the most used room in the house with their images.

Didn’t one of Pres. Obama’s closest advisers cite Mao as a hero?

I think we need a permanent revolution against this sort of politician.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , | 40 Comments

The ‘c’atholic Left, Faketivism, and You

Here is something that could tie together the recent anti-Catholic catholic high school explosions with lefty groups such as the LCWR, Network, FutureChurch, NCAN, etc., and the Fishwrap, The Tablet, Commonweal, America, US Catholic, etc.

This was found the blog of Daniel Greenfield (my emphases):

What do the forced departure of Brendan Eich from Mozilla and #CancelColbert have in common? They are both examples of Fakectivism. [Fake-activism = Faketivism]

Fakectivism is social media activism by small numbers of people that is integrated into the news cycle because it matches the media’s political agenda.

Every Tea Party member knows that media coverage of actual protests is unequal. Twenty students, most of them volunteers at an environmental non-profit, protesting Keystone will get media coverage that a thousand Tea Party members protesting ObamaCare won’t receive.

The same is true of online protests.

Many of the real life protests covered by the media are fake. For example, unions hire non-union protesters to protest on their behalf, a fact that the media organizations covering the protests rarely point out. (That same privilege wouldn’t be extended to Tea Party members who hired professional protesters to yell at the cameras for them.) Other protests pretend to be grass roots when they actually consist of members or even paid employees of a single organization.

During the Bush years, many anti-war protests were actually run by the same small number of radical left-wing groups, but were reported on as if they were mainstream marches of ordinary people.

The situation has become much worse online as the media applies this same selective sloppiness to internet Fakectivism.

Fakectivism online multiplies the problems with media coverage of left-wing activism by completely distorting the number of people participating in a protest and their credibility in representing anyone except themselves.

In real life protests, the media routinely reported higher turnout for left-wing protests and lower turnout for conservative protests. Online, Fakectivism dispenses with head counts. If it’s a trending topic, then it’s news. And sometimes it’s news, even if it isn’t.

Fakectivism begins with left-wing agitprop sites selectively collecting tweets in support or against something. Invariably the handful of tweets are described in collective terms as “The Internet” being outraged or supportive of something. The use of the collective “Internet” is a staple of Fakectivism because it conflates a manufactured story with the impulses and opinions of billions of people.

Successful Fakectivism moves up the ladder to higher end left-wing websites searching for teachable controversies. These websites have enough status that they are monitored by producers and editors from the mainstream media looking for stories.

The mainstream media harvests content from sites such as Slate or the Huffington Post and reframes it in biased but credible language while disguising its sources. Twitter Fakectivism is invariably described as a “backlash” or a “firestorm”. Phrases such as “Twitter was lit up by outraged users” give non-technical readers the impression that the complainers represent the consensus of the site instead of a small number of overactive users.

The manufactured Fakectivism becomes a major news story by a successive filtering process that disguises the dubious source and the credibility of the originating event.


It’s the role of the social media Fakectivists to aggressively push their most radical agendas and of the media Fakectivists to moderate their tone. The media act as the formal gatekeepers of liberalism determining which radical agenda can be mainstreamed this week while the social media activists keep forcing the gates to open even wider.

It’s never about the facts. The media and social media Fakectivists only care about emotional manipulation in the service of their agenda. Their stories are morality plays that expect the audience to view a human drama and come down on their side and for their agenda. The drama is the narrative which both sets of Fakectivists skew their way through misleading reporting.


Read the rest there.

Posted in Liberals, The Coming Storm, The Drill | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments