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Author Archive: Sean Connolly

Sean is a teacher of History, Latin, and Choir at the high school level and parish music director. He keeps his domestic church in ordered disarray with an equally beleaguered and altogether lovely lady and his little daughter.

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The Three Falls of Christ

March 5, AD 2016 8 Comments
The Three Falls of Christ

Like Christ, we are condemned to suffer and to die because of sin. He suffers willingly and innocently; we suffer, in the beginning at least, unwillingly and guilty. If we suffer as unwilling criminals to the end, we will die a criminal’s death. If we learn to suffer willingly as Christ did, and take encouragement […]

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Choral Music in the Churches: Part I, Inculturation

January 26, AD 2016 0 Comments
Choral Music in the Churches: Part I, Inculturation

When I imagine liturgists, this is what comes to mind: Inculturation, the adaptation of liturgical texts, languages, rites, and, most especially, of music, to respect or reflect the sensibilities of various peoples, while certainly a watchword in the postconciliar Church, has been a reality from the very beginning of Christian history. At some point in the […]

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Why?

September 15, AD 2015 18 Comments
Why?

Enviably, I recently canvassed a room full of young people, my students, about church attendance. The occasion was an all-school Mass earlier that day. A non-Catholic student broached the question of worship style, repeating the decades-old platitudes about young people abandoning the faith because of boring music and dull liturgy (for the record, the singing at this Mass […]

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The Worship of Relevance

August 18, AD 2015 1 Comment
The Worship of Relevance

To study any subject at depth is, in a certain way, to lose one’s innocence. Before the Copernican revolution, it was easy, indeed natural, to perceive that the sun, the moon, and nature itself all contribute to a delicate balance that permits human life to go on. After the revolution, although nothing changed about the […]

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The Relevance of Worship

July 21, AD 2015 0 Comments
The Relevance of Worship

This coming Sunday is the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, and it was with a quote from the Secret Prayer of this Mass that the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council began their discussion of the Sacred Liturgy. They wrote that it is the liturgy of the Church through which, as the prayer says, “the work […]

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The Other Side of Pilgrimage

March 10, AD 2015 1 Comment
The Other Side of Pilgrimage

Many of us have been pilgrims, walking the paths saints have trod before us. How many of us have been saints, treading paths worthy of pilgrims yet to come? We can fly over land and sea, at great discomfort, and greater expense, to see the places sanctified by Brother Francis’ simple life of poor service. We can […]

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The Worlds of Difference an “S” Can Make

December 17, AD 2014 1 Comment
The Worlds of Difference an “S” Can Make

When it comes to revising old hymn texts, I am typically a curmudgeon. I find excision as it is usually practiced a patronizing exercise in turning gorgeous old texts into meaningless drivel that avoids supposedly difficult or archaic words. Such excision includes but is not limited to: half-inclusivization of language and the removal of all […]

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Without

April 26, AD 2014 0 Comments
Without

On Holy Saturday night, I met a woman whose son has a disorder on the autism spectrum known as Sensory Processing Disorder. As she explained it to me, this amounts to an inability to tune out any information coming in by the senses, making focused functioning in anything but extremely tranquil environments very difficult. The […]

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Why Bother to Learn Anything At All, Anyway?

January 17, AD 2014 4 Comments
Why Bother to Learn Anything At All, Anyway?

There are way more things to know in this Universe than you have the brain cells to record, and any one field of human study has probably by this point generated more data than a human mind, with a lifetime of study, could internalize. We should feel small standing up against the ocean of numbers, […]

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Why I Don’t See the New Evangelization Coming to Much Anytime Soon

December 25, AD 2013 7 Comments
Why I Don’t See the New Evangelization Coming to Much Anytime Soon

Flecte quod est rigidum. I write inspirational quotes on the dry-erase board in the servers’ sacristy at my parish in illuminated calligraphy whenever I have occasion to go in there. For the Feast of the Nativity, I wrote,“Venite, adoremus.” I am told that a lector, noticing that I had done this, objected to this text […]

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His Burthen is Light

October 22, AD 2013 0 Comments
His Burthen is Light

My training is in Classics. That kind of nearly obsessive focus on grammar bears some peculiar fruit in my day to day life. For one, I find it immensely difficult to sit down with a book and read it. Every sentence, no matter how prosaic, fascinates me. Without meaning to, I find myself immediately engrossed […]

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Rubricism, Juridicalism, and the Slavery of Preconciliar Catholicism

September 24, AD 2013 17 Comments
Rubricism, Juridicalism, and the Slavery of Preconciliar Catholicism

I have been nerding out since I discovered that archive.org has digitized the 1912 edition of the Decreta Authentica Sacræ Congregationis Rituum, which contains all 4,284 decrees the dicastery had issued since its establishment by Pope Sixtus V in 1588 up to that time, answering countless practical questions about the proper celebration of Mass, the Sacraments, […]

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The Post about Pride

August 27, AD 2013 2 Comments
The Post about Pride

Have you ever thought about yourself like you think about others? People can be idiots, prigs, jerks, crazies. People can just get on your nerves, be irresponsible, render service that is completely unacceptable, be shameful excuses for human beings. We, on the other hand, aren’t poor excuses for human beings. We have excuses. We are […]

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An Easy Essay

August 8, AD 2013 1 Comment
An Easy Essay

Peter Maurin believed in teaching ancient principles to the man on the street in the language of the man on the street. Peter Maurin believed that the man on the street could understand and believe in ancient principles if someone took the time to explain it to him in his own language. Peter Maurin believed […]

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Regret

August 7, AD 2013 2 Comments
Regret

“Live as though dying daily.” -St. Antony of Egypt, as recorded by St. Athanasius We have almost no viable perspective from which to evaluate our past actions or decisions. We are, after all, products of those choices, and the perspective from which and the values against which we would measure the things we have done […]

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