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Apr. 20 Holy Saturday -- Easter Vigil, Triduum

On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord's tomb, meditating on his suffering and death. The altar is left bare, and the sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated. Only after the solemn vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin, with a spirit of joy that overflows into the following period of fifty days.

The readings for Holy Thursday...

The Readings for the Holy Thursday Mass focus on the continuity between the ancient Jewish Passover and the institution of the Eucharist. As the Passover was the meal that marked the transition from slavery to Egypt to the freedom of the Exodus, so the Eucharist is the meal that marks the transition from slavery to sin to the glorious freedom of the children of God...

Large crowds sing hymns for hours outside Notre-Dame Cathedral (videos inside)...

This is absolutely beautiful! Throughout Notre Dame Cathedral’s devastating fire yesterday, social media users posted crowds of people singing religious hymns outside. One of the most popular videos circulating across the internet shows an enormous crowd singing the Ave Maria.

Notre Dame's age, design fueled fire and foiled firefighters...

Is there anything firefighters could have done to control the blaze that tore through Paris’ historic Notre Dame Cathedral sooner? Experts say the combination of a structure that’s more than 850 years old, built with heavy timber construction and soaring open spaces, and lacking sophisticated fire-protection systems led to the quick rise of flames Monday...

Archbishop Charles Chaput warns Catholics against ‘divided loyalties’ in fight for society...

The once Christian culture of the West has forgotten its roots, Archbishop Charles Chaput said Friday, warning that basic principles of human dignity and freedom are now at risk. The leader of the Philadelphia archdiocese told an April 12 gathering of priests, seminarians, and lay people at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary's Bishops and Rector Dinner...

Gallup Poll: U.S. church membership down sharply in past 20 years, hits all-time low in 2018...

As Christian and Jewish Americans prepare to celebrate Easter and Passover, respectively, Gallup finds the percentage of Americans who report belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque at an all-time low, averaging 50% in 2018. U.S. church membership was 70% or higher from 1937 through 1976, falling modestly to an average of 68% in the 1970s through the 1990s...

Benedict XVI offers a salve to his hurting children...

There have been a wide variety of responses to Pope Benedict’s essay on the sex-abuse crisis, most somewhat critical for not giving a full analysis of the sources of the crisis, the nature of crisis and his possible role in the crisis. These responses, though, seem to mistake the genre of the piece. It is not meant to be any kind of full response to the crisis; rather...

The best hike in every state of the U.S...

Alpine scrambles and beach-front strolls; multi-day singletrack adventures and quick urban escapes; soaring trees and rolling sand dunes—every state in the country has something to offer intrepid hikers. So we rounded up a bucket-list-worthy, best-of-the-best guide.

Notre Dame in flames: What was lost? What was saved? What was ‘news?’ What issues remain?

As it turns out, Paris firefighters — apparently drawing on centuries of tradition — know quite a bit about how to save a medieval cathedral, or how to save as much of one of these unique structures as can be saved. They know more about this subject than the president of the United States does, apparently. It will take weeks to unpack all of the stunning details of the story that unfolded before the eyes of the world yesterday in the heart of Paris...

This photo inside Notre-Dame is the most beautiful thing in the world today. The great rose windows all survived.....

The great and glorious rose window on the west portal of the cathedral held on through the inferno! That entrance is known as the Portal of the Last Judgement. The rose window itself is a symbol of the whole of the universe — all of time, and all of human life — centered in perfect harmony around the God-Man and His mother, on whose lap He sits in the very center of the rose: the King of Creation on his throne...