That Sacred Meal

…all the meals Jesus shared with his followers, and not merely the Last Supper, were seen by the early Christians as expressing not only human companionship but also the participants’ communion with one another and with God. Hence their presence at their own ritual meals was a sign of their reconciliation with God and membership among the elect who would one day feast together in God’s kingdom, and the intimate association with one another that they experienced around the table was a foretaste, an anticipation. of the union that they would enjoy for ever with God. The whole meal event was thus both a prophetic symbol of the future and also a means of entering into that future in the present. (p 43)

Paul F. Bradshaw, Early Christian Worship: A Basic Introduction to Ideas and Practice, 2nd ed. (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2010). ISBN: 978-0-8146-3366-3.

The Use and Abuse of Language

In honour of today’s appearance by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection‘s appearance before the Australian Human Rights Commission inquiry into the detention of children asylum seekers, I offer the following article from back in July about the said Minister’s use of language in connection with asylum seekers…


Jesus apparently did not leave his followers with a fixed set of doctrines but rather with an experience that changed their lives, which they then tried to articulate in their own ways. As a result, what we find in the New Testament is not one standard theology of baptism or a systematized  explanation of what it means to become a Christian, but a variety of ways of speaking that that experience, quite different images and metaphors being employed by different writers in their attempts to communicate it to others. (p 3)

Paul F. Bradshaw, Early Christian Worship: A Basic Introduction to Ideas and Practice, 2nd ed. (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2010). ISBN: 978-0-8146-3366-3.


The Murder of James Foley

Since news reached us of the murder of the American reporter James Foley in a fashion so brutal it defies description, I’ve been contemplated the event, the circumstances that have surrounded it, and what my response (as in my person interior response) to this horrific act should be. By and large I have been unable to come to any resolution other than to remain in a sense of shock…

Sr Catherine Wybourne, aka Digitalnun, has come to the rescue however in a thoughtful reflection on the murder of James Foley, and I commend it to your reading…

Review: Festa Paschalia

Festa PaschaliaFesta Paschalia by Philip J Goddard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is not a book for everyone. Unless you want to know the intricacies of the development of the liturgies of Holy Week from the very beginning of the life of the Roman Rite of the Church, you might find yourself falling asleep.

Having said that however, I found the book intriguing and interesting, which probably says more about me than anything else. It was interesting to trace the development of the Holy Week liturgical forms, and how they become what we celebrate now.

From the back cover:

This book provides the first comprehensive history in English for eighty years of the origins and development of the Holy Week liturgy in the Roman Rite. Describing how the first apostles and disciples, and their immediate successors, came during the years following 33AD to celebrate an annual feast of the Resurrection, and the form which this first-century celebration took, it goes on to explain in detail how the ceremonies with which we are familiar today began in fourth-century Jerusalem. These ceremonies were then elaborated and developed during the early and late Middle Ages in Western Europe, particularly in the Frankish kingdom, and at Rome itself, down to the Tridentine reform of the sixteenth century, a reform which endured for some four hundred years with very little change.

Looking at the two significant twentieth-century reforms of the rites, that of 1955 and that of 1970, Philip J. Goddard then explains the various changes which were made, the sources from which innovations were introduced, and the reasons for the introduction of those changes and innovations, as given (so far as possible) by those involved in making them.

While accessible to the ordinary reader with no particular knowledge of liturgical history, this study will be of great interest to liturgical specialists and scholars, to those in seminaries and religious orders or to clergy interested in the history of the Roman liturgy. Comprehensive notes give full references to both primary and secondary sources.

View all my reviews

Full Bench To Decide

The ongoing argument about the validity of the interception and detention of 157 Tamil asylum seekers under the provisions of Operation Sovereign Borders earlier this year will now proceed to a hearing before the Full Bench of the High Court of Australia.

This must be considered good news not only for the 157 Tamils but also for the Australian nation as a whole because the legality(or otherwise) of the actions of our Government will finally be decided in a setting that is above politics and concerned only with the law and its application.

We shall have to wait until October (and probably longer for the decision to come) but this news is good news!

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