Vatican II & Sacred Art

Deacon Scott Maentz Vatican II

One of the things that was always emphasized in our seminary training with regards to the liturgy, which includes the use of sacred art, is that it should have a character of noble simplicity. The council fathers described the use of sacred art with these words, The fine arts are rightly classed among the noblest activities of man’s genius; this …

Vatican II & Sacred Music

Deacon Scott Maentz Vatican II, Year of Faith

Sacrosanctum Concilium proves its connection to true Catholic theology in how it addresses the issue of sacred music as falling into the category of “both/and”. Here are some words that struck me from the chapter of the document on sacred music. The Church recognizes Gregorian chant as being specially suited to the Roman liturgy. Therefore, other things being equal, it …

Liturgical Seasons

Deacon Scott Maentz Vatican II, Year of Faith

Continuing with our journey through the documents of the Second Vatican Council, I would like to take a look at the liturgical year. We are just around the corner from the beginning of a new Church year that begins with the First Sunday of Advent. There are really several liturgical calendars in the Church that overlap one another and unless …

The Divine Office

Deacon Scott Maentz Vatican II, Year of Faith

Chapter Four of the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy focuses on what is properly called the prayer of the Church, known as the Divine Office or the Liturgy of the Hours. My guess is that most people associate this prayer with the daily prayers of those who live in a monastic setting or as the private prayer …

The Latin Mass

Deacon Scott Maentz Vatican II, Year of Faith

Certainly one of the biggest changes that Catholics around the world saw as a result of the Second Vatican Council, was the rapid disappearance of Latin in the liturgy as it was replaced by the vernacular. Today there is still a debate within the Church as to whether this was a legitimate development of the council. There are a large …

Full, Active and Conscious Participation

Deacon Scott Maentz Vatican II, Year of Faith

One of the phrases heard often when speaking of the post conciliar liturgy is the call to “full, active and conscious participation”. The council fathers put it in these words, Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the …

The Council at 50: Mass Post-Vatican II, A Participatory Event

Deacon Scott Maentz Vatican II, Year of Faith

The following article is the first in a series of posts by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II. Archbishop Gregory Aymond begins the series with this post on the Mass. Looking over the 50 years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council, it’s clear that the most obvious effects …

On the Unreal Presence

Deacon Scott Maentz Vatican II, Year of Faith

An often asked question when I was attending seminary was, “Do you believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist?” It is an unfortunate question both in that it is accusatory (the implication being that the person does not believe in this basic tenet of our Catholic faith) and that there would be any doubt that someone who …

The Fantastic Four

Deacon Scott Maentz Vatican II, Year of Faith

Coming to Sacred Heart Cathedral this fall…. The FANTASTIC FOUR Adult Faith Formation program! To inaugurate the Year of Faith, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, and the Diocesan Silver Jubilee, Sacred Heart will offer four Wednesday evenings of FOOD, FAITH, FELLOWSHIP, and FUN.  Dinner will be served in the Eagle Café at 6:00pm, followed by a program …

Vatican II & Popular Devotions

Deacon Scott Maentz Vatican II, Year of Faith

Growing up I spent most of my childhood attending Catholic schools. One of the things we learned were the many devotional prayers and practices that have for centuries enriched the lives of the faithful. The BVM sisters taught us to say the morning offering to God, how to pray the rosary, and gave us holy cards of Christ and the …

Vatican II & the Sacred Liturgy

Deacon Scott Maentz Vatican II, Year of Faith

  The first document of the Second Vatican Council was the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,  Sacrosanctum Concilium. All Church documents get their names from the first two words of the text, or sometime the first three words if there is a older document that begins with the same words. The official language of the Church is still Latin, so even …

Introducing the Second Vatican Council

Deacon Scott Maentz Vatican II, Year of Faith

A large part of the Year of Faith will be focused on celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. One of the best resources for understanding what happened at this historic event are the 16 documents which were produced during the years of the council. It is important to begin with an understanding of the …