It is striking how often Pope Francis refers to the family in his writings and homilies. In the week after Christmas we celebrated the feast of the Holy Family, and now at the beginning of February, the Presentation of Jesus in the temple. Both feasts call us to reflect on the vital link between a strong Christian family and a fruitful celebration of parish liturgy.
At the beginning of next month the Church celebrates two important feasts: All Saints on November 1, followed by All Souls on November 2. While in the minds of many Catholics these two feasts are inextricably linked, they originated at different times and have different emphases.
When a young couple approaches the Church to be married, their intention is to formally ratify the deep love they have for each other in the presence of their family and friends, with the blessing of the Church.
Did you know that the first official Roman ritual for Christian marriage only appeared in 1614 and was only officially recognised as one of the seven sacraments in the Middle Ages?
Early in June we celebrated the feast of Pentecost, often referred to as the ‘birthday of the Church’, when Peter and the other apostles presented the Good News of Christ to the Jerusalem crowds who heard them speaking in their own language. So we could say that, right from the beginning, the character of the Church has been multicultural!
Every year on Good Friday large numbers of Catholics gather in groups to remember the Passion of Christ by praying the Stations of the Cross.