Certain parts in the Solemn High Mass are sung by the assistants and simultaneously prayed silently by the priest. What is the reason for this repetition of prayers? Continue reading “Why certain prayers in the Latin Mass are said twice”
It is a fact that may not appear obvious but the use of silk or even cotton is not approved for the liturgy. Continue reading “Why the Catholic Church does not allow the use of silk for the liturgy”
Some people think they do not need to dress up for Sunday Mass, since “God loves me as I am”. Continue reading “Why we should dress up for Sunday Mass”
“Ankle-length garment” is the literal meaning of the corresponding Latin term. Continue reading “Why priests should wear cassocks?”
The term ‘tabernacle’ arose as a reference to the Old Testament tabernacle which was the locus of God’s presence among the Jewish people. Continue reading “What is not allowed in front of a tabernacle”
Sanctuary or tabernacle lamps are a part of every Catholic church. The practice has been around for many centuries, but why are they there? Continue reading “Why churches have sanctuary lamps”
The chalice occupies the first place among sacred vessels, and by a figure of speech the material cup is often used as if it were synonymous with the Precious Blood itself. Continue reading “Why chalices are of gold or silver, not wood”
Ever noticed that candles at churches are always white? There’s a reason for that. Continue reading “Why church candles are white in color?”
You may have seen monks with a tonsure, or images of saints with a clerical tonsure. Continue reading “Why monks have a tonsure”
It is a fact that may not appear obvious but the use of cotton or silk is not approved for the liturgy. Continue reading “Why the Church prescribes the use of linen for the liturgy, instead of cotton”
ANSWER: Islamic apologists often point out that Islam is not a monolith, i.e. not everybody has the same ideas. There are differences of opinion among the different Islamic schools of thought. Continue reading “MYTHS DEBUNKED: “It is unfair to paint all islamic schools of thought as violent””
For one reason, precisely because it is dead! Continue reading “Why does the Church cling to Latin, a dead language?”
In the Epistle to the Hebrews, you will find these words, “For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins.” (Hebr. 5:1) Continue reading “Why do priests say Mass in Latin?”
The fish symbol was a secret symbol used by Christians in the first centuries when they were persecuted. Continue reading “Why early Christians used a fish as their secret symbol”
Traditional baptismal fonts are often octagonal in shape (and sometimes also the baptismal side-chapel of a church). Continue reading “Why baptismal fonts are in the shape of an octagon”
In the course of past centuries the ceremonies of the Holy Mass organically grew to what have now in the 1962 Solemn High Mass, i.e. the High Mass with deacon and subdeacon. Continue reading “Why the priest in the 1962 Low Mass says certain parts up loud and others silently”
At the solemn start of the Sung Mass in the extraordinary form, an ‘ouverture’ is sung by the choir, namely the Introit (Introitus). Continue reading “Why we sing the Introit at Sung Mass”
The origins of bank holidays, or federal holidays in the US, can be traced back to the Catholic Church. Continue reading “Why bank holidays or federal holidays originate from the Catholic Church”
Ever noticed that the Psalms repeat the same thought the next line? That is because the Psalms follow the Hebrew poetry rules… Continue reading “Why the Psalms repeat the same thought in the next verse”
You may have noticed it sometimes: The priest’s hand is kissed during a Mass ceremony or by one of the faithful when greeting him.
The reason why the hand of a priest is kissed (for example during the liturgy), is because the hands of bishops and priests are consecrated.
This makes the hands the ultimate symbol for the priesthood. By kissing their hand, we render praise to God for the sacraments Christ has entrusted to the Church and her consecrated servants, the priests.
Outside the liturgy
In many countries it was traditional to kiss the consecrated hand of a priest even outside the liturgy. This tradition is still practiced in Latin America and certain parts of Eastern Europe.
What about bishops?
Bishops generally do not get kissed on the hand, but on their episcopal ring. To find out more why that is, read our other article: Why we kiss the ring of a Bishop.
Semper Excelsius is a website for the defense of the Catholic faith through instruction and informative articles. Its focus is on explaining the rich history and traditions of the holy Roman Catholic Church, while defending her teachings against false assumptions and doctrinal errors.