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”
Very funny cartoon. Definitely worthwhile watching.
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”
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.
This expression comes back from a letter of St. Ambrose in 387 A.D. addressed to St. Augustine. Continue reading “Where the saying “In Rome do as the Romans do” comes from”