The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
Read more.

A-Z of the Mass: Qurbana

Sunday, September 05, 2010
 Read more

A - Z of the Mass: Prayers

Friday, August 27, 2010
Prayer is the raising of one's heart and mind to God, and whilst this doesn't have to be restricted to a particular time or place, the prayers said during Mass are of fundamental importance to the Christian life. To many Christians, this would be a controversial statement. After all, Jesus said 'when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret' (Matt. 6:6). Should we not think that the heartfelt and spontaneous prayers said in private are of more value than the formulaic recitations said during Mass?
 Read more

A - Z of the Mass: Offerings

Monday, August 23, 2010
The Holy Sacrifice of the MassAt the centre of the Eucharistic action is the idea of offering. As the Catechism says: "The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the making present and the sacramental offering of his unique sacrifice, in the liturgy of the Church which is his Body" (§1362). An offering is something freely given to another, in this case God, and it has a sacrificial element which is perfected if it is given out of love. St Thomas cites St Augustine saying that "'Christ offered Himself up for us in the Passion': and this voluntary enduring of the Passion was most acceptable to God, as coming from charity" (ST III 48,3). The Mass is the sacramental sign of the one Sacrifice of Christ's Passion, such that Christ's perfect offering on the Cross is made present in the perfect offering of the Mass. Again, as the Catechism (quoting the Council of Trent) says: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different" (CCC §1367). So, the ordained priest, acting in the person of Christ, offers the Body and Blood of Christ, the "acceptable sacrifice", to the Father.
 Read more

A-Z of the Mass: 'N'

Thursday, August 19, 2010
There are a number of places in the rite of the Mass where the designations 'N', or 'N and N', appear. This is to indicate that certain individuals should, or may, be named at these places. The ones who should be named are the Pope and the Bishop in whose diocese the Eucharist is being celebrated. Thus in the second Eucharistic Prayer we say:
 Read more

A-Z of the Mass: Memorial

Monday, August 16, 2010
'Do this in memory of me'

 Read more

A to Z of the Mass - Language

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Clearly, language plays an important part in the celebration of the Eucharist: after all, we say that it is the words spoken by the priest (its ‘form’) over the bread and wine (its 'matter') that effect the sacrament in which Christ is really present under the appearances of that bread and wine. But how do we dare claim such power for these words, elements of human language? And why these words in particular? And what about the rest of the liturgical rite of the Mass, also composed of various texts? After all, is God not beyond language, limited as it is by the boundaries of the human mind? How can any prayer we say, with any form of words, be worthy of any response from God, let alone the gift of the Body and Blood of Christ which He gives us in the Eucharist? Read more

A-Z of the Mass: Kneeling

Monday, August 09, 2010
Kneeling at Mass can be a controversial and divisive issue among liturgists and I have no intention of wading into the debate. However I think that kneeling and all our liturgical postures contain deep meaning and significance. First, kneeling is not something that we normally do in day to day life. When we kneel we are physically demonstrating that what happens at the Mass is sacred and different from the rest of our daily lives. Furthermore kneeling is a sign of adoration and reverence.

We kneel during the Eucharistic prayer as this is the most important part of the Mass; it is when Our Lord becomes present in the Blessed Sacrament. Many would argue that this is an innovation of the medieval ages, when people would adopt similar postures in the presence of their social superiors. This might be the case, but if one is willing to kneel before a king is it not acceptable to kneel before the King of kings?
 Read more

A-Z of the Mass - Jewish Synagogue Worship

Thursday, August 05, 2010
When we assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it is perhaps, easy to forget how much in our liturgy we draw from our Jewish heritage. Both our buildings and the liturgical functions that we celebrate within them resonate strongly with this heritage. In particular, we see many liturgical similarities between what was known as the Mass of the Catechumens, now known as the Liturgy of the Word, and Jewish synagogue worship. For Jews, as for Catholics, prayer and worship do not necessarily have to take place within a purpose built structure, but these structures represent a good starting point to examine that which best exemplifies the liturgical tradition and function of each faith, providing as they do, a common place of worship where members of each faith may gather in praise of God.
 Read more

A-Z of the Mass: Incense

Monday, August 02, 2010
“For it came to pass, when the flame went up towards heaven from off the altar, the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar” (Judges 13:20) Read more

A - Z of the Mass: Homily

Thursday, July 29, 2010
The word 'homily' comes from the Greek homilia and means discourse, speaking together or in communion. Hence, in 1 Corinthians 15:33, homilia is translated as colloquia in St Jerome's Vulgate. The word connotes a familiar conversation between a pastor and his flock, using words and images that they will recognize. So, in Luke 24:14, on the road to Emmaus, the Lord is said to be "discussing as they went all that had happened", and the Greek word that 'discussing' translates is homiloun.
 Read more
Follow us
Meet the Student Brothers

Meet the Student Brothers



Featured Series

Featured Series

Recent posts


Liturgical index

All tags & authors


Upcoming events

View the full calendar