Liturgy of the Hours

Monday, May 12, 2008

Another Msgr. Guido Marini interview by Il Giornale (courtesy of WDTPRS)

Andrea Tornielli interview Msgr. Guido Marini, papal MC

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Andrea Tornielli today reports that in Il Giornale there is an interview with none other than Msgr. Guido Marini, presently the papal MC. Here is my translation. I will try to dig up the piece in Il Giornale.

Msgr. Marini makes comments about Summorum Pontificum and ad orientem worship.

Today Il Giornale published an interview with [Archbp] Guido Marini, the new Mastor of Ceremonies for Papa Ratzinger, who explained the meaning of some of the Pontiff’s choices, starting with the Cross in the center of the altar. Not all of the conversation I had with Msgr. Marini could be published. I had to cut two important responses, dedicated to the orientation of the altar and the Motu Proprio. Here is the text, which I invite you to read.

For baptisms in the Sistine Chapel Benedict XVI celebrated with his back to the faithful, as before the Council. A fact that created some surprise…

"In circumstances in which the celebration is carried out in the way, we aren’t dealing as much with turning one’s back to the people as, rather, orienting oneself with the faithful toward the Lord. From this point of view "the door isn’t being closed on the faithful", but, "the door is being opened to the assembly, leading it to the Lord. There are certain circumstances in which, because of the artistic conditions of the sacred place and of its special beauty and harmony, it becomes advantageous to celebrate at the old altar, where among other things the exact orientation of the liturgical celebration is preserved. This shouldn’t surprise anyone: it is enough to go into St. Peter’s in the morning and see how many priests are celebrating according to the Ordinary Rite which came out of the post-Conciliar liturgical reform, but on traditional altars and, thus, oriented like that in the Sistine."

Benedict XVI will celebrate a Mass using the old Rite, which he derestricted with the Motu Proprio?

"I don’t know, and I am not in a position to respond. I believe nevertheless that a serene, ecclesial and non-ideological reading of these decisions by the Pontiff is important. The liturgy of the Church, just as with Her whole life, is comprised of continuity: I would speak of a development in continuity. This means that the Church procedes in her journey in history without losing sight of Her own roots and Her own living Tradition: this can require, in some cases, also the recovery of precious and important elements which were lost along the way, forgotten and which the passage of time has made less luminous in their authentic meaning. It seems to me that the Motu Proprio is aiming precisely in this direction: reaffirming with great clarity that in the liturgical life of the Church there is continuity, without rupture.

Il Giornale interview with Msgr. Guido Marini (from WDTPRS)

Il Giornale interviews Msgr. Guido Marini, papal MC

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Here is the interview with Msgr. Guido Marini in the Italian daily Il Giornale in my translation:

This is how I gave the Pope a retro make-over ("Così ho rifatto il look stile vintage al Papa") [We can do this in various ways, and what I chose here does not reflect anything of the style of language used by Msgr. Marini in the quotations below. I was trying to get at the punch of the headline in more popularized jargon.]

by Andrea Tornielli

In Genoa, where he grew up, instead of "Marini" they called him Fr. "Guidino", because he is tall and thin. In Rome, where he came by the selection of Benedict XVI last October, he has come to be appreciated for his gentility but also his decision to put into practice faithfully Ratzinger’s liturgical ideas. Msgr. Guido Marini, class of 1965, and for a few months now the new Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, succeeded the homonymous Piero Marini, for many years the artificer of the liturgies of John Paul II and also for the beginning of the present pontificate. If from the point of view of the name there couldn’t have been a smoother transition, at the arrival of Fr. Guido – holder of several doctorates, the sometime MC and Chancellor of two Archbishops of Genoa – he hasn’t gone unnoticed, thanks to the recovery of some traditional vestments. Old mitres have been exhumed, and the Pontiff has even changed his pastoral staff, abandoning the modern one in silver to take up a "ferula" (staff surrmounted by a Cross) of Pius IX. It has gotten to the point that the press during his visit to the USA spoke of a "vintage" Pope.

Il Giornale met with the MC in his office, from which one has one of most beautiful views of the Piazza of St. Peter.

In the first place, let’s ask the reason for the recovery of the precious headgear of his predecessors: for example, last Christmas, Ratzinger used mitres belonging to Paul VI, John XXIII and Benedict XV.

"The vestments chosen, as also other particulars of the Rite," the Master of Ceremonies explained, "are intended to underscore the continuity of the present liturgical celebration with that which characterized in the past the life of the Church. Continuity is the interpretive key, always the exact criteria for reading the Church’s journey through time. This is valid also for liturgy." "As one Pope cites in his documents the Pontiffs who preceed him, so as to indicate the continutiy of the Magisterium of the Church," Marini continues, "so in the ambient of liturgy a Pope uses also the vestments and sacred accoutrement of his precedessors to show the same continuity also in his celebratations. I would, however, mention that the Pope does not always use old vestments. He often wears new ones. The importance is not so much their antiquity or modernity, as much as their beauty and dignity, important components for every liturgical celebration."

Another huge change, more recently, is the setting aside of the modern silver pastoral Cross of Paul VI. Ratzinger has adopted a larger one, of Pius IX.

"Obviously," Marini explains, "what I just said about continuity applies here as well. In this case, however, there is also a practical element: the ferula of Pius IX is lighter and more manageable. So much so that the Pope decided to use it all the time, as was seen in also in the USA."

On some occasiones, as in the consistory for the creation of new Cardinals, the high papal throne was reinstated. Nostaligia for temporal power?

"No nostalgia", the MC responds with a smile playing on his lips. "The so-called throne, used in particular situations, is intended only to highlight the liturgical presidency of the Holy Father."

Finally, it was noted, from the moment Msgr. Marini took up his role, the presence of a Cross in the center of the altar, as in former times. Also in this case, the MC wanted to make understood the profound meaning of a choice that has nothing to do with nostalgia:

"The position of the Cross in the center of the altar shows the centrality of the Crucified One in the Eucharistic celebration and the precise orientation that the whole assembly is called to have during the Eucharistic liturgy: we don’t look at ourselves, but we look toward Him who was born, died, and rose for us, the Savior. From the Lord comes salvation. He is the East, the sun which rises, toward which we must all turn our gaze, from which we all must receive the gift of grace."

The telephone rings constantly. The last details must be finalized for the liturgies that Benedict XVI will celebrate in Savona and Genoa on 17 and 18 May.

We ask of it is difficult to be the papal MC.

"It is a demanding role not only for the amount of work, but above all for the responsibility it carries. I have really taken stock of the responsibility to live out with complete fidelity to the Holy Father the task which has been entrusted to me, keeping in mind that the liturgy which I have been called to serve and "organize" is the liturgy of the Church, and of the Pope".

A Pentecost Gift

From Mr. Carlos Antonio Palad of Rorate Caeli comes this very good news:

3,000 Assyrians Received into the Catholic Church

The Chaldean Catholic Diocese of St. Peter and Paul has formally received into its fold, those members of the Assyrian Catholic Apostolic Diocese who, under the leadership of Mar Bawai Soro (pictured above), had asked to be reconciled with the Catholic Church last January 17, 2008.

One bishop (Mar Bawai himself), six priests, 30+ deacons and subdeacons and an estimated 3,000 faithful were received into full communion during liturgical celebrations for the Feast of Pentecost. The announcement by the Chaldean Catholic Church can be found here.

. . .

Mar Bawai Soro has long advocated the Primacy of the See of Rome. On November 2, 2005, he presented to the Synod of Bishops of the Assyrian Church of the East (of which he was a bishop at that time) a paper entitled "The Position of the Church of the East Theological Tradition on the Questions of Church Unity and Full Communion " in which, among other things, he stated that

The Church of the East attributes a prominent role to Saint Peter and a
significant place for the Church of Rome in her liturgical, canonical and
Patristic thoughts. There are more than 50 liturgical, canonical and Patristic
citations that explicitly express such a conviction. The question before us
therefore is, why there must be a primacy attributed to Saint Peter in the
Church? If there is no primacy in the universal church, we shall not be able to
legitimize a primacy of all the Catholicos-Patriarchs in the other apostolic
churches. If the patriarchs of the apostolic churches have legitimate authority
over their own respective bishops it is so because there is a principle of
primacy in the universal Church. If the principle of primacy is valid for a
local Church (for example, the Assyrian Church of the East), it is so because it
is already valid for the universal church. If there is no Peter for the
universal church there could not be Peter for the local Church. If all the
apostles are equal in authority by virtue of the gift of the Spirit, and if the
bishops are the successors of the Apostles, based on what then one of these
bishops (i.e., the Catholicos-Patriarchs) has authority over the other

The Church of the East possesses a theological, liturgical and
canonical tradition in which she clearly values the primacy of Peter among the
rest of the Apostles and their churches and the relationship Peter has with his
successors in the Church of Rome. The official organ of our Church of the East,
Mar Abdisho of Soba, the last theologian in our Church before its fall, based
himself on such an understanding when he collected his famous Nomocanon in which
he clearly states the following: “To the Great Rome [authority] was given
because the two pillars are laid [in the grave] there, Peter, I say, the head of
the Apostles, and Paul, the teacher of the nations. [Rome] is the first see and
the head of the patriarchs.” (Memra 9; Risha 1) Furthermore, Abdisho asserts “.
. . . And as the patriarch has authority to do all he wishes in a fitting manner
in such things as are beneath his authority, so the patriarch of Rome has
authority over all patriarchs, like the blessed Peter over all the community,
for he who is in Rome also keeps the office of Peter in all the church. He who
transgresses against these things the ecumenical synod places under anathema.”
(Memra 9; Risha 8). I would like to ask here the following: who among us would
dare to think that he or she is more learned than Abdisho of Soba, or that they
are more sincere to the church of our forefather than Mar Abdisho himself? This
is true especially since we the members of the Holy Synod have in 2004 affirmed
Mar Abdisho’s List of Seven Sacraments as the official list of the Assyrian
Church of the East. How much more then we ought to consider examining and
receiving Abdisho’s Synodical legislation in his Nomocanon?

Five days later, Mar Bawai was suspended by the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church. The story behind this, as well as the full text of the paper on papal primacy that Mar Bawai had presented to the Synod, can be found here.

Following upon his suspension, Mar Bawai and the clergy and faithful who had remained loyal to him formed the Assyrian Catholic Apostolic Diocese, then proceeded to draw ever closer to the Catholic Church through the Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate. How fitting that they finally came home on Pentecost Sunday. Deo Gratias!

To our dear brothers and sisters of the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of Sts. Peter and Paul, our warmest greetings of welcome!

Solemnity of Pentecost from the Vatican

A re-post from The New Liturgical Movement:

Solemnity of Pentecost from the Vatican

by Shawn Tribe

Pentecost at St. Peter's Basilica looked to be quite a decorous occasion if the pictures tell the tale.

The Pope has brought out another Renaissance style vestment set for this occasion.

(Seven Acolytes, a more and more regular sight in papal liturgies)

(It is difficult to think of the altar any other way than this now)

(Here is a nice view of the chasuble)

More may come.

Requiem æternam

I am requesting the readers of this post to please pray for the eternal repose of my grandfather, Marcelino Bayot, who passed away last May 5th and was interred last Sunday, Solemnity of Pentecost.

A few days before he died, he prays aloud the Gloria Patri in Latin. We usually crack some jokes about this thinking that he is doing this as a sign of old age (nag-uulyanin in Tagalog) but even if this is true, this is evident of his dependence in God and a deep faith inculcated in him in his younger years.

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Te decet hymnus Deus, in Sion, et tibi reddetur votum in Ierusalem. Exaudi orationem meam; ad te omnis caro veniet. Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. (Introit for Mass for the Dead)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Mass for the Catholic Action

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Saint Peter's Square presents itself today almost as an open-air 'cenacle', crowded with faithful, many of them members of Italian Catholic Action": this is how Benedict XVI greeted the 100,000 members of the most widespread ecclesial association in Italy, in his reflection before the Regina Caeli today. The young and adults of Catholic Action (AC) were gathered in the square to celebrate the 140th anniversary of their foundation with a Mass presided over by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian bishops' conference. (04 May 2008)

Here are two photos from Fotografia Felici during the Mass. The crucifix is, still, similar to the papal masses, at the center of the altar, in the middle of four candlesticks. The vestments and the antepedium are beautiful. worthy of notice is the position of the Bishop Celebrant - at the Gospel (left) side (that is, from the congregation's view).

The second picture confirmed that I (as head server) was wrong in 'forbidding' the use processional candles for the Gospel proclamation. I thought of it because the rubrics for the Easter vigil (Mass in the Ordinary Form) says that the candles are not brought in the proclamation of the Gospel. I guess, I was wrong in presuming that this extends throughout the Easter season or while the Paschal candle is in the sanctuary or near the ambo.

By the way, a couple of Sundays ago (I think, it was the 5th Sunday of Easter for the OF), our priest decided to bless the baptismal font donated by a Marian organization. Because of this, he asked me to have one of the servers carry the lighted Paschal candle during the Entrance Procession of the Mass and afterwards, place it in its stand placed near the new font. So, sadly, as early as that Sunday, our Paschal candle is out in the sanctuary and by the next week, even the image of the Resurrected Christ was removed.