Thursday, October 09, 2008

Cappella Papale for Death of Pius XII: The Benedictine Program Continues [UPDATED]

Today is the 50th anniversary of the death of the Servant of God Pope Pius XII, which saw Mass celebrated by the Pope today in the Basilica of St. Peter's.

The NLM, having received word about some continuing developments in Benedict's liturgical program of continuity, wanted to cover this event live, and indeed, aside from the Mass and occasion itself, there were some things of liturgical interest.

We saw last Good Friday that the Pope wore a Roman style chasuble. Of course, this was outside the context of Mass. Today for this occasion, the Pope chose again to wear this same chasuble, this time in the context of Mass itself. The Pope also wore the pontifical dalmatic.

One does wonder whether the papal fanon might eventually also make an appearance.

We also saw, once again, a more traditional arrangement of the throne of the Pontiff, moving it off from the front of the altar and up upon steps.

Finally, this was an interesting development:

So the question might be asked, why such interest in matters like the style of chasuble, fanons and so forth? The answer is quite simply "continuity." In the context of the decades since the Council, a spirit of rupture between the pre-conciliar era and post-conciliar era developed to the extent that many manifestations of our former practice were avoided for various reasons. The Pope is endeavouring to speak, through simple actions such as those we have been looking at, of a principle of continuity.


Here are some further images from the Offertory, Consecration and Communion for your enjoyment:

At the end of Mass, the Pontiff descended into the grottoes of the Vatican and prayed before the tomb of his scholarly and saintly predecessor, Pius XII:

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