Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Pope Benedict Asks For Greater Composure in the Liturgy


Last Sunday, the Holy Father visited the Italian cities of Viterbo with its papal palace, where the first papal conclave was held, and Bagnoregio, birthplace of St Bonaventure, about whom Pope Benedict wrote his habilitation treatise (which is being published these days, for the first time in its original version, as the second volume of his opera omnia). In Viterbo, he celebrated Mass in the Faul Valley, immediately below the walls of the papal palace. According to several reports in the Italian press (cf. here, here or here), at lunch that day with the local bishops, the Holy Father made some interesting remarks about the attitude of the faithful attending that Mass. While they are not new or surprising, they certainly bear highlighting. According to the reports, Benedict XVI explained to the bishops present that "he desires a greater composure in the liturgies, in which, he finds, applause and acclamations are out of place." In that sense he commended Sunday's celebration, because the more than ten thousand faithful attending "were very devout and composed." In this, the faithful also followed an invitation made through the speakers installed for the occasion "not to applaud and to remain recollected."