Thursday, February 07, 2008

New Archbishop of Munich III - the Enthronement

Last Saturday, 2 February, the new Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Msgr. Reinhard Marx, was installed at Our Lady's Cathedral in Munich (cf. earlier post here and here), in the presence of 56 bishops, among them all Bavarian Bishops, the presidents of the German and Austrian Episcopal Conferences, Cardinals Lehmann and von Schönborn, as well as the Prime Minister of Bavaria, the President of the Bavarian Parliament, and H.R.H. Duke Franz of Bavaria, head of the House of Wittelsbach.

At the beginning, after the papal nuncio, Msgr. Périsset, had, in the name of the Archbishop elect, presented the papal bull to the cathedral chapter - which is the actual legal act of taking possession, cf. can. 382 § 3 CIC -, Cardinal Wetter, his predecessor and successor to the Holy Father on the See of St. Corbinian, handed over to the new Archbishop the crosier.

Here is a more detailed picture of the crosier, a work of the Bavarian goldsmith Franz Kessler from around 1700 (click on the picture for a very large version):

This is the same staff Cardinal Wetter had been given, 26 years ago, by his predecessor, then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who can be seen here with the same crosier:

The Archbishop was then enthroned upon his Cathedra, where he received the obedience of representatives of the various estates of the diocese, and the congratulations of his fellow bishops. Now, should any of you wonder about the somewhat uninspiring chasuble, it has a special memory attached to it, because it is the one Pope John Paul II wore at his 1987 Mass in the Munich Olympic Stadium, when he beatified Bl. Rupert Mayer, and Archbishop Marx entrusted his ministry to Our Lady, the Patrona Bavariæ, to St. Corbinian, to Bl. Rupert Mayer, and to the Servant of God John Paul II:

The new supreme shepherd and teacher of the Church of Munich and Freising exercising his office, giving a forceful sermon on the centrality of Christ, the Saviour of all mankind, and mentioning the centrality of Holy Mass:

And some folcloristic aspects: German students during the Mass:

And Msgr. Marx after Mass with the famous Bavarian Gebirgsschützen:

As for liturgical aspects of the Mass, while not perfect from a reform-of-the-reform point of view (which was hardly to be expected), there were some notable positive elements:

- The entire ordinarium was sung in Latin: Kyrie from the B minor Mass of Bach, Gloria intoned by the archbishop, then until "bonæ voluntatis" the Gloria of the B minor Mass of Bach, the rest from the Missa de Angelis, Credo III, Sanctus and Agnus Dei from Mass XVII (both with the last verse from Bach's B minor Mass). While the choices may be debatable, it is significant that at such a celebration of national importance, chant was used at all for the entire ordinarium (apart from the Bach pieces).

- The German hymns sung were all beautiful and traditional; also there was an aditional motet ("Lætentur cæli" by di Lasso) during the obedience.

- The inclinations at the Holy Names and the profound bow at the "Et incarnatus est" were actually made - sadly, absolutely not the rule.

- At the offertory incensensation, Msgr. Marx made the traditional three Crosses and three circles with the thurible. At the consecration, he bowed over the altar while pronouncing the words of consecration. And at communion, he made the sign of the Cross with the Host and the Chalice before consuming the Sacred Species.

All in all, a memorable day.

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