Friday, May 23, 2008

More from Corpus Christi in Rome

As indicated yesterday, here are some professional (Felici/Profimedia) photographs of yesterday's Corpus Christi Mass and procession with the Holy Father.

The Pope arriving at the Lateran:

The altar:

The throne (the coat of arms is that of St. Pius X):

Communicants receiving Holy Communion from the Holy Father kneeling:

The Pope adoring Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament:

The Sanctissimum being transferred to the vehicle used for the procession:

The procession:

Adoration and Eucharistic Benediction at St. Mary Major:

Just so we don't forget how far we have come in a very short time, this is how the altar for the papal Corpus Christi Mass looked last year:

Having noted and infact praised all this progress, and especially the important reintroduction of Holy Communion received kneeling, and not detracting in any way from all of this, there is one thing at this celebration which I would think might be further improved: the vehicle used for the procession. The arrangement of this vehicle has already been somewhat improved: the little pendants at the sides of the canopy were added. Last year, the canopy was still plain:

However, and without being able to suggest a convincing alternative (seeing that the reintroduction of the talamo is virtually impossible - but who knows?), I must say that the use of this white pickup (apparently a gift received by Pope John Paul II on his 1980 visit to Brazil) is not really a felicitous solution. I especially dislike the fixed canopy, which mounted on the metal framework to me personally looks, to be blunt, cheap and inappropriate. I wonder whether a return to the practice of Paul VI could not, in this case, be a step in the right direction: While still using a motorcar, the traditional canopy was carried, as previously when the talamo was still in use, by eight deacons in dalmatics:


In the combox, the question has come up what the talamo was. It was a special device on which the pope kneeling before the Sanctissimum was borne on the shoulders of the sediarii, much like the sedia gestatoria. It was first used under Alexander VII (1655 - 1667) and last used by Paul VI. Here is Pius XI on the talamo:

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: