Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Pope in Genoa [Update]

At the moment, the Holy Father is celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Genoa's Piazza della Vittoria. While the Mass is being celebrated in Italian, the ordinarium has been sung in Latin (Missa de Angelis and Credo III), as well as the Pater noster. Right now, will Holy Communion is being distributed, the choir is singing the Canticum Trium Puerorum (Benedicite omnia opera Domini Domino). Here are some images (click on them for larger versions):

The setting. I like that the throne is set up to the side instead of behind and above the altar:


A close view of the splendid throne:



The chasuble, while modern, is certainly a very worthy vestment. It is by LAVS, an Italian vestment maker, apparently favoured by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa, President of the Italian Bishops' Conference and the pope's host today. I especially like that the dalmatic and the stole with tassles can be seen beneath. See here:




The altar which is being used is - as far as I remember - by far the best we have seen for an outdoor Mass outside Rome. It has a stupendous silver frontal:


Candles and Cross have been set up in the manner we have now come to expect. The candlesticks themselves are also beautiful and matched the altar very well, as can be seen on this photograph of the offertory:


While the papal chasuble is new, the four deacons are wearing very fine old dalmatics, which we already have seen in a picture above:


During the canon, six ceroferarii with very nice lanterns were there:



The final blessing:


Earlier today, the Holy Father had worn a magnificent old papal stole again for a meeting with young people, where a also held a wonderful allocution, of which I hope to find a translation later.



On the whole I think it is fair to say that the Archdiocese of the great Cardinal Siri (to whom the Holy Father made express reference, quoting a pastoral letter of his, at a meeting in Genoa's Cathedral with the Chapter and Genoese religious) has done very well.


Some more information has become available, especially regarding the rôle Cardinal Siri has played during this visit. The citation by Benedict XVI of Cardinal Siri's pastoral letter of 1953 mentioned above actually consisted of two different quotes. The one directed at the canons of the cathedral chapter contains an interesting reference to the Divine Office as duty towards God, a concept seldom mentioned today. Here is my translation of the passage:

You, dear members of the Chapter of Canons of the Cathedral, taking care of the liturgical actions that take place here, remember that everything in us draws force from personal and liturgical prayer. It is still Cardinal Siri to stress that "the most venerable and most holy action, worthy of any consideration and respect, of every honour and distinction, which is performed in a diocese, is the solemn celebration of the persolvation of the Divine Office, i.e. what you do … The whole diocese, and in a certain sense the whole Church, prays through your lips. The duty of the diocesan family of the faithful is discharged towards God above all with this your prayer" (Towards the Congress "Worship of the Lord". Pastoral Letter to the Canons, 24 January 1953).

As reported on Cantuale Antonianum, the chapter gave as a gift to the Holy Father an alb of Cardinal Siri, which Siri in turn had received from Pius XII, and which Pope Benedict wore for the Mass reported on above. On his way out of the Genoese cathedral, the Holy Father stopped to pray at the tomb of Cardinal Siri.

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