Saturday, July 19, 2008

Coverage of the Final Papal Mass at World Youth Day

Continuing the NLM coverage of the papal liturgies at this year's World Youth Day activities in Australia, we now turn our attention to the final, large, outdoor Mass.

Watch this post for continuing updates.

Our first view of the stage for the papal Mass. You can see what I believe is "Marjorie's Bird" which made the news in the weeks leading up to WYD, in particular relation to the vestments of the Pope. It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

Our first view of the altar shows the "Benedictine" arrangement in place (i.e. the Roman Basilica arrangement) -- though one candlestick is missing at the present moment. Presumably this is temporary and will be fixed.

The Pope has arrived and the seventh candlestick is now properly in place. (As to the design of the altar itself, I would encourage all to focus instead on the fact of the continuing programme for liturgical re-orientation which has made its way into the very central World Youth Day liturgy. That is significant and one can hope many priests and seminarians here present take notice of this.)

One can see the Pope has arrived, and can see the servers, deacons, bishops and the like in waiting. Msgr. Marini has escorted the Holy Father into the temporary sacristy.

One will note that the Pope's chasuble is indeed without "Marjorie's Bird" as was reported. One can see the other bishops wearing those vestments as a point of comparison.

Another good view of the altar arrangement.

The first major note after the altar arrangement is that the Introit is being chanted in Gregorian chant. This must be understood as a major and significant development for World Youth Day.

The incensation of the altar.

For the Kyrie, the Greek is being used for the actual phrases "Kyrie Eleison" and "Christe Eleison", with some vernacular mixed in. Interestingly, it was both spoken by the Pope and is being followed by an orchestral version of the same.

The Gloria is also orchestral, employing a Latin refrain and then being sung in the vernacular -- and as some careful listeners have noted already in the comments, this would appear to be the literal translation of the Latin Gloria. These may well be the new texts which are the product of the revised ICEL commission.

The Gospel Procession raises the whole question of what constitutes proper or improper inculturation in the liturgy:

This is certainly a subject that will need to be addressed, but we shall simply note it and move on for the moment.

Following the homily, the faithful were asked to reflect in silence for a few moments on the Holy Father's teaching. This aspect of silence within the liturgy is certainly an important sense to recover.

The Pope is now performing confirmations.

During the latter part of the offertory, there was some dignified organ music. You'll also note the papal asterisk atop the paten, covering the host. Incidentally, for those who debated it, note the pins on the pallium.

Above to the right of the picture you'll note the pin is now gone. Compare the above to the new pallium's first appearance on the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul in Rome:

Just an FYI for those who are interested in these little bits of liturgical interest.

It is worth noting that traditional sanctus bells were used at the consecration.

The Pope intoned the Pater in Latin, and the Pater itself was sung in the traditional Latin chant.

The Agnus Dei, like the Kyrie and Gloria, is orchestral and choral, with a mixture of Latin and English.

Wonderfully, we pick up again on the traditional Gregorian chants at the Communion chant.

One also sees the now regular occurence of communion received from the Pope, kneeling and upon the tongue:

Following communion, people were again asked to maintain silence after having "received the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament".

At the end of Mass, the Pope recited the Angelus in Latin. Quite something to say the least.

The final blessing was imparted in Latin and there was a very nice organ recessional.

This concludes the live coverage.

Watch for concluding considerations and thoughts in a separate post tomorrow.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: