Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Budapest Liturgical Conference: Solemn Pontifical Mass

The final in the series of liturgical images which I wish to bring you from Budapest you have already had a slight view of in preceding articles on the conference. They come from the Solemn Pontifical Mass celebrated in St. Teresa of Avila church.

There are a couple of interesting liturgical notes about this liturgy, so do read on.

(The church, which is quite large, was standing room only by the time the Mass actually began and one could sense great anticipation.)

(Taking place in the context of an international liturgical conference, the homily was delivered in Latin)

(The concluding prayers after Mass)

Two interesting notes of liturgical minutiae from the ceremonies of the Pontifical Mass.

One is that it was a pleasant surprise to see the use of the (now optional) pontifical buskins and shoes -- some of you may have picked up on this in the pictures. This is particularly rare to see in large part because of pragmatic considerations: shoes are a size specific matter, very particular to an individual bishop.

(Those more aware of pontifical ceremonial might note the use of the crozier, which indeed, wasn't technically correct. However, these pontifical ceremonies are still very new here, so please do not focus upon the point.)

The second bit of minutiae is even more liturgically rare. A ceremony occurred which most of us there had never actually seen done before -- even those who had been involved in many pontifical Masses -- though, like buskins and sandals, it is still an optional use of the pontifical ceremonial.

Namely, the praegustatio, or "pre-tasting", occured. This is when the unconsecrated elements of the bread and wine are brought down in front of the celebrating bishop and are tasted in his presence. This, as you might guess, is a hold-over from times when there was concern about potential poisoning. This was also done in the course of the papal liturgy.

Unfortunately, I can offer no photographs of this rare occurence. I am seeking out some others who were photographing this particular Mass to see if they might not have had a better angle to capture it however.

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