Sunday, October 05, 2008

Opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops

In Rome, the Holy Father this morning celebrated the opening Mass for the XIIth General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. The Mass took was celebrated in St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, because of the Pauline Year.

Here are some pictures of the Mass (only from the Offertory onwards, as I myself only got home from Mass at this time; click on the pictures to get a larger version):

The vestments and mitre of the Holy Father and the dalmatics of the deacons of the Mass are those he received on his visit to Brindisi earlier this year.

On this nice image of NLM favourite Archbishop Raymond Burke I managed to capture we can see that the coat of arms of Paul VI is woven into the fabric of the chasubles of the concelebrants.

I could not tell with certainty because I did not get to watch the first part of the Mass, but it seems that the places of the deacons of the Mass have moved closer to the Holy Father, while the MCs appear to have been standing, at least during the presentation of the gifts to the Holy Father when the deacons were sitting. This would better correspond to traditional practice than the former arrangement.

Missa XI (orbis factor) was sung.

Unfortunately, the angles and the focus of the cameras were rather disadvantageous. I wonder whether it would not be possible to have one camera behind the altar, and to film the canon of the Mass from there. This would, in my opinion, be very helpful in restoring a proper orientation of the liturgy without requiring any changes in the setup of the celebration in the papal basilicas itself.

One detail that caught my attention (I do not know whether this has always been the practice) was that the cardinals who attended in choro received Holy Communion kneeling.

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