Saturday, July 04, 2009

Vespers for the Inauguration of the Newly Restored Pauline Chapel

As mentioned before, Pope Benedict XVI today inaugurates the restored the Pauline Chapel of the Apostolic Palace with the celebration of Vespers in the chapel. Though probably no more than a coincidence, it is fitting that this chapel - the "smaller papal chapel" where the conclaves for the election of the popes took place until the Sacred College became so large that they had to be moved into the "larger papal chapel", the Sixtina - should be reinaugurated on the day which in the calendar of the extraordinary form is, in many dioceses (including mine), the Feast of the Commemoration of all the Holy Popes.

Here are some images from the Vespers (click to enlarge). The Pope entering the chapel:

Address of Cardinal Lajolo, President of the Governorate of Vatican City State:

Michelangelo's Conversion of Paul:

A detail of the Conversion of Paul - the man with the blue turban is a self-portrait of Michelangelo:

A very welcome detail of the restoration of the Pauline Chapel - the communion rails (the original ones from the Pontificate of Leo XIII) were put back in (unfortunately this is the best capture of them I was able to make):

Michelangelo's other great fresco in the Pauline Chapel - the Crucifixion of Peter:

Note in the background that a confessional has been installed:

Incensation of the altar at the Magnificat:

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament:


The Divine Praises:

The deacon reposes the Sanctissimum. Notice the nice tabernacle veil:

The Holy Father and the ministers genuflecting before the Lord in the tabernacle before leaving the chapel - a sight one doesn't see too often, since the Pope does not normally celebrate at altars where the Blessed Sacrament is present:

And to finish, a nice shot of the procession with the Holy Father leaving the Paolina:

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