Monday, March 31, 2014

A Bishop of Rome Celebrates Laetare Sunday with the FSSP

The Fraternity of St Peter’s Roman parish, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, was very honored to welcome as the celebrant of the Mass for Laetare Sunday His Excellency Matteo Zuppi, the Auxiliary Bishop of Rome responsible for the pastoral care of the city center, including Trinità dei Pellegrini. This was the first time that an auxiliary of Rome durante munere has celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form in a Roman parish since the post-Conciliar liturgical reforms began, and the whole parish community was very glad to accede to His Excellency’s request to say the Mass.
The miter which His Excellency is wearing here was a gift to him from the parish.
As Fr. Joseph Kramer, the parish priest, stated when welcoming the bishop before the beginning of the Mass, “Monsignor Zuppi’s presence here today represents the union in law, but also in affection, which exists between this parish and the diocese of Rome. As pastor, together with all the members of the parish, we are happy to be united today with our bishop. ... We are very grateful to (him) that he wished to demonstrate that the Extraordinary Form has become part of the normal life of the Church, in the manner desired by Pope Benedict XVI in his moto proprio Summorum Pontificum. ... For our parish, it is very encouraging, Your Excellency, to have you with us today as a concrete and visible sign of your pastoral care for us.” NLM joins Fr Kramer, the parish and the FSSP in thanking Monsignor Zuppi for his pastoral solicitude towards the faithful who follow the Extraordinary Form, and all the faithful of the city of Rome. (Those who have followed our friend Agnese’s pictures of the Station Masses have seen that His Excellency has celebrated several of them.) Thanks also to the parish for making these photos available. 

The silver reliquary in the middle of the altar is of His Excellency’s name-saint, Matthew the Evangelist, to whom the altar of the church’s right transept is dedicated. The four statues are of the Apostles Peter, Paul, John and Matthew: the patrons and founders of the Church in Rome, the titular Saint of the city’s cathedral, and one of the patron Saints of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity of the Pilgrims. On Laetare Sunday, the altar may be decorated with flowers, but it was a common custom in Rome to use the metal flower arrangement seen here on the highest part of the altar.
“ ‘Rejoice Jerusalem, and all ye that love her, exult with her; rejoice, ye that were sad, exult, and be filled with her consolations.’ This is the invitation of this Sunday, Laetare. Let us rejoice, because we see the light of Easter drawing near, because salvation is not far from our life, because we experience joy, even in the midst of our Lenten journey. (speaking of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes in the day’s Gospel, John 6, 1-15) He took (the bread), gave thanks, offered; so it is in the Eucharist .. Jesus Himself takes the bread and distributes it. He is the servant, Who teaches us to give and to serve. ... All were satisfied, with as much as they wanted. It is a foretaste of Paradise. Lord, always give us this Bread, which alone can satisfy us, which satisfies the soul, this Bread of love which teaches us to feed the hunger of all in abundance. Amen.” (from Bishop Zuppi’s homily)

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