Thursday, October 02, 2014

A New Book on Cardinal Dante, with Great Pictures of Papal Ceremonies

I am very happy to be able to share with our readers news of the publication of a new e-book about Enrico Cardinal Dante, just released by Mr. Bartłomiej Krzych, a seminarian with the Community of St Gregory the Great; the book is available for free consultation and download here: The bulk of the original text is in Polish, but it also contains a number of documents in Latin and Italian, such as the diploma by which Msgr. Dante was appointed to the College of Pontifical Ceremonieres by Pope St Pius X in 1914, and that by which he was made the Prefect of Pontifical Ceremonies in 1947 under Pius XII. By permission of the current Master of Ceremonies, Msgr Guido Marini, and under the copyright of the Office for Pontifical Celebrations, Mr Krzych was also able to include in the book a good number of unique and interesting photographs, including several of Msgr. Dante’s episcopal consecration in the Lateran Basilica at the hands of St John XXIII, on September 21, 1962. There are also over thirty photos of the episcopal consecration of Gabriel Coussa, which was celebrated by Pope John in the Byzantine Rite in the Sistine Chapel on April 16, 1961, Good Shepherd Sunday of that year in the Roman Rite. (Bishop Coussa was shortly thereafter appointed Pro-Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; the following year he was made a Cardinal, and Secretary of the same Congregation, but died only four months later.) The book also contains a complete reproduction of the booklet of the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom used at this ceremony, with the Greek original on one side and a Latin translation on the facing pages. Our deepest thanks to Mr. Krzych for his research, and for letting us know about this publication.

Monsignor Dante (far left) at his episcopal consecration, with Pope St John XXIII
The high altar of St John in the Lateran.
Pope St John XXIII celebrating the episcopal consecration of Bishop Gabriel Coussa. The photographs make it clear that, unlike the normal Papal Mass in the Roman Rite, the Pope wears the tiara throughout the ceremony, as the equivalent of the crown normally used by bishops in the Byzantine Rite. He is also wearing a sakkos, the normal vestment of a Byzantine bishop when celebrating the Divine Liturgy, but with the phanon and pallium over it.
A wide view of the Sistine Chapel as it was set up for this ceremony. Even in black-and-white, one can see the sorry condition of the Last Judgment of Michangelo, and of the paintings on the side walls by Perugino and Botticelli, before the great restoration done between 1984 and 1999.

The Cherubic Hymn, and the prayer which is said while it is sung. The Greek rubric says that the prayer is said by the archpriest and the priest, while the Latin says it is said “by the Supreme Pontiff and the concelebrants”. This would seem to indicate that the Pope said his parts of the Divine Liturgy in Latin.

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