Thursday, February 16, 2023

A Solemn Ambrosian Requiem Mass for Pope Benedict XVI

We are very glad to share these pictures of a solemn Requiem Mass which was recently celebrated in the Ambrosian Rite for the repose of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, at the church of Santa Maria della Consolazione in Milan. They come to us courtesy of the photographer, Mr Derek Zani, who also made the tiara that you see on the catafalque. Our own Nicola de’ Grandi was the Master of Ceremonies.

Last November I posted articles describing the Ambrosian Requiem Mass and the Absolution at the catafalque, as well as the Office of the Dead.

In the Ambrosian solemn Mass, only the celebrant wears the biretta.
During the Confiteor, the Master of Ceremonies stands behind him, while the acolytes (six in number, two for each major minister) line up to either side of them.
Here we can the Ambrosian cappino, a piece which is put on the outside of the chasuble, dalmatic and tunicle at the neck line on the back.
The first reading is done by a lector; on a feast day or Sunday, he would wear a cope.
The Epistle, sung by the subdeacon.
The Gospel, without candles or incense, as in the Roman Rite.
The subdeacon uses the humeral veil to bring the chalice to the altar, but then removes it. The Ambrosian Rite does not have the custom by which he stands behind the priest holding the paten under the veil, which, of course, is omitted in the Roman Requiem Mass.
The Offertory
The Sanctus.
The default position, so to speak, of the major ministers at a solemn Mass is to stand at either side of the altar.
The Post Communion
The Last Gospel
The servers and clergy go out for the Absolution.
The major ministers sits while the antiphons of the Absolution are sung.
The priest sprinkles the catafalque with holy water.  
As he walks around it, the deacon follows him with the thurible.

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