Reflections on the Papal mass today


#1

I have just watched - and greatly enjoyed today's Papal mass. I thought it would be interesting to share reflections on it.

  • I was really impressed by Pope Francis's homily (in Italian). His keywords of trust, respect, goodness and tenderness and his phrase "only those who serve with love are able to protect" were very moving. His choice of words and delivery made it heartfelt and it was couched in clear and understandable language.

  • The mass itself was very simple and he instructed it to be shortened slightly. I thought that one of the great Polyphonic settings would be used but on reflection it was nice that the Missa De Angelis was used instead, and to see and hear people joining in.

  • It was great to include a range of languages in the readings (English, Italian, Spanish, Greek) and the intercessions (Russian, French, Arabic, Swahili, Chinese) I loved the antiphonal responses at the intercessions.

  • The singing during the Gospel acclamation - and the chanting of the Gospel itslef - was awful. The sistine chapel choir sung the motet's adequately but they are so undisciplined in their delivery. They really need to focus when they sing.

  • I was surprised that the collect and Eucharist Preface was all said and not sung. I think it loses something, but equally there is nothing worse than a poor singer trying to sing. Having said that perhaps the Sursum Cords at least should have been sung.

  • There was no bow/genuflection after the concecration of host (but it happened after the wine)

  • Does anyone know if the Salve Regina replaces the Ave Regina Caelorum on feast days and festal masses?

I love Pope Francis's quiet authority am so looking forward to him leading the church.

Deo Gratias.


#2

The Gospel was sung in the eastern style and was as good as it should be when using eastern chant. It does sound alien to us since we are of the Latin Rite and are more used to gregorian chant but it was quite beautiful if you are greek or eastern Catholic.


#3

I share your observation that the chant of the Gospel wasn't exactly going to top the hits parade... but I was much more grabbed by the fact that it was in Greek and that the Mass was very 'cosmopolitan' - i.e. involved more than just the Latin rite Church - as, indeed, it should, considering there are 23 (?) separate Catholic churches?

As for the lack of bow/kneel at the consecration - I didn't notice (I may have to check my recording of the Mass) but if it happened, I wouldn't worry too much. His Holiness would have been under a great deal of pressure and he IS human after all. Sometimes you get overawed by the situation you find yourself in and accidentally forget or skip things. If it happened, I don't suppose he did it deliberately. (And I noticed he bowed rather than genuflected at the same point on Sunday at the Mass at Sant' Anna - I have a suspicion that he might have painful knees or arthritis as I have noticed a slight limp every now and then over the past week).

I watched the BBC's broadcast which was taken from Italy's RAI feed... from time to time the sound broke up so it's possible any 'quality' issues with the singing might have been down to interference on the line/feed. Certainly I didn't get the best quality sound.

Overall, I loved the Mass (which I ought to anyway!) - unfussy, easily accessible by normal 'mortals' not deeply versed in the intricacies of some of the Church's more formal pomp and ceremony. I like that the Pope chose to use the readings of the day - it's another sign of his humility, in not drawing too much attention away from what we would usually be listening to had the day been a normal day.


#4

I forgot it was on until it was almost over, alas. I did catch a bit on the news when it showed him giving Holy Communion to people kneeling and (presumably) on the tongue. Did anyone catch sight of how Communion was administered to the crowd i.e. COTT or CITH?


#5

Are you kidding me? The chanting of the Gospel in Greek was my favorite part of this Holy Mass!

Otherwise, yes, there was no chanting by the Pope himself, but as you may already know, he only has one lung. And even then, it seems Pope Francis has sort of dealt with this issue (of his physical inability to chant) by having delegated the chanting of the doxology, for example, to his co-concelebrants. Aside from the doxology, I think there was one other part that the Pope delegated to somebody else to be chanted, but I forget…(maybe the beginning of the Credo? or the Gloria?).

I also noticed that Pope Francis didn’t genuflect after the elevation of the Host, initially surprised, now I don’t think much about it now. As others have said here, he is probably under too much awe these initial days of his papacy or suffers physical ailments.

The only thing I would have liked was for the pope’s chasuble and mitre to have been more elegant in order to set him apart** from the other celebrants. It was very difficult to distinguish him from the other bishops there present (if not for the staff/cross he walks with). I understand he is a man of humility, and that’s awesome, but, maybe he feels unease at this moment in his papacy to adopt more elegant chasubles and mitres. I pray that he realizes that the petrine office is not about him, but about Christ, and as His vicar on earth, he should stand out from other bishops.

Otherwise it shows that Msng. Marini has done an excellent job in having organized this beautiful Holy Mass. I pray that Pope Francis continues to employ Msng. Marini as his Master of Liturgical Ceremonies in order to see a continuation of Pope Emeritus Benedict’s liturgical accomplishments for the Church.


#6

The shots I saw of the crowd were of communion in the hand, but I suspect there must have been both, just as there are at any mass.


#7

[quote="kurtmasur, post:5, topic:319255"]

Otherwise, yes, there was no chanting by the Pope himself, but as you may already know, he only has one lung. And even then, it seems Pope Francis has sort of dealt with this issue (of his physical inability to chant) by having delegated the chanting of the doxology, for example, to his co-concelebrants. Aside from the doxology, I think there was one other part that the Pope delegated to somebody else to be chanted, but I forget..(maybe the beginning of the Credo? or the Gloria?).

[/quote]

I have since heard about the lung which I am sure explains the lack of singing. I think the beginnings of both the Gloria and Credo were delegated as you say.


#8

I have NO criticism whatsoever about this beautiful Mass. I followed along just as if it were our own parish and that made my heart sing. So what if this part or that part didn’t live up to someone’s expectations? All the heavenly choirs were singing their praises to God today for such a holy man as our Holy Father. What. A. Gift.


#9

As someone who’s not particularly a fan of the priest’s chants, the Mass pretty much what I consider the ideal. The Greek Gospel was… different. No incensing of the Book of Gospels, I noticed. I was expecting an unscripted homily, given that that’s what he’s been doing.


#10

youtu.be/10Uj6FRb9-A
EWTN has it on YouTube now.


#11

[quote="liturgyluver, post:6, topic:319255"]
The shots I saw of the crowd were of communion in the hand, but I suspect there must have been both, just as there are at any mass.

[/quote]

I saw people receiving both in the hand and on the tongue. I did not see any of the dignitaries receiving. The Pope only distributed to the deacons and servers on the altar. That was by intinction, so yes on the tongue and all knelt.


#12

That has not been the case at Papal Masses in the past, at Pope Francis’ first Papal Mass in the Sistine chapel, for example.

Holy Communion was only offered then kneeling and on the tongue.

Pope John Paul II instituted the policy of COTT only when he was informed that recipients were keeping the Host as souvenirs. +Benedict continued that policy for the same reason.


#13

That was just for those who received directly from the Pope though. I don’t think there has ever been a requirement that those receiving in the SRO sections must kneel to receive.


#14

I agree with the cosmopolitan approach. But, there are 23 rites all in communion with Rome,not 23 separate churches.


#15

[quote="Nicea325, post:14, topic:319255"]
I agree with the cosmopolitan approach. But, there are 23 rites all in communion with Rome,not 23 separate churches.

[/quote]

No, the previous poster was correct in his/her terminology. The Catholic Communion is comprised of 23 "particular churches", one of which is the Roman Church. There are seven rites.

[quote=]
The 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, which is instead concerned principally with what the Second Vatican Council called "particular Churches or rites", has shortened this phrase to "autonomous Church" (in Latin, Ecclesia sui iuris), as in its canon 27: "A group of Christ’s faithful hierarchically linked in accordance with law and given express or tacit recognition by the supreme authority of the Church is in this Code called an autonomous Church."
[/quote]

[quote=]
The liturgical traditions or rites presently in use in the Church are the Latin . . . and the Byzantine, Alexandrian or Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Maronite and Chaldean rites. In 'faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that Holy Mother Church holds all lawfully recognized rites to be of equal right and dignity, and that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way.'" (CCC 1203).
[/quote]


#16

Wish they didn’t feel everything has to be in English.

Here’s one which you can at least hear the actual Eucharistic Prayer.

youtube.com/watch?v=WWst-jrcjpw


#17

I believe that’s right, having been to a Papal mass and received, standing on the hand - in the “general admission” section and not from the Pope!


#18

Same here. In fact it was so packed at the Mass we could barely get to the barrier to receive let alone kneel (or have a tongue long enough! :p)


#19

Some trick. :slight_smile:


#20

Wait, has the Vatican explained that this was the reason for no chanting?


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