Monsignor Guido Marini (born 31 January 1965) is a Roman Catholic priest, currently serving as the Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations. He was appointed to this post on 1 October 2007, replacing Piero Marini (no relation). He previously served as chief liturgist for the Archdiocese of Genoa.
Marini was ordained on 4 February 1989 by Cardinal Giovanni Canestri. He earned a BA in the psychology of communication in early 2007 from the Pontifical Salesian University in addition to an earlier JUD, a degree in both canon and civil law, from the Pontifical Lateran University
From 1988 to 2003 he served as secretary to the cardinal archbishops of Genoa Canestri (until 1995), Tettamanzi (until 2002) and Bertone.
From 1996 to 2001 served on the presybteral council. He was appointed chancellor of the diocese in 2005. In 2004 he was appointed spiritual director of the Seminary in Genoa.
Marini serving the Inauguration of Pope Francis
Marini has received praise for returning traditional elements of the church’s liturgical history to the papal Masses and other liturgical celebrations.
In a speech given in January 2010 Marini supported calls in the church for a “reform of the reform” of liturgy. He said during the talk, “For some years now, several voices have been heard within church circles talking about the necessity of a new liturgical renewal,” adding that a new renewal movement would be “capable of operating a reform of the reform, or rather, move one more step ahead in understanding the authentic spirit of the liturgy and its celebration,” he said.
In May 2010, Marini celebrated Mass ad orientem at the altar of Mary Salus Populi Romani in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.
Papal conclave 2013
As Master of Ceremonies, Marini, while not a cardinal-elector, had duties during the 2013 sede vacante and at the 2013 conclave which elected Pope Francis. On March 11, the day before the conclave, at a ceremony presided over by the Camerlengo Tarcisio Bertone, Marini himself led the non-cardinal officials, support staff and other non-elector personnel with duties in the conclave in taking an absolute oath of secrecy pertaining to the conclave. On the opening day of the conclave itself, after the cardinal-electors had taken the electors’ oath in the Sistine Chapel, it was Marini who called out the command “Extra omnes” (Everybody out) and closed the chapel doors once the outsiders had left the chapel.
Guido Marini assisting at a Papal Mass
Marini helped organise the liturgical ceremony of 13 January 2008 at which, for the first time in thirty years, the Pope celebrated Mass publicly ad orientem.
He has touched on themes such as the proper orientation in the liturgy, the primacy of Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony as a “permanent criterion” for sacred music, forms of liturgy, sacred art and architecture, receiving communion kneeling and upon the tongue, the hermeneutic of continuity, silence, and many other aspects of liturgy. Marini, following his appointment as Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, restored some traditional elements of papal ceremonial. During his time as Master of Ceremonies the Papal Altar was rearranged. The seven candles and crucifix were placed in a line across the Altar rather than clustered on the sides. This arrangement has become known as the “Benedictine arrangement”.
During his time as Master of Ceremonies Pope Benedict ceased to use the papal staff made for Paul VI, and began to use an older one made for Pius XI (pictured). Due to the weight of that staff, Benedict had his own made which is much lighter, and shares a similar style with the previous one (Pope Francis occasionally makes use of this one also in order to emphasize continuity with his predecessor). He also made decisions about the use of papal vestments at Mass and other pontifical celebrations, dressing Cardinal-Deacons in dalmatics when serving pontifical celebrations.