Magister hits homerun about the Pope’s vision and gives news about the M.C. Piero Marini

When the Pope was in Austria, there was a Mass in the Cathedral of Vienna.  The music was the Mariazeller Mass of Haydn.  This has impressed the gentlemanly Sandro Magister.  At the very end there is a comment that H.E. the M.C, Most Rev. Piero Marini is soon to be moving along.

My emphases and comments.

    From Vienna, a Lesson on How to Sing the Mass

    Haydn’s polyphony and the Gregorian antiphons of the ancient missal accompanied the papal liturgy in the Austrian capital, all of which was celebrated with "the gaze fixed upon God." A model for Catholic Masses in the Latin rite all over the world

    by Sandro Magister

      ROMA, September 12, 2007 – Among the many things Benedict XVI said and did during his early September visits to Loreto and Austria, there are two that distinguish his pontificate in an unmistakable way.  [A strong statement.  Let’s see where he goes with it.]

    Both have to do with the Church’s visibility, with its ability to communicate: and not about itself, but about "the things that are above."  [Very good.  As I have been writing for a long time now, this Pope has a vision for the Church.  We are in need of a recovery of our Catholic identity so as to revitalize the Church from within and therefore give it something to give to the world.  His documents are part of this project.]

    In Loreto, at the vigil on Saturday, September 1, the pope demonstrated how he intends to make himself visible and audible to the world, and in particular to the world of the young.

    In Austria, with the Mass in the cathedral of Vienna on Sunday, September 9, Benedict XVI made it clear how he wants the Church to appear to men at the moment when it is most recognizable, the celebration of the Eucharist.  [Yes… I think Magister gets it.]

    * * *

    In Loreto, the vigil with the thirty thousand young people who came from Italy and the rest of the world was comprised of two events: the first, an afternoon of prayer and reflection; and the second, a typical evening of musical entertainment, featuring famous performers.

    This evening of music, which was broadcast live by one of the television channels of the Italian state, was conceived by Bibi Ballandi, a manager for famous artists and an organizer of televised events. He was the one who in 1997, for a similar evening during the international Eucharistic congress in Bologna, brought in Bob Dylan and Adriano Celentano to sing in front of John Paul II, who remained on the stage for the entire performance.

    This time, in Loreto, there were Claudio Baglioni, Lucio Dalla, and the rock group "Vibrazioni." But the pope wasn’t there. While the singers were performing, he was secluded in prayer at the shrine, before the reliquary of the Holy House of Nazareth.

    That evening, the pope appeared for just a few minutes via a single television broadcast link. This showed him kneeling before the statue of the Virgin Mary with the child Jesus, devoutly reciting a prayer.

    This was to be expected from Joseph Ratzinger. A year after what happened at the 1997 Eucharistic congress in Bologna, a written commentary was published that made his disagreement known: "Bob Dylan and the others had a message completely different from the one for which the pope labors," and therefore "there was reason to question whether it was truly right to give voice to these kinds of prophets," the bearers of a message shown to be "outdated and impoverished" if it’s placed next to the one proclaimed by the pope.

    In Loreto, Benedict XVI instead personally participated in the afternoon meeting with the young people, organized by the heads of the pastoral care of young people for the Italian bishops’ conference.

    But here, too, he made a clear departure from the prepared script. On the one side, there were the young actors who took turns reading – with theatrical flair, but still in a contrived manner – the passages selected by the organizers, [that was sure obvious to anyone who watched] many of which were taken from the Bible. On the other side, there was the pope, who set aside the texts prepared for him by the offices of the curia and responded to questions from the young people with spontaneous, improvised words that were unmistakably his own, and therefore also capable of penetrating the heart. While he was speaking and saying profound, demanding, touching things, there was an impressive silence and attention among the three hundred thousand young people listening to him.  [it is as if he spoke, not like the scribes and pharisees, but with authority?]

    In any case, Benedict XVI did not appear to be isolated. He had the full agreement of the young men and women who recounted their personal stories, some of them dramatic, and asked him questions. He had with him the missionary Giancarlo Bossi, recently freed from Islamic kidnappers in the Philippines. Father Bossi spoke simply and said little, but what he said made clear to everyone what it means to be a genuine missionary of the Gospel of Jesus, and not a humanitarian worker or an anti-globalization activist.

    * * *

    It was a different tune in Vienna – literally. With the Mass celebrated in the cathedral of Saint Stephen on Sunday, September 9, Benedict XVI revived a musical and liturgical tradition that had been interrupted for many decades.  [These Masses are used all the time in Vienna… and St. Paul, MN.]

    Within living memory, in fact, the last papal celebration accompanied by the complete performance – Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei – of a great polyphonic Mass dates all the way back to 1963. That Mass was celebrated in Saint Peter’s, and the composer selected was Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, the dean of Roman polyphony in the sixteenth century.  [Let’s not forget the Mozart Mass on Sts. Peter and Paul years ago.  I was there.]

    This time, the Mass was celebrated in Vienna, and the composer was, rightly, Austria’s Franz Joseph Haydn and his stupendous "Mariazeller Messe" of 1782, for chorus, soloists, and orchestra.

    Gregorian chant also made an important return appearance in the papal Mass on September 9. During communion, the choir repeatedly sang the antiphon "Vovete," from the propers for that Sunday in the missal of the ancient rite, in alternation with verses from Psalm 76, also sung in Latin: "Make and keep vows to the Lord your God. May all present bring gifts to this awesome God, who checks the pride of princes, inspires awe among the kings of earth."

    A musical critic would have given his highest praise to the splendid performance, conducted by Markus Landerer, the choirmaster at the cathedral of Vienna. But this was a Mass, and not a concert. And Benedict XVI imparted a clear lesson in this regard, on two successive occasions that Sunday.

    At the Angelus, a few minutes after the end of the Mass, he began this way:

    "It was a particularly beautiful experience this morning to celebrate the Lord’s Day with all of you in such a dignified and solemn manner, in the magnificent cathedral of Saint Stephen. The celebration of the Eucharist, carried out with due dignity, helps us to realize the immense grandeur of God’s gift to us in the Holy Mass, and fills us with deep joy. It is precisely in this way that we draw near to each other as well, [in other words it builds authentic, not contrived, community] and experience the joy of God. So I thank all those who, by their active contribution to the preparation of the liturgy or by their recollected participation [YES!] in the sacred mysteries, created an atmosphere in which we truly felt God’s presence.

    And that afternoon, in the monastery of Heiligenkreutz, where each day 80 Cistercian monks celebrate the divine office in pure Gregorian chant and entirely in Latin, he said:

    "In the beauty of the liturgy, […] wherever we join in singing, praising, exalting and worshipping God, a little bit of heaven will become present on earth. [Good liturgy points to mystery.  Bad liturgy destroys our faith.] Truly it would not be presumptuous to say that, in a liturgy completely centred on God, we can see, in its rituals and chant, an image of eternity. […] In all our efforts on behalf of the liturgy, the determining factor must always be our looking to God. We stand before God – he speaks to us and we speak to him. Whenever in our thinking we are only concerned about making the liturgy attractive, interesting and beautiful, the battle is already lost. [YES!] Either it is Opus Dei, with God as its specific subject, or it is not. In the light of this, I ask you to celebrate the sacred liturgy with your gaze fixed on God within the communion of saints, the living Church of every time and place, so that it will truly be an expression of the sublime beauty of the God who has called men and women to be his friends."

    Benedict XVI also told the monks of Heiligenkreutz: "A liturgy which no longer looks to God is already in its death throes."  [Exactly.] Haydn, a Catholic with a deep spirituality, was not far from this view of beauty in the Christian liturgy when he wrote at the end of each of his musical compositions, "Laus Deo," praise to God.

    When in the Creed of the "Mariazeller Messe," the soloist intones "Et incarnatus est," and when the "Benedictus" is sung in the Sanctus, flashes of eternity truly break through. More than a thousand words, great liturgical music communicates the mystery of "He who comes in the name of the Lord," of the Word made flesh, of the bread that becomes the body of Jesus.

    The liturgy that inspired Haydn – together with other great Christian composers – these sublime melodies, glimmering with theological joy, was the ancient, Tridentine liturgy: just the opposite of the "sense of staleness" that some associate with it. It is the liturgy that Benedict XVI wanted to preserve in its richness with the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum," on July 7, 2007, together with the modern rite he observed in the Mass in Vienna.  [And the Motu Proprio is just one part of his Marshall Plan for rebulding the Church]

    Broadcast internationally, the papal Masses are a paradigm for the liturgies of the Latin Church in the entire world.

    The one in Vienna on September 9 was intended to be so in a particular way. And Benedict XVI pointed this out.

    Such a shame that some of the television networks charged with retransmitting the Mass ended up mangling its distinctive features. [Oh how tru this is!   So often the comments and voiceover is incessant.  As I watched I wanted to smash the commentators microphone.  SHUT UP!] During the live broadcast on Italian state television, for example, the Gregorian melodies for communion were treated as if they weren’t worthy of being heard. They were replaced by vacuous chitchat [perfect] about the presumed "great questions" of the Church and Austria.

    In the Vatican, the liturgical event of Vienna will soon be followed by the replacement of the master of the pontifical liturgical celebrations. Taking the place of Piero Marini – who will go to preside over the pontifical committee for international Eucharistic congresses – will be the current master of ceremonies for the archdiocese of Genoa, Guido Marini. [!] He’s close to his predecessor in name, but to pope Ratzinger in substance.

Okay… note that last part?  

Are suitcases being packed?
 

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23 Responses to Magister hits homerun about the Pope’s vision and gives news about the M.C. Piero Marini

  1. Athelstane says:

    Hello Fr. Z,

    I just got my La Chiesa dispatch this morning, ad figured I would head right over here to see if you had commented on it yet. You don’t disappoint.

    1. This (non-liturgical) observation by Magister is also worth underlining:

    Father Bossi spoke simply and said little, but what he said made clear to everyone what it means to be a genuine missionary of the Gospel of Jesus, and not a humanitarian worker or an anti-globalization activist.

    Indeed. The social gospel too often nds up being all social and no gospel.

    2. Marini…raises the vexing question of what an orthodox pope bent on reform should do when certain holdovers won’t take a hint. Marini has had many hints, none of them subtle. Including hardly negligible job offers.

    The Holy Father seems to be unwilling to move past “hint” territory and instead just wait them out. I can’t help but observe that I wish, sometimes, that he had a little less patience. That Marini – a man about as out of tune with the Pope on a subject near and dear to his heart as can be imagined, yet directly responsible for oversight of that subject – remains in his position 28 months later is remarkable.

  2. Tim Ferguson says:

    I was not able to see the papal Mass in the Stephansdom – how was the Sanctus/Benedictus handled? Was it sung straight through, followed by the Canon, or did the Holy Father pray the canon mostly silently up to the Consecration, after which the choir sang the Benedictus as the remainder of the Eucharistic prayer was prayed sotto voce?

  3. Tom S. says:

    Getting Marini out is a good thing, no doubt. But I was hoping that you would get that job once he was gone, Father Z!!!

  4. Berolinensis says:

    Great to see that Magister confirms what was already reported by Tornielli in early September (http://www.ilgiornale.it/a.pic1?ID=203142): Msgr. Marini will finally be replaced as papal MC. Father, two weeks ago you told me “Penso che tutti noi non vediamo l’ora!” Perhaps with this confirmation we can be a little more hopeful? It can only get better!

  5. Franklin Jennings says:

    He speaks, not as the Scribes and Pharisees, but as One with Authority…

    Oh how true!!! And it is an authority which he possessed even before he was Benedict. It is the authority John and Andrew encountered at 4pm one day long ago.

  6. MSusa says:

    Reading this….leaves me at a loss for words. We truly have a great pope!

    On the other hand, we had to sing Amazing Grace and On Eagles Wing last Sunday…oh how the music mentioned sounds beautiful and Heavenly! Is it a sin to be envious in such things? *sigh*

  7. Derik Castillo says:

    I think patience with our coworkers, specially those
    who are getting on our nerves is a lesson we can
    learn from the Holy Father.

    In this way, when they have to go, nobody is sorry about it :-)

  8. Yes, how was the canon handled? Please, someone tell us!

  9. Domenico says:

    I read better the original Italian version of the post of Sandro Magister. I wonder if “thirty thousand” is less than the original “trecentomila” (= 300×1000) young people who were at the meeting of Loreto.
    The mass you mention was celebrated by Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican, June 29, 1985. Herbert von Karajan conducted both Wiener Singverein and Wiener Philharmoniker in Mozart’s “Coronation Mass”. DG issued a cd with the complete mass including the still powerful voice of JP II. On YouTube it is possible to find the parts of this mass regarding Mozart. For ex. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nneJg2ivhv4 Mozart: Coronation Mass – Gloria)

  10. Yes, I too would like to know how the Canon was handled.

    And also, if I’m not mistaken, I think there’s a slight error in the terminology used in the article. A polyphonic Mass would be in the tradition of of Palestrina, Byrd and des Pres, and would commonly be without orchestral accompaniment. The Haydn Masses that I am familiar with are Masses with a full orchestra and choir. Therefore, it sounds as if this was an orchestral rather than a polyphonic Mass. Fr. Z, does that sound about right?

  11. FranzJosf says:

    Although I can’t speak of the Papal Mass, I have assisted at many ‘concerted’ Masses in Viennal. All of them handled it the same way:

    After the Preface, the Sanctus only.
    The Canon, through the Consecration, in clearly audible voice.
    The Benedictus while the celebrant waits.
    The Conclusion of the Canon.

    Mitchell Hadly: In certain Roman church music circles, ‘polyphony’ is used to refer to any sacred choral music composed for liturgical texts that is not Gregorian Chant.
    Thus Palestrina, Mozart, Guilmant, et al., fall under that usage, even if the texture is homophonic.

  12. Syriacus says:

    Photo of Msg. GUIDO Marini at Cardinal Bertone’s farewell (as Archbishop of Genoa) Mass, exactly a year ago: http://www.diocesi.genova.it/immagini/immagine.php?id=2135

    He’s at the Cardinal’s left. (Photo taken at the Genoa St. Lawrence Cathedral)

  13. Syriacus says:

    Erratum Corrige!!! GUIDO Marini sedet ad dexteram Bertonii!!! (Is obviously not the deacon in dalmatic on the left!)

  14. David M.O'Rourke says:

    I understand that Msgr. Guido Marini has been appointed to the Ecclesia Dei Commission as well as being named a Canon of the Vatican Basilica.

  15. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    They sang the Sanctus-Benedictus straight through while the Pope waited and then began the Canon.In the usus antiquior he waould have preceeded with the eucharistic prayer.As Cardinal,he advocated reciting the canon silently with the first part of the paragraphs read aloud.To me it makes sense to recite the entire canon silently.I was surprised to find out that Pope JPII celebrated another mass on Sts.Peter and Paul with a choral mass-this a modern one.The mass was the Mass in G by R.Vaughn Williams.

  16. Berolinensis says:

    David M.O’Rourke: No, that was yet another Msgr. Marini, to wit: Msgr. Mario Marini.

    See: http://212.77.1.245/news_services/bulletin/news/20566.php?index=20566&po_date=07.07.2007&lang=ge

  17. Prof. Basto says:

    DEO GRATIAS! BYE-BYE MARINI!

  18. Father Klingele says:

    I think that the interest by some regarding the Sanctus/Benedictus was whether or not the Holy Father said the Canon sotto voce. We know about and have been reminded by the Fr. Z podcast regarding Cardinal Ratzinger and the Post-Vatican II use of the Canon.

  19. RBrown says:

    2. Marini…raises the vexing question of what an orthodox pope bent on reform should do when certain holdovers won’t take a hint. Marini has had many hints, none of them subtle. Including hardly negligible job offers.

    The Holy Father seems to be unwilling to move past “hint” territory and instead just wait them out. I can’t help but observe that I wish, sometimes, that he had a little less patience. That Marini – a man about as out of tune with the Pope on a subject near and dear to his heart as can be imagined, yet directly responsible for oversight of that subject – remains in his position 28 months later is remarkable.
    Comment by Athelstane

    A few important events:

    1. Cardinal Bertone takes over as SecState in Sep 06.

    2. Abp Filoni taking over July 1 as Sostituto, the #1 operative in the Church–the sostituto is the one who gets things done, e.g., replacing the MC. BTW, his predecessor, Abp Sandri, was one of Sodano’s men.

    3. The effective date of the MP on Sep 14.

    The upshot is that perhaps they would have liked to see Marini replaced sooner, but with Sandri as the Sostituto it might have been difficult.

  20. Philip Carl Smith says:

    Dear Mr. Hadley,

    The term “polyphonic mass” is sometimes used in documents to refer to orchestral Masses also; in a literal sense of the term, Masses with orchestra and multiple voices are indeed “polyphonic”. The term “orchestral mass” is probably more clear, but it is important for those who appreciate the orchestral tradition within Catholic worship to insist on its inclusion within the polyphonic side of the chant/polyphony dichotomy.

    Yours,

    Philip Carl Smith

  21. Berolinensis says:

    Another indicator that this time Marini is really leaving: it’s even being reprted by Zenit now: http://www.zenit.org/article-13328?l=german

  22. P. Jeremy says:

    Athelstane wrote:

    That Marini – a man about as out of tune with the Pope on a subject near and dear to his heart as can be imagined, yet directly responsible for oversight of that subject – remains in his position 28 months later is remarkable.

    Archbishop Marini (formal ecclesiastical titles are usually used on this blog as a mark respect, no?) was so “out of tune with the Pope” that one of the first audiences granted on the morning of April 20 was to Archbishop Marini, and the first book approved in the new Pontificate (during that audience) was the Ordo Rituum Pro Ministerii Petrini Initio Romae Episcopi prepared by the Archbishop and his staff, as the fruit of their exhaustive research detailed in two editions (by now) of Sede Apostolica Vacante.

    As for “hints” – did Cardinal Ratzinger then and does Pope Benedict now seem the type of Churchman who makes decisions in matters as central to the Church as her liturgical life by offering offenders against that liturgy “hints”?

    The continuation of Archbishop Marini in office until now is a “vexing question” and “remarkable” only to someone who knows less about the reality of the situation and the true character of the persons involved than he does about blue vestments and black helicopters.

  23. William says:

    Does anyone know if, at this mass at St. Stephen’s in Vienna, the Pope celebrated the Extraordinary (aka Tridentine) form of the mass? If so, is this, as I have heard, the first time he has publicly celebrated the Tridentine rite since being elected pope?

    Regards,
    William