Vatican Radio interviews Msgr. Guido Marini, who explains many interesting things

Vatican Radti interviewed the present papal Master of Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini.  He discussed ad orientem worship, Summorum Pontificum, the use of old vestments, continuity, active participation, etc. 

Here is part of it.  You can hear the whole 20 minute piece on Radio Vaticana.  The majority is with Msgr. Marini and then there are a few minutes with the Italian blogger of Palazzo Apostolico, Paolo Rodari.  Rodari has some sensible things to say about continuity and the patrimony of the Church which were reclaimed by Summorum Pontificum.

[mp3]08_01_20_VR_GMarini.mp3[/mp3]

Here is some text from Radio Vaticana.  I’ll get to a translation later.  I’m tired today.

Mons. Guido Marini: nella Messa dei Battesimi alla Cappella Sistina, il Papa non ha "voltato le spalle" ai fedeli, ma si è orientato con loro a Cristo: non c’è abbandono della riforma liturgica conciliare.

Domenica scorsa, la celebrazione dei battesimi nella Sistina da parte di Benedetto XVI ha avuto uno svolgimento liturgico diverso dal consueto, per via dell’utilizzo dell’antico altare della Cappella, che ha visto il Papa in alcuni momenti del rito voltare le spalle all’assemblea. Una nota dell’Ufficio delle celebrazioni pontificie aveva anticipato e spiegato questa variante, prevista dall’attuale normativa liturgica, e tuttavia – specie a livello mediatico – la scelta è stata un po’ frettolosamente definita come "pre-conciliare". Fabio Colagrande ha chiesto al maestro delle Celebrazioni liturgiche pontificie, don Guido Marini, l’esatta interpretazione di quei gesti:

R. – Credo sia importante, anzitutto, considerare l’orientamento che la celebrazione liturgica è chiamata sempre ad avere: mi riferisco alla centralità del Signore, il Salvatore crocifisso e risorto da morte. Tale orientamento deve determinare la disposizione interiore di tutta l’assemblea e, di conseguenza, anche la modalità celebrativa esteriore. La collocazione della croce sull’altare al centro dell’assemblea ha la capacità di trasmettere questo fondamentale contenuto di teologia liturgica. Si possono, poi, verificare particolari circostanze nelle quali, a motivo delle condizioni artistiche del luogo sacro e della sua singolare bellezza e armonia, divenga auspicabile celebrare all’altare antico, dove tra l’altro si conserva l’esatto orientamento della celebrazione liturgica. Nella Cappella Sistina, per la celebrazione dei battesimi, è avvenuto esattamente questo. Si tratta di una prassi consentita dalla normativa liturgica, in sintonia con la riforma conciliare.

D. – L’opinione pubblica è molto colpita da questo gesto che, in parte, il Papa ha compiuto in occasione della festa del Battesimo del Signore: dare le spalle all’assemblea. C’è chi legge in questo gesto un ritorno al passato, addirittura una chiusura del celebrante nei confronti dell’assemblea. Vuole invece spiegarci qual è il significato vero di questo gesto liturgico?

R. – Nelle circostanze in cui la celebrazione avviene secondo questa modalità, non si tratta tanto di volgere le spalle ai fedeli, quanto piuttosto di orientarsi insieme ai fedeli verso il Signore. Da questo punto di vista “non si chiude la porta all’assemblea”, ma “si apre la porta all’assemblea” conducendola al Signore.

Nella liturgia eucaristica non ci si guarda, ma si guarda a Colui che è il nostro Oriente, il Salvatore. Penso che sia anche importante ricordare che il tempo in cui il celebrante, in questi casi, “volge le spalle ai fedeli” è relativamente breve: l’intera Liturgia della Parola avviene, come di consueto, con il celebrante rivolto verso l’assemblea, indicando così il dialogo della salvezza che Dio intreccia con il suo popolo. Dunque, nessun ritorno al passato, ma il recupero di una modalità celebrativa che in nulla mette in discussione gli insegnamenti e le indicazioni del Concilio Vaticano II.

D. – Mons. Marini, c’è stato chi, sulla scia del dibattito che ha seguito la pubblicazione del Motu proprio Summorum pontificum, ha letto in alcuni gesti di Benedetto XVI la volontà di abbandonare la riforma liturgica conciliare. Cosa risponde a questo genere di illazioni?

R. – Sono sicuramente illazioni e interpretazioni non corrette, sia del Motu proprio che di tutto il magistero di Benedetto XVI in ambito liturgico.

La liturgia della Chiesa, come d’altronde tutta la sua vita, è fatta di continuità: parlerei di sviluppo nella continuità. Ciò significa che la Chiesa procede nel suo cammino storico senza perdere di vista le proprie radici e la propria viva tradizione: questo può esigere, in alcuni casi, anche il recupero di elementi preziosi e importanti che lungo il percorso sono stati smarriti, dimenticati e che il trascorrere del tempo ha reso meno luminosi nel loro significato autentico.

Mi pare che il Motu proprio vada proprio in questa direzione: riaffermando con molta chiarezza che nella vita liturgica della Chiesa c’è continuità, senza rottura.

Non si deve parlare, dunque, di un ritorno al passato, ma di un vero arricchimento per il presente, in vista del domani.

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13 Responses to Vatican Radio interviews Msgr. Guido Marini, who explains many interesting things

  1. JML says:

    Gotta love babelfish. Here are the 1st 2 paragraphs. Guido Mariani translates as “I guide Navy”

    Mons. I guide Navy: in the Putting of the Baptisms to the Sistina Nail head, the Pope has not “voltato the spalle” to the faithfuls, but one has oriented with they Christ: not there is abandonment of the liturgica reform to conciliate. Slid Sunday, the celebration of the baptisms in the Sistina from part of Benedict XVI has had one various liturgico development from the customary one, for via of uses of the ancient altar of the Nail head, that it has seen the Pope in some moments of the ritual to turn the shoulders to the assembly. A famous one of the Office of the papal celebrations had anticipated and explained this varying, previewed from it puts into effect them normative liturgica, and however – species to mediatico level – the choice has been a po’ hastily defined like “pre-conciliare”. Fabio Colagrande has asked the master of the papal liturgiche Celebrations, don Guido Navy, the exact interpretation of those gestures:

    Fr Z. I await your translation…..

  2. Legisperitus says:

    Yes, and Babelfish always translates Mass as “putting.” Mighty poor substitute for an actual translator.

  3. Federico says:

    Let’s give Fr. Z. a break. Here’s my translation!

    Mons. Guido Marini: in the Mass of the Baptisms in the Sistine Chapel the pope did not “turn his back” to the faithful, but he aligned himself with them towards Christ: there is no abandonment of the conciliar liturgical reform.

    Last Sunday, the celebration of baptisms in the Sistine [Chapel] by Benedict XVI has followed a liturgical path different from the usual one, through the use of the ancient altar of the Chapel, which saw the Pope, in some moments of the ritual, turn his back to the assembly. A note from the office of pontifical celebrations had anticipated [come out ahead of] and explained this difference, which is foreseen by the current liturgical norms but nevertheless – particularly for the media – the choice was somewhat hurriedly defined as “pre-conciliar.” Fabio Colagrande asked the pontifical liturgy master [MC], don Guido Marini, the exact interpretation of those postures.

    A. I think it is important, first of all, to consider the orientation that a liturgical celebration is always called to have: I’m referring to the centrality of the Lord, the Savior crucified and resurrected from death. This orientation must determine the interior disposition of the entire assembly and, consequently, also the external mode of celebrating. The placement of the cross on the altar in the middle of the assembly is able to communicate this fundamental content of liturgical theology. There may then arise particular circumstances which, because of the artistic condition of the sacred place or because of its unique beauty and harmony, it becomes desirable to celebrate at the ancient altar where, among other things, the exact orientation of the liturgical celebration is preserved. In the Sistine Chapel, in the celebration of the baptism, this is exactly what happened. It is a praxis that is allowed by liturgical norms and in tune with conciliar reform.

    Q. Public opinion is very aware [lit. hit] of this posture [lit. movement] which, in part, the Pope has made in the occasion of the feast of the baptism of the Lord: turn the back to the assembly. There are those who read in this a return to the past, even a closing down of the celebrant towards the assembly. Would you instead explain to us what the true meaning of this liturgical posture is?

    A. In the circumstances in which the celebration occurs according to this mode, it is not so much a matter of turning the shoulders to the faithful, as much as orienting together with the faithful towards the Lord. From this point of view, “the door is not shut to the assembly” but “the door is opened to the assembly” by leading it to the Lord.

    In the Eucharistic liturgy we do not look at each other, but we look to Him who is our East, the Saviour. I think that it is also important to remember that the moments in which the celebrant in these cases “turns the back to the faithful” is relatively brief: the entire liturgy of the Word occurs as customary, with the celebrant turned towards the assembly, thus indicating the dialog of salvation that God engages in [lit. braids or splices] with His people. Therefore, there is no return to the past, but the restoration of a mode of celebration that does not put into question the teachings and directives of the second Vatican Council.

    Q. Mons. Marini, there have been those who, on the wake of the debate that followed the publication of the motu proprio Summorum pontificum read in some moves of Benedict XVI the desire to abandon the conciliar liturgical reform. What do you answer to this kind of speculation?

    A. They are certainly speculations and incorrect interpretations of both, the motu proprio as well as all the magisterium of Benedict XVI in liturgical matters.

    The liturgy of the Church, after all of Her life as well, is made of continuity. I would speak of development within continuity. This means that the Church proceeds in Her historical path without losing sight of Her own roots and Her own living tradition. This might demand, in some cases, even the restoration of precious and important elements which, during the path, may have been lost, forgotten, or that the passing of time has rendered less bright in their authentic meaning.

    It seems to me that the motu proprio moves exactly in this direction: reaffirming with great clarity that in the liturgical life of the Church there is continuity, without rupture.

    We must not speak, then, of a return to the past, but of a true enrichment of the present in expectation of tomorrow.

  4. Irishcatholic says:

    Federico,

    Thank you very much for the translation…Very kind of you!

  5. irishcatholic says:

    Federico,

    Thank you very much for the translation…it was very kind of you and very much appreciated!

  6. Vincenzo says:

    Thank you Frederico.

  7. RichR says:

    Frederico,

    We hope that you will bless us in the future with your multi-lingual talent.

    Bravo!

  8. Get a day of rest before heading across the pond, Fr Z. It will work for you.

    Federico, wonderful translation. It’s great when collaboration benefits all. The beginnings of this is starting to happen over at my Trilogy with Bill and Cerimoniere. You’re invited!

    ===============

    Two things especially struck me with the Marini II interview:

    1. “From this point of view, “the door is not shut to the assembly” but “the door is opened to the assembly” by leading it to the Lord.” That’s an earth shattering statement.

    2. “the motu proprio as well as all the magisterium of Benedict XVI in liturgical matters.” In other words, Marini II must have been reading WDTPRS. Fr Z has been speaking all along about the Marshall Plan of Benedict XVI with every liturgical adjustment, that is, “instruction” that his Holiness has made. Marini II simply uses a different word: magisterium. Powerful, all this.

    Cheers!

  9. Legisperitus says:

    To understand the ad orientem posture, we might consider the art form of motion pictures. Part of the visual language of film is that when we watch a scene over a character’s shoulder, we are identified with that character; standing behind him, sharing his point of view, we are “on his side.” Why should it be so difficult for us to translate that concept into the language of liturgy?

  10. Legisperitus says:

    I should add that we naturally perceive ourselves as participating in the character’s action, which is the most important point.

  11. TJM says:

    Federico, thanks for your generosity in translating this important interview. My personal view, now embraced by the Pope and the papal master of ceremonies, makes me feel vindicated but my left-wing pastor will ignore it and even deride it. He calls any return to liturgical sanity (i.e. actually saying the black and following the red) a repudiation of Vatican II although he exhibits a shameful ignorance of what the documents actually say. It is unfortunate that in the 1960s priests and bishops were not more vocal in challenging the left-wing liturgical elements pushing all of this stuff. If Vatican II were occuring today and these reforms were being proposed we would have excellent commentators like Father Z debunking their ideas through the grace of the Internet. Tom

  12. Matt Q says:

    Speaking of translations, folks, I got the gist of the Italian but for the heck of it, I thought I’d put the interview to one on those online translators. LOL you should see what they sent back. Granted word order, syntax, etc., to make any sense has to be done by a human being, but take a look at the first paragraph:

    **”Mons. I guide Navy: nella Putting goddesses Baptisms alla Sistina Nail head, the Pope “has not turned the faithful shoulders” ai, but it has oriented with they Christ: not there is abandonment of the liturgica reform to conciliate. Slid Sunday, the celebration of the baptisms in the Sistina from part of Benedict XVI has had one various liturgico development from the customary one, for via of uses of the ancient altar of the Nail head, that it has seen the Pope in some moments of the ritual to turn the shoulders to the assembly.”**

    No joke. This is right off the online do-it-yourself translator. Just think, get a non-Catholic in the middle of this and you can just imagine what they’d be thinking.

    Good interview by the way.

  13. Melody says:

    Thank you very much for the translation Federico.

    Those amused with Babelfish might try watching this clever video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlJsPEgXhC0 The dialogue is entirely from Babelfish with English subs.

    I am very encouraged by Msgr. Marini’s words. It seems almost like he reads this blog.