UPDATE: 19 March 2007 – 13:00
Apparently the pastoral staff used by John Paul II is in circulation right now as part of the Vatican Splendors exhibit, which is moving around the world.
I have a few images from the Holy Father’s Mass for Palm Sunday from St. Peter’s Square.
One of the things I noticed was that the Holy Father was using a new Cross staff. Here is an image of him giving the final blessing, though it was already fading to a shot of the whole piazza… which is nice, in a way.
I don’t know if this signals the complete retirement of Pope John Paul II’s staff or not.
Seeing Mons. Guido Marini next to the Pop now, I guess we can call this a "change of staff".
Here is a close look at the processional Cross (not the papal staff), though not quite clear, from the beginning of Mass.
It is decorated with olive branches.
Though it is Palm Sunday, in Italy you will see mainly olive branches as well as palms.
The Holy Father had his own woven palms.
As did the prelates in the procession.
The Holy Father was accompanied by Cardinal Deacons.
I think the Cardinal Deacons are Cardinals Grocholewsi (Prefect of Catholic Education) and Martino (Pres. of Justice and Peace).
There had to be deacons, of course, for the Passion.
I beleive this dalmatics come from the time of St. Pope Pius X:
The Passion was sung in Italian in a rather cloying version. I can guess at the composer.
No pressure there. Been there, done that. Not at Palm Sunday, but at other Papal Masses years ago.
There were quite a few cardinals in choir dress in attendance.
There is a lot of standing and listening to be done during this Mass.
The Vicar of Rome, Card. Ruini, a major figure in Pope Benedict’s work in Italy, listens.
Large screens in the piazza help people stay connected to the sacred action. If there must be these big masses, these screens help.
At the end of Holy Communion, the last communicant is always an Augustinian priest, who have charge of the papal sacristy, who takes the ciborium with Hosts to repose it in the proper way.
At the very end, after the Angelus, the Holy Father usually has a spin around the piazza so that people can see him. It ain’t the sedia gestatoria, but hey, its faster.