Benedict XVI – Good Friday – Roman Vestments





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I loved the use of the ombrellino!


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  1. JC says:


    No Pontifical Dalmatic? I find it hard to believe for both HH and Mgr. Marini to make this omission… is there a special situation on this particular day?

    Gorgeous vestments, and the mitre!

    Maybe we’ll see the white mozzeta in a couple of days…

  2. Jamie says:

    Wonderful to see! Let’s hope that these stop being special occasions and become the norm!

  3. TNCath says:

    Let’s give the Holy Father and Msgr. Marini a break: the wearing of the dalmatic is optional. Maybe the Holy Father said, “I’m going to have to stand for a long time, and I’m not up to having both the dalmatic and the chasuble on at the same time”? Maybe he simply wanted to emphasize the fact that he had a Roman chasuble on? Maybe he just opted for simplicity? Notice also that the Holy Father did not prostrate himself upon entrance into the basilica. He knelt instead. Again, let’s give the man a break. He’s nearly 81 years old.

    I may be wrong, but I belive that one of the “deacons” reading the Passion was Father Pierre Paul, director of the Cappella Giulia. Fr. Z., does this mean that a priest can still function as a deacon in Novus Ordo liturgical ceremonies?

  4. JC (and others):

    The “omission” of the dalmatic was deliberate. On Good Friday while a bishop still wears the mitre he is, in a sense, not pontificating BECAUSE it is Good Friday, a day of strict penitence. So, while the mitre is used the crozier (pastoral staff) is not, the pallium is not worn nor is the dalmatic or the RING (did any of you notice THAT?). That has been the custom on Good Friday for a LONG time.

  5. TNCath says:

    Fr. Guy Sylvester: Thanks for the clarification and the information! I didn’t notice the absence of ring or the pallium or the crozier!

  6. Yes, good Father, some of us noticed “THAT”. However, note that the pallium on Good Friday was occasionally worn by John Paul, however desirable it indeed is to omit it at this particular liturgy.

  7. TNCath: one of the “deacons” reading the Passion was Father Pierre Paul, director of the Cappella Giulia. Fr. Z., does this mean that a priest can still function as a deacon in Novus Ordo liturgical ceremonies?
    Comment by TNCath — 21 March 2008

    That would seem to be the case!

  8. Geoffrey says:

    I noticed the ring. At first I did a “double-take”, then realized the reason.

  9. will says:

    The sound on the CTV webcast cut out for me during the veneration of the cross, unfortunately.
    Otherwise, it was an excellent service.

  10. TNCath says:

    Father Z wrote: “That would seem to be the case!”

    Very interesting. Yet another link between the Extraordinary Form and the Novus Ordo being emphasized, perhaps? Hmmm.

  11. Melody says:

    Hm…. The Holy Father kind of looks worn out. Maybe he caught something? I hope it’s just a winter bug.

  12. Vestments of continuity.

  13. CatholicGandhian says:

    I wonder what we can expect on Easter. I bet that there will be a fanon with the traditional pallium.

  14. mike says:

    The commentator on EWTN suggested that NO sacraments are celebrated between Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. Is this correct? Can a person still go to Confession?


  15. wayne ratzinger says:

    Watching EWTN Holy Thursday Mass the Pope had a communion wafer taken from between his thumb and index finger by a communicant using his thumb and index finger, not delivered into the palm of the hand. The Pope is the greatest….but shurely….the Master of Ceremonies should have communicants receive communion on there knees and on the tongue.

  16. Dubikus says:

    Of course, you can go to confession on Saturday before Easter. I think that rather on Easter Sunday this sacrament isn’t practised, but I don’t know if it is customary or obligatory.

  17. Melody says:

    Mike: There was an earlier conversation about that on this blog. If I recall correctly, there is an explicit exception made for Confession and anointing of the sick.

  18. Bob says:

    As an aside – given that the Holy Father celebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Lateran, would the Hosts for today’s Communion have been brought from there, or would there have been a Mass of the Lord’s Supper in St Peter’s last night (presumably celebrated by the Archpriest)? Any ideas?

  19. Kradcliffe says:

    Melody, I was thinking the exact same thing. He looks rather washed out and tired. I hope he is feeling OK.

  20. TNCath says:

    Melody and Kradcliffe: No doubt he is fasting today. Also, the Chrism and Holy Thursday Masses of the day before might have taken a lot out of him. A “double header” such as Holy Thursday would make anybody tired the next day.

  21. Is not the Holy Father just sorrowful? A good example.

  22. Fr. Anthony Forte says:

    The dalmatic and tunic are considered a festive garments. Prior to 1962(? )the deacon or the subdeacon did not wear them during the penitential seasons of Advent and Lent, their place being taken by the folded chasible. I would think that the bishop’s dalmatic and tunic were similarly not used during these seasons.

  23. Michael Dwyer says:

    He was smiling as he processed in. I think he was just caught up in the solemnity of the occasion.

  24. I’d really be interested to see some proof that John Paul II occasionally wore the pallium on Good Friday because, frankly, I don’t believe it. I think people are remembering that incorrectly. Omitting the pallium of Good Friday isn’t a new custom nor is it optional. I doubt very seriously that the pallium would have been sometimes worn and sometimes not. The former papal MCs may not have been as well-liked as the current one but they still knoew the customs of the Church. I do not ever recall seeing JPII wearing a pallium of Good Friday but if someone can prove that I’m mistaken i would be interested to see it.

  25. Brian Day says:

    I love the tall mitre. Does anyone have a close-up of it, and does it have a history behind it?

    I am asking about a close-up because the distance shot seems to make it rather plain – solid white with gold trim – not that there is anything wrong with that! :-)

  26. Jim says:

    Does anyone know why the Holy Father took off his shoes when he went up to venerate the cross?

  27. Well, I have no “proof” in the legal sense that John Paul wore a pallium on Good Friday, though my eyes did not deceive me, I suspect (and I know what a pallium is).

    I did not mention the late Holy Father’s master of ceremonies in my post, though as for his knowledge of “customs”, considering his willingness to subject papal Mass audiences to liturgical dance, which does not exist in the Roman Rite outside of, e.g., the Zairean usage approved in the 1970s, I would hesitate to say that his knowledge of customs is really relevant here. Better question would be whether his knowledge of the Roman Rite prevented him from orchestrating some of the finer moments in papal liturgy we saw under his tenure.

  28. Actually, Father, I do have “proof”. Go to the Vatican website and look at Good Friday, 2001-2003. No pallium. 2004, presto, pallium.

  29. Sean McCollister says:

    In regard to His Holiness removing his shoes to venerate the cross: The 1962 (and previous) rubrics directed the clergy and ministers to remove their shoes before approaching to venerate the cross, but the rubrics of the Novus Ordo Good Friday rites do not. “They make a simple genuflection or perform some other other appropriate sign of reverence according to local custom, for example, kissing the cross.”

    I would imagine that removing his shoes falls within the realm of “local custom.” Otherwise, one might have to suggest that the Holy Father himself may not be “doing the red” in this instance.

  30. fr christopher says:

    Jim : The rubric for the shoe removal during the veneration of the cross can be found in the Bishop’s Ceremonial – i believe published in 1989.

  31. Ricardo says:

    Dear Father Z.

    Could you comment about the Father Raniero Cantalamessa´s speech?
    I watched the Good Prayer Friday by TV and I realized a some irritated from
    Father Raniero Cantalamessa´s speech about the ecumenism.

    Thank you, your blesses!


  32. Transitional Deacon says:

    Could an ombrellino be used in any church for the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament, or is its use limited to Basilicas?

  33. Vernon says:

    The ombrellino was used today in two London (England) churches, neither of which is a Basilica. I am sure that it would have been used in any parish respecting the Blessed Sacrament.

  34. The removal of the shoes (and the chasuble) by the celebrant is symbolic of the stripping of Christ.

  35. Thanks for the direction to the photos of JPII’s Good Fridays. The use of the pallium in 2004 when the Holy Father was attending the liturgy while the then Cardinal Ratzinger presided has no explanation. Anyway, the original point still stands. Regardless of this 2004 lapse the popes and others who are entitled to use the pallium do not use it on Good Friday so that is why Pope Benedict did not wear it this year.

  36. Robert Kearney says:

    I too was really shocked and sickened by Father Cantalamessa´s homily. It seemed to be a refutation of the Popes present ecumenical policies, preached right under the Holy Fathers very nose. It was also rift with borderline, if not outright heresy in its denial of the already existing unity of the Catholic Church and it’s call for comprromise with other faiths to achieve unity.
    Please Father Z, use your influence with the Roman Curia to get this out of control Capuchin canned as Papal preacher. Lets get someone like yourself in that position.


  37. Quirinus says:

    Hopefully, Fr. Cantalamessa’s homily will mark what the Austrian vestments marked for the former Marini

  38. Syriacus says:

    As I previously wrote here, the love for the ombrellino was ‘rescued’ directly from Genoa… :)

    As the baroque vestments:

    (pictures taken from the website of the Archdiocese of Genoa ; Ordinations in 2005, performed by then Archbishop Card. Bertone ; Mons. Guido MC -and then Chancellor of the Archdiocese and Prefect of the Metropolitan Cathedral. )

    However: Grazie, Card. Siri!

    (whose motto was “Non nobis Domine”, by the way… )

  39. chrisel10 says:

    was that the old marini I saw at the stations of the cross? BOOOO!

  40. Fr. Newhouse says:

    I was the main celebrant during the Holy Thursday Liturgy and during the outdoor procession (a distance of 1/8 mile from Main church to chapel)we had 4-pole ombrellino (with spot lights that focuses to the Blessed Sacrament) and wooden clappers.

  41. Sr. Mary Jeremiah says:

    Where can I get a copy of the Tenebrae service? Thank you, Sr. MJ

  42. Demerzel says:

    The Tenebrae for Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday according to the Classical Use may be found here:

  43. Oxon. says:

    Dear Father,

    How does one watch the Services from Rome via internet?

    Thank you.

  44. prof. basto says:

    Dear Father,

    I would like to add my voice to the chorus of those wishing to hear your
    analysis of the homily delivered by the Preacher of the Pontifical Household,
    please. I too was troubled by parts of it.


  45. Stephen says:

    Im sorry but reading zenit’s report of Fr Cantalamessa’s homily I cannot see anything wrong with it. Where has he said Catholics must compromise? He talks of love and charity which are needed. Doctrinal arguments are not enough to bring true unity. I am pasting a speech of Pope Benedict from January 2008. I dont see too much difference from what was said yesterday:”The World Council of Churches and the Catholic Church have enjoyed a fruitful ecumenical relationship dating back to the time of the Second Vatican Council. The Joint Working Group, which began in 1965, has worked assiduously to strengthen the “dialogue of life” which my predecessor, Pope John Paul II, called the “dialogue of charity” (Ut Unum Sint, 17). This cooperation has given vivid expression to the communion already existing between Christians and has advanced the cause of ecumenical dialogue and understanding.

    The centenary of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity offers us an opportunity to thank Almighty God for the fruits of the ecumenical movement, in which we can discern the presence of the Holy Spirit fostering the growth of all Christ’s followers in unity of faith, hope and love. To pray for unity is itself “an effective means of obtaining the grace of unity” (Unitatis Redintegratio, 8), since it is a participation in the prayer of Jesus himself. When Christians pray together, “the goal of unity seems closer” (Ut Unum Sint, 22), for the presence of Christ in our midst (cf. Mt 18:20) fosters a profound harmony of mind and heart: we are able to look at each other in a new way, and to strengthen our resolve to overcome whatever keeps us apart.

    On this day, then, we think back with gratitude to the work of so many individuals who, over the years, have sought to spread the practice of spiritual ecumenism through common prayer, conversion of heart and growth in communion. We also give thanks for the ecumenical dialogues which have borne abundant fruit in the past century. The reception of those fruits is itself an important step in the process of promoting Christian unity, and the Joint Working Group is particularly suited to studying and encouraging that process.

    Dear friends, I pray that the new Joint Working Group will be able to build on the commendable work already done, and thus open the way to ever greater cooperation, so that the Lord’s prayer “that they all may be one” (Jn 17:21) will be ever more fully realized in our time.


  46. Drew says:

    Comment by fr christopher — 21 March 2008 – Jim : The rubric for the shoe removal during the veneration of the cross can be found in the Bishop’s Ceremonial – i believe published in 1989.

    This is correct I served yesterday at my diocese’s cathedral and one of the others I served with asked weather it was all clergy that took off their shoes or just the bishop and the bishop’s master of ceremonies replied that it is not in the sacramentary but rather in the ceremonial of bishops.

  47. prof. basto says:


    Read Fr. Cantalamessa’s homily and the Encyclical Mortalium Animos side by side
    and you will see what the problems are.

    I wasn’t troubled by all of it, but by parts of it, as I said. And it did seem
    as an attempt to chastise the Pope for not being more “corageous”/liberal, in
    the pursuit of ecumenism. Also, it seemed to me that the sermon ignored that the
    gift/attribute of unity is already present in the Church of God under the Pope.

  48. Transitional Deacon says:

    Glad to hear about the ombrellino. Hopefully I will be able to get one for my parish some day!

  49. chris says:

    Yes, great to see this Roman Chasuble in use. I wonder if the fanon will make a return..
    re. good friday-I recall back in the 1980’s my parish priest would wear a red cope for the veneration and then vest for communion in a chasuble..i always thought it seemed correct.
    But I have to agree PP Ben.XVI is looking very tired its a bit concerning as he has a journey to US and Australia coming up soon/

  50. chrisel10 says:

    Did the old Marini assist with helping in the stations of the cross? It looks like him in some of the photos on Getty Images

  51. Rose says:

    SInce the Holy Father has had a prior cerebral haemorrhage and is possibly on blood thinner medication, prostration in particular is not a good idea; he could faint (quite easily). Given the fact that he also looks drained and tired (I personally think he is grieved deeply over the death of the Archbishop of Mosul) and with the upcoming trip to the US, it is wise for all those around him to make sure he is not overtaxed. I hope the Knights of Columbus will be starting a prayer campaign for the upcoming trip-does anyone have info on this?

  52. Transitional Deacon says:

    I am pretty sure the Knights are doing something in the way of prayer for the Holy Father’s visit. I seem to remember reading something about it in a recent issue of Columbia Magazine. This page indicates a papal visit Holy Card campaign (I have seen these cards, they are nice, hopefully they are being given to people in parishes and are being used) and you can post a spiritual bouquet online:

  53. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    Even though it was no longer a rubic in the reformed rite,Pope JPII continued to remove his shoes for the veneration of the cross.Now not only is it in the Caeromoniale Episcoporum but THE RUBRIC is in the 2000 issue of the reformed Roman Missal a long with changes in the Vigil’s ritual (no longer are the prayers surrounding the Pachal candle optional but they are now mandatory.)

  54. Sean McCollister says:

    Thanks, Fr. McAfee, for the clarification on the rubric pertaining to the removal of shoes for the veneration of the cross. I was consulting a pre-2000 edition of the Sacramentary, and stand corrected. I haven’t assisted at Good Friday services in the new rite for many years, and wasn’t aware of the change.

    Just an aside: I was comparing the rubrics in the 1920 and 1962 Typical Editions of the Roman Missal, and there is an interesting difference (at least to me) in the directions for the adoration of the cross by the faithful. The 1920 missal indicates that all approach for the veneration “two by two,” whereas the reform of Pius XII directs that the men approach first, then the women. Was this a custom that existed prior to the 1955 reform, which was then codified in the reformed rubrics?

  55. Sean McCollister says:

    One more question: Has anyone who attends the 1962 rite ever seen the “first the men, then the women” rubric observed in practice? I haven’t.

  56. Fr. M. says:

    I, too, think the vestments are beautiful. But more importantly I am happy to see the Holy Father using a crucifix for the veneration. Many “liturgists” have claimed that the Ritual calls it the “Veneration of the Cross” so a crucifix is never to be used but only a plain cross.
    Also, I don’t know where this practice came from, but almost every church I am aware of removes the Blessed Sacrament from the Repository at midnight on Holy Thursday and reserves It in a place outside of the church (for example a sacristy safe, etc.) It was always my understanding that the Blessed Sacrament is brought from the Repository to the Altar for the Good Friday Connunion. And here, thankfully, there is a picture of the Blessed Sacrament being carried in procession to the Altar, again, undermining the “liturgists” and showing how the Liturgy is to be properly carried out. How can we convince parishes to use a crucifix for the Good Friday Liturgy and to keep the Blessed Sacrament at the Altar of Repose up until the Communion Service of Good Friday as should be done? I am amazed at how an opinion becomes the norm!

  57. D. S. says:

    CHRISTUS surrexit (alleluia)!

    Well, I am in happy/high Easter-spirits (Easter-Monday now) and I wish You all the grace of the Resurrected.

    But if I read articles and comments like this/those I am getting angry or disturbed and do think: don`t You all have understood anything?? (like the day´s Gosple says – ” O quam stulti … tardi ad credendum …” [cit. by memory]).

    Speaking about vestments, about the ombrellino. Pah! Accidential things – real nice, yes – but – Pah! – overseeing the essential point – that, sorry, is negativ, or even more, really horrible (because it is against the faith, the Honour of GOD!): that the Pope didn´t use the old form, but the novus ordo!

    Including the NO-prayer for the Jews that is at least clearly suppoting heresy, but in deed more: implicates heresy.

    In normal times now the Holy Father would be seen as “suspectus (de) haersi”.
    Why beeing so flippant, handeling with gewgaw and not going in(to) depth, dealing with essential points. (Well, I can imagine, …- GRRR…). I am really disappointed. Gewgaw instead of essential thinking…skin deep, superficial, …puh.

    Nevertheless Happy Easter from Germany!
    In CHo per Mam
    D. S.

  58. Hoka2_99 says:

    My question is not one of deep liturgy. I love the photos on this thread and note that they are from CTV. Does someone take screen captures during the transmission?
    I have started surfing to find other photo blogs and sites/forums and noticed one has many photos with the subscript: Vatican Pool. These photos are really good, similar to Osservatore Romano photos. But I cannot find the Vatican Pool on the internet. What is it and where can one buy its photos?
    Thank you. Hoka.

  59. David O'Rourke says:

    I would think that the bishop’s dalmatic and tunic were similarly not used during these seasons.

    Comment by Fr. Anthony Forte — 21 March 2008 @ 2:19 pm

    Not so Fr. The dalmatic and tunicle were ALWAYS worn by bishops under the chasuble, even at Requiems when most of the other Pontificalia are not. But certainly in the Restored Ordo of 1955 a bishop did NOT wear dalmtic or tunicle under his chasuble on Good Friday whereas the deacon and subdeacon DID wear the dalmatic and tunicleon that day.

  60. Hoka2_99 says:

    This thread is progressing so rapidly, it’s going to be difficult for Father Z to answer everything! But it’s good to see so much enthusiam.

    Melody: I noticed your comment near the top of this thread. The Holy Father looks tired when he’s deep in prayer, such as during the Good Friday Liturgy of the Passion and, perhaps even more so, during the Via Crucis from the Colosseum. I’ve noticed it each year since the beginning of his pontificate.

    Like you, I’m concerned for him, but I am sure he’s in good health. I light a candle for him every day before Mass and trust in Christ, through the intercession of His Blessed Mother, to watch over our Holy Father always.

    I don’t know why he knelt rather than prostrating himself this year. That could be for medical reasons; I don’t know. I’ve yet to watch a video of this. I was at the back of Saint Peter’s and didn’t see a thing!!!!!

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