Benedict XVI’s Palm Sunday Mass – new Cross staff – images

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.

These are not the new dalmatics made after the model of vestments from the time of Pope Leo X we heard about in the new and which spurred some relfections from various quarters


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.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Szczebrzeszczynski says:

    Father, the third photo isn’t the closer version of papal staff. There’s no Christ on papal staff and on the third photo there is a Christ on cross. It has also different shapes in the middle.

  2. That Cross in the third image is the processional Cross.

  3. The first cross looks very much like the Cross that Pius XI and Pius XII used for the Holy Years.

  4. Augustine says:

    I do like that new staff!

  5. Jamie says:

    Can someone tell me when the “John Paul II Cross” was first used and what it replaced? Also, is it traditional for the papal cross not to include the corpus?

  6. Justin says:

    The Holy Father and his cardinals are carrying beautiful palms. Any idea why olive branches are used in Italy instead of palms? Do the people bring their own?

    I must say I look at the miniature palm I carried at a rainy Westminster Cathedral this morning and am slightly envious of the lush green olive branches they carry in Italy! Although we did have a very beautifully sung St Matthew’s Passion to a setting by Victoria and Civitas Sancti by Byrd as the communio.

  7. Who is the other priest to the right of the Pope?

  8. Gregor says:

    Is it not common in other countries to use “indigenous” branches? In Germany, most commonly boxtree branches and sallow catkins are used.

  9. Szczebrzeszczynski says:

    Staff used by John Paul II was introduced by Paul VI.

  10. Deacon Shawn says:

    I was just wondering how to view the CTV feed in the United States. I know that EWTN will broadcast it but, as Fr. has pointed out, sometimes the voiceover can be a little distracting. Where did you get the feed Fr.? Is it streamed on the internet by any chance?

  11. I got different photos of the staff and enlarged them:

    Beautiful, isn’t it :)

  12. JP says:

    After reading Father’s post earlier this week, I searched for CTV and found it on the Vatican’s website.
    Here is the link of upcoming live broadcasts.
    and here is the page where you can link to CTV live
    The third or fourth box down – with ALTA (high speed) work best for me. When there are no events, they stream live shots of the Piazza.
    Thanks Father for the heads up, I too have found the English translation annoying – looking foward to Via Crucis Friday.

  13. Kim D'Souza says:

    While the arms at the back of the dalmatics could indeed be those of the Medici pope Leo X (although I can’t see them well enough in these pictures to tell and don’t really know enough about heraldry anyways), the dalmatics of the cardinal deacons look like some of the dalmatics used when Pope Paul VI canonized St Charles Lwanga and his companions. Unfortunately the old Hallowed Ground website isn’t up any more, but compare these dalmatics with the second picture on this post by Fr Blake:

  14. sacredosinaeternum says:

    The tradition of carrying olive branches comes from the East. Still today, they carry olive branches for Palm Sunday. In Rome, one sees both palms and olive branches, while in the U.S., one normally only sees palms unless you attend an Eastern liturgical celebration.

  15. Gregorius Minor says:

    “Any idea why olive branches are used in Italy instead of palms? Do the people bring their own?”

    Palms and olives are both used in Italy, but olive is much more readily available and therefore more common. The Blessing of the Palms in the Missal of St. Pius V refers several times to the spiritual significance of the olive branches, and most Italian ceremonial manuals accept as a standard practice that a few palms and a lot of olives will be used. “Therefore, the branches of palms await the triumph over the prince of death, and the shoots of olives proclaim that the spiritual anointing has come.” In the Missal of the Milanese Rite, it is called “Palm Sunday”, but in the Breviary “Olive Sunday”.

    A lot of people do bring their own branches to church on this day in Italy. Street vendors also sell various elaborately woven palms, liek the one the Holy Father used today.

  16. sacredosinaeternum says:

    The tradition of carrying olive branches for Palm Sunday comes from the East, who still do so for the celebration of Palm Sunday. In Rome, one will see both palms and olive branches carried, while in the US, one normally only sees palms, unless he attends an Eastern Liturgical celebration of Palm Sunday.

  17. Garrett says:

    All in all beautiful photos, and the new staff looks great. It’s been a while since Benedict donned a great-looking mitre, though, and this chasuble certainly wasn’t anything to write home about either. I hope we can permanently move away from those tacky mitres and overly plain chasubles…

  18. Pistor says:

    About the olive branches, in the EF, the processional antiphon is pueri hebraeorum portantes ramos olivarum (the children of the Hebrews carried olive branches)

  19. Timmay! says:

    I know I’m probably in the minority here, but I like JP2’s Papal Staff. Can’t really explain why, but something about seeing that suffering Christ hanging on the cross really speaks to me.

    That said, that is a beautiful cross he used today. And I love that it’s one that was used by our previous Holy Fathers. Opening more closets and cupboards in the Vatican. I hope we see it again, though not exclusively. :-)

  20. Liam says:

    Is it me, or is that a new awning for the predella area of the Piazza? It looks much smaller than the older one, and thus less overwhelming of the altar. Or is it simply one of a couple of versions that have been in use for a while?

    I have no problem with the “bent” papal staff or this one; I am happy to see the Pope vary his use as he pleases. I would hate for the staffs to acquire coded meanings, which is really inappropriate for liturgy.

    I must say, sadly, that His Holiness looks distinctly older than he has in the more recent past.

  21. In Russian and Ukrainian Churches pussy willows are normally used for this feast for the obvious reason of availability. In this country we tend to use both, one of each tied together with a red bow.

  22. christine eaton says:

    Father: Thank you for the beautiful pictures!

  23. Also in Italy this is the time of year that olives are being pruned (I saw in in the Sabine Hills last week!).

  24. Habemus Papam says:

    The New Liturgical Movement blog have put up a photo of Bl.John XXIII using this Cross in a Byzantine celebration during Vatican II (so it isn’t pre-Conciliar).

  25. Habenus: The New Liturgical Movement blog have put up a photo of Bl.John XXIII using this Cross in a Byzantine celebration during Vatican II (so it isn’t pre-Conciliar).

    That doesn’t mean it isn’t from before the Council. It just means that at the time of the Council it already existed.

  26. Geoffrey says:

    I watched this live on EWTN (with the sound down and my headphones plugged into my laptop which received the CTV feed!). The timing was a bit off, but much nicer without the English-language commentary by Vatican Radio.

    I’m going to miss JPII’s pastoral staff. I hope it’s not gone for good.

  27. mike says:

    I think those vestments could have come from John XXIII, for his papal crest looks virtually exactly the same.

  28. Kim D'Souza says:

    As Mike has just pointed out, the arms posted by Fr Zuhlsdorf belong to Blessed John XXIII, not St Pius X.

  29. Fr. Freeland says:

    One photo of the Holy Father gives us a nice view of the red pontifical dalmatic. The papal chasubles nowadays are usually so ample that we can rarely tell whether he is wearing a dalmatic.

  30. pjo says:

    Here you have a direct link to CTV feed

  31. Peter says:

    Was the altar cross veiled??

  32. CatholicGandhian says:

    The mitre is pretty uly. However, I actually think that the chasuble wouldn’t be bad at all IF THEY BROUGHT BACK THE OLD PALLIUM WITH THE FANON. Let’s see what happens at Easter.

  33. Charles says:

    On EWTN there was a moment showing a close-up of the credenza where the Pope’s chalice appeared veiled in the same red-and-gold pattern of the ornaments (other than the Chasuble)… good to see this return.

    Also, it may not be the first time, but I noticed that the Pope’s throne was raised in its dias, and placed at the far back, against the Basilica’s facade… this means that the mobile chair right in front of the altar is gone for good also in outdoor ceremonies…

  34. The coat of arms fr. Z. put is without doubt the one of John XXIII. The vestments were nice, but at the Basilica
    of St. Anthony in padua we had something much older and wonderful. Check here:

  35. Alessandro says:

    Sorry I mispelled my own blog address in the previous post :-)

  36. Sorry I mispelled my own blog address in the previous post :-)

  37. Sr. Mary Jeremiah says:

    I find your blog interesting. However, you mentioned that Benedict XVI was not using “Pope John Paul II crosier.’ Of course, that is true, but it was originally used by Paul VI.

  38. Sr. Mary Jeremiah says:

    I find your blog interesting. However, you mentioned that Benedict XVI was not using “Pope John Paul II’s” crosier. Of course, that is true, but it was originally used by Paul VI.

  39. Carmine says:

    There have been 38 comments and not one of them have said anything
    about the homily (which was by the way very uplifting)I understand
    that one can’t comment on the liturgy from being there since all
    of us have watched it on TV, but 37 comments on the smells and
    bells. This post has been nothing but a fashion show…
    Project Vatican Runway…lets hope with Holy Week upon us now,
    we can look to the rituals that are to lift us up, and not look so
    much at the vestments….

  40. B. says:

    For those looking for live feeds, you could also try the German K-TV here (there are several stream links at the bottom of the page). I don’t know if they broadcast German commentary, but I could imagine that they don’t even have the capacity for it. Anyway, it’s a possibility if the CTV direct stream is not working.

    They also broadcast the TLM from Wigratzbad every Sunday at 8.00 am Middle European Time.

  41. sacredosinaeternum says:

    Carmine, I think I understand what you are trying to say. At the same time, though, looking “to the rituals that are to lift us up” is exactly what this post is about. While the main focus is the celebration of the Church’s Sacred Rites, through which our sanctification comes, the vestments, music, etc. are by no means unimportant. What Pope Benedict refers to as Ars Celebrandi is vitally important. Ugly vestments and bad music do nothing to help contribute to our interior, actual participation in the Church’s Rites in Sacred Liturgy. This has NOTHING to do with a “fashion show” and EVERYTHING to do with a beautiful, reverent celebration of the Church’s Sacred Liturgy.

  42. andrew says:

    Thats actually not a new papal staff, as this entry over at NLM shows:

    Another ecumenical effort like the ‘new’ pallium?

  43. prof. basto says:

    Actually no, Andrew. It wasn’t used just for that Eastern Divine Liturgy.

    It was also used in pre-conciliar times for the few occasions when the Pope used
    a Pastoral Staff in the pre-conciliar ceremonial, such as for the
    opening and closing of Holy Doors (check Shouts at the Piazza).

  44. Carmine: There have been 38 comments and not one of them have said anything about the homily (which was by the way very uplifting)I understand that one can’t comment on the liturgy from being there since all of us have watched it on TV, but 37 comments on the smells and bells. This post has been nothing but a fashion show…

    To while I must reply… so what? There is room for this discussion too!

    I think there is plenty of grist for the spiritual mill on this blog. For example, did you chime in about the Holy Father’s address about the sacrament of penance?

    On Palm Sunday I have only so much time and energy. I did not have the time or energy to translate the Pope’s homily.

    In the meantime, you could reflect on the fact that the outward things used in the sacred language have their own meaning in the liturgy. This is not a fashion show for Pope Benedict. Neither should it be for us. It certainly isn’t for me, which is clear if you have been reading this blog for a while.

    As a side note, I have started my preliminary notes for an article on “triumphalism” I was invited to write. The use of vestments says something.

    I find that most people who object to focus on vestments are usually mired in the idea that beauty in liturgy is somehow mere aestheticism. Therefore, they don’t really get what is going on and why the beautiful… and old… things are important.

  45. The musical arrangement for the Passion was very disappointing. Why such musical mediocrity? Why was the incomparable Roman chant tone not used? It can be sung as well in Italian as in Latin.

  46. Don Marco: So much of the Roman scene is still, alas, dominated by this sickly gooey effeminate music, and the solo singers are usually chosen to fit. I will take years, maybe decades, to get rid of it.

    The problem is that when there is a choice for use of Italian, they are – as in so many other countries – stuck with what is available.

    Holy Church is the greatest patroness of the arts the world has ever seen. I hope the pontificate of Benedict XVI will usher in a new patronage of music, as it has other liturgical arts. It would be so fitting for a Pope who so loves music and whose life is intertwined with sacred music.

  47. Me says:





  48. Richard says:

    ^^Erm…..moving on.
    It is nice to see Papa Benedict XVI use an older Papal Cross used by PIUS XII and shortly used by John XIII. I hope he uses the triple barred one eventually; that is my favorite.
    I can’t wait to see what is in store for the Easter Triduum.

  49. TRIPLE BARRED… marvelous.

  50. Me: Penetrating insight. Thanks!

  51. Richard says:

    Father, isn’t that pretty much the coolest one.

  52. Trevor says:

    Me: When did John XXIII ever celebrate the Novus Ordo?

  53. Sharon says:

    Carmine, instead of criticising what others post why not share your thoughts on the homily with us?

  54. Melody says:

    I was blessed to attend Palm Sunday mass at the Norbertine abbey. The mass was the Novus Ordo in Latin with the readings chanted in English, except for the Passion narrative, which was chanted just like in Father Z’s podcast! But, I’m sad the Holy Father couldn’t have something similar. There’s something shamefully telling about that.

    I never knew that olive branches are used. It helps that here in California we have palm trees growing everywhere–it even added a small extra element to the ceremonial procession that preceded mass.

  55. Gregor says:

    Richard et al. regarding that triple Cross: as others have said, while it “looks cool”, it has, as far as I am aware, apart from this one time with pope John Paul in 1983 never been used as a pastoral staff. It is a processional Cross, i.e. carried at the head of the procession, but not by the pope himself.

  56. Carmine says:

    Fr. Z…
    First, this was not a comment to you to post the Holy Father homily.
    It was that not one of your readers mentioned his homily. Second, nor
    would i think you have the time to translate/post and comment.
    But I would like to add that his homily was so insighful more then the
    vestments or cross (veiled or not).
    He said in part:
    “Is our faith pure and open enough, so that on this basis even the ‘pagans’, the people who today are seeking and questioning, can glimpse the light of the one God, join in our prayer in the atria of faith, and through their questioning, perhaps, become worshipers themselves? Are we aware of how greed and idolatry affect even our own hearts and way of life? Do we not, perhaps, in various ways allow idols to enter into the world of our faith as well? Are we willing to allow ourselves to be continually purified by the Lord, permitting Him to drive out from us and from the Church everything that is contrary to Him?”.

    And to all a Blessed Holy Week.

  57. Richard,

    I have to agree with you there.

    What is that cross? Is it the cross of a Metropolitan Archbishop? If so, what do the three bars signify?

    It reminds me a bit of the Maronite Patriarchal cross…

    In ICXC,


  58. brian says:

    And then, I contrast the Holy Father’s celebration with what transpired at Passion Sunday Mass here in the diocese of Metuchen here in Kendall Park NJ, yesterday morning:

    1. No first reading.
    2. No second reading.
    3. Passion sped through at warp speed while we sat. At least it was the long version. We did kneel at the proper time, though.
    4. No Creed, straight to the Prayer of the Faithful.
    5. Some Canon I’ve never heard before. At least the words of Consecration were correct.

    Whole Mass, start to finish: 45 minutes for the most solemn Sunday of our Liturgical Year. But, we did have the choir precessing in waving palm branches over their heads, and making a cross of the branches on the floor of the sanctuary in front of the Altar. Yeah, that makes up for it…

    I’m wondering if it was even a legal Mass, in the strict sense of the word, that fulfilled our obligation. I’m going to suppose that the Church provided what our ministers denied.

    Saint Jude, pray for our priests.

  59. Michael says:

    The triple barred cross was an artistic device used throughout the Middle Ages. Archbishops had two bars on their coats of arms so it only seemed fitting that the pope had three. The three barred cross never existed in real life until Leo XIII, I believe, had one made. It wasn’t traditionally carried in processions, like the double barred archiepiscopal cross, because it didn’t exist. You can find more information about this in the thread from a few days before Christmas that predicted what vestments the pope would wear for the Urbi et Orbi.

  60. As papal ceremonial developed over the centuries the Pope’s stopped actually carrying a staff in the manner of other bishops and only occasionally held the staff for certain solemn blessings and processions. The so-called “Papal Cross” with three horizontal bars was nothing other than a fabrication in the minds of artists. It was depicted in works of art as being superior to the patriarchal (or archiepiscopal) cross which had two horizontal bars. This three-barred cross never existed in reality until the XIX Century when one was presented to Pope Gregory XVI for the consecration of the altar at the basilica of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls. In addition, in 1888 a three-barred staff was presented to Pope Leo XIII for his jubilee. These are the only two three-barred staves to actually exist and they have been hardly ever used. So, those who think this staff was commonly carried by Popes or who think it is more correct for Popes to use it are quite mistaken.

  61. Richard T says:

    Let us be thankful that things are getting so much better.

    However am I the only one who wishes that Masses at St Peters were celebrated in the church on the proper altar rather than outside?

    I suppose it’s about allowing the crowds in, but it’s hardly a small church. Does anyone know how many people can fit in St Peters compared to the piazza? Would it be a lot of people who were not able fit in if Masses were actually held inside?

    It seems common in Poland for many of the congregation to be outside the church, and since the Vatican puts large screens up already (so presumably most people there can’t actually see what’s going on anyway), it wouldn’t be a great loss to be outside while the Mass was celebrated inside.

  62. There are some really nice photos of the Palm Sunday Mass over at Hallowed Ground.

    They are better than the ones I posted, for sure!

    For example…

    and …



  63. Prof. Basto says:

    No Richard, you are not the only one.

    I hoped that Mons. Marini would quash the habbit of having Papal Mass celebrated outdoors.

    I hoped the Papal Throne would return to its place in front of the Altar of the Chair for Papal Masses, and that the space between the apse and the Altar of the Confession would be reserved to the clergy.

    I hoped that true altar pews with kneelers would be restored to the Papal Basilicas.

    But none of that happened. And yet, I’m grateful for those changes that did come for the better: the more traditional vestments, mitres, the whole more tradidional attitude brought by the Holy Father and Mons. Marini, the dias, the new thrones, etc.

  64. Habemus Papam says:

    So Paul VI was the first Pope to use a “Papal Staff” on a near-permanent basis? (Presumably to emphasise his role as Bishop). BTW I think this Palm Sunday throne was part of a sedia-gestatoria, used as such by Pius XII if I remember rightly.

  65. A kind reader sent a closer view of the dalmatics.  You can see the coat-of-arms better.



  66. Mike Williams says:

    I wonder when (and why) the Popes had ceased habitually using a staff– remember the Tannhaeuser legend, best known through Wagner’s opera? When Tannhaeuser confesses his dalliance with Venus, the Pope in anger tells him he has no more chance of redemption than the (presumably wooden) staff in his hand has of sprouting new leaves. Later upon Tannhaeuser’s return to Germany and his learning of Elisabeth’s propitiatory death, he dies as new pilgrims arrive from Rome bearing news of a miracle– the Pope’s staff has burst into bloom.

  67. Dear Father. Thank you for the story. Being new to the Catholic Blog world,I have found that there is just too much happening in the Church and world to “cover” all of it. I really enjoyed your post.

    Instauratio Catholica

  68. Gustavo Ráez-Patiño says:

    Beautiful staff, though strange it hasn’t a corpus on it. I thought it was made for Benedict XVI until, reading this blog, I learned it is at least from the time of Pius XI. Wonderful! I for myself hope this becomes the permanent staff for our Holy Father. Enough of the twisted Paul VI-JPII staff! It is a sign of the dark post-conciliar years that, thanks God, are fading away.

    Nobody has mentioned the awesome cope the Pope wore. Is it new or is it one of those treasures from the Vatican wardrobes? In that case, from what year (or century) does it come? It looked a bit short (even for Benedict XVI!).

    I expected to see the big throne of Leo XIII again, since it was placed at a fixed location behind the altar. Instead, the smaller one of St. Pius X was used, which I thought was only used when it was located in front of the altar, so it can later on be more easily taken away. Well, lets wait for Easter.

    Does someone know if the papal asterisk was again used? At one moment it seemed so, due to a movement the Pope did so as to cover the paten.

    Nice to see lace also for the Cardinal-deacons, and not only for the Holy Father and Don Guido. I hope this extends more for the other sacred ministers.

    Finally, why that ugly chasuble?? After seeing that cope and those dalmatics, I expected a chasuble at least like the one the Pope wore for Ash Wednesday. And after seeing a close view of the chalice veil (with identical patterns as those of the cope), I think there must have been a matching chasuble somewhere, but for some reason the Pope didn’t wear it. Strange.

  69. Hoka2_99 says:

    I watch all Papal events on EWTN and agree about the voice overs! I wish they would just leave it alone – even if His Holiness is speaking in Italian it isn’t difficult to get the gist of what he is saying. At the General Audience last week he gave a greeting in Latin [more of that please!!!] and there was no translation over it – wonderful!!!!

    The lady [a nun, I think] who sometimes does the commentary for EWTN is a member of Vatican Radio/TV staff and sometimes she does qualify the fact that she is describing everything by telling us that she is doing this for radio listeners.

    Yesterday [Palm Sunday] the frequent shots of the crowds in the square were off-putting to put it mildly. As soon as they saw themselves on the big screen they went goofy and either waved [a sort of Italian “Hello, Mum”] or made faces. So, were they concentrating on the liturgy? It seems they were not.

    Yes, His Holiness is looking a little bit older – though I hate to even contemplate the fact of his ageing. He IS three years older than when he was elected, he has done a tremendous amount of public work and made numerous trips abroad, plus he’s been writing and has already produced two encyclicals and the first volume of his book on Christ. Our dear Joseph Ratzinger did not want this great responsibility, but having been chosen by God, he has taken that responsibility firmly on his shoulders, as I knew he would. Here’s one woman who lights a candle for him every day at church and asks the Blessed Mother of God to watch over him always!

    Thanks for this blog, Father Z – I’ve only just discovered it today, thanks to a friend. It’s far more lively than the forums etc.which I have been frequenting for the past three years. And it’s well and truly Catholic!!!!!!!!!!! Deo gratias!

  70. Habemus Papam says:

    Gutavo, what is a papal asterisk?

  71. bryan says:

    In the Roman Rite, a special twelve-ray asterisk was used in Papal Masses, as a covering for the host on the paten, when it was brought to the Pope at his throne for his Communion. Unlike the Eastern asterisk, which has four rays, the Papal asterisk had twelve rays, each inscribed with the name of an Apostle.

    From Wikipedia

  72. Gustavo Ráez-Patiño says:

    Habemus Papam,

    As Bryan mentioned, there is an article at Wikipedia that you can consult. I shall add that the papal asterisk made a return last year for outdoor Papal Masses at the Vatican, where our Holy Father used it for a very practical reason: to protect the Host from dust, pretty much like the pall protects the Precious Blood in the chalice.

  73. MartinB says:

    Seems as if there is a very profane explanation for the new papal cross / ferula:

    The \”old\” one is part of an exhibition in the states.


  74. Martin B: That was useful. Thanks! I’ll update the entry.

  75. TNCath says:

    Gustavo Ráez-Patiño wrote: “And after seeing a close view of the chalice veil…”

    Chalice veil? I didn’t get to watch the Mass. Has Msgr. Marini found the chalice veils from the sacristy drawers? Wonderful! I haven’t seen a chalice veil at a Papal Mass in years even though the GIRM clearly states that the use of the chalice veil is encouraged.

    I keep saying this over and over, but, I can’t wait to see if all these little touches Msgr. Marini has brought back will be front and center during the Pope’s visit to the U.S. in April!

  76. Dove says:

    I was very disappointed with the Palm Sunday Mass. I had hoped that it would be in Latin, even if it was Novus Ordo. The music was dreadful. I suppose it will take time to teach the choirs to sing the beautiful Gregorian Chant, but I imagine that the real problem is political, since it’s not that difficult to sing. The singing of the Passion not only in Italian but with that horrible boring music was more than I could stand at 2 AM here in California and after a while I turned it off. Thank you Fr Z for singing the Passion for us. I will listen to the St John Passion several times this week.

  77. Habemus Papam says:

    Gustavo and Bryan: Thanks for the explanations on the papal asterisk. This sure is a time for research!

  78. Stephen says:

    Re: New/Old/Recycled Papal Staff

    When Pope Paul VI was elected to the Papacy he had been the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, making Cardinal Montini a Milanese/Ambrosian Rite Bishop. The bishops of that rite use a staff that was not a shepherds crook, as Latin Rite Bishops use, but a crucifix. Popes had used croziers in former times and, occasionally, Pope Pius XII and Blessed John XXIII, used one for certain ceremonies – a cross, not a crook, (e.g., Opening of the Holy Year Door.) Pius XII also wore blue vestments during the Marian Year (still forbidden for use in the U.S.A.). It will be interesting to see if Pope Benedict XVI revives the wearing of a Paschal Mozetta. As for the dalmatics: it is Blessed John XXIII’s Coat of Arms on those worn by deacons; the Cardinal Deacons were not wearing those. Why not revive the use of all clergy wearing a biretta? That would make a few heads turn.

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