Pope at St. Patrick’s – initial reactions

I am struck by the incredible difference in attitude and atmosphere as preparation for this Mass continues.

I will post the Holy Father’s sermon as soon as he finishes delivering it.  Click HERE.


The pipe organ works wonders, no?

Tu es Petrus!   Then Holst… O God Beyond All Praising

Interesting blend of traditional architecture with the video screens.

Brass… will trained choir … Latin motets.

Notice how the Holy Father tried to stop the applause.. his outstretched hands were to quiet people, not to say "Hi!"   It was wrong, I think, to encourage the applause from the sanctuary.  That changed the attitude of the moment.  It will take some minutes to recover what was lost.

Applause when loyalty to the Pope is mentioned by Card. Egan.  But again, the Pope tries to shift the attention away from his person.

I wish the gifts were given after Mass, … or will this chalice be used right now?

The Holy Father doesn’t make a long "Hey, Thanks, Cardinal!  It’s great to be here!" speech, but goes directly to the penitential rite… and Mass VIII Kyrie sung by everyone.   [Can’t the cantor listen to the congregation and stay with them rather than do his own thing?]

Latin Gloria…. don’t know the setting though, but it is familiar.  Notice that the congregation listens to the Gloria.  I imagine they are all participating actively with interiorly active participation.

It would have been nice for the Holy Father to sing the Collect after that setting of the Gloria.

After the first reading in Spanish, there is a responsorial psalm… alas, musically along the sentimental side.  Not uncommon to parishes in style.

I like the mystical sounding pipe organ after the second reading and before the Alleluia.  Just the right tone.

I note especially the care and gracious movement of the servers. It is carefully paced and precise.

The deacon sang the Gospel in a modified "Roman" tone.  Very nice.

The TV camera focus on windows as the Holy Father spoke of them in the sermon

Some Latin even in the sung responses for the intercessions.   Again, we have the multi-language, multi-cultural dimension.  However, it just doesn’t feel so terribly "in your face", so, "look at how wonderful we are".  I wonder if this isn’t a function of, first, the better sense of the organizers, but also the greater dignity of the Mass, and, moreover, the fact that in New York this is simply the way things are.

Did I just see that young cantor bump that old woman out of the way?   Well… not really.  He has a job to do also.

Ah… what a marvelous choice for the offertory.  This Marian motet always gets to me.  Everytime.

Papa is singing the Preface.  Excellent.   Though I wish we had the new translation.

Latin Sanctus from Mass VIII.  Everyone seems to be singing!  Gosh, I guess Gregorian chant isn’t too hard.  Though again the cantor is doing his own thing up there.  There is a point at which cantors, when they hear that people are singing, should diminish.  "Congregatio" oportet crescere, me autem minui.

Roman Canon…. ahhhhh…..!

The price of a papal trip… millions.  The cost of internet connection, plenty.  The pleasure at listening Card. Bertone labor with English… priceless.


Papa is giving the sign of peace in the Roman fashion, lightly placing his hands on the shoulders of the other.  The young deacon seemed to get it.

How to handle Communion for so many priests?  I suspect all priests will be able to take a Host for themselves from a patten or ciborium held by a priest or deacon and then take the chalice for himself in a similar way.

Ego sum… wonderful

At least the ceremoniere received on the tongue before taking the ciborium from the Holy Father.

And then in all the coverage the EWTN and USCCB talker had to talk.  Bad taste, fellas.  Not good.  Talk after the Mass so we can hear the Mass.  Sure, I don’t like the song "I will raise you up" they are singing.  But still. 

On second thought, I think they might have seen what music piece was coming up and thought, "We can talk over this klinker."

I like the Dominus Deus.  Very much in keeping with German Catholic style of Holy Mass, from our great treasury of sacred music.

Cardinal Bertone… in Spanish this time.  A better choice, I think.  People seem to get it anyway!  What do you know!

Announcers…. BE QUIET!

The Pope speaks off the cuff.  Incredible humility. 

This Mass showed the world what Americans can do when we pay attention.

Alleluia… fugue!  This needed a fugue.

The Holy Father is clearly very happy at the moment.  There is a great spring in his step and tremendous smile.

I wonder if announcers are sometimes forced to cut in with some comment because they are broadcasting music performed by union musicians, and there are recording rights problems….


The music line up:

O God, Beyond All Praising- arr. Deborah Jamini
Ecce Sacerdos Magnus- Johann Singenberger, arr. Deborah Jamini
Kyrie – Missa de Angelis
Gloria from Messe in C, Op.169- Josef Rheinberger
Psalm- Dr. Jennifer Pascual
Alleluia (O filii et filiae)- arr. Wm. Glenn Osborne
Trilingual Intercessions- Michael Hay, orch. Wm. Glenn Osborne
Ave Maria- Franz Biebl
Sanctus- Missa de Angelis
Christ Has Died/ Amen- Danish Mass, orch. Wm. Glenn Osborne
Agnus Dei from Messe in C, Op.169- Josef Rheinberger
(TBD) Salvatore Licitra, Tenor, Metropolitan Opera
Ego Sum Panis Vivus- Giovanni Pierluigi Palestrina
O Sacrum Convivium- Dom Lorenzo Perosi
Ave Verum- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
I am the Bread of Life/ Yo Soy el Pan de Vida- Suzanne Toolan, SM, orch. Johnnie Carl
Holy God, We Praise Thy Name- arr. Bruce Saylor
Hallelujah from The Mount of Olives- Ludwig van Beethoven

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. TNCath says:

    Most definitely. That “Christus Vincit” entrance processional was magnificent! Did you notice how relatively quiet St. Patrick’s got as the Pope prayed before the Blessed Sacrament? Amazing. Not only the site but also the music choices make a huge difference.

  2. Diane says:

    It was a powerful and beautiful welcome for the Holy Father. Notice the habits on young religious.

    I would like to point out for those who don’t have cable or EWTN, you can watch it live at pope2008.com or on this page at EWTN.

    You can get the live audio and video stream at different speeds here.

    EWTN is also uploading video and audio almost as soon as an event is done on this page.

  3. Fr. D says:

    “Tu es Petrus” now. Glorious organ.

  4. Diane says:

    Wow. How sad that the secret service must escort him to the sanctuary during the processional.

    On the other hand someone could get in as a priest and cell phones can be made into weapons.

  5. Fr. D says:

    “O God, Beyond all Praising”. A little better than “Gather Us In”.

  6. Diane says:

    Fr. Z

    Do you know how the priest is to Pope Benedict’s right. I recognize Msgr. Guido Marini, but not the other one that is always at his side during these Masses.

    He was the one who seemed to have a reaction when the Kyrie began at Nationals Stadium. If you watch that video when the Kyrie begins, he gives the Holy Father a quick glance.

  7. Syriacus says:

    3+4 candlesticks – but not on the altar…

  8. Fr. D says:

    Wondering if all the preliminary stuff could not have found a better place. Why didn’t they do the welcome before Mass?

  9. TNCath says:

    Diane: “Wow. How sad that the secret service must escort him to the sanctuary during the processional.”

    Did you notice how the MC (either Msgr. Marini or the other MC–can’t remember which one) basically moved the Secret Service agent out of the way when the Pope ascended the steps of the altar?

  10. Diane says:

    Fr. Z – you are right that he tried to get the applause to cease. When he rose the first time, he turned his palms downward. It was clear he was trying to get them to end the applause, but he was caught in an awkward position and rose a second time.

    If he truly does not want applause once the Mass starts, it’s too bad the opportunity to catechize on the subject isn’t taken, perhaps right before Mass.

  11. Geoffrey says:

    I don’t really mind applauding the Pope in a church, as it is being done to greet him and express affection and devotion, rather than “let’s all thank the choir…” etc. Not everyone can greet him personally, so this is the only way.

  12. Diane says:


    I must have looked away. While it was disappointing to see, I trust they had their reasons.

  13. Collette says:

    Our 81 year old Holy Father stands during the singing of the Gloria. It is nice to see.

  14. captainbozo says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but why does it seem that diversity is constantly being held up as the greatest good that the Church in America can offer? We’ve seen it manifest in D.C. About half of the diocesan videos I saw mentioned it, and again Cardinal Egan made that a main point in his welcome at the start of Mass.

    Also, what a stark contrast this Mass is compared to DC.

  15. Fr. D says:

    Bi-Polar Psalm refrain.

  16. Anonimo says:

    Does Father Zuhlsdorf presume to correct the Holy Father with regard to reading versus singing the collect?

    Where are the limits of propriety among the cognoscenti of things which pertain to the Holy Mass? This blog has taken the affectations of wine connoisseurs.

  17. TNCath says:

    Fr. Z: “[Can’t the cantor listen to the congregation and stay with them rather than do his own thing?]”

    This is a common occurrence in so many parishes! Very annoying. Can’t the cantor back away from the microphone and not sing as loud when the congregation responds? After all, the choir is leading the people in the response. Even Sister is behind the congregation during the Responsorial Psalm.

    Fr. Z: “Latin Gloria…. don’t know the setting though, but it is familiar. Notice that the congregation listens to the Gloria. I imagine they are all participating actively with interiorly active participation.”

    Beautifully done, but why not sing the Missa de Angelis Gloris in conjunction with the Kyrie? It would have been nice to have heard the congregation sing it so as to encourage its singing in parishes.

    Fr. Z: “It would have been nice for the Holy Father to sing the Collect after that setting of the Gloria.”

    Yes, he could have easily handled that.

    I’m now watching Sister read the Second Reading. She looks very kind and happy to be there, but couldn’t she have found a veil to wear for this occasion?

  18. captainbozo says:

    Why are the young nuns wearing habits and the old just wearing a pin on her lapel…

  19. Ken Kirkman says:

    I can’t really fault the US Secret Service detail for kind of getting underfoot, though. A Mass is a totally different environment from what they’re used to working with, with demands that they normally wouldn’t even have to think about.

    There’s also a pretty consistent lag between the cantor and congregation- maybe it has something to do with the acoustics or sound system or something?

  20. Fr. Pasley says:

    Salve Pater,
    Your commentary is always greatly appreciated and greatly anticipated.
    I do not wish to dwell on the negative, because this is 1000% better than Washinton, but where did they get those ghastly vestments and Mitre? We are in a constant battle between between good and evil, truth and falsehood, and good taste and the tackiness following the most recent council of the church.

  21. Geoffrey says:

    Has anyone noticed that all the lectors for the two Papal Masses thus far have been female? Of course it is legit, but I wonder if someone didn’t do it on purpose to make some sort of statement? I would have expected at least one man and one woman.

  22. TNCath says:

    Geoffrey: “I don’t really mind applauding the Pope in a church, as it is being done to greet him and express affection and devotion, rather than ‘let’s all thank the choir…’”

    Agreed. I think in the case of the Pope, applause is the people’s way of expressing their respect, joy, and appreciation, which is not altogether bad. It did not get out of hand (no pun intended). As for the Pope’s attempt to stop the applause, I think that was out of his personal modesty as much as his preference for decorum in church. As for Placido Domingo’s “performance” in Washington, that was just too much. Perhaps he should have been hidden from view so as to not draw undue attention to himself, but that is not what “show business” is all about! Another argument in favor of choir lofts in churches!

  23. Fr. D says:

    The Tri-polar petition response.

  24. Isaac says:

    Fr. D,

    The Tri-polar petition response.

    Yeah..sounds awful.


  25. captainbozo says:

    I love this version of Ave Maria.

  26. nasman2 says:

    Is it me, or are Fr. Neuhaus and Raymond Arroyo being censored? I’ve only heard 2 seconds of commentary and that was after the sermon. Then their audio was cut off. Fr. Neuhaus was mentioning Mr. Arroyo’s ‘amazing restraint’. I’m listening to both the video stream from EWTN’s website and the XM channel 120 broadcast.

  27. trejo says:

    “Can’t the cantor listen to the congregation and stay with them rather than do his own thing?”

    The point of the cantor and the choir is to keep the time for the rest of the congregation to sing with. How well can hundreds and even thousands of churchgoers all keep the same time? The cantor should sing at the right tempo and the congregation can “catch-up” if need be. I’m tired of going to Mass and hearing the people slowing the choir down until the hymn sounds like a funeral dirge.

  28. Isaac says:

    They should have hired Westminster Cathedral choir for the singing.

    Honestly, they are quite flat. They should have boy treble voices instead of women.


  29. Geoffrey says:

    I love the chanting of the Gospel, even in English. I wish that practice would catch on more.

    I liked the English-Latin-Spanish response for the General Intercessions. I first heard that at the Installation Mass of our bishop.

  30. Fr N says:

    Isaac – I fully agree with you.

    I personally think there is too much vibrato in the singing – sounds like an American versio of the Sistine Choir! And the brass intros get a bit tedious after time.

    Still, it is a great occasion and at least efforts have been made for a dignified celebration.

  31. captainbozo says:

    “The price of a papal trip… millions. The cost of internet connection, plenty. The pleasure at listening Card. Bertone labor with English… priceless.”

    Hahahaha. Awesome!

  32. Kristin says:

    Dear Father,

    Here’s a link to the music selections at the Mass today:


    It was great to meet you while you visited Virginia!

    God bless,

  33. TNCath says:

    “Papa is singing the Preface. Excellent. Though I wish we had the new translation.”

    He had a little trouble with the tune of the Introductory Dialogue in English. Had it done that part in Latin, and, when switched to English for the Preface proper, he’d have stayed on key.

    Overall, this is 125% better than anything we saw at Nationals Stadium! Deo gratias! You’ve got to hand it to Cardinal Egan: he wasn’t going to let this get out of hand.

    By the way, it was nice to hear the Danish Amen Great Amen. Classy, yet simple and familiar! Would someone please turn off that cantor’s microphone?

  34. Isaac says:

    Don’t you think that this mass presented a brilliant opportunity to celebrate
    in ad orientem fashion of either the Ordinary Form or the Old, completely in

    Why do we still need to apologise for being Catholic? Among many trads, I’ve
    usually been called a Novus Ordo softie for still having some esteem for
    the New Rite. This mass is a far far far cry from London oratory’s Latin Novus
    Ordo mass or even at Westminster Cathedral (which isn’t even considered very orthodox, except for
    the music).

    I’ll have to admit that even a Tridentine Low Mass would still be much better. And
    I can’t believe I am admitting this as I do not consider myself very militantly
    traditional. I just find a lot of the music and direction artistically poor.

  35. AF says:

    Did you how subdued the Holy Father was reciting the Canon? He was praying to God the Father, not making a proclamation to the congregation.

  36. Diane says:

    That’s a deep voice Cardinal Bertone has.

    It’s good he is brushing up on his English. He may need it [when he becomes the next Pope]

  37. The bound books used by the cardinals are nice, I’m sure, but it makes them look like they’re reading the Roman canon for the first time. How about big print altar cards with the prayer?

    .. and maybe some reading glasses for Card. Bertone.

  38. Geoffrey says:

    Did anyone notice the Ordinary Minister of the Eucharist (i.e, priest) walking towards the back with a chalice full of the Precious Blood? I’m guess Holy Communion is being given in both kinds to all the priests gathered?

  39. captainbozo says:

    Anybody else spot the intinction?

  40. Diane says:

    Ego sum…one of my favorites! It’s so meditative. It’s not compatible with the kind of entertainment pushed on many during Communion today, but totaly meditative.

    Uggghhhh – wrong time to butt in with station identifier, Raymond!!!

    Hey – they found patens for the occassion!

    I wonder if they are used regularly there? If not, I hope they don’t put them away. So few parishes use patens and yet they are suppose to be used during Communion.

  41. captainbozo says:

    Guliani in line…

  42. Diane says:

    Yes – priests are using intinction and then they pull the Chalice away as others present themselves.

  43. Andrew says:

    I hope my eyes were playing tricks on me. But did anybody see what I believe I saw? When the Pope was chewing on the communion host, I distinctly saw a particle fall from his mouth. I just so hope I was mistaken.

  44. senorverde says:

    I love EWTN, but oh dear, please, please, please don’t interrupt “Ego Sum Panis Vivus” during the gorgeous ending!!! (An old choir friend of mine used to call it the most beautiful single page of music ever written). Raymond Arroyo should know better – supremely disappointing.

    If we can’t just experience the mass without commentary on EWTN, where can we?

  45. Diane says:

    Captainbozo: Guliani in line…

    Goodness, what is Guliani even doing at a Mass for priests, religious and deacons?!?!?

  46. Geoffrey says:

    I love it when His Holiness speaks “off the cuff” like he just did.

  47. Diane says:

    It makes me nervous with SO MANY secret service agents around the Holy Father. I have never seen so many SS agents. Perhaps they could not get the place as secure as they wanted?

  48. JPK NewOrleans says:

    Pope Benedict XVI has done wonders in attempting to restore proper decorum in church and solemnity to liturgical services. As a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, I cannot tell you how this pleases me.

    I recently attended a celebration of the Extraodinary Rite restored by the Pope and was very pleasently surprised that it is very similar to the Mass celebrated in our church, i.e., the Rite of St. John Chrysostum, which pre-dates the 1054 division of the eastern and western churches. The primary difference in the services is the language, i.e., Latin versus ancient Greek or church Slavonic. There has never been a prohibition in our church against using the vernacular, although I believe something is lost when it is used.

    And I like the fact that he is discourging applause in church. That does not occur in the Orthodox Church, even at weddings.

  49. Diane says:

    Now that the Mass is over, where’s Raymond and Fr. Neuhaus???

    It’s a good time for commentary when the Mass is over, not during the Ego Sum.

  50. Tom says:

    “10:44 Roman Canon…. ahhhhh…..!”

    Well, somewhat close to the Roman Canon.

    The Novus Ordo Mass improves greatly when Eucharistic Prayer I is employed.

    The Holy Father could improve the Novus Ordo dramatically by simply supressing the novel Eucharistic Prayers.

    Technically, that would include the suppression of EP I, as EP I is not the traditional Roman Canon. It would be best to simply restore the Roman Canon to the Novus Ordo Mass. But then, why not simply return to the TLM.

    Okay…not going to happen.

    At any rate, the Novus Ordo would improve dramatically if each Eucharistic Prayer (except Eucharistic Prayer I) was eliminated from the liturgy.

  51. Justin says:

    As a fellow Catholic from across the Atlantic I have to say after this Mass – WELL DONE AMERICA!!!

    This was very edifying after the spectacle at DC.

  52. Tom says:

    JPK NewOrleans “Pope Benedict XVI has done wonders in attempting to restore proper decorum in church and solemnity to liturgical services. As a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, I cannot tell you how this pleases me.”

    Pope John Paul II stated more than once that regarding liturgy, the Latin Church could learn a great deal from the Eastern Orthodox.

    (Actually, the Latin Church could learn a great deal regarding liturgy by simply turning to Her own Traditional Roman Mass.)

    During ecumenical gatherings, Cardinals and bishops insist that we could learn a thing or two about liturgy from the Eastern Orthodox.

    The majority of our ecumenically-minded Catholics Churchmen engage in little more than lip service when they utter such pleasantries as the post-Vatican II Latin Church has moved far away not only from Her own liturgical tradition, but from the wonderful manner in which Eastern Orthodox y approaches liturgy.

    The are some exceptions, but overall, the Eastern Orthodox have continued to offer the Divine Liyurgy with great care.

    Conversely, it’s a shame that many Latin Catholics are satisified with mediocre liturgy.

  53. Tom says:

    Issac wrote: “I’ll have to admit that even a Tridentine Low Mass would still be much better.”

    Yes…the TLM in any form is the superior Mass when it comes to imparting Catholic identity to the Faithful.

    But let’s be honest…the Low Mass is not the ideal Mass.

    Throughout the Latin Church, we must return to our great liturgical Tradition that calls for each Mass to be offered, if you will, to the hilt.

    At least regarding Sunday liturgy, Low Mass is not the ideal Mass.

  54. Dominic says:

    Having commented on the awfulness of the Washington Mass, I am so pleased that things were so much better in St Patrick’s. Is it not obvious that dignity, not schmaltz, is fitting for the the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice? Thank you to those responsible for organising today’s Mass, and thank you to you Fr Z, for all your commentaries.

  55. CK says:

    This was so beautiful. It was beautiful on its own, and especially in comparison to DC. Did anyone notice that most of the nuns with habits received on their tongues, and the nuns without habits all received in the hand? I’m just sayin’….

  56. Dan says:

    All in all it was a verry pius and great mass. The one thing that got me really mad was when the wrist gaurds of the Holy Father kept shoving (not pushing) shoving the sisters and the priests out of the way. Can’t they show some respect twards them?

  57. Justinmartyr says:

    The applause is unfortunate, of course, but it’s worth noting that this dreadful custom BEGAN in St. Patrick’s, in 1965, when Paul VI entered the Cathedral after his speech to the United Nations. Several New York priests told me that they had never heard (or heard of) such a thing happening before that day.

  58. Coletta says:

    Beautiful! I love seeing the Holy Father so very happy!
    His humilty is radiantly beautiful. How blessed we are that God
    has given us another saintly Pope!

  59. TJM says:

    What a wonderful contrast to Don Wuerl’s sideshow in DC. This Mass was very Catholic, very traditional, in keeping with liturgical statutes and the Holy Father’s thinking. And it was seen by the American Catholics! My brother called me first thing this morning to make sure I had it on. He was so excited about the magnificent music! You could see the Holy Father was very pleased. Tom

    ps: Did you notice the old grey haired ladies in business suits taking communion in the hand, in contrast to the young nuns in their habits taking it on the tongue? The last gasp of the doubleknit dinosaurs!

  60. Habemus Papam says:

    Justinmartyr: That would be just one of the dreadful customs begun under Paul VI.

  61. Tom says:

    “Did I just see that young cantor bump that old woman out of the way? ”

    Yes, you did. I saw it and couldn’t decide whether or not to laugh!

    I suspect the “old woman” was a sister of some sort – indeed, I suspect they were all Religious, given that the Mass was for them and the ordained.

    In that vein, what struck me was that most of the older women wore no habits or veils (and generally received in the hand), while the younger ones (who seemed in a majority, but that might have been just a trick of the television) seemed on the whole to be habited and veiled (and received on the tongue). Just an observation from a mere (English) layman.

  62. FloridaJohn says:

    \”I distinctly saw a particle fall from his mouth.\” Yes I saw it too! And my heart jumped thinking about the Particle being trampled upon. I wish I was there to rescue Our Lord!

  63. Raymond says:

    How come that here in the US, I rarely here the solemn episcopal/papal blessing at the end of Mass? In English: “Blessed be the Name of the Lord – Now and forever. Our help is in the Name of the Lord – Who made Heaven and Earth.” I almost always hear, “Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing.”

  64. Lori says:

    I also noticed the security getting rough during the recessional. I saw one push a Sister of Charity. Dios Mio!

  65. An American Mother says:

    I saw the particle fall from the Holy Father’s lips as well.

    But I also noted that he was carefully leaning down and forward over the altar. Most likely over the paten.

  66. An American Mother says:

    Did anybody recognize the organ postlude?

    It’s not on “the list” but we’re thinking it sounds 20th c. French. Vierne? Durufle?

  67. Fr. Pasley says:

    I know that the guards, probably the Swiss Guard, looked like they were being rough, but unless you have been near nuns, elbowing, pushing, shoving, and charging, like they do in Rome, to get close to the Holy Father, you have no idea what you are up against. Heaven hath no fury like a nun trying to get to the Pope. I know. I was almost trampled to death once.

  68. Michael Lavey says:

    It was a nice Mass, but I had to laugh. They put the Mass in the vernacular because “we can’t understand it in Latin”. Now the Mass is said in my own country, and I still couldn’t understand much of it because it was in multiple languages, such as Spanish. The Latin however, I understood!

  69. TNCath says:

    I second Fr. Pasley’s comments. Today the guards clearly knew what they were doing. If you’ve ever stood in line for 3 hours at the sheep gate at St. Peter’s waiting to get into the basilica for a Papal Mass, you know exactly what he’s talking about. And they don’t say “permesso” either! I’ve found, however, if you befriend them and ask to take their photographs whilst you are in line, they tend to be a little less aggressive towards you when the gate is opened at the cattle charge towards the basilica begins.

  70. An American Mother says:

    Wrt to the choral sound, I don’t think the vibrato was too excessive.

    Since I’m looking from the point of view of Anglican-trained choirs and the RSCM, of course, the standard is NO vibrato whatsoever. But that does tend to produce either a disembodied sound with no body or a ‘hooting’ effect, so the thinking these days seems to be to put in some of what our choirmaster calls “spin” or “warmth”.

    Could have used less, but that Beethoven is a terrible strain, big sound and huge leaps, it’s easy to let the vibrato get away from you.

    I just can’t agree that it was anywhere NEAR as bad as the Sistine choir on a bad day. That could be a half tone off pitch in either direction!

    I feel for the cantor, it is very difficult to gauge when to lead and when to back off, especially on mike. I hate cantoring on a microphone, I would rather stand at the rail of the choir loft and take my chances. And with that large a crowd in the space, it would alter the acoustics substantially, which also may have thrown him off.

  71. MG says:

    Ah… what a marvelous choice for the offertory. This Marian motet always gets to me. Everytime.

    I wholeheartedly agree!! Do you, or anyone reading this, know the name of it? If so, please let me know. Many thanks!!!

  72. Someone mentioned bringing the Blood of Christ to the concelebrants…for them to validly offer the sacrifice, they must receive the Eucharist in both species, whether by drinking from the cup, or by intinction.

    Or so I was taught, at any rate.

  73. I think this was a good and faithful effort on the part of those in New York, and they are to be commended. It looked as if the Holy Father was quite pleased as well. Of course, one can make all kinds of valid observations and suggestions for improvement, but this liturgy was an honest and fervent attempt to be obedient to the the liturgical law of the church and to the expressed desire of the Holy Father, and frankly what more could one ask for. God Bless His Eminence Cardinal Egan!

    I was also pleased by the Holy Father’s closing remarks. I am a much worse sinner than he, I am sure, but his humility, love of our Lord, and deep desire to follow in the footsteps of St. Peter brought tears to my eyes.

    I think a singing of “Oremus pro pontifice nostro Benedicto…” after Vespers this evening would be especially appropriate on the day of His Holiness’s accession—yes Fr. Z?

  74. MG says:

    “The price of a papal trip… millions. The cost of internet connection, plenty. The pleasure at listening Card. Bertone labor with English… priceless.”

    You can be so funny…Love your sense of humor!!

  75. Doug Zeitz says:

    My understanding was that this morning’s Mass was for priests and religious?
    In which case, there are many elderly nuns and brothers (one wouldn’t know since they were out of uniform) who have forgotten humility in the reception of Our Eucharistic Lord in Holy Communion. I noted only the younger habited sisters receiving Our Lord on the tongue.

    I also was unaware that after his dropping out of the Presidential race that Rudy Guiliani had embraced the religious life? That must be the case, since he was in line for Holy Communion…….I wonder if his third “wife” has now entered a convent?

    It would speak volumes, if the Holy Father would publicly offer the Traditional Mass in the extraordinary form! I pray for him daily!

    Christ is risen! Doug Zeitz

  76. Dennis says:

    The mass was beautiful, 100 times better then the mega mass in DC. what great musical settings can do for the mass, I was disappointed to hear the singing of ” I am the Bread of Life” during communion. I think those in the congration(mostly priest and religious) should have shown restained in giving applause , I think without intention it shifter the focus from the sacrifice of the mass to the person of the Holy Father as center of attention. This may be picky but why with all the seminarians in attendence where 3 woman ( all nuns) chosen for the readings and the psalm, were not any of these good seminarians instituted lectors, this seemed so PC to me in that” we must have woman participate in the liturgical action”. Another beef of mine is why are we told by experts that if mass is in latin ( a universal language) no one can understand it, but we can have these large papal masses in 10 different languages, it shows not how unified we are but how divided we are . Why can’t we come together as a “diverse” group and stand together as one and worship together under one tongue.

  77. Renee says:

    Regardless of whatever criticisms some may have, this was an infinitely more beautiful and dignified mass than the one in DC. It made the Washington mass look even more silly and chaotic (at least with regards to the music). I am looking forward to the one in Yankee Stadium and hoping it, too, will not disappoint.

  78. dad29 says:

    Nice to read the commentary of the knowledgeable and charitable AnAmericanMother here!

    (N.B.: AAM is the Head of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen’s Club–from FreeRepublic. It is not wise to cross swords with AAM.)

    I’ve been to St Patrick’s and the acoustics in that place are simply awful. As you may have noted, the cantor was precisely “on” with the organ–but the congregation was behind both of them by a couple of beats.

    Yes, the sopranos were flat on a couple of occasions, and the choir over-vibratos as a group.

    That’s because Every Big Voice In America goes to NYC to sing at the Met, on Broadway, and off-Broadway–and they join the local church choir.

    At least they are at Mass and in the choir…

    Loved the Biebl Angelus Domini/Ave Maria.

    Missed (drat it!!) the MILWAUKEE contribution: Singenberger’s piece.

    Didn’t like the “Gloria” excerpt at Communion.

    Liked the German verse 2 of Heilige Gott!

  79. Geoffrey wrote: “Has anyone noticed that all the lectors for the two Papal Masses thus far have been female? Of course it is legit, …”. I disagree about it being legit. From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal: “101. In the absence of an instituted lector, other laypersons may be commissioned to proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture.” If instituted lectors were absent, they should not have been. From the Ceremonial of Bishops, n. 31 “But in celebrations presided over by the bishop it if fitting that readers formally instituted proclaim the readings …”. In the first sentence of the homily Benedict XVI mentions “Bishops, priests and deacons, the men and women in consecrated life, and the seminarians”. But nothing about instituted ministers, despite the discussion of the “distinction to be made between hierarchical and charismatic gifts”.

  80. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Cardinal Bertone reads English like the Count from Sesame Street…

  81. MG says:

    Fr. Pasley wrote: “I know that the guards, probably the Swiss Guard, looked like they were being rough, but unless you have been near nuns, elbowing, pushing, shoving, and charging, like they do in Rome, to get close to the Holy Father, you have no idea what you are up against. Heaven hath no fury like a nun trying to get to the Pope. I know. I was almost trampled to death once.”

    You are absolutely correct, Father. I’ve attended three audiences in Rome, two held inside the auditorium. It is scary and really shameful how people (nun/religous definitely at the top of the list)lose all common sense and propriety, etc. At one inside audience, I arrived very early to get a good seat next to the aisle, which I did. The closer Pope Benedict XVI got to where I was, I was knocked over, pushed back, etc. His Holiness, in turn was almorst pulled over the ropes near me. It was scary. Thank God for his security.

    I was pleased when security pushed away the more “uninhibited” people as they groped, grabbed and pulled at His Holiness during the processional/recessional. If there was less security, he could easily be knocked down and hurt!

    Security is there for a very valid reason…after being in the middle of a mob, all I can say to his security is “Bravo”!! Keep our Pope safe.

  82. Diane says:

    Fr. Pasley wrote:

    MG replied: You are absolutely correct, Father. I’ve attended three audiences in Rome, two held inside the auditorium. It is scary and really shameful how people (nun/religous definitely at the top of the list)lose all common sense and propriety, etc.

    Mercy! You mean the nuns act like…….groupies????

  83. Humilitas says:

    I would have much rather have heard Perosi’s O Sacrum Convivium and Mozart’s Ave Verum instead of I Am The Bread of Life, but then again, the commentators at EWTN probably would have covered over the music with their “interpretation” of what the Holy Father said during his homily. As if we needed their comments to help us understand. I don’t get it!

  84. Ken says:

    It is AMAZING how much of a difference traditional Catholic music makes at a novus ordo. In fact, this was pretty much the same liturgy — even minus the more traditional altar table set-up — but the music was the extreme opposite of D.C.

    Kudos to that female music director. While I cannot still would never attend a novus ordo, I do gain some hope by hearing the beautiful music sung and performed today. Let us indeed hope the Yankee Stadium service — where many more people will be watching — has not only the advertised music, but a lot more Latin in the liturgy by the Holy Father as well.

  85. MG says:

    Diane wrote: Mercy! “You mean the nuns act like…….groupies????”

    Oh, yeah! (o:

  86. techno_aesthete says:

    Michael LaRue, I think a singing of “Oremus pro pontifice nostro Benedicto…”

    The choir I sing in will be singing that tomorrow. I can’t wait. “He who sings well prays twice.”

  87. AMDG says:

    ~~ 10:32
    Ah… what a marvelous choice for the offertory. This Marian motet always gets to me. Everytime.

    Yes… Everytime.

    Listening to the Audio replay. Have to find a link for a replay of the video of the Mass as St. Patrick’s NYC holds special meaning for me.

  88. JML says:

    St. Patrick vs. Nationals Stadium

    Does the venue help/hurt? St. Pat’s LOOKS like a holy place. Nationals Stadium is a ballpark dressed up to be a holy place. One is original, the other is erstaz. Now I know why Papa Benedict has a distaste for mega masses.

    BTW, on a business trip I attended a NO Mass at Holy Redeemer in Madison, WI. WHAT A CHURCH!!! WHAT A MASS!!! The holiness of the building elevated my spirit, plus the Msgr. did a wonderful job saying the Mass. If you’re ever in Madison, check it out!

  89. An American Mother says:


    I’m not the head of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, only the lowly Ministrix of ye Chase (recess appointment) :-D (you’re not Frank, are you?)

    Thanks for filling us in re the acoustics in the cathedral. That’s sadly all too common. I think, though, that microphones simply make things worse, and it’s difficult for the cantor to be separated from the choir by the entire nave. Better for him to be back in the loft with everyone else.

    But really we’re just picking nits here, all in all and everything considered, the music was excellent. (I must commend the musical taste of the director, she chose all the same stuff we sing at our parish!)

  90. Andrew says:

    There has been some criticism of the applause that took place in the cathedral, and I don’t say it is entirely unjustified.

    But when Cardinal Egan spoke at the lectern to welcome the Holy Father to St Patrick’s, the joy was absolutely infectious, and I could feel it all the way here in Australia. His Eminence had such a look of joy on his face, that he himself spontaneously joined in the rapturous applause. (Yes, and quite different from the pride I detected from Archbishop Wuerl’s welcome in DC!)

    What a contrast to the dissenting nuns and priests I have had to deal with in my country since the 1970s? Here after all is the Vicar of Jesus Christ, the successor of Peter, and aren’t we Catholics allowed to feel a bit of enthusiasm in his presence? To me, that is more pleasing to God than people who criticize him, and say his authority is an anachronism, producing the cafeteria Catholics we are all so accustomed to.

    Long live Pope Benedict, and the Benedictine reform you are inaugurating. My applause for you will never cease.

  91. dad29 says:

    AAM, Min/Chase is a high office, nonetheless.

    You know me as ninenot.

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