Holy Father’s 1st Vespers live

Earlier today I streamed the Vatican Radio audio feed of the Holy Father’s 1st Vespers from the Vatican Basilica. 

I couldn’t access CTV for the live feed without such interference and to capture images.  Our friends at NLM, the liturgical eye-candy specialists, picked up some pics from the EWTN feed.  Here is one.

I have a few more images now.

I like the use of the ombrellino to bring the Blessed Sacrament to the altar.

This is how you drape a cope when kneeling at the bench.  Copes should also be closed in front, over the knees, when seated.

More and more we are seeing birettas on prelates.  Here are some curial bishops and archbishops.

Among them the great Archbp. Burke, Prefect of the Segnatura and, in back, a former papal MC.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Some bullet points of the Roman Pontiff’s sermon pronounced in Italian:

  • 1st Vespers of the Marian feast.
  • O admirabile commercium, the antiphon for the first psalm.  "Wondrous exchange".  In the Te Deum we sing "Tu, ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum"
  • Tonight we are invited to gaze at Mary who received Christ in her heart and brought Him to the light of the world.
  • Theotokos.  Mary is known as Mother of God from antiquity.  The Church affirms this belief.
  • Thanksgiving for the year placed in the hands of Mary.  This is shared with those present, from city and ecclesiastical government and the faithful present.
  • Ask forgiveness for our poor use of time.
  • We must know how to give thanks every day, for only in Christ is the light of the mystery of man. (Gaudium et spes 22).
  • Christ’s presence is a gift to be shared by all.  Initiatives of charity.  Educate people in hope.
  • The uncertainty of our day.  Mary leads us to Christ.  Vocations of parents.
  • Concern for the city of Rome, a hedonistic mentality.  There is a growing need for evangelization.
  • Young people: don’t be afraid!  Don’t fear the task the Lord has entrusted to you.  The Holy Spirit will help you bear witness to the joy of faith and the beauty of being Christian.
  • "The world falls into ruin and everyone is thinking of himself."
  • The maternal presence of Mary assures us that God will never abandon us.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Congratulations fellow finalist! I just wanted to pop over and say congrats. I’ve been following your blog since last year’s awards actually (have never posted though, I’m a lurker).

  2. Most Excellent Sledgehammer says:


    I notice that once again they have two deacons incensing the altar at the Magnificat, rather than the Holy Father doing it himself. Is this a Roman custom or one reserved to the Pope? May any bishop employ this?


  3. Very good music Father. Thanks for the web cam & the radio. Happy New Year! God bless!

  4. Why can’t they just sing the Te Deum. Grrr… they have to have a congregational version by some modern composer. I don’t know who wrote it, but I am guessing it is Liberto. I understand that he may be on his way out… long overdue.

  5. PMcGrath says:

    Father Z: You have superb timing. Speaking of “long overdue,” our friends at the NLM report today on the “Rumour” that there may be a “New Maestro of the Sistine Chapel for Lent.”

    So you’re not the only one thinking this way.

  6. John Paul the Great picked a world class replacement team!

  7. Matthew says:

    We saw some bishops and archbishops wearing birettas, and we’ve seen them on cardinals as well. Is there a papal biretta? Would there ever be a need for one?

  8. GandhianCatholic says:


    No. The Pope wears the camauro in place of the biretta. Though, I heard that there is a papal cappa magna…

  9. patrick finley says:

    Always a pleasure to see His Excellency Raymond Burke, the former shepherd of my Diocese. How wonderful to see his biretta.

    I think once you see the new translations in full force, you will see some of this goofy music go away. The States tend to dictate the popular culture. When the states start dictating sanity again (God willing), then there will be less of a circus in other places

    Its so ironic. Gregorian Chant is the ULTIMATE community based musical form, it was specifically developed by Gregory so that people could more easily and actively participate. Instead, the last 40 years we have done our best to shove it out of the way , so that we can have complicated, bad sounding modern music, that no one sings along too. There is true beauty to simplicity is there not?

  10. A Random Friar says:

    Well, I was getting a little tired of all this “reality tv” on Z-Cam… so I just went out and spent my Christmas gift cards on my own gaggle of bird feeding paraphernalia.

    Hey, it takes a lot for a Dominican not to spend all his coinage on texts! :)

  11. Marcin Kukuczka says:

    I have just watched the celebration live on TV in Poland (TRWAM TV) and I must say I was overwhelmed. The Holy Father wearing the old mitre (I think once belonging to Benedict XV), the beautiful cope and the throne of Leo XIII in sight again. The whole vespers were very beautiful, a great experience!!! I dream to take part on such solemn celebration one day.

    All the best in New Year to everyone!!!

  12. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Hey Father, I seeeeeeee you. It seems that your voice lags on the video. Right now you are in your office playing with the “repeater”.

  13. Marianne says:

    The song before this one (The First Noel). I think the name of it is Gaudete? Father, what CD was it from? I loved it and would love to buy it.

    Happy New Year, God Bless you.

  14. Jason says:

    Is that a Paul VI vestment (don’t know the name)? I’ve seen a picture with him wearing a similar white one.

  15. RichR says:

    Why can’t they just sing the Te Deum. Grrr… they have to have a congregational version by some modern composer.

    You mean, like this modern composer?

    Lagrasse Te Deum

  16. RichR says:

    ;-) just a jab FrZ. I know the above is not a congregational hymn.

  17. Dab says:

    did I hear corectly that PaulVI is servant of God? Im just asking.

  18. Coletta says:

    Thank you for the web cam & the radio. Happy New Year!

  19. Gere says:

    Dab, according to Wikipedia:


    “The diocesan process for beatification of Servant of God Paul VI began on May 11, 1993 by Pope John Paul II. The title of Servant of God is the first of four steps toward possible canonization.”

    (Save the Liturgy, save the World)

  20. Dan says:

    I did not know that. Well I am happy that he has the process started for the Holy Father. Dan not Dab my falt.

  21. Sal says:

    I have a question. A few papal Masses ago, there were
    two acolytes with veiled hands, who held the Pope’s
    mitre and cross and the cloth that covered their hands matched the
    liturgical color of the season. Now they seem to have
    disappeared. Does anyone know what happened to them?

  22. TJM says:

    This vesper ceremony is a marked improvement over those supervised by the former papal MC. He must have been seething inside at all of that beauty and holiness. Tom

  23. Thom says:

    I was there (and for Mass next day). Beautiful, but why do people insist on standing on chairs to see the pope and take photographs? Don’t they know they’re at a liturgical celebration.

    For the Mass, we were seated near the choir. My wife remarked that they seemed a lot better close to than on TV or even further back in the basilica. I must say, they did sound better than usual – but they don’t really lead people in the chant. They sing their bit and leave the congregation to its own devices. The Mass setting was Cum Iubilo (fitting for Our Lady’s feast), so we had the full nine-fold Kyrie, which was wonderful.

  24. techno_aesthete says:

    why do people insist on standing on chairs to see the pope…?

    Thom, because the Pope no longer makes use of the sedia gestitoria. What many don’t understand is that it’s use wasn’t for the Pope’s benefit, but for the benefit of the faithful in the basilica so they could better see him as he passed by.

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