Live stream of the Holy Father’s Mass

I am tuned in to the broadcast of the Holy Father’s Mass from St. Peter’s.

The Sistine Choir is still pretty bad.

During the Holy Father’s entrance I caught a glimpse, I am sure, of my friend and blogger John Sonnen of Orbis Catholicus… taking photos!

The Holy Father looks good and looks focused.

I went over his sermon for "midnight" Mass this morning and will post it, in English, with some comments as soon as he has finished.  Hopefully I will have unsullied audio of the Italian original as he delivered it.

UPDATE 26 Dec 1829 GMT:

Yes…. I did see John Sonnen.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Dave N. says:

    What was the big security rush at the beginning?

    Actually, I think the Sistine choir has improved, though only slightly.

  2. Jayna says:

    I was wondering that too, Dave. The commentator seems keen to ramble aimlessly. It’s rather annoying, really.

  3. Jason Keener says:

    The commentator is really annoying. He blabbed through the entire singing of the Introit. In any event, there is no need for a commentator. The sacred ceremonies can speak for themselves.

  4. milano_rossonero says:

    Perhaps Fr. Z can help start a campaign that mobilizes people to protest the use of a commentator at EWTN Papal broadcasts!

  5. Fr. Steve says:

    I heard that the commotion at the beginning was a Cardinal that had fainted.
    Merry Christmas to all!

  6. jpcullen70 says:

    News reports say that a mentally disturbed woman jumped the security lines, knocking down Pope Benedict and a Cardinal. The Cardinal was taken to the hospital; Pope Benedict was able to continue.

  7. Frank H says:

    Now he’s talking over the credo!

  8. I think Vatican Radio should also offer simply a live feed, without any voice over.

  9. milano_rossonero says:

    Ok now the commentator is delivering a haigiographical obituary for Fr. Schillebeeckx, labeling him an “outstanding theologian”… grrr.

  10. Jayna says:

    Some reports are saying it was a woman and some a man (they said man on EWTN).

    And yes, Father, definitely no commentary. I love the accent, don’t get me wrong, but seriously, I’d like him to be quiet for five minutes altogether.

  11. Mark M says:

    He talked over everything… I agree – no commentators. Instead, maybe subtitles (close-captions) for the languages people don’t understand.,,

  12. Vincenzo says:

    “I’m reading (unconfirmed, uncited) reports that someone threw herself at the Holy Father.”

  13. Dave N. says:

    Yes, I think once the Eucharistic prayer began, rambling about Schillebeeckx should have stopped. EWTN wearies me at times.

  14. Vincenzo says:

    Sorry, just realized that last pic link is unrelated. I saw it in an article about this latest event but it appears to show an incident from last year.

  15. gloriainexcelsis says:

    It was a woman who jumped the barrier and knocked down Pope Benedict and Cardinal Echevarrai (hope the spelling is correct), who is quite elderly. I pray he will be all right. I agree about the Sistine Choir. The younger voices are actually grating. Please forgive me. As an old music major in voice and piano, I know that there is a way to teach voice tonality to children. Forgive me again. Our Director at St. Stephen’s produces some of the most beautiful children’s voices, pure and brilliant. There is no nasal or throat projection. Actually, the adults in the Sistine choir could use some training as well. And yes, the commentator should shush. Now, do I need to go to confession? In fraternal charity I should praise the efforts of the choir at least. Mea culpa.

  16. An American Mother says:

    Gloria, I agree. Not a music major or even professionally trained, but I’ve sung in good choirs since I was 6 years old. The one thing that I really was fearful of in converting was Bad Catholic Music. Thanks be to St. Cecilia (whose intercession I invoked frequently, but getting on the Music Committee probably helped too) our parish has a wonderful music director and splendid music.

    What you say is correct. There is no excuse for bad singing in youngsters. Of course the Anglicans (of which I was formerly one) have raised the teaching of children’s choirs to a fine art. Especially the boys. Girls’ voices are more difficult. But it can be done even with unpromising material (I am living proof).

  17. Hidden One says:

    If only EWTN had a commentator who was of the calibre of Abp. Sheen. He knew when to shut up!

  18. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Hi, American Mother – The children or choristers at St. Stephen’s, ages 8-14, are taught according to England’s Royal School of Church Music, believe it or not. It is international and its patron is Queen Elizabeth II. In the probationary year (Sept. to June) they are taught mechanics of singing and introduced to Gregorian Chant, its theory and practice. They then become Junior Choristers and join the Senior Choristers in rehearsal. They start study of modern music notation and learn the Senior repertoire. As Senior Choristers they take part in all High Masses. Each year they earn a different colored ribbon. They learn theory as well. Among the Senior Choristers is a committee made up of Head Chorister, Prefects, Councilors and Deputy Head. They hold regular meetings and help in guiding the work and activities of the Choristers. It’s a wonderful, formal study and it’s FREE. We are fortunate to have an excellent director and teacher. I know this isn’t possible for everyone’s parish (or maybe even the Sistine Choir??); so I realize we’re blessed and thank God for the blessing.

  19. servusmariaen says:

    I noticed again the mess at communion time. It looked like a free for all. I shudder to think about crumbs etc. I felt like I needed to offer prayers in reparation watching it. I was happy (as always) to see the Holy Father distribute to kneeling faithful on the tongue but why isn’t this the practice for everyone there.

  20. patrick_f says:

    Father you are too kind

    From one who grew up in a CHildren’s Choir (St Louis Children’s Chorus) and who has sang with The Archdiocesan Choir,


    If this was a french choir, I could understand it. FRench choirs tend to rely on the nasalness of their vernacular

    But an italian choir? It doesnt make sense that they are as bad as they are.

    They have two volume, Fortisimo….and Obnoxious.

  21. TNCath says:

    As for the Sistine Choir, I think it’s a matter of taste and style. A French choir or English choir sounds much different than an Italian choir. I think the Sistine Choir has actually improved a bit, although the Cappella Giulia, under the direction of Father Pierre Paul, has improved drastically. I notice a lot of former members of the Cappella Giulia now singing with the Sistine. Perhaps that is a factor.

    As for the commentator, he is a bit over-explanatory, which is as distracting as a priest-celebrant who has to given lengthy introductions and insert editorial comments during the Mass. I think a lot of this effort at providing commentary is because of two things: (1) the post-Vatican II obsession with trying to make “understandable to the people” and (2) an attempt to reach out to those who are not Catholic. While I understand both, I also think that there is a better way to do this than to provide a constant voiceover.

  22. TNCath says:

    One more thing. I noticed a lot of the camera shots of the altar during the Mass are taken from the side of the Altar of the Chair, which shows the Holy Father facing ad orientem. This is an interesting, yet subtle change from past years.

  23. irishgirl says:

    Since I don’t have TV-didn’t connect to the ‘digital revolution’ I wasn’t able to see the Mass.

    But when I did, I had to be subjected to Cardinal Foley’s droning….sometimes I felt like saying ‘Basta! Formatta la bocca!’

    When I was out of town in October, I was able to watch EWTN in my motel room the canonization Mass {St. Damien of Molokai, et al]. The commentator was a lady from Vatican Radio. Now she wasn’t too bad-at least she wasn’t pompous like Cardinal Foley. I also heard the same female commentator when I watched the Advent Vesper service in late November.

    Where’s Bishop Sheen when you need him?

    I agree about the Sistine Choir-they still sound like ‘screamers’! They are dreadful!

    Need to have a group of monks or canons to sing at Christmas Mass!

Comments are closed.