English priests comment on the Papal Mass in Glasgow

His Hermeneuticalness, Fr. Finigan and the great PP of Brighton, Fr. Blake, share their views of the Papal Mass in Glasgow today.

Be sure to visit their fine blogs.

Some comments from Fr. Finigan about the Mass today:

Liturgically, the Mass at Bellahouston Park was a mixed bag. It looked very much like the result of a tussle between the Papal celebrations team and the Scots new liturgy enthusiasts. There was some superb music and singing side by side with some that was so ghastly I took the headphones off until it finished. …
Visually, the sanctuary was disappointing. The throne, altar and lectern were made from fine materials, including marble, but managed to look pedestrian. This was particularly helped by the placing of three candles in boxes in a line either side of the altar. Whatever nuLiturgy expert managed to browbeat Mgr Marini into allowing that, instead of having some beautiful candleson the altar, should stick to school assemblies and creative liturgy prayer sessions for discussion groups.

One of the most striking positive elements was the reverent silence before Mass and at various points during the celebration. Under Pope Benedict we have learnt how to be quiet at the sacred liturgy where appropriate. I noticed this at the Mass for the Epiphany at St Peter’s in January and it seems to be something that the Holy Father takes on pilgrimage with him.



Some comments from Fr. Blake:


The announcer in a rather comperish style which seemed to break the prayerful mood announced Bishop Conti and  who welcomed the Pope rather nicely talking of the saints of Scotland. He was presented with a book on St Ninian and in return gave chalices to Bishop Conti and Cdl O’Brien.

The compere burst in again destroying prayerfulness by asking for it!

The Pope gave Holy Communion to people kneeling and on the tongue, I wonder if any bishop will follow his example, everyone else receives the Lord standing, there is not even a communion plate used. A man even received Communion from the Pope wearing a hat!!!



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. thereseb says:

    David Cameron just did a pathetic piece of ill-prepared commentary to camera on the Pope’s devastating critique of the new atheists. The Death-eaters must be really rattled.

  2. Joe in Canada says:

    I was wondering about the Crucifix on the Altar, but with a candle directly behind it (i.e. between the Crucifix and the people). It sure seems that the Pope does not get his way when he celebrates abroad.

  3. Jim of Bowie says:

    Yes, congratulations to the Scots. Their deportment during mass was exemplary. I noticed also that they can figure out when to sing without a cantor raising her arms.

  4. Jayna says:

    I have three words: “Take and Eat.”

    Really? I wanted them to do a close-up on Msgr. Marini to see if he was having an aneurysm.

  5. ErnieNYC says:

    “I was wondering about the Crucifix on the Altar, but with a candle directly behind it (i.e. between the Crucifix and the people). It sure seems that the Pope does not get his way when he celebrates abroad.”

    I believe what you’re referring to IS “his way.” The corpus of the crucifix faces the celebrant, and the 7th candle (the one in the center) is a privilege of “an Ordinary in his diocese”–or the Pope anywhere. This arrangement can be seen in photos of this Pope celebrating everywhere…including in his “home” sanctuaries of St. Peters and St. John Lateran in Rome.

  6. shadowlands says:

    The Mass and the congregation just reminded me of heaven, the fact of it, that is. Not neccessarily that I would get there, just that it will happen and how wonderful it will be. I’m not sure I want to learn all the rubrics ( is that even the right word?) sometimes, it might spoil the joy I sense and get overwhelmed with at times?

  7. doanli says:

    I saw Holy Communion being given out in the hands on EWTN.

    Must be an unfortunate practice over there too.

  8. Mike says:

    The Altar and chair were bland, and most unworthy of the Sweet Vicar of Christ on earth. But Benedict is a humble soul, and goes on.

    The crowds did seem devout, and most attentive.

  9. Yes, the sanctuary was very disappointing…very strange…but I must say that from what I heard watching EWTN, the music was really superb. Compared to American standards, that is.
    Some of it, well, maybe not so great. But the Gaelic and Ordinary (of James McMillan) were outstanding.
    I also couldn’t resist the red-headed participants; they were a real catcher for me; my Grandma is Scots…red-headed as all the day,she was, God rest her soul…..couldn’t resist;<)!

  10. Glaswegian says:

    But the real question is…. when is Fr Z coming to celebrate Mass in Scotland?

  11. kradcliffe says:

    Oh, would you people just stop nit-picking?!

    I was there, and it was wonderful. We’d had a bit of a party atmosphere in the afternoon, with pop stars and children’s choirs, and then they shifted the mood to what I’d call an upbeat reverence as the music became more specifically religious. Then, we were asked to be quiet and prepare ourselves for Mass as we awaited the Holy Father’s arrival. For about five minutes, the only sound was the wind fluttering flags and the occasional baby crying.

    The mood during the Mass was reverent (aside from some teenagers running through the aisles and I did miss part of the homily due to security needing to body remove a drunk – gotta love Glasgow!)

    Really, the music was nice. The choir sounded beautiful. It was a really wonderful experience and there was none of that Variety Show aspect I’ve seen in other outdoor Papal masses.

  12. Mashenka says:

    Glaswegian and kradcliffe,

    I too enjoyed the music, recorded it so I can hear it again. The lovely hymn in Gaelic, accompanied by clàrsachs, was my favourite (besides the wonderful chanting–thanks, Fr. Z!).

    Haven’t been in Glasgow since 1977 but it looks even more beautiful now! May God bless Scotland!

  13. Thomas in MD says:

    Am I mistaken or did the Holy Father use the lame-duck ICEL translation? I thought it was reported that he would use the new corrected translation.

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