5 Nov: Pontifical TLM in St. Peter’s Basilica

Our friends at Rorate have the news:

For the second time this year, and for the third time since Summorum Pontificum came into effect, Pontifical Mass according to the 1962 Missal will be publicly offered in St. Peter’s Basilica.

His Eminence Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos will offer the opening Mass — a Messa Prelatizia — for the General Assembly of the Fœderatio Internationalis Una Voce on the morning of Saturday, November 5, 2011. The Mass will be held in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Basilica.

Good news, I think.

I am ready for a Mass to be celebrated in the presence of the Roman Pontiff.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    You may be ready, but is the Roman Pontiff? That is the question.

  2. JohnMa says:

    I am ready for His Holiness to offer Mass in the EF. But, is he ready and do we have an MC that could handle it?

  3. Hidden One says:


    If we don’t (and I suspect we do), we would really fast if His Holiness went looking. How many young seminarians and priests do you know? |:-P

  4. TNCath says:

    As nice as it would be, I don’t see a Mass in the Extraordinary Form in the presence of the Holy Father happening anytime soon.

  5. moon1234 says:

    Will this be televised? Can I watch it? What time and website/channel. Just to SEE one in St. Peter’s would be great.

  6. robtbrown says:

    moon1234 says:

    Will this be televised? Can I watch it? What time and website/channel. Just to SEE one in St. Peter’s would be great.

    If televised, you wouldn’t recognize it as St Peters’ because it will be in the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

  7. teaguytom says:

    This is great news! The extraordinary form/traditional mass should be celebrated regularly at St Peters. I believe the last TLM held in the Blessed Sacrament channel was celebrated by Cardinal Burke.

  8. irishgirl says:

    This is great news; but what I’m really hoping for is an EF Mass said by the Holy Father himself, right there in St. Peter’s, at the High Altar under Michelangelo’s dome!

  9. mamosco says:

    Or by the Pope

  10. Former Altar Boy says:

    I join with those above: when is our shepherd going to actually lead the ENTIRE Church and celebrate the Extraordinary Form that he says is equal to the plain ol’ ordinary form?

  11. Lirioroja says:

    I don’t understand all those nit-picking over who is (or isn’t) celebrating the TLM at St. Peter’s and where in St. Peter’s it will be. The important thing is that it will be done and there will be many people who may not have even been looking for a Mass, let alone a TLM, who will be exposed to it. I’m excited about the date: that’s my birthday! I only wish I were in Rome so I could be there for it!

  12. irishgirl says:

    Oh yes, of course, I am definitely excited about the EF Mass in St. Peter’s, no matter who says it or where it’s offered in the Basilica! Absolutely! We should be happy over these ‘brick by brick’ steps!
    I just wish that someday we get to see the Holy Father himself offer it!
    And happy birthday in advance!

  13. Centristian says:

    I suspect the Holy Father may not celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form, at least not pontifically, because the rite for that is so staggeringly complex as to give any Master of Ceremonies a stroke. Prior to the 1960s it was something known and repeated with at least some regularity, whether in St. Peter’s or in the Sistine Chapel; still, it was by no means an every Sunday affair.

    Given the complexity of a pre-Conciliar Papal pontifical Mass, it must have vastly tested the talents and abilities (and patience) of sacristans, MCs, military escorts, priests, prelates, and even the Pope, himself. Given the length of the ritual, I would have to imagine that those involved in it would make sure to drink no liquids, beforehand.

    A magnificent affair, to be sure, but lost, perhaps. Who on earth, today, would be able to coordinate such a thing, I wonder? I cannot imagine that anyone at the Vatican today would have any ability to reconstruct the Papal Mass as it was. Moreover, I do not believe there is any interest in so doing. It seems to me that our Holy Father is very much committed to the Ordinary Form of the Roman Catholic liturgy, only that he obviously desires that it be elevated above the horrific banality into which it was permitted to sink. In other words, rescued.

    Only days ago, I watched a canonization ceremony at St. Peter’s celebrated in the piazza. That Mass, I thought, was magnificent. The canon was recited in Latin. The Mass of the Angels was sung. The Pope, enthroned beneath a red velvet canopy (on a real throne) radiated grace and serenity. The altar was appointed as a true “high” altar. The MCs wore lace. The sacred vessels and altar appointments were all splendid. It was all so traditional, in fact, that I was sensible of little essential difference between this Mass and Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

    No, there were not the sedia gestatoria nor its canopy, neither the ostrich feather fans, nor any fiddleback chasubles…no tiara, either…but this liturgy was nonetheless magnificent, papal, Catholic, beautiful, and wholly traditional in character. At the end, I was grateful for the privilege of viewing it, and completely satisfied of the Catholic majesty of the event. I think that if a Catholic could watch that Mass and come away from it saying, “this is an abomination,” he would seriously need to consider why he felt that way. Was the defect in the liturgy, or in his mind?

    Father Z would like to see Mass celebrated in the Extraordinary Form in the presence of the Pope. I believe that would be a treat, as well. His Holiness has, after all, freed that form from the shackles that were placed upon it for so many decades and has given those who wish to celebrate it every opportunity, now, to do so without restraint. That would seem like an appropriate gesture of encouragement on the part of the Holy Father. I would certainly enjoy seeing that.

    But I don’t need to see it.

    I would much rather see the bishops and priests of the Church begin to imitate the Holy Father in his excellent example so that when I go to Mass on Sunday, I too can enjoy an always traditional Catholic atmosphere at Holy Mass, rather than behold a sacred thing that is either abused or simply neglected. I do not want to go back to the “Old Latin Mass” as if the use of that Missal is the only way that our Catholic Mass can be traditional, sublime, and beautiful. It is not. The Pope’s recent Mass that I referenced utterly proves that.

    The Pope, I believe, will continue to point to the Ordinary Form of Mass as just that: the Roman Catholic Mass in its ordinary form. But in his endorsement of the Extraordinary Form of Mass, he also points to the majesty that the Catholic Mass always knew prior to the Council, and says, essentially, that the celebration of our ordinary form of Mass should be no less endowed. The two forms should be more similar than different.

    For those who will, nevertheless, demand that Mass always be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form and can bring themselves to attend and appreciate only the pre-Conciliar liturgy, consider this event: a pontifical Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s by a Prince of the Church. No, it’s not the pope, but it’s nothing to sneeze at. That’s quite something, actually. Imagine such a thing happening in, say, 1988? 1998? Today, less and less, events such as this strike fewer and fewer people as out of the ordinary.

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