Benedict XVI’s Mass for Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

For on demand video of the Mass click HERE.

The video opens with the lead up to the Mass, with lots of panning around the basilica, inside and out.

The entrance procession, which begins with the super-Italian cheesy trumpet fanfare and the singing of Tu es Petrus!  A fine tradition restored.

His Holiness wore a Roman chasuble and a very tall gold miter.  A fine tradition restored!

The Gregorian chant Introit (too slowly, I think, and there was a stumble but… beh…), and three-fold Kyrie was sung.  A fine tradition restored!

Brick by brick.

During the entrance procession, as His Holiness went by, you could see the bishops and cardinals in choro doffing their headgear.  Archbp. Piero Marini did not.  I have no idea what that means.  Distracted probably by the Gregorian chant in the sight of the miter and chasuble.  There were Cardinal Deacons.  The concelebrating bishops also had Roman chasubles.

The penitential rite was entirely in Latin.  Alas, they had a responsorial psalm, dreadfully gooey ditty.  Like being smeared with Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

If you watch the video, you will hear the Second Reading in English with not even the slightest bow to “inclusive language”.  The women reads about us all being “sons”… not “sons and daughters”.

The deacon of the Gospel, whose Latin clearly indicated his North American origin, had a dalmatic from the era of John XXIII.

However, what a different atmosphere that Gregorian chant introit created in the basilica.  There was nothing of the mood of “spectacle”, the “lets clap for the Pope!” feeling one always had.  This was something else completely.  It’s not rocket science.   Furthermore, just an impression here, His Holiness seemed more at ease.

The bell rang at the epiclesis and elevation.

There were also lots of new camera angles and shots.  Good work CTV!

One of WDTPRS’s favorite Cardinals.

A few more moments, before I move on to the rest of the day.

A note to those who would be MC for a bishop.  Be careful about how you remove that zucchetto.

After the Ite they stood in place and sang the Alma Redemptoris Mater followed by Adeste Fideles on the way out.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I’m always trying to see how the Holy Father applies certain rubrics, but they inevitably turn the camera away from him at just the wrong moments!

  2. RichR says:

    The photography is very nicely done. I love the Latin. Makes you feel like something heavenly is occurring……..hmmmmm

  3. Huxtaby says:

    How things have changed (Papal Liturgy-wise) since 2005.

    Couple of interesting moments at about 1:38 with the distribution of Holy Communion. The priests seem to be administering on the tongue even though people are approaching with hands outstretched. There seems to be the odd wry smile! As Punch and Judy say here in the UK “that’s the way to do it” – although if I were a priest I might be tempted to act more like the policeman in said Punch and Judy show!

    Happy New Year to you all and good health to His Holiness.

  4. The little mini standing platform (sedia mobilia?) was being guided by civvie guys in tuxes, like the ones who carried Pope JPII’s coffin. Aren’t those the Papal Gentlemen? Or the Prince Assistants to the Papal Throne?

  5. Ha! Those were the Papal Gentlemen, the Sediari! Mwahahah! So it must be a stand-up sedia!

  6. TNCath says:

    It was a very lovely Mass. Despite some of the gaffes on the music, I think its overall quality has improved. It was also very refreshing to see a Mass celebrated with no ad libs! I have noticed lately that hroughout the Mass, it seems the Holy Father’s voice tends to get raspy. He starts out very clear, in his normal voice, and as time goes on, it’s as if he needs to clear his throat, but he never does; he simply keeps on talking to the point that it seems he is almost inaudible. I wonder why he doesn’t just clear his throat?

  7. tealady24 says:

    This is just wonderful! What being Catholic should feel like.
    There is a wholeness to being Catholic, especially when at mass, that includes not just the liturgy, but the sacred music, the interior spaces, the very air as essence, that for the most part has been watered down the last forty yrs or so; and we need to bring it back!

  8. Inigo says:

    The Holy Father grew very old and thin in the last year and a half or so. He also looks very tired. May God grant him many more years and a good health! We need his wisdom.

  9. Ben Yanke says:

    Haha! Thank you for the tip, Fr. Z. I’ll make a note of that next time I should MC for my bishop. :)

  10. Pingback: «Tu es Petrus» sunget i Peterskirken i dag » EN KATOLSK WEBLOG

  11. Lori Pieper says:

    Actually, I think the Holy Father looks cute with his hair mussed! Though “cute” may not have been the impression he was trying to give.

    Oh and Happy New Year everyone!

  12. frjeremiah says:

    @ Huxtaby – Priests assisting with the distribution of Holy Communion at Vatican Papal Masses are instructed now to give Communion only on the tongue.

  13. Huxtaby says:

    Thanks frjeremiah – I missed that somewhere along the way. Nevertheless excellent news!

  14. asperges says:

    There is always a slight hint of Italian opera about Vatican choirs. The speed of the chant is fine: but remains a bit lumpy. The French sing plainsong much better, mostly because they have no strong tonic accent in their language. It was 3 Kyries because they sang Mass IX (as we did today – good for them). I noticed the Ite also matched, although it’s only in the old books, not the new graduale. If they could sing the Introit, they should have sung the rest of proper too though.

    The three child kings was pure gimmickry, but overall the liturgy remains now so much better than in the past. A liturgical Pope.

    Now will the Holy Father please use the Extraordinary Form for one of these great feasts as the next logical piece of the jigsaw? It would send an immeasurably strong message.

    God grant him a Happy New Year and keep him safe.

  15. BethJanMarie says:

    What a beautiful Mass! Such a blessed way to begin the New Year.

  16. John Nolan says:

    Can anyone explain why the altar candles are sometimes in line (as here) and sometimes in echelon (as at Christmas Midnight Mass)?

  17. Pingback: 8th Day of Christmas: Solemnity of Mary | Quicksilver to Gold

  18. Phil says:

    Wonderful. Does anyone know if the Coat of Arms on the back of the Holy Father’s chasuble is his own, or someone else’s?

  19. Beautiful, beautiful…would have been nice to see the gradual as a permanent fixture..brick by brick.

  20. Phil: I believe it was John XXIII’s.

  21. Joseph-Mary says:

    THIS is the way the “wind” is blowing!

    (much to the consternation of Fr. McBrien)

  22. teaguytom says:

    Phil, New Liturgical movement features a 2009 post with this chasuble. It is said to be a Paul VI chasuble. I’m guessing this was from early in his pontificate, since he wore more simple gothic chasubles in the later years.
    The miter is from Blessed PiusIX.

  23. cameloligist says:

    I believe that teaguytom is correct, the coat of arms (which cannot be seen very well) does look more like Paul VI’s than John XXIII’s.

  24. Jason Keener says:

    Beautiful images! Also, I think the use of the chanted introit really helps the faithful to realize that what they are about to enter into is truly solemn and mysterious. Thank you to our Holy Father and Monsignor Marini for the work they are doing!

  25. Johnny Domer says:

    2 questions:

    1. Would the miter the Holy Father is wearing have been considered a gold miter/mitra aurea or a precious miter/mitra pretiosa?

    2. What’s the deal with that…nice but seemingly-not-of-the-greatest-craftsmanship statue of Our Lady? It was at the Christmas Midnight Mass also. Does it have some special historical significance? I feel like I’ve seen a number of Papal Masses where some statue was prominently displayed during the Mass for some particular reason which was of a similar caliber. It isn’t non-traditional or anything…it just doesn’t look that great.

  26. threej says:

    But Father! But Father! You said, “The penitential rite was entirely in Latin,” but the Kyrie was definitely sung in Greek!

  27. Centristian says:

    The lovely mitre of Pope Pius IX depicting the Immaculate Conception has proven to be a favorite of Pope Benedict. It has made many appearances during his reign. Blessed John Paul II wore this miter on a number of occasions, as well. The vestments that were worn are marked with the heraldic achievement of Pope Paul VI: a red shield featuring stylized heraldic mountains (montini) and three fleurs-de-lis (Pope John’s heraldry featured a castle turret in the midst of two fleurs-de-lis against a red and white shield, with the golden lion of St. Mark at the top).

    Obviously this set of vestments was one of the last sets to be commissioned for a pope before the world went completely mad. Many of you will know that Pope Paul vested as sumptuously as any of his predecessors prior to the conclusion of the Council. Some of the most magnificent vestments we have seen Pope Benedict vested in over the years date from Paul’s reign. He made sure to enjoy all the splendor of the papacy before he got rid of it.

    There is something odd about the chasuble, though, insofar as it doesn’t match the rest of the set and also insofar as the golden lilies that bespangle it do not appear at the top of the vestment in front. That almost makes the chasuble look as if it were made from something else that was cut-up. There was a mantum made for Pius XII that featured golden lilies very similar to the ones on this chasuble. We haven’t seen that mantum rolled out for use by Benedict and I know John XXIII had a new one made for himself (one that Benedict has worn a few times). I wonder if Pius’ mantum was cut up (due to wear, perhaps) during Paul’s reign to make this chasuble. Idle speculation on my part.

    I was only able to catch part of the Mass but, again, mostly magnificent (although the throne dais disappeared again, curse it). It’s always gratifying, to me, to see the Roman Pontiff in Roman vestments, which, these days, is a rare sight. Not so rare as in the previous two reigns, however, when they were not seen at all, except once, when John Paul II wore a fiddleback (with a fanon, no less) in the early days of his pontificate. Pope Benedict wears Roman-style vestments, at least, a few times a year. Would that he would restore the fanon, though. A fiddleback chasuble just don’t look right on a pope without it, but I quibble.

    I did notice something I really appreciated at the Communion of the faithful: the Pope did not smile at anyone approaching to receive. He very nearly glowered at them, in fact (unintentionally, I’m sure), but there was no “hi, how are ya” aspect to it, that one encounters so often when receiving Holy Communion at Mass. And , as one reader has already mentioned, priests in the basilica were seen refusing to offer Communion in the hand to those approaching with outsretched hands. Good for them.

    I’ll close with a somewhat silly observation: the horizontal lace-insert rochets and surplices that completely dominated the Vatican of the 1970s and 80s (even the popes wore them) are very nearly gone, now, but not quite! There remain a few stubborn prelates who refuse to let go and give into the full-lace skirts that have all but completely reconquered papal Rome. The new lace rochets are not the same as the old lace rochets, however. They’re pleated, for one thing. Pleated lace. How marvelous.

    The old lace rochets and surplices that were once de rigeur before Pope Paul became a total killjoy featured lace shoulders and double skirts, if one can imagine such a thing. Those who cannot may see images of them here:

  28. anna 6 says:

    The photography was a vast improvement. You finally get a sense of the magnificence of the basilica.
    Now, if we could only get them to stop focusing on waving pilgrims and sleeping cardinals…

    ..and Centristian, the pope doesn’t glower at the communicants. He is very serious indeed, but I have seen him smile gently at children, especially if it is their First Holy Communion.

  29. sacerdosinaeternum says:

    How great to be able to watch the Holy Mass without commentary!! Thanks for the link!

    What joy to see the developments, slowly but surely appearing!

    I wore one of those dalmatics for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in 2005, and they are as close to plastic as you can get…very stiff and difficult to wear!

  30. irishgirl says:

    I didn’t see any of the Masses for Christmas or New Year’s because I don’t have TV.
    I am feeling a little worried when I read about how ‘tired and thin-looking’ the Holy Father is. I hope that he lives many more years so that the true ‘reform of the Reform’ can be fully implemented! It would be horrible if the next Pope ‘undid’ everything! And I want to see our Papa Benedict canonize Mother Marianne Cope and Kateri Tekakwitha!
    I am glad to read, however, that Communion in the hand is being discouraged at papal Masses.
    anna 6-‘sleeping cardinals’? Really? I guess it’s ‘way past their bedtime if they’re doing that and it shows up on TV!

  31. anna 6 says:

    Irish Girl…YES! Really!
    I do think that much of the “tired, weak Benedict 16” talk we’ve been hearing lately is exaggerated, and based on one AP article that has made the rounds.
    He is beginning to show his age and has slowed down a bit, but he still looks spry when he gets up and down and his mind is obviously razor sharp. He looked great at the prison visit 2 weeks ago.
    Here is an article that dispels some of the myths:

  32. Marysann says:

    We hit the jackpot, and were able to get tickets to all three of big papal Christmas events this year, so we were present at this Mass. It was stunningly beautiful. The members of the congregation were each given a little booklet with the Mass in Latin, with Italian and English translations, and the chants to be sung. They used the Missa Cum Jubilo, and I tried to sing along, although after New Year’s Eve my voice was a little hoarse. I am sorry to disappoint you, Father Z, and frjeremiah, a few people did clap for the Holy Father as he processed in and out. Communion was given out in the hand, at least where we were standing. The priest was reaching into the crowd to put it into people’s hands. My husband and I made sure that we got close enough to the priest to receive on the tongue. We have been invited to the episcopal ordination of Father Charles Brown next Friday. That Mass shouldn’t be so crowded. I am interested to see what happens there.

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