Images of a recent Mass of Benedict XVI

On YouTube someone posted a filmette of still photos of Benedict XVI saying Mass on 1 September with some of his old students.  You might remember that for many years he would meet with some former (hah… current!) pupils for some days of study, a Schulkreis.

The music is the spectacular Te Deum of the Maîtrise Notre Dame de Paris.

May I add that I would really like to have a daily account of what Benedict XVI might be preaching during his morning Mass? After all, if Francis’ fervorini aren’t part of his ordinary Magisterium, then Benedict’s would have just the same level of magisterial authority. But they would be authoritative in another sense.

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  1. Father Bartoloma says:

    Fiat voluntas Dei.

  2. rdschreiner says:

    I wept when I saw this, for the beauty of the Te Deum of course, but because I miss Pope Benedict so much.

  3. mamajen says:

    He is looking well! Very nice pictures. What an interesting altar that is.

  4. Animadversor says:

    Licet defixis imaginis res difficiliter cernatur, nonne Sanctitas Sua amplius valere videtur?

  5. Fern says:

    Thank you, Father.
    What a joy for those who were there. He will always be gratefully remembered in my daily prayers as, of course, you are also :)

  6. ” After all, I Francis’ fervorini aren’t part of his ordinary Magisterium”

    Perhaps good to remember, by those on all sides parsing his informal words of personal opinion so minutely.

  7. dawnmaria says:

    I’m sorry but I feel like our Lord has abandoned us. Think of all those millions of prayers that rose up when Benedict resigned that the Holy Spirit would give us the Pope that we need. And we got Francis. I think Francis is delusional. If you look closely at what he says, it is ephemeral. Meaningless statements like going out to the perimiters and refusing to be bound by small rules. What does that really mean? I’m leaning towards the Eastern Church, which has never changed its liturgy.

  8. jhayes says:

    Interesting that one of the Lectors is a woman (at 1:10). Anyone recognize her? Was she one of his former students?

  9. Dawnmaria, don’t abandon the Barque of St. Peter, even during this pontificate. Believe me, I know how you feel, and it’s certainly not a baseless cry to God, but the Lord will sustain His Church through any and all trials. Recall that in the past we’ve had terrible Supreme Pontiffs like Honorius I, Benedict IX, and Alexander VI, and more besides, and Christ has not allowed the earthly element of His Bride and Body to collapse. This is the divine Society, established by Our Lord to endure perpetually in the unity of St. Peter until He comes to judge the living and the dead. If you wish to have Liturgical stability and don’t mind changing your spirituality significantly, by all means, attend an Eastern Catholic parish and partake of the Mysteries there. But please, don’t forsake the Catholic Church.

  10. HighMass says:

    I wept when I saw this, for the beauty of the Te Deum of course, but because I miss Pope Benedict so much.
    rdschreiner……that makes two of us…..there is a void that just doesn’t get filled…..His Masses were exceptionally BEAUTIFUL…..all the beautiful Music and him singing the Priest’s parts…..


  11. What a beautiful man.


  12. Mike says:

    Great, as always, to see Pope Benedict offer Mass! Too bad it was done facing the people, though, considering that Pope Benedict is the champion of ad orientem that he is.

  13. Mike says:

    Also, I’m inclined to agree with Animadversor.

  14. iPadre says:

    Benedict XVI – the gift that keeps on giving!

    The Reform of the Reform begun by our Pope Emeritus has begun, but we will not live to see it’s completion. It will come!

  15. TNCath says:

    They are indeed bittersweet images.

  16. donato2 says:

    How I love that man.

  17. anna 6 says:

    Thank you for sharing such beautiful images. It is so poignant seeing the now frail Benedict XVI genuflect with such grace before the altar. However, after reading about his recent formidable letter to the famous Italian atheist, Piergiorgio Odifreddi, I am delighted to see that his weakness is in body only.

    I love that man.

  18. HighMass says:


    Benedict XVI – the gift that keeps on giving!

    The Reform of the Reform begun by our Pope Emeritus has begun, but we will not live to see it’s completion. It will come!

    How encouraging it is to read comments like Yours….”It will Come”….I guess in this world of wanting things done yesterday….we often forget it is all in God’s time not Man’s. Like so many we Loved this Pope, beyond words…..His style, his opening remarks, “Dopo il Grande Papa Giovanni Paolo Secondo”….what wise choice the Signore Cardinale’s made……

    Oh if we could have just had him a bit more…..Glad to see though that he is seeing Clerics, guests occasionally…..He needs that Contact….Of Course…He has the Most important Person in all our lives Our Lord….

    God Bless You Priests and God Bless you Santita, Benedetto!

  19. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Dawnmaria — It’d be no tribute to Benedict, to despair and leave.

  20. ClavesCoelorum says:

    Beautiful! Both the music and seeing His Holiness up and about with his friends. :)

    One if the Bishops at Mass there is from our Diocese, Auxiliary Bishop Hans-Jochen Jaschke from the Archdiocese of Hamburg, Germany. Glad to see him there!

    The music truly is profoundly moving.

  21. MikeM says:

    “May I add that I would really like to have a daily account of what Benedict XVI might be preaching during his morning Mass?”

    Me, too! I miss being able to tap into a constant stream of his wisdom.

    I miss him so much. His preaching and example did so much for me and faith and brought so much comfort during some stormy times.

  22. ClavesCoelorum says:

    Does anyone know the exact title and recording of the piece? I don’t seem to be able to find it. :(

  23. StWinefride says:

    ClavesCoelorum, here it is! There is a tradition at Notre Dame de Paris to alternate the choir with the organ for the Te Deum:

  24. StWinefride says:

    The Te Deum from Notre Dame de Paris (organist: Pierre Cochereau) is available to download here:

  25. Glaswegian says:

    “Think of all those millions of prayers that rose up when Benedict resigned that the Holy Spirit would give us the Pope that we need.”

    Perhaps that’s exactly what the Holy Spirit did….

  26. iPadre says:

    A few more thoughts.

    What we all most often forget, it is God’s work, not Benedict’s work. And the Church works slow (most of the time) in order to properly discern. That is why we need the Reform of the Reform. The first was done in haste, in the spirit of the times, by some well meaning and some not so well meaning people.

    This is not the work of Pope Francis. He has his hands full with house cleaning and trying to stir our hearts out of complacency.

    What we all must do is pray and be faithful!

  27. Palladio says:

    Amen, ipadre, amen. (I would that some more than others need to stay silent, and at all events end their carping and caviling, which creates scandal.)

  28. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Here is an updated version of the story of Abraham and Isaac for modern traditional Catholics who are considering leaving the Church because of Pope Francis:

    When he was an old man and still childless, God promised Abraham that he would have a son, and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Soon thereafter his wife conceived, and a son was born to him and his wife, Sarah, though she was past child-bearing years. There were no more children.

    One day, the Lord told Abraham to offer as a sacrifice, sacrifice, his son Abraham by killing him with a knife and roasting him, in the customary manner for offering animal sacrifices to God.

    Here is where the story needs updating:

    Old, outdated version: Abraham trusts in the Lord, even though he doesn’t understand how the Lord could ask such a thing of him. He takes his son Isaac to a mountaintop and together they prepare an altar for the sacrifice. Poor Isaac doesn’t know what his father has in mind for him, and innocently inquires how they shall obtain the sacrificial creature. Abraham, sick at heart over what he must do, replies, “The Lord will provide, my son.” All at once the voice of the Lord comes to Abraham to command him, “Abraham, do not sacrifice Isaac, nor do the least thing to him. Turn and you shall see a goat to offer as a sacrifice instead. I know now of the steadfast loyalty of your heart.” And so Abraham, full of relief and joy, offers the goat instead of his son, and together he and the boy return home. And, indeed, through Isaac, Abraham did have descendants as numerous at the stars in the sky.

    NEW, UPDATED VERSION: Abraham was shocked at God’s proposal that he slay his own son, and decided that God had lost His mind. He refused, and abandoned the worship of the Lord, and left the area, and began to seek some other faith tradition to follow. The End.

    Though he should slay me, yet will I trust in Him. (Job 13:15) (Douay-Rheims)

  29. He looks so frail to me but thankfully still strong in mind and spirit.He did not look well when he stepped down either but even thinner now. The cane is indicative of some problems. :(
    “Too bad it was done facing the people” Perhaps this is how Pope Emeritus Benedict wanted the Mass celebrated.
    Glaswegian wrote

    “Think of all those millions of prayers that rose up when Benedict resigned that the Holy Spirit would give us the Pope that we need.”

    Perhaps that’s exactly what the Holy Spirit did….

    Three In A Row,Popes John Paul II,Benedict,Francis

  30. FloridaJoan says:

    Thank you Father Z for this post; it truly was “bittersweet” to see Pope Benedict , I also miss him so much and pray for him always.

    pax et bonum

  31. MaryMargaret says:

    Lovely..Grandpapa looks healthier than I have seen him in quite awhile. BTW, can anyone tell me who the bishops/archbishops/cardinals are? I recognize Cardinal Schoenborn, and Archbishop Ganswein..who are the others?

  32. Gratias says:

    A wonderful man. I pray often for his health. While he is alive the worst liturgical disasters will be delayed.

    I was privileged to kiss Benedict’s ring twice. He is charming in person. I was able to say to him: Heilige Vater vielen Dank für Summorum Pontificum. Not very imaginative but Benedict lit up and beamed back at me. He does look in very good shape.

    Although we miss him he has left us a lifetime of books. Ignatius Press has his books on the saints that record all of B16’s Wednesday Public Audiences. A great thing is to read one every night; each saint is only a few pages long. Also the Jesus of Nazareth trilogy, the Catechism of the Catholic Faith, the Spirit of the Liturgy and In the Beginning (Benedict’s book on Creation).

    I found touching how Archbishop Georg Gänswein follows him a few steps behind, always attentive. I hope Msgr. Georg has a long and distinguished career in our Church. If Pope Francis wanted to extend on olive branch to traditional Catholics, Cardinal of the Papal Household would be a magnanimous gesture.

  33. Supertradmum says:

    mamajen, the pedestal underneath looks like the top of a pillar from a pagan temple. Would that not be cool?

    Beautiful images, and got teary at the photos of Benedict in the Church by himself after Mass. May he one day be declared Doctor of the Church, after canonization, of course after he leaves us for sure, and many years hence.

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  35. VLL says:

    Praise Be to God! Pope Emeritus does look significantly healthier– perhaps a bit thinner, but a lot more sturdy. I suspect he needed a cane before, but now does not have to be so strong for us. A life of prayer means he can take better care of himself in the form of rehabilitation, prayer, meditation and exercise. Though his retirement saddens me, I still feel hope that he is still here to bolster and pray with us. God would call such a faithful servant had he nothing left to do here. His apparent good health seems to reinforce that.

    I am saddened that there are those who feel that leaving the Church would be a balm to their soul in this trying situation. Would you flee and abandon the hospital for sinners?! I plead with you not to let the mainstream dinosaur media push your soul out the door of Mother Church. While the orthodox look placid from the outside, they too are suffering from a crisis of leadership– and they have no pope at the rudder– so you will have to pick the patriarch that pleases you. The differences between our theology and theirs hardly matters to many of them. They stay stubbornly separate thanks to a tradition of hostility toward the idea of having a pope. It was the filioque that at first made it inevitable that I would wash up on this side of the Tiber. But to discover that so many now claim it is mere semantics makes their stand seem futile and empty. We can all agree that obedience is difficult, but God will provide and lead those who trust Him.

    They have beautiful liturgy, but an influx of shaky theology due to a large number of recent converts from Evangelical traditions– and because they do not have a unified teaching. Controversies simply get recycled generation after generation. I was shocked to learn that they believe that only an emperor can call a conclave– which is why they haven’t had a council since the split from Rome. I know what you are thinking– maybe that is a good thing. But I think it is a case of giving something to Caesar that belongs to God– and because of this tradition, Caesar gets to make calls within the Orthodox church that– even as weak and windblown as our sorry sinners can be– that few bishops would conscience even today.

    Don’t take my word for it. This link is to a podcast of an EWTN show called “The Journey Home” In my bitter and brittle moments, listening to the witness of enthusiastic converts is a balm to the soul. The episode I’m specifically referencing is an interview with James Likoudis, who is a Greek Orthodox convert to Catholicism (a rare breed) and a serious historian. He started out studying the history of the First Great Schism in an attempt to reconcile it from the Orthodox side. What he has to say is enlightening. It is also far more theologically and technically based than the usual run.

    Also, I read a series of articles written on an orthodox orthodoxy website, one of the oldest and most trusted of the breed. Reading between the lines, you will see much that is familiar in their ranks, just better hidden. This malaise that we suffer is not unique to us. Every quarter seems to be suffering to an astonishing degree degree. God’s children all need prayer.

    Here’s my sources on the orthodox side…
    Also, more on this from EWTN. This is about the Evangelical movement into orthodox churches.

    Finally, some solace. Old Chestnut is a fine place to go for hope in strange days.
    And a reminder about how we can be fooled into thinking we are doing the right thing…

    I thank God for our troubles being so transparent and public– because hidden problems do not get the attention, prayer and corrective balm required. The barque of Peter always sails though rough and churning waters. Though Jesus appears asleep, he is truly with us.
    God Bless.

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