Today we had a Pontifical Mass at the faldstool celebrated by His Eminence Raymond Leo Card. Burke. There was a visiting choir from Ireland for the music. The Mass was in the Basilica of San Nicola in carcere, which is where I was ordained to the diaconate in 1990 by the late, great Card. Mayer. While in seminary, I was assigned to help at the church on Sundays and I directed an all female schola canentium.
The texts for the Mass were the rarely seen Votive Mass for the Betrothal of Mary and Joseph which fell on 23 January, found in an appendix of older editions of the Missale Romanum.
A few pics of the Mass. More will be available soon.
First, the basilica is built into an ancient temple in the ancient Greek zone, where there were fora for oil and vegetables. A reconstruction.
In a side chapel there is one of the oldest copies of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, brought here in the early 1600’s and decorated with gold from the New World. After Mass, it was taken down and presented to us for our veneration. It is a crowned image, and Merry Card. Del Val did the honors.
The Cardinal’s sermon dealt with the meaning of Mary and Joseph’s betrothal, how it was an actual marriage, not just an engagement, though before they would have lived together in any way. He explained the importance of Mary’s viriginity in that marital context, and then spoke about the Synod and the importance of understanding what marriage is and what cannot be considered marriage.
It was difficult to have a Pontifical Mass in this small space, up in the apse. The Mass was celebrated ad orientem, in respect to the altar, but versus populum. That is, this is one of those Roman basilicas which is so arranged that the altar is close to the confession. So, basically, people in the nave don’t see too much of what’s going on, but they hear it!
I had not been subdeacon for Mass at the faldstool before. There were some changes to be made, but it went along pretty well.
You can see the basilica’s umbrella.
After, lunch with friends.
I can’t resist good mozzarella here.
Also, bits of warm cod and chickpeas in oil and herbs.