Sunday, March 05, 2006

First Sunday of Lent: Mass at St. Peter's Basilica

Well, here's the obligatory shot of the Swiss guard in their winter outfits.
The Holy Spirit window at the back of the Basilica.
The entrance procession. Notice the canons of St. Peter are carrying black birettas with red pom poms on them.

This is the first time that I've been to Mass in Latin in the Novus Ordo (as opposed to a Tridentine Mass, which I've assisted at only once, as well). Many thanks to the Notre Dame student's guide, which suggested we get there and hour early -- as soon as they opened the area behind the high altar, the place was mobbed and all the seats disappeared. We got one of the last programs that was being distributed. The ordinary of the Mass was chanted in Latin, as well as some of the propers (instead of the Introit, there was the Lenten hymn, the Attende Domine -- one of my favorites). A couple of a capella hymns for other parts of the Mass. The readings, gradual (responsorial psalm) and homily were in Italian. I was expecting it to be more of a performance than it was, and the experience was, thankfully, quite prayerful. My only complaint -- why on earth is there an organ to accompany chant? At St. friggin Peter's? Come on! Let us hear chant in its pure form! The organ ruins it!

The procesion was really cool -- a line of the canons regular of the basilica, visiting bishops, a Cardinal (Jorge Maria Medina Estévez, recently of Divine Worship and Sacraments) and purple-chasubled visiting priests. The presider, however, was not the Cardinal, but a canon.

After Mass we joined the disgorging throng out of the basilica to the piazza with the crowds waiting for the appearance of the Holy Father for the Angelus.
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4 comments:

St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

Hey, now...Don't be too dismissive of those "obligatory shots." Some of us haven't been and are unlikely to be able to go for some time to come (interesting juxtapositions there...)

We're vicariously enjoying your trip via the travelogues. Hope you aren't having to spend too much tme doing the Apu-nod. ;-]

chez said...

wow...too good.

I'm so glad I found your blog just in time to be able to enjoy these posts!.

Gashwin said...

Well, I'm glad there's a loyal following here ... nothing dismissive ... :-)

Chez -- in response to another question you'd asked -- larger resolution versions will be on my Flickr site later on (after I'm back Stateside). For now, I have to conserve bandwidth, and blogger doesn't like high res. images either ...

chez said...

I'll wait! . thanks :)