Today, I walk down the steep Geniculum hill in cassock with my ticket to St. Peter's Basilica to get ready to distribute Holy Communion at this papal Mass. I've been to a papal Mass a couple of times with Pope John Paul II. In fact as a seminarian I distributed Holy Communion at the papal Mass on the Mall in Washington, DC in 1979. I attended the papal Mass for priests and religious in Philadelphia on that same trip. It was in an auditorium and more manageable. I've never been to a papal Mass in Rome, although about 6 years ago with our church choir we attended the beatification of Spanish Martyrs at an outdoor Mass in St. Peter's Piazza. But a cardinal, not Pope Benedict, celebrated it and it was jammed packed with Spaniards.
More on the papal Mass later. Here are a few photos I took last night: