Today the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis ordained 19 men for his diocese. When you watch this Mass, one realizes that it is the template for the improved celebration of the Mass in rank in file parishes throughout the world.
The processional hymn is a rather typical sounding Italian hymn (they all sound alike to me!). But as soon as the pope arrives at the foot of the altar the proper Introit is chanted in Latin as the Holy Father ascends the steps to incense the altar. The parts of the Mass are in Latin chant too, although the Mass is in Italian for the most part. In fact chanting the Kyrie (Greek) Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei plus the propers in Latin seems to me to be a perfect way to preserve the Latin patrimony of the Church and this appears to be the primary way Pope Francis is in continuity with Pope Benedict at the Vatican papal Masses.
The bells at the Epiclesis and elevations continue to be prominent. I wonder how many parishes today still are stuck in the 1970's and refuse bells at these points?
The other thing that I love about the pope is that his homilies are easy to follow and imitate. I will list some of the things he told the newly ordained priests below, but highlight two things now:
1. He told the priests not to act like peacock priests. How many priests today use the Liturgy as a platform to act like peacocks, entertainers and to show off their personality? This is contrary to the traditional model of the Mass where the priest's personality is to take a background to the liturgy.
2. He told the newly ordain not to say no to anyone who asks for baptism. I know that when I was first ordained we had all kinds of requirements for people to have their children baptized and it was sometimes a cat and mouse game as some wanted to have their children baptized simply to have their children get into our Catholic schools at a Catholic rate!
I don't think we should refuse anyone baptism either. The Church grew in its mass baptisms in South America. People were baptized and then the Church let the Holy Spirit do with this as He wills.
Here are some of the other things the pope had to say to the newly ordained:
Pope Francis said that priests should never bar anyone from receiving the sacrament of baptism if they ask for it:
In Baptism, join new faithful to the People of God. Do not ever refuse Baptism to anyone who asks!His advice on the Eucharist and the celebration of Mass was even more direct:
When you celebrate the Mass, therefore, acknowledge what you do. Do not do it in a hurry! Imitate that which you celebrate – not an artificial rite, an artificial ritual – in order that, participating in the mystery of death and resurrection of the Lord, you bring the death of Christ in your members and so that you walk with Him in the newness of life.In giving advice about how to conduct themselves in the confessional, Pope Francis told the ordinands to always go into the confessional ready to forgive, and never to condemn:
I, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and his Bride, the Holy Church, I ask you not to grow weary of being merciful. In the confessional, you are to going to forgive, not to condemn! Imitate the Father who never gets tired of forgiving.Pope Francis also gave them some advice on preaching. He noted that in order for the words of a homily to reach the hearts of the people, the words must first flow from the heart of the preacher:
This is the nourishment of the People of God; that your sermons are not boring; that your own homilies reach people’s hearts because they come from your heart, because what you are saying is truly what you have in your heart. So give the Word of God, and thus your doctrine will be joy and support for the faithful of Christ; the scent of your life will be the testimony, because the example builds, but the words without example are empty words, and will never arrive at the heart and even do harm: They do no good!Pope Francis also reminded the ordinands that their service must be for the Church and not themselves:
Aware of being chosen from among men and being favored among them to attend to the things of God, exercise in joy and sincere charity the priestly work of Christ, intent only on pleasing God and not yourselves. It is a bad priest who lives to please himself, who does “the Peacock!”Finally, Pope Francis called those being ordained to strive to model the life of the Good Shepherd:
Be ministers of unity in the Church, in family – leading them to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit. And always keep in mind the example of the Good Shepherd, who came not to be served but to serve; not to stay in his comfort, but to go out and seek and save what was lost.