Monday, September 23, 2013


I watched some of the Holy Father's Mass yesterday from Bonaria, from which his home town of Buenos  Aires is named.

It was a huge outdoor Mass in front of the Cathedral and a spectacular day as it was in Spoleto for me. There is something wonderful about the Italian air to say the least. It is bonaria!

The Mass had a very wonderful choir. They sang the official Introit in Latin for the beginning of the Mass and the Jubilatio Deo Kyrie and Gloria and Credo.

The altar was the Benedictine arrangment and very nice in its noblity and simplicity. I suspect if Pope Francis did not like this arrangement he would have ordered it modified by now, but he hasn't.

The Holy Father's style of celebrating Mass is by the book. He reads the black and does the red and usually always, at least from what I have seen, chooses the Confiteor over any other Penitential Act.

He is self-contained and constrained during Mass, very serious and austere. The Italian congregation outside seem to be rather noisy and from our American perspective not at all reverent. There was a lot of noise, but this could have been picked up by the microphone placement. The Holy Father simply ignores it and seems completely engrossed by the Liturgy and what He is doing as the celebrant of the Mass.

If priests and bishops throughout the world would simply copy his read the black and do the red style of celebrating Mass and be completely absorbed by the Sacred Mysteries as Pope Francis is, what a better experience of what the Church intends for the Ordinary Form of the Mass would there be!


WSquared said...

and usually always, at least from what I have seen, chooses the Confiteor over any other Penitential Act.

Hooray! I prefer the Confiteor, myself, for the simple reason that what we pray is what we believe. The fact is that we're all sinners. We may as well get used to it.

What boggles my mind about our modern sensibilities (or sentimentalities) is that we want the "out" of "nobody's perfect," but how dare anyone ever tell us that we're sinners or about Original Sin.

Rood Screen said...

That's a nice thing to say about him, Father. I appreciate your positive attitude.

Pater Ignotus said...

All of the options for the penitential rite of the mass acknowledge that we're all sinners. They simply say it in different ways.

WSquared said...

Conceded, Pater. But the Confiteor is far more specific, and in an age of poor catechesis, more specifics regarding instruction is perhaps needed.

Moreover, the Confiteor also emphasizes more clearly that we Confess before God and the entire Church throughout all ages, not just to our brothers and sisters who are still living. Enough Catholics don't even have any sense of Church beyond the human-organizational part that exists here on earth. The Confiteor also acknowledges our own fault for our own sins-- in thought, word, and deed, and in action and in omission. So it drums it in more immediately and intimately (certainly with striking one's breast thrice). There is more of a sense of how our sins wound the Body of Christ.

Rood Screen said...

I'd prefer the Sprinkling Rite in place of the Penitential Rite if we could recite the Confiteor just before Holy Communion.
Pater Ignotus is right, as always, but the Confiteor seems more fun to me.

John Nolan said...

Unfortunately ICEL in the new translation of the Confiteor played safe and reiterated the prolix "in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do", presumably because the bishops thought that congregations were too dense to learn the literal translation, which is both more concise and more elegant:

"I confess to almighty God and to you, brethren, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, deed and omission, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, brethren, to pray for me to the Lord our God".

55 words as opposed to 75.
'Brethren' is not gender-specific and indeed it begins the Penitential Act - "Fratres, agnoscamus peccata nostra ..." is "Brethren, let us acknowledge our sins ..." and the "brothers and sisters" option is in parentheses.

It is interesting that although the priest is addressing the congregation, the authors of the Novus Ordo did not have "Fratres et sorores", although the Sarum Use provides a precedent at the Offertory, where it has "Orate, fratres et sorores".

Joseph Johnson said...

I have to agree with you about the Confiteor. I have always preferred to see both the Confiteor AND the simple Kyrie/Christe/Kyrie formula used, just as in the EF Mass. This is the way I remember it being done most of the time in the English NO Mass growing up in the 70's but it seems rare now.

Tell us more about this Francesca Chaouqui girl that the Pope has appointed to a commission to oversee and reform Vatican finances. I know that she is quite young for such a job (30) and is quite a good-looking woman (which is "out of the mold" for a papal commissioner and Vatican PR person). Gene might like to see a good picture of her!

See, now I'm feeling the need to say that Confiteor again!

Gene said...

Joseph, I would indeed like to see a good pic of her, perhaps at the beach....for purely aesthetic reasons, of course.

John Nolan said...

Gene, there are some good pics of her on Google Images, including one of her and her boyfriend topless - it's sexy without being lewd. Unfortunately, since her appointment as a PR bimbo, it emerged that she had been tweeting maliciously about some key Vatican figures, two of whom, including Cardinal Bertone, are considering suing for defamation. Despite reports that the Pope is standing by her and that she is close to some Italian cardinals (whatever that means) it would appear that her jacket is hanging on a decidedly shaky nail.

Seriously, though, if the Pope wants to straighten out Vatican finances, he needs to keep Italians out of it. Swiss and North German Protestants, or better still, Jews, would be the best bet. It would also be a boost for ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue.

Gene said...

You know, John, you do not even have to watch tv or go to a club for comedy. All you have to do is read the Vatican News. Yes, the Pope is standing by her and I'm sure there are many standing behind her, as well. Malicious tweeting at the Vatican? Lusting after a voluptuous young Italian bimbo? A fickle beauty causing trouble in high places? I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!!!

Gene said...

BTW...a Jew managing Vatican finances. Now, there's ecumenicism! LOL! Why, soon we'll have Priests facing the congregation for Mass, people receiving in the hand, and pimply kids banging on fifty dollar guitars and singing through their noses as loud as they can at Mass..wait a minute.....

Gene said...

In other news..the Pope was heard to say, "Ima no happy wid dat woman!"

John Nolan said...

There is a common misconception that if the Penitential Act is replaced by the Asperges or Vidi Aquam, the Kyrie is omitted. However, GIRM 52 makes it clear that the Kyrie is only omitted when the third form of the Penitential Act, which includes the Kyrie, is used. Otherwise it follows the Penitential Act, and is separate from it.