Rorate Caeli

"Liturgical paradigms for the whole world..."

"Papal liturgies, broadcast internationally, are a model by which all liturgical celebrations can be measured...papal ceremonies should be liturgical paradigms for the entire world. Those who follow papal ceremonies probably use them as a measure of accord by which the liturgy must be measured. In this way, the liturgy is transformed into a path through which the Pope teaches the Catholic faithful, giving them a proper idea of what they should expect..."
-- Pope Benedict XVI in a recent talk to the Choir of the Pontifical Chapel as quoted in Miles Christi Report, No. 107, September 2009

H/t to Mr. Campbell of Unam Sanctam Catholicam, who has written an interesting post on this topic.

(The picture is that of Pope Benedict XVI celebrating Mass in Viterbo last September 6)


Anonymous said...

I hope all this reform of reform talk is not only lip service on the part of the prelates in the Vatican...

So far they have not even been able to restore the communion rails in the churches...

Enough with the bla bla bla... Some results please...

Paul Haley said...

To want it (liturgical paradigm) is one enforce it by solemn papal decree is quite another. The Holy Father wants, apparently, to move incrementally while the bishops have yet another agenda (stubborn refusal in the name of collegiality). Well, we shall see what we shall see, as the saying goes.

Once again, I bring up the matter of a small army of loyal priests and four bishops, as well as many independents, that would help the holy father achieve his goals but they are denied faculties, at least publicly, and this situation must change.

Anonymous said...

The Holy Father says:

"Papal ceremonies should be liturgical paradigms for the entire world."

Yes especially when the Holy Father offers the Sacrifice of the Mass in the Extraordinary Use of the Roman Rite. I hope this is soon.

In caritate Xp.,


Magat said...


Few of the Roman churche have lost their communion rails and some never had them in the first place.

Gideon Ertner said...

"papal ceremonies should be liturgical paradigms for the entire world."

I sincerely hope not. What with the ubiquitous lay readers, hordes of Bishops 'concelebrating' in chasubles, Communion in the hand aplenty, the same old collared horse blankets that pass for sacred vestments used everywhere, not to mention the appalling shrieks of the Capella Sistina, please tell me there is somewhere else Latin rite Catholics can turn to for a liturgical paradigm.

In fact, come to think of it, there actually is such a place, even in the context of the Novus Ordo, and that is the London Oratory. Communion in the hand kept to a minimum, 2 Deacons alongside the Celebrant, no concelebration, birettas, supremely reverent atmosphere, and beautiful vestments and even more beautiful music (exclusively polyphonic/chant). As close to the traditional Roman liturgy as you can possibly get while still using the modern books (but don't ask me why they don't use the old ones).

Anyone for sponsoring a study trip to London for Msgr. Guido Marini and the Curia?

Gideon Ertner said...

Btw, sorry if the above post seemed overly harsh. The Holy Father is working slowly, but surely, towards a liturgical restoration in Rome and I respect him no end for it. I'm not even sure that I think he's going about it too slowly. I was just pointing out that there is still a long, long way to go, but that there are in fact places that are doing a whole lot better.

Anonymous said...

What might a priest say to a bishop who says that what the pope does liturgically is not relevant to priests, since priests are "bound by the rubrics"?

Anonymous said...

How very true indeed, and that is the exact reason why the Holy Father should celebrate the Extraordinary Form as well. For it would be a model for all parishes and prove once and for all that Rome is beside us in believing their are two valid forms of the Roman Rite which can be celebrated.

LeonG said...

"Papal ceremonies should be liturgical paradigms for the entire world."

Precisely. This is why it is entirely reprehensible & shameful to witness inculturated liturgical forms with highly dubious practices such as dancing, rock music etc with the pope presiding. This also has implications for interreligious & ecumenical excesses frequently manifested by those at the very summit of the church hierarchy on the public stage before the international media.

Peter said...

To people calling the Holly Father to celebrate "the Extraordinary Form": the Papal Liturgy is not an ordinary Tridentine Mass, nor Pontifical Mass, so there's no "extraordinary form" of the Papal Mass.

Papal Mass includes elements that are not present in lower forms of the Roman Rite, like readings in Greek or proskomedia. Papal Mass was devastated during the reign of Paul VI, but "De Missali Romano", which has introduced NOM does not affect it, just as Summorum Pontificum and its terminology does not affect it. So there's no "extraordinary form" of the Papal Mass.

But the Pope of course can celebrate what he wants.

What might a priest say to a bishop who says that what the pope does liturgically is not relevant to priests, since priests are "bound by the rubrics"?

The priest might say that the liturgy is the public prayer of the Church, it's when Christ Himself in His Mystical Body prays for us, it's not some theater performed according to some scenario. Therefore liturgy is living (tip: how the "organic development" is supposed to take place if current rubrics are always the norm? by introducing new rubrics like the Novus Ordo? No, by reasonable and pious customs with consent, even tacit, of the appropriate superior).

Papal Mass is the root, heart, center and base of the Roman Rite, all other forms are Papal Masses stripped from some solemnity. Roman Rite is the Papal Mass. Therefore all Roman Rite bishops should look at the Pope to be guided in their liturgical practice.

The bishops should look to the Pope and the diocesan priests should look at their bishop, how he celebrates the Mass in his cathedral, because they are needed only because the bishop in person cannot serve his entire diocese.

Rubrics are not to create liturgy out of the blue, they're to prevent abuses. Roman Missal was introduced when the Protestants began changing the Mass according to their heresies. Liturgy is a living thing, just as Christ is living.

BTW, rubrics allow putting cross on altar, kneeling communion, celebration versus Dei, etc. so probably it's not the point.

Gideon Ertner: you're right, but we're talking here about a general rule. And still there are few bishops and priests willing to follow the good and obviously allowed for them by the rubrics aspects of papal liturgy.

Moretben said...

"...papal ceremonies should be liturgical paradigms for the entire world." John Paul III will no doubt be reminding you when in due course things return to "business as usual"