Rorate Caeli
Mr. Smith Rorate Caeli goes to Washington
Well, not really.
However, much to our surprise, our blog was mentioned this weekend in the paper of record in America's capital, the Washington Post.
We're near the end of the story in the underlined and bolded paragraph. And, the story itself is really well done as well, with Mr. Horowitz clearly one of the best religion writers today.
What's important here is that the current papal emcee, Monsignor Guido Marini, granted Mr. Horowitz a personal an interview. Which means Msgr. Marini will be reading this story, amongst others, I'm sure. And, hopefully, will become an avid follower of this blog and know the thoughts of our readers!
The original, apparently news-making post, can be found here.
Read below, and Merry Christmas:
Pope's master of liturgy helps Benedict restore traditions
By Jason Horowitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
December 25, 2010

IN ROME On a rainy Christmas Eve, Pope Benedict XVI followed a procession of Swiss guards, bishops and priests down the central nave of St. Peter's Basilica to celebrate midnight Mass before dignitaries and a global television audience.

And Monsignor Guido Marini, as always, followed the pope.

A tall, reed-thin cleric with a receding hairline and wire-framed glasses, Marini, 45, perched behind the pope's left shoulder, bowed with him at the altar and adjusted the pontiff's lush robes. As Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, he shadows the pope's every move and makes sure that every candle, Gregorian chant and gilded vestment is exactly as he, the pope and God intended it to be.

"The criterion is that it is beautiful," Marini said.

But beauty, especially when it comes to the rituals of Roman Catholic liturgy, is a topic of great debate between conservative and liberal Catholics, who share differing views on everything from the music and language of the Mass to where a priest should stand and how he should give Communion.

Some of the key trappings of the Mass - the vestments and vernacular, the "smells and bells" - have taken on a more ancient air since Benedict succeeded John Paul II, and since Marini succeeded Piero Marini.

Piero, 68, is a gruff Vatican veteran, a progressive who advocates a more modern ritual that reflects the great church reforms of the 1960s. The younger and more punctilious Guido, who is not related to Piero, has argued for more traditional liturgical symbols and gestures - like the pope's preference that the faithful kneel to accept Communion - that some church liberals interpret as the harbinger of a counter-reformation.

'Battle of the Marinis'

The coincidence of their shared last names has resulted in YouTube links like "Battle of the Marinis." ("These things on the YouTube are fun but not important," said Marini the Second.) But within Vatican and wider liturgical circles, the Marini schism is actually a profound one about the direction of the church.

The liturgical changes enacted under Guido Marini are "a great microcosm for broader shifts in the church," said John Allen, a veteran Vatican watcher with the National Catholic Reporter.

Since the Marini II era began in October 2007, the papal Masses clearly have a stronger traditional element. Guido Marini, who has degrees in canon and civil law and a doctorate in the psychology of communication, caused considerable consternation among some progressive Catholics in January when he talked to English-speaking priests about a "reform of the reform."

In an interview Thursday, he argued that the changes should not be seen as a liturgical backlash to modernity but as a "harmonious development" in a "continuum" that takes full advantage of the church's rich history and is not subject to what he has called "sporadic modifications." Liturgical progressives, like Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pa., are concerned that Marini considers the reforms of the 1960s ecumenical council known as Vatican II as being among those sporadic modifications.

At most papal Masses, a large crucifix flanked by tall candles is now displayed on the altar, even though many progressives say the ornaments block the view of the priest and the bread and wine. They argue that this obstructs the accessibility urged by liturgical reforms associated with the Second Vatican Council.

Marini responds by saying that the crucifix reminds the faithful of who is really front and center in the Mass. He also says that the pope cannot sit in front of the altar when it bears the crucifix because "the pope can't give his back" to sacraments on the altar.

For Marini, Gregorian chants must be the music of the church because they best interpret the liturgy. And in September, ahead of the pope's visit to Britain, Marini told the Scottish paper the Herald that the pope would celebrate all the Prefaces and Canons of his Masses in Latin.

Piero Marini, who stepped down in 2007 after serving as the master of celebrations for 20 years, has championed the Vatican II reforms, including the simplification of rites that he believes facilitates active participation.

In the name of "inculturation," or integrating church rites with local customs, the silver-haired Marini in 1998 accepted the request of local bishops to allow a troupe of scantily clad Pacific islanders in St. Peter's Basilica to honor the pope with a dance during the opening liturgy of the Synod for Oceania. During John Paul II's visit to Mexico City in 2002, Marini likewise granted a local bishop's wish to let an indigenous Mexican shaman exorcise the pope during a Mass there.

He said the changes that have been made since he left are obvious. "You don't have to ask me," said Marini, who has expressed wariness about the rollback of liturgical reforms. "Everyone can see it for themselves."

A 'more sober' style

His successor said that the two clerics had a good relationship and that it was only natural that things change under a new regime.

"It's true that there were celebrations that gave more space to different expressions, but that was one style and now there is a different style, one that is more sober and more attentive to the essential things," said Guido Marini, who, like his predecessor, hails from northern Italy but who, like the pope, expresses admiration for the old Latin Mass. He added that Benedict considered the Mass a heavenly space that shouldn't be modified with "things that don't belong."

Marini has said there are no plans to force the changes on parishes around the world, but he hopes that they slowly spread and seep in.

Under Benedict, the faithful at papal Masses take Communion on their knees and receive the wafer on the tongue. Guido Marini said the change "recalls the importance of the moment" and keeps the act from becoming "banal." A recent picture of Queen Sofia in Spain receiving Communion from the pope in her hand - and while standing and not wearing a veil - brought rebukes from conservative Catholics. ("Reform of the reform apparently put on hold," read the Catholic blog Rorate Caeli.)

Perhaps the most apparent and luxurious sign of the new era is the pope's vestments. Benedict has worn an ancient form of the pallium, or cloak, preferred by first-millennium pontiffs. He also brought back the ermine-trimmed red satin mozzetta, a short cape. And the pope clearly does not obey the article of American political faith to never don an unconventional cap. He has sported a red saturno, a sort of papal cowboy hat, and an ermine-trimmed camauro, a crimson cap that resembles a Santa hat and is worn on nonliturgical occasions.

According to one senior Vatican official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Marini sent him a page-long list of vestments he had to wear during a special ordination in St. Peter's. "I didn't recognize half of the things on it," the official said. "Then I had trouble getting it all on."

"The pope likes new things and antique things," explained Marini, who compared the pope's attire to someone in a family who likes modern fashions like, say, Gucci shades but also "the treasures of the family."

At a Dec. 16 evening Mass, the pope opted for a paisley patterned crimson and gold chasuble, while Marini, his fingers tented in front of him, wore a white cotta with breezy lace sleeves over a purple cassock. As the frail pope sat in his throne, Marini adjusted Benedict's robes and at the appropriate moments removed the gold miter in order to place a white skullcap atop the pontiff's white hair. He adjusted the pages of prayer books that altar boys propped up before the pope. After the chorus sang about the divine promise made to David, Marini helped the pope up to read a prayer. At the end of the Mass, the pope followed the candles and large crucifix back up the nave. Marini, as always, trailed immediately behind.

"It's hard work," Marini said. "But it's beautiful."
And please remember to follow @RorateCaeli on Twitter.

28 comments:

Cruise the Groove said...

Wonderful to see Rorate being mentioned in a major paper!

Not so wonderful to see this monstrously ill-informed statement:

"Under Benedict, the faithful at papal Masses take Communion on their knees and receive the wafer on the tongue."

One would think that before Mr Horowitz wrote this piece that he would have researched reality a little bit.

I have never seen in Sacred Scripture or Sacred Tradition, nor in any magisterial teaching of Mother Church, Jesus Christ, the God-Man, referred to as "the wafer"

Paul Haley said...

"It's hard work," Marini said. "But it's beautiful."

Is there a glimmer of Hope that this Marini will encourage the Pope to make mandatory the changes in the papal ceremonies which in the main church seem to be largely ignored? Methinks so. Guido's example is of one who believes that holy things should be treated with reverence, not disdain, and that can only be for the Good of us all.

Mr. Ortiz said...

A very good article. It's unusual in the Post, but most welcome.

True growth in the Church, it seems to me, is slow, prudent, organic, prayerful, guided by wisdom that is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, quietly tended by the fidelity of millions of unnamed souls, overseen serenely by the Chair of Peter.

That, it seems to me, thousands of miles away in Maryland, USA, is what this Pontificate is all about.

Jordanes said...

I have never seen in Sacred Scripture or Sacred Tradition, nor in any magisterial teaching of Mother Church, Jesus Christ, the God-Man, referred to as "the wafer"

Mr. Horowitz evidently is not a Catholic.

That said, it is still good to remember that the word "wafer" comes from an English translation of the Latin word "Viaticum," that is, the Blessed Sacrament as our Bread "for the way," or for our pilgrimage in this life, and for the transit of our souls from this world to the next.

The only reason other kinds of bread are called "wafers" is because of their resemblance to the accidents of the consecrated Host.

Christopher J. Paulitz said...

Mr. Ortiz, where in Maryland are you?

Cruise said...

"Mr. Horowitz evidently is not a Catholic."

Evidently...all the more reason why Mr Horowitz should have researched, just a little bit, about what is the most important aspect of the Catholic Faith in that Catholics believe that "wafer" is God.

Apart from the coverage of the Holy Father, I for one am scandalised every time I see the Blessed Sacrament referred to as soMething other than what He is.

The Liturgical Pimpernel said...

Have put together a small photo-essay on this topic, sirs, which may illustrate the reality behind the article:

http://liturgicalpimpernel.blogspot.com/2010/12/what-difference-new-marini-makes.html

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ortiz said:

"True growth in the Church, it seems to me, is slow, prudent, organic, prayerful, guided by wisdom that is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, quietly tended by the fidelity of millions of unnamed souls, overseen serenely by the Chair of Peter."

Everything that the post-conciliar liturgical rupture was not. That rupture must be reversed and undone. A Mass (like the "Ordinary" one) which fails to produce its own vocations is the best illustration of the spiritual aridity which has ensued. Only after the establishment of a canonical entity which frees traditional Catholics from the control of the New Order episcopate can serenity return as the demeanor of papal governance.

Giles

Mr. Ortiz said...

Potomac, Md

Anonymous said...

Cruise wrote:

"Apart from the coverage of the Holy Father, I for one am scandalized every time I see the Blessed Sacrament referred to as something other than what He is."

You are scandalized because a non-Catholic didn't refer to the wafer (communion) as a Catholic would. Does the Church herself teach that this is cause for scandal?

Anonymous said...

This morning's Mass at my parish (Dallas Diocese) was offered in just 42 minutes.

The priest announced — he used humor to get a laugh — that we've had "enough of Church" during the past couple of days..."I'll keep the homily very brief."

The early Mass is always devoid of music...rapid homily...42-minute Mass.

The uninspiring "Prayers of the Faithful" dragged on longer than the homily.

Would anybody who came the Mass in question to explore Catholicism (or return to the Faith) return to my parish next Sunday?

No!

Many anti-TLM folks insist that pre-Vatican II Masses were offered at the speed of light.

Well, little then has changed in regard to liturgy.

But at least the TLM instilled a strong Catholic identity within Catholics.

Tim

PreVat2 said...

Please, Holy Father, celebrate a Pontifical High Mass at the High Altar in St. Peter's for all the world to see.

What are you, the Keeper of the Keys, afraid of?

Time to "Cowboy Up" and do it!

Semper Fi

LeonG said...

At Holy Mass everyone including the celebrant should face Almighty God - this is the true sense of placing oneself ad orietam during the ceremonies.

The liberal emphasis on access of the faithful is ridiculed by the disastrous fall in attendance at the NO.

While there may well be some welcome traditional seasoning of the modern liturgy with traditional elements, a few vestments from the old wardrobe do not make a traditional Holy Mass.

Patrick said...

PreVat2 said "Please, Holy Father, celebrate a Pontifical High Mass at the High Altar in St. Peter's for all the world to see".

You mean a pontifical TLM at the high altar of the Lateran? It is the Lateran Basilica, not Saint-Peter's, that is the cathedral of Rome and therefore the "omnium ecclesiarum urbis et Orbis mater et caput".

Anonymous said...

"It's hard work," Marini said. "But it's beautiful."

A boy's dream, really!!

That he may die a holy man, a true shepherd who did everything to lead his sheep, the lost and those around him, to Heaven!

A very holy and merry Christmas to all of you!

Pax et bonum
InfansMariae

Henry said...

Giles: "Only after the establishment of a canonical entity which frees traditional Catholics from the control of the New Order episcopate can serenity return as the demeanor of papal governance."

This might help those of us in the EF 1%.

But the 99% even more desperately need the reform of the OF to make it look everywhere more like the papal Masses we're now seeing from St. Peter's.

This is where Pope Benedict's priority has to lie, and why I don't think anyone ought to hold their breath waiting for a public papal TLM.

Cola di Cola said...

At least it shows they are reading the blog.

Anonymous said...

Btw a big congratulation to our Rorate Caeli bloggers! Well done!

IM

Anonymous said...

"But the 99% even more desperately need the reform of the OF to make it look everywhere more like the papal Masses we're now seeing from St. Peter's."

But the Pope does not oppose in principle such Church-approved practices as Communion in the hand, altar girls, lay readers, lay distribution of Holy Communion, widespread use of the vernacular, multiple Eucharistic prayers, (just to list a few practices), all of which have deformed the Roman Liturgical tradition.

Edward

Anonymous said...

Secret Lodges of the Flies? Let's hear it...

Christopher J. Paulitz said...

Cola di Cola said...
"At least it shows they are reading the blog."

That's exactly right! And, just as importanly, you can be certain they're reading the comment boxes.

Enoch said...

Anonymous wrote:

"The early Mass is always devoid of music...rapid homily...42 minute Mass."

Was the early mass a low Mass? If so, then there usually isn't any music, even with the TLM. 42 minutes is about the average time it takes to say the Mass in the OF, if the rubrics are followed correctly (my experience is that they usually are).

"The priest announced - he used humor to get a laugh - that we've had "enough of the Church" during the last couple of days..."I'll keep the homily very brief"

I suspect that the priest himself was probably quite tired from the Christmas Mass schedule. Try to have some sympathy. I know that our diocesan priest, who says the TLM, looked exhausted on Sunday morning, after a grueling Christmas schedule, even though he didn't complain.

"Would anybody who came to the Mass in question to explore Catholicism (or return to the Faith) return to my parish next Sunday?"

I think that they would. If they had humility of heart and love for our Lord, they would see that he is the focus of the Mass, and they would not necessarily have pre-conceived notions of what the Mass "should be like."

sjgmore said...

That's exactly right! And, just as importanly, you can be certain they're reading the comment boxes.

A frightening thought, at times. Not all comments here put traditional Catholicism in the most flattering light...

Henry said...

Edward: "But the Pope does not oppose . . . "

How many of these practices did you see in the papal Christmas Mass this year?

But the fact that they are seen in parish churches all over is why the Pope's must concentrate on the 99% attending the OF and not on the 1% attending the EF.

Which is fine with me. After all, the glorious EF Missa Cantata I attended yesterday didn't need any papal attention. Let him help those who need it.

M. A. said...

"Marini has said there are no plans to force the changes on parishes around the world, but he hopes that they slowly spread and seep in."
_______________________________

I have a problem with the above. It would be like me telling my students that although I would want them to not talk while I am teaching, and that they should raise their hand and wait to be called on, that I would do nothing to enforce "house rules", but it certainly would be nice if they would act according to my preferences for discipline in the classroom.

Does Our Holy Father really think that human nature has 'evolved for the better' since Vatican II?

Anonymous said...

Henry,

Since the post-conciliar Popes have decided to govern "collegially," the only protection that traditional Catholics have is the protection of a bishops(s)of their own.

Remember, a canonical structure of some kind has been ready since 2005. Bishop Fellay has said that it was the opposition of the French and German bishops which has prevented it from being implemented. The lobbying by certain powerful American bishops might be added to the list.

Why the opposition of these bishops? Because they don't want to let loose the Catholic counter-reform which they can keep suppressed.

A papal traditional Mass, in itself, would solve nothing.

Giles

Henry said...

Giles,

Certainly there are Catholics now, probably the majority, who need protection from their local bishops, and an ordinariate structure could provide this in the short term.

However, I have some concern that it could have a separatist influence and impede the long-term goal of a TLM as a normal thing in every parish. In effect, a general restoration of the TLM that can happen over time as orthodox young priests take over and move up in dioceses, but might never happen in diocesan parishes if the TLM is "segregated" in an ordinariate separate from dioceses.

Cruise the Groove said...

M.A.

I couldn't agree with you more!
Human nature is no more "evolved" now than it was 1000 years ago.
Merry Christmas.