Good stuff from Sandro Magister

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ROMA, April 28, 2005 – On Sunday, April 24, Benedict XVI inaugurated his “Petrine ministry as bishop of Rome” in the sunlight of a Saint Peter’s Square overflowing with crowds.

But his first intention was different. He had wanted to celebrate his first solemn mass as pope, not in the square, but inside the basilica of Saint Peter. “Because there the architecture better directs the attention toward Christ, instead of the pope,” he told the masters of ceremonies on Wednesday, April 20, his first full day as the elected pope. Only the immense number of faithful who were coming induced him to change his mind and celebrate the mass outdoors.

It gets better. Benedict is steeped in the liturgy, and has already begun his papacy by setting a liturgical example for the church. He as already made clear that the Eucharist will be at the heart of his papal ministry. Go read it here.

There's also a nice little piece at the bottom of the linked page about Dominus Iesus. The Pope repeated it's central message in his installation homily and the Gospel reading for that day contained: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

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Of course, there's more to Liturgy than architecture. For example, take your home parish... I'm sure that outdoors in St. Peter's Square directs more attention to Christ than brown brick wrapping around as far as the eye can see.

(If my tone of poking-good-natured-fun is lost in a plain-text comment box, rest assured that's what I'm trying to get across; I'm not trying to be offensive).

Very true Brandon (and good-naturedness is noted).

What's important is always doing the best you can with what you have. Sometimes there are things that can't be helped (the birck isn't the worst problem - if you notice, almost everything in the sactuary is nearly the same shode of brown, but those planning the liturgy always have the opportunity to take what they have and use it in the best possible way to enhance worship.

I especially like our present pastor precisely because he's trying to celebrate the Mass reverently in a space that's conducive to blandness and boredom. One of the things he's done which has helped is bring in four statues to fill the sanctuary so there's not such a vast unused space. That and the reverence he brings to Mass help minimize the dullness of the environment.

I used to criticize St. Matt's architecture as being warehouse-like, esp. compared to Holy Cross, but anytime I visit St Matt's now I find it refreshing. Perhaps it's a feeling tied up with our years there, I dunno. It seems as though all that nutty simplification the Church went through a generation or two ago had some happy results in St. Matt's church. It helps, as you note, that y'all make the best of it with art, seasonal decoration and excellent music.

BTW, know anyone looking for a part-time job in a Catholic bookstore? Karen just lost her main part-timer to another job, and my wife is just working Fridays and Saturdays.

Cheers -



Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on April 29, 2005 6:37 AM.

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