Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Papal MC speaks about Consistory

~via Papa Ratzinger Forum, here's a translation of the interview with Mons. Guido Marini about Saturday's Consistory.

A rite rich in symbolic significance to express continuity between past, present and future. That is how Mons. Guido Marino, master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, describes the celebrative aspects of the Ordinary Public Consistory to create 23 new cardinals, presided by Pope benedict XVI in St. Peter's basilica yesterday

The first striking liturgical element was the placement of the Crucifix in the center of the Assembly.

The Crucifix placed at the foot of the Altar of Confession faces the faithful to express the desire that everyone present should be oriented towards it. It is a sign of continuity between the present and the past in a liturgical tradition which also looks ahead.

What about the vestments wore by Benedict XVI?

This continuity between past, present and future is also made visible in the vestments. The cope is in gold silk trimmed with a stole coming from a far older vestment (perhaps from the 15th century), with images from the lives of the saints, including Peter and Paul. The miter belonged to Pius IX.

The fact that the Pope used a cope - which hasn't been worn for this occasion in recent times - underscores that the Consistory takes place in a liturgical context. [Note by forum editor: In consistories in the past few decades, including Benedict's first, the Pope wore choir dress with a ceremonial mozzetta and stole, as he wears for civil functions in which he acts as head of state.]

Particularly suggestive was the entrance procession in which the Pope - unlike in previous consistories - was accompanied by the new cardinals.

The Consistory over time had been situated within a celebration of the Liturgy of the Word. Therefore the introital procession with the Pope - preceded by the cardinals - underlines the liturgical aspect already highlighted by the vestments used.

Who assisted the Pope in the rite?

Two assistant deacons (José Miguel Ramón Fuentes and Biagio Saiano), as tradition has it.

What about the chair from which Benedict XVI led the celebrations?

It was the chair of Leo XIII* which has been used other times by the Pope but not during a liturgical celebration. It is the first time, therefore - at least in recent times - that it is used liturgically as the chair of the Roman Pontiff.

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