Pope Francis: Installation Liturgy like None We’ve Seen! – MORE! UPDATED!

Details are emerging of what to expect at tomorrow’s papal installation. I don’t have a link, yet, but here is what I’m seeing on Twitter, via Commonweal’s Grant Gallicho:

1) Rather than readings specific to a papal installation, the readings for the Solemnity of St. Joseph (which is tomorrow) will be used.

That would be 2 Samuel 7:4-5a,12-14a,16, (the prophecy of Christ from the royal house of David) then Romans 4:13,16-18,22 (“Fatherhood of Abraham and righteousness of faith over law”) and for the Gospel Matthew 1:16,18-21,24a (Joseph’s obedience in faith and trust). I think those are actually good, relevent readings for a papal installation, particularly for a pope who wanders into crowds without fear and wants to teach us about trust, faith, continuity, and yeah, obedience.

2) The Gospel will be chanted in Greek, not Latin.

Wow. I hear heads exploding. But that’s kind of a primary document language, yes?

3) Only 6 Cardinals will make the pledge of obedience to the pope, on behalf of all of them.

Okay, well, they’ve already done this privately, so I see the point — why make the mass longer when half a million people have to stand through it. But I hope they make the six most troublesome Cardinals do it. Make them speak the words! :-)

4) Francis will wear the exact same palium worn by Benedict.
That’s a nice touch, and a tribute to his predecessor.

5) Patriarchs and major Archbishops of Eastern churches will join Francis in venerating the tomb of St. Peter.

Again, wow.

6)”To simplify mass” no offertory procession and Pope will not be giving out Communion.

One to annoy column Left and one to annoy column Right

7) Francis’ Fisherman Ring is gold-plated silver. and Rome Reports has details on the new pope’s coat of arms.

8) The Fisherman’s Ring is a used ring, not made specific to the occasion.

We are a culture so used to the idea that “we’re special” and “new is better” and “I deserve the best.” This speaks deeply to our materialism, AND our devaluing of what has come before us. Bravo, Francis!

More later as it comes in, so check back!

And read this whole piece by Rocco!

MORE: Amy Welborn gives two sound smacks and yells Snap out of it! and learn why red shoes matter!

UPDATE: Deacon Greg, who rarely takes the time to opine shares his thoughts on the similarities between Benedict and Francis that people seem to be missing, and the lessons they’re jointly tring to teach us. A must read.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • votermom

    Chanted in Greek? My head IS exploding
    I like the Marian nod on his coat of arms

  • Amy Welborn

    Okay, maybe my theory is right…we *haven’t* been paying attention the past 8 years. Chanting the Gospel in Greek is standard in many papal liturgies. Here is a link explaining why: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/details/ns_lit_doc_20091117_canto-vangelo_en.html

    And here is a link to B16′s 2005 installation, Gospel in Greek. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pra8JzSjfPw

    [Yes, someone just mentioned that to me and, taking a second to think, I was like, "oh, yeah....I do sort of remember that, now." I think this is a big reason why Benedict did what he did. People just weren't paying attention anymore. So he did something that would make them pay attention. Inspired. -admin]

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com EBL

    Will there be a St. Joseph’s Day alter he blesses?

  • Scott Hebert

    Anchoress, I heard that the Patriarch of Constantinople is attending the Installation Liturgy, which is a first. I would say that the Greek gospel is everything you said, and also an _excellent_ gesture to the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches.

    Not changing the readings is an example of humility entirely in line with the way our new Pope operates. It shows that the focus is on the Word, and not the speaker.

    As someone who has only ever known (now) 3 popes, I think I am being challenged much more by Francis than by JPII or Benedict. My issue has always been with translating thought into action. The blessing on Pope Francis seems to be that this is his crowning virtue.

  • Amy Welborn

    And a link to the program: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/libretti/2013/20130319_inizio-ministero-petrino.pdf

    [Thanks, Amy -- I think I had included it in a previous post, but it's good to have again. Have you looked at it? -admin]

  • Laura Lowder

    Have you seen the program? Jeffrey Tucker at ChantCafe began sharing it, over the weekend. Looks as if the music is going to be GLORIOUS! Chant – Palestrina, and some modern pieces as well.

  • Mitch

    Pope Benedict’s installation mass also had the Gospel Chanted in Greek: http://youtu.be/3R8h6HdZcyk?t=53m50s

    It was chanted twice, once in Greek once in Latin. Having the Gospel Chanted in Greek has been a common on again off again practice of papal liturgies for years.

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  • vox borealis

    Some interesting details to be sure. I think, but I could be wrong, Benedict XVII re-introduced the practice of having all cardinals pledge obedience…I sure wish that one had stayed. No offertory procession, however, is truly a blessing, in my book.

  • Nicholas

    (Unclosed <b> or <strong> tag in here somewhere….)

    As the director of a schola cantorum, the program for the installation Mass makes me smile broadly. :)

  • Amy Welborn

    Thanks for the link. Did I yell? Maybe in my head…tried not to in the post!!!

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  • http://www.ironiccatholic.com Ironic Catholic

    He’s being a well-educated Jesuit and checking out to see who took Greek in seminary/grad school. ;) I think this sounds very reverent and beautiful.

  • Ellen

    Since my home parish is dedicated to St. Joseph, I am all smiles. I can’t wait to see this Mass.

  • YouGoAnchoress

    I think the Pope’s decision not to give out communion is inspired. I was wondering how he would address the issue of giving communion to politicians with pro-abortion voting records– something he has spoken about in the past. He’s probably wise to save that discussion for another day.

  • archangel

    Nice add Mitch. I personally will add that the “Lord have mercy” that everyone knows as THE “Kyrie” is Greek… not Latin. “Kyrie, eleison. Christe, eleison. Kyrie, eleison.” Greek is not controverisial. If it were, where would the Eastern Rite Catholics be?

    Francis has already shaken a ton of things up already; I don’t think we need to be “looking” for “ooh-ah” moments. I think they are going to come naturally.

  • deiseach

    “The Fisherman’s Ring is a used ring, not made specific to the occasion.”

    To which I say Tradition!


  • Inge

    The Ecumenical Patriarch from Constantinople is coming. So I see a nod to that in the Liturgy.

  • Tancred

    Does Patheos advertise for Lesbian dating services now too?

    Didn’t know you guys were THAT out and proud!

    [Algorithms. I'll let the office know, thanks -admin]

  • Bill Russell

    How could anyone who has followed any of the pontifical ceremonies over the years, not know that chanting the Gospel in birth Greek and Latin is an immemorial custom?

  • Molly

    Some of these sentiments are coming from a place of “we love Benedict and don’t want him to be hurt”, and I completely understand that. But we have to remember that for all of Pope Francis’ humility he is showing (wonderfully, wonderfully showing), Benedict gets credit for his humility too. Which was giant. Because I’m sure he knew very well that this kind of situation could very much arise. He KNEW these comparisons would happen, although he didn’t know who for sure would become the next Pope. He WANTED the next Pope to do an even better job than he could possibly imagine. I’m not saying I think that’s what’s happening as an insult to Benedict. What I am saying is that he was amazing, so improving on that would be bad for who? The Church? No. Us? No. The only thing that would suffer from this next Pope being even more wonderful than Benedict (and I don’t know that he will be) would be Benedict’s ego itself, which is exactly what he did NOT care about, and gladly sacrificed. That kind of humility, to offer up his every action as Pope for anyone and everyone to dissect and then disappear into monastic life where he will not be able to answer any of the criticism or praise, but where he will still very much know what is being said, is huge. Seeing his sacrifice in this way while simultaneously loving what we’re seeing from Pope Francis is exactly what should happen.

  • MikeTheGeek

    Chanting in Greek? Dang innovationaist Roman barbarians! Every good Maronite Catholic knows the ONLY proper liturgical language is Aramaic! Sigh…it all started going downhill when Peter left Antioch for Rome…

  • TM

    It is not a new thing for the Eastern Catholic Patriarchs to accompany the Pope to venerate the tomb of Peter at the beginning of this Liturgy. The same thing happened during Benedicts installation (look it up on youtube if you dont believe me).

    At Benedicts installation the Gospel was chanted in Latin and then in Greek. I dont think its that big a deal that it isnt being said in Latin. Greek is an even more foreign language to those of us in the Western Church these days.

  • http://www.thecatholicbeat.com Gail Finke

    CNS now says the ring is MODELLED after the one Paul VI’s secretary wore, it isn’t the same ring. Clarification from the Vatican. I don’t udnerstand why a pope’s secretary would also have a fisherman’s ring, unless that used to be a second seal on things to prove they were authentic.

  • http://eatingslowly.wordpress.com/ Sharon

    Very interesting! Personally I don’t care what language they chant the Gospel in as long as it’s proclaimed. But what do I know? Number 6: I’m slightly perplexed by both. (Does that make me column Left or Right?) No procession of gifts? Pope not giving out communion? Hmmm. There goes the question of whether or not Francis will give communion to Biden and Pelosi.

  • http://suscipesanctepater.blogspot.com Matt R

    The Gospel is always chanted in Greek at major papal liturgies, usually only at St Peter’s (and maybe the other basilicas). The reason that it is significant is because to keep the Mass short, they cut out the chanted Gospel in Latin…

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  • http://www.protourism.biz Franc

    So many leaders, kings and presidents are cominy to Rome that for security reasons the italian police is going to close all the area around the Vatican!

    [They've already started! -admin]

  • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/forwardboldly Christine Niles

    The ring is not used; it is based on the design of one worn previously–but it is not used.

  • Albertus

    My dears, the Gospel chanted in Greek is no novelty! It is always chanted in Greek at a Papal mass, since time memorial.First in Greek, then in Latin. The novelty , is that the Gospel will not be repeated in Latin. Which is rather stupid, as the Greek and Latin Gospels symbolise the unity of East and West… so why leave it out?

  • Birthday girl

    The Holy Father’s installation on the Feast of St. Joseph … it just doesn’t get any better than that! How wonderful!

    ” The Fisherman’s Ring is a used ring, not made specific to the occasion.
    We are a culture so used to the idea that “we’re special” and “new is better” … ”

    History is bettter than new. I wonder whether this ring has a significant history, which wuold make it even better. But using the good stuff that is already lying around is good in and of itself.

  • Clare Krishan

    are we all angry or just missing a closing bold emphasis tag perhaps?

    At our local Maronite parish when I have attended, I love the way a pair of acolytes each carrying a tall candelabrum stand aside the ambo for the proclamation of the Gospel – just like at St Anne’s on Sunday also – can this be a sign too that we Latin Rite’ers can practice reverence for the Liturgy of the Catechumens aka Word of God (VII Dei Verbum) with equal billing to the reverence we all have learned to observe in Mass at the Liturgy of the Eucharist ?

    Yes – more pls!

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  • Clare Krishan

    test BOLD off

  • Clare Krishan

    re: My dears, the Gospel chanted in Greek is no novelty!
    check the order of service program online here:http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/libretti/2013/20130319_inizio-ministero-petrino.pdf
    the form of proclamation is Eastern rite too – Σοφία: ỏρθοί, ἀκούσωμεν τοῦ ἀγίου Εὐαγγελίου
    Note to traddies: yesterday Msgr Marini handed Pope Francis his staff to hold for the Gospel, here’s why,
    “Another mark of respect was that everyone stood to hear the Gospel, bareheaded, in the attitude of a servant receiving his master’s orders (Apost. Const., II, 57, and Pope Anastasius I,
    399-401, in the “Lib. Pontif.”). Sozomenos (H. E., VII, 19) is indignant that the Patriarch of Alexandria sate (“a new and insolent practice”). The Grand Masters of the Knights of St. John drew their swords while the Gospel was read. This custom seems still to be observed by some great noblemen in Poland. If any one has a stick in his hand he is to lay it down (Baudot, 116), but the bishop holds his crosier (see below)” H/T http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/liturgy-l/message/25758
    And is anyone else wondering if, in her unseemly haste to bask in glory of the nativist fervor, the irony of the gospel account of the ‘woman caught in adultery’ was lost on Cristina Fernandez ? God’s timing is one full of mirth, no?

  • Rose

    It is pretty telling that the blogmistress of this blog is so breathless about the new Pope that she forgot one of the most fascinating features of Pope Benedict’s inauguration- the chanting of the Gospel in Greek. Even I whose first inaugural Mass it was as I had not returned to the Church until the sainted Pope Benedict/Ratzinger, noticed and remembered how beautiful it was. A liturgy like you’ve never seen. I was astounded by the byline. Frankly, has the Catholic blogging world beome so mesmerized by the popularity of our new leader among the secular media that there is a collective obsequiousness and gratitude for the gift of a media savvy Pope? I can imagine and understand that there must be some kind of collective sigh of relief among Catholic bloggers that no longer day after day, do they have to defend the miserable scandals of the Pope Benedict era (forgetting that it was he who drew their blood and absorbed all the blows, enabling the Church to emerge with a chance for renewal) or the dislike of the world. I can see how popularity works in high school as well as in the world of Catholic blogging;I predict that much will be forgiven by up to now conservative bloggers if Pope Franics makes any move toward admission of divorced Catholics to Comnnunion, relaxating of the ban against contraception, abortion (there will be exceptions), the approval of Masses for same sex couples at their marriage, dispensing of celibacy for Latin Rite priests, women being allowed to be deaconnesses. etc. After all, we have spend a lot of time and energy opposing the world on these issues instead of taking care of the poor (which is false).
    Oh well, call me cynical.
    All this fawining over Pope Francis’ humility is unseemly., very media savvy sure but unseemly particularly among Catholic bloggers. if over 50 years of work, you’ve collected 20,000 books, that would be say $50 thousand dollars worth, a fraction of the millions your writings have earned (I’m talking about Introduction to Christianity) and donated to the Vatican, and wore vestments from the vestry that did not cost anything, and shoes dyed in red rather than brown or black (all leather has to be dyed) and rode around in a Popemobile because your security detail insisted and when you do not even drive and walked to work every day of your life or rode the bicycle in Fresing, what is so unhumble about his personal lifestyle, which is being compared ever so snidely with that of our new beloved Pontiff and which Catholic bloggers like Ms. Scalia are happy to endorse (by not reporting in a more balanced way)
    why is the picture not quite right? The newfound adulation from people like Ms. Scalia borders on obsequiousness.

    [What an unfair post.I have not engaged in adulation of Francis and I think pretty nearly every post I've written about him has been sure to mention Benedict's holy and important papacy right down to the very last minute of it, and I keep reminding everyone that Francis is here at this time, b/c of Benedict's astonishing act of fearless faith, trust and humility. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone blogging who admires Benedict more. I'm quite aware that for some, it's already like he never existed, and for others he is becoming a punching bag of sorts.

    As for this being "an inauguration like none other -- I was referring specifically to the fact that the readings would be for St. Joseph's feast day and not the readings unique to the papal installation mass...which to me is pretty remarkable. And yes, I forgot about the Greek at Benedict's installation. I'm human and forgot something. I must be an awful creature and idolator of Francis, because (like some others) I forgot that. Boo me. Boo me. Feel better? -admin]

  • Bill M.

    Latin, shmatin. Shouldn’t Aramaic be the holiest language of all, since it’s what Christ spoke?

  • vox borealis

    Bill M.

    No one said that Latin was the “holiest” of all language. But is IS the universal language of the Roman Rite, the tongue in which all Catholic texts are (theoretically) first written, and an ancient sacred language in its own right.

    BTW, do we know what language Christ spoke? I mean, when he was chatting with Pilate, I assume he was speaking in Latin, or maybe Greek.

  • Bill

    Even the Pre Vatican II Papal Mass had a Greek deacon and elements of the Divine Liturgy.

  • Rose

    You can delete my comment that has been awaiting moderation. Thought I had deleted the second paragraph before submission, as on reading it I thought it was immoderate but for some reason that highlighting must have failed to work or I failed to notice that it did not get deleted before pushing post comment. So much for commenting on blogs; I am cured.

  • LadyBird

    A strange but good phenomenon: my non-Catholic friends are so happy that Pope Francis was elected. I’m receiving emails and personal comments, “We need him.” Yes, “we”. This didn’t occur when Benedict was elected. I wonder what has changed…? I wonder, why the interest?

  • vox borealis


    I tend to be cynical about these things. My guess is that they say “we need him” because they assume Francis is going to be different than what he is. After he proves to be, basically, Catholic…that his core message on many hot button issues will not deviate from Benedict or John Paul or…they will cool on him. That’s my guess.

    [Correct. And as I said elsewhere, he's going to annoy many who right now think he's going to please them. that's what signs of contradiction do -admin]

  • Ryan

    “Installation”? Makes it sound like he’s an appliance.

  • Yae

    I will be staying up late tonight to watch the installation Mass. I am excited and really looking forward to it plus, St. Joseph is my favorite Saint and I want to honor him too. I will be praying for Papa Benedict as well since he remains a great gift to the Universal Church.

  • Suburbanbanshee

    First off, there’s no “fawning” needed. It’s natural for Catholics to be enthusiastic about a new pope. And heck, the poor man’s got an entire pontificate left for us to dump on him. A brief honeymoon is nothing to freak out about. (It’s the lack of honeymoon in some quarters that is the disturbing bit, however understandable.)

    Second, every pope I’ve lived through has had certain people really identify with him, or had certain things about him that were particularly liked. The same goes for most parish priests I’ve known. I always liked JPII, but there was something about BXVI’s personality and thought that meshed with mine. I didn’t expect that it’d be the same with the next guy, and it’s not. But I don’t begrudge others their special connection with the next guy.

    Some people always love every pope, though, and there’s nothing wrong at all with that. (Just like some Catholics are obedient but never enthusiastic about any bishop, pope, priest, etc.) Some people just have that kind of personality.

    Let’s bear with each other, and see what happens.

  • http://www.mycatholicblog.com Erin Pascal

    Wonderful! I’m really excited to see the Installation Mass. Let’s keep praying for our new Pope and also for the church. I see Pope Francis as a symbol of hope and I pray that he will be able to lead the church and guide us to the right path.