Sunday, April 24, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI's Inaugural Mass

  • Pope Benedict XVI's Inaugural Mass Homily. Translation courtesy of

    Once again, we knew that we were not alone, we knew that we were surrounded, led and guided by the friends of God. And now, at this moment, weak servant of God that I am, I must assume this enormous task, which truly exceeds all human capacity. How can I do this? How will I be able to do it? All of you, my dear friends, have just invoked the entire host of Saints, represented by some of the great names in the history of God's dealings with mankind. In this way, I too can say with renewed conviction: I am not alone. I do not have to carry alone what in truth I could never carry alone. All the Saints of God are there to protect me, to sustain me and to carry me. And your prayers, my dear friends, your indulgence, your love, your faith and your hope accompany me.

    Indeed, the communion of Saints consists not only of the great men and women who went before us and whose names we know. All of us belong to the communion of Saints, we who have been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we who draw life from the gift of Christ's Body and Blood, through which he transforms us and makes us like himself. Yes, the Church is alive – this is the wonderful experience of these days. During those sad days of the Pope's illness and death, it became wonderfully evident to us that the Church is alive. And the Church is young. She holds within herself the future of the world and therefore shows each of us the way towards the future. The Church is alive and we are seeing it: we are experiencing the joy that the Risen Lord promised his followers. The Church is alive – she is alive because Christ is alive, because he is truly risen. In the suffering that we saw on the Holy Father's face in those days of Easter, we contemplated the mystery of Christ's Passion and we touched his wounds. But throughout these days we have also been able, in a profound sense, to touch the Risen One. We have been able to experience the joy that he promised, after a brief period of darkness, as the fruit of his resurrection. . . .

  • "Inaugural Mass Full of New Symbolic Gestures". Zenit News Service:

    One of the most significant novelties took place at the beginning of the Mass on Sunday with a visit to the grottoes underneath St. Peter's Basilica to pay homage at the tomb of the first Pope, St. Peter.

    Monsignor Valenziano explained that Benedict XVI had in mind to underline that he "was not elected successor of John Paul II, but of Peter."

    The Holy Father, accompanied by the Eastern patriarchs, went down from the Altar of the Confession to the first Pope's sepulcher. At that moment, two deacons collected the two symbols that would later be imposed on the Pope: the Fisherman's Ring and the pallium, which had been laid by the tomb throughout the night.

    "I leave from where the apostle arrived," Benedict XVI said before processing to St. Peter's Square.

    The liturgist of the St. Anselm Pontifical Liturgical Institute explained that in the past, popes were sometimes crowned in the Sistine Chapel, while others were crowned in the basilica.

    However, Benedict XVI began his pontificate solemnly in St. Peter's Square "because it is the place of Peter's martyrdom," he explained, and not for logistical reasons.

  • Fr. Tucker @ Dappled Things notices Pope Benedict's Pallium.

  • John Betts' has a great picture of seminarians reacting to Pope Benedict's speech.

  • Domenico Bettinelli notices something about the Popemobile and wonders if he's making a statement.

  • For those who couldn't make it to Rome, EWTN has an excellent Solemn Mass of Inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI.

  • Amy Welborn has a roundup of speculation on The Pope's Red Shoes.

  • Thoughts on Pope Benedict's Inaugural Mass Homily by Apolonio Latar III.

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