Liturgical Reflections of a Papal Master of Ceremonies
Anyone who watches or participates in a papal liturgy is struck by the seeming effortlessness with which it is conducted , resulting in a celebration which is prayerful, dignified, and uplifting. Of course, as anyone might also surmise, such an achievement is not possible without great effort - study, prayer, reflection, rehearsal. The person responsible for bringing the many elements together (liturgical texts, music, ministers, worship aids for the congregation, the Pope himself) is the priest designated as the "Master of the Pontifical Ceremonies". He is discretely omnipresent, always found standing to the left of the Sovereign Pontiff. For some time now, that man has been Reverend Monsignor Guido Marini, a priest of the Archdiocese of Genoa, known for his gentleness and clear vision.
Here Monsignor Marini takes the oppurtunity to explain why he makes the liturgical judgements he makes and how they are grounded in both sound theological principles and the goals of Pope Benedict XVI for the liturgical life of the whole Church.
What the Pope does in the sacred rites has taken on even greater importance in the present age of easy communication and travel, making papal ceremonies even more accessible and thus, potentially, even more exemplary.