Tuesday, November 22, 2005


It was announced this morning from the Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations -- which, grazie Dio, is still headed by heaven's gift to sound ressourcement worship, the Great Piero Marini -- that Benedict XVI will preside over First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent in St. Peter's this coming Saturday evening.

Of course, that celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours marks the start of the new liturgical year. I can't recall off the top of my head that John Paul did the same publicly. However, that this Pope has chosen to start the year off right brings to mind what Fr. Gus DiNoia, an American Dominican who was the #3 man at CDF under Cardinal Ratzinger and remains in the post (until a mitre and promotion come along...), said in an interview with Vatican Radio about the new Pope not long after his election.

I can't find the quote -- believe me, I've tried -- but DiNoia spoke of Ratzinger's spiritual regimen, how the man lives the cadences of the liturgical calendar and incorporates them into his prayer life, making particular note of how his boss always made his annual retreat during the nine days between Ascension and Pentecost, making his own the prayer of the Cenacle for the coming of the Holy Spirit as a force for purification and rebirth in the life of the church.

There is a contrast here, of course: Wojtyla was a more devotion-oriented pontiff, but Benedict's heart and soul is invested in the liturgy.

Given that orientation, Saturday evening should make for something quite impressive.