Saturday, April 12, 2008

On Things Liturgical

After the other day's release of the full Visit Missal by the Holy See, the one text that seems to have gotten the most attention is B16's Sunday morning prayer at Ground Zero.

In case anyone hasn't yet seen it in full, here goes:
O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths
and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.

We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and
Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives
with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in
Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.

God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.
...and on a lighter note, as previously noted here, the recently-restored gold pastorale first used in the 1850s by Pius IX will serve as the Pope's staff for the Stateside liturgies:
Msgr. Guido Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies, told Catholic News Service that the 19th-century pastoral staff, topped with a cross instead of a crucifix, "is becoming the usual one for papal celebrations."

On Palm Sunday, March 16, Pope Benedict started carrying the older staff, which was used by every pope from Blessed Pope Pius to Pope Paul VI.

"This is the typical staff used by the popes because it is a cross without a crucifix," Msgr. Marini said April 10.

It is taking the place of the staff with the rugged crucifix on top that was created by Italian artist Lello Scorzelli for Pope Paul in the mid-1960s. The Vatican's yearbook, "Activity of the Holy See," includes a photograph of Pope Paul holding the Scorzelli staff on Easter 1965.

But the piece has become closely identified with the pontificate of Pope John Paul II and is placed alongside a photograph of him in the renewed "Vatican Splendors" exhibit currently touring the United States.

Msgr. Marini said there actually are two copies of the Scorzelli staff: the one in the exhibit, open in St. Petersburg, Fla., through May 11, and "the other which is here in the pontifical sacristy."
PHOTOS: Getty(2)