Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chairs and Chants

Apologies for the dead air, gang -- still processing it all, and trying to figure out how to best convey the impressions of the day.

In the meantime, a sufficient shot's finally appeared of yesterday's surprise climactic moment... and here's the intro that led up to it:
Archbishop Gomez, as you have become the coadjutor archbishop, as you know, the ceremony is very brief -- maybe 35 seconds?....

When an archbishop or a bishop is installed in his church, it is done very formally with the official seating of the archbishop or the bishop.... We don't have any of that for this rite.

So I've been scouring the liturgical books, and I can't find anything in there that helps. Except one thing, and it says that the cathedra -- the bishop's chair -- 'must be fitting.' 'Must be fitting.' And I thought, 'You know, the one thing we haven't done: does the archbishop fit in the chair?'

We only have some months to find out. I'd like to invite Archbishop Gomez to come sit in the chair....
And as he did, the place erupted for a good 90 seconds.

Another of the day's poignant moments took place outside, as a traditional feature at many installations saw an LA-sized edition.

Especially at major possession-takings, local members of the Neocatechumenal Way customarily show up to pray and sing near the Mass-site. Yet while the delegations usually number in the 20 to 30 range, what looked to be over 200 members of the Spain-based new movement took over Temple Street just outside the cathedral gates to celebrate the historic arrival in song... and, for a moment, made the place feel like it was shaking.

Here, some video:

(No idea why the latter ended up upside-down; it was filmed right-side up, and the conversion process seems to have bizarrely rotated it.... Still, hope you get the idea.)

For the record, the Neocat singers handily outnumbered the handful of protesters -- ten at most -- who likewise held forth on the sidewalk: a group representing carpenters from outside the archdiocese protesting the local church's union-optional labor policy for parish construction projects (the archdiocese is union-only on its own efforts, cathedral included), and two lone gentlemen: one (a seeming fixture at cathedral events) toting a sign that read "Phony Mahony," and another who called on the church to repent, claiming that Catholicism had caused more harm to the world than any other institution in the history of the planet

* * *
On another note, as some have asked for the English text of the bull of appointment, only having it in hard-copy form, here it is as a readable shot.

Among other key elements, B16's letter urged his LA pick to be "joined in close communion with the knowledgeable Shepherd" of the place in the transition and, above all, indicates that José Gomez was, in fact, the choice recommended to Benedict for the post by the Congregation for Bishops. Likewise conspicuous was the letter's close, which -- alongside the see city's Angelic patrons -- invoked upon Gomez the intercession of St Josemaria Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei, for which the coadjutor was ordained a priest in 1978. (Among the six cardinals present at yesterday's rites was the personal prelature's first member to receive the red hat: Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, a seminary classmate of the archbishop's.)

And lastly for now, the decree wasn't the liturgy's only intriguing set text: the Eucharistic Prayer employed was the first of the "Swiss Synod" prayers -- in this case, the one dedicated to "The Church on the Way to Unity" -- used in Switzerland since 1974 and approved for use in English by the Holy See in 1995.

PHOTO: Rich Villacorta/Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (Album); Getty(2)