Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Unwittingly, Saturday's post on John XXIII's Turkish period happened to coincide with the now-Blessed Pope's 125th birthday.

With another eye to Papa Roncalli and history, one UK blog has put together an extensive, piece-by-piece look at John's coronation shortly after his 1958 election, working from archived RAI footage. (You'll have to scroll down a bit; the package comprises 30 posts.)

The six-hour liturgy was the last to include all the ritual elements of the old papal inaugural -- the last crowning, that of Paul VI in 1963, was trimmed of some parts. As you can see above, they carried the poor man down the Scala Regia in the sedia gestatoria, and ostensibly without a seatbelt.... Oh, my.

Especially for those of us who've never seen -- and likely will never see -- one of these, it's definitely worth a look.