Saturday, December 23, 2006

From the Cerimoniere's Office

This year's Christmas liturgy marks Archbishop Piero Marini's 20th Midnight Mass alongside a Roman Pontiff as Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations.

Yesterday, several e.mails popped in on the appointment of Msgr Guillermo Javier Karcher, an official of the First Section of the Secretariat of State, as a papal "cerimoniere." This seemed to cause a bit of confusion, with some asking after the longtime papal liturgist's status. For the record, the "cerimonieri pontifici" are those officials designated to assist the Maestro in the exercise of papal liturgies whilst retaining their day jobs. When Marini is absent, the others may take his place as lead master of ceremonies.

With the appointment of Karcher, a priest of Buenos Aires, the number of assistant papal MCs now stands at ten; three others were named earlier this year. One veteran of the group is Msgr William Millea, a Stato official and a priest of the diocese of Bridgeport.

For the liturgy buffs among us, yet another Marini new release might well be of interest:
The Holy See has published a commentary on the installation rites used for the inaugural Mass of Benedict XVI.

The volume, published in Italian and entitled "Inizio del ministero petrino del vescovo di Roma Benedetto XVI" (Beginning of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome Benedict XVI), offers liturgical, theological, historical and ritual commentary on the liturgical text followed for the inaugural Mass.

The Mass -- "Ordo Rituum pro Ministeri Petrini Initio Romae Episcopi" -- was approved by Benedict XVI days before the inaugural Mass took place April 24, 2005.

Benedict XVI and Archbishop Piero Marini, master of pontifical celebrations, appear on the cover.

The flap reads that "the rites of opening of a pontificate, celebrated in the spirit of the liturgy of the Second Vatican Council, remain as a sign and hope for the Church's journey in the world."
With a nod to Flannery, the international celebrations for Marini's 20th anniversary in the Maestro's post early next year will bear the theme "The Habit of Being... Still There."

Not long after, the long-awaited English translations of the archbishop's books on the conciliar reform and the history of papal liturgy will be published.