His Holiness was wearing the vestments he wore during the inauguration of his ministry as Pope. The Gospel enthroned and opened to Luke's Gospel of the Nativity. The image of the Christ Child lay before it.
It was classic new Marini with central altar crucifix and 7th candle for when the Diocesan Bishop presides. The Roman Canon was used. But the Pope was the only celebrant.
The antependium was really cool too. Haven't seen it before. But very nice.
And interesting thing was that the Apostles creed was sung instead of the Nicene. A nicely done version, with manly voices instead of the usual Sistine kids. But still, the Apostles instead of the Nicene? Hmmm.
The commentary said something about a German choir assisting with the Sistine Schola and the choir of the Mater Ecclesiae. Not sure about that. But manly voices prevailed.
The really really really cool thing was that the chant Puer Natus was sung during the offertory. In fact, our schola sang the same song during Communion. How cool is that?! =)
I was thrilled to hear it.
The throne was back as well. But boy, did the Pope recite the Canon really really fast. Communion was distributed by young priests from the Propagande Fide college, the Urbanianum, over 200 of them, as Adeste Fideles and Ave Verum Corpus was sung. Something new I noticed was that the Pope was accompanied by two acolytes with candlesticks as he distributed Holy Communion. A good sign of respect for the Real Presence.
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