Friday, December 01, 2006

Papal Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Istanbul

The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Istanbul The Statue of Pope Benedict XV can be seen in the shadows.
The interior of the Cathedral.
A close-up of the High Altar.

A chapel dedicated in the memory of Pope John XXIII who was nuncio here.
Banners outside the Cathedral announcing the visit and greeting the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic Patriarchs as well as the Pope.

The Papal Mass, a Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit was a very interesting affair, showing off the universality of the Catholic Church with prayers and chants in Aramaic, Chaldean, Latin, French, Armenian etc.

However, my one complaint is that EPII was used instead of the Roman Canon. Thats just plain silly. Patriarch Bartholomew of the Greek Orthodox Church and Patriarch Mesrob of the Armenian Apostolic Church were in attendance and exchanged the kiss of peach with the Holy Father. The Patriarch and Pope also imparted the final benediction, in Greek and Latin respectively and then processed out together.

The Pope's arrival at the Cathedral.
A general view of the Mass.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarch can be seen towards the right.
The Patriarch greeting His Holiness.
The Gospel was read by Bishop Louis Pelâtre, Vicar Apostolic of Istanbul.
The celebration of Mass. Eucharistic prayer II was chanted.
The Pope and Patriarch exchanging the kiss of peace.
The Pope and Patriarch gave the final benediction together in Latin and Greek.

All photos courtesy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate ( and N. Manginas.

You can access them directly here or by clicking the thumbnails below:

Photo N. Manginas

Photo N. Manginas

Photo N. Manginas

Photo N. Manginas

Photo N. Manginas

Photo N. Manginas

Photo N. Manginas

Photo N. Manginas

Photo N. Manginas


DrMatthewDoyle said...

Perhaps Pope Benedict could learn a thing or two from the Orthodox patriarch about how to celebrate mass properly. Well, we know he knows really, but probably doesn't want to 'rock the boat' even though he has the high standard of Orthodox Liturgy to compete with.

Andrew said...

The liturgies were prepared by Msgr. Marini, the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, who would be celebrating his 20th year in that august office come next March, with the collaboration of the local Church.

The Pope basically says whatever is printed in the books and wears whatever Msgr. Marini gives him. Some of the things he puts on are horrendous compared to the Greek Patriarch's magnificent vestments.

The table/altar was quite poor as well.

The Mass, a Votive Mass of the holy Spirit, was a mix of rites, Armenian, Chaldean and Syriac elements were present, besides the Latin. But in comparison to the sublime Armenian and Greek liturgies, its was a pretty banal affair.

The great shame was that Eucharistic Prayer II was chosen, the shortest of the bunch. It was chanted in Latin though, even the consecration, but still. The shortest?

The Greek and Armenian Patriarchs who were present must have been lamenting the decline in the liturgy of the Latin Church.

Still, the Mass is still the Mass.

The only thing that disturbed me was the Msgr. Marini, who was wearing his pectoral cross over his cotta even though he should have known better, was pronouncing the words of consecration even though we was in choir dress and not concelebrating.

His Holiness' personal opinions on liturgical matters are well known. I've read his books such as the Spirit of the Liturgy and the Feast of Faith and others like it, and his views are public knowledge. We just wish that he'd stay true to them and implement them.

He is the Pope you know, Vicar of Jesus Christ our Lord and God, SUPREME Pontiff possessing full, plenary, immediate and ordinary jurisdiction over everyone and everything and all that. If he wants to rock the boat, I say, rock away. =)

Anyway, I've rumours that the long awaited motu proprio would come on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Dare we hope?

Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit anyone?