Pomp in Paris

Michel Aupetit was installed as the new Archbishop of Paris at Notre Dame Cathedral On January 6. As La Croix reports:

Commenting on the Gospel for the feast of the Epiphany, the new archbishop emphasized his own “insignificance” as indicated by the contrast between the pomp of the ceremony and the poverty of the crib.

“The less significant we are, the more pomp we need,” Archbishop Aupetit joked self-deprecatingly to the laughter of the assembly.



  1. Excellent news! Thank you for posting. I knew for a while now that Cardinal Vignt-Trois (yes, than means 23 in French) was about to hit mandatory retirement, but I hadn’t heard much news about a replacement. Some interesting tidbits about Archbishop Aupetit, he was one of the last episcopal appointments of Pope Benedict (he announced his resignation a week later) when he was made Auxiliary Bishop of Paris. He also was a medical doctor for 20 years before entering seminary.

    Bienvenue Monseigneur!!

  2. It appears that the archbishop’s comment about his “insignificance” is a play on his surname: Aupetit.

      1. It was nice to hear the words of consecration sung together by the new archbishop and the concelebrating bishops. I was also impressed to see people in the pews singing the Credo in Latin. The Magnificat at the end of the liturgy was simple and beautiful, sung to a psalm tone attributed to a French king, hence called a royal psalm tone.

      2. The homily starts at 50:30.

        At 1:00:00 he says “when we go forward [to receive communion] we will welcome Him into our hands” and again a moment later “receive Him in our hands”. Earlier he mentioned the pomp and beautiful music, but his point was somewhat disparaging, that that was insignificant. Liturgically, this hints of a style that is indifferent to pomp.

      3. This is how he ended his homily:

        What we shall do in a few moments is a bit like what happened in the stable: the Lord will come under the most simple of appearances, the most simple possible, in order to come into us. What we have to do is to receive him as he comes without a mitre or crozier; but nonetheless, he is God! Very shortly, he will give himself naked into our hands, when we go forward and the priest says “The Body of Christ.”
        To recognise him, we neeed the faith of the magi and the shepherds. To receive him and the life he gives, we need the love of Mary and Joseph.
        The splendour of this liturgy [“cette belle liturgie” is difficult to translate into English; “this beautiful liturgy” doesn’t quite work, because “belle” as used here has a broader, less specifically aesthetic meaning than “beautiful”] is the gratitude of the People of God and manifests their fervent enthusiasm before the One who gives himself into our hands. This is what we have to see. Please, dear sisters, dear brothers and dear friends, give the lie to the well-known Chinese proverb: “When the wise man points to the moon, the fool looks at his finger”. So, dear brothers and sisters, I say to you: “Do not look at the archbishop, contemplate Christ!”

  3. Is pomp beautiful vestments precious, and appointed Communion vessels or the tapestry of many hands outstretched to receive the Lord?

    I believe the answer is found in what is closer to the work of God and connected to the soul of the person.

    Or…what inspires the rich, and what inspires the poor?

    Beautiful words Bishop Aupetit, please don’t forget them.

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