“Simple and intimate” Holy Thursday Mass of Pope in Youth Prison

Vatican Information Service reports:

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper that Pope Francis will celebrate on Holy Thursday in the chapel of the Casal del Marmo Penitential Institute for Minors (IPM) will be, by his express desire, very simple, as reported by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. Concelebrating with the Holy Father will be Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of the Diocese of Rome, and Fr. Gaetano Greco, chaplain of the Institute.

Around 10 girls and 40 boys will take part in the Mass. The Pope will wash the feet of 12 of them, who will be chosen from different nationalities and diverse religious confessions. The youth will also say the readings and the prayers of the faithful.

The youth will give the Pope a wooden crucifix and kneeler, which they made themselves in the Institute’s workshop.

*               *               *               *               *

It is not yet clear whether Pope Francis will wash the feet of both boys and girls, although the above wording suggests he will. If he does so, it would apparently by in violation of church law. As conservative blogger Fr. Z. has written:

The Church’s liturgical law is crystal clear: only males can be chosen for this, and they should be men: viri selectiVir means “man” and cannot, cannot – period – mean a female.

Fr. Z. has doubled down on his position today.

It is also not clear whether “diverse religious confessions” refers to Christians in other traditions (Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, etc.) or to non-Christians.

There will not be live coverage of the Mass. Many will be curious whether there are photos!

57 comments

  1. What Father Z and other liturgy geeks miss is that people could have their feet washed without being chosen in advance (selecti). Anyone could come up to Pope Francis, assuming his security detail doesn’t get too trussed up about it. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I ever invited a specific person to have their feet washed. Our parish knows anyone is welcome to wash and be washed.

  2. It is not yet clear whether Pope Francis will wash the feet of both boys and girls, although the above wording suggests he will. If he does so, it would apparently by in violation of church law.

    This is definitely not the case. The papal liturgies are clearly not bound by the GIRM, the Missal, and the Ceremonial of Bishops. As I said yesterday in another thread, you can’t have a Greek deacon or use the asterisk in your parish liturgy. Likewise, the Pope can wash the feet of whomever he wants without it either violating or altering the liturgical law for the rest of the Church.

    And canonist Ed Peters notes (in an article from 2006) that washing the feet of those under 18 would also seem to be contrary to the rubric “per 1983 CIC 97”.

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #2:
      Hi Samuel,

      I’d like to hear more about papal liturgies not being bound by the GIRM and official books. I would think the pope models how to celebrate the Roman rite. Is there documentation saying that the GIRM doesn’t apply to the pope?

      As to Greek deacon or asterisk, note that this is moving in the opposite direction – because the pope does it, that doesn’t mean your parish can, as you point it. This is a separate issue from my question above.

      Thanks,

      awr

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #3:
        In light of Samuel’s comment, the assertion that the pope can change whatever he wants in the papal liturgies certainly lends broad interpretation to the Council’s mandate that “no one” can change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.

      2. @Jan Laron – comment #4:
        In light of Samuel’s comment, the assertion that the pope can change whatever he wants in the papal liturgies certainly lends broad interpretation to the Council’s mandate that “no one” can change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.

        Not if you look at what Sacrosanctum Concilium says:

        22. 1. Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop.

        2. In virtue of power conceded by the law, the regulation of the liturgy within certain defined limits belongs also to various kinds of competent territorial bodies of bishops legitimately established.

        3. Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.

        The passage clearly lays out who may change the liturgy, and first on the list is the Apostolic See, i.e. the Holy Father or his delegates.

      3. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #7:
        It’s probably canonical nitpicking, but the Council says it is the “regulation” of the liturgy that depends solely on the Apostolic See. One could argue that regulation (rules and directives) is not exactly the same thing as pastoral accommodation, particularly if such accommodations are not published anywhere, but are to be found in diaries and journals.

      4. @Jan Laron – comment #17:

        I guess you could argue that, but the interpretation of regulation by the Apostolic See with just the one body of law (and not hypothetical separate pastoral accomodation held distinct from regulation) suffices for explaining how the Pope can change things in the liturgy, so it would go agains the rule entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.

      5. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #3:

        No, it’s not moving in the opposite direction. The liturgical books are generally prescriptive. One does what is in the books and if it’s not in the books one can’t do it, but this is obviously not the case for the Pope as he does things regularly that aren’t in the books.

        For instance:

        GIRM 134: “At the ambo, the Priest [and mutatis mutandis, the deacon] opens the book and, with hands joined, says, The Lord be with you, to which the people reply, And with your spirit.

        Last week at the Mass for the beginning of the Francis’s ministry the deacon didn’t say “Dominus vobiscum,” but “Σοφια” etc. (Wisdom, let us stand upright and listen to the Holy Gospel.) This wasn’t “in violation of church law,” despite being different than what is set out in the liturgical books.

        Similarly if this week, the Pope doesn’t do what’s in the liturgical books (wash the feet of twelve chosen adult men or omit the rite) and does something else instead, he’s not “in violation of church law.”

      6. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #6:
        Hi Samuel,

        Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I mean the two opposite directions of “from papal to rest of the church including parishes” and “from GIRM of entire church to papal liturgies.” So one issue is whether what is binding for the rest of the church (GIRM) is also binding on papal liturgies. The other issue is whether papal practice can be imported to parish liturgies. But if that distinction isn’t helpful, we can drop it.

        I’m very curious if there’s documentation that says the GIRM isn’t binding on the pope. Do you know? Also, is there much precedent for the pope not following the GIRM? The example you give, the Greek liturgical responses, was done under Pope Francis, but have other popes done such things not permitted in the books?

        This is an interesting question to me because it seems pretty clear that church law, and Roman interpretation of church law, doesn’t allow non-men to have their feet washed. So if the pope washes females’ feet, we’ll all want to know if this is against the law, or why the law doesn’t apply to him.

        Pax,
        awr

      7. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #8:
        The example you give, the Greek liturgical responses, was done under Pope Francis, but have other popes done such things not permitted in the books?

        The papal liturgy has differed from that set forth in the official books for centuries. See the old Catholic Encyclopedia article “Pontifical Mass” for pre-1960’s perspective.

        Bl. John XXIII famously deviated from the Holy Week reforms that had been promulgated under Pius XII, using instead older customs (without changing them for the rest of the Church).

        Bl. John Paul II used a Greek Deacon with some regularity (though not as frequently as Pope Benedict) and departed not only from the GIRM in this respect, but also from past custom by, for instance, having the Greek Deacon read the Gospel first in Slavonic before the Latin Deacon during the Mass at the opening of the second Synod for Europe. He also used Cardinal Deacons vested as deacons on occasion, which contradicts the Ceremonial of Bishops. He and his Office of Liturgical Celebrations also made adaptations beyond the competency of a parish priest or bishop as when the deacons stood in for him at the Mandatum in 2002.

      8. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #8:

        I share Samuel’s opinion that papal ceremonial is subject neither to the GIRM nor to the Ceremonial of Bishops. It is a distinctive and unique ceremonial.

        I think it is true to say that this ceremonial is not codified, as the canon law of the Latin Church has largely been codified since the 1917 Codex Iuris Canonici and as much present-day liturgical law can be easily located in the various praenotanda of the liturgical books themselves. However papal ceremony has been documented through the centuries-old practice of papal masters of ceremonies entering the descriptions of all papal liturgies in the official diary/journal of the Office of the Master of Ceremonies. (Archbishop Marini once told me that this journaling is a very time-consuming part of the MC’s day.)

        Since many or even most of the elements of papal ceremonial are identical to the ceremonies of the GIRM and/or the Ceremonial of Bishops, it may be prudent of Francis not to cause wonderment to the Fr. Z’s of the world by establishing new papal ceremonial on Thursday evening which does not conform to the rubric in the Missale Romanum about the washing of the feet of viri selecti. That said, he’s still free to change his ceremonial.

        He could also change the rubric in the Missale Romanum between now and Thursday evening!

      9. @Fr. Ron Krisman – comment #12:
        and as much present-day liturgical law can be easily located in the various praenotanda of the liturgical books themselves.

        It’s probably worth emphasizing that this is itself a departure. There were certainly rubrics in the old books as well, but in the early 20th century and even more so before the 20th century, there was much more dependence on “approved authors” and a knowledge of the decisions of the Sacred Congregation of Rites in a body of liturgical law that was well established, but often not well codified.

      10. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #6:

        Where in the books does it specify there must be 12 men? Men, yes…. 12?

        I’ve long thought it more of a play if you have 12, men or women. Either let whomever wishes to come forward and have their feet washed, or don’t do it.

      11. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #20:

        For everyone’s information, the website of the USCCB carries the February 1987 statement of the then-Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy:

        http://old.usccb.org/liturgy/q&a/general/feet.shtml

        Be sure to note the final line – after the footnotes.

        Personally I am not delighted that the MR still contains the “viri selecti” rubric. The footwashing at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper is not play-acting Jesus’ washing the feet of the Twelve. Those of us who worked in the BCL Secretariat in 1987 were led to believe that the rubric would be changed in the next typical edition of the MR. But, of course, fifteen years passed, and the officials of the CDWDS in 1987 were around when MR3 was promulgated.

      12. @Fr. Ron Krisman – comment #26:
        and doesn’t it also note that the Chrism Mass should be held during Holy Week prior to Holy Thursday – Holy Thursday being a last resort?

      13. @Bill deHaas – comment #27:
        This document from the BCL has nothing to say about the Chrism Mass. The idea that Holy Thursday should be the “last resort” seems unlikely to me. Paschalis Solemnitatis certainly doesn’t say that:

        Traditionally the Chrism Mass is celebrated on the Thursday of Holy Week. If, however, it should prove to be difficult for the clergy and people to gather with the bishop, this rite can be transferred to another day, but one always close to Easter.[39] The chrism and the oil of catechumens is to be used in the celebration of the sacraments of initiation on Easter night.

      14. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #31:

        One reason for consecrating chrism on Holy Thursday, besides the antiquity of the tradition, was given by Rabanus Maurus:

        On the day of the Lord’s Supper holy chrism is also made, because two days before the Passover, Mary is said to have anointed the head and feet of the Lord with oil.
        Rabanus Maurus, On the Institution of Clerics.

      15. @Fr. Ron Krisman – comment #26:

        The difficulty, of course, being that the BCL can neither legislate nor authentically interpret the law on this matter. And… it doesn’t actually say “this is ok to do” it just says that it’s “understandable,” which is something rather less.

        For completeness, the rule was also reiterated by the CDW in January 1988 in Paschalis Solemnitatis, the circular letter on the preparation and celebration of the Easter feasts.

      16. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #28:

        Yes to both, Samuel.

        Which is why I stated previously that I was disappointed that the MR3 did not change the rubric. And I am extremely hopeful, even confident, that it will be changed soon!

        I really must recommend to all readers a footwashing ritual involving everyone at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper who wishes to be involved. I “inherited” that practice at a parish I once pastored. Twelve stations were set up around the church. It took about 45 minutes for the rite in a church that seated 650 and was full. The peeps both had their feet washed and then washed the feet of others. For priests who wish to follow the “viri selecti” rubric, fine. Let the “viri selecti” wash the feet of their wives and daughters, etc.

      17. @Fr. Ron Krisman – comment #32:

        I remember being an altar server in the early 90’s and doing this at my parish, which is where now Bp. Timothy Doherty was assigned. Three stations and all were welcomed. It was done at our cathedral (Gaylord) except this year, Bp. Hebda decided to do as the book says – only men. Not sure if that will change before then.

        Really, I believe it should be part of the action… either invite everyone, or don’t do it. Picking people just makes it into a play. We don’t allow only 12 men to receive Communion. Why make the washing of the feet a pure, finely choreographed reenactment?

      18. @Sean Whelan – comment #36:
        Definitely. Four of my last five parishes have declined to “select” playacting this out with 12 males.

        We still have work to do. One of the students yesterday, when in a planning meeting for the post-Mass adoration, asked if women were permitted to carry the incense in the transfer procession.

        Excising misogyny from the Roman Rite over the next decade would be not only a good symbolic gesture, but a welcome reform as well.

      19. @Todd Flowerday – comment #38:
        Reminds me of an incident early in Cdl Law’s career in Boston. My parish was also the home of a convent of sisters who taught in the parish school and neighboring schools. The sisters were actively involved in many ministries in the parish, including liturgical ones, and were easily the most regular worshippers, weekly and daily. Cdl Law came to celebrate their annual mass for their jubilarians, at a time when few parishioners could join. A golden jubilarian was going to be crucifer. Until the MC informed the superior that the crucifer was an acolyte’s job, and so could not be performed by the jubilarian.

        The superior thought about it and made a decision.

        Consequently, there was no processional cross for the procession.

        Memories, even if second-hand.

      20. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #4:
        I would think the pope models how to celebrate the Roman rite.

        But is that actually the case, or just what you (or “one” in general) would like to think? What happens when the pope models the celebration of the Roman Rite poorly (e.g. turning the candles into a barrier on the altar)? And as others have asked before, is the GIRM the general instruction, or a general instruction? (Or was it a question of “the typical edition” vs. “a typical edition”?)

        I guess what I’m getting at is this: are we in a “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” approach*, or are we trying to actually resolve questions of whether the pope models the liturgy and whether the GIRM is binding?

        Perhaps I’m being cynical. I’m not trying to be, though. I don’t consider myself to be too concerned with Benedict’s or Francis’ particular altar arrangement and other liturgical decisions. I’ve noticed them, to be sure, but that’s about as far as it goes for me nowadays.

        * By this I mean, if Abe said during Benedict’s pontificate that the pope models the Roman Rite for us all (possibly because Abe was personally pleased by Benedict’s decisions), and Zeke disagreed with Abe (perhaps because Zeke didn’t like Benedict’s decisions), and now Zeke is suddenly saying that the pope does model the Roman Rite for us all (because he likes Francis’ decisions)?

    2. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #3:
      “Violating the rubrics in a small way like this is, it seems to me, a venial sin, unless it’s done e.g. out of contempt for authority.”

      What an extraordinary claim! And how more extraordinary that apart from one oblique reference, no one has challenged it.

      You are claiming that not to adhere to a rubric in a minor matter is intrinsically evil. You do not take into consideration the motivation of the person in question, except to imply that if the person’s intention includes an element of challenge to the rubric maker, the matter is more seriously intrinsically evil still. Yet in #3 you contradict this argument when you opine that papal liturgies are not bound by the GIRM.

      You are confusing law and morality. To claim that to break a (liturgical) law is an immoral act is a fallacy. The rubric may be questionable or in poor taste. It may have been produced by a flawed process (e.g. the English ‘translation’ of MRIII). The pastoral circumstances may require an alternative. There are many instances where someone is justified in not implementing a rubric. To equate this with immorality, on however small a scale, is arrant nonsense.

      1. @Gerard Flynn – comment #42:

        What an extraordinary claim! And how more extraordinary that apart from one oblique reference, no one has challenged it.

        It’s certainly not an “extraordinary claim.” It was the approved teaching of the Church for hundreds of years. The extraordinary claim is that the rubrics are no longer binding in conscience at all.

        You are claiming that not to adhere to a rubric in a minor matter is intrinsically evil.

        Yes, yes, I am.

        You do not take into consideration the motivation of the person in question

        Well of course not. That would be extrinsic to the act and could have no effect on whether the act was intrinsically evil or not. It could have an effect on the imputability of guilt. Did you never learn about material and formal sin?

        except to imply that if the person’s intention includes an element of challenge to the rubric maker, the matter is more seriously intrinsically evil still.

        I said nothing of the sort. Similarly, this motivation is extrinsic to the act.

        Yet in #3 you contradict this argument when you opine that papal liturgies are not bound by the GIRM.

        Not in the least. That those who are bound by the rubrics sin by violating them in no way contradicts the argument that others are not bound by them and therefore cannot violate them.

        You are confusing law and morality

        No, I’m not.

        To claim that to break a (liturgical) law is an immoral act is a fallacy.

        It could be fallacious (it’s not) or “to commit a fallacy”, but it’s definitely not a fallacy in itself.

        There are many instances where someone is justified in not implementing a rubric.

        Yes, there are situations where one doesn’t have to follow the law, but we’re not talking about such situations. The educated reader is expected to add his own nuance, unless it’s specifically being discussed. I can rightly generalize, “It’s wrong to steal,” without having someone say, “No, you’re wrong! A starving person can steal bread to survive.”

  3. Much as I disdained the acronym at the time of its original popularity, this dithering over whose feet may be washed makes me want to shout “WWJD” !!!

  4. Gosh, well, where charity and love are…

    Boy, I sure hope somebody informs the Holy Father that Father Z has doubled down on his insistence that he avoid washing the feet of females before it’s too late. I’d hate to see the Pontiff incur the wrath of Catholic Church’s self-appointed Board of Directors in the WDTPRZ combox. Mercy.

    Maybe somebody could ask the 10 girls to just stay in their cells. I’ll bet they didn’t help make the kneeler and the cross in the woodshop, anyhow.

  5. What Pope Francis has been doing is what bishops and pastors have done around the world. They use the wisdom derived from pastoral experience and adapt the proscribed rites in a manner that truly allows Christ to minister to his assembled flock. The famous super rubric from SC that proscribes “even priests” from changing what is found in the rites on their own authority prohibits them only from the kinds of changes that alters the actual faith of the church. The rubrics are arbitrary, reflecting the opinion of the lawmaker and those who have influence on the lawmaker. The prayers of the Mass themselves vary from rite to rite from time to time. At one time there were no rubrics to govern the celebration of the Eucharist. The priests just “gave thanks as they were able to do so.” I am not advocating for liturgical chaos, nor suggesting that anyone may say and do whatever he chooses. I am trying to describe what actually happens when Mass and the other sacraments are celebrated. We should not be surprised, much less scandalized, when the Pope does something different. We should certainly not be surprised should he wash the feet of some of those girls on Thursday. The feet of women and girls have been washed in countless Holy Thursday liturgies over the last 50 years whether the practice is considered contra legem or not. What’s the penalty for violating the rubric of selecting males only? Hell, excommunication, suspension, defrocking? Do you think the faithful believe that only the feet of males be washed? If they thought so, wouldn’t they be complaining about the practice?

    1. @Fr. Jack Feehily – comment #14:
      The famous super rubric from SC that proscribes “even priests” from changing what is found in the rites on their own authority prohibits them only from the kinds of changes that alters the actual faith of the church.

      Sacrosanctum Concilium is not the only place that makes this point, it’s also made in the books themselves, where they specify what adaptations are permitted at what levels. The interpretation of SC found in the liturgical books is contrary to the one you suggest here.

      What’s the penalty for violating the rubric of selecting males only? Hell, excommunication, suspension, defrocking?

      Violating the rubrics in a small way like this is, it seems to me, a venial sin, unless it’s done e.g. out of contempt for authority. But like a myriad of other venial sins, that doesn’t mean it’s OK to do.

      Do you think the faithful believe that only the feet of males be washed? If they thought so, wouldn’t they be complaining about the practice?

      Well, many of the faithful do believe that and have complained.

  6. Well, if we are going to speak of the papal GIRM and rubrics, I presume the change that Pope Francis has instituted for the epiclesis by placing one hand on the chalice and the other on the bread rather then holding both hands above and over these is kosher too. Thoughts?

  7. It’s too soon to proclaim anything, but it just may be that the rubricists have had their day, and we are now moving to a time where the spirit of the law trumps the letter of the law. I hope that is the case.

  8. Re: #22. Many may have complained about the practice of washing the feet of mere females as well as of men. And many have complained of the exclusion of women, not just from an annual liturgical practice but from “full and active participation”
    in Catholicism. Lex orandi lex credenti. If “the church” prays in ways that exclude women, and is content to defend the rubric as necessary, at least take responsibility for the full implications. So I guess someone should, indeed, insist that the girls be left locked in their cells on Holy Thursday. At least that would be honest.

  9. Don’t we pray in the Creed;….’for us men and for our salvation….’ ‘men’ meaning men and women (humankind)…? Logically then, when the church refers to ‘men’ (having feet washed or otherwise) it is refering to ‘people.’Hence, no problem with women having their feet washed.

    1. @Basia Duzniak – comment #33:

      Not a good argument. “Homines” in the Creed does indeed mean “men and women” (and should have been translated as such. “Viri” in the rubric dos mean “males.”

  10. I wonder what all the fuss is about.

    I see a rubric which says “The men who have been chosen are led…to seats…”. I see nowhere a rubric which says that only men may have their feet washed, but only a rubric which happens to mention men. And I certainly see nowhere a prohibition on women having their feet washed in addition to the chosen men.

    Put it down to my Jesuit education. Perhaps Pope Francis had the same kind of education…

    1. @Paul Inwood – comment #40:
      You need to look at Paschalis Solemnitatis (and to remember that generally the rubrics tell you what to do, not what not to do. There’s nothing saying the priest can’t ride in on a motorcycle in the entrance procession either.)

      1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #44:
        Samuel, I have a suggestion.
        Could you please try to contribute at Pray Tell more collegially, as if we’re all on the same side and learning from each other, and not that you’re trying to score points and correct other people? As you would know from this blog, Paul Inwood is (however much you disagree with him) very well-informed about church documents. “You need to look…” sounds like you’re talking down to him and don’t respect his level of knowledge.
        awr

      2. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #45:

        I think it’s odd that I get that suggestion… and as public criticism too (we’ve corresponded by e-mail, which you could have done in this case), but comments addressed to me don’t get such criticism. Gerard Flynn’s comment is collegial? My opinion is “arrant nonsense”?

        I’m willing to ignore his tone and try to pursue (imperfectly) irenicism as well as I can (tone being, furthermore, notoriously difficult to express in this medium and ), but I am irked when there’s a double standard.

      3. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #46:

        Sam, I think you got the suggestion about being more collegial because your way of debating is rather singular.

        I quote your responses to three consecutive points in a post further up this thread:

        I said nothing of the sort.

        Not in the least.

        No, I’m not.

        That’s it. No attempt at an argument, just direct contradictions. I’m right and you’re wrong. That’s what prompts people to talk about arrant (perhaps a typo for “arrogant”) nonsense, and so on.

        This blog is about intelligent debate, not about scoring points, as AWR suggested in # 45.

      4. @Paul Inwood – comment #53:

        That’s it. No attempt at an argument, just direct contradictions.

        Except that in two of those cases I did, in fact, provide argument in the immediately following sentence, which did not, as you allege stand on its own. In the third, the argument follows a few lines below.

        (I didn’t see this post by Paul Inwood until just now.)

        I hope you’re not going to tell us you have been at a Mass when a priest rode in on a motorcycle.

        I haven’t been at one, but I know of one (that got newspaper coverage) in my former diocese. But regardless, it’s a reductio ad absurdum, the point is to demonstrate the logic with an example that can’t be contradicted because of its extremity. It doesn’t lower the debate.

        (e) I’m afraid that Paschale Solemnitatis … has been at least in part superseded by subsequent legislation. I’m sure you will dispute this, but I thought I’d say it anyway!

        I don’t deny it in the least. But this part hasn’t been contradicted, nor the matter completely reordered, nor has a law stated that it abrogates it (Can. 20.) PS still applies where it applies.

        As we now learn that the Pope has in fact washed the feet of two girls, I suspect that his view of the rubric in the Missal is broadly in line with what I said in #40.

        Your suspicion doesn’t change the law.

      5. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #44:

        Sam,

        (a) there’s a difference between a rubricist and a pastoral liturgist.
        (b) rubrics are there to facilitate the “nigrics” (if such a word existed), not to be ends in their own right.
        (c) Rubrics are not the end of the story, as I tried to indicate. They give guidance, but they need to be read in conjunction with statements such as GIRM 20. The rites provide a blueprint. Human beings put flesh on the bones.
        (d) I hope you’re not going to tell us you have been at a Mass when a priest rode in on a motorcycle. That suggestion is doing nothing less than lowering the level of the debate.
        (e) I’m afraid that Paschale Solemnitatis (which was principally aimed at Italian priests who, for example, got through the Vigil in 45 minutes!) has been at least in part superseded by subsequent legislation. I’m sure you will dispute this, but I thought I’d say it anyway!
        (f) As we now learn that the Pope has in fact washed the feet of two girls, I suspect that his view of the rubric in the Missal is broadly in line with what I said in #40.

  11. As I read his comments, Samuel represents well that era in which liturgy was all about rubrics. The holding of one’s fingers in a certain way (especially after the consecration), the hands ever pointing heavenward, the majestic moving from one side of the altar to the other, the holding aloft of the sacred species, the artfully whispered prayers read from the cards leaned against the reredos, the swinging of the censer (even if someone forgot to light the charcoal), etc. Too bad there wasn’t a rubric which directed the priest to greet parishioners after Mass. Times have changed and with it our differing understandings of the meaning of rubrics.

  12. The prison chaplain Padre Gaetano Greco has proposed that girls’ feet be washed as well as boys’ feet, and the request has been granted – albeit after some resistance in the Vatican according to a report in today’s La Repubblica online. It seems that one or perhaps two girls will be included in the foot washing.

  13. Dolan Goes Behind Bars to Commune With Inmates

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/nyregion/cardinal-dolan-visits-maximum-security-prison.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

    “I was locked in,” said Cardinal Dolan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York. “So I feel kind of close to you.”

    He added one disclaimer: “I was locked in the Sistine Chapel, which is a lot nicer than here.”

    Cardinal Dolan said that the new pope’s actions had “inspired me” to become a better bishop.

    “I love to say Mass in a prison,” Cardinal Dolan said at Shawangunk. “Nobody ever comes late and nobody ever leaves early.”

    It was Cardinal Dolan’s first visit to Shawangunk,

    Dolan keeps his humor as he quickly adjusts to the New Order.

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #51:

        Yes, I think Samuel definitely needs to move up to a bigger league and begin critiquing the NYT directly. They sure made it seem like this was a new practice because of the Pope.

  14. The pope IS the legislator. Period. This pope is clearly no liberal, progressive, intent upon liturgical innovation. But he’s clearly no rubricist, traditionalist either. It’s early, but his fundamental message seems pretty clear: move outward, toward the margins; take up residence there, with faith, hope, and charity. What needs to be left behind are things like this entire conversation, and similar conversations in liberal regions. THIS is precisely what has to go. If it isn’t clear and evident to you that this is the pope’s fundamental message, then you haven’t been listening. Your ears, perhaps, too plugged with your own concerns.

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