Msgr. Guido Marini confirmed as papal MC


According to a notice in L’Osservatore Romano (see bottom left), Pope Francis has confirmed Msgr. Guido Marini as Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations.

I’m told that Marini-2 has adjusted very well to the style of his new boss, and is immensely enjoying his work with Pope Francis. Let’s hope that’s true!






      1. @Charles Culbreth – comment #2:

        Well, it didn’t work, then, Charles. Bad luck! One Allan McDonald now says we are “literally speecless or in denial”.

        I’d like to believe that Guido is immensely enjoying his work with Francis, but he always seems to look so miserable…

        The rumor mill says he has been confirmed for a full term, but L’Osservatore Romano does not say that, merely that he has been confirmed in his current assignment.

  1. I see that now, Paul. I went t the wrong thread to check. When I submitted my admonition, it didn’t post, but a comments moderation message did. It’s an odd feeling to have been a Cafe founding contributor and have one’s moderate observations inadvertently or deliberately omitted. Cest la vie, and Todd, don’t do a victory dance, ’cause it could simply be a software snafu.
    And regarding Marini II’s demeanor, that normal visage makes it even more pleasurable when photos capture his wonderful smile.
    Have a wonderful Holy Week in Portsmouth!

  2. I guess this means that the papal masses will continue to have a reform of the reform flavor for most of Francis’ pontificate.

    I get the feeling that Francis is a pragmatist when it comes to liturgy, if it makes sense to him to wash the feet of women on Maundy Thursday, he’ll do that. If it makes sense for him to celebrate Mass “ad orientem” in the Sistine Chapel and at the tomb of John Paul II, then he’ll do that too. I doubt that he has a strong agenda when it comes to liturgy in general, other than eliminating monarchial vestiges.

  3. Well that’s an idiosyncratic interpretation of what we’ve seen in the last year. Most all of the evidence is that the liturgical style under Francis is noticeably different than under Benedict XVI. Francis is not only eliminating monarchical elements (they’re more than ‘vestiges,’ btw), but going in the direction of simplicity and accessibility. I think of his rather sudden elimination of most of the Latin that had been planned for the World Youth Day liturgies and replacing it with vernacular (Portuguese).

    It seems most reasonable to conclude, then, that Marini has gotten on board with the change of style under Francis, not that Marini is bringing Benedict’s Reform of the Reform style into Francis’s pontificate.


    1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #7:
      As someone who has served as an MC for various ELCA worship events, most recently for the installation of our new synod (read: diocesan) bishop, I share your impression of Marini.

      A major part of the MC’s work is helping those in charge of the event to translate their vision of the event into liturgical action. Yes, MCs bring their own gifts and approaches into the planning, but the kind of broad stroke emphases that you mention (simplicity and accessibility; use of Portuguese) are decisions made not by the MC but by those in charge of the event — in this case, Francis. And if Marini had a major problem with decisions like these, he’d likely have asked that Francis find someone else more in tune with his style to take over as MC.

    2. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #8:
      I was referring to papal masses in Rome, though even in Brazil the pope recited the angelus and gave the final blessing in latin, and there was a crucifix on the altar.
      By “reform of the reform flavor” I mean that certain elements associated with that style have remained and the fact that Guido has been reconfirmed is a sign that the pope doesn’t disaprove of all of them and he himself has said that he value’s Guido’s traditional formation.
      The elements in the liturgy that I am referring to:
      1. Crucifix on the altar. (Likely will stay since in a recent catechesis, the Pope talked about how the altar is a table, but that on the altar we also place a cross to remind us that the mass is a sacrifice as well as a banquet.)
      2.. Ordinary and propers chanted in latin even when the pope recites all or most of his parts in Italian.
      3. deacon chanting the dialgoue before the gospel in latin, prefacing each prayer of the faithful with a latin chant, and chanting dismissal in latin. (even when the pope prays his parts in Italian)
      4. when the mass is in St. Peter’s square, the Pope’s chair is behind the altar and under a canopy.
      5. Pope distributes holy communion by intinction.
      6. Concelebrants at papal masses still wear more ornate vestments than under piero, and the cardinals have fancier mitres than the other bishops. The pope even isn’t above using vestments worn by Benedict XVI (as happened last Sunday), and occasionally uses BXVI’s ferula. (Even the ferula that he used last Sunday though wooden is still in keeping with pre-vatican ii custom in that there is no corpus on the cross)
      7. He used Guido’s pre-vaticaniisih rite for canonization. (we’ll see if he uses it again for JXXIII and JPII.)
      8. He used Guido’s rites for the consistory.

      I’m surprised that you contrast Francis and Benedict as celebrants so much, as celebrants I think they are quite similar. Both very sober and recollected almost to the point of being dour,…

      1. @Stanislaus Kosala – comment #16:
        It’d be interesting to look at how much of your list was done under Paul VI and John Paul II – so isn’t really part of Benedict’s “Reform of the Reform.:

      2. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #18:
        I just checked the libretto for the upcoming canonization and Guido’s rite has been retained, which is throwback to pre-Vatican ii, where the cardinal-prefect petitions the pope three times.

      3. @Gerard Flynn – comment #28:
        By itself, no, though it is rather monarchial, (e.g. the pope uses the royal we)
        My point is simply that even though Francis has excised certain “reform of the reform” elements from the papal liturgy that a good number still remain, and the fact that he has kept Guido as MC could be a sign that he doesn’t think that all of them are bad and should be removed and isn’t trying to return the papal liturgy to some state of prelapsarian simplicity.

  4. I have noticed over the past year Msgr. Guido’s demeanor loosen a bit. He looks a bit less like he is tied to a stiff board even loosening his perfectly folded hands and even on occasionally clasping them together much like PF. I have also noticed that he very much shows a very caring attitude to Francis in the way he “guides” him, if one is able to guide such a free soul. I have noticed on occasion Francis arriving at a venue that Guido is already at awaiting him. Francis will hug him warmly. Must have been quite a conversion experience for Msgr. Guido, seeing things in a different way, letting the message of who Francis is as a person, affect him. An example maybe all of us should look closely to in our own lives. It has been kind of delightful to watch over the past months.

  5. My experience in ministry is that the pleasure I take in working with someone has little to do with their ideology and everything to do with personal qualities such as warmth, concern, flexibility, and (not least) the ability to see beyond ideology. It would not surprise me at all if Msgr. Marini enjoyed working with Francis as much as he did with Benedict, since by all reports both men are personally very kind and compassionate people.

  6. Most of what I’ve read by Pope Francis on the liturgy seems perfunctory, with the exception of a ceaseless emphasis on the importance of encountering the personal presence of Jesus Christ in the liturgy.
    It does not seem that he has a strong liturgical agenda, as enjoyable as it would be for one English-speaking side of the English-speaking liturgical wars to claim the feather of his pontificate for their cap.

  7. I want to know what authority the guy with the umbrella had to indicate to the priest how to distribute Communion. Looked like bullying to me. Either manner of receiving HC is reverent and licit. The notion that the tongue is somehow purer than the hand is indefensible. From the mouth people can hurl epithets and judgments at others. And from it can emerge cursing and foul speech. This is simply another way of expressing the superiority of the ordained. “We take it in our sacred hands, while lacking sacred hands you must receive it on the tongue.”
    Perhaps we should innovate an anointing of the hands of the laity to emphasize their priestly character. Why couldn’t the anointing following baptism be applied to the hands as well as the head?

      1. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #22:
        If you watch closely however, you see it is not a hard and fast rule. Many of the priests fanning out in the square to distribute communion do give it into the hand. BTW, when I watched this Sunday’s liturgy, I was dismayed when I watched a young teenage boy, maybe 13 or 14 approach to receive. He was holding his hands correctly and reverently but what looked like another priest standing by reached out and rather forcefully batted the kids hands down. He looked so startled and scared. He again reached up his hands but the priest giving out the hosts kind of shoved his hand forward towards the boy’s mouth. What kind of message was sent to this young man? What kind of message to non-Catholics, nonbelievers does this send? Granted that maybe those so described may be small in number but bad behavior, and this was BAD behavior in the part of these two priests has a way of making it into the general conversation. I have taken the time to write Papa Francesco but doubt the letter gets to him, but I felt I had to say something to somebody.

    1. @Fr. Jack Feehily – comment #21:
      So what are we supposed to do with It once we have it in our hands, Fr.? Can’t put it in our own mouths–too foul.

      The whole “my hands are a holy as any d*** priest’s” idea is confusing to me. Those are Christ’s hands we’re talking about. He is the only one who can confect the Eucharist.

    2. @Fr. Jack Feehily – comment #21:
      It appeared to me that he was indicating not to the priest, but to the people there, that they should receive in the tongue. At any rate, a priest back from a visit to Rome recently said that when the priests who would distribute communion were assembled in advance, they were given instructions to give only on the tongue, but in some groups only in Italian, which many of the visiting priests (from countries with an indult permitting distribution on the hands) didn’t understand. Thus you still see some unintended diversity in the manner of reception in these Vatican Masses.

  8. There appear to be a number of more recent but stable changes to the papal liturgy that I’ve noticed:
    -white chair always vs papal throne
    -deacons and ministers receive communion standing
    -smaller crucifix on altar with candles to the side
    -the music has become more harmonic, quite pleasant on palm sunday
    -servers wore white albs on palm sunday not cassock/cottas
    -mc’s are fussing less
    -greater use of Italian
    -ordinary parts mostly latin chant not much polyphony
    -communion in the hand given by pope on few occasions he has distributed eg catacumens at the vigil
    -communion in the hand much more common recently when mass in the basilica, although flux of priests refusing during mass in main square (palm sunday) is confusing sign. I wish they would clarify this as it’s not good to be refusing communion on mass at large televised masses
    -francis’ masses outside the Vatican eg parish churches – communion in the hand is common practice
    -crosses and marian statue not veiled for palm sunday etc
    -simpler vestments
    -rotation of papal crosier but modern paul vi crosier mostly used esp whenever large tv overage is expected eg Christmas/easter
    -no umbrella or canopy for Maundy thurs procession, simplicity with minimal fuss
    -lay ministers of communion used at masses outside the vatican
    -francis does not try to engage with the faithful opening/closing processions, minimal baby hugging or blessings signs
    -greater spontaneity
    All these, I think point to a slow gradual reversal of the ‘RotR’. Marini-2 is lightening up – Francis is making him go with the flow of imperfect parish life on his visits and is learning how to be more pastoral and practical in how he adapts liturgy and the rubrics to the messiness of the living church. I suspect there may be a few tweaks to this year’s Tridium services yet!

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