Opening Rites at Mass with Pope in Kenya

Here is the Gloria from the Mass Pope Francis celebrated today in Kenya:

And this is interesting -it’s after the Collect, before the First Reading. Note what the dancing woman is bring into the sanctuary – gracefully balanced on her head.


  1. Very cool (though PF looks every so slightly po-faced, as he tends to during liturgies).

    I have a vague memory that in some Eastern liturgies the bread and wine are placed on the deacon’s head during the Great Entrance. But maybe this was just some bizarre anxiety dream I once had.

  2. Yes, Fritz. It’s in the Ethiopian rite…. The gifts are brought up in a special hat.

    Interesting to experience all the syncopations and cross-rhythms in the music. I bet many of our parish musicians would have problems reproducing those!

    This appeared to be a Gloria setting with a refrain. Hm! And with a figure in an alb going walkabout at one point! Those dressed in Western style, etc, did not always appear to be enjoying it much….

    The bringing up of the Book of the Word in a basket (as here) or a bag, in procession with song, is characteristic of the liturgy in many mid-African countries. This is their way of venerating the book and showing its importance.

    For us, it’s a reminder that “reverence” means different things in different cultural contexts. If Guido Marini had forbidden them to do this “because it’s not part of the Roman Rite”, they would have been scandalized. It would have been completely irreverent for them not to show honour to the Book of the Word in this way.

  3. The Cameroonian Catholic Community in the Diocese of Arlington VA (who celebrate once a month at Our Lady of Good Counsel’s Sacred Heart Chapel in Vienna VA) dances the book of the Gospels up to the altar in a beautifully decorated “sack,” accompanied by spirited and uplifting singing. There is some, perhaps apocryphal, idea that this custom arose out of an environment of hostility or persecution against Christians.

  4. It seems that everyone they showed on camera knows how to chant the Pater Noster!

    (edit – I just realized they’re all wearing the same color and it might be the choir!)

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