Et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt(And I say to you: you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it -Matt 16:18).
- Mass with Pope Benedict XVI
- Angelus with Pope Benedict outdoors in Piazza San Pietro noon local time
Unfortunately it has been many days since I have had the time to sit down and write here in Rome, but I am doing my best. Thank you for your patience.
1) Imagine three days ago, you waited in line to receive your free tickets from the Swiss Guard to have the privilege of attending a Mass celebrated by the Vicar of Christ. Now it is time to go to Mass. You wait in line with 10,000 other pilgrims and make your way through the security line guarded by the Italian police. Upon entering St. Peter’s Basilica you notice that the Italian police no longer have any jurisdiction and the Swiss Guard take over security.
At 9AM, the bell tolls and a long procession of altar servers, priests, bishops, archbishops, and cardinals walk past you. Since our Holy Father is getting older, he now uses a moving platform to walk up and down the aisles of the world’s largest church.
The Vatican Choir is singing, composed of boys ages 9-12 and adult males. The most beautiful chants usually take place during the Gospel antiphon and during Communion. Listen to this recording of the Pentecost Sunday Gospel Acclamation which is sung every year(recorded in 1985).
Veni Sancte Spiritus reple tuorum corda fidelium et tui amoris in eis ignem accende
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful, and kindle them in the fire of your love.
2) Angelus with Pope Benedict
After Mass, everyone rushes outside to get a good view of the Apostolic Palace. At 12 Noon, the Pope appears at the window and greets the people as they erupt in a loud applause. Yes, that tiny man is very high up, although only on the 4th floor. The Pope addresses the crowd of about 10,000 in five to seven languages and then says the traditional Angelus prayer before giving a final blessing and then retreating from the window.