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Musical Musings: Miscellaneous

Music for the Solemn Inauguration Mass
of Pope Benedict XVI

Facade of Saint Peter's Basilica On April 19, 2005, the Cardinal Electors of the Holy Roman Church chose one of their members, their Dean, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, as the new Supreme Pontiff. He wished to be called by the name Benedict, both in honor of Pope Benedict XV, who worked for peace and unity in the days of World War I, and Saint Benedict of Nursia, who founded the Benedictine Order which in recent times has promoted and studied Catholic liturgy and music.

Here is an outline of the Solemn Inauguration Mass of Pope Benedict XVI, including the music sung and played.

Preparatory Rites: A visit to the Confessio of Saint Peter

Prior to the Mass in the piazza, the Holy Father, together with the Patriarchs of the Eastern Church, went to the tomb of Saint Peter in the Confessio beneath the High Altar in the basilica.
  • Processional: Toccata (Theodore Dubois) – organ
He honored with incense the mortal remain of the first pope, the Fisherman from Galilee, whose 264th successor he has become. Two deacons retreived the Pallium and the Fisherman's Ring from where they had rested near the tomb of Saint Peter. A procession began through the basilica toward the square, led by cross and candles, the 150 cardinals who were in Rome, the deacons, the Pontiff, and following him, members of the papal household.
  • Processional: Laudes Regiæ (Gregorian chant)

The Solemn Mass of Inauguration for the Supreme Pontiff, Benedict XVI

Sunday, April 24, 10:00 am
Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City

Celebrant: His Holiness, Benedict XVI
Concelebrants: The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church
Choir: Cappella Sistina [The Sistine Chapel Choir]
Choirmaster: Msgr. Giuseppe Liberto
Organist: Mr. James Goettsche (an American)
The large crowd broke into applause as the new pope appeared on the top steps of the piazza, beneath a tapestry of "The Large Catch of Fish" and the loggia from which less than a week earlier he was presented to the world for the first time as Benedict XVI.
  • Processional: Laudes Regiæ (Gregorian chant) continuing as the concelebrants and the Holy Father venerate the altar. The Pallium and Fisherman's Ring were placed on the altar. Incense was used to honor the altar and crucifix (from the Pauline Chapel).

    Pope Benedict XVI
    Antiphon: Tu illum adjuva. (Gregorian chant) "Assist him."
    Invocations: Apostles, canonized Popes and Fathers of the Church; similar to the Litaniæ sanctorum;

  • Sign of the Cross: Sung by the Holy Father.
  • Greeting: Sung by the Holy Father.
  • Conclusion of the Laudes Regiæ

    Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison.
    Christe eleison. Christe eleison.
    Kyrie eleison. Kyrie eleison.
    Pax nostra. Pax nostra.
    Salus nostra. Misericordia nostra.
    Pastor, Ostium et Clavis. Via, Veritas et Vita.
    Tibi soli imperium, laus et jubilatio, per infinita sæcula sæculorum.

  • Gloria:

    from Missa XVI de Angelis (Gregorian chant) Intoned by the Holy Father, then alternating SATB choral polyphony and unison, accompanied chant by the congregation.

  • Collect
    Oremus. Deus, qui providentiæ tuæ consilio super Beatum Petrum, ceteris Apostolis præpositum, Ecclesiam tuam ædificari voluisti, respice propitius ad me famulum tuum, et concede, ut, quem Petri constituisti successorem, populo tuo visibile faciam unitatis fidei et communionis principium et fundamentum Iesum Christum Filium tuum Dominum nostrum. Qui vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

    Let us pray. O God, who in the plan of your wisdom built the Church on the rock of Peter, head of the Apostolic College, guard me, your servant, with your love: you have chosen me successor of Peter, grant that I may show to your people the principle and foundation of unity in faith and community in love of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

  • First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 4:8-12, read in English by Justin Fergusen, an American seminarian from Savanah, Georgia

    Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke up: "Leaders of the people! Elders! If we must answer today for a good deed done to a cripple and explain how he was restored to health, then you and all the people of Israel must realize that it was done in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead. In the power of that name this man stands before you perfectly sound. This Jesus is 'the stone rejected by you the builders which has become the cornerstone'. There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other name in the whole world given to men by which we are to be saved."
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 118 (contemporary setting) Sung by cantor, Massimilliano Nobile, and congregation (accompanied).

    Refrain: Confitemini Domino quoniam bonus, alleluia. "Give thank to the Lord, for he is good."
    Verses: from Psalm 118:
    1. Confitebor tibi, quoniam exaudisti me et factus es mihi in salutem. Lapidem, quem reprobaverunt ædificantes, hic factus est in caput anguli.[vs.21-22]
      I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me and have been my savior. The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
    2. A Domino factum est istud et est mirabile in oculis nostris. Hæc est dies, quam fecit Dominus: exsultemus et lætemur in ea.[vs.23-24]
      By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.
    3. Deus meus es tu, et confitebor tibi, Deus meus, et exaltabo te. Confitemini Domino, quoniam bonus, quoniam in sæculum misericordia ejus.[vs.28-29]
      You are my God, and I give thanks to you; O my God, I extol you. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his kindness endures for ever.
  • Second Reading: I Peter 5:1-5,10-11, read in Spanish by Pilar Pero

    So I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you younger members, be subject to the presbyters. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: "God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble." The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. To him be dominion forever. Amen.
  • Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia (Gregorian chant), Introduced by the trebles of the choir.

    Acclamation: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
    1. Dicit Simon Petrus aliis discipulis: "Vado piscari." Dicunt ei apostoli: "Venimus et nos tecum."[Jn 21:3]
      Simon Peter said to the other disciples: "I am going out to fish." They replied, "We will join you."
    2. Dixit Jesus discipulis et Simoni: "Mittite rete." Miserunt ergo et iam non valebant illud trahere a multitudine piscium.[Jn 21:6]
      Jesus said to the diciples and Simon, "Cast out your nets." So they made a cast, and took so many fish they could not haul the net in.
  • The Holy Gospel: John 21:15-19, sung in Latin using Tone A by the deacon, Gregory Gresco (from Richmond VA), after incensing the Book of the Gospels

    When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." He then said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, "Follow me."
    The same Gospel was then sung in Greek by the deacon, Luigi Fioriti, after he placed his stole on the Book of the Gospels. The Greek Seminary Choir assisted in the responses. The triple Alleluia refrain was repeated after the Gospel was chanted in Greek.


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