Format: DVD or VHS
Recorded: April 24, 2005
Commentary by: Raymond Arroyo and Rev. Richard John Neuhaus
On April 19, 2005, the Cardinal Electors of the Holy Roman Church chose 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.
The joy in Rome, and indeed the world over, was evident in the Solemn Inaugural Mass of Pope Benedict XVI, from the exultant pealing of the great bells of Saint Peter's Basilica, to the Pontiff's visit to the Confessio of Saint Peter where the first pope is buried, to the beautiful Mass of Inauguration with its impressive ancient symbols of Pallium and Fisherman's Ring, to the final exuberant drive through the piazza in the "popemobile."
Again, as at the funeral Mass of Pope John Paul II, EWTN did an excellent job of broadcasting the Mass from Rome, with minimal but insightful commentary by Raymond Arroyo, host of The World Over, and Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, Editor-in-Chief of First Things Magazine.
Here are two short excerpts from Pope Benedict's homily, one where he mentions the musical selections in particular, and another where he quotes his immediate predecesor:
During these days of great intensity, we have chanted the Litany of the Saints on three different occasions: at the funeral of our Holy Father John Paul II; as the cardinals entered the conclave; and again today, when we sang it with the response: Tu illum adiuva – sustain the new Successor of Saint Peter.
On each occasion, in a particular way, I found great consolation in listening to this prayerful chant.
How alone we all felt after the passing of John Paul II — the Pope who for over twenty-six years had been our shepherd and guide on our journey through life!
He crossed the threshold of the next life, entering into the mystery of God.
But he did not take this step alone.
Those who believe are never alone — neither in life nor in death.
At that moment, we could call upon the Saints from every age — his friends, his brothers and sisters in the faith — knowing that they would form a living procession to accompany him into the next world, into the glory of God.
We knew that his arrival was awaited. Now we know that he is among his own and is truly at home.
And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ!
He takes nothing away, and He gives you everything.
When we give ourselves to Him, we receive a hundred-fold in return.
Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ — and you will find true life.
On this DVD or VHS tape are the very beginnings of a new papacy — a joyful era in which the first pope of the Third Millennium will lead the Catholic Church in ways of peace and fidelity to the Gospel of Christ, with vigor, unbounding enthusiasm and optimism for her future!