Monday, 30 June 2008

Inauguration of the Pauline Year and Pallium Mass

Some images of the Pallium Mass - for more see the New Liturgical Movement blog.

And also from Vespers on Saturday, inaugurating the Pauline year:

The Vespers for the inauguration of the Pauline Year featured some beautiful vestments, the throne, not bad music and much more. So watch out for events at which you can gain your plenary indulgence....

Both events though, were also notable for the presence of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who gave blessings and a short homily at Vespers. On Sunday he participated in the Mass where the pallium is imposed on new archbishops.

On this, it is perhaps worth drawing attention to what the Pope said on ecumenical events of this kind at the same event last year:

"...these meetings and initiatives are not merely an exchange of courtesies between Churches but are intended to express the common commitment to do everything possible to hasten the time of full communion between the Christian East and West.....

This Basilica, which has hosted profoundly significant ecumenical events, reminds us how important it is to pray together to implore the gift of unity, that unity for which St Peter and St Paul spent their lives, to the point of making the supreme sacrifice of their blood....

The Apostle to the Gentiles, who was especially committed to taking the Good News to all peoples, left no stones unturned for unity and harmony among all Christians."

The Pope's sermon this year focused primarily on the Church as the mystical body of Christ, and St Paul's mission.

The Patriarch added:

"The radical conversion and apostolic kerygma of Saul of Tarsus 'shook' history in the literal sense of the word and shaped the identity of Christianity itself. This great man exercised a profound influence on the classic Fathers of the Church, like St. John Chrysostom in the East, and St. Augustine of Hippo in the West.
Even if he had never met Jesus of Nazareth, St. Paul directly received the Gospel "through the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Gal 1,11,12).

This sacred place outside the walls is doubtless more than ever the appropriate place to commemorate and celebrate a man who established the union between the Greek language and the Roman mentality of his time, stripping Christianity once and for all of every mental constraint and forging for always the catholic foundation of the ecumenical Church.

Let us hope that the life and Letters of St. Paul may continue to be for us a source of inspiration "so that all men may have the obedience of faith in Christ" (cfr Rom 16,26-27)."

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