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Rome Reports

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The Liturgy of Benedict XVI according to Guido Marini, his Master of Ceremonies

Mons. Guido MariniMaster of Ceremonies Benedict XVI“I think the pope?s attention to the liturgy, his lessons in this environment and his example, help many priests and many Catholics to rediscover the central value of the liturgy for the life of the Church and for the life of each person.”According to the Papal Master of Ceremonies, the liturgy is not an area only reserved for experts. But he notes that Catholics need help to understand the full meaning of the liturgical symbols and gestures.Mons. Guido MariniMaster of Ceremonies Benedict XVI“The liturgy has a popular dimension that should be preserved because through the liturgy we find ourselves with the mystery of God. There the mystery of salvation it is made real for the life of each person. So it is important to prepare people so they can read the gestures and symbols of the liturgy.”In recent years, Benedict XVI has brought back some traditional liturgical elements that were rarely used. For example, the presence of the crucifix in the center of the altar or the receiving communion on the knees. They are gestures the pope has explained as the so-called “hermeneutic of continuity.”Mons. Guido MariniMaster of Ceremonies Benedict XVI “The hermeneutics of continuity highlights that in the life of the Church there is an authentic growth in the way in which they don?t cut the roots so that this development includes the richness of its history and tradition.”He says that for now it is not expected that the ; pope will celebrate a mass according to rites prior to the Second Vatican Council.Monsignor Marini regularly receives instructions from the pope, but the office of liturgical ceremonies also proposes elements for each celebration.Mons. Guido MariniMaster of Ceremonies Benedict XVI“In addition to putting into practice the instructions of the pope, we suggest some liturgical elements. He decides whether to accept them or not. It?s to say, in every ceremony there are instructions from the Holy Father and suggestions presented by our department.”In any case, since the pope has written many works on the liturgy, from his time as a cardinal, for the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations, it is very easy to know what the pope expects of every celebration. In other words, that the celebration helps draw people closer to the mystery of God.JMB/ISDC– WP