Liturgy - "looking to God"

Sandro Magister, as ever, has a most helpful analysis of the Holy Father's recent trip to Austria. From Vienna, a Lesson on How to Sing the Mass. He examines the Holy Father's response to the celebrity musical entertainment (go to the chapel and pray) and the arrangements for Mass in Vienna on Sunday 9 September.

Haydn's Mariazeller Messe was chosen. Magister points out that the last time a polyphonic setting was used for the papal Mass was in 1985 (Mozart's Krönungsmesse); The one before that was 1963 (Palestrina).

In the afternoon, the Holy Father spoke to the Cistercian community of Heiligenkreutz:
"In the beauty of the liturgy, [...] wherever we join in singing, praising, exalting and worshipping God, a little bit of heaven will become present on earth. Truly it would not be presumptuous to say that, in a liturgy completely centred on God, we can see, in its rituals and chant, an image of eternity. [...] In all our efforts on behalf of the liturgy, the determining factor must always be our looking to God. We stand before God – he speaks to us and we speak to him. Whenever in our thinking we are only concerned about making the liturgy attractive, interesting and beautiful, the battle is already lost. Either it is Opus Dei, with God as its specific subject, or it is not. In the light of this, I ask you to celebrate the sacred liturgy with your gaze fixed on God within the communion of saints, the living Church of every time and place, so that it will truly be an expression of the sublime beauty of the God who has called men and women to be his friends."
It is not, I think, far-fetched to see an allusion to Fr Lang's book "Turning Towards the Lord" - after all, the Holy Father did write the foreword to it.

With a typical Italian journalistic flourish, Magister informs us at the tail end of the article:
In the Vatican, the liturgical event of Vienna will soon be followed by the replacement of the master of the pontifical liturgical celebrations. Taking the place of Piero Marini – who will go to preside over the pontifical committee for international Eucharistic congresses – will be the current master of ceremonies for the archdiocese of Genoa, Guido Marini. He's close to his predecessor in name, but to pope Ratzinger in substance.
Reports have it that the Austrians wanted the Holy Father to wear some fine Roman vestments for his Mass at Mariazell. The yellow and blue bedspreads were insisted on by Archbishop Marini. Perhaps that is how he wishes to be remembered.

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