Traditional Mass

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pope Benedict celebrated parts of Sunday's Mass facing the altar

The Pope used the Sistine Chapel's ancient altar set right against the wall under Michelangelo's dramatic depiction of the Last Judgment, instead of the altar placed on a mobile platform that allowed his predecessor John Paul II to face the faithful.

A statement by the Vatican's office for liturgical celebrations said it had been decided to use the old altar, where ballots are placed during papal elections, to respect "the beauty and the harmony of this architectonic jewel."

That meant that for the first time in a long time, possibly since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the pope turned to the altar and faced the Cross. He also read his homily from an old wooden throne on the left of the altar used by Pius IX in the 19th century.

Note: This Mass was the Novus Ordo and not the Tridentine Mass!

Roman Deacon