Thursday, 24 July 2008

The Cathedral Sacristy

I had the enormous privilege of being present in Saint Mary's Cathedral sacristy for the Papal Mass on Saturday 19th July. My role was to vest the deacons of the Mass, but as things turned out, because everyone was extremely busy, I also assisted the Papal entourage to vest for Mass, including the Cardinal-Secretary of State. An unexpected turn of events! Afterwards I had the pleasure of conversations with the three Papal Masters of Ceremonies.

Many have asked me "What is Monsignor Marini like?" During the Sacred Liturgy, he presents a serious and reserved demeanour, which is entirely appropriate. My impression from meeting him is that he is an extremely warm and charming man, very welcoming and unassuming, good-humoured and enthusiastic. But of obvious sanctity.

Adjacent are two pictures shewing the Papal vestments laid out in the Cathedral sacristy before the Mass. Subsequently, Monsignor Marini laid out the Papal alb etc. for the vesting of the Pope. Naturally, the Pope vested and unvested behind closed doors, assisted by Monsignor Marini. My observation is that the Pope wears a cassock without the small shoulder cape when he is celebrating Mass.