USCCB recommends special diocesan Masses in wake of Pope’s resignation
February 14, 2013
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship has published “Liturgical Notes and Resource Materials for Use upon the Resignation of the Pope.”
“It is appropriate to offer special prayers for Pope Benedict XVI, for his health and well-being, and in thanksgiving for his service to the Church,” the document advises. “Both the Diocesan Bishop and priests in every parish might consider offering a special Mass for the Pope. Mass offered by the Diocesan Bishop at the Cathedral or in each Vicariate for the attendance of as many of the faithful as possible is desirable.”
The Secretariat of Divine Worship reminds priests that until the moment when the Pope’s resignation takes effect -- 8:00 PM Roman time (2:00 Eastern time) on February 28 – the Pope’s name should be included in the Eucharistic Prayer of the Mass. After that time, the Apostolic See will be vacant, and reference to the Pope will be omitted from the Eucharistic Prayer.
“Once the Pope’s resignation takes effect, both the Diocesan Bishop and priests in every parish might consider offering a special Mass for the election of the Pope, according to the guidelines of the liturgical calendar,” the document continues.
The document adds:
Upon the election of the new Pope, both the Diocesan Bishop and priests in every parish might consider offering a special Mass for the newly elected Pope according to the guidelines of the liturgical calendar. Mass offered by the Diocesan Bishop at the Cathedral or in each Vicariate for the attendance of as many of the faithful as possible is desirable. If it is the day of the election of the Pope, then the Mass for the Pope (especially on the anniversary of election) is appropriate. This Mass cannot be used on the Sundays of Advent, Lent and Easter, solemnities, Ash Wednesday, and the weekdays of Holy Week.
“Again, the faithful should be exhorted to pray for the newly-elected Holy Father in their private prayers,” the document continues. “The recitation of the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the intentions of the Pope is encouraged. The newly-elected Pope should be prayed for in the recitation of the Rosary.”
The document concludes with a “limited listing of musical resources,” which consists of hymns published by GIA, Oregon Catholic Press, and World Library Publications, as well as a contemporary young adult, children’s, bilingual, and Spanish hymns.
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