Friday, November 13, 2009

"Padre Santo, Sic Transit Gloria Mundi"

Here's a ceremony from the last full Papal coronation for John XXIII that I wish would come back. Some form of it should be held for all public officials sacred and secular.

Flax is burned with candle flame 3 times in front of the new pope, and "Holy Father, thus passes the glory of the world" is chanted 3 times in Latin.



Hat tip to Lapinbizarre for submitting this.

8 comments:

Lapinbizarre said...

I remembered this from watching a live telecast of the coronation in 1958. It was the only part of the ceremony that lodged itself in my memory. I completely agree with you about wishing that the ceremony would be revived. I wonder when it was introduced. It seems to parallel the mid-medieval wall paintings of the Three Living and the Three Dead.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Excellent idea for all leaders.

The present pope seems not to believe that the gloria of the mundi will transit. He'll take it with him and rule and reign from the great beyond.

The rest of the ceremony is un peu de trop, n'est-ce pas? He's only a man.

Counterlight said...

All these old papal ceremonies look more than a little pharaonic to me. When he's carried around on that sedia gestatoria, he looks like something out of an ancient Egyptian painting down to the big over-size miter.

Italian ceremonies always look to me like they're improvised and but a step from disaster, no matter how ancient. So many people seem to be walking, and running, around to find their place, or stopping to give last minute instructions, or to chat.

Peu de trop at the very least. Man-lace by the yard here. Can you imagine this in color?

Counterlight said...

I should say man-lace by the hectare.

Lapinbizarre said...

The papal copes worn at some ceremonies must have been eight or ten feet long - designed to render the wearer incapable of making any movement unaided. This scan of John XXIII shows him being carted around with the Sacrament on a sedia gestatoria with built-in prie dieu, wearing a cope so long that it engulfs almost the whole of the sedia gestatoria.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

I wholeheartedly agree with Counterlight on the Pharaonic overtones here... Even the fans looks Egyptian to me ;=)

Counterlight said...

I wonder if that's the same incredibly oversize cope that requires the pope to sit on a ten foot high throne. It has a name, but I forget what it is.

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