March 5, 2012

Solemn Papal Mass - The Rite of Major Elevation

It seems that almost everyone knows or associates (or at last has come across) a famous photograph depicting the Major Elevation of the Body of Christ (right after the Consecration) taken during a Solemn Papal Mass offered by blessed John XXIII for the inauguration of Vaticanum Secundum (11 October 1962).

The picture shows the Pope surrounded by the clergy and lay ministers performing their own functions and those prescribed by the ceremonial, often linked to many ages or at least years of tradition.

How did the solemn ceremony run? What dignitaries performed what duties in the Solemn Apostolic liturgy during the most solemn moment in the Most Holy Sacrifice – the Consecration? Referring to some historical and liturgical testimonies, and also other studies, we shall attempt to briefly describe the magnificent and salutary dimension of the ceremony.