Of Esther Palma
The Recommendation and the Farewell which are pronounced at the end of the funeral: the body of Benedict XVI, as per his request, will be placed in the niche of the Vatican Grottoes where John Paul II was
Preparations are in full swing for the Pope’s solemn funeral Benedict XVIscheduled for Thursday 5, with the first visits of the faithful and women institutions to the body exposed in the basilica of Saint Peter. Those of Joseph Ratzinger will be a Roman Pontiff’s funeral, with the rites and veneration that the Church has always paid to the successor (Benedict was the 265th) of the apostle Peter. Even if the Vatican protocol, usually very precise and detailed for the farewell to a Pope, is found for the first time in its two thousand year history to record the funeral of a Pope celebrated by his successor, Pope francesco. And he is therefore working to write new rules.
But what are theLast Commendatio and the Valedictio, the blessings that precede burial? The translation from the Latin of the first sounds like «the last recommendation». As the Roman liturgical ritual prescribes, at the end of the liturgy of the word (ie the readings of passages from the Bible and the Gospel, accompanied by songs, the homily, the profession of faith and the universal prayer or prayer of the faithful) the celebrant with the altar servers sprinkles the coffin with holy water and incense. A prayer follows, which is generally «We commit our brother’s (or sister’s) mortal body to the earth, pending his resurrection; may the Lord welcome your soul into the glorious communion of saints; may he open the arms of his mercy, so that this brother of ours, redeemed from death, absolved of all guilt, reconciled with the Father, and carried on the shoulders of the Good Shepherd, may participate in eternal glory in the Kingdom of Heaven”.
There Valedictiofrom the Latin greeting «worth»which the Romans said or wrote when greeting each other and which is equivalent to our hello plus a wish for health and peace, represents the last farewell to the deceased. The most used one is «Come, saints of God, hurry, angels of the Lord. Welcome his soul and present it to the throne of the Most High. Christ welcomes you, who called you, and the angels lead you with Abraham to paradise. Receive his soul and present it to the throne of the Most High. Grant him eternal rest, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. Receive his soul and present it to the throne of the Most High.” Then the coffin is carried towards the burial, which according to Pope Ratzinger should be, as requiredthe niche in the Vatican Grottoes where the body of John Paul II before the translation to the upper part of the Basilica.
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January 02, 2023 ( change January 02, 2023 | 10:45)
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Pope Ratzinger: what are the last Commendatio and the Valedictio, the Catholic rites that precede the burial
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