|ROME, 7 APRIL 2005 (ZENIT)
ZENIT's liturgical columnist, Father
Edward McNamara, fielded a few questions that arrived this week in
relation to the passing of the Pope.
* * *
Priests from several parts of the globe have asked versions of the
following question: "During the interregnum, what should be said in the
Eucharistic Prayer at the prayer for the Pope?"
Most of the recent manuals don't go into such detail but thankfully old
manuals from before the Second Vatican Council can still be found
touching on the more arcane aspects of liturgy.
In this case the Pope's name, and the entire phrase referring to the
Pope, is omitted from the Eucharistic Prayer during the period of the "Sede
Vacante." Mention is made only of the local bishop and the clergy
according to the literary form of each prayer.
For example, in Eucharistic Prayer II it would be: "Together with ... N.
our bishop, and all the clergy," and in the Diocese of Rome: "Together
with .... all the clergy."
An analogous procedure is followed in each diocese following the death
or retirement of the local ordinary.
An Australian reader queried: "I was intrigued to see the Holy Father
lying in state wearing red liturgical vestments. What is the deeper
significance and meaning of this gesture?"
There was a tradition of the papal liturgy, now practically
discontinued, that, instead of black, the pope celebrated funeral
liturgies wearing red vestments
"Papa luget in rubro," the pope weeps in red.
Although the pope generally now uses violet vestments for funerals, a
vestige of the earlier practice remains in vesting the deceased Holy
Father in red, the color of the apostles. ZE05040721