Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff

The Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff (Latin: Officium de Liturgicis Celebrationibus Summi Pontificis, Italian: Ufficio delle Celebrazioni Liturgiche del Sommo Pontefice) is that section of the Roman Curia responsible for organizing and conducting liturgies and other religious ceremonies performed by the pope of the Catholic Church. It is headed by a "master" appointed for a term of five years.[1]

The Office and the consultants who advise it support the pope in expressing his interpretation of the liturgical modifications instituted following the Second Vatican Council. Popes have at times supported post-Council reforms, restored earlier practices, and introduced further innovations. When Pope Francis named five new consultants in September 2013, he included none of those appointed by Pope Benedict XVI, who were known to promote a return to pre-Council liturgical practices.[2][3] Benedict restored pre-Council elements to the rite for the canonization of saints and Francis removed them and further shortened the ceremony. Guido Marini, the Master when Francis instituted his changes, is known as a traditionalist, but performs to the pope's instructions.[4] In the words of one journalist, his job is "to thread papal preferences into the pageantry".[5] For example, he works to ensure that liturgical music is integrated into the liturgy as Francis prefers, so that participants are never forced to wait for music to conclude before proceeding.[6] On 19 January 2019, Pope Francis transferred responsibility for the Sistine Chapel Choir from the Papal household to this Office.[7]

List of Masters of Pontifical Liturgical CelebrationsEdit

In addition to assisting the pope at sacred functions, the Papal Master of Ceremonies assists cardinals on various occasions: during consistories, when a cardinal takes possession of his titular church, and during solemn celebrations of Mass or other important religious services. When a cardinal is created at a consistory, the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations assigns one of the Office's Masters of Ceremonies to him.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Pastor bonus: Other Institutes of the Roman Cur, 28 June 1988". Holy See. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Other Pontifical Acts". Vatican Information Service. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  3. ^ "New Consultants for Liturgies with Pope". PrayTell. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  4. ^ Reese, Thomas (23 November 2014). "Reformed canonization rite returns". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  5. ^ Zak, Dan (22 September 2015). "Who's that with Pope Francis? The seven kinds of people you meet in a papal entourage". Washington Post. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  6. ^ Glatz, Carol (22 October 2016). "Papal liturgist says better to accept defeat than to cause division". CRUX. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Sistine Chapel Choir now part of Liturgical Celebrations". Vatican News. 19 January 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2019.


  • Günther Wassilowsky, Hubert Wolf: Päpstliches Zeremoniell in der Frühen Neuzeit – Das Diarium des Zeremonienmeisters Paolo Alaleone de Branca während des Pontifikats Gregors XV. (1621–1623). Rhema-Verlag, Münster 2007, ISBN 978-3-930454-80-8 (with the complete original Latin text of the diarium)