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Sistine Chapel Choir now part of Liturgical Celebrations

Pope Francis releases a motu proprio making the Sistine Chapel Choir part of the Office for Liturgical Celebrations.

By Devin Watkins

With an Apostolic Letter issued motu proprio on Saturday, Pope Francis decreed that “the Pontifical Musical Chorus of the Sistine Chapel should be inserted into the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff”.

He said the Office for Liturgical Celebrations holds “a specific place of service to papal liturgical functions and, at the same time, is a guardian and promoter of the prestigious artistic and musical heritage produced over the centuries by the Choir itself for the solemn liturgies of the Popes.”

The Pope writes that the Sistine Chapel Choir has always had “a direct connection with the major celebrations of the Popes”.

Pope Francis said the decision was taken “bearing in mind the dictates of the Council concerning the Sacred Liturgy”, in particular nn.28-29 of the Sacrosanctum Concilium.

Msgr. Guido Marini

In the motu proprio, Pope Francis also appointed the Master of Papal Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, as the Head of the Sistine Chapel Choir, “entrusting him with the task of guiding all activities, including the liturgical, pastoral, spiritual, artistic, and educational areas, of the Choir”.

He tasked Msgr. Marini with “making ever more perceptible, in it and its individual components, the primary purpose of sacred music, which ‘is the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful’ (SC 112).”

Archbishop Guido Pozzo

Finally, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Guido Pozzo as the Superintendent of the Economy (or Treasurer) of the Pontifical Musical Chorus of the Sistine Chapel.

Archbishop Pozzo previously served as Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which Pope Francis suppressed on Saturday.

The Pope entrusted him “only with the task of caring for the economic administration of the Choir itself, to be carried out under the guidance of the Master of Ceremonies and Head of the Pontifical Musical Chorus.”

19 January 2019, 12:20