Countdown to Pope's England Trip: 64 Days

Master of Papal Ceremonies Makes Visit

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LONDON, JULY 14, 2010 ( England’s papal visit coordinator says preparations for Benedict XVI’s Sept. 16 arrival are well under way: Invitations are out and the master of papal ceremonies came in from Rome to visit the sites where the Pope will pray and celebrate liturgies.

In this week’s audio update, posted Monday, Monsignor Andrew Summersgill explained progress in the preparations.

Dioceses have received suggested allocations for the two larger gatherings in England: the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Birmingham and the prayer vigil in Hyde Park.

«It is now up to each diocesan coordinator and the people in the diocese to decide how they wish to divide them out, [to decide] which is the most fair way, and the most convenient way for them to do that,» the monsignor explained.

Regarding the visit from Monsignor Guido Marini, the master of papal ceremonies, Monsignor Summersgill said it «went very well.»

Monsignor Marini and three assistants met with various officials from the visit team, including Monsignor Philip Moger, who is overseeing the liturgies for both the episcopal conferences of Scotland, and of England and Wales.
«We spent just under four days visiting the different places within the Pope’s itinerary — where he will be celebrating Mass, for the prayer vigil, and also those other specific moments of prayer within the visit. That of course includes Westminster Abbey as well where there will be evening prayer,» Monsignor Summersgill noted.

He added that texts have been finalized so a missal and prayer book can be prepared and published.

«So it was a good week and we did a lot of work,» the monsignor affirmed, «and things are moving ahead very nicely with that.»

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