On March 7th, 1965, Blessed Paul VI celebrated the first Mass ever in Italian in the Parish of All Saints in Rome.
“We inaugurate today the new form of the Liturgy in all the parishes and churches of the world, for all Masses followed by the people. It is a great event, which must be remembered as the beginning of an exuberant spiritual life, as a new commitment in responding to the great dialogue between God and man,” he said in his homily.
Fifty years later, Pope Francis will commemorate the anniversary of that historic event in the very parish his predecessor celebrated Mass. On March 7th, the Holy Father will make his way to the parish, located on Via Appia Nuova.
To prepare for the occasion, the Liturgical Office of the Vicariate of Rome and the Pontifical Liturgical Institute will sponsor a conference to discuss the significance of the anniversary.
The conference, entitled “United in Thanksgiving”, will feature discussions on several themes involving the liturgical changes that have taken place. Among those expected to address is Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Council for International Eucharistic Congresses, who will deliver an address on “The Spoken Language: Instrument of Communion in the Dialogue of the Liturgical Assembly.”
Fr. Giuseppe Midili, director of the diocesan Liturgical Office and moderator of the conference, who stressed the significant of the introduction of the common vernacular in the Liturgy.
“One of the main objectives of the Liturgical Reform, in fact, was the full, active and aware participation in the liturgy, so that the faithful would come out of the attitude of silent and foreign spectators,” he stated. “In this respect, change was epochal and has marked a turning point.”