For those familiar with canonization, today’s ceremony may look different than those they’ve seen in the past. According to the Catholic News Service, Pope Benedict XVI will perform the canonization rite before the mass in an effort to highlight the meaning of the rite.
Monsignor Guido Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies, told the Catholic News Service that distinguishing between the rite and the mass is in response to the Second Vatican Council’s request that the “splendour of the noble simplicity” of the Mass to come through.
“In effect, a canonization is a definitive sentence through which the supreme pontiff decrees that a servant of God, already listed among the blessed, is to be inscribed in the catalogue of saints and venerated in the universal church,” the monsignor told the Catholic News Service.
“The authority exercised by the Pope in a canonization sentence will now be even more visible through the use of certain ritual elements,” particularly through the Pope’s triple invocation of God’s help in making such an important decision,” he said.
Seven women and men are to be proclaimed saints during the ceremony today including Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to attain sainthood.
The mass will take place in Rome, Italy in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican at 9:30 a.m., which will be 3:30 a.m. eastern standard time.