For the first time in history in St. Peter’s Square, the Gospel Reading at a papal Mass will be dramatized by a group of intellectually disabled persons so the text can be understood by pilgrims with mental disabilities, the Vatican announced today.
Speaking at a press conference on the Jubilee for the Sick and Disabled, which runs June 10 – June 12 in Rome, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, also noted that, at this Sunday’s papal Mass, the Sistine Chapel Choir will be replaced during Communion by the “Amoris Laetitia” Choir.
The choristers, made up of disabled persons who use sign language, will sing Pane del Cielo [Bread from Heaven].
During the liturgy, other novelties will also be introduced. First, the liturgical service and the readings will all be carried out by people with disabilities. Several young men with down syndrome will be among those serving; a German deacon who is deaf will assist; the first reading will be proclaimed by a disabled person from Spain, while the second will be read in English, in braille, by a girl who is blind.
All of the Scripture Readings, and the Holy Father’s homily, will be translated at the Mass into international sign language, while the Prayers of the Faithful will be offered by the sick and disabled from various nations in their respective languages.
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