(Vatican City) Further bolstering his reputation as the hippest leader of the Catholic Church since Boniface III, Pope Francis rocked St. Peter’s Square this Easter with a Mass that will surely go down as one for the ages.
Early rumors that the Mass would be something special had scalpers charging many times face value for tickets, and the ecumenical extravaganza did not disappoint. First there was the laser show component, for which Francis retained Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour to oversee the visuals, and it showed.
There followed a roll-call of figures from popular culture to guest read during the liturgy of the word, including Ariana Grande, Leonardo DiCaprio and Saoirse Ronan, and the Old Testament reading was given by basketball legend and fluent Italian speaker Kobe Bryant to the delight of the crowd.
But for all the high wattage celebrities on parade, Pope Francis left no-one in any doubt who was the real star of the show when it came time for the Liturgy of the Eucharist as he took full command of the altar.
“Are you ready to receive the body of Christ?”
The crowd responded with a good degree of enthusiasm but this South American Pontiff was not about to let them give anything less than one hundred and ten percent.
“I said, ARE YOU READY TO RECEIVE THE BODY OF CHRIST?”
The congregation roared and pushed forward to receive communion with wild abandon. Somehow, through a combination of good security management and having the entire clergy of Rome on hand to dispense the hosts, it was carried out successfully with only a few citations issued.
Though nobody, including the Pope, showed any sign of wanting to go home, the Mass eventually concluded when the Carabinieri threatened fines for violating local ordinances regarding noise pollution.