The first official words pronounced by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Barcelona on Nov. 7 will be in Catalan, at the Dedication Mass of the Church of the Holy Family.
The opening rites of the liturgy will be Catalan, as well as the readings for the Mass and the rite of consecration of the Church.
The Pope will also speak in Gallego—the local dialect in the Spanish region of Galicia--when he celebrates Mass Nov. 6 in Santiago de Compostela.
According to Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, the Mass at the Church of the Holy Family will be celebrated in Spanish, Catalan and Latin. The Gospel and the Communion rite will be in Spanish.
Father Lombardi said the Holy Father would deliver part of his homily in Catalan, but that most of the speeches during the visit would be delivered in Spanish.
He also said the Pope’s homily in Barcelona would include a reference to Antonio Gaudi, who designed the Church, and would focus on the relationship between art and faith, the Christian life and the family as the basic unit of society.
However, the spokesman explained, the motive behind the Pope’s visit “is not to support Gaudi’s cause for beatification,” but rather “to consecrate a magnificent work that has great meaning for the Church in Catalonia.”