New Romanesque Tabernacle and Sanctuary Lamp by Granda Liturgical Arts

New Romanesque Tabernacle and Sanctuary Lamp by Granda Liturgical Arts Some of our readers might already be familiar with the project of the new Premonstratensian Abbey being constructed in Silverado, California. The Norbertine fathers of St Michael’s Abbey have outgrown their present facilities, founded in 1961 by members of the order exiled …

The Use (Or Not) of Lace in Penitential Times

The Use (Or Not) of Lace in Penitential Times Frequently when penitential seasons roll around (or, for that matter, when a requiem happens) if clerics are seen wearing a lace alb the argument is made that lace is not supposed to be worn in times of penance or mourning. (The implication being, it would seem, that lace i…

Three Roman Altars and Ciboria with their Pre-Conciliar Altar Ornaments

Three Roman Altars and Ciboria with their Pre-Conciliar Altar Ornaments Today seemed like a good day for a lighter post showing three classic Roman churches that include the ciborium magnum . What is slightly different about these photos -- compared to the myriad of contemporary colour photos in high resolution that are available online -- is th…

Interplay of Art and Architecture at St. Joseph's in Macon, Georgia

Interplay of Art and Architecture at St. Joseph's in Macon, Georgia We are very accustomed to thinking of ecclesiastical art in rather compartmentalized terms. While this not hard and fast, we tend to think of altars as one distinct piece of art and the art and design which surrounds it as another. Certainly we understand there is a cumulat…

Some Fifteenth Century Chasubles

Some Fifteenth Century Chasubles As chasubles from the fifteenth century and earlier are relatively rare (all things considered) we haven't shown a very great deal of them, so today I thought we would take a look at some from the fifteenth century specifically. It is worth noting that many of these wil…

Variations in Season of Advent in the Western Liturgical Tradition

Variations in Season of Advent in the Western Liturgical Tradition This coming weekend will see the beginning of Advent in the Roman rite, however, while this is true for many, it is not so for all. The key is that we are speaking here of the Roman liturgical calendar and this time of the year provides a very visible opportunity to remind …

Christus Vincit! Music for the feast of 
Christ the King (Part 2 of 2)

Christus Vincit! Music for the feast of 
Christ the King (Part 2 of 2) Guest Article by Thomas Neal In Part 1 , I examined how the texts of the Proper of the Mass on the newly instituted feast of Christ the King were incorporated into the Gregorian repertory. In the second part, I would like to explore how this comparatively modern feast has pr…

The History and Symbolism of the Pope's Red Shoes

The History and Symbolism of the Pope's Red Shoes It is well enough known that when Benedict XVI rose to the papal office one of the tasks he set about was attempting to show continuity with his predecessors -- and not just his immediate post-conciliar predecessors -- by, amongst other things, restoring elements of traditi…

American Thanksgiving: Catholic Devotion and Liturgy

American Thanksgiving: Catholic Devotion and Liturgy Even for someone resoundingly in favor of American Thanksgiving and obscure local Mass propers, there is much to emphatically agree with in Michael P. Foley’s piece,  Thanksgiving Day Mass: Thanks or No Thanks . We all understand that the holiday’s main purpose is to give tha…

The Sedlec Ossuary Chapel in the Czech Republic

The Sedlec Ossuary Chapel in the Czech Republic The Sedlec ossuary in the Czech Republic is a located beneath (fittingly I think) All Saints chapel in the Czech Republic. The chapel is located within a cemetery that was formerly part of the Cistercian abbey of Sedlec.  Ossuary chapels -- or what are sometimes colloquially…

Vestments: Varieties of Viridi (Green)

Vestments: Varieties of Viridi (Green) In a previous article we spoke about the pastel shades that were often seen in the eighteenth century vestment work and in other articles we have have discussed variants on the liturgical colour rose. Today I thought we would expand our considerations in this regard to look…

A Prelate's Embroidered Lace Alb from the Late 1600's

A Prelate's Embroidered Lace Alb from the Late 1600's It is not very often that we have featured albs here specifically -- though perhaps this is something of an oversight on our part. The last time we did we featured the medieval albs of St. Francis of Assisi and Pope Boniface VIII .  This time around we have something distinc…

An English Chasuble of the Sixteenth Century

An English Chasuble of the Sixteenth Century Many of our readers are interested in the historical development of vestments and so when I saw this recently, I thought it might be worth sharing. The chasuble in question is kept at St. John's Seminary in Wonersh, UK, and it has been dated to the 16th century in its p…

San Pietro ad Oratorium in Capestrano

San Pietro ad Oratorium in Capestrano The classic form of the early Christian basilica has always remained one of my very favourites and so the church of San Pietro ad Oratorium caught my attention recently. The church is located in Capestrano in south-central Italy and while the ravages of time have taken thei…

Book Review: "With Latin in the Service of the Popes" The Memoirs of Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1885-1971)

Book Review: "With Latin in the Service of the Popes" The Memoirs of Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1885-1971) Just in time for Christmas!  This is one of the most delightful little books I have had the pleasure to read - the memoirs of Antonio Cardinal Bacci, recently published by Arouca Press .   This gem is a title that should be on every Catholic bookshelf.   With Latin in the Ser…

The Altar and Its Related Parts: Avoiding Abstractions

The Altar and Its Related Parts: Avoiding Abstractions Within the Liturgical Movement of the twentieth century there was often a critique around traditional altar arrangements where it was said that the gradines and/or reredos overtook the altar itself. In some ways this critique can, at first glance, seem valid. One has to thi…

Cartagloria: Eighteenth Century Altar Cards

Cartagloria: Eighteenth Century Altar Cards Altars cards are a development which stem from the sixteenth century and contain certain prayers recited within the Ordo Missae (Ordinary of the Mass) at each and every Mass. In contemporary times they are almost exclusively rectangular in shape but in centuries such as the…

Phat Diem Cathedral in Vietnam

Phat Diem Cathedral in Vietnam From time to time over the years I have spoken of good models of inculturation. Such models present themselves, not as incompatible compromises, but instead as truly harmonious approaches that adopt local or national cultural and artistic customs to authentically Catholic p…

Sacristy Series: The Merits of the Italian Form of the Incense Boat

Sacristy Series: The Merits of the Italian Form of the Incense Boat The use of incense within Catholic liturgical life is, suffice it to say, very ancient. Like so many things in the first few centuries of the Church's life, however, specific dates are hard to come by. The first clear evidence that we have of its use in Christian worshi…

In Tribute to Don Giuseppe Vallauri: Zealous Defender and Promoter of the Roman Rite

In Tribute to Don Giuseppe Vallauri: Zealous Defender and Promoter of the Roman Rite Yesterday morning on the Feast of All Saints, while vested in his sacerdotal vestments and celebrating Holy Mass in suffrage for the dead, a dear priest and our good friend  Don Giuseppe Vallauri reposed at age seventy-five.  In the Traditional Mass community in Rome, Don Va…

Memento Mori – The Congregation of Good Death of Barcelona

Memento Mori – The Congregation of Good Death of Barcelona “A priest forever… yet mortal” thus reads the motto carried with a biretted skull, a warning to be heed by all priests that behold it. This memento mori is part of the insignia and improperia that were solemnly carried through the streets of Barcelona on Ash Wednesday durin…

In Memoriam: Mr. William "Bill" Strub: Aka "The World's Oldest Altar Boy" Passes at Age 98

In Memoriam: Mr. William "Bill" Strub: Aka "The World's Oldest Altar Boy" Passes at Age 98 I cannot say enough good things about Bill Strub.  He was my mentor at the altar when I was a boy.  Bill passed away earlier this year at age 98.  This saintly man was my first mentor at the altar when I began serving Mass at age 9.  Bill was there in November 1988 when I s…

The Portico of the Angers Cathedral

The Portico of the Angers Cathedral As one walks along the north bank of the Maine river towards the Pont du Verdun, the eye is drawn to the slender spires of the Cathedral of St Maurice, perched upon the hill that dominates the old town of Angers. A pedestrian boulevard steeply climbs the hill, the Montée St…