Santa Maria della Salute: Further Evidence of the Symbolic and Liturgical Power of Antependia

 Santa Maria della Salute: Further Evidence of the Symbolic and Liturgical Power of Antependia In a previous article we spoke of the various reasons -- artistic, theological and liturgical -- for employing antependia. One of the points raised was of the importance of colour, not only for giving prominence to the altar,  not only because of the beauty it brings, but …

The Historical, Theological, Liturgical and Artistic Case for Altar Frontals

The Historical, Theological, Liturgical and Artistic Case for Altar Frontals Many of you will know that I have long been a persistent advocate of the liturgical ornament known as the antependium , pallium altaris  or, rather less exotically, the altar frontal.  The reason for this is, on the one hand, tied to the particular meaning and symbolism of t…

Liturgical Arts at the Lateran Archbasilica (Pavilion and Tintinnabulum Revisited)

Liturgical Arts at the Lateran Archbasilica (Pavilion and Tintinnabulum Revisited) Some readers with a special interest in Rome and the Vatican  may be happy to know the Lateran Archbasilica's pavilion and tintinnabulum have both been returned to their proper place in the sanctuary of the Lateran.  I do  not know if this move is permanent; time will …

The History of Watts & Co.

The History of Watts & Co. Before beginning my first article for this exciting new venture, I would like to say what a great privilege it is to have been asked by Shawn Tribe to become involved as a fixture at the Liturgical Arts Journal. My introduction states that I am creative consultant to Watts…

Pictorial Art as an Opportunity for Liturgical Design

Pictorial Art as an Opportunity for Liturgical Design I am an artist whose medium of choice is ink drawing at a small scale; almost all of my work is religious in subject. The artistic tradition to which I try to be faithful is ancient and disciplined, corroborated by the exegesis of the church fathers and by the sacred liturg…

Medieval and Baroque Inspired Vestments from Atelier LAVS

Medieval and Baroque Inspired Vestments from Atelier LAVS Yesterday I showed some of the precious mitres done by Atelier LAVS and today I wished to conclude by showcasing some of their other vestment work. As already noted, this particular firm places special emphasis on medieval models for their vestments and in looking at their …

Precious Mitres from Atelier LAVS

Precious Mitres from Atelier LAVS Pope Benedict XVI and Msgr. Guido Marini were known for their both/and approach to vestments which sought on the one hand to re-open the treasures of baroque splendour, while on the other to utilize other styles from other periods. This was a purposeful approach intended at…

Lasance's Initials: A Tradition in American Catholic Typography

Lasance's Initials: A Tradition in American Catholic Typography Reverend Francis Xavier Lasance (1860-1946), priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, suffered from ill health and retired from parish duties in 1890 when still quite young. But what the diocese lost in pastoral labor, the nation gained in an indefatigable writer of spiritu…

Illuminated Altar Cards by Daniel Mitsui: A Quick First Glance

Illuminated Altar Cards by Daniel Mitsui: A Quick First Glance L iturgical Arts Journal is pleased to bring our readers an initial sneak preview of an exquisite set hand illuminated altar cards, designed and executed by Daniel Mitsui. Daniel, a Chicago based artist, is already known to many LAJ readers, well known for his highly detaile…

Introducing New LAJ Writers

Introducing New LAJ Writers I am pleased to announce the first wave of new writers who are coming on board Liturgical Arts Journal.  I am certain you are looking forward to their contributions to LAJ as much as I am. Please join me in welcoming them.

The Attractive Power and Synthesis of the Liturgy and the Liturgical Arts

The Attractive Power and Synthesis of the Liturgy and the Liturgical Arts The liturgical arts are something that we can and do look at individually. We look at this chasuble or that set of vestments. We might consider the design of a particular altar, reredos or ciborium. We may look at the metalwork of a thurible or of a set of candlesticks -- t…

Garry South: Strategist by Day, Vestment Designer by Night

Garry South: Strategist by Day, Vestment Designer by Night Featuring new work in the realm of the liturgical arts is one of our stated goals here at LAJ. After all, we are not only interested in the tradition of liturgical art in its historical manifestations but also in its living one's. Traditional liturgical arts are not, af…

A Unique Variation of the Missae Defunctorum: Skulls and Purgatorial Imagery

A Unique Variation of the Missae Defunctorum: Skulls and Purgatorial Imagery A s a final consideration around All Souls Day and the symbolic details associated with the requiem, let us turn our attention to the liturgical book arts. Shown here is a Missae Defunctorum (or in other words, a missal published specifically for use at requiem Masses, inclu…

Black Vestments and More: The Move Away from Minimalism in the Liturgical Arts

Black Vestments and More: The Move Away from Minimalism in the Liturgical Arts I spoke yesterday of consistencies of signs in relation to the accoutrements of Masses for the Dead. Requiem Masses do not simply mean the use of black vestments after all.  This isn't to say they aren't important; quite the opposite in fact. Black vestments, on the…

Views of the High Altar of the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe

Views of the High Altar of the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe The Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe is one of the most venerable ancient basilicas in all of Christendom, justly celebrated for its mosaics and as an exemplar of early Christian architecture. Now examples of early Christian basilicas invariably include the presenc…

Of Requiems, Wood, Iron and Unbleached Beeswax: Internal Consistencies of the Signs

Of Requiems, Wood, Iron and Unbleached Beeswax: Internal Consistencies of the Signs While candles are not the first thing one thinks of when considering liturgical art, I believe there is no detail too small to consider in the realm of the liturgical arts. Whether we are speaking of art, architecture or music, or whether we are looking at candles, incense…

Some Unique Black Vestments for All Souls Day

Some Unique Black Vestments for All Souls Day All Souls Day is a time of the liturgical year when the laudable custom of black vestments comes into particular focus. To mark this liturgical occasion I wished to share some unique, historical black vestments with you today. The symbolism found on each of these is partic…

The Tradition and Benefits of Festal Church Decorations

The Tradition and Benefits of Festal Church Decorations T he German philosopher, Josef Pieper, speaks of the essence and importance of festivals in his work, In Tune with the World: A Theory of Festivity -- a work in which he also addresses some of the problems with our approach to them (or lack thereof) in the modern age.  He sp…

A 'Via Media' for Lace as Liturgical Ornament

A 'Via Media' for Lace as Liturgical Ornament When it comes to the matter of albs or surplices with lace, typically one sees an all or nothing approach anymore. Either there are copious amounts of it or none of it.  Either approach can be dignified, however, there is a via media . This middle way is represented by the u…