Michaelmas Day Window at St. Michael's Abbey in Silverado, California

Michaelmas Day Window at St. Michael's Abbey in Silverado, California Many thanks to G Photography and Films for the wonderful images of the annual celebration of Michaelmas Day at St. Michael's Abbey in Orange County, California. The new abbey church was designed by the French architect Jean-Louis Pagès, who drew his inspiration from a 1…

Further Examples of Coverings for Liturgical Books

Further Examples of Coverings for Liturgical Books We have spoken here before of the lost art of the liturgical book coverings  and today I am pleased to be able to present a few more examples, all taken from the diocese of Savona in Liguria. Liturgical book coverings function much in the way antependia do insofar as they &#…

Dominican Rite Altar Cards

Dominican Rite Altar Cards Recently I was privileged to attend Mass at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. It was good news to hear the ancient Dominican Rite is flourishing and continues to make a comeback on this side of the pond. I was further impressed to see these very interesting…

Before and After: Ss. Cyril and Methodius in East Helena, Montana

Before and After: Ss. Cyril and Methodius in East Helena, Montana [Steve Baker, the principal architect at  Baker Architects LLC  provided LAJ with the following guest article featuring a renovation project their firm completed in the Autumn of 2023 at Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church located in East Helena, Montana.]

A Brief History of Liturgical Colours

A Brief History of Liturgical Colours To understand the evolution of liturgical colours, one first has to understand some basics about the evolution of sacred vestments themselves. Vestments originate from Roman civil dress and in paleochristian times this was simply attached to the notion of reserving one's…

The Ottoman Cope of the Basilica of Gandino

The Ottoman Cope of the Basilica of Gandino On February 21, 2021, our friend and colleague Lucas Viar wrote an article on the sixteenth century  Condestable cope  -- a vestment in the possession of Burgos Cathedral in Spain and a very good example of the use of a Moorish, Islamic-influenced textile within vestment desi…

A Florentine Cope From the Sixteenth Century

A Florentine Cope From the Sixteenth Century With the great feast of Pentecost now upon us, what better time to show this elegant, ornamental red cope. This particular cope is Florentine in manufacture and is dated to the sixteenth century; specifically the last quarter of the sixteenth century, sitting somewhere betw…

The Cappa Parva of Mons. Petrus Canisius Jean van Lierde: Prefect of the Papal Sacristy

The Cappa Parva of Mons. Petrus Canisius Jean van Lierde: Prefect of the Papal Sacristy In old photos of papal liturgies the figure of the Dutch Augustinian Monsignor Pietro C. van Lierde, OSA (1907-1995) stands out. He is often seen, vested in black and holding a tall lit candle. Bishop van Lierde was an Augustinian friar ordained in 1931, a member of the Ord…

A Processional Cross from the Year 1545

A Processional Cross from the Year 1545 Today I thought we'd take a quick look at a processional cross that was made in the year 1545. This particular cross is gilded in silver and includes decoration on both the front and back sides. On the front side we find a typical, traditional crucifixion setting, with …

The Curious Zucchetto of Pope Pius VI

The Curious Zucchetto of Pope Pius VI Most everyone has seen a zucchetto (whether they know it or not). It is the skullcap worn by popes and prelates, as well as by some other clerics, monastics and mendicants. The official name for this item of vesture is actually a "pileolus." The custom of wearing o…

A New Marian Crown Crafted in Malta

A New Marian Crown Crafted in Malta With today being the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, we'd like to share today a new ornamental crown that has been designed for the same by the Maltese artist, Gabriel Farrugia. First, some background about the artist.

The Clementine Chapel of the Vatican Basilica (La Clementina)

The Clementine Chapel of the Vatican Basilica (La Clementina) One of my favorite places to visit in the Christian world is the Clementine Chapel of the Vatican Basilica. Here visitors are immersed in the gilded Baroque splendor of the basement crypt of St. Peter's Basilica, where the Blessed Apostle Peter is buried. This chapel is…

The Papal Court: Prince Assistants to the Papal Throne (Principe Assistente al Soglio Pontificio)

The Papal Court: Prince Assistants to the Papal Throne (Principe Assistente al Soglio Pontificio) The man in the impressive uniform here is Principe Aspreno II Colonna (1916-1987), Prince of Paliano (a town east of Rome) and First Prince Assistant to the Papal Throne. He was the last of two Princes who held the hereditary role of "Prince Assistant to the Papal Thro…

The Reredos of St Joseph's Church, Stanley, Durham

The Reredos of St Joseph's Church, Stanley, Durham Few things can be more beautiful than a well crafted, carved wooden reredos, especially in the gothic style and the reredos of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Stanley in the United Kingdom is certainly no exception to this.  While the rest of the church is fairly typica…

The Sixteenth Century Marian Cope of Joan de Terès, Archbishop of Tarragona, Spain

The Sixteenth Century Marian Cope of  Joan de Terès, Archbishop of Tarragona, Spain The month of May is the month of Mary, and what better time to share this splendid cope, dated to the period of 1587-1603. We know that dating in part because we know for whom it was commissioned: Joan de Terès, Archbishop of Tarragona, Spain.  The overall shape of the cope …

Santa Maria Reina de la Familia by Estudio Urbano (Cayalá, Guatemala)

Santa Maria Reina de la Familia by Estudio Urbano (Cayalá, Guatemala) In 2022 this beautiful new church of Santa María Reina de la Familia (Holy Mary Queen of the Family) was dedicated in Ciudad Cayalá, a new urban quarter of Guatemala. It was 14 years in the making from the first sketch in 2008 to the final completion. Needless to say, the d…

Apparelled Amice from Solemnis in Poland

Apparelled Amice from Solemnis in Poland Apparel on an amice or alb is a rare sight in most parts of the world. It brings to mind the vestments of the Middle-Ages, still seen today in some places such as England, Spain or Australia. For many Catholics it is most commonly seen in the Anglican Ordinariate, with infl…

The Corporal of the Rite of Lyon

The Corporal of the Rite of Lyon The Archdiocese of Lyon, the Prima Sedes Galliarum , has a very ancient particular liturgy, the Rite of Lyon ( Rite Lyonnais ). This immemorial rite, a variant of the Roman Rite, dates from around the Carolingian period (8th-9th century). It comes in direct line from Rome. Thi…

The Remains of the Basilica of Santa Maria Antiqua in the Roman Forum

The Remains of the Basilica of Santa Maria Antiqua in the Roman Forum Since we spent some time showing you the old basilica of "Snnta Maria Nova" (now known as Santa Francesca Romana), we may as well show you the other side of that coin (so to speak): Santa Maria Antiqua -- or "Old St. Mary's" as we would tend to say i…

The Roman Basilica of Santa Francesca Romana (Santa Maria Nova)

The Roman Basilica of Santa Francesca Romana (Santa Maria Nova) The Basilica of Santa Francesa Romana is not a Roman basilica one typically hears of and yet it sits in one of the most prominent and well-visited tourist attractions in all of Rome: the Roman Forum.  Originally, in the eighth century, another oratory had been established on…

The “San Filippo Neri” Chasuble by Sacra Domus Aurea

The “San Filippo Neri” Chasuble by Sacra Domus Aurea S acra Domus Aurea has made a name for itself as a first-rate designer and tailor of bespoke liturgical vestments. The owner is Anamaria who has grown her business over the years and now her unique vestment creations can be seen everywhere. In these images we can see an examp…

National Shrine of Our Lady of Victory (Diocese of Buffalo, New York)

National Shrine of Our Lady of Victory (Diocese of Buffalo, New York) Throughout the world, wherever the cross of Christ has been planted, the wellspring of beautiful churches follows. This has been seen in virtually every corner of the world, giving rise to other-worldly beauty that nourishes the roots of faith and serves to give glory to Go…

Anatomy of a Maltese Altar

Anatomy of a Maltese Altar Malta is a small island nation located in the Mediterranean just south of Sicily, but what it lacks in goegraphic size, it more than makes up for in the magnanimity of its liturgical art -- specifically baroque liturgical art.  Malta has seen many of the traditions of the Ch…

The Cartegloria of S. Ignazio from the Altar of St. Ignatius in the Gesu, Rome

The Cartegloria of S. Ignazio from the Altar of St. Ignatius in the Gesu, Rome The Gesu (or more properly the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus) in Rome is well enough known to many of our readers. It is the mother church of the Jesuits in Rome and one of the foremost examples of a baroque church in the Eternal City. One of the most famous altars found…

Historical Re-Creation of a Jesuit Chapel in the Czech Republic

Historical Re-Creation of a Jesuit Chapel in the Czech Republic Petr Hofman, a reader based in the former Czechoslovakia, sent LAJ some news about the historical re-creation of the altar of an old Jesuit chapel that has been created as part of an event that takes place in the Czech Republic that celebrates the rich ecclesiastical histor…

Book Review: Sacred Music and Liturgy After Vatican II: Significant Works of Monsignor Richard J. Schuler

Book Review: Sacred Music and Liturgy After Vatican II: Significant Works of Monsignor Richard J. Schuler Our kind friends at Arouca Press have published a wonderful new book that highlights the writings of Monsignor Schuler, penned over the span forty years and originally written for one of our favorite publications, Sacred Music, of which he was once the editor.  This new vol…

English Gothic Revivalism: Joseph Aloysius Pippet and the Church of the Sacred Heart, Caterham, England

English Gothic Revivalism: Joseph Aloysius Pippet and the Church of the Sacred Heart, Caterham, England The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus located in Caterham, Surrey, England was built in the year 1881 and follows a classic gothic revival pattern, typical to the tastes of the time and place in which it was built, taking in many regards the template of a medieval parish …

A Seventeenth Century Festal Chasuble from St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria

A Seventeenth Century Festal Chasuble from St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria There is a chasuble that is found in the treasury of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria that for a long while I have sought to feature, but regrettably very little information is available about it, beyond the fact of where it is located. Some date the chasuble …

National Shrine of St. Alphonsus Liguori in Baltimore

National Shrine of St. Alphonsus Liguori in Baltimore The  National Shrine of St. Alphonsus Liguori  looks with pardonable pride upon the city of Baltimore. Its majestic spire rears aloft within a block of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption, the first cathedral in the nation. The shrine is known as “Baltimore’…

A Festal Easter Chasuble from Early Eighteenth Century Quebec

A Festal Easter Chasuble from Early Eighteenth Century Quebec Continuing on with some of our considerations of vestments appropriate to the Easter Season, as well as our considerations of the exquisite vestment and embroidery work of  Mother Marie Lemaire des Anges and  the Ursulines of Québec, here today we take a quick look at what is…

The Sacred Art of Raúl Berzosa

The Sacred Art of Raúl Berzosa My favorite living oil on canvas painter is Raúl Berzosa, a Spanish-born artist from Málaga, Spain. His works are many and prolific, seen in various churches and chapels round the world, including Spain, Portugal, Italy, Guatemala, Colombia, Argentina, England, and the Unit…

Borromeo Style Chasuble by Altarworthy

Borromeo Style Chasuble by Altarworthy Altarworthy has created a luminous hand-tailored brocatelle (silk-linen) in antiquated look with an incredible medieval Italian motif in the Borromeo style. The trim is in blue with a golden floral pattern. In the pattern of the rich fabric two animals emerge: a lion and a …

A Solemn Easter Chasuble Produced by the Ursulines of Quebec in the Early 1700's

A Solemn Easter Chasuble Produced by the Ursulines of Quebec in the Early 1700's In previous articles we have shared the incredible embroidery work of  Mother Marie Lemaire des Anges of the Ursuline Convent of Quebec and had noted that she had passed this tradition down to her younger sisters whom she apprenticed in this art. In that vein, and to  continu…

A Nineteenth Century French or Belgian Easter Chasuble

A Nineteenth Century French or Belgian Easter Chasuble While I regrettably do not have any historical information on this particular set of vestments, given that it comes in a style we have not frequently shown here it seems worthwhile to look at it all the same. What I can say, just by virtue of looking at the style, materials…

The Potentialities of Classic Italian Romanesque

The Potentialities of Classic Italian Romanesque One of the most pleasing styles of Christian architecture, to my mind, is neither gothic (with apologies to Pugin) nor baroque (with apologies to Bernini) but rather Italianate Romanesque, strongly rooted as it is in the classic Roman models that have come to characterize t…

Three Hearts Pilgrimage in Oklahoma

Three Hearts Pilgrimage in Oklahoma Each year in October the Three Hearts Pilgrimage  takes place in the foothills of Oklahoma, a 2-day 35 mile penitential walk in the medieval footprint. The final destination is the Traditional Benedictine monastery of Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey  in Hulbert, where a joyous …

Cardinal Stickler's Memorable Pontifical Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral (1996)

Cardinal Stickler's Memorable Pontifical Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral (1996) On May 12, 1996 - Mother's Day - a watershed moment happened for the renewal of sacred liturgy. That day the Austrian-born Alfonse Cardinal Stickler, age 85, sang Pontifical Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. The day marked the first time a senior pre…

A Festal Altar Frontal from the Workshop of the Ursulines of Quebec

A Festal Altar Frontal from the Workshop of the Ursulines of Quebec Returning to our considerations of the exquisite embroidery work of the Ursulines of New France (i.e. modern day Quebec, Canada), while we have already shown you two quite impressive frontals form this atelier, perhaps none is more impressive than this particular offering w…

A Selection of Nineteenth Century French Cloth of Gold Vestments

A Selection of Nineteenth Century French Cloth of Gold Vestments If there are any two times of the liturgical year that would especially seem to warrant the use of the colour gold, it is on the high feasts of Christmas and Easter. When it comes to gold vestments, few have perhaps embraced this so much as the French did in the nineteenth …

The Hand-Illuminated Liturgical Books of the Twentieth Century English Artist Edward Bulley

The Hand-Illuminated Liturgical Books of the Twentieth Century English Artist Edward Bulley We don't often get an opportunity to feature contemporary liturgical books that have been hand-illuminated, so when we do we can hardly let such a rare opportunity slip us by. For that reason we are particularly pleased to present a set of liturgical books that were cal…

Rise of the Phoenix: A Unique Sicilian Easter Vestment Set

Rise of the Phoenix: A Unique Sicilian Easter Vestment Set A lot of the vestments we feature here, and a lot of vestments out there in general, contain similar themes where figurative or symbolic imagery are concerned and it is for that reason that I thought I would share with our readers this interesting chasuble coming from 18th …

Santa Maria Novella - The Dominican Church of Florence

Santa Maria Novella - The Dominican Church of Florence The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella in Florence is one of the most important churches in the city of Florence and if you happen to be sojourning there via train you're in luck as it is literally right across from Florence's train station. The church is the principal…

Tapestries of the Papal Court for Holy Thursday

Tapestries of the Papal Court for Holy Thursday If you take a look at images or photographs of papal ceremonies from prior to the 1970's you will frequently see large tapestries forming a part of the liturgical or ceremonial setting (which, it should be noted, take place outside of the context of Mass; see the end of…

Sacra: Relics of the Saints (Restoration, Catechesis, Consultation)

Sacra: Relics of the Saints (Restoration, Catechesis, Consultation) Relics play a key role in liturgical arts. They adorn nearly all altars. Today there are a lot of people asking about preservation and repair of relics and reliquaries, seals, restoring documents, authentication, identification, provenance, etc. These days many relics are o…