The Traditional (Pre-1917) Advent Fast in the USA

The Traditional (Pre-1917) Advent Fast in the USA That Advent is a penitential season is generally well known, and many also know that it was, traditionally, a season for fasting—although the specifics of the fast are hazy for most modern Catholics, probably because it was removed as an obligation in 1917, effectively befo…

The Basilica of Santa Sabina: Origins and Transformations.

The Basilica of Santa Sabina: Origins and Transformations. The present appearance of the church is that envisioned and materialized by architect Antonio Munoz, who was successively superintendent for monuments and inspector general of antiquities and fine arts of Rome. Munoz’s goal was to restore the basilica to what he believed w…

Saving Catholic Artistic Heritage: Via Matris at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in Chicago

Saving Catholic Artistic Heritage: Via Matris at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in Chicago "Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter is smitten with a great wound” (Jer 14:17) Pilgrims who visit the Basilica of Our Lady Sorrows and the National Shrine of St. Peregine in Chicago can have a special joy of p…

Altar Statues of the Cathedral of Monreale by Luigi Valadier

Altar Statues of the Cathedral of Monreale by Luigi Valadier For those fortunate enough to find themselves in Rome during the next couple of months, the Villa Borghese hosts, until February 2nd, the exhibition Luigi Valadier: Splendor in eighteenth century Rome . The same spectacular pieces were displayed last year at the Frick Colle…

Teaching Kids the Roman Rite: My Book of the Church's Year

Teaching Kids the Roman Rite: My Book of the Church's Year It brings great joy to know that this wonderful childrens' book has been re-printed and is available in time for Christmas shoppers.  I highly recommend this treasure for kids of all ages.  It was originally published in 1948 and this facsimile edition was published in…

Introducing Daprato-Rigali Studios

Introducing Daprato-Rigali Studios Today I wished to introduce our readers to Daprato-Rigali Studios , a Chicago based firm that has been in operation since 1860, originally founded by four Italian brothers -- the Daprato's -- originally as a statuary company. Eventually, a young intern, John Rigali, wou…

Titular Feast of the Basilica of the Nativity of Mary in Senglea, Malta

Titular Feast of the Basilica of the Nativity of Mary in Senglea, Malta Today, before we leave the Basilica of the Nativity of Mary in Senglea, Malta, I thought our readers would enjoy the following views of the basilica festally adorned for its titular feast. Some of the festal traditions you will note here include the dressing of all the alt…

Sacristy Tour: The Basilica of the Nativity of Mary, Senglea, Malta

Sacristy Tour: The Basilica of the Nativity of Mary, Senglea, Malta One of our readers kindly sent in the following photos which give a wonderful inside look at the sacristy of the Basilica of the Nativity of Mary in Senglea, Malta.  The church was originally built in 1580 and declared a "collegiata insignis" by Pope Pius VI in 1…

Varieties of Violacea V

Varieties of Violacea V With Advent coming quickly upon us this weekend, I thought I would continue a tradition of previous years by showing some different examples of violet vestments taken from the past few centuries. If you pay attention to the details and centuries that go with them, you will…

Before and After: St. Francis of Assisi in Grapevine, Texas

Before and After: St. Francis of Assisi in Grapevine, Texas We are quite pleased to so quickly be able to present another of our ever popular "before and after" series in such a short timeframe, this time looking at St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church in Grapevine, Texas. The project was executed by Gardiner-Hall …

New Vestment Work: A Gold Cope from Sacra Domus Aurea

New Vestment Work: A Gold Cope from Sacra Domus Aurea As always, I am interested in sharing the work of our supporters -- not simply because of their interest in and support of LAJ but also because LAJ believes in the mission and the quality of their work -- and today I wanted to share a bit of the recent work of  Sacra Domus …

Before and After: Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Louisiana

Before and After: Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Louisiana Today I wished to share a project coming from Wisconsin based  Conrad Schmitt Studios  who recently completed a project for the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The project included new mural work, decorative painting as well as conservation…

Variations in Form of the Advent Wreath

Variations in Form of the Advent Wreath The season of Advent is now only days away and, as always, this particular season brings to mind the many customs that have developed around this time of the liturgical year, one of the most popular being the Advent wreath which originally arose in Germany in the 16th cent…

Bodley Inspired Gothic Revival

Bodley Inspired Gothic Revival For those of you interested in vestments of a gothic revival nature you might be interested in this recent offering from Maris Stella Vestments , a bespoke designer based out of the United Kingdom.  The set uses a green damask that was a design of the 19th century gothic re…

The Thanksgiving Mass and the Ordinariate

The Thanksgiving Mass and the Ordinariate American Catholics have long felt a desire to liturgize the civil holiday of Thanksgiving. In the 1950s, the Rural Life Prayerbook suggested attending the Mass of the day and privately praying the Collect, Secret, and Postcommunion of the Votive Mass of Thanksgiving. Severa…

The Liturgical Scholar: Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

The Liturgical Scholar: Dr. Peter Kwasniewski After a long winter the Catholic Church is again producing a new generation of intellectuals.  It has been an enjoyable experience to watch the emergence of these great minds and loyal sons of the Church such as Dr. Roberto de Mattei, Gregory di Pippo, Fr. Z and Dr. Peter …

Iconographer Vladimir Grygorenko

Iconographer Vladimir Grygorenko While our focus here on LAJ has been substantially oriented toward the Latin rite, the liturgical arts of the Christian East have always been a matter of great interest and, as such, I was pleased to hear from Subdeacon Vladimir Grygorenko , a Ukrainian iconographer in the …

Venetian Lace Vestments of the Later 17th Century

Venetian Lace Vestments of the Later 17th Century The following vestment was made in Venice between 1670-695 and comes from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  What makes this particular chasuble of interest is that it utilizes lace, rather than embroidery or brocaded fabrics, as its means of prim…

The Draping of the Prie-Dieu of a Prelate in Roman Usage

The Draping of the Prie-Dieu of a Prelate in Roman Usage In John Abel Nainfa's authoritative work, Costume of Prelates of the Catholic Church According to Roman Etiquette , he discusses the broad use of heraldry where prelates are concerned, including its use on anything that "is fit to receive such a decoration -- his p…

Violet and Rose Chasubles from Piedmont

Violet and Rose Chasubles from Piedmont The following are a selection of vestments from the Piedmont, a northwestern region of Italy that borders France and Switzerland. Given that Advent is now quickly coming upon us, I wished to make the focus violet and rose chasubles, ranging from the later 17th century throu…