Fashion and Redemption: A Catholic Vision

Fashion and Redemption: A Catholic Vision The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit,  Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,  is a cultural moment of artistic relevance that begs reflection: Why so much effort to showcase the Catholic influence on fashion, as inspired primarily by liturgical garments? M…

Aesthetics of the Cross in Medieval Commentary

Aesthetics of the Cross in Medieval Commentary One of the goals of LAJ is to showcase the breathtaking beauty of Catholic liturgical culture. From the general reaction to the stunning images that are shared on LAJ's Facebook page  (which, at the time this was written, has over 11,000 followers), it is clear that thi…

Early Christian Basilica Architecture: Santa Maria Assunta

Early Christian Basilica Architecture: Santa Maria Assunta One of my favourite basilicas is not found in Rome but rather in the north-eastern part of Italy on the small island of Torcello; small in size and population but large in its pedigree, having been the seat of a bishop by 638 A.D.\. The corresponding cathedral basilica of …

Pontifical Gloves: A Brief History and Consideration

Pontifical Gloves: A Brief History and Consideration Continuing on with our consideration of the traditional pontifical vestments of the Latin rite, we last considered pontifical sandalia (sandals) and I would now like to turn your attention to pontifical gloves -- or what are called chirothecae in the rubrics. This particul…

Back to Baroque, Martin Travers and St Swithun, Compton Beauchamp

Back to Baroque, Martin Travers and St Swithun, Compton Beauchamp Anglican ritualism, a movement that began in the middle of the nineteenth century, can be difficult to understand particularly for those who are not members of the Church of England.  It it wasn't a single movement at all, but developed in a series of waves and by the s…

Symbolic Offerings of the Solemn Papal Mass of Canonization

Symbolic Offerings of the Solemn Papal Mass of Canonization These are objects you don't see everyday and you would have been hard pressed to have seen them even prior to the Council. These objects were used during the Offertory as symbolic offerings made in the canonization Mass (typically a Solemn Papal Mass) when new saints w…

Pontifical Sandals: A Brief History and Consideration

Pontifical Sandals: A Brief History and Consideration Pontifical sandals, also called "sandalia" or "compagi," are a topic of long interest to me. While the subject of liturgical footwear might seem somewhat arcane, what it really amounts to is that it is part of the full liturgical 'armour' of the…

Other Modern: The Bishop's Chapel, Trieste

Other Modern: The Bishop's Chapel, Trieste Every once in awhile you come across an example that typifies something almost perfectly. Many times the question is asked, "what is 'other modern' exactly?" The best way to summarize it is that Other Modern is a form of art and/or architecture which, whi…

The Art of the Habit: Three North American examples

The Art of the Habit: Three North American examples Religious habits have often drawn inspiration from local forms of dress and even occasionally ephemeral ones. Here I'd like to look at three communities of women religious founded in North America, all founded under different circumstances and with different charisms, …

Sir Ninian Comper and Our Lady of Egmanton

Sir Ninian Comper and Our Lady of Egmanton The tiny village of Egmanton in Nottinghamshire lies a couple miles from the route of the Great North Road, a major thoroughfare that in medieval times linked London to York. The medieval parish church in the village is primarily of the fourteenth century and is dedicated…

Three Other Modern Vestments from Holland

Three Other Modern Vestments from Holland For the past while I have been hanging on to some images of vestments which come from Northern Europe in the mid-20th century, coming out of the aspirations of the Liturgical Movement. As you will know, one of the revivals of that particular time was related to the earlier…

Reclaiming the Cloistral Hush of the Sacristy and Sacristy Ceremonial

Reclaiming the Cloistral Hush of the Sacristy and Sacristy Ceremonial Those seeking to create a more reverent and prayerful approach to the sacred liturgy often give great focus to the liturgy itself but a reverent and prayerful liturgy doesn't begin with the ringing of the bell at the beginning of Mass; it begins in the pews and in the …

Before and After: Holy Comforter, Charlottesville, Virginia

Before and After: Holy Comforter, Charlottesville, Virginia Here is another 'before and after' coming this time from Holy Comforter in Charlottesville, Virginia, executed by Erik Bootsma Architecture .  Holy Comforter's previous sanctuary arrangement would look odd to anyone who was not familiar with the underlying theol…

A Brief History of the Flabellum

A Brief History of the Flabellum Flabella (plural) or flabellum (singular) are liturgical or ceremonial fans that could be made of various materials, from feathers to metal. Most Catholics will be familiar with these at least by sight, if not by name, by virtue of the iconic historical images of the popes…

New Vestment Work from Paramentica: The St. Philip Neri Chasuble

New Vestment Work from Paramentica: The St. Philip Neri Chasuble I wanted to introduce readers of LAJ to a vestment maker that we have not shown here before, Paramentica .  Since this is our first time featuring them, let's give a bit of background taken straight from their website: Paramentica is a Liturgical Workshop that strives to …

The Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul

The Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul Aurelius Prudentius Clemens (A.D. 348-413), better known simply as Prudentius, was a Roman Christian poet, and of interest for today's feast, the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, is his poem, taken from his Liber Peristephanon (Book of the Martyrs Crowns), the Passion of t…

Before and After: Three Churches

Before and After: Three Churches Continuing on with our popular 'before and after' series, I have three churches to show you today, each worked on by Rohn and Associates Design .  After each image I will provide a few thoughts and comments. We begin with St. John the Evangelist located in Lambervil…

18th Century Ironwork of Amiens Cathedral

18th Century Ironwork of Amiens Cathedral Ironwork in churches has always struck me as something of an unsung hero. Properly executed, it can turn a large space into a series of more intimate venues, adding additional beauty and layering (if you want to call it that) to a church, chapel or cathedral.  One particul…

The Rich Tradition of Ecclesiastical Heraldry in the Liturgical Arts

The Rich Tradition of Ecclesiastical Heraldry in the Liturgical Arts Ecclesiastical heraldry has had longstanding expression in the Church. Most will, of course, be familiar with the fact that the episcopal arms of the reigning bishop are emblazoned on the canopy of the cathedra (chair) in his cathedral as well on his diocesan letterhead and…

Lessons Found in a Traditional Russian Icon Corner

Lessons Found in a Traditional Russian Icon Corner In the Eastern Christian spiritual classic, The Way of a Pilgrim , the author speaks about how "in the devout Russian's room the icon will hang or rest on a shelf diagonally across a corner... and a reverence will be made to it by a person entering or leaving the r…