Nineteenth Century France's Iconic Style: Revived

Nineteenth Century France's Iconic Style: Revived Vestment design has seen many iterations over the centuries and two of the most popular styles, not simply for embroidered works but overall, remain the Italian tradition as represented through the 17th-19th centuries and the French tradition of the 19th century.  We have fr…

Learning to Serve: A Book for New Altar Boys by St. Augustine Academy Press

Learning to Serve: A Book for New Altar Boys by St. Augustine Academy Press Teaching liturgical arts to children has never been more important.  I have been asked to review this fine book, Learning to Serve by Fr. Charles Carmody.  Such a delightful little gem - written specifically for new altar boys who serve the Extraordinary Form of the Roman R…

New Carmelite Monastery of Jesus, Mary & Joseph in Fairfield, Pennsylvania

New Carmelite Monastery of Jesus, Mary & Joseph in Fairfield, Pennsylvania Many readers will be happy to know progress is being made with the construction of the new traditional Carmel in Fairfield, Pennsylvania (near the historic Catholic town of Emmitsburg, Maryland).  The monastery is set up as a cloistered convent for Carmelite nuns, a foundat…

Liturgical Arts Alive and Well in Croatia

Liturgical Arts Alive and Well in Croatia Photos: Tradicionalna Misa on Facebook Thankfully the liturgical arts are flourishing in Croatia, a venerable Catholic country that borders Italy.  Croatia is the land of St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, who was born there in the Roman province of Dalmatia (and buried in th…

Madonna and Child Statue in Vancouver Cathedral by Granda Liturgical Arts

Madonna and Child Statue in Vancouver Cathedral by Granda Liturgical Arts Photos: OC-Travel The lady altar of Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver showcases an exquisite Spanish polychrome and gilded wood sculpture of the Madonna and Child that is definitely worth a mention.  The statue is a creation from Granda in Spain, so impressive that for some…

Woodcarved Crozier in Neo-Gothic Style by Catholic Wood Carver Paul Sirba

Woodcarved Crozier in Neo-Gothic Style by Catholic Wood Carver Paul Sirba Photo: OC-Travel As everyone knows, the crozier ( baculus pastoralis ) is a hooked staff carried by bishops and abbots, symbolic of their pastoral office.  It was originally carried by shepherds to lead and direct the flock entrusted to their care and to rescue lost sheep by …

Italian Wall Tapestries for Church Furnishing and Decoration

Italian Wall Tapestries for Church Furnishing and Decoration Photos: OC-Travel Wall hangings can greatly enrich the interior decor of a church.  As I have traveled Europe in recent years I have seen some amazing new tapestries for sale, made almost exclusively by computers that automate time-honored pattering in places like Flanders a…

The Shrine of the Three Kings in Cologne Cathedral

The Shrine of the Three Kings in Cologne Cathedral Cologne became one of Europe’s prime pilgrimage destinations in the 12 th century, when Emperor Frederick Barbarossa gave the relics of the Three Kings to Cologne Archbishop Rainald von Dassel. The Emperor had just appropriated them after besieging the city of Milan, where t…

Customs and Traditions: The Boy Bishop

Customs and Traditions: The Boy Bishop The colorful medieval tradition of the boy bishop was once popular all over Europe and even in the Americas. Over the centuries, it was progressively abandoned until its revival in recent years. It's interpretation and symbolism are varied, but the best accepted theory …

King Richard's Workshop: Preview of Some Newly Carved Stations of the Cross

King Richard's Workshop: Preview of Some Newly Carved Stations of the Cross K ing Richard's Liturgical Design & Contracting recently unveiled a new set of carved Stations of the Cross they produced for a high school chapel within the United States.  The final result is quite spectacular as I am sure you will agree.  The final result is always…

Another Curiosity

Another Curiosity Back in September of 2018 we showed our readers a curious  Marian chasuble  that had a similar, rustic, folksy character to the example we are showing to you today. Not unlike that previous example, I regrettably have very little in the way of solid information to offer other…

Chasubles of Seven Italian Cardinals of the Eighteenth Century

Chasubles of Seven Italian Cardinals of the Eighteenth Century If you want to see some of the finest embroidery work of the 18th century, you need only search out the chasubles of Italian cardinals from that period. Due to their particular rank in relation to the particular solemnity of the rites they would have celebrated in important…

The Art of Altar Missals: Example from Canada

The Art of Altar Missals: Example from Canada Many young priests today are interested in new designs for altar missals -- for understandable reasons. Unfortunately, modern stock altar missals for the modern rite cultivate long-dormant styles of the sixties that are today seen as dated lapses of judgment, time warps tha…

A Brief Tutorial on the Main Vestments by Type of Mass

A Brief Tutorial on the Main Vestments by Type of Mass A reader recently contacted us here at LAJ and suggested that it might be very helpful to provide some basic beginner tutorials on things such as the different vestments that are used in the Low Mass versus the Solemn Mass and so on. As many are newly discovering these trad…

The Importance of Customs and Traditions

The Importance of Customs and Traditions While the feast of St. Wenceslas takes place in September, the name is for many in the English speaking world indelibly connected with the season of Christmas because of the Christmas Carol, Good King Wenceslaus , written by one of Cardinal Newman's Oxford Movement confr…

A Spanish Penitential Cope from 1438

A Spanish Penitential Cope from 1438 The Metropolitan Museum of Art is currently displaying a Spanish cope that they date to 1438.  The cope originally came from the treasury of the cathedral of Burgos and is now part of the Cloisters collection in New York City.   The cope is made of a deep blue silk and embro…

A Roman Pianeta Fit For a Dominican

A Roman Pianeta Fit For a Dominican In keeping with the liturgical moment, we recently featured a rose set around Gaudete Sunday and as these last days of Advent now slip quickly away we turn our eyes toward the solemn and festive colours of Christmas.  It's interesting to note that in traditions such as …

Holy Oil Set from a Cathedral Ambry

Holy Oil Set from a Cathedral Ambry Holy oil ampullae urns are a rare sight, generally kept under lock and key and seen only in cathedral sacristies.  This fine example is a historical silver set from the treasury of the Cathedral of Vancouver, British Columbia.  It has been in continual use for generations. …

Virgo Sacrario – The Marian Tabernacle of the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca

Virgo Sacrario – The Marian Tabernacle of the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca The traditional advent hymn Creator Alme Siderum sings the following verse: E Virginis sacrario | Intacta prodis victima. Proceeding from a virgin shrine | The spotless victim all divine. A beautiful expression that helps us contemplate the Maternity of Mary, and indeed her …

New Painted Works of St. Scholastica and St. Benedict

New Painted Works of St. Scholastica and St. Benedict Touching back once again to some new, original painted work, I have been meaning to feature two paintings that were executed by the studio of Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs  of saints Benedict and Scholastica which were destined for use within a monastery altarpiece.  Both works app…

Before and After: St. Augustine's Cathedral in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Before and After: St. Augustine's Cathedral in Kalamazoo, Michigan St. Augustine's Cathedral in Kalamazoo, Michigan, working in collaboration with the architectural firm of Duncan Stroik , recently completed the first phase of a renovation of that cathedral with the re-consecration/dedication of the cathedral taking place this past Gaud…

A New Solemn Rose Set for St. John Cantius

A New Solemn Rose Set for St. John Cantius Recently the folks at Altarworthy, a vestment making firm located on the American West Coast, shared with LAJ a rose set they made for the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in Chicago. The set includes the usual pieces required for a Solemn Mass in the usus antiquior, as w…

St. Charles Borromeo's Instructions on the Form of the High Altar

St. Charles Borromeo's Instructions on the Form of the High Altar While much has been made in recent years of the Borromean instructions around the shape of the chasuble, many may not be aware that St. Charles gave instructions for basically everything ecclesiastical in his Instructiones Fabricae et Supellectilis of 1577 (which was also t…

Before and After: Blessed Sacrament in Lawton, Oklahoma

Before and After: Blessed Sacrament in Lawton, Oklahoma Continuing on with our 'Before and After' series, we turn today to another parish, Blessed Sacrament in Lawton, Oklahoma . They say that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade and the parish in question was able to take advantage of the restrictions on public …

St. Michael's Shrine of the True Cross in Torresdale, Pennsylvania

St. Michael's Shrine of the True Cross in Torresdale, Pennsylvania Browsing through a 1934 issue of Liturgical Arts Quarterly (LAQ), I recently came across an article on the subject of St. Michael's Chapel in Torresdale, Pennsylvania. The architecture immediately caught my attention as a project of interest both to me and likely to our…

Requiem Mass Altar Cards

Requiem Mass Altar Cards A unique liturgical item worth a quick mention is this beautiful set of antique French Requiem Mass altar cards in Neo-Classical style seen in Vancouver, British Columbia.  This is a rare sight, indeed, something not always seen.  Although altar cards came into widespread u…

Some Cerulean Blue Vestments from Italy

Some Cerulean Blue Vestments from Italy Recently I touched on the matter of European inventories of blue coloured vestments and I noted that to automatically associate them as being "Marian" in intent would be a mistake -- as historically, blue and bluish purples were classed under the categorization of…

Before and After: St. Mary's in Fennimore, Wisconsin

Before and After: St. Mary's in Fennimore, Wisconsin C onrad Schmitt Studios  pursued this renovation/restoration project a few years ago and it is well worth featuring. The church in question is St. Mary's located in Fennimore, Wisconsin. It is the typical and all too familiar story of some of the mid-20th century ideologi…

An Original Painted Triptych from the Studio of ALBL Oberammergau

An Original Painted Triptych from the Studio of ALBL Oberammergau Original painted works of liturgical art are not something we seem to have the opportunity to feature very often, so we were particularly happy to be able to feature the following triptych that recently came out of the studios of ALBL Oberammergau in Germany. From their sit…

A Fifteenth Century Solemn Mass Set Gifted by the Future Pope Julius II

A Fifteenth Century Solemn Mass Set Gifted by the Future Pope Julius II Today I am pleased to share the following solemn Mass set dated to 1475-1499 which is found on a blue velvet with a gold brocaded pattern of grapes and grapevines. The set in question was donated by then Cardinal Guiliano della Rovere who would eventually go on to become Po…