A Missal Fragment

A Missal Fragment This is a French printing of Vital de Four’s Speculum Moralae , printed in Lyon in 1513. It is a deeply frustrating book on one level, as it has been rebound at some point in the middle of the twentieth century in a plain, panelled Calf binding. Of course until relatively re…

The Art of the Communion Verse (Marriage Feast in Cana Sunday)

The Art of the Communion Verse (Marriage Feast in Cana Sunday) Sometimes overlooked, something ought to be said of the Communion verse -- a subject of the highest artistic merit which ought to be talked about everywhere, especially in liturgical catechesis in the seminary as well as from the pulpit on the parish level. Communion verse…

Liturgical English

Liturgical English As noted when LAJ was founded, while the visual arts are of primary focus of course, we also wish to consider other elements which inform the beauty and sacrality of the sacred liturgy. Most obviously that includes sacred music, but it also includes liturgical prose.  Today…

The Value of Vestural Traditions: A Call For Ecclesiastical Self-Confidence

The Value of Vestural Traditions: A Call For Ecclesiastical Self-Confidence Let's put out into the deep for a moment to speak about the 'dreaded' and 'taboo' topic of traditional vestural elements such as tufted fascia, buckled clerical shoes, the mantelletta as used traditionally by prelates outside their area of ordinary juri…

An Introduction to 'The Other Modern' (on LAJ)

An Introduction to 'The Other Modern' (on LAJ) Something which has not yet made its appearance here on LAJ is "the Other Modern." What is that you might ask? The Other Modern is a term which is applied to modern forms of art and architecture which, while contemporary on the one hand, are derived from the class…

The Importance of Variety and Distinctiveness in Vestment Design. Part 1: Gothic Revival

The Importance of Variety and Distinctiveness in Vestment Design. Part 1: Gothic Revival Why is it that gothic revival vestments are seldom features of artistic interest in the same way other period styles might be? This observation is based, admittedly, upon the anecdotal evidence of what has been featured, ‘liked,’ shared and commented upon over the years. Ev…

A Courtly French Prayer Book

A Courtly French Prayer Book The last book I shared with you was a French Breviary, an office book for a priest, the second book I would like to share with you is also a French volume, but is something quite different, a devotional book intended for use by the laity. This diminutive volume is only fou…

Excellence in Gothic Revival Sculpture: St. Barnabas in London and the Cowley Church of Boston

Excellence in Gothic Revival Sculpture: St. Barnabas in London and the Cowley Church of Boston In followup to our recent piece  on the subject of good (versus poor) statuary in churches, one of our readers -- an accomplished liturgical artist in his own right,  Davis d'Ambly  -- sent LAJ some further photos of some of the beautiful work of the English gothic reviva…

Liturgical History and Art As Seen in a 1770 Mozarabic Missal

Liturgical History and Art As Seen in a 1770 Mozarabic Missal Some of you might find the following edition of the Mozarabic Missal rather interesting, both for reason of its beauty and also for reason of the interesting story the art within tells. It was published in 1770, not in Rome or Spain as one might expect, but rather in colon…

Some Notes Around Epiphany

Some Notes Around Epiphany The Feast of Epiphany brings a rich opportunity to look at some varied themes that surround the feast, which are expressed richly through the sacred liturgy, through sacred art and also in terms of its associated customs. While the Latin rite tends to think of the feast of …

The Chapter of Westminster Cathedral

The Chapter of Westminster Cathedral One of the great pleasures of living in London is close contact with the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood, Westminster: colloquially known as Westminster Cathedral. Since 1903 it has striven to offer worship to the highest possible standards; this tradition…

Church Statuary: Moving Beyond "Art de Saint-Sulpice"

Church Statuary: Moving Beyond "Art de Saint-Sulpice" Statuary is something which I sometimes find myself wishing there was less of -- not because I am against statuary but rather because there is now so much modern statuary out there that is so very lack lustre. Much of this has to do with mass production and the sentimental…

New Vestment Work From Maris Stella Vestments

New Vestment Work From Maris Stella Vestments Continuing on with our project of highlighting some of the active options out there for the liturgical arts, and specifically with our recent focus on vestments, LAJ readers of baroque inclinations may be interested in the work of  Maris Stella Vestments  based out of the UK…

The Life, Work and Ambitions of Liturgical Scholar and Artist, Abbé Franck Quoëx

The Life, Work and Ambitions of Liturgical Scholar and Artist, Abbé Franck Quoëx Many of you will know of the late Abbé Franck Quoëx, who died on this day eleven years ago. Abbé Quoëx was a liturgical scholar and a cleric with a passion for the liturgical arts; of Romanitas as particularly manifest through through the splendour of the baroque. He has l…

Sixteenth Century Breviary of the Use of Orleans

Sixteenth Century Breviary of the Use of Orleans I am going to start this series of articles on the bindings of liturgical books, by looking at a French Breviary of the mid sixteenth century. The book I’m going to consider is sitting before me on my desk as a write. It is a Breviary according to the liturgical Use of Orle…

Medieval Inspired Work From Atelier Sirio

Medieval Inspired Work From Atelier Sirio By way of follow up to the last post, here are a few more that caught my eye, coming from  Atelier Sirio  in Italy. When it comes to the fuller form of vestments, one of the styles that is particularly appealing is the conical form as well as some of the truncated forms of it…

Ready Made Vestments - What's Available

Ready Made Vestments - What's Available One of the things that LAJ both desires to do -- and has been asked to do -- is provide practical options for parishes and clergy today in the realm of the liturgical arts. Historical examples are important as a means of cultivating good liturgical taste and knowledge of hi…

Early Roman Basilica Influence in South Carolina

Early Roman Basilica Influence in South Carolina We haven't dipped much into new church architecture yet and I can think of no better way to start than by featuring St. Mary, Help of Christians, in Aiken, South Carolina. The church in question was designed by  McCrery Architects  who will no doubt be familiar to many o…