The Splendor of the "Romano-Seraphicum" Missal in the Holy Land

The Splendor of the "Romano-Seraphicum" Missal  in the Holy Land One of the best kept liturgical secrets in the Church is the unique liturgical life found in the Patriarchal See (Diocese) of Jerusalem with its fascinating Roman-Seraphic Missal (Missale Romano-Seraphicum) of the Order of Friars Minor of St. Francis of Assisi. This extrem…

Vestments Suited to the Octave of Easter: A Visual Meditation

Vestments Suited to the Octave of Easter: A Visual Meditation An octave is the eight day celebration of a feast that, liturgically, forms the equivalent of a single liturgical feast. With that in mind, I thought I would share with readers a few examples of some vestments well suited to this solemnity of solemnities, celebrated through…

The Ceremony of the Washing of the Papal Altar in St. Peter's Basilica on Holy Thursday

The Ceremony of the Washing of the Papal Altar in St. Peter's Basilica on Holy Thursday Traditionally on Holy Thursday in St. Peter's Basilica, there was a curious ceremony which took place, the ablution (or washing) of the papal altar with water and wine.  Cardinal Wiseman, in his lectures on the offices and ceremonies of Holy Week in the papal chapels , …

The Funeral of Christ: Franciscan Treasures of Good Friday

The Funeral of Christ: Franciscan Treasures of Good Friday A guest article by Anaïs Uberti, a student in Jerusalem and communications director at the Terra Sancta Museum. Today churches around the world celebrate and commemorate the Passion and death of Jesus Christ. Each year, on the very site where the historical events took plac…

Three Historical Chasubles: A Visual Meditation for the Sacred Triduum

Three Historical Chasubles: A Visual Meditation for the Sacred Triduum This evening marks the beginning of the Triduum and as a visual meditation on this most solemn time of the liturgical year, I thought I would quickly share with our readers three vestments that incorporate images and symbols that are certainly appropriate for this time of …

“Palm” Sunday and the Sanctification of Creation

“Palm” Sunday and the Sanctification of Creation Dr. Peter Kwasniewski has shared some richly splendid thoughts on Facebook on his first pre-1955 Palm Sunday Mass: The "missa sicca" or dry Mass at the beginning, with an Epistle, Gradual, and Gospel, then a Preface prior to the blessing of the palms -- all of th…

Notre-Dame de Paris: Jewel of France

Notre-Dame de Paris: Jewel of France It was sickening to awake to the devastating news yesterday that our beloved Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris – Our Lady of Paris – the jewel of the Kingdom of France, has been devastated by fire. Begun in 1160 and completed in 1260, over 850 years of art and history have bee…

The Funeral of Christ in the Holy Sepulcher

The Funeral of Christ in the Holy Sepulcher I. Introduction Most Catholics will be familiar with the multi-part reading of the Passion Gospel during the liturgies of Holy Week in the Roman Rite. In previous centuries all throughout Europe, elaborately staged, mimetic enactments of the Passion took place in and out of…

The Ambo: A Brief Consideration

The Ambo: A Brief Consideration Today, when one refers to an "ambo" in a church, most would tend to think of a small, podium or lectern like structure, sometimes made of wood, though more frequently made of stone. However, the ambo was at one time a much more grandiose structure: Originally the…

Art for Prayer: Albrecht Durer's Green Passion

Art for Prayer: Albrecht Durer's Green Passion The Green Passion is one of several cycles drawn by Durer between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of 16th century. Of all the cycles by Durer, the Green Passion is possibly the most attractive and the most evocative – an art piece created for personal venerat…

The Mantum of the Popes: Further Examples

The Mantum of the Popes: Further Examples A few weeks ago, we featured three lesser seen examples of the papal mantum -- essentially a cope with a long train -- taken from the excellent book,   Il Papa e le sue vesti .  Today I thought I would share a few more examples of this papal vestment taken from the same book…

The Empress of Austria Vestments at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth

The Empress of Austria Vestments at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth An interesting vestment set came to my attention recently: the "Empress of Austria" vestments located within the Pontifical University, St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, in Ireland. The college museum  describes the set  and its history accordingly: Presented by…

The Veils of Passiontide

The Veils of Passiontide In the traditional Roman liturgical calendar, the final two weeks before Easter Sunday are known as Passiontide and a beautiful tradition unfolds at this time whereby statues and other sacred images are veiled. Practically speaking, this veiling is prepared prior to the Fi…

Introducing Pluriarte

Introducing Pluriarte Today I wanted to very quickly share a little bit of the vestment work of Pluriarte . Pluriarte specializes in vestments in the French, Italian and Spanish traditions, showing influences, in both form and design, that span the 17th through 19th centuries.  What I mean is th…

National Shrine of the Apostle Paul

National Shrine of the Apostle Paul One of the most magnificent shrines in North America is the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota.  I have always said it is one of the most perfectly laid out sanctuaries of any church I have seen anywhere in the world.  An ideal liturgical space with…

Laetare Sunday in Lyon

Laetare Sunday in Lyon I have frequently commented over the years about the excellent Roman liturgical sense of the FSSP church in Lyon that is under the guidance of Abbé Brice Meissonnier. This past Laetare Sunday was no different for it provided an opportunity for them to unveil yet another ex…

The Parisian Church of Notre Dame de Lorette

The Parisian Church of Notre Dame de Lorette Today I wished to share with our readers some photographs of the beautiful Parisian church of Notre Dame de Lorette.  Construction on this particular church began in 1823 and was completed in 1836. It is a remarkably beautiful church done in the neoclassical style. (Some o…

The Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Fairfield, Pennsylvania

The Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Fairfield, Pennsylvania Recently, LAJ was sent a note by the Director of Development of the Fairfield Carmelites about their exciting project to raise a new monastery modelled after St. Teresa of Avila's own original plans for her Carmel. Central to the project is the use of traditional mater…

Six Ornamental Cope Hoods

Six Ornamental Cope Hoods It is well enough known that the hood of the cope was originally a functional hood that could be used to protect the cleric from the outer elements. As the function of cope broadened from an outer protective vestment, the hood gradually became a more ornamental and less fu…

The Genuine Art of the Processional Banner

The Genuine Art of the Processional Banner We haven't yet had the opportunity to give much consideration to the world of the processional banner where the liturgical arts are concerned and today I wished to begin to remedy this omission. I must preface this, of course, by noting that when many think of "ba…