Contemporary Traditional European Sculpture from Atelier Wilfried Senoner

Contemporary Traditional European Sculpture from Atelier Wilfried Senoner Not too long ago we spoke of the matter of the rather sentimentalist art which has gained the moniker "Saint-Sulpice." Today I wished to show you something which is most certainly not that. These particular sculptural works are, for the most part, heavily inspire…

Forming Scholars of Native American Liturgical 'Uses'

Forming Scholars of Native American Liturgical 'Uses' "At present the liturgical music library of Caughnawaga Mission includes almost all the Gregorian masses and dozens of modern masses of all schools, arranged in Iroquois and handsomely multicopied. In addition there are hundreds of motets (classic polyphonic and modern…

Comment: Poverty and Liturgical Art

Comment: Poverty and Liturgical Art Pictured is a chalice from the pontificate of Pope Pius IX. As you can see the chalice is encrusted with precious stones -- diamonds mainly. These jewels are said to have come from the bridles and bits of horses that were gifted to the new pontiff on the occasion of his cor…

Damask Patterns of Sir Ninian Comper

Damask Patterns of Sir Ninian Comper At the end of the nineteenth century, when Ninian Comper was a young, up and coming architect, he was commissioned to design a set of seven damask patterns for the weaving company M. Perkins & Sons -- many of which are now woven by Watts & Co. These really marked t…

An 'Earthly Epiphany' at St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City

An 'Earthly Epiphany' at St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City We have spoken before of "synthesis" in the liturgical arts; those moments when everything seems to come together and work in harmony rather like Renaissance counterpoint: the text and ceremonies of an ancient rite, the beauty of the vestments, altar and church, …

The Orchestral Mass: The Case of Saint Agnes

The Orchestral Mass: The Case of Saint Agnes I have to say one of the most interesting and formative experiences of my life was growing up as an altar boy at the Church of Saint Agnes in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  For this gift, I can only thank my parents who instilled in me a love for sacred music and liturgy.  At the…

The Neglected Predella: Its Importance for Altar Arrangements

The Neglected Predella: Its Importance for Altar Arrangements As parishes, cathedrals, abbeys and the like seek to re-enchant their sanctuaries, bringing greater harmony, balance, clarity, noble beauty and noble simplicity back to them -- which, ironically enough, was more often than not better expressed in the traditional Roman arra…

Liturgical Music in the Age of Digital Humanities

Liturgical Music in the Age of Digital Humanities The Oratory of St Philip Neri in Toronto is notable as one of the rare places where a choral Mass is sung each Sunday in both forms of the Roman Rite: a sung Mass in the novus ordo , followed by a Solemn High Mass in the usus antiquior . The Solemn Mass has steadily increase…

The Art of Filigree (Study of a Chasuble of Pius X)

The Art of Filigree (Study of a Chasuble of Pius X) Recently at a dinner party in Rome I overheard a priest remark how few examples of filigree vestments there are in North America.  Indeed, he is exactly right.  This example came to my mind, kept at the Church of St. Pius X in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, Canada. The lily…

New Church Architecture - St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel in Lincoln, Nebraska

New Church Architecture - St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel in Lincoln, Nebraska It has been awhile since we last featured some of the impressive ecclesiastical architecture being built today, so I would like to turn your attention to a chapel built just a few years ago, designed by McCrery Architects  and executed in partnership with  Clark Architects C…

Ash Wednesday: The Beauty of Ashes

Ash Wednesday: The Beauty of Ashes "Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return."  The liturgical rites of the Church are rich with beauty, symbolism and meaning.  Ash Wednesday, the day upon which the faithful are signed with blessed ashes, was called by early writers, Caput …

Other Modern in Solesmes: Pontifical Vestments of Dom Henri de Laborde, OSB

Other Modern in Solesmes: Pontifical Vestments of Dom Henri de Laborde, OSB Continuing on with our sojourn into the Other Modern, another area where Other Modern work frequently found a home was in the area of the vestment arts. Very often these designs were executed by monastics (or so it frequently seems at any rate) operating in the earlier half…

Ancient Christian Style Meets Other Modern in Milan: Chiesa di Santa Maria di Caravaggio

Ancient Christian Style Meets Other Modern in Milan: Chiesa di Santa Maria di Caravaggio The  Chiesa di Santa Maria di Caravaggio in Milan provides us with an opportunity to look at two different ends of the spectrum of liturgical art: the ancient Christian style and the 'Other Modern.'  What is poignant about this is that we find no real rupture betwee…

Can I Really Make a Living at Sacred Art? (Part 3 of 3)

Can I Really Make a Living at Sacred Art? (Part 3 of 3) Can I really make a living at this sort of art? Is the market big enough to support one more illuminator or sacred artist? I was asked these questions recently by a talented painter who had just begun to sell her work. This is the third part (of three) of my reply: Religiou…

Can I Really Make a Living at Sacred Art? (Part 2 of 3)

Can I Really Make a Living at Sacred Art? (Part 2 of 3) "Can I really make a living at this sort of art? Is the market big enough to support one more illuminator or sacred artist?" I was asked these questions recently by a talented painter who had just begun to sell her work. This is the second part (of three) of my re…

Can I Really Make a Living at Sacred Art? (Part 1 of 3)

Can I Really Make a Living at Sacred Art? (Part 1 of 3) Can you really make a living at this sort of art? Is the market big enough to support one more illuminator or sacred artist? I was asked such questions recently by a talented painter who had just begun to sell her work. This is the first part (of three) of my reply: First,…

The Art of the Chapel Veil or Mantilla

The Art of the Chapel Veil or Mantilla The laity, by virtue of their baptism, participate actively in the liturgical rites of the Church, even from the pew. In imitation of the Blessed Mother, Catholic women have covered their heads in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament from time immemorial.  This has been a…

A Remarkable Set of Vestments

A Remarkable Set of Vestments One of the greatest pleasures of working for a firm of vestment makers is that from time to time we are asked to take a look at antique sets of vestments of the most extraordinary quality, often with a view to restoration. One such set was recently reunited with its parish …

Lessons in Liturgical Arrangement Found in the Pantheon

Lessons in Liturgical Arrangement Found in the Pantheon If you have ever looked at the venerable basilica of S. Maria ad Martyres -- better known as the Pantheon -- and thought something just doesn't look quite right with its present altar arrangement, you would be correct in my estimation. This might seem shocking, even pr…

The Benedictine Arrangement

The Benedictine Arrangement Recently we spoke of the very excellent restoration work that took place at the Pontifical College Josephinum. In the course of that piece LAJ made one proposal to the good folks at the PCJ for their consideration: institute the Benedictine arrangement on the altar. In the …