Liturgical Details: The Uncapped Thurible

Liturgical Details: The Uncapped Thurible One of the (now) distinctive features of the Ambrosian rite is the "uncapped" thurible -- a thurible, or censer, without the decorative top (or cap) that covers the burning coals and incense within. Here is an example of just such a thurible taken from within the …

Pontifical Sandals of Pope John XXIII

Pontifical Sandals of Pope John XXIII In a previous article on the subject, we covered off  the history of pontifical sandals . Today I wished to share just a few images of some of the sandals worn by Pope John XXIII, taken from the excellent book, Il Papa e le sue Vesti .  Nainfa, in his standard English languag…

A Tour of the London Oratory: Chapel of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A Tour of the London Oratory: Chapel of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary As we continue with our architectural tour of the London Oratory, we now turn back to the other side of the nave, nearest to the side altar of St. Philip Neri, next to which is the chapel of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Dramatic and Catechetical Quality of the Traditional Church Orderings

The Dramatic and Catechetical Quality of the Traditional Church Orderings Historically within the Latin rite there are two predominant church orderings one tends to think of in relation to the altar and sanctuary. The first is the ancient basilica arrangement with the  ciborium magnum set over a freestanding altar -- which, in its most historical…

Crimson and Gold: Roman Chasuble in a Spanish Manner

Crimson and Gold: Roman Chasuble in a Spanish Manner Kermes red and radiant gold, symbols of sacrifice and splendor, are brought together in a wonderful example of a recently completed Gothic Revival chasuble. The sacred landscape adorning the vestment, a happy union of ornament and symbol, embodies an ideal that, at its bes…

A Tour of the London Oratory: St. Patrick's Chapel

A Tour of the London Oratory: St. Patrick's Chapel Next to the chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, nearest to the narthex, is the chapel of St. Patrick which was erected for the Confraternity of St. Patrick, founded by Fr. Frederick William Faber in 1856. The altar itself was brought from Naples and the reredos was, once again, …

G.F. Bodley Inspired Gothic Revival Chasuble

G.F. Bodley Inspired Gothic Revival Chasuble W atts and Co. of London has resurrected an old classic with this red chasuble that builds upon a historical Pentecost chasuble  designed by G.F. Bodley which incorporates his tongues of fire motif.  The blue orphrey, paired with red, is not something one sees very often (th…

A Tour of the London Oratory: The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

A Tour of the London Oratory: The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene So far in our tour of the London Oratory you have seen some pretty familiar sites; the high altar, the altar of Our Lady and St. Philip Neri, as well as the new chapel of Blessed John Henry Newman. We also saw St. Wilfrid's chapel, which may be a little less familiar t…

Incense Review: Catacombs

Incense Review: Catacombs "Dirigatur oratio mea sicut incensum in conspectu tuo..." But which one? So sings the psalmist about the symbol of incense in relation to divine worship and today begins the first of, what I hope, are many incense reviews. My method will be to include comments on…

Five Examples of the Thurible

Five Examples of the Thurible One of the most beautiful objects in the area of liturgical metalwork is the thurible -- or at least, it has the potential to be one of the most beautiful in my estimation -- and today I wanted to show five examples taken from different periods, some more gothic in their s…

Before and After: The Positive Impact of Basic Ornamental Designs

Before and After: The Positive Impact of Basic Ornamental Designs Very often the 'before and after's' that we have shown here are renovations of entire churches. But an impactful 'before and after' needn't always be so grandiose.  Sometimes a positive impact can simply be found in some of the most basic of details…

A Cimabue Inspired Italian Crucifix

A Cimabue Inspired Italian Crucifix Today I wished to share some new woodwork coming from ALBL Oberammergau  in the form of a medieval Italian inspired crucifix. Specifically this particular work was inspired by Cimabue's "Crocifisso di Santa Croce." The crucifix is approximately four feet high …

A Tour of the London Oratory: Chapel of Blessed John Henry Newman

A Tour of the London Oratory: Chapel of Blessed John Henry Newman To date we have covered the high altar, two primary side altars of St. Philip Neri and Our Lady, and the chapel of St. Wilfrid in the London Oratory, Let us now turn our attention back to the nave. To each side of the nave of the London Oratory are various chapels dedicate…

Sacred Music Symposium in Canada Sets a High Standard

Sacred Music Symposium in Canada Sets a High Standard Catholics interested in sacred music will be making their way this August to Saints Joachim and Ann parish in British Columbia, Canada to participate in the 2019 BC Sacred Music Symposium . The organizers have announced the dates of this second annual event for August 2-4, …

A Tour of the London Oratory: St. Wilfrid's Chapel

A Tour of the London Oratory: St. Wilfrid's Chapel To the right of the high altar and sanctuary, near the Lady Altar, is a doorway which leads into the chapel of St. Wilfrid.  Above the door which enters into this chapel is an inscription which reads, "Remember your leaders. In honour of St Wilfrid, confessor and bish…

Teaching Sacred Music Through Musical Groups

Teaching Sacred Music Through Musical Groups I cannot say enough good things about the Belle Voici a Capella Ensemble.  This small group of professional singers leads the way in creating an effective environment where the broader community can be introduced to the best of sacred polyphony and choral music.  Further, …

A Tour of the London Oratory: The Altar of St. Philip Neri

A Tour of the London Oratory: The Altar of St. Philip Neri Continuing with out tour of the art and architecture of the London Oratory, today I wished to turn your attention to the other major side altar of the Oratory, the altar of St. Philip Neri.  After the High Altar and Lady Altar, this is the next most well known altar at the…

American Church Artist Bancel La Farge's St. Paul Seminary Mural

American Church Artist Bancel La Farge's St. Paul Seminary Mural On occasion I think it important to showcase local Catholic artists, both living and deceased.  One of my favorite American-born artists and church mural painters is Bancel La Farge (1865-1938).  As you can see, he had his own unique style. Bancel was the son of a famous p…

Cloistered Carmelites Reviving Ancient Architecture

Cloistered Carmelites Reviving Ancient Architecture Fortunate souls are blessed to visit this special hidden place - the Carmelite Hermitage of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.  Here Carmelite hermits have built a lovely brick and limestone cloister with matching buildings.  They now intend to finish the bui…

A Tour of the London Oratory: The Lady Altar

A Tour of the London Oratory: The Lady Altar In the previous piece we gave consideration to the high altar and sanctuary of the London Oratory. Today we turn our attention to what is probably the next most well known altar of the London Oratory, the Lady Altar, located just to the right of the sanctuary. One of the w…