The Construction of a Liturgical Solemnity in the Roman Rite

To the left, the normal arrangement; to the right, the festal arrangement
We have spoken before of the tradition of festal red hangings for liturgical occasions of particular solemnity. This tradition was particularly in evidence in the southern portions of Europe and continues to this day in the country of Malta.  While we have shown the end result of this noble tradition, we have never to date shown the process of how it gets there and I thought this might be of some interest to our readers.  (LAJ would like to thank Fr. Martin Borg, OCD, for providing us with these photos).

In addition to the red hangings, the altars are also dressed with more ornamental candles and candlesticks, antependia, portapalme, reliquaries and so on.

The final result:

The intent, of course, it emphasize the particularly festal nature of these particular liturgical occasions. I suppose some might see this and think, "what a great deal of effort this is," but then surely if anything is worth our very best efforts, it is the sacred liturgy.

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