The Sanpietrini and the Illumination of St. Peter's Basilica

The Sanpietrini and the Illumination of St. Peter's Basilica Many but perhaps not all LAJ readers will be familiar with the fact that for the greatest of solemnities, the tradition of St. Peter's Basilica was to drape it in festal red hangings and to illuminate it with candlelight. This is a sight that only a small few might now…

Before and After: St. Martin's in Tower, Minnesota

Before and After: St. Martin's in Tower, Minnesota K ing Richard's Liturgical Design and Consulting recently unveiled a "before and after" project they worked on, this one hailing from St. Martin's in Tower, Minnesota. Here is a little of what they had to say about the project:

Iceland's Unique Cathedral of Christ the King

Iceland's Unique Cathedral of Christ the King My travels and adventures organizing Catholic tours bring me to some truly amazing locations. One of my favorite destinations is Iceland. Thawing out of the windy volcanic landscape like a mythic glacial iceberg stands Iceland’s beautiful Roman Catholic Cathedral of Chri…

Italian Reliquary Busts and Statues of Ss. Peter and Paul

Italian Reliquary Busts and Statues of Ss. Peter and Paul Since the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul traditionally was celebrated as an octave, it seems fitting to prolong our consideration of this important feast with another consideration of some liturgical art these two apostles were frequently found within. I am speaking here of t…

Thoughts and Vestments for the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul

Thoughts and Vestments for the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul One of the very most "Roman" of feast days is the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul -- June 29th. These two figures loom large not only in terms of the apostles, they also do so in relation to the Church in and of Rome; in fact, this day is still an annual public holida…

Neo-Gothic Revival in Florida

Neo-Gothic Revival in Florida Not so very long ago we featured some gothic revival work coming out of Virginia,  Syon abbey , and a similar project recently came to light, this time from a convent located in Florida. The monastery in question is that of the Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas  who are located i…

Obsequies of the Very Reverend Fr. Jonathan Robinson, Cong. Orat.

Obsequies of the Very Reverend Fr. Jonathan Robinson, Cong. Orat. [The following is a guest submission coming from an Oratorian at the Toronto Oratory (who wishes to remain anonymous) detailing the recent funerary rites for the death of their founder and noted author, Fr. Jonathan Robinson.] * * * On the afternoon of Tuesday June 9th, the…

A Pentecost Inspired Cope from Watts and Co. of London

A Pentecost Inspired Cope from Watts and Co. of London Watts & Co. of London have recently unveiled a new cope for Pentecost that includes a red brocade fabric that is based upon G.F. Bodley's own Pentecost-inspired embroidery . The hood features a blue, silk damask that has Marian symbolism, along with the dove, a symb…

Thomas Aquinas College Chapel: A Triumph in Church Architecture

Thomas Aquinas College Chapel: A Triumph in Church Architecture After years in the faith-based travel industry I can say without equivocation the chapel at Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Paula, California is a must-see for Catholics.  On a sunny day walking toward the chapel under the shade of the Spanish mission arcade amid the…

American Heartland Neo-Gothic Cemetery Chapel in New Vienna, Iowa

American Heartland Neo-Gothic Cemetery Chapel in New Vienna, Iowa Splendid seeing this cemetery chapel in the heartland of America.  This is St. Boniface Cemetery in New Vienna, Iowa.  Our good friend, Fr. Nick Radloff, was recently ordained and celebrated Holy Mass here amid the final resting place of some of his German ancestors.  Such…

Andrew Stewart Jamieson: Artist and Illuminator

Andrew Stewart Jamieson: Artist and Illuminator One of the most interesting and exciting artists and illuminators working today in a contemporary medieval style is Andrew Stewart Jamieson of  Andrew Stewart Jamieson Art & Design . Andrew studied his craft at the Salisbury and Reigate art colleges in Britain and has wo…

Reprint of the St. Gregory Hymnal and Catholic Choir Book Now Available

Reprint of the St. Gregory Hymnal and Catholic Choir Book Now Available This year marks the 100th anniversary of the much-loved St. Gregory Hymnal and Catholic Choir Book (Imprimatur 1920).  This icon of preconciliar parish choir and organ music has thankfully been republished by Refuge of Sinners Publishing, Inc .  In its day the St. Gregory Hy…

A New Shrine in Canada: Our Lady of the Rockies

A New Shrine in Canada: Our Lady of the Rockies Readers will be pleased to hear there is an exciting new pilgrimage destination in North America: the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rockies in Canmore, Canada.  The shrine is expected to be particularly busy as it is located in Alberta's Rocky Mountains near the southeast …

Details of A.W.N. Pugin's Chapel for the Earls of Shrewsbury

Details of A.W.N. Pugin's Chapel for the Earls of Shrewsbury The following shows the design for the high altar and other parts of St. Peter's Chapel, Alton Towers, Staffordshire, by A.W.N. Pugin. This was the family chapel of the Earls of Shrewsbury, the interior being designed by Pugin in the mid 19th century.  Unfortunately th…

Four Continental Variations on "Roman" Vestments

Four Continental Variations on "Roman" Vestments Quite frequently when discussing vestments there are basic terms that are used to identify certain styles of vestments. One such example is speaking of a "Roman" style of vestment. But speaking of a "Roman" vestment is no more clear than talking about a…

Enameled Monstrance in the Mudejar Style by Granda

Enameled Monstrance in the Mudejar Style by Granda Last year the Granda workshop completed the construction of this spectacular 36” tall monstrance for Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Ladera Ranch, California. Fr. Reynold Furrell, the founding pastor, had previously engaged Granda for the creation of the newly constructed …

A Contemporary Approach to Early Gothic Revival Vestment Design

A Contemporary Approach to Early Gothic Revival Vestment Design One of the great struggles in the area of the gothic revival vestment design has been that, since its resurrection under such 19th century masters as G.F. Bodley and Sir Ninian Comper, not long after their own triumphs the old craftsmanship would give way to an era of indu…

Book Notice: Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

Book Notice: Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski The great liturgical scholar Dr. Peter Kwasniewski has written yet another fine book on the theme of the Classical Roman Rite.  His new work deserves mention, praise and far reach.  Dr. Kwasniewski has become a renowned voice on the subject, while stating his case clearly …

Official Rome Church of the Knights and Dames of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre: Sant'Onofrio on the Janiculum

Official Rome Church of the Knights and Dames of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre: Sant'Onofrio on the Janiculum Sant’Onofrio on the Janiculum Hill is the official Roman church and permanent spiritual center in Rome of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (EOHSJ), a papal order of knighthood that dates back to the year 1099. The church is a rare example of a Renais…

The Visual and Symbolic Impact of the Spacing and Proportions of the Candlesticks and Cross as Seen in Two Papal Basilicas

The Visual and Symbolic Impact of the Spacing and Proportions of the Candlesticks and Cross as Seen in Two Papal Basilicas One might be tempted to think that the horizontal spacing and vertical proportions of the altar candlesticks and cross are not particularly important to an altar and church so long as the traditional six (or "big six" as they are often colloquially referred) are …

The Pentecost Pontifical High Mass Set of Westminster Cathedral

The Pentecost Pontifical High Mass Set of Westminster Cathedral As we are still within the Octave of Pentecost, I thought you may like to learn something of Westminster Cathedral's Pentecost set. In the late 1920s, Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, commissioned for the Cathedral, from A. E. Grosse of Belgium, a Pontifical …

Ecce Sacerdos Magnus: A Tribute to Fr. Jonathan Robinson, Cong. Orat. (1929-2020)

Ecce Sacerdos Magnus: A Tribute to Fr. Jonathan Robinson, Cong. Orat. (1929-2020) E cce sacerdos magnus . Yesterday, a great priest, Fr. Jonathan Robinson, cong.orat., died. While this familiar refrain, ecce sacerdos magnus , is typically applied to bishops, the words certainly apply to him in my own estimation: Behold a great priest who in his days please…

The St. Louis of France Vestment from the Sacristy of Westminster Cathedral

The St. Louis of France Vestment from the Sacristy of Westminster Cathedral First of all, my apologies for such a long absence. I would like to republish a short piece I wrote on a set of vestments found in Westminster Cathedral in London for the Friends of Westminster Cathedral --  an excellent organisation who do much to support the work of the s…

Chartres Pilgrimage 2020: Different Face, Same Spirit

Chartres Pilgrimage 2020: Different Face, Same Spirit One of the events that I look forward to covering each year is the annual Chartres Pentecost Pilgrimage hosted by Notre Dame de Chretiente (NDC). This year, due to the restrictions resulting from COVID-19, the pilgrimage has taken a very different form. Add to this the tra…

Basque Arts at San Vicente in Sada, Navarre in Northern Spain

Basque Arts at San Vicente in Sada, Navarre in Northern Spain Hearty congratulations to Fr. Pablo Santa Maria for completing his Canon Law studies at the Opus Dei University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.  He just completed his studies and celebrated this Mass at San Vicente in Sada, Navarre, near Pamplona.  He is a dear friend, a fi…

Before and After: Texas Restoration by Ecclesiastical Studios & Sons

Before and After: Texas Restoration by Ecclesiastical Studios & Sons Since 1989 Ecclesiastical Studios & Sons have been busy restoring and redecorating beautiful old church interiors across the American Midwest.  Their craftsmen employ a bevy of professional skills, including plaster restoration, architectural and decorative painting, s…

Announcing Center for Beauty and Culture at Benedictine College in Kansas

Announcing Center for Beauty and Culture at Benedictine College in Kansas The newly-created Center for Beauty and Culture at Benedictine College in Kansas looks promising.  The Executive Director is Dr. Denis McNamara, PhD, a graduate of Yale who appears to be doing great things.  The goal of the center is to transform culture through beauty.  I…

The 'Cappa Magna' of Canons in Malta

The 'Cappa Magna' of Canons in Malta In Malta there is a curious version of the " cappa magna " that is worn by canons.  This custom comes from Rome, where canons of the collegiate churches wore them during the good old days.  The side stole was originally the train, tied to signify that the beneficia…

Introducing Saint Eloi Liturgical Metalwork

Introducing Saint Eloi Liturgical Metalwork I wanted to introduce our readers to a company that is focused on the execution of traditional liturgical metalwork: Saint Eloi Liturgical Metalwork .  The company, which is situated in Spain, focuses on the production of everything from chalices, ciboria, monstrances, cros…

A New Renaissance in Vestment Embroidery Has Commenced

A New Renaissance in Vestment Embroidery Has Commenced Often, in our contemporary way of thinking, we tend to think that the achievements of yesteryear in the area of liturgical vestments are simply not achievable today. By our logic, the vestments of yesteryear were painstakingly hand-embroidered over years by religious and o…

Before and After: St. Patrick's Oratory in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Before and After: St. Patrick's Oratory in Green Bay, Wisconsin Another terrific job by Conrad Schmitt Studios.  Such a fine contribution to church life in North America they make -- the work of CSS is an important guide for fine arts and good taste.  Congratulations on this new addition to your portfolio and hearty congrats to the pri…

The New 'Fra Angelico' of the Dominican Order: Fr. Marius J. Zerafa, OP

The New 'Fra Angelico' of the Dominican Order: Fr. Marius J. Zerafa, OP The students of Rome's Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (a.k.a. the "Angelicum") agree he is one of their favorite professors.  Meet Rev. Dr. Marius Zerafa, O.P. a Dominican friar who teaches Sacred Art in Rome.  I myself have to admit I have a sof…

The Art of the Church Cornerstone

The Art of the Church Cornerstone Has much ink has been spilt on the subject of cornerstones?  Surely very little.  Nevertheless, these, too, can be charming works of bespoke (custom-made) art.  Indeed, whenever I visit a church the first thing I like to know is how old the church is.  The cornerstone is a…

Live Broadcast Masses of the FSSP Showcasing a Digital Age of Liturgical Art

Live Broadcast Masses of the FSSP Showcasing a Digital Age of Liturgical Art Many thanks to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) for leading the way on an international and unparalleled level with live-stream Masses during the historic COVID-19 crisis.  Their LiveMass service is a true apostolate - see here .  Please be sure to share the link…

Apostolate of St. Paul in Malta is a Tour de Force of Liturgical Arts

Apostolate of St. Paul in Malta is a Tour de Force of Liturgical Arts Earlier this year I was overjoyed to make a "knight's pilgrimage" to Malta, a lifelong dream for a Knight of Malta.  It was a true homecoming.  Needless to say, one of the highlights was the pure joy of visiting the "Latin Mass" apostolate of Malta,…

The Advent of the "Drive-In Mass"

The Advent of the "Drive-In Mass" I would like to offer a special word of thanks to all those great priests out there, "in union with all the Holy Masses celebrated throughout the world," who in their courageous dedication have been offering "parking lot" Masses the past several weeks a…

Prelatial Dress of the Religious Orders: The Cistercians

Prelatial Dress of the Religious Orders: The Cistercians Continuing on with our consideration of the traditional prelatial dress of the religious orders we turn now to the Cistercians. The Cistercians break down into two fundamental groups: the Cistercians of the Common Observance (O.Cist) and the Cistercians of the Strict Obser…

French Stylings: Chasuble Designs from Nineteenth Century France

French Stylings: Chasuble Designs from Nineteenth Century France While there is a tendency to break down chasubles into very basic categories (e.g. "gothic" or "Roman") the reality is that there is quite a bit more distinction than this that can be found, not only in relation to their particular cut, but also in rela…