Some Forms of the Thurible or Censer

Some Forms of the Thurible or Censer If you were to ask any Ceremoniere or head server what the most popular serving role is, they would no doubt tell you: "thurifer." The role of thurifer (i.e the server who carries the thurible or censer) no doubt has this appeal for reason of its "theatrical…

Scourges, Maniples and More

Scourges, Maniples and More In December of 2019, LAJ published an article on a pontifical set of vestments from the  16th-17th century, located in the Sistine Chapel . With Lent fast coming upon us, I wished to highlight a couple of the designs from that set which may have not gained sufficient attenti…

Reconstruction of the Church of St. Cecilia in the Wisconsin Dells

Reconstruction of the Church of St. Cecilia in the Wisconsin Dells In all my travels throughout the world I have seen various new churches that work and others that fail.  I have to say how incredibly impressed I was in seeing this new construction project of the Church of St. Cecilia in the Wisconsin Dells.  Great job to everyone who had…

Two Ornamental Bindings from Brindisi

Two Ornamental Bindings from Brindisi Recently we discussed liturgical book coverings  with a specific focus on those made of fabric that covered the binding of the book itself. In addition to these, however, there is also another tradition which saw the binding itself directly ornamented. There are many exampl…

Seven Holy Founders Altar in the Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows in Chicago

Seven Holy Founders Altar in the Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows in Chicago On February 17 Church celebrates feast of the Seven Holy Founders of the Ordo Fratrum Servorum Sanctae Mariae . First Servites were a group of affluent Florentine merchants who under strong Marian inspiration left the world to devote themselves to the life of prayer and pen…

Prelatial Dress of the Religious Orders: The Dominicans

Prelatial Dress of the Religious Orders: The Dominicans Previously in our series,  Prelatial Dress of the Religious Orders , we have considered the Carmelites , Benedictines  and Franciscans ; today we turn our attention to the Dominicans, otherwise known as the Order of Preachers. As with the other religious orders, the traditiona…

Before and After: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Pickerington, Ohio

Before and After: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Pickerington, Ohio Generally our Before and After series has focused on projects involving 19th or earlier 20th century churches that have been restored back to something more approximate to their earlier configurations. However, these are not the only such projects that are worthy of attent…

Book Notice: An Important Catalogue of Vestments from the Holy Land

Book Notice: An Important Catalogue of Vestments from the Holy Land I was very pleased to receive a copy of one of the more recent publications coming out of the Terra Sancta Museum , Paramenti sacri. Dall'Europa alla Terra Santa (Sacred Vestments: From Europe to the Holy Land ) by Maria Pia Pettinau Vescina. The title tells you exactly …

An "Arma Christi" Chasuble from Poland

An "Arma Christi" Chasuble from Poland As we approach Lent, it seemed a good time to share a chasuble I recently came across which flows from an interesting tradition that we have shown here on more than one occasion; it is a violet chasuble which shows the "Arma Christi" -- or instruments of the Pass…

On Septuagesimatide and Carnival

On Septuagesimatide and Carnival Septuagesima Sunday saw the beginning a period in the Roman liturgical year that is called by various names: Shrovetide, Septuagesimatide or simply Pre-Lent. This is a time of the liturgical year which contains some (but not all) of the penitential characteristics of Lent; …

A 19th Century Chasuble in Silver Lamé

A 19th Century Chasuble in Silver Lamé As we have pointed out before, chasubles of silver cloth are not particularly common all things considered. Far more common is white or gold. As such, I am always interested in pointing out examples when they turn up. This particular example comes from Aquitaine  and dates …

Terracotta Altar Cards Seen in the Holy Land

Terracotta Altar Cards Seen in the Holy Land A curious sight: permanent, fixed, clay-based, glazed creamic altar cards in the Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem, a beautiful church located on the edge of Jerusalem where Elizabeth and Zachary lived with their son, John the Baptist.

An Embroidered Lenten Chasuble from Vilnius, Lithuania

An Embroidered Lenten Chasuble from Vilnius, Lithuania We have shown quite a number of vestments from the 18th century, but today I wished to show one that is a bit unique compared to others from the period.  The example in question comes from The Embroidered Heaven  which is focused on historical vestments from the Vilnius arc…

The Missal Cushion

The Missal Cushion Many will of course be familiar with the missal stand -- essentially a bookstand that is generally made of wood or more usually metal (frequently gold or silver in colour) upon which the altar missal is set. Occasionally one also sees a coloured cloth, much like a chalice …

Curiosities of the Ancient Papal Mass: The Fistula

Curiosities of the Ancient Papal Mass: The Fistula One of the distinctive characteristics -- to our modern eyes at least -- of the traditional papal liturgy was the use of a golden straw called the fistula (or also a  reed, calamus, pipa, sacra pipa aurea or siphon)  which was utilized by the pope for communing from the chalic…