Lenten Veils from the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Segovia. A Reconstruction.

Lenten Veils from the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Segovia. A Reconstruction. The hanging of painted Lenten Veils was a very popular and ancient custom in Spain. In many churches and cathedrals one may still see the hooks and mechanisms used to hoist up these immense curtains. For a few weeks a year, the interior of the church was completely transfor…

Private Chapels Brought to Light by Social Distancing

Private Chapels Brought to Light by Social Distancing The Book of Job famously teaches that "the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away" but He also gives back again and in the light of the cancellation of so many public Masses, many priests have taken to live-streaming their private Masses to help keep the faithful c…

Before and After: St. Catherine of Siena in Trumbull, Connecticut

Before and After: St. Catherine of Siena in Trumbull, Connecticut LAJ is pleased to present yet another example in our "Before and After" series, coming this time within the context of St. Catherine of Siena church in Trumbull, Connecticut. The project was undertaken by the parish in partership with Duncan G. Stroik Architect . …

The Daily Procession at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

The Daily Procession at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem One of the great privileges of my life has been to bring pilgrims to the Holy Land and to introduce them and encourage them to participate in local liturgical functions that will stir their imaginations, evoking dazzling beauty and sentiments of devotion and reflection.  A…

Art for the Domestic Church from Daniel Mitsui

Art for the Domestic Church from Daniel Mitsui The following comes from Daniel Mitsui , who some of you will remember for his custom drawn altar cards  which we featured here on LAJ shortly after this site began: "In order to slow the spread of disease, many churches have suspended their public liturgical celebratio…

Singing on High: The Gloria Laus Ceremony of Palm Sunday in Medieval France

Singing on High: The Gloria Laus Ceremony of Palm Sunday in Medieval France The eminent 18th century liturgist Claude de Vert’s work is a wealth of picturesque knowledge about the pre-Revolutionary Gallican Church. We have previously discussed the key role he played in the anti-allegorical turn in liturgical studies. But in this place his rationali…

A Brief Consideration of the Historical Use of Oriental Silks in European Vestments

A Brief Consideration of the Historical Use of Oriental Silks in European Vestments While the silk trade would eventually spread, the history of silk is inextricably tied up with the Orient and the ancient Silk Road ; a trade route that connected the civilizations of East and West. By means of these trade routes precious silks were exported from the Orient…

The Patriarchal Co-Cathedral of the Diocese of Jerusalem

The Patriarchal Co-Cathedral of the Diocese of Jerusalem I have always said one of Jerusalem's best kept secrets inside the walls of the city is the Co-Cathedral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, located at the Latin Patriarchate in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem.  This chapel, ordinarily closed to the public, is in some w…

An Eighteenth Century Chasuble with Scenes from the Life of St. Charles Borromeo

An Eighteenth Century Chasuble with Scenes from the Life of St. Charles Borromeo As a general rule I am not usually a fan of "scenic" chasubles, but normally this is because they lack the usual compositional elements like the cross and column orphreys. This particular example presents another variation where the chasuble is treated as a scenic…

The Isenheim Crucifixion

The Isenheim Crucifixion "For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him." -- Isaiah 53:2-3 Matthias Grünewald must have been thinking about these prophetic ver…

A Contemporary Black Vestment Set with Memento Mori: Theorized and Realized

A Contemporary Black Vestment Set with Memento Mori: Theorized and Realized It was around All Souls Day 2018 that I first wrote my article,  A Contemporary Case for the Inclusion of Memento Mori on Black Vestments . In that piece I commented:

A Peritus of the Second Vatican Council on the Church and Modernistic Art in the Liturgy

A Peritus of the Second Vatican Council on the Church and Modernistic Art in the Liturgy The Second Vatican Council's most competent American peritus  was the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Rudolph G. Bandas, Ph.D., Agg. S.T.D. et M (1896-1969).  Catholics of today should know his name.  In the 1960s he was labeled a "staunch conservative" by the Catholic press. …

A Good Friday Chasuble from Twentieth Century Lithuania

A Good Friday Chasuble from Twentieth Century Lithuania Earlier this week we shared a couple of "memento mori" chasubles and while in the process of discovering those, this example also turned up.  The chasuble is another coming from the Archdiocese of Vilnius in Lithuania and is dated to approximately 1909.The chasub…

Episcopal Prelatial Dress in Eighteenth Century New Spain

Episcopal Prelatial Dress in Eighteenth Century New Spain The Codex Trujillo is an encyclopedic work compiled by bishop Baltasar Jaime Martínez Compañón of Trujillo, Peru, at the end of the 18th century. It is a detailed ethnographic examination of many aspects of life of his diocese, including the different tribes, dresses, lang…

Two ''Memento Mori' Chasubles

Two ''Memento Mori' Chasubles On All Souls Day in the year 2018, I made a case for the inclusion of "Memento Mori" on Black vestments  -- which is to say, " imagines mortuorum " (images of the dead). In a nutshell, I would argue that we live in a time where the illusion of immortality …

Pope John Paul II's Oriental Influenced Chasuble

Pope John Paul II's Oriental Influenced Chasuble Proper inculturation in the liturgical arts is a subject that has always been of great interest to me, and some of the very best examples of it have often come from the Orient. Here one often sees the distinctive architectural and artistic themes of that region successfull…

Lenten Veils Discovered in Church Attic and Restored

Lenten Veils Discovered in Church Attic and Restored We have spoken here before on the subject of Lenten Veils ( Fastentuch ) but to re-cap, a Lenten veil is a large veil that is hung up before an altar or its reredos during Lent. Veils such as these first arose in the Middle Ages and they were most commonly made of white line…

Before and After: St. Stephen's in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Before and After: St. Stephen's in Grand Rapids, Michigan Continuing on with yet another instalment in our popular "Before and After" series, we turn today to the parish of St. Stephen's in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While the parish itself was founded in 1924, the present church building stems from additions and renov…

Duncan Stroik's Chapel at Hillsdale College

Duncan Stroik's Chapel at Hillsdale College It has been a bit since we have had the opportunity to feature an architectural project and today I wanted to turn our readers' attention to Christ Chapel at Hillsdale College in Michigan, executed by Duncan Stroik, Architect . The work of Duncan Stroik is perhaps best …

Treasures from Vilnius (Part One)

Treasures from Vilnius (Part One) An absolute priority for any sacred art connoisseur visiting the beautiful city of Vilnius is the fantastic Museum of Church Heritage, founded by Cardinal Audrys Juozas Bačkis in 2005. It occupies the church and monastery of St Michael the Archangel, just across the street…

Fit For Neri: A Well Tailored Chasuble in the "Neri" Form

Fit For Neri: A Well Tailored Chasuble in the "Neri" Form I was thinking recently that I hadn't spent a great deal of time, to date, showcasing contemporary Borromean or  so-called "Neri" style chasubles -- that is, the chasubles that came after the middle ages and before the baroque, sitting (by varying degrees) ha…

Revisiting the Liturgical Embroidery of the Sisters of Bethany

Revisiting the Liturgical Embroidery of the Sisters of Bethany I recently made reference to the historical vestment work of the Sisters of Bethany in the U.K. and it put me to mind of an old article that I asked gothic revival expert, Fr. Anthony Symondson, SJ, to write a decade ago for NLM. I thought it would be of interest to resurre…