Recovering the Traditions of the Requiem: Crosses and Candlesticks

Matters are seldom resolved overnight but are rather a progression of steps. This is as true in liturgical life as it is in life itself. Many years ago when the traditions of the Requiem Mass were yet being rediscovered, the use of unbleached beeswax candles were a relative rarity; nowadays, we much more frequently see their use as people have come to once again understand and appreciate their potent symbolism. By the same token, there still remain other traditions within this context that are yet worth reviving. As i have noted before, it was not merely the candles and vestments which adopted this aesthetic, but other liturgical elements as well.  

In that vein, today I wished to share some examples of both altar and processional crosses, as well as a few more candlesticks which were all intended for use within the context of the Requiem Mass. In each of these instances you will take note of their beautiful but sombre designs which pick up and further amplify the reserved and sober nature of Masses for the Dead.

Let's begin with some of the processional and altar crosses.

Of course, if you're still thirsting for a little "memento mori" action, here is a simple processional cross that features three such reminders:

Surrounding such crosses would be candlesticks which had a comparable aesthetic. I shared a few of the more colourful designs the other day -- designs which included memento mori on them -- but here are a few others that are slightly less "colourful" in that regard but no less worthy.

The impact of this, by comparison with the much more luminous golden or silver candlesticks and cross usually used, cannot be overstated. 

It is for this reason that we can hope that elements such as these, just like unbleached beeswax before them, will one day be more commonly seen again.

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