Requiem Mass Altar Cards

Photos by OC-Travel and the Cathedral of Vancouver, Canada

A unique liturgical item worth a quick mention is this beautiful set of antique French Requiem Mass altar cards in Neo-Classical style seen in Vancouver, British Columbia.  This is a rare sight, indeed, something not always seen.  Although altar cards came into widespread use around the Tridentine period, special cards for the Requiem Mass continue to be generally an anomaly, deviating from what is standard or expected.  While there are various re-prints available online in multiple styles, this design and color combination stands out as exceptional, complete with embossed images.  This set was produced and printed in Paris, France and dates from sometime around the early twentieth century.  The frames are new and were custom made.  

Besides the design features, there are little changes in the wording.  For Masses for the Dead, the Gloria Patri is omitted on the Lavabo card on the Epistle side of the altar (as it says in the rubrics: In Missis pro Defunctis, et tempore Passions in Missis de Tempore, omittitur Gloria Patri).  Further, the Gloria is obviously omitted.   

The set belongs to the treasury of the Cathedral of Vancouver, where they were recently discovered in storage after many years by a young curate.  Thankfully he had the mind to rescue them, having them cleaned and re-framed.  The cards are now seen once again, in use for service at the altar for funeral Masses celebrated in the EF.  A video of a recent funeral Mass from the cathedral earlier this year shows the altar cards on the altar, contributing in no small way to the beauty of the rites.  For countless faithful it is a great comfort, to be sure, to see the beauty of the traditional Requiem Mass, with artistic visuals that help convey the message of a "peace that passes understanding."   

Below can be seen images in the cards, displayed on the main altar in the sanctuary of the cathedral, with our good friend Fr. Pablo Santa Maria, celebrant (he is, by the way, doing great things at the cathedral). 

With an image from a televised funeral Mass at the cathedral: 

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