A Newly Carved Tintinnabulum and Umbraculum

One of the rarer bits of liturgica that one might come across is the tintinnabulum and umbraculum, found only within basilicas. The rather strange sounding name comes with reference to the bell that grace these symbols; symbols intended to reflect the fact that the church they are found within have been designated a 'basilica' and, what's more, indicate their linkage to the person of the pope -- whose arms are always found upon them. How so one might ask? In earlier times, items such as this preceded the pope in procession, alerting the people of Rome that the pope was approaching. It is in this way that these symbols reflect a linkage to the papacy.

This brief history aside, it is easy to slip into thinking where we consider such items no longer obtainable. This is in great part because we tend to think of liturgical art in a predominantly "catalogue goods" sort of way. It is true that you won't find items such as these in your local religious goods supplier's catalogue, but where you can find them is within the portfolios of our liturgical artists. 

Today's examples comes from the studios of Mussner G. Vincenzo Ars Sacra, located in beautiful northern Italy -- Ortisei specifically; a firm that will be familiar to many of our readers as we have featured a history of their firm.

Let's take a closer look at their work.

Tintinnabulum of the Basilica of Our Lady, Vigianno, Italy.

Umbraculum for the Basilica of San Jose, California

Tintinanabulum designed for the basilica of St. Mary, Alexandria, Virginia

Tintinanabulum designed for the basilica of St. Mary, Alexandria, Virginia

Truly works worthy of the dignity of a basilica -- and once again a reminder of how important it is to look beyond the catalogues and to our liturgical artists.

For more information, please visit Mussner G. Vincenzo Ars Sacra on their website or on social media.

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