Sacristy Art: the Custom of Denoting "Titulus Ecclesiae" and "Nomen Ordinarii"

In sacristies there is an old custom of having a "titulus" sign that reads the name of the church (titulor ecclesiae) and the local ordinary (nomen ordinarii).  Sometimes it will also say Orationes Imperatae or Oratio Imperata at the bottom (to remind priests of a certain prayer commanded by the local bishop or extra prayers assigned according to the season in the rubrics of the missal for almost every Sunday and ferial day).  This tradition has always had a purely practical purpose.  It is helpful for visiting clergy from out of town as they prepare in the sacristy before Mass to take note of the name of the local ordinary who they are to mention in the Canon (...et Antistite nostro N. et...), and any extra prayers he may be asking for (i.e. for a diocesan synod or for peace in time of war, etc).  Over the years I have seen these signs more frequently at sanctuaries and places of pilgrimage where visiting priests pass through with some frequency; for example in the Holy Land or in big cities.  

The name of the bishop - which inevitably is changed periodically - is switchable and is generally written in Latin.  In this example in the first two photos the name is obviously written in English.  These first two photos were taken in the sacristy of my childhood German parish where I first served at the altar at the church of the Assumption in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota.  I presume this "Titulus" marker dates back to the 1870s, around the time the church was dedicated. When I was a boy the plaque read "Leo," for Archbishop Leo Binz who died in 1979.  It was later changed in 1994 to "Harry" for Archbishop Harry Flynn.  It has yet to be updated with the name of the present bishop.    

This is a great tradition to foster.  It is also a nice way to honor the local ordinary.  I will post more photos here of other examples as I find them.  On my travels I have visited many sacristies and often seen these signs, each one a little work of art.   

Below is an example from the sacristy of the church of the Assumption in St. Paul, Minnesota.         


Below is an example from the sacristy of Fontgombault Abbey in France.


Below is an example from the sacristy of the London Oratory in London, England.


Below is an example from the sacristy of the Cathedral of St. Raphael in Dubuque, Iowa.


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