The Capuchin Crypt in Rome

The Capuchin Crypt in Rome With today being Halloween, or in other words, the vigil of All Saints Day, what better time to soak in a little memento mori as our minds turn toward All Saints and All Souls. In the past we've shown many a 'bone chapel' (or ossuary) but today we are going to l…

The Art of Statue Restoration with E.A Hayes Studio

The Art of Statue Restoration with E.A Hayes Studio How right Plato was when he wrote that at the sight of beauty the human soul grows wings.  The beauty of statues  inspires awe and raises our minds to heavenly ascents.  So many times in my travels I have seen a statue in need of restoration or I have had someone ask me whe…

Floriated Vestments Depicted in Sacred Art

Floriated Vestments Depicted in Sacred Art Floriated vestments -- by which I mean, vestments with brightly coloured floral patterns -- are one of those things that people seem to either love or hate. For some -- frequently, in my experience, those coming from the rather more 'stiff' and 'sober' Anglo…

Liturgical Practice of Covers for the Lectionary

Liturgical Practice of Covers for the Lectionary I took this photo in the sacristy of Westminster Cathedral in London.  It is impressive to see this venerable custom maintained, of covering the Gospel & Epistle book for Solemn Mass.  This tradition has been cultivated in both the Latin and Greek Churches, as an extra …

Minor Roman Basilicas: Santi Cosma e Damiano

Minor Roman Basilicas: Santi Cosma e Damiano In another article here, we discussed the contributions of Pope St. Paschal I to the ecclesiastical art of the Eternal City, rooted in Rome's own venerable tradition, and there we discussed some of the important mosaics he left to us. In that article we mentioned the ch…

Two Chasubles of Cardinal Enrico Enríquez (+1756)

Two Chasubles of Cardinal Enrico Enríquez (+1756) Cardinal Enrico Enriquez (1701-1756) was the Apostolic Nuncio to Spain for the years 1744-1753 and in 1753 was created a cardinal by Pope Benedict XIV and given the title of cardinal-priest of Sant'Eusebio. The follow two chasubles date from his time as a cardinal, thus…

The Legacy of Romanitas as Seen in the Artistic and Architectural Legacy of Pope St. Paschal I (817-824)

The Legacy of Romanitas as Seen in the Artistic and Architectural Legacy of Pope St. Paschal I (817-824) If you were to ask the question, "which popes most impacted ecclesiastical Rome artistically?" one's mind naturally turns toward the baroque period with all the baroque facades found throughout the city, frequently bearing the name of baroque era pontiffs like…

The Paleochristian Revival of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century

 The Paleochristian Revival of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century While the gothic revival is well enough known -- the movement by which late medieval forms and styles were re-adopted -- something one seldom seems to hear spoken of is what I am going to call the "paleochristian revival."  After the centuries moved forward and th…

A Cope of Venerable Cesare Cardinal Baronius

A Cope of Venerable Cesare Cardinal Baronius The church of Santa Maria in Vallicella, or what is better known as Chiesa Nuova, contains many treasures of liturgical art, not the least of which is a cope of Venerable Cesare Cardinal Baronius, the erudite Oratorian, antiquarian and scholar of ecclesiastical history. In …

Unique Feature of Vesting Prayers in Decorative Window (Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas)

Unique Feature of Vesting Prayers in Decorative Window (Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas) As a  young college student I would sometimes find my way to the basement of our university chapel to pray.  There I discovered this unique window displaying the vesting prayers.  I imagine it was once part of a crypt chapel sacristy that existed according to the original p…

Another Case Study in the Restoration of a Classical Sanctuary Ordering

Another Case Study in the Restoration of a Classical Sanctuary Ordering Today I wished to share a digital comparison of the current sanctuary of Groenmarktkerk, Haarlem and what it would look like if it were restored to a more classical ordering -- which we have done here digitally as an approximation. As I have frequently noted in previous arti…

Liturgical Arts Shine in Africa at Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes (Archdiocese of Libreville, Gabon)

Liturgical Arts Shine in Africa at Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes (Archdiocese of Libreville, Gabon) For years I have been following the exciting developments from the wonderful French-speaking mission parish of Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes in the African city of Libreville, in Gabon.   This community is a foreign mission effort under the auspices of the Institute of Christ the K…

The Martyrology as Seen in the Frescoes of Ss. Nereo e Achilleo

The Martyrology as Seen in the Frescoes of Ss. Nereo e Achilleo In the past we've discussed the person of Cardinal Baronius and some of his activities in relation to undertaking a revised edition of the Martyrologium Romanum in the sixteenth century to bring it into alignment with the then new Gregorian calendar reform. At that time…

Michelangelo's Magnificent Dome of the Vatican Basilica

Michelangelo's Magnificent Dome of the Vatican Basilica My first time in Rome I recall striking up a conversation with a young couple on the Ponte Sant'Angelo.  When they said they were from Minneapolis, it piqued my interest.  I was from there, too.  I asked what brought them to Rome.  They looked at each other, then at St.…

Embossed Embroidery from the Late Nineteenth or Early Twentieth Century

Embossed Embroidery from the Late Nineteenth or Early Twentieth Century Today I thought I would share a chasuble that, regrettably I have virtually no information on and, even more regrettably, only this one photo of which isn't of the highest quality. Despite that, it presents an example of a kind of work that was prominent within France i…

Beacon of Liturgical Arts: Assumption Grotto in Detroit

Beacon of Liturgical Arts: Assumption Grotto in Detroit One of our favorite churches to visit is Assumption Grotto in Detroit.  It has a national reputation as an oasis of liturgical arts and sacred liturgy.  It is a centre of Marian devotion.  Many have come here to revivify their faith.  A truly universal Church is a Church wh…

Death and Resurrection: Combining Memento Mori with Symbols of Christian Hope

Death and Resurrection: Combining Memento Mori with Symbols of Christian Hope With All Souls and the month of the Holy Souls fast approaching, I thought I would take a moment to feature a contemporary vestment work that includes memento mori , but with a twist. While many Catholics have no objections to their use (and in fact, if the interest shown on…

A Rare Glimpse: Hacienda Private House Chapel in Mexico

A Rare Glimpse: Hacienda Private House Chapel in Mexico In Spanish America many haciendas in the Mexican countryside have private house chapels.  Pictured here is an example, set up in a converted room.  Mass is celebrated early before the heat of the day sets in, occasionally offered by a priest in the family.  This is a worthy…

The Other Modern: 1953 Coronation Cope by Watts & Co.

The Other Modern: 1953 Coronation Cope by Watts & Co. The animal we call "the other modern" is a reference to modernity which still maintains its inspiration and connections to the tradition, while also giving a certain nod to modernity in terms of its design. "Modernity" is one of those odd creatures of co…

Irish Vestments: the Royal School of Needlework of Dublin, Ireland

Irish Vestments: the Royal School of Needlework of Dublin, Ireland This wonderful vestment set is kept at the National Shrine of St. Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is an excellent example of the Irish embroidery school of the late nineteenth century.  The matching set was purchased by Archbishop John Ireland at the Chicago World's Fai…

Polychrome Marbles in Church Decoration

Polychrome Marbles in Church Decoration Marble revetments are one of the most appealing aspects of church decoration in many of the most historic churches of Christendom,  whether we are talking about one of the many historic basilicas of Rome, or Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.  So first off, what is a "reve…