Sunday, 17 January 2021

Deaconesses and Recent Difficulties

In May of 2016 we heard that the tired subject of a "female diaconate" had been raised again, but this time - most disappointingly - by the Bishop of Rome who, in an "impromptu" remark during a meeting with Religious gathered in Rome, claimed that the history of deaconesses in the Early Church is "obscure".  In August 2016, the Vatican Bulletin announced the formation of a Commission to study this, which the Pope has decided upon "after intense prayer and mature reflection". *

The history of deaconesses in the Early Church is only obscure to those who either have not studied the issue, or to those who are determined to force such an innovation upon the Church.  The Commission did meet and did not support the introduction of a female diaconate based upon the practice of the Early Church.  That was in 2018.  But then in 2019, the agitators were at it again and as has become notoriously obvious, the promoters of this innovation will not accept "no" as the answer.

Giotto's 13th century depiction
of Saint Stephen the protomartyr
and deacon.
The history of deaconesses in the early Church was the focus of a definitive study published in 1982 by the distinguished French liturgiologist, Monsignor Aime-Georges Martimort.  Ignatius Press published a translation of this wonderful work in 1986 Deaconesses : An Historical Study, which is still in print. I urge you to obtain this book and read it (it assumes a working knowledge of Greek and Latin). It also appears to be available to be read online.

But, above all is to be noted the deliberations of a previous Commission of the Holy See into this very subject, published only 14 years ago and which may be read in full here.

Deaconesses DID exist in the Early Church but they WERE NOT female deacons. Their ministry was narrowly defined, completely distinct from the ministry of the deacon and DID NOT include any liturgical role at the altar, where, according to Apostolic Tradition, no woman set foot. This is not what present-day advocates of deaconesses are seeking. They are seeking the feminisation of the Church's Orders and a ministry at the altar. This is not Tradition, it is innovation.

This week past, motu proprio, the Bishop of Rome has made another change to a discipline of Apostolic origin.  The argument that the Offices of Lector and Acolyte can be considered in distinction from the Orders of Deacon and Priest is not a Catholic approach, and represents a rupture with Tradition.  What this will create for the Church we cannot be certain, but we do have a clue, being what has happened within the Anglican Communion over the past 40 years.

What separates the Orders of the Roman and the Eastern Churches from the ministries of Protestant denominations is Apostolic Tradition.  We compromise that link to our great peril.  One of the insights of the Second Vatican Council was to emphasise that the laity has roles and responsibilities which complement and yet are distinct from Ministry at the altar.  We could start with the spreading of the Gospel in this age of Unbelief.  Yet here we are almost 60 years later, still talking about why it is "urgent" that lay men and women minister at the altar.

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* These are the actual words of the Vatican Bulletin and presumably are not intended to be ironic.

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Priestly Ordinations 2020 : 2

In this post, we are pleased to describe a set of vestments in the style of Saint Philip Neri, which was commissioned by an ordinand from Oklahoma USA.

These vestments were made from silk dupion in a rich and darker shade of red and ornamented with a damask in crimson-red and straw-gold.  A braid outlines the ornament front and back.  The lining of these vestments was formed from a bronze-shade of taffeta.

Please pray for all newly-ordained priests.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries : This page.








Wednesday, 6 January 2021

The Epiphany



Fairer than the sun at morning
Was the star that told his birth ;
To the lands their God announcing,
Hid beneath a form of earth.

Solemn things of mystic meaning !
Incense doth the God disclose ;
Gold a royal Child proclaimeth ;
Myrrh a future tomb foreshews.

Holy Jesu, in thy brightness
To the Gentile world display'd,
With the Father and the Spirit,
Endless praise to thee be paid.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

NEW YEAR 2021

 THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD.



This lovely drawing by the English artist Eric Gill depicts an Angel visiting the Child Jesus and his Mother, Mary.  Mary is sitting knitting.  Around the perimeter is written (in Latin) "Let all things praise God, who created (them)."

The ingenious part of this drawing is that by enclosing the figures within a circle, Gill also depicts the planet Earth, with its masses of land and oceans.  The Mother and Child are in the world, yet all things are under their care.  The angels watch over us.

May the Christ-child and his Blessed Mother bring peace and health in mind and body to our troubled world.

The Saint Bede Studio wishes all its customers and readers every Blessing in 2021.

Sunday, 27 December 2020

In Christmastide : 3


In this post, we exhibit one of our " economy " vestments made earlier this year for one of customers in the United States.  This style is called Saint Anselm.  

The chasuble is made from moirĂ© taffeta and is unlined, but well-faced around the neckline to make it sit well.  The ornament, in the manner of a column, front and back, is formed from one of the Studio's unique braids Saint Edmund, based on the work of AWN Pugin.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiries : This page.


Saturday, 26 December 2020

In Christmastide : 2

May the birth of the Holy Child of Bethlehem place into perspective all the sorrows, disappointments and angst of our Earthly life in the year 2020 and remind us that here we have no enduring city, but await His second coming in Glory.

Friday, 25 December 2020

In this Holy Season 2020



To all friends, customers and readers of this Blog, sincere wishes for a Blessed Christmas.

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill be made low; the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places, plain; and the Glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.
Isaiah 40:4-5.

Michael Sternbeck
The Saint Bede Studio
December 2020

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Antiphons

O come, thou Daystar seen on high.

With healing for our hearts draw nigh;

Do thou the mists of night dispel,

And death's foreboding darkness, quell.

Rejoice!  Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.


Friday, 18 December 2020

Priestly Ordinations 2019 : 10

For a young American priest, who was ordained in 2019, the Saint Bede Studio completed this set of violet vestments in the Gothic Revival style.

The vestments were made from a beautiful ecclesiastical brocade, woven in the United Kingdom.  Lined in a beautiful shade of crimson taffeta, the vestments were ornamented with one of the Studio's unique braids.  This braid Saint George is derived from  design elements of the opus of AWN Pugin.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries : This page.







Saturday, 12 December 2020

Gaudete Sunday 2020


The Studio recently provided this simple set of Rose vestments to a young priest from the Archdiocese of Sydney (Australia).

This vestment is made from a dusty shade of rose fabric and is ornamented with a column, front and back.  The ornament is formed from silver dupion silk and one of the Studio's unique braids Saint Edmund (based on a design of AWN Pugin).

The chasuble is unlined, but is faced at the neckline, helping it to sit well and not crumple.   The chasuble is lightweight, has a slight sheen, has good drapery and is comfortable to wear.


This chasuble is part of a range of economy vestments, which we call our Saint Anselm style.

A similar set of vestments in violet for purchase is advertised at this page.

Enquiries : stbede62@gmail.com

Click on the images for an enlarged view.