Saturday, 23 February 2013

Benedict XVI : 12

Pope Benedict XVI vestments
An inventively-ornamented mitre
intended for the Season of Lent.
Amongst the many remarkable features of Benedict XVI's Pontificate is the rather singular distinction of having used more mitres as Pope than all of his predecessors of the last 200 hundred years put together!   The mitres of Pope Benedict fall (almost) into two categories: those used during the tenure of Marini the First (Piero Marini) and those used during the tenure of Marini the Second (Guido Marini).

In our previous posts, we detailed some mitres of the tenure of Marini the Second.  Now we turn to mitres of the tenure of Marini the First (2005 - 2007).

All of these mitres are somewhat short: a size quite proportionate for a man of the stature of Pope Benedict.  Unhappily, these early mitres were hit-and-miss affairs.  The less tasteful ones cannot be viewed before breakfast and will not be shewn here.  And although the more tasteful ones were pleasing and well-made, it may be justly asked whether they were more suited to a diocesan bishop than to the Pope.

Pope Benedict XVI vestments
The Consecration of new bishops.  The Pope's mitre features medallions
of the Apostles with foliate ornament.  The mitres of the new bishops
are superior and more firmly based in tradition.

Pope Benedict XVI vestments
A quite tasteful mitre, but from a distance its ornament would be invisible.

Pope Benedict XVI vestments
A mitre used at the Chrism Mass in 2007.
A not-quite-successful attempt at avant garde.

Pope Benedict XVI vestments
Another inventive use of braid to ornament a mitre.

Pope Benedict XVI vestments
Although attractive visually, the base fabric of this mitre is of too heavy a weave.