Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Blessing of Priestly Vestments


V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

R. Who made heaven and earth.

Let us pray.

Almighty eternal God, who through your servant Moses commanded vestments to be fashioned for the honour of your name, that the High Priest, priests and levites might fittingly stand before your face to worship you, in your goodnefs heed our prayer.  Through our humble ministration blefs  +  these priestly garments and pour out grace upon them; that they may be vestments henceforth, blefsed for use in the sacred ceremonies of your worship.  And as your bishops, priests and levites wear these sacred vestments, may they find strength against the onslaughts and temptations of the devil.  May they worship you worthily and well, giving themselves wholly to your service and finding therein their never-ending joy.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The vestments are sprinkled with Holy Water.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Priestly Ordinations 2013 : 7

Each year, the Saint Bede Studio has the privilege of preparing sacred vestments for Ordinands.  Happily, this year has been no exception. This post concerns Father Jacob Straub, who was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Diocese of Covington, Kentucky on 22nd June.

Father Straub commissioned vestments made in the Saint Philip Neri form for his First Holy Mass. The chasuble (shewn adjacent) was made from an ecclesiastical brocade in ivory and gold and was ornamented with a silk damask outlined with narrow braids in the colours of burgundy and gold, in the Roman style. The vestments were lined in gold taffeta.

Please pray for Father Straub and for all newly-ordained priests.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Brazil : 2

On the third day of his visit to South America, 24th July, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the Basilica-shrine of Our Lady of Aparecido in Sao Paolo. Some photographs of this Mass are adjacent.

Click on the images for an enlarged view. 

Copyright: Getty Images.




Interior of the Basilica during the Papal Mass.


The circular presbyterium of the Basilica, at the crossing.


The Pope giving the Blessing with the Evangelarium.


Incensation of the Offerings.


Pope Francis carrying in procession the black Madonna of Aparecido.








Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Brazil : 1


On the morning of his second day in Brazil, Pope Francis offered Mass in the small chapel of the private residence where he is staying. A small group of Religious attended the Mass.

Copyright: Getty Images.

Click on the photographs for an enlarged view.






Monday, 22 July 2013

Chasubles of the Roman Rite : 5
Reposted

PART FIVE: CHASUBLES OF THE 18TH CENTURY

Frequently, the Studio receives enquiries asking about the distinctions between the different styles of chasubles. Comments are also often seen on websites which indicate that this subject matter is still not well-known. Although this has been written about before on this blog, we wish to present a series of posts describing the styles of chasuble down the centuries until our own time. These posts ought to be regarded as brief overviews rather than scholarly treatments of the subject matter.

Previous posts: Part One  Part Two  Part Three Part Four


For this post, we are pleased to quote an excellent monograph first published in 1926 by the English scholar, Raymond James. The work is titled The Origin and Development of Roman Liturgical Vestments.  Mr James writes (pp 19-20):

(From the Eighteenth) until the nineteenth century... the story of the development of sacred vestments is a sad one: "development" seems indeed hardly the word to use. It was to this period, and especially to the eighteenth century - that nadir of all the Christian centuries - that we owe the bib-like chasuble, truncated stole and maniple, shrunken surplices or cottas and other similar vestments - all mere caricatures of the traditional form.

If anything at all is certain, it is that the Church did not initiate the process which resulted in producing these, but rather that she shewed herself on more than one occasion opposed to it.

Mr James, supports his remarks with many quotations from scholars and bishops. But it is seems sensible just to include this one from the Dictionary of Sacred Objects published in Venice in 1735 by the editor Magri (p 24):

Little by little, instead of being turned back at the sides, it was cut away instead, so that it came to resemble no longer a chasuble, but rather a monastic scapular. On this point, the Greeks deserve much praise, since they have retained the ancient shape (the loss of which by the Latin Church has been a great misfortune, since) in the shape of the ancient chasuble much majesty and many mysteries were contained; it originally represented, amongst other things, the Unity of the Church and the Seamless Garment of Christ, and this in its present cut-away condition it manifestly can no longer do.

A once ample chasuble of the 15th century,
mutilated in the 18th century into the "scapular" form.
(The Victoria & Albert Museum)
More on this subject need not be written, except to remark how pitiful it is that so many folk regard this debased form of chasuble as Traditional whilst despising more ample chasubles as being Modern or in some places Anglican.  Readers of this blog will understand otherwise. Although the "fiddleback" chasuble has been made continuously since the eighteenth century, how sad to observe that vestment-makers, with renewed vigour, have returned to the making of these caricatures.


The last gasp before the ravages of the 18th century:
A chasuble of Roman origin, but significantly longer and slightly wider
than the so-called "fiddleback".


The logical "development" of clipping-back:
the chasuble no more than a scapular.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Priestly Ordinations 2013 : 6

Father Horne pictured after his
First Holy Mass.
Each year, the Saint Bede Studio has the privilege of preparing sacred vestments for Ordinands. Happily, this year has been no exception. This post concerns Father Nathan Horne, who was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in the Cathedral of the Diocese of Salford (UK) on 13th July.

Father Horne commissioned a Maria Regina set of vestments for his First Holy Mass. The chasuble was made from ivory dupion silk and was lined in Royal Blue taffeta.

We are pleased to include here some photographs of the First Mass, which were sent to us by Father Horne. This Mass was celebrated in the church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Blackley (Manchester) on Sunday 14th July.

Please pray for Father Horne and for all newly-ordained priests.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com


Interior of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
during Father Horne's First Mass.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Blackley
(Diocese of Salford UK).

Father Horne processing for the celebration of his First Holy Mass.



Friday, 12 July 2013

Priestly Ordinations 2013 : 5

Saint Martin chasuble
Each year, the Saint Bede Studio has the privilege of preparing sacred vestments for Ordinands.  Happily, this year is no exception. This post concerns Father Christopher Gray, who was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in the Cathedral of Salt Lake City, Utah on 29th June, the Feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul.

Father Gray commissioned vestments made in the ample Saint Martin form for his First Holy Mass. The chasuble was made from dupion silk in an exquisite subdued shade of gold and was ornamented with braids in the colours of burgundy, red and platinum, newly-designed by the Studio. The vestments were lined in red taffeta.

Please pray for Father Gray and for all newly-ordained priests.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com


Father Gray blessing the Deacon at the celebration of his First Mass.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Chasuble Styles of the Roman Rite : 4
Reposted


PART FOUR: CHASUBLES OF THE 17TH CENTURY 

Green chasuble made by the S' Bede Studio
in the S' Philip Neri form.
Frequently, the Studio receives enquiries asking about the distinctions between the different styles of chasubles.  Comments are also often seen on websites which indicate that this subject matter is still not well-known. Although this has been written about before on the blog, we wish to present a series of posts describing the styles of chasuble down the centuries until our own time. These posts ought to be regarded as brief overviews rather than scholarly treatments of the subject matter.





Previous posts: Part One  Part Two  Part Three

This post concerns the style of chasuble found in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and in particular that form which has been associated through art with Saint Philip Neri.   From the earliest years of the Church until about the sixteenth century, the conical or bell-shaped chasuble had been the norm for the ministers at the altar. In the thirteenth century, as described in part two of this series, the shape of that chasuble was slightly modified for the greater convenience of the wearer.

From the fifteenth century, however, in various parts of Europe, but particularly northern Europe, vestment makers took it upon themselves to modify the chasuble still further to free-up the celebrant's arms. Thus, even at this early date but only in some places, that exaggerated shape referred to unkindly as the "fiddleback" began to appear. It is noteworthy that the truncation of the chasuble in this way was never sanctioned by Ecclesiastical authority. Whilst abbreviated chasubles were appearing North of the Alps, Rome retained the Tradition of the ample chasuble, as did Spain.

As has been written about in Part Three of this series, Saint Charles Borromeo prescribed dimensions he believed to be the minimum in order for a chasuble to conform to Tradition. He prescribed that the chasuble was to be very long, reaching at the back almost to the heels of the wearer and wide enough so that it reached to at least half way between the elbow and the wrist.

Mass in S' Patrick's Cathedral Melbourne with the celebrant
vested in a chasuble of the S' Philip Neri form.
Image: Dr Chris Steward, Melbourne.


Contemporaneous with Saint Charles and for a century thereafter, a less ample form of chasuble was common, which is evidenced by paintings, sculptures and engravings of the 16th and 17th centuries.  This form of chasuble is best knownSaint Philip Neri, one of which is included in this post. We also include other works of art from this period depicting the same form of chasuble.
to us from paintings of

Seventeenth century painting of S' Philip Neri.
This form of chasuble only reached to the elbows, or sometimes not quite that far, but on the other hand was quite long, especially at the back. These chasubles also, it would seem from the evidence, often incorporated shoulder seams. The ancient form, as has been discussed in previous posts, did not use shoulder seams to sew together the front and back of the chasuble. Instead the chasuble, being a form of semicircle, was sewn together in the middle at the front, making a bell shape.  During the middle ages, the practical limitations of such a design became evident and we find makers of vestments introducing the shoulder seam to constrict less the movements of the celebrant. The shoulder seam became more common in the 16th and 17th centuries, although our evidence for this is not complete. Not all vestments of this period were constructed in this way of sewing together the front and the back at the shoulder line.

Carving on the door of a Roman basilica
shewing Saint Vitalis vested in a chasuble
of the 17th century form.
Image: Orbis Catholicus Secundus.
The decoration most commonly found on vestments from the Southern Europe during this period was in the established Roman style: a single column at the back and at the front a TAU. Sometimes we find that a single column is substituted for the tau on such vestments. In Northern Europe, we find a similar shape of vestment ornamented with the familiar " Y " shape orphreys.

Presently, there is a revived interest in the Saint Philip Neri form of chasuble. The Saint Bede Studio regularly receives enquiries about such chasubles which seem to appeal because they are very Roman in character, based in Tradition, but yet not in the exaggerated form of the eighteenth century. Another reason, of course, is that they are very convenient to wear. Priests comment that they find this form of chasuble most suitable for the celebration of the Mass according to the Ordinary and Extraordinary usages.

1628 painting by Francisco Herrera the Elder of S' Bonaventure
receiving Holy Communion from an Angel:
the priest vested in a chasuble of the S' Philip Neri form.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com







Saturday, 6 July 2013

In the Vatican Gardens

Pope Benedict (seated) listens to Pope Francis
at the ceremony on Friday 5th July
in the Vatican Gardens. 
As announced by Vatican Radio:

To the joy of Vatican City State workers, Friday morning Pope Francis was joined by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI in the gardens for a ceremony during which the Holy Father blessed a statue of St Michael Archangel, at the same time consecrating the Vatican to the Archangel’s protection.

Following a brief ceremony, Pope Francis addressed those present noting how St. Michael defends the People of God from its enemy par excellence, the devil. He said even if the devil attempts to disfigure the face of the Archangel and thus the face of humanity, St Michael wins, because God acts in him and is stronger:

Pope Francis greeting Pope Benedict
before the ceremony.
As is obvious from the photographs
Pope Benedict looks quite well.
In the Vatican Gardens there are several works of art. But this, which has now been added, takes on particular importance, in its location as well as the meaning it expresses. In fact it is not just celebratory work but an invitation to reflection and prayer, that fits well into the Year of Faith. Michael - which means "Who is like God" - is the champion of the primacy of God, of His transcendence and power. Michael struggles to restore divine justice and defends the People of God from his enemies, above all by the enemy par excellence, the devil. And St. Michael wins because in him, there is He God who acts. This sculpture reminds us then that evil is overcome, the accuser is unmasked, his head crushed, because salvation was accomplished once and for all in the blood of Christ. Though the devil always tries to disfigure the face of the Archangel and that of humanity, God is stronger, it is His victory and His salvation that is offered to all men. We are not alone on the journey or in the trials of life, we are accompanied and supported by the Angels of God, who offer, so to speak, their wings to help us overcome so many dangers, in order to fly high compared to those realities that can weigh down our lives or drag us down. In consecrating Vatican City State to St. Michael the Archangel, I ask him to defend us from the evil one and banish him. "

"We also consecrate Vatican City State in St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus, the guardian of the Holy Family. May his presence make us stronger and more courageous in making space for God in our lives to always defeat evil with good. We ask Him to protect, take care of us, so that a life of grace grows stronger in each of us every day. 

 

Pope Francis and Pope Benedict pictured together
on Friday morning in the Vatican Gardens.

This was the first public appearance of the two Popes together and we do hope it will not be the last!  Contrary to "inside" views about his rapidly deteriorating health, Pope Benedict appeared very well and was obviously delighted to be present for the Dedication of Saint Michael's statue. Pope Benedict's attendance had not been anticipated: he was present at the personal invitation of Pope Francis.


Prayer to Michael the Archangel :

Blessed Michael the Archangel,defend us in the hour of conflict.
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil:
may God restrain him, we humbly pray.
And do thou, O prince of the Heavenly Host, 
by the power of God thrust down Satan into hell 
and with him the other wicked spirits 
who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Priestly Ordination 2013 : 4

Only rarely does the Studio produce vestments for Masses of the Dead, specifically, black vestments. Recently, however, four sets of vestments in the Saint Philip Neri style were completed for a priest in Ohio USA.

Previous posts are found herehere and here. Details of this unusual commission are described as follows:

Since my own ordination, my custom has been to procure black vestments as gifts for the newly ordained. My notion is to foster the normative use of black vestments, a more balanced understanding of the character of the funereal rites, an appreciation of a healthy variety of historical styles and tasteful liturgical aesthetics, but above all priestly devotion to the dead, for whom we offer our primary intention at Holy Mass most every day. 

This year there were a few especially close friends from seminary who are of a mind to make use of black vestments both in parochial and private settings, and so I elected to commission some exceptional yet functional sets to present to them. I approached The Saint Bede Studio for this commission and asked for vestments in the Studio's Saint Philip Neri style, but each one different from the other. As to both the beauty of the designs and quality of the workmanship, I am fully pleased with the results!

The last of these four sets of vestments is depicted in adjacent photographs. It is made of an English silk damask, ornamented in the Roman manner from a black and straw-coloured brocade depicting the Crucifixion. Galloons in black and gold outline the brocade. The vestments are lined in bronze-coloured silk.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com

Click on the images for an enlarged view.