Tuesday, 27 September 2022

For the Season "Per Annum" 2022 : 5

The Saint Bede Studio
Recently, the Saint Bede Studio completed this set of vestments in the Gothic Revival style for a returning customer from USA.

The vestments were made from a lovely silk damask, woven in the United Kingdom.  Lined in a beautiful shade of blue taffeta, the vestments were ornamented with one of the Studio's unique braids.  This braid, Saint Chad, is derived from the ornament of a chasuble designed by AWN Pugin.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries : This page.

Green Gothic Vestments

The Saint Bede Studio

Green Gothic vestments


Saturday, 24 September 2022

ORDINANDS 2023

2023 is not far off, so if you are interested in commissioning vestments with the Saint Bede Studio for your Ordination next year, NOW is the time to contact us to begin discussions.

Every year - regretfully - we have to refuse work from ordinands because they have left enquiries too late for us to fit into our over-crowded schedule.

Contact us now to avoid disappointment.  

Please show this notice to ordinands who may be thinking of vestments.

Enquiries : stbede62@gmail.com

The Bidding Prayers [re-posted]

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council Sacrosanctum Concilium laid down the desire of the Fathers for the restoration of intercessions:

53. The “common prayer” or “prayer of the faithful” is to be restored after the gospel and homily, especially on Sundays and holidays of obligation. By this prayer - in which the people are to take part - intercession will be made for holy Church, for the civil authorities, for those oppressed by various needs, for all mankind, and for the salvation of the entire world.

This paragraph made reference to Saint Paul’s admonition at 1 Tim. 2:1-2. This paragraph is found – with only slight alterations – in the General Instructions on the Roman Missal.

Such intercessions are, therefore, of Apostolic origin, and were everywhere known by the time of Saint Augustine. The Solemn Orations of the Good Friday Afternoon Liturgy were the only survival of such intercessions in the Roman Missal for centuries. In the East, however, they were preserved in the unvarying Litanies, or Ektenia that are prayed throughout the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. From the East, such intercessions made their way during the first millennium into the various Rites in England and, centuries later, were incorporated into the Services of the Church of England, long after they had ceased being a usual feature of the Roman Rite.

Anciently, the intercessions formed part of non-Eucharistic prayer service (sometimes called a Synaxis). But when such services came to be usually celebrated immediately before the Eucharistic Liturgy, the intercessions gradually fell into disuse. This was because intercessions made during the Eucharistic Liturgy often repeated those found in the Synaxis. Such was the origin of the Roman Mass being described in two parts: the Mass of the Catechumens and the Mass of the Faithful.

What is found in almost all the ancient examples of these intercessions are common intentions, which were summarised and made explicit by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council.

It was never envisaged by the Council - nor was it part of the ancient practice - that such intercessions vary on a daily basis, nor that there be any inclusion of extemporaneous prayer. It might easily be argued that the Council Fathers wished that these intercessions would become fixed in people’s consciousness, by being prayed week after week.

Upon this simple concept outlined by the Council Fathers, there have been many accretions over the last 50 years. Not uncommonly, we find intercessions anaemic in their theological content and not specifically Christian in their outlook. We commonly find the intercessions to be linked to the Propers of the Mass, and the lections of the Mass of the Day, as if “theme” were all-important. But this was never intended by the Council Fathers.  Furthermore, a new and more noble translation of the Roman Missal for the English-speaking world has highlighted the often unsacral, even trite expression of these intercessions. But even the formulae found in the Roman Missal are so terse as easily to be described as bland.

It is an empty exercise to criticise without suggesting an alternative. The following set of General Intercessions has been adapted from various sources (including a set of Intercessions found in a 1965 Interim Rite Missal) and edited by the author of this post. Please do not use it liturgically without seeking proper ecclesiastical authority. These intercessions are intended to be distinctly different. The language is more formal; the petitions sometimes longer; the application intended for weekly and unvarying use.

Dear Brethren, we humbly beseech God the Father Almighty, through his only-begotten Son, to pour out abundantly the gifts of his mercy upon us his people, whom he has gathered here.

That it may please you to protect, keep together and to govern your Holy Church and to illuminate the Pope, and all bishops, priests, and deacons, with true knowledge and understanding of your Word.
Lord, in your mercy: We beseech you, hear us.


That it may please you to lead all nations in the way of righteousness and peace, directing all leaders of government, that they may truly and impartially minister justice, in the punishment of wickedness and vice, and in the maintenance of true religion, and virtue.
Lord, in your mercy: We beseech you, hear us.

That it may please you to help and comfort the sick and all who are in danger, necessity, and tribulation; to protect travellers, and to shew your pity upon all prisoners, captives; the desolate and the oppressed.
Lord, in your mercy: We beseech you, hear us.

That it may please you to give and preserve to our use the kindly fruits of the earth, so that in your good time we may enjoy them.
Lord, in your mercy: We beseech you, hear us.

That it may please you to bring into the way of Truth all who have erred and are deceived, to strengthen those who hold firm; to soften the hearts of persecutors and slanderers; to comfort and help the weak-hearted and to raise up those who fall.
Lord, in your mercy: We beseech you, hear us.

That it may please you to give us a heart to love and fear you, and to infuse us with the grace of your Holy Spirit, so that we might amend our lives according to your holy Word.
Lord, in your mercy: We beseech you, hear us.

That it may please you to grant to all the Faithful Departed the unending joy of your Presence.
Lord, in your mercy: We beseech you, hear us.

We humbly beseech you, O Heavenly Father, mercifully to look upon our infirmities; and for the glory of your Name grant, that in all our troubles we may put our entire trust and confidence in you, and evermore serve you in holiness and pureness of living, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Sunday, 18 September 2022

Queen Elizabeth : A Christian Moment

Image : Sky Channel

Each stage of Her Late Majesty's final journey from the place of her death at Balmoral Castle, to her burial in a Royal Chapel in the great church of Saint George, Windsor, has been marked by the rites of the Christian Church.  There have been public Services held in the Cathedrals of Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff (finally, of course, the Funeral Service in Westminster Abbey itself) during which beautiful occasional addresses have drawn attention to the central place of Christ in the life of Queen Elizabeth.   There have been other smaller occasions of Christian prayer at Balmoral Castle, Saint Giles Great Kirk in Edinburgh, at Buckingham Palace, in the Hall of Westminster and finally in the Chapel at Windsor.  Each step has been marked by prayer to Almighty God.

Queen Elizabeth regularly acknowledged God in her public addresses and never thought it might be embarrassing or politically incorrect to do so.  The person of Jesus Christ, she claimed once so memorably, was the foundation upon which she built her work as Sovereign.  She put her Faith into practice throughout her entire adult life.

The death of this remarkable, Godly woman has been the occasion for plentiful and moving expressions of love, admiration and gratitude for her person and for her long life, so well spent in service.  One cannot help but be struck by this, even if not disposed to the concept of Constitutional Monarchy as a form of government.  These days have been a great moment of history.

By the Grace of God, it will be much more than just that, however.  Calling to mind the admirable life of service of Queen Elizabeth is also a Christian moment.  It would be a wonderful thing if even some of the ten of millions who have followed her passing would find again a place for God in their lives.  That would be a fitting tribute to our late Sovereign lady.

Image : The Guardian


Thursday, 15 September 2022

Funereal vestments

In this period of Royal Mourning upon the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, of happy memory, the Saint Bede Studio is pleased to present a set of funereal vestments, made for a returning customer.

These vestments were made in the style now known as Saint Philip Neri,  using an English brocade in black and lined with a silk of a muted blue colour.  The vestments were ornamented in the Roman manner with a brocade in colours of charcoal and blue and outlined with a galloon in the colour of silver.

Please click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries

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May the soul of our late Sovereign Lady, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.








AMDG

Monday, 12 September 2022

The Kiss of Peace [re-posted]

At a previous Synod of Bishops, Pope Benedict and other bishops posed a question about the Kiss of Peace or Pax in the celebration of the Ordinary Form of Mass according to the Roman Rite. Subsequently, the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments issued a decision of admirable Roman liturgical conservatism, rejecting a proposal that the Pax be observed at the Offertory, rather than before the reception of Holy Communion (as it has been since the time of Pope Saint Gregory the Great).

In a previous post about the revision of the Rites, we pondered if celebrants might consider that any ritual actions of the Extraordinary Form could be incorporated into their celebration of the New Mass in such a way as would not disturb the Faithful. One of these, it might be suggested, is the Pax.

The ritual actions for the Pax in the Extraordinary and Ordinary forms of the Roman Rite are quite different. The prayers - which are the same in both Old and New - are rearranged in the Ordinary form. One thing remains unchanged, however, and it is most significant. Domine Jesu Christi, qui dixisti apostolis tuis ... This prayer, which is the preface to the Pax, is not addressed to God the Father (as all the other prayers of the Mass are) (1)   but addressed directly to God the Son, who is present upon the altar before the very eyes of the celebrant.

All the more inappropriate, therefore, for the celebrant to say or sing this prayer looking around at the Congregation (we need not elaborate on various manifestations of the ars celebrandi of some priests). (2) The celebrant ought to have his eyes cast down upon the altar, looking at Him whom he is addressing. This injunction, however, will not be found in the rubrics of the Pauline Missal.

The Kissing of the Altar :
Karsh's photograph from the famous book by
Bishop Fulton Sheen : This is the Mass.
There is a regrettable ritual excision from the Pax as observed in the Pauline Missal. In Solemn Masses, according to the Extraordinary form, the celebrant recites quietly the prayer Domine Jesu Christi, qui dixisti apostolis tuis and then he kisses the corporal upon which rest the Sacred Host and the Chalice. The deacon (standing at his right), kisses the altar, but not the corporal. The celebrant then gives the Pax to the deacon. In some Mediaeval Western liturgies, the celebrant kissed not the corporal, but the Sacred Host itself, or the foot of the Chalice. These ritual gestures are of great significance and underline that the Pax is not a greeting per se, but a ritual transmission of the Peace which comes directly from our Saviour.

Would it be so objectionable if celebrants of Mass in the Ordinary Form were once again to kiss the corporal before giving the Faithful the Greeting of Peace? Would that ritual action not emphasise their words : The Peace of the Lord be with you always ? Would this be so objectionable? For some, probably. Others might not even notice. Still others might welcome the enrichment of an other-worldly ritual dimension in the Ordinary Form of the Mass. Prudence in all things.

_______________________________________________
(1) With the exception of the Kyrie eleison, which is a litany.
(2) We had the misfortune to observe during the ANZAC Dawn Service at the Gallipoli Beach in Turkey on 25th April 2015, the Anglican minister "praying" the Lord's Prayer whilst looking from side to side to those gathered (whom he would have been unable to see because of the glare of lights). This is is the antithesis of Liturgical Prayer.

Friday, 9 September 2022

Upon the Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth

1952 - 2022

Her Majesty the Queen has died at the age of 96.  Her passing was unexpected.  Over seventy years as our Monarch, whilst never losing sight of the place of God in our lives, Her late Majesty did much good, seen and unseen for the peoples of the world, with as little fuss as possible.  She has earned our love and respect.  She has earned her rest.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, with your saints forever, for you are merciful.

May she rest in peace. Amen.


Thursday, 8 September 2022

On Our Lady's Birthday

Marian vestments
On this Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Saint Bede Studio is pleased to present this set of Marian vestments made for a returning customer, a priest in Australia. This design we have named Regina Coeli.

The vestments were made from an elaborate European lampas in colour of silver and grey. They were ornamented with a damask in peacock blue and silver, outlined with a silver-coloured narrow galloon. The vestments were lined with taffeta in a shade to match the orphrey.

AMDG

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries : Visit this page


Regina Coeli


The Saint Bede Studio


Regina Coeli


The Saint Bede Studio

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Praying in Latin : Book Review

We are pleased to present this review of a recently-published book by Dr David Birch of Melbourne (Australia).

Dr Birch is retired from a University career in Linguistics and Communication Studies. Initially educated in the United Kingdom as a Medievalist, he completed an Honours dissertation on the language of the 14th Century English Mystics, and a DPhil on the polemical writings of St Thomas More.  He has spent a lifetime - both in public worship and in private - with Latin prayer and lectio divina.  He resides in Victoria (Australia), and is an aspirant to the eremitical life.

Now to a few words about this admirable and scholarly work.  Offering a prayer in the Latin language has been part of Catholic life in the West for almost 2,000 years. Each Latin prayer, whether prayed in public worship, or in private contemplation, is saturated with the very rich history of the Roman Catholic Church. The place of Latin prayer thus forms an intrinsic part of the deep and extensive patrimony that is Catholic Tradition. 




This study Latin Prayer : Aspects of Language and Catholic Spirituality explores a way of prayer within that patrimony and Tradition.  Its approach is linguistic, but expressed through a Catholic heart which is steeped in this Latin Tradition.  Over thirteen chapters Dr Birch, freely taking extracts from the Missale Romanum, Breviarium Romanum, the Scripture itself and devotional prayers, explores a wide range of grammatical, linguistic and stylistic features of Latin prayer.  By including a very comprehensive bibliography of Liturgical Latin, this book helps to offer a linguistic means to a spiritual end, through a vocabulary of language, grammar and prayer, aiming at exploring and articulating some of the spiritual depths, Catholic sensibilities, and modern day opportunities, that lie at the heart of the Latin prayer of the Catholic Church. 



It might be observed that this volume is neither primarily a "how to learn Latin" primer, nor is it a compendium of Latin prayers, but rather it is a structured meditation on the nature of prayer.  It is also a spiritual response to many of the developments in Catholicism since the Second Vatican Council - not least so recently - which have attempted to sweep aside the Latin prayer of almost 2,000 years of Catholic worship and assign it to an obscure and scorned footnote in history.  



Much has been written about these various developments elsewhere, but this book does not actively seek to engage in the varied politics surrounding the many decades of contemporary change and commentary in the Church.  Neither does it seek overtly to politicise these issues or to direct its readers to a form of Latin isolationism.  

Rather, it seeks to invest Catholic prayer with a much greater sense of what it has been, may be, and indeed still is, to many Catholics worldwide.  To that end, Dr Birch attempts to engage with what it is to be a praying Catholic, imbued with the sort of sensibilities, the sense of the sacred, the awe and the separateness from everyday things that praying in a hieratic language (which is no longer anyone’s mother tongue) can bring. 

The central message of the book is not complicated : God is extraordinary, and praying in an extraordinary language like Latin, helps to bring to our consciousness that extraordinariness.  It is among the attractive features of this book that it is not interested in seeking to make God ordinary just like one of us, as much contemporary theology and liturgy seeks to do.  Reading this book presents challenges to the reader, just as the Christian life presents to all who follow it.



For those who know Latin there can be found in Latin Prayer : Aspects of Language and Catholic Spirituality many prayers both familiar and unfamiliar.  And perhaps those who have no Latin will be inspired by this book to learn it.  This reviewer hopes that everyone, by reading Dr Birch's study and regardless of linguistic skills, will discover and marvel at the depth, power and potency of the Catholic patrimony and Tradition in Latin prayer; and value it as an ever-relevant, ever-new and rewarding spiritual path.  

One last and important note :  All royalties from the sale of this book will be donated in full to the Benedictine monks of the Notre Dame Priory Colebrook, in Tasmania (Australia).
 



Images from the pages of this book have been reproduced with the cooperation of Dr Birch.


This volume may be purchased from your local bookshop by ordering it with 

ISBN 978-0-6454193-0-6

It is also available in paperback and as an e-book at amazon.com and major online bookstores. 

Contacting Dr Birch :


Monday, 29 August 2022

Vestments in the Gothic Revival Style

For a Parish in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, the Studio recently completed as set of Festal vestments in the Gothic Revival Style.

The vestments were made from a brocade in a lovely shade of cream and were lined in a golden silk taffeta.  The ornament was formed from one of the Studio's unique braids, named Saint Chad.

Please click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries at this page

The Saint Bede Studio

Gothic Revival vestments

The Saint Bede Studio