Monday 26 March 2012

Pontifical Low Mass

The Emeritus-bishop of Christchurch NZ, the Most Reverend Basil Meeking, is once again visiting Australia and will be celebrating some of the Rites of the Holy Week Triduum at Saint Aloysius' Church, Caulfield North (Archdiocese of Melbourne).

In the adjacent photographs, His Lordship is depicted offering Pontifical Low Mass at the Caulfield Church, assisted by Fathers Glen Tattersall and Colin Marshall.  These photographs were taken by Dr Chris Steward and are the copyright of the Catholic Community of the Blessed JH Newman.

A chasuble made by the Saint Bede Studio is being worn by the Bishop.  It is in the Saint Philip Neri style and made from purple dupion silk.

A timetable of the Holy Week Liturgies at Caulfield, celebrated in the Extraordinary Form, may be found here.

Click on the images for enlarged views.

Sunday 25 March 2012

The Subject was Roses

Twice a year, the Church breaks the tone of its penitential seasons by the use of rose-coloured vestments.  Rose-coloured vestments were never commonplace and they still are not.  Nevertheless, you will find various pronouncements these days (usually on websites) about what the real or authentic shade of rose is which is to be used for vestments.

Newsflash: there is no official shade of Rose designated by the Church, nor has there ever been.  The reason for this is rather simple: only in the last century did the process of dyeing fabric become sufficiently sophisticated to ensure that much the same shade of a colour emerged from one batch of fabric dyeing to another.  Previous to that, dyes were derived from plants etc., made up with a great deal of labour.

Many different colours have been deemed by the Church as acceptable as liturgical rose.  Some of these are a salmon shade; some a silvery-pink, almost mushroom-colour; some close to what we would call Bishop's purple or fuchsia; and some red with overtones of gold.

Another thing is certain: Bubblegum Pink is not Rose, nor has it been a traditional variation for use on these days.   Whilst not intending to get into the argument as to whether the use of a such a vibrant pink is a fitting colour for a man to wear,  "Bubblegum Pink" certainly manifests a lamentable lack of liturgical good taste.  Sadly, pink-coloured vestments, purporting to be Rose, are becoming increasingly commonplace and now even appear at Papal Masses.

At an old post on the Blog, The New Liturgical Movement, we find a number of interesting vestments in that shade of rose commonly found in Italy in centuries past: a reddish colour with overtones of silver.  Go there and take a look.  The same article also shews the considerable variety of older rose-coloured vestments, in use throughout Europe.  Often, embroidered flowers on such vestments was a device used to enhance the "rosiness" of the vestment.

Last week, we featured a vestment of a dark form of Rose  This week, a  new vestment (see above picture) made from a silk damask more in the Baroque tradition.  It is a shade between crimson and copper, but is also interwoven with a subdued gold thread.  As a result, such a vestment looks more rose in some lights, more golden in others.  The orphrey of this chasuble is formed from a dupion silk in a complementary shade of rose.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.


Thursday 15 March 2012

Rosa Aurora

As Laetare Sunday approaches, we are pleased to feature a new chasuble commissioned of the Studio by a priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney.  This vestment, in a modified form of the Saint Philip Neri style, has been named Rosa Aurora.

It features a variety of complementary colours, reminiscent of the magnificence of the sky at Sunrise.  Thus the base colour is a very dark rose in a silk fabric which has almost a velvety appearance. Unfortunately, the unusual colour of this fabric is not well captured in the photograph.

The chasuble is ornamented with a lighter shade of rose: a dusty pink, outlined with a braid in burgundy and old gold.  A special feature of this chasuble is a vesica or medallion taken from an early twentieth century Belgian Rose-coloured chasuble, which has the words (in Latin): "Rejoice with gladness, be not troubled".

The chasuble is lined in dupion silk the crimson-colour of rose petals.


Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Friday 2 March 2012

The Pugin Bicentenary Mass at Ramsgate:
Saint Bede Studio Vestments

A Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form was celebrated yesterday 1st March at Saint Augustine's Church, Ramsgate to commemorate the Bicentenary of the birth of Augustus WN Pugin (see previous post). The famed architect is buried in a chantry chapel within the church.

As an offering towards the restoration of Pugin's own church, the Saint Bede Studio presented to Saint Augustine's a chasuble set marking the Bi-centenary. The chasuble (see adjacent pictures) was used for the first time yesterday at the Bicentenary Mass.

This chasuble, dubbed The Saint Austin chasuble, is Puginesque in design and is ornamented with an orphrey in red, green and gold directly derived from Pugin's own designs.  Further information about Saint Augustine's church, Ramsgate and the bicentenary vestments will be the subject of subsequent posts.

In the meantime, we are pleased to include this link to the BBC News' coverage of the Bicentenary Mass.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Ad majorem Dei gloriam.

Thursday 1 March 2012

AWN Pugin 1812 - 2012

Two hundred years ago today was born one of the most important figures in the history of architecture and the decorative arts: Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin.  This is the first in a series of posts about Pugin and his work.

The son of the French √©migr√© Augustus Charles Pugin (who himself was an architectural draughtsman and topographical watercolourist), AWN Pugin is arguably the greatest British architect, designer and writer of the nineteenth century.  Pugin was responsible for an enormous quantity of buildings, and also for countless beautiful designs for tiles, sacred vestments and paraments, metalwork, furniture, wallpaper, stained glass and ceramics.  Some of his best known work includes the magnificent interiors of the Houses of Parliament, the church of St Giles, Cheadle, in Staffordshire, and his own house, The Grange, in Ramsgate (Kent), together with the nearby church of St Augustine, which he built and paid for himself and where he is buried.

Through his buildings, designs, and particularly his forceful and witty writings, such as Contrasts (1836) and the True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture (1841), he made people think in a new way about what architecture was.   Pugin taught that only a caring and "good" society can raise buildings that are truly honest and beautiful.  For him, Gothic architecture was the greatest style of building, and therefore the Middle Ages, the period in which these buildings were conceived, must be the closest man can get to a perfect society.  Pugin's beliefs and ideas have implications beyond his own immediate preferences, and so for many reasons he was, and is, therefore, hugely influential, both on other architects and designers of the Gothic Revival throughout the Victorian era and also on many subsequent architects, theorists and writers.

The above paragraphs were adapted from the website of The Pugin Society:

Below are some other links descriptive of Pugin and his work: