Sunday 30 June 2013

Beneath the Apostles' Crowning Dome

On the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, in the Vatican Basilica, Pope Francis conferred the Pallium on thirty-four Archbishops who were created Metropolitans during the last year. Some of these Archbishops had been elevated by Pope Benedict and some by Pope Francis.

On this occasion, Pope Francis wore a a simple red chasuble which had previously been worn by Pope Benedict. The Pope was assisted by two Cardinals-deacon, who were vested in dalmatics.

The following photographs are the copyright of Getty Images.

Pope Francis Greeting an Episcopal Representative
of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

At the Incensation of the Altar.

During the Lessons.

During the chanting of the Gospel:
the gilded statuette of Saint Peter is seen in the background.

Blessing with the Evangelarium.

The Pope greeting Archbishop Sample of Portland USA
after conferring the Pallium upon him.

The Pope greeting the Archbishop Sucre (Bolivia)
after conferring the Pallium upon him.

At the Offertory:
the gilded statuette of Saint Paul is seen in the foreground.

The Pope during the Recession from the Basilica,
preceded by one of the Cardinals-deacon.

Friday 28 June 2013

Priestly Ordinations 2013 : 3

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 USA.

Previous posts are found here and here. Details of this unusual commission with further photographs will be described in the last of four posts.

The vestments depicted adjacent are made of a black ecclesiastical brocade, ornamented very simply in the Roman manner with outlining galloons in red and gold. The vestments are lined in red dupion.


Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Thursday 27 June 2013

The Hermeneutic of Humility

Immediately after his Election, the Press, fed by commentators, latched onto the notion that Pope Francis was "humble". Everything he has done since that time has been consistently attributed to his humility. For those who have not been as enthusiastic about Pope Francis, much that he does is an example of his "false humility".

But there is one very significant problem with all of this.  Pope Francis has never described himself as HUMBLE, nor cited HUMILITY for his particular way of going about things. Perhaps he has done and I have missed it, in which case, the entire point of this post is mistaken.

Pope Francis does not like ostentatious dress; but that is not necessarily about humility. He dislikes formality; but that isn't indicative of humility, either.  He has an easy rapport with people of all walks of life and doesn't seem interested in "personages"; but that really is not humility. The list could go on.

One might describe Pope Francis as resolute, kindly, direct in his speaking, perhaps impetuous, apostolic in his outlook, unassuming in his presentation. But "humble" is not one of the words that readily springs to mind when describing his temperament. That is not intended to be a criticism.

It would be good to move past this "humble" business: it's irritating and misleading.

It was Pope Benedict who, after his Election, described himself as "a humble worker in the Vineyard".

Monday 24 June 2013

Priestly Ordinations 2013 : 2

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 USA.

A previous post is found here. Details of this unusual commission with further photographs will be described in subsequent posts.

The vestments depicted adjacent are made of a black moiré taffeta, ornamented with a brocade depicting the Crucifixion in purple and gold and outlined with a gold galloon. The vestments are lined in purple taffeta.


Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Saturday 22 June 2013

June Newsletter

The Newsletter of the Studio has now been released. If you would like to receive a copy of this electronic newsletter, please contact us:


Monday 17 June 2013

Ordinary Time in Saint Peter's Square

Pope Francis in procession to Mass
bearing the Scorzelli stemma of Pope Paul VI.
On Sunday morning, Pope Francis celebrated Mass for Evangelium Vitae Day which fell on the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Pope celebrated this Mass in Saint Peter's Square with movements and associations that promote the defence of life.

The Pope appeared in another new set of vestments with matching mitre, being a variation on the style of  vestments which he has used thus far in his public Masses.

One small note: the Pope seems to prefer that the lining of his mitres be of a contrasting colour and often they have matched the colour of the vestments themselves, as is seen on this occasion.

This statue of the Madonna and child has become a usual presence
at the Masses celebrated by Pope Francis at Saint Peter's,

Saturday 15 June 2013

Concelebration ad Orientem

During the Canon.
The adjacent photographs shew a Pontifical Mass in the Ordinary Form being celebrated ad orientem

There is something distinctive here about the arrangement of the concelebrants. The celebrant and the deacons-assistant are prominent in the congregation's view of the Altar. The concelebrants, however, are gathered around the altar, not standing next to, or behind the celebrant.

Some scholars suggest that the words of the Roman Canon in the Commemoration of the Living omnium circumstantium refer precisely to this arrangement of ministers: those STANDING here around. Note that all the concelebrants are focussed not only on the altar, but also on the celebrant.

The Elevation.

In these photographs, taken in September 2011, the Bishop of Le Mans, France, gives the Abbatial Blessing to Mother Claire Sazilly OSB, during the Pontifical Mass in the Abbey Church of Sainte-Cecile de Solesmes. The vestments used on this occasion are ample and simple in the French monastic tradition.

The High Altar in the Abbey Church of Saint Cecile.
Beyond the screen is the choir of the nuns, which forms a transept.
The nave of the Church is to the right in the photograph.

Mother Abbess after the Blessing.

Praying for the Pope

We all have a duty to pray for the Pope, which I suppose as Catholics we take seriously. We prayed, with millions worldwide, that the Holy Spirit would guide the choice of the College of Cardinals and Cardinal Bergoglio was elected quite quickly (five ballots). The work of the Holy Spirit does not stop there, does it?

Pope Francis is not perfect: he may provide disappointments; he may not be everything we think he should be. We may feel let down by certain remarks and acts; things that we hold dear may not be of the same level of importance to him. We may miss Pope Benedict and draw unfavourable comparisons between two Popes who were intellectual giants (John Paul II and Benedict XVI) and a new Pope who manifestly is not. We may not warm to him personally; we might find him impetuous. We may be irritated by his liturgical style.

Is this not all the more reason to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit upon Pope Francis? He has asked for our prayers and he does need them. He does bring gifts to the Papacy which our embattled Church needs at this time: that is why he was elected. We would do well to ponder that.

But if we don't believe that our prayers can help Pope Francis to become wiser in his understanding of his role as Vicar of Christ and become more fully a focus of Unity for Christ's Faithful, then we might as well give the game away. There is little point to complaining in comment boxes. More prayer, less chat.

Friday 14 June 2013

Priestly Ordinations 2013 : 1

Chasuble of Father Dought.
Each year, the Saint Bede Studio has the privilege of preparing sacred vestments for Ordinands.  Happily, this year is no exception. Our first post concerns Father Dustin Dought, who was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in the Cathedral of Lafayette, Louisiana on 8th June, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Father Dought commissioned vestments made from dupion silk for his First Holy Mass, on the evening of his Ordination. The chasuble was made in the Borromeon form and, in addition, a cope and dalmatic were prepared. Each of the vestments was ornamented simply with braids in red and gold, designed by the Studio. The vestments were lined in red taffeta. All present complimented the design and quality of the vestments, wrote Father Dought to us.

Father Dought very kindly supplied us with some lovely photographs of this First Mass, which was celebrated in the beautifully-restored Church of Saint Genevieve in Lafayette. We are pleased to include these photographs here, which are a welcome change from the usual Studio images of our vestments.

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


Procession entering the Church of S' Genevieve, Lafayette.

Father Dustin Dought, centre, with the Assistant Priest, Father Bordelon
and the Deacon of the Mass.

At the Offertory.

During the Prayer "Super populum".

A view of the cope.
The simple hood of this new cope is adapted from the dimensions
of 16th century models,  before the exaggerations of
the High Baroque set in.

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Orders for Vestments with the Studio

A note to prospective customers: the Studio is now accepting vestment commissions for November and December of 2013 and first quarter of 2014. It is not too soon to begin discussions or make an enquiry.

In the lower righthand column on this Blog is found a list of LABELS. Clicking on these labels produces a directory of posts pertaining to the category (for example, Festal vestments). These labels may be especially useful to prospective customers.


Monday 10 June 2013

Simplex Mitre

Recently the Studio completed a simplex mitre for an Australian prelate. This mitre, in the style of the 15th century, in 27.5cm (11 inches) tall and is made from linen. Formerly, two types of the simplex mitre were used by bishops: one made of silk and and one made of linen. These distinctions having been dispensed with, it is now even found that the simplex mitre is made from synthetic materials.

The simplex mitre is worn on the following occasions: in Liturgies of the Dead; on Good Friday; on Ash Wednesday; during Rogation Processions and when a bishop is amongst concelebrants at Mass. The simplex mitre of a Cardinal is made from silk damask rather than linen, and that of the Pope made from cloth silver, edged in gold braid.


Saturday 8 June 2013

Vestments for Masses of the Dead

Only rarely has the Studio produced vestments for Masses of the Dead, specifically, black vestments. Recently, however, four sets of vestments in the Saint Philip Neri style were completed for one priest in USA.

Details of this unusual commission with further photographs will be described in subsequent posts.

The vestments depicted adjacent are made of a silk damask, ornamented simply with outline braids in the Roman style and lined in crimson dupion silk.


Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Thursday 6 June 2013



These engravings were taken from Teaching Truth by Signs and Ceremonies, by the Rev'd James Meagher, New York, 1885 (left) and Vestments and Vesture, by Dom E A Roulin OSB, Edinburgh, 1930 (right).

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Corpus Christi in Rome : 2

We are pleased to present some further photographs of the Pope Francis' Commemoration of Corpus Christi.

Below these are photographs of the hour of Eucharistic Adoration, with Benediction, held in Saint Peter's Basilica last Sunday evening (Rome time).

Images copyright of Getty and Stefano Spaziani.

Altar outside the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.

Benediction at Saint Mary Major.

Procession into S' Peter's for  Eucharist Adoration:
Pope Francis wearing a cope of the Blessed John Paul II.

At the Papal Throne.

The Papal Throne is shewn on the left of this photograph.

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.