Saturday 30 November 2013

The Colours of Advent

Often it is asserted by liturgical commentators and other internet experts, that there are "correct" colours for the vestments used during Lent and Advent. Curious as to the history of these colours in Liturgical use, some years ago we researched and posted an article  here and here, about use of penitential colours for the Seasons of Advent and Lent. If you have wondered what colour the Church recommends for these Seasons, you might find the article illuminating.  

We include here an historic work of art to illustrate the practice of our forebears. This work (adjacent) was painted by an artist known as The Master of Osservanza in the year 1440 and depicts a Low Mass being offered at a side chapel in the Siena Cathedral (Italy).

Some observations. The chasuble being worn by the celebrant is violet: in other words, much the same colour as the flower "violets". It is a blue-ish colour, not purple and it is not too dark either. The chasuble is the full conical shape and is ornamented with a simple column-orphrey of dark fabric (possibly even black). Most likely, the front of the chasuble would have been decorated with the familiar "tau". The celebrant is wearing decorative apparels on his alb and amice, which match the colour of the chasuble's ornament. That is a very typical practice of the Mediaeval period. Note, too, the very full folds of the alb.

We see, also, that the boy assisting the celebrant is wearing a full-length surplice, according to the style typically found in Renaissance Italy. Those who claim that such surplices are "Church of England" garment should note this well.

Lastly, the altar itself. It is clothed in a dark antependium or altar frontal, ornamented with scarlet red. On the altar is a Crucifix and a single candle. Although it may seem peculiar that there is but a single candle instead of a pair, it might be remarked that not until the 16th century was it a usual practice to have a pair of candlesticks on an altar.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Concluding the Time "Per Annum"

At the conclusion of the 2013 Liturgical Year, we are pleased to present this pleasing set of green vestments.

A priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin, a returning customer, commissioned the Studio to make a set of vestments in a subdued shade of green. After a great deal of searching, a dupion silk in a rich shade of olive green was chosen for the vestments.

The chasuble, in the Saint Philip Neri style, is ornamented with a rich brocade of burgundy and gold according to the Roman form. The vestments are lined with a wine red taffeta.


Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Beuron School of Liturgical Art

Above is a beautiful liturgical drawing from 1910  in the Beuronese style  Messe mit Wandlungskerze auf dem Altar. It was found at the Wikimedia Commons. Go here to read a little about the Beuron School of liturgical art.

This stylised depiction of a priest celebrating Low Mass is rich with the aesthetic ideals of the Liturgical Movement. The celebrant wears a flowing albe, ornamented with continuous decoration around its hem. Over this he is vested in a conical chasuble, decorated very simply. Not least of interest is the manner in which the altar cloth is decorated, with geometric embroideries and tassles of silk. 

One curiosity is the almost sleeveless surplice being worn by the altar server. Note the restrained gesture with which he lifts the celebrant's chasuble for the Elevation.

Would that this dignified aesthetic were more fully adopted for the celebration of Mass according to both usages of the Roman Rite.

Saturday 9 November 2013

South Korea : 2

The Saint Bede Studio has completed a commission for two sets of vestments for a Latin Mass Community in South Korea. This is the Studio's first work in Asia. The first set was featured in a recent post; the second set is shewn in the adjacent photographs.

This is a Low Mass set in the Borromeon style of the 16th century. The vestments were made from an ecclesiastical brocade in muted gold and ornamented with an Italian damask in colours of wine red and gold. A floral galloon outlines the ornament.


Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Papal Mass in Saint Peter's 1965

Adjacent is a rather rare photograph, taken in Saint Peter's during a Session of the Second Vatican Council.

Standing at the centre of the altar is Pope Paul VI and with him, concelebrating bishops. At the Opening of the Third and Fourth Sessions of the Council, which took place on 14th September, 1964 and 14th September, 1965 respectively, Pope Paul concelebrated Mass in the basilica with a select number of the Council Fathers.

This Mass, of course, is being celebrated according to those modifications of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite known colloquially as The Interim Missal. The Rite of concelebration, however, is quite similar to that which is found in the new Missal of 1969.

Nevertheless, the concelebrated Masses celebrated in Saint Peter's before the introduction of the new Missal differed very significantly from those after that date, as is illustrated by this photograph. Although the Basilica on this occasion in 1964 or 1965 was filled with bishops, archbishops and cardinals from all around the world, only a small number concelebrated with the Pope.

These concelebrants were standing at the altar during the Canon and Communion Rite. To facilitate this, a temporary enlargement of the altar of the Confession was made, together with platforms on which the concelebrants would stand.

It was of little importance that the concelebrants obscured the congregation's view of the principal celebrant, the Pope. The most important considerations, therefore, were that the concelebrants stood at the altar in close proximity to each other (and the principal celebrant) AND that they could clearly look upon the elements to be consecrated.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Sunday 3 November 2013

Papal Ferula

On the Solemnity of All the Saints, Pope celebrated Mass at the gateway of the Campo Verano Cemetery in Rome.  On this occasion, the Pope used a new ferula, or staff.

It seems the staff was donated by the Italian Goldlake Mining Corporation and that metals for the staff came from Argentina and Honduras.

The staff is purported to depict the Resurrected Christ.