Monday 29 August 2016

Enquiries with the Studio and 2017 Commissions

Each day, the Studio receives a significant number of e-mail enquiries about vestments and related matters. It is not possible for these messages to receive immediate attention.

In this age, we are accustomed to instantaneous responses to e-mails, tweets, Facebook posts etc. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this ethos is not entirely embraced by The Saint Bede Studio.

We try to answer messages within 7 - 10 days.

If you do not receive a reply, then either your message has not been received or else gives the impression of being a "hoax" enquiry and is deleted.

It would be helpful if, when contacting us, you could indicate your Parish / Diocese and whether you are a Catholic priest or seminarian. The work of the Studio is confined to customers who are in full communion with the See of Peter.  Messages which gives no details of the name of the sender are, generally, not responded to.

Because of the large number of commissions which the Studio has received in the last six months and is trying to manage, it will not be possible for any new enquiries to be commenced before August 2017.

Your Christian patience is greatly appreciated.

Thursday 25 August 2016

Priestly Ordinations 2016 : 6

Each year, the Saint Bede Studio has the privilege of preparing sacred vestments for priestly Ordinands. Happily, this year has been no exception.

In this post, we are pleased to draw attention to the ordination of Father Gabriel Greer of the Diocese of Wichita (Kansas) USA.  Father Greer was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on 28th May by the Most Rev'd Carl Kemme.

A videogram on YouTube of Father Greer's First Holy Mass may be seen here.

Father Greer commissioned a set of festal vestments from the Studio in the Gothic style.

The chasuble was made from an ecclesiastical brocade, gold in colour, and was ornamented with a braid of red and gold, especially designed and made for the Saint Bede Studio. The vestments were lined in red taffeta.

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

Figure 2.
Father Greer during the celebration of his
First Holy Mass.

Image courtesy of Father Greer.

Figure 3.
Father Greer at the Imposition of Hands during
the Mass of Ordination. 

Image from the Diocese of Wichita Facebook page.


Please click on the images for an enlarged view.

Thursday 18 August 2016

Lord to whom shall we turn?

Follow the links below to previous articles in this series.

We began this short series of posts by making some observations about a fierce debate that had arisen worldwide concerning the celebration of the Ordinary Form (the New Mass) of the Roman Rite ad orientem. Many bloggers were decidedly up-in-arms and quite grumpy.*  Some prominent bloggers developed a case that ad orientem was normative for the Roman Rite, a view we cannot share since it manifestly contradicts the reality of the past fifty years.

In our second post, we wished to observe that the focus of any church building was not the ambo or the chair, but the ALTAR and that this is in accordance with Tradition.

The High altar of the Italian Cathedral of
Saint Nicolas, Bari rests beneath a twelfth century civory
or canopy. Behind the altar is the eleventh century cathedra
of the bishop : centrally located,
but completely invisible to the faithful.
A bishop, as chief shepherd, in the early centuries of the Church frequently had his cathedra positioned directly behind the free-standing altar, but this was a manifestation of his jurisdiction and was particular to bishops. Most examples of cathedra which have survived in such a position reveal that the chair of the bishop was not significantly elevated above the position of the altar and consequently would not have been completely visible to the faithful. The point of this is that the chair of the bishop was not positioned centrally to facilitate communication with the Faithful, but to express his headship of the presbyters gathered around him.

Following from this, our third post investigated the tradition of the chair in the Roman Rite, drawing the conclusion that prior to 1965, it was the normative practice for any priest-celebrant to offer the fore-Mass, or Mass of the Catechumens at or near the altar and facing ad orientem. The subsequent practice (found in the New Missale Romanum of 1970) for the priest to celebrate parts of the Mass at the chair and facing the congregation as a presider, is an innovation unknown to Catholic tradition.

Recitation of the Creed during the
celebration of Mass according to
The Anglican Use of the Roman Rite.
Our fourth post, developing this theme suggested that consideration of ad orientem celebrations of the New Mass need not be primarily focussed on the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In some instances, the construction of a sanctuary or the steps leading up to the altar do not readily facilitate ad orientem celebrations of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Such constraints, however, do not obtain when considering ad orientem for the Liturgy of the Word, and in particular the Penitential Rite, Kyrie, Gloria, Collect and Credo : any or all of which might be celebrated at the altar, or at its foot, ad orientem.  Whilst it is probable that many priests and congregations might not welcome ad orientem celebrations of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, surely fewer would object to parts of the Liturgy of the Word being celebrated ad orientem, particularly if such a practice were introduced slowly and in stages.

of the five preceding posts
  1. It has been the practice for the Mass according to the 1970 Missale Romanum (and the intention of its devisers) that the Liturgy of the Eucharist be celebrated versum populum. This is (at present) normative but not obligatory.
  2. The celebration of the fore-Mass or Liturgy of the Word versus populum has only a limited expression in Catholic liturgical tradition and was particular to bishops (only) as a sign of their jurisdiction.
  3. The altar is the focus of the Mass of the Roman Rite - Ordinary or Extraordinary uses - not the chair or ambo. The priest is the celebrant of the Mass, not a presider.
  4. Prayers addressed to God during the Liturgy of the Word according to the 1970 Missale Romanum ought be offered ad orientem and preferably at the altar or its foot, in order to make clear that such prayers are not a dialogue between the celebrant and the faithful present.
  5. A gradual introduction of this principle could subsequently (over a period of years) lead to the celebration of the Ordinary Form of Mass being entirely (or mostly) ad orientem.
Already a variant of the Roman Rite exists which puts into effect the points made above (3) and (4); this is the newly-published Altar Missal for the Personal Ordinariates Anglicanorum Coetibus. Some have described it as the Anglican Use of the Roman RiteA forthcoming series of posts will discuss this new Missal in detail.

* Undoubtedly a manifestation of the "Francis effect".

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Vestments for Masses of the Dead

Recently completed by the Saint Bede Studio is this simple set of vestments, made of a blend of linen and silk. It is not intended as a Festal vestment because it has been designed for use in Masses for the Dead.

Unhappily, in many Dioceses, a strict policy exists requiring white vestments for Funerals, contrary to the general liturgical law of the Church. There is no requirement, however, about the shade of white or how such vestments are to be ornamented.

With this in mind, the Studio designed this set which is ornamented in a traditional manner - but subtly - with a braid of black and gold. A slight enrichment occurs within the lines of the braid in the form of a cream-coloured silk damask. The vestment is unlined and deliberately very plain, almost rustic.

Please click on the image for an enlarged view.

Saturday 6 August 2016

Priestly Ordinations 2016 : 5

Each year, the Saint Bede Studio has the privilege of preparing sacred vestments for priestly Ordinands. Happily, this year has been no exception.

In this post, we are pleased to draw attention to the ordination of Father Joseph Rampino of the Diocese of Arlington (Virginia) USA.  Father Rampino was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More on 11th June, together with another candidate.

Father Rampino commissioned a Puginesque set of vestments from the Studio in honour of the Blessed Virgin. The set has become known as Ave Maris Stella.

The chasuble was made from an ecclesiastical brocade, ivory in colour and lined in blue taffeta. The decorative focus of this chasuble is an orphrey braid which is based on the work of AWN Pugin.

This braid is produced in two shades of blue (lighter and darker) with figured ornament in gold. This braid was designed by the Studio and is only available through it. The braid can be used on fabrics either brighter white in colour, or ivory and can also be used to decorate dalmatics and copes.

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

Please click on the images for an enlarged view.

Father Rampino during the Laying-on of Hands at his Ordination
in the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More, Arlington (Virginia).
The ordaining prelate was the the Most Rev'd Timothy Broglio
of the United States Military Services Ordinariate.
Image courtesy of Father Rampino.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

Deaconesses? Yet Again ...

In May we heard that the tired subject of a "female diaconate" has been raised again, but this time - most disappointingly - by the Bishop of Rome who, in an "impromptu" remark during a meeting with Religious gathered in Rome, claimed that the history of deaconesses in the Early Church is "obscure".  Now, the Vatican Bulletin has announced the formation of a Commission to study this, which the Pope has decided upon "after intense prayer and mature reflection". *

As noted in a previous post, the history of deaconesses in the Early Church is only obscure to those who either have not studied the issue, or to those who are determined to force such an innovation upon the Church.

Giotto's 13th century depiction
of Saint Stephen the protomartyr
and deacon.
The history of deaconesses in the early Church was the focus of a definitive study published in 1982 by the distinguished French liturgiologist, Monsignor Aime-Georges Martimort.  Ignatius Press published a translation of this wonderful work in 1986 Deaconesses : An Historical Study, which is still in print. I urge you to obtain this book and read it (it assumes a working knowledge of Greek and Latin). It also appears to be available to be read online.

But, above all is to be noted the deliberations of a previous Commission of the Holy See into this very subject, published only 14 years ago and which may be read in full here.

Deaconesses DID exist in the Early Church but they WERE NOT female deacons. Their ministry was narrowly defined, completely distinct from the ministry of the deacon and DID NOT include any liturgical role at the altar, where traditionally no woman set foot. This is not what present-day advocates of deaconesses are seeking. They are seeking the feminisation of the Church's Orders and a ministry at the altar. This is not Tradition, it is innovation.

* These are the actual words of the Vatican Bulletin and presumably are not intended to be ironic.