Monday 30 July 2018

Papal Mass of His Holiness Benedict XVI : 1

In Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, on Saturday 19th July 2008, Pope Benedict celebrated Pontifical Mass with the Australian Bishops for seminarians and religious novices.  This was part of the Pope's visit to Australia on the occasion of World Youth Day.

In this and two following posts, the Studio is pleased to reproduce a number of photographs take by L'Osservatore Romano, most of which have not been published anywhere hitherto.  Please note that these photographs are under the copyright of L'Osservatore Romano and not to be reproduced.

The vestments and mitre worn by Pope Benedict for this Papal Mass, together with the dalmatics of the deacons-assistant were designed and made by the Saint Bede Studio, by the commission of the Archdiocese of Sydney and the Holy See.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict leaves the Cathedral Sacristy flanked by
the deacons-assistant
Revd Messrs Higgins (left) and Benton (right).

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict seated in the cathedra
listening to an Address of Welcome by a Religious sister.

The Saint Bede Studio
Pope Benedict is greeted by a Religious Sister
after an Address of Welcome.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict is greeted by a Religious Sister
after an Address of Welcome.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict blessing incense before the
chanting of the Holy Gospel.

Pope Pius IX
Pope Benedict XVI listening to the chanting of the Holy Gospel.
He holds the Papal Ferula or staff of Pope Pius IX.

The Holy Gospel chanted from the pulpit of the Cathedral
by the Revd Mr James McCarthy.

Wednesday 25 July 2018

For the Season "Per Annum" 2018 : 2

The vestments featured in this post were made from an English ecclesiastical brocade in a shade of green and straw, ornamented with a galloon in the Roman manner. The vestments were lined in a green taffeta.

This set was prepared for an ordinand, Father Maurice Moon of the Diocese of Fort Worth (Texas).  Father Moon was ordained on 19th May.

Please click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiries : 

Thursday 19 July 2018

Happier Times ...

Today is a very special anniversary for the Saint Bede Studio, being ten years since our vestments were worn by Pope Benedict at a Papal Mass in Saint Mary's Cathedral, Sydney.  In the next few days, we will publish a special post of hitherto unseen photographs from that Mass.  What follows below is the post from this Blog of 14th July 2008, discussing our privileged commission.

In March, the Saint Bede Studio was contacted by the Archdiocese of Sydney with a request to submit designs for sets of vestments for the Papal Mass in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, Saturday, 19th July. Designs were prepared for vestments decorated in three different styles: the Gothic Revival; Carolingian; and according to the traditions of Rome. These designs were then submitted by the Archdiocese of Sydney to the Prefect of Pontifical Ceremonies, Monsignor Guido Marini, who selected the design for vestments ornamented in the Roman style.

A chasuble and stole, Pontifical dalmatic and mitre were to be prepared for the Pope’s use, in addition to the three dalmatics for the deacons assisting the Pope at the Mass.

In preparing the design, certain considerations were paramount. Firstly, that the vestments be beautiful and dignified, as is fitting for vestments used by His Holiness. Secondly, that the vestments be convenient for the use of His Holiness. Lastly, that the vestments be visually related to Roman traditions for ornamenting sacred vestments.

The design for the chasuble is inspired by a 16th century Saragossan painting of Saint Martin of Tours. But the semi-conical shape of that chasuble was changed to accord more with the shape and dimensions set down in the same century by Saint Charles Borromeo.

The fabric for these vestments is a magnificent silver and gold silk lampas which is figured in the Italianate style of 18th century. The front of the chasuble is decorated with the “tau”: an ornament in continual use in Rome for almost 1000 years. The ornament of the chasuble, Pontifical dalmatic and dalmatics of the three deacons is in yellow "Lovebirds" silk damask, trimmed with a 2cm wide quatrefoil braid of red and gold, especially designed by the Saint Bede Studio. All the vestments are lined in crimson-red silk and bear the Papal coat of arms.

The mitre is made from cloth gold upon which is embroidered mediaeval scrollwork in gold, silver and crimson thread. These embroideries are derived from the historic mitre of Saint Thomas Becket (12th century) kept at the Sens Cathedral. The lappets of this mitre are also embroidered with scrollwork and bear the Papal coat of arms. The embroidery of the mitre was carried out splendidly by Fullerton Design Embroidery (Lithgow NSW).

Attached images shew the original design submitted to the Holy See; the individual Papal vestments; the mitre of Saint Thomas Becket and a reproduction of the painting of Saint Martin of Tours, upon which the vestments were based.

Working on the Papal Mitre
The Saint Bede Studio has regarded it as the most tremendous privilege to make these vestments and has given of its best to produce something worthy. It was a project with its ups and downs but, protected by the Divine Hand, it was possible to bring it to a happy conclusion. But there were also human agents whose generous assistance I gratefully acknowledge: Fr Don Richardson, Sydney Archdiocesan Prefect of Ceremonies; Mrs Louise Thygesen (Canberra), Mrs Helen McLoughlin (Maitland), Mrs Barbara Little & Mrs Kyoko Peacock (Newcastle) and Mrs Sandy Fullerton (Lithgow) whose practical support enabled this project to be completed in time for the Papal visit.

Ut in omnibus Deus glorificetur!

This article and its photographs may not be reproduced in any way without permission from the Saint Bede Studio.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries :

Coat of Arms of Pope
Benedict on the lappet
of the Papal Mitre

Papal Stole
Papal Dalmatic
Papal chasuble

Dalmatic for Deacons

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Affording Quality Vestments When Funds are Tight

Good-quality vestments, especially if they are handmade and use silk fabrics, are quite costly.  Indeed, they always have been.  Some years ago, on a website, was found a strategy for being able to afford a vestment which seems too expensive.  It may be useful for readers.  It goes something like this...

Father had his heart set on a particular set of vestments, but didn't have the money to purchase them. The Parish had many commitments and could not justify making such a purchase. But the Parish did buy them and then they were put on display in the Church, with this sign:

"These new vestments were recently purchased. When we have raised enough money to cover their cost, they will be used at the Altar. Until then, they are only for display."

It didn't take too long for the money to be raised for the vestments to be used for Mass and more besides; in fact, enough for another set to be purchased! The Parish loves the vestments and loves to see Father wearing them for Mass.

There is another facet of this story which many priests will be familiar with : the Faithful appreciate being asked to contribute to the beautification of their Parish church and its Sacred Liturgy. After all, it is the Faithful who look at the vestments worn by the priest. Is it not natural to wish to look at things of beauty?

Monday 16 July 2018

For the Season "Per Annum" 2018 : 1

Green vestments
The Saint Bede Studio has recently completed this set of green vestments for a returning customer, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark (New Jersey USA).  These vestments are in the Studio's Saint Giles style, being a form of Gothic Revival chasuble.

The vestments were made from an English ecclesiastical brocade, ornamented in one of the Studio's Puginesque braids.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiries :

Saturday 7 July 2018

Priestly Ordinations : 3

The Saint Bede Studio
Figure 1 :
Ordination chasuble of Father Tran.
Each year, the Saint Bede Studio has the privilege of preparing sacred vestments for priestly Ordinands.  Happily, 2018 is no exception.

In this post, we are pleased to draw attention to the ordination of Father Anh Tran of the Archdiocese of Seattle (USA).  Father Tran was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in the Cathedral of Saint James on 9th June by the Archbishop of Seattle, the Most Rev'd Peter Sartain.

Father Tran commissioned a set of festal vestments from the Studio in the Borromeon style for his First Holy Mass. 

The vestments were made from a silk damask in a muted shade of gold and ornamented in the Roman manner in colours of old rose and bronze, outlined with a galloon of red and straw-gold.  The vestments were lined in deep red-coloured taffeta.

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

Enquiries :

Please click on the images for an enlarged view.

Figure 2 :
Ordination of Father Anh Tran
At the Laying-on of hands.
Image :