Friday, 27 May 2011

Patron Saint of the Studio

Greetings to all readers of this Blog on this Feast of Saint Bede the Venerable, monk of Jarrow (UK) and first historian of the Church in England.  

Read a little about the life and work of Saint Bede here.

And please say a prayer for God's Blessing on the work of the Studio.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Triple Tiara of Pope Benedict XVI

At Wednesday's General Audience in the Piazza of Saint Peter's, Pope Benedict was presented with his very own Triple Tiara. Although small scale, it is an admirable tiara, perhaps reminiscent of the tiara of Pope John XXIII.  Happily, it tends more to the shape and appearance of the mediaeval tiara than the baroque variety.

Read a bit more about the presentation at John Sonnen's blog.

Were the Pope to wear the tiara, I, for one, wouldn't feel scandalised (call me old-fashioned).

Click on the image for a larger view.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

On Raising the chasuble at the Elevations

In the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the minister (deacon or altar server) is directed to raise the chasuble slightly in his left hand as the celebrant elevates the Sacred Host and then the Chalice. This direction is given in the Ritus Servandus VIII,8; the Caeremoniale Episcoporum II, viii and a decision of the Congregation of Sacred Rites no 3535.

What is the origin of this practice? It dates from that period when chasubles were voluminous and constrained the celebrant from raising his arms above his head. Lifting the lower right hand corner of the chasuble actually enables the celebrant a greater movement of the arms. Thus, the origin of this ceremonial action is purely practical. Much has been written about mystic and symbolic meanings as being the origin of this action, all of which is complete nonsense.

The ceremonial books direct that the raising of the chasuble be a very subtle action. It was never intended that the chasuble be raised half-way up the celebrant's back or - worse still - be held up by both hands of the minister, making the chasuble seem like some fantastical ecclesiastical sail. Most assuredly such exaggerated movements are distracting both to the celebrant and to the congregation.

If the chasuble is not very ample at all, there is even more reason for its raising at the Elevation to be a very modest action: just a couple of inches at most. Furthermore, this gesture only accompanies the actual Elevations, and not the celebrant's accompanying genuflections.

Attached is a beautiful photograph of a Low Mass celebrated at Prinknash Abbey (UK) in 1940, illustrating perfectly how it should be done.

A much-commented post on the New Liturgical Movement has caused me to re-post this article.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Ordination Season

To regular visitors to this Blog, apologies for the paucity of postings lately.  This year, the Season of Easter coincides with Ordinations in Australia and the USA and the Studio has been kept very busy helping Ordinands with vestments.  That work continues.

In the meantime, a small diversion.  The adjacent photograph was snapped by Dr Chris Steward in the split second when your correspondent was about to remove the mitre from the bishop's head.  It looks as if a murder were about to take place...

The Mass was the Easter Vigil celebrated Pontifically in the Extraordinary Form by the Most Rev'd Basil Meeking (sometime-Bishop of Christchurch, New Zealand) in S' Aloysius' church, Caulfield North (Archdiocese of Melbourne).  The mitre was made by the Studio and the vestments, based on the well-known vestments of S' Thomas Becket, were also designed some years ago by us.