Monday, 31 December 2012

AWN Pugin & S' Augustine's Church Ramsgate

Saint Augustine's Church, Ramsgate
Photograph: Fr Tim Finnigan.
Commenced in 1845, Saint Augustine's church, Ramsgate was not intended as a Parish church, but was designed as a personal chapel adjacent to the residence of the Pugin family. Pugin and members of his family are buried in a crypt beneath the church. More can be read about the history of Saint Augustine's at this webpage.

Almost everything of this building was designed by Pugin himself, including the vestments. In the 1970s, however, a decision was taken to give the large collection of vestments and paraments into the care of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

The Friends of Saint Augustine was established in 2010 to support the restoration and repair of Saint Augustine's church (and its associated buildings) and to promote greater awareness of its architectural and historical importance.

In conjunction with the Friends of Saint Augustine, the Saint Bede Studio is organising a SPECIAL APPEAL to provide - over a period of years - new vestments in the Puginesque style for Saint Augustine's church. Wherever possible, these new vestments will be similar to the original Pugin vestments, now in the V & A Museum. The first design is shewn adjacent and is derived from two different original Pugin vestments.

Are you an admirer of Pugin and his work?  If so, this is your opportunity to make a donation to the church which was his last great work and his place of earthly rest.  If you are interested in making a donation to this Project, or to obtain further information, please contact us by e-mail, using the subject line Ramsgate Vestments Appeal.

When sufficient funds have been subscribed to cover costs, the vestment will be made up by the Studio for presentation to Saint Augustine's.  Please note: the sole beneficiary of this appeal will be Saint Augustine's Church, Ramsgate and not the Saint Bede Studio.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Bicentenary of Pugin's birth 1812 - 2012


The only known photograph of
AWN Pugin 1812 - 1852.
Two hundred years ago was born one of the most important figures in the history of architecture and the decorative arts: Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin.  

The son of the French √©migr√© Augustus Charles Pugin (who himself was an architectural draughtsman and topographical watercolourist), AWN Pugin is arguably the greatest British architect, designer and writer of the nineteenth century.  Pugin was responsible for an enormous quantity of buildings, and also for countless beautiful designs for tiles, sacred vestments and paraments, metalwork, furniture, wallpaper, stained glass and ceramics.  Some of his best known work includes the magnificent interiors of the Houses of Parliament, the church of St Giles, Cheadle, in Staffordshire, and his own house, The Grange, in Ramsgate (Kent), together with the nearby church of St Augustine, which he built and paid for himself and where he is buried.

Through his buildings, designs, and particularly his forceful and witty writings, such as Contrasts (1836) and the True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture (1841), he made people think in a new way about what architecture was.   Pugin taught that only a caring and "good" society can raise buildings that are truly honest and beautiful.  For him, Gothic architecture was the greatest style of building, and therefore the Middle Ages, the period in which these buildings were conceived, must be the closest man can get to a perfect society.  Pugin's beliefs and ideas have implications beyond his own immediate preferences, and so for many reasons he was, and is, therefore, hugely influential, both on other architects and designers of the Gothic Revival throughout the Victorian era and also on many subsequent architects, theorists and writers.

The above paragraphs were adapted from the website of The Pugin Society:


Below are some other links descriptive of Pugin and his work:



Thursday, 27 December 2012

Vestments for Christmastide

The Saint Bede Studio recently completed this set of vestments which is especially intended for use in Christmastide.

A chasuble made from ivory ecclesiastical brocade has been especially ornamented with the familiar Y-shaped orphrey, but formed from a Puginesque braid in colours of blue, red and gold.  The chasuble is shewn adjacent with an amice apparel.

Although the colours of this braid are reminiscent of those traditionally associated with the Blessed Virgin, the use of the monogram IHS on the orphrey braid also relate it to Christ.

This braid is one of several new designs produced by the Studio to mark this Bicentenary year of the birth of AWN Pugin.  Further braids will be illustrated in the coming months.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

A Blessed Christmas

To all friends, customers and readers of this Blog, sincere wishes for a Blessed Christmas.

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill be made low; the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain; and the Glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.
Isaiah 40:4-5.

Michael Sternbeck
The Saint Bede Studio.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Sarum Vestments for Advent

The Saint Bede Studio received a special commission from the Church of S' Birinus in Oxfordshire (UK) to make a set of vestments for Advent.  S' Birinus has adopted various usages from the Sarum Rite for their celebrations of the Ordinary Form.

Adjacent photographs of the church shew the altar (arranged for ad orientem celebrations) in a small English chancel behind a beautiful rood screen.  This screen has been enriched in recent years with gilding and polychrome work and surmounted by a beautiful Rood Group of the Crucified with the Blessed Virgin and Saint John.


The Church of S' Birinus, Oxfordshire.
Photograph: Fr Lawrence Lew OP


The vestments were made from a lovely English ecclesiastical brocade, in two tones of blue, ornamented with a narrow braid in colours of Royal blue, gold, red and white.  This braid, in the early Gothic style, was designed by the Saint Bede Studio to coincide with the Pugin bicentenary year.  It will be noticed that the chasuble is in the semi-conical style.  When wearing the chasuble, it folds up from the bottom, horizontally, rather than in the vertical drapes of a standard ample chasuble.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com



The Church of S' Birinus, Oxfordshire
Photograph: GothPhil (Flickr).

Friday, 21 December 2012

When in Rome...

Amidst the varied glories, the venerable Basilica of Saint Clement, with its golden mosaics, splendid civory and wonderful Cosmati pavement.


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Vestments for a Newly-Ordained


The Saint Bede Studio received a commission from a young priest, ordained this year for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, to make a set of Festal vestments in the S' Philip Neri style. The vestments were made from a silk damask in a muted shade of gold and were ornamented with another silk damask in coppery-gold. A lining in burgundy-red complemented the vestments perfectly.

Father Cooper, having received the vestments, very kindly wrote to us and we are pleased to include here an excerpt from his letter:

The Sacred Liturgy celebrated properly and well (with reverence, artistic grace, and making use of the most appropriate vessels and vestments) places us, interiorly, in a disposition to offer fitting and true worship to God and to be inspired with a spirit of humble adoration and contrition thereby creating a fertile ground for prayer and penance. The vessels and vestments used for the Eucharistic celebration should always arouse wonder in the presence of the beauty that leads one's whole being to adore the glory of the Lord. Your craftsmanship of chasubles and other liturgical vestments truly aids in magnifying the mystery and wonder of the Eucharist – an artistry that gives glory, laud and honour to Jesus Christ, our Lord and God.

I want to take a moment to extend my humble gratitude and sincere appreciation to you, who employed reverent dedication and artistic skill in handcrafting my St. Philip Neri vestments. The workmanship and quality are outstanding, a true work of liturgical art and a profound labour of love. It will be a tremendous joy to employ this sacred vestment on the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Words can never express how this sacred vestment enriches the beauty of the Eucharist Sacrifice. Be assured, that each time I celebrate the Mass with this vestment, I will fondly remember you and your commitment to maintaining the beauty and majesty of the Sacred Liturgy.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiries:  stbede62@gmail.com


Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Subject was Roses

Twice a year, the Church breaks the tone of its penitential seasons by the use of rose-coloured vestments.  Rose-coloured vestments were never commonplace and they still are not.  Nevertheless, you will find various pronouncements these days (usually on websites) about what the real or authentic shade of rose is which is to be used for vestments.

Newsflash: there is no official shade of Rose designated by the Church, nor has there ever been.  The reason for this is rather simple: only in the last century did the process of dyeing fabric become sufficiently sophisticated to ensure that much the same shade of a colour emerged from one batch of fabric dyeing to another.  Previous to that, dyes were derived from plants etc., made up with a great deal of labour.

Many different colours have been deemed by the Church as acceptable as liturgical rose.  Some of these are a salmon shade; some a silvery-pink, almost mushroom-colour; some close to what we would call Bishop's purple or fuchsia; and some red with overtones of gold.

Another thing is certain: Bubblegum Pink is not Rose, nor has it been a traditional variation for use on these days.   Whilst not intending to get into the argument as to whether the use of a such a vibrant pink is a fitting colour for a man to wear,  "Bubblegum Pink" certainly manifests a lamentable lack of liturgical good taste.  Sadly, pink-coloured vestments, purporting to be Rose, are becoming increasingly commonplace and now even appear at Papal Masses.

At an old post on the Blog, The New Liturgical Movement, we find a number of interesting vestments in that shade of rose commonly found in Italy in centuries past: a reddish colour with overtones of silver.  Go there and take a look.  The same article also shews the considerable variety of older rose-coloured vestments, in use throughout Europe.  Often, embroidered flowers on such vestments was a device used to enhance the "rosiness" of the vestment.

This week, we feature a new vestment (see above) more in the Baroque tradition.  It is made from a silk damask of a shade between crimson and copper, but also interwoven with a subdued gold thread.  As a result, such a vestment looks more rose in some lights, more golden in others.  The orphrey of this chasuble is formed from a dupion silk in a complementary shade of rose, likewise the lining.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiries:  stbede62@gmail.com

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Violet vestments in 16th century style

The Saint Bede Studio recently completed the vestments shewn in the adjacent photographs for a young priest in the Diocese of Richmond, a returning customer. This chasuble is in the style commonly known as Saint Philip Neri, typical of the 16th century, although less ample than the measurements set down by S' Charles Borromeo.

Although there are many different shades used for Lenten and Advent vestments (none of which has a claim to being the correct colour), nevertheless, this particular shade of violet is closer to what was used during the mediaeval period and through until the 19th century.  It is a subdued colour, but not dark, closer to the shade of the flowers Violets. 

Instead of the ubiquitous treatment of gold ornament, these vestments are ornamented with galloons of a silver-grey and are lined in the same colour. The vestments are ornamented in the Roman manner.

Matching the chasuble is a cope, whose orphrey is also formed with outlining braids in silver-grey.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com


Saturday, 8 December 2012

On Our Lady's Feast

Early this year, the Studio completed a commission for vestments of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  These were made for a priest in an Italian Diocese, who particularly wished for vestments in the Borromeon style.  The vestments were made from a magnificent English silk damask, ivory coloured.  They were ornamented with a damask in peacock blue and silver, outlined with a silver-coloured narrow galloon. The vestments were lined with dupion silk in a shade to match the orphrey.

We are pleased also to include a photograph, shewn below,  of the chasuble being used in the Celebration of Mass.

Greetings to all readers on this Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Please click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com




Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Purple Saint Martin Vestments

The Saint Bede Studio recently completed a set of vestments for a newly-ordained priest of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, Canada.

These were vestments in the Saint Martin style: very ample.  The vestments were made from a purple ecclesiastical brocade and simply ornamented with a narrow braid in colours of Royal Blue, red, gold and white. This is is a new braid designed by and made for the Studio.

Our young priest wrote this appreciation of the vestments:

The vestment is just what I was looking for: simple, to respect the penitential character of Advent and Lent, but at the same time, with the beautiful braid in the centre, a hint of the Hope that is to come at the end of the penitential season.  

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com





Monday, 3 December 2012

December Newsletter

The December Newsletter has now been sent to all customers and past enquirers of the Studio.  If you are a reader of this Blog and would like to receive a copy of the Newsletter, please contact us .

This newsletter contains the important announcement of a Special Appeal to seek donations for new vestments for Pugin's church, Saint Augustine's Ramsgate (UK).

This Appeal will be the subject of a future post on this Blog.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

What colour vestments should be worn during Advent?

I often read here and there vigorous assertions about the "correct" colour of vestments to be used during Lent and Advent.  Curious as to the history of these colours in Liturgical use,  I researched and posted an article a few years ago on this Blog about use of penitential colours for the Seasons of Advent, Lent &c.  If you have wondered what colour the Church recommends for these Seasons, you will find the article illuminating.  That post may be read here and here, so I don't intend to rehearse its findings. 

Instead, always most interesting, 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" practice 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.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Feast of Christ the King


The chasuble shewn in the adjacent photograph was made for a priest in the Archdiocese of Sydney. The chasuble is made from an English ecclesiastical brocade, lined in red cotton and ornamented with an orphrey braid in green, red and gold.

This orphrey is one of several braids which have been especially designed by the Saint Bede Studio to commemorate the Pugin bicentenary year. It features a stylised monogram of the letters IHS surmounting by a latin Cross.  A Pugin chasuble in the collection of the former seminary of Saint Cuthbert at Ushaw, UK, was the basis for the design of this braid, designated Saint Edmund.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Cope for the Season "Per Annum"

As described in previous posts, the Studio has been working on a commission for a Solemn Mass set in green.  The set was constructed for the Centenary of the Sacred Heart Church, Robbinsdale, a Parish in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Shewn in this post is the cope from this set which is made from a Green English brocade, lined in burgundy silk and ornamented with an orphrey braid in Red and gold, enhanced with applique and a narrow galloon. 

previous post described another part of the set.   





Click on the photographs for an enlarged view. 

 Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com

Friday, 26 October 2012

2013 Ordinands

A short notice for those who will be ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in 2013.  If you are considering having vestments made by the Studio, please contact us without delay to begin discussions.

Monday, 22 October 2012

The Papal Fanon

Readers will, I hope, excuse my excitement about the return to use of the Papal Fanon.  It was worn by Pope Benedict for the first time in his reign yesterday on the wonderful occasion of the Canonisation of seven new saints.  Pope Paul VI gave up using the Fanon for Papal Masses in the late 1960's.

Read a little more about the significance of the Fanon - a vestment unique to the Roman Pontiff - here.

It was also pleasing, after recent infelicitous ensembles, to see the Pope wearing a rather tasteful chasuble and mitre of white damask derived from the Italian style of the 14th and 15th centuries (before Papal Rome was Baroque).

These images on this post are taken from the website of the Italian photographer Spaziani.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

 


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A Moveable Feast

Apse of the Karaganda Cathedral.





Recently, we have seen on some Blogs a coverage of the construction and consecration of the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Karaganda, Saint Joseph's.  What appears to be an historic altarpiece has been installed as the High altar and focal point of the Cathedral.  It is an extremely impressive ensemble visually, constructed of timber,  polychromed and gilded.
 


The two altars sit in harmonious proximity to each other
and appear almost as one unit.

Standing in front of the High altar is another altar,freestanding, which has been the subject of some discussion in the Comboxes.  A timber altar, with rather beautifully done carving, is the altar at which Mass is intended to be celebrated.  But it is not fixed: it sits on a splendid carpet at the same level as the High altar, and the whole thing could readily be moved out of the way.  But this altar was consecrated and a rather ingenious method of construction was then revealed.  Approximately two-thirds of the mensa was a slab of marble, incised with consecration crosses and set into the timber table of the altar.  This stone itself was consecrated by the Dean of the Sacred College, Cardinal Sodano during Mass on 8th September.  Beneath the mensa was placed a small house containing the sacred relics.

The large marble stone set into the mensa of the freestanding altar.
According to the old Pontifical, such an arrangement was not permitted for an altar, but the revised Ritual Books are more flexible.  The General Instructions of the Roman Missal no. 263 says: According to the Church's traditional practice and the altar's symbolism, the table of a fixed altar should be of stone and indeed of natural stone. But at the discretion of the conference of bishops some other solid, becoming, and well-crafted material may be used.  The Ceremonial of Bishops and the Code of Canon Law restate this instruction.  Thus, it is not uncommon and perfectly licit, for a consecrated altar to be made entirely of wood or metal, and sometimes, as in the case of the Karaganda Cathedral, a stone mensa is supported by a structure of timber or metal.

Detail of the High altar shewing the patina of the old paintwork.
This flexibility is surely an advantage when there is an existing High altar intact in a Church, but yet not usually the altar at which Mass is offered.  How often do we see churches with two altars sitting one in front of the other?  Usually, the two sit in uncomfortable proximity to each other, vying for attention.  But not at Karaganda.  Congratulations to those who devised the ingenious solution.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.



A relic house about to be placed beneath the freestanding altar.


Please note that the images are the copyright of the Diocese of Karaganda.



Sunday, 16 September 2012

Saint Camillus de Lellis

A kindly priest customer of the Studio sent us this rare portrait of Saint Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614), co-Patron Saint of Nurses.  Saint Camillus spent most of his life caring for the sick. Read more about him here.

Saint Camillus was ordained a priest in 1584 by the last Catholic English bishop, Lord Thomas Goldwell

The adjacent image of Saint Camillus is said to be only contemporaneous portrait of him and shews him during the Offertory of the Mass.  The Saint is wearing a style of chasuble common in the sixteenth century and often associated with Saint Philip Neri. Saint Philip was a spiritual mentor of Saint Camillus.

The chasuble is made from an ivory-coloured silk brocade interwoven with gold, but perhaps its most interest feature is its orphrey ornamentation.  The orphrey appears to be formed from a woven braid in colours of black and gold on an off-white base.  Most interesting is the design of this braid, being a series of interlinked geometric motifs: quite unlike the style of ornament found on other chasubles of this period and in the two centuries following.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Puginesque vestments

The Saint Bede Studio recently completed sets of vestments for a priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney.  The vestments were made in the more stylised cut of the 16th century, which is sometimes referred to as Gothic Revival.

Each of these vestments was made from an English ecclesiastical brocade and ornamented with a different orphrey braid based on the work of AWN Pugin.  The three vestments - in crimson red, ivory and green are shewn in the adjacent photographs.

An apparelled amice is employed with each of these vestments.



Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com





Monday, 10 September 2012

Simple Cope


Above is pictured a cope recently produced by the Studio.  It is a simple vestment, made from a cotton jacquard and ornamented with an English ecclesiastical brocade in colours of ivory and straw.  The cope is unlined.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Belloc

Hilaire Belloc with GB Shaw (left) and GK Chesterton.

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least, I’ve always found it so;
Benedicamus Domino.
Hilaire Belloc (1870 - 1953).

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Roman vestments of the 16th century

This handsome vestment, in the Saint Philip Neri style, was made by the Studio for a returning customer, a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin.

The chasuble is made from an ivory English ecclesiastical brocade, ornamented in the Roman manner with a damask of silk and cotton in burgundy and old gold, and outlined with a galloon.  The chasuble is lined in crimson red.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Newsletter

Today, the September Newsletter was sent to all customers and past enquirers of the Studio.  If you are a reader of this Blog and would like to receive a copy of the Newsletter, please contact us.


Thursday, 30 August 2012

The amice apparel : 1

Not infrequently, we receive questions about vestments which appear on this blog which have an unusual collar-like attachment.  This attachment is called an APPAREL.  Sometimes when shopping at the supermarket, one finds a sign in one of the aisles saying "Apparel": these are not, however, for liturgical use.  The liturgical apparel is not, in fact, attached to the chasuble, but to the amice and has been a form of decoration used with vestments for a millenium.  

The history of the amice apparel will be the subject of a further post. This post, however, is an illustrated guide to the archane mystery of wearing an amice apparel.



Our first illustration (above) shews the apparel sitting on top of the amice.  Notice that the apparel is set back approximately one-and-half inches or 4-5 cm from the upper edge of the amice.  This allows the amice to be tucked into the collar of the albe or cassock once the chasuble has been put on, creating a tidier appearance (see the fourth illustration).  Our first illustration shews the position where pins may be used to attach the apparel to the amice.  Note that pins are used on only ONE EDGE of the apparel, not to both edges.  Also note that the ends of the apparel are NOT pinned down.




Our second illustration (above) shews the apparelled amice sitting on the head after the albe has been put on.  In the usual method of wearing an amice, the amice is tucked into the collar before the albe is put on.  But it remains over the head when an apparel is used.  The face is not a portrait.




Our third illustration (above) shews the apparelled amice still sitting on the head after the stole and chasuble have been put on.




Our fourth illustration (above) shews the apparel in its final resting place.  Having been pulled back down from the head, the unencumbered edge of the amice is tucked into the alb or cassock collar.  This draws the apparel together and gives a tidier appearance at the neckline.  Thus the apparel sits free of both the chasuble and amice, as shewn above. Sometimes, assistance will be needed to tuck the back of the amice into the chasuble.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Altar of Saint Gregory the Great


Above the altar of Pope Saint Gregory the Great in Saint Peter's Basilica is a painting by Andrea Sacchi of the well-known miracle which occurred as Saint Gregory offered Mass.  Sacchi is said to have painted this in 1625.  The image below reproduces the entire painting, but the image above is a cropped version, which shews more clearly the vestments Saint Gregory is depicted as wearing.

We can deduce from this painting that in the first quarter of the 17th century, vestments were still being used in Rome which conformed to the directions set down more than a century earlier by Saint Charles Borromeo.  The chasuble on Saint Gregory is shewn to reach almost to the elbow, but is also folded back, indicating that it was wider still.  We also note that the chasuble is ornamented in what had become, even by then, the established Roman manner: a TAU in the front.  The stole, also, is quite long, although broad in the style of this period.  But a small amount of lace ornaments the albe of Saint Gregory in this painting.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.


Friday, 24 August 2012

Diocese of Richmond

One of our esteemed customers, Father Brian Capuano, was recently installed as the pastor of S' Joseph's Parish, Petersburg by the Bishop of Richmond (Virginia), the Most Rev'd F.X. DiLorenzo.

Father Capuano very kindly sent this photograph of the occasion.

The Studio had made for Father Capuano a set of green Saint Austin vestments, which are described here.

Please note that the vestments and mitre worn by the Bishop in this photograph were not made by the Saint Bede Studio.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com