Thursday, 26 December 2013

Vestments for Christmastide

The Saint Bede Studio has 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.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

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.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Gaudete Sunday 2013 : 4

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.  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.

For Gaudete Sunday 2013, we have featured four completely distinct rose vestments made by the Studio; the first, second and third were shewn in the previous posts.

The fourth set of vestments, (see adjacent images) - in a free "Gothic" style - is made from a quite different shade of rose. It has more pink in evidence, but with silvery overtones.  The vestments are made from dupion silk. The orphrey of this chasuble is formed from a narrow braids in colours of burgundy, red and ash-grey.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Gaudete Sunday 2013 : 3

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.  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.

For Gaudete Sunday 2013, we feature four completely distinct rose vestments made by the Studio; the first and second were shewn in the previous posts.

The third set of vestments, (see adjacent images) - in the Saint Philip Neri style - is made from a quite different shade of rose. It is a colour between crimson and purple and made from dupion silk. To accentuate the colour of the vestment, the lining is made from a much lighter and "salmon" rose (see image below). The orphrey of this chasuble is formed from one of the Studio's newly-designed Puginesque braids in colours of burgundy, red and ash-grey.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiriesstbede62@gmail.com


Saturday, 14 December 2013

Gaudete Sunday 2013 : 2

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.  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.

For Gaudete Sunday, we feature four completely distinct rose vestments made by the Studio; the first was shewn in our previous post. The second set of vestments, (see adjacent image) - in a free interpretation of the Gothic style - is made from a rich shade of dupion silk. The orphrey of this chasuble is formed from a newly-designed braid of knotwork in shades of ash-grey, black and orange.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiriesstbede62@gmail.com

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Gaudete Sunday 2013 : 1

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.

As Gaudete Sunday approaches, we feature here four completely distinct rose vestments. Firstly, this vestment (see above image), made in the Borromeon style from a beautiful English silk damask. The orphrey of this chasuble is formed from a Puginesque braid in shades of burgundy, red and ash-grey.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com

Saturday, 7 December 2013

On the Feast of Saint Ambrose

To commemorate the Feast of Saint Ambrose, bishop of Milan and a Doctor of the Church, we are pleased to present these works of art depicting the great saint.

The painting included below, by the Italian artist Camillo Procaccini, was painted in Milan towards the end of the sixteenth century, or early in the seventeenth, and depicts Saint Ambrose staying the Emperor Theodosius. In this painting we the see the saint vested in pontificals of this period. Fittingly, Saint Ambrose is shewn vested in a chasuble of the Borromeon proportions (fitting since Saint Charles Borromeo was also Bishop of Milan).  Note that the chasuble is wide, being slightly turned back at the elbows. It is ornamented with a prominent TAU of gold damask. Saint Ambrose is also shewn wearing the tunicle and dalmatic over his albe. By this time, the pallium had more or less reached the form that we are now familiar with.

Saint Ambrose by Procaccini.
Further below is included a painting of Saint Ambrose from a later period by the Italian artist Carlo Ceresa who lived and died in the seventeenth century. Ceresa's painting of the saint shews certain changes to the form of the chasuble which occurred during the seventeenth century. In this painting, the saint is depicted wearing a less ample chasuble, sometimes referred to as the style of Saint Philip Neri. The chasuble is not as long or as wide as the first painting shewn, and it is also less flowing. Note the close-fitting sleeves of the albe shewn in Ceresa's painting.

A curiosity of this painting is that in its upper left background, Saint Ambrose is shewn wearing the same Pontificals (including the mitre!) in full gallop on a horse.  The chasuble flares at the back.


Saint Ambrose by Ceresa.

UPDATE:
A friend of the Studio and reader of this Blog, offered the following comments on Saint Ambrose astride the horse:

Saint Ambrose has traditionally been pictured with a scourge because of his routing of heretics, particularly of the Arian persuasion - and the cherub in the righthand bottom corner of Ceresa's painting is holding such a scourge. But on looking closer at Saint Ambrose on horseback in the background this also shows him with a much longer scourge in his right hand, while all around the horse's feet lie broken bodies etc - again, I assume a reference to him being a scourge of heretics. He was known to be both a gentle Bishop, but also a vigorous denouncer of heretics, and I imagine the picture within the picture picks up on this. 

Click on the images for an enlarged view.


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.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com

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.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com

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.

 

Thursday, 31 October 2013

South Korea : 1

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 is shewn in the adjacent photographs.

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

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com



Click on the images for an enlarged view.


Monday, 21 October 2013

Tilting at Windmills

"Tilting at Windmills", a phrase that has come to mean attacking imaginary enemies.

This expression is explained at The Phrase Finder:

Tilting is jousting. "Tilting at windmills" derives from Cervantes' Don Quixote - first published in 1604, under the title The Ingenious Knight of La Mancha. The novel recounts the exploits of would-be knight Don Quixote and his loyal servant Sancho Panza who propose to fight injustice through chivalry. It is considered one of the major literary masterpieces and remains a best seller in numerous translations. In the book, which also gives us the adjective quixotic (striving for visionary ideals), the eponymous hero imagines himself to be fighting giants when he attacks windmills.

Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, "Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless."

"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.

"Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length."

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."


The figurative reference to tilting at windmills came a little later. John Cleveland published The character of a London Diurnall in 1644 (a diurnall was, as you might expect, part-way between a diary or journal):

"The Quixotes of this Age fight with the Wind-mills of their owne Heads."

The full form of the phrase isn't used until towards the end of the 19th century.



Saint Stephen Protomartyr
Fifteenth Century


The above painting, dating from around the year 1450, is a reproduction of the left-panel in a diptych, painted by the French Renaissance artist Jean Fouquet and formerly in the Church in Melun (near Paris). It depicts Saint Stephen with the French diplomat Etienne Chevalier.

Saint Stephen is depicted wearing an ample dalmatic made from what appears to be black velvet (but it may be black wool).  It is ornamented with clavi formed from strips of a silk damask of a familiar Renaissance pattern. The dalmatic is extremely simple.

The more ancient form of the amice is also shewn, being very ample and not fitting closely around the neck. To this amice, an apparel is attached made from the same silk damask as the dalmatic's ornament. It was usual in the mediaeval period and beyond for an amice apparel to match the ornament of the vestments. Usual, too, was that the stole and maniple also matched the ornamentation of the vestments, rather than matching the base colour (namely, the liturgical colour of the vestments).

We find the following information at the Web Gallery of Art.

This is the left wing of a diptych, originally located in Melun. The diptych was in the chancel of the Church of Notre-Dame at Melun, south of Paris, from 1461 until about 1775, when the two halves became separated.

Etienne Chevalier, who came from Melun, was French Ambassador to England in 1445 and six years later became Treasurer to Charles VII of France. He presented the diptych (of which this panel forms the left wing), to his native town around 1450; on this wing he had himself painted next to his patron saint, Stephen. The saint is holding a book, on which a jagged stone is lying, as a symbol of his martyrdom. The formal architecture in the background is in the Italian Renaissance style showing pilasters with coloured inlaid marble panels between them. On the wall, receding in perspective, the name Etienne Chevalier is inscribed several times. Originally the donor and the saint were looking towards the Madonna, who occupied the right wing of the diptych; this panel found its way into the Antwerp Museum.

According to a description of the paintings by Denis Godefroy in 1661, the original frames were covered in blue velvet. Round each picture were strands of gold and silver thread, in which the donor's initials were woven in pearls. There were also gilded medallions on which stories of the saints were represented.


Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame de Melun, founded in 1013.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Puginesque Vestments
for the Season "Per Annum"

Pictured adjacent is the Saint Giles chasuble, a familar style to readers of this Blog. It is a simplified version of a design by A.W.N. Pugin.  A green brocade (Emerald green on a very dark base colour) is ornamented with a Puginesque braids in red and gold and lined in scarlet-red. The braids were produced exclusively for the Saint Bede Studio.

This chasuble was commissioned by a priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Consecration of the Human Race
to Mary's Immaculate Heart

In Saint Peter's Square, on Sunday, 13th October, Mass was celebrated by Pope Francis as part of the celebrations marking his Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The renowned Fatima statue was brought to Rome for the occasion and enthroned in a place of honour.

In these photographs, Pope Francis is shewn venerating the statue.

Photographs: Copyright Getty Images.





Thursday, 10 October 2013

Pontificalia of the Fourteenth Century


The above painting of Saint Nicholas of Myra was painted by the Florentine artist Pacino di Bonaguida, who worked at the beginning of the Fourteenth century (1302 to before 1340).

The website of the J Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles) tells us that twentieth-century scholars reconstructed Pacino da Bonaguida's career, based upon his only known signed painting: an altarpiece in the Accademia Gallery in Florence. Pacino spent his entire career in Florence, where, in addition to altarpieces, he painted miniatures and decorations for illuminated manuscripts. He is considered the inventor of miniaturism, a style distinguished by a clear organisation of the painting surface into multiple small-scale scenes.

This work, which is painted in an iconographic style, depicts Saint Nicholas as a bishop of the the early Fourteenth century. Visible in the painting are the bishop's chasuble, amice apparel, a liturgical book, gloves, ring, crosier and mitre.

The condition of the above reproduction of Pacino's painting being what it is, it is not possible to determine precisely the colour of the chasuble. Certainly its lining is black, so we are inclined to think this semi-conical chasuble is of black damask, figured with gold quatrefoils. The fabric may, however, be a very dark green. The ornament of the chasuble is quite interesting, since it is a very early example of a woven braid, or at least is depicted as such. We can tell this since at the intersection point of the TAU piece (which rests upon the chest) the designs can be seen quite clearly to be disappearing beneath the horizontal ornament. Were the entire orphrey embroidered, such an arrangement would be avoided. The woven braid itself consists of geometrical patterns, rather than religious figures, and these designs are presented in colours of red, black and gold on a neutral background.

This early example of the TAU ornament is interesting also since it is really in the shape of a Cross " t " rather than " T ". Unlike the presentation of the TAU in later centuries, this decoration has a very short horizontal band. Sitting around the neckline is an amice apparel which, although of a different design, is woven in similar colours to the chasuble orphrey.

The white Episcopal gloves being worn by Saint Nicholas appear to be embroidered with a coat of arms. In his right hand, the Saint is depicted holding a liturgical book, whether it be an Evangelarium or a Sacramentary is unable to be determined.

Upon his head, Saint Nicholas is shewn to be wearing a precious mitre in the eary mediaeval style. It is of white linen or silk and is ornamented in the usual style with the circulus and titulus bands.  These are of embroidered geometric designs upon a gold background.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.





Monday, 30 September 2013

Botticelli :
The Last Communion of Saint Jerome



This painting by the renowned Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) is titled The Last Communion of Saint Jerome and was painted around 1495. A priest is shewn with acolytes in a small chapel giving Communion to Saint Jerome. The Altar Cross is decorated with palm branches and a housling cloth is laid on the ground beneath the priest and the saint. It is not clear whether the acolytes are wearing albes or surplices. If they are albes, they are decorated with textile apparels, but neither an amice or a cincture is visible. 

A detail of the painting, depicting the priest's vestments, is shewn below.  



The priest is wearing a linen albe which is decorated with textile apparels of blue damask at the lower edge and at the cuffs. His red chasuble - in the semi-conical form - is ornamented in the Italian manner, namely a column upon the back and a TAU upon the front.  This ornament is made from the same textile as the apparels on the albe. A rather narrow maniple is also shewn.

Botticelli's painting illustrates that in Florence at the end of the 15th century, ample vestments in accordance with ancient traditions were still being used.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.


Friday, 27 September 2013

Anglican Use Mass



Recently, the Studio completed two chasubles of the Saint Austin design, which we wrote about here . One of these chasubles was commissioned by the Reverend Stephen Hill, a newly-ordained priest of the Anglican-Use Ordinariate in Australia (which is under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary).

Father Hill very kindly sent us this photograph of his offering Mass according to the Ordinariate Use in the Church of Ss Ninian and Chad, in Maylands (a suburb of Perth, Western Australia).

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Priestly Ordinations 2013 : 9

Each year, the Saint Bede Studio has the privilege of preparing sacred vestments for Ordinands. Happily, this year has been no exception. This post concerns a donation of sets of vestments by a priest of the Archdiocese of New York to two newly-ordained priests of the same Archdiocese.

The chasubles (shewn adjacent) were made from a lovely ecclesiastical brocade in straw-gold. Each vestment was ornamented differently, but using braids produced by the Studio based on the designs of AWN Pugin. The vestments were lined in straw-coloured taffeta.

Please pray for all newly-ordained priests.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com



Thursday, 12 September 2013

Chasuble of S' Thomas Becket : 3

Every now and then in the Liturgical Blogdom, interest appears in the famous chasuble of Saint Thomas Becket, preserved at the Sens Cathedral. The Saint Bede Studio is occasionally approached by priests seeking vestments based on the striking design of that ancient chasuble.

A priest from the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey (USA) commissioned the Studio to make a chasuble like the Becket vestments, because of his admiration for Saint Thomas. But, for convenience, he did not want the chasuble in the conical, or bell-shaped form, as the original vestment is.

Instead, the chasuble design was modified to the Saint Martin form.  The result is a surprisingly lightweight chasuble, which is visually similar to the Becket chasuble, without attempting to be an exact replica of it.

The vestments are made from an English silk damask, which is fully lined in blue taffeta. A narrow braid, designed by the Studio in an early mediaeval style, was used to ornament the vestments in the distinctive manner.

Posts describing Saint Thomas' chasuble can be viewed here and here.

From our esteemed customer, Father Daniel O'Mullane of the Diocese of Paterson:

I could not be happier with the Saint Bede Studio's newest creation! As with all of Mr. Sternbeck's work, this chasuble in the style of Saint Thomas Becket's vestments is brilliantly designed and flawlessly made; the Studio's attention to detail apparent in every stitch. The chasuble is visually striking, and will profit our praise of God in the Sacred Liturgy for years to come.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com





 


Monday, 9 September 2013

Puginesque vestments
for the time "per annum"

Recently, the Saint Bede Studio was commissioned by two priests - one in Australia, the other in the USA - to make the sets of vestments shewn in the adjacent photographs. This vestment is designated The Austin Chasuble.

The chasuble is made from an English ecclesiastical brocade, lined in red taffeta and ornamented with an orphrey braid in green, red and gold.

This orphrey braid is one of several braids which were especially designed by the Saint Bede Studio in 2012 to commemorate the Pugin bicentenary year. A Pugin chasuble in the collection of Saint Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham, was the basis for the design of this braid.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Enquiries: stbede62@gmail.com



Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Mass with Pope Benedict

An annual meeting which Josef Ratzinger held with his former students from days in Germany came to be held in Rome when he was elected as Benedict XVI in 2005.

This year, the students met in Rome again, at Castelgandolfo. Although Pope Benedict did not join their meetings, we discover through the wonderful world of the Internet that he did celebrate Mass for and with his students in the Vatican on 1st September.

These photographs shew Benedict's celebration of Mass. Amongst the "students" is the Cardinal-Archbishop of Vienna.

Photographs from the Facebook page Mons. Guido Marini.


Mass of Pope Benedict during the Confiteor.


Mass of Pope Benedict at the Doxology.


Pope Benedict leaving the Church where Mass was celebrated.
Accompanying him is Monsignor Ganswein.


Pope Benedict praying in the Church after the
celebration of Mass.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

New Secretary of State of the Holy See

Consecration of Monsignor Parolin
by Pope Benedict in 2009.
The Most Reverend Pietro Parolin, presently Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela, was named by Pope Francis as Secretary of State of the Holy See today.

Italian by birth, the 58 year old Archbishop had previously been an official of the Secretariat of State during the Pontificates of the Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

On 12th September, 2009, Pope Benedict consecrated Parolin a bishop along with four other prelates, in Saint Peter's Basilica.

Photographs taken at the Consecration are shewn adjacent.

Images Copyright Spaziani.




Thursday, 29 August 2013

Papal Ceremonies of the Sixteenth Century

At the blog Idle Speculations, we found the adjacent image of a fresco and a description of the Coronation of the Spanish King Charles as Holy Roman Emperor at Bologna.

The Coronation was performed by Pope Clement VII  in the Cathedral of San Petronio, Bologna on 24th February 1530.

The fresco is not painted onto a wall, but on the ceiling of the office of the Mayor of Florence in the Palazzo Vecchio.  It was painted by the artist Giorgio Vasari after 1555.

Vasari's depiction of the Coronation is quite interesting for students of the history of sacred vestments because, since it is painted in the middle of the 16th century, a transitional point from mediaeval to baroque styles is illustrated.

A detail of Vasari's 16th century fresco.
In the detail shewn above, Pope Clement is placing the crown upon the head of the Emperor. We find the Pope vested in a linen albe, with close fitting sleeves and whose skirt is ornamented with an embroidered apparel. It would appear that the cuffs of the albe are enriched in some way. Notice, however, that there is no sign of lace in the Pope's albe. Over the albe, the Pope is wearing an ample golden chasuble. The chasuble is very flowing and partly folded back at the arms. Not unusually, we find the painting does not represent the Pope dressed in full pontificals, since he lacks the tunicle and dalmatic, but most importantly, he is lacking the pallium. An extremely short and narrow maniple is upon the left forearm of the Pope. This is a far-cry from the exaggerated spade-ended maniples of the High Baroque.

Assisting the Pope are two deacons, vested in matching dalmatics which are also quite ample. The dalmatic are ornamented with the clavi, but also an apparel at the upper back (presumably also upon the breast). A roundel upon the apparel appears to be embroidered with IHS. Pendants of tassles hanging from the shoulders of the dalmatic are also depicted, a feature of late mediaeval / early baroque ornamentation. It is believed that such tassles were originally an elaboration of the lacing used to tie together the front and back of the dalmatic at the shoulders. Subsequently, they became purely decorative.

Another detail of Vasari's fresco.

Another detail of Vasari's fresco is shewn above, which depicts some of the bishops present at the Coronation. These bishops are all depicted wearing Mass vestments: amice, albe, cincture, stole, maniple and chasuble. In each case, the amice of the bishops is ornamented with an apparel: a survival of mediaeval usage. Although their albes are unornamented, the close-fitting cuffs appear to be decorated. The four bishops are wearing chasubles which are less ample than the one the Pope is depicted as wearing, but nevertheless appear to be gathered away from the elbows and are long and flowing. Each of the chasubles is decorated with the TAU Cross, which was the usual form of ornament in Italy. The bishop in the centre, with hand raised, also wears a diminutive maniple.

We might also comment on the mitres worn by these bishops, which are more or less identical to each other. They are the simplex mitres worn by non-officiating or concelebrating bishops, just as happens today. These mitres are also in the style of the 15th century (which differed little from that of the 14th century) being neither excessively tall (these ones are approximately 12" tall) nor with rounded sides (a fashion which became fashionable in Rome in the 16th century and persists to this day).

Although the scene depicted by Vasari is probably not very accurate as a presentation of a Papal Liturgy, nevertheless it undoubtedly depicts the style of vestments used throughout Italy in the 16th century. Those who believe lace albes, 18 inch tall mitres and "fiddleback" chasubles are the touchstone of Tradition would do well to examine such works of art as this to gain a broader appreciation of tradition.

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