Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Octave of Easter at the Oratory of Ss. Gregory and Augustine, St. Louis

We have drawn attention to the Oratory of Ss. Gregory and Augustine -- attached to Saint Louis Abbey -- in various respects before; from their beautiful custom-made vestments and altar frontals, to their newly carved reredos. Indeed, it is always a delight to feature them and accordingly, we were very pleased to receive some further photos from the Oratory, showing one of the Masses celebrated during the recent Octave of Easter by Dom Bede Price, OSB. (A few comments beneath each photo.)

The chasuble is very well done in my estimation and is particularly well complimented and completed by the apparels on the amice and alb. I would also point out the antependium, which is also very well executed.

This style of surplice, simple but full flowing, works very well in relation to the mediaeval inspired forms being generally used. (I would also take a moment to note that the cuffs of the priest's alb are likewise ornamented.)

One issue that can often be seen in sanctuaries at Easter is an over-use of flowers crowding around and about the altar; fortunately that is not the case here. There is indeed a festal sense, but without being overdone, thereby allowing the altar to maintain its proper centrality.

Those familiar with this oratory will realize that the room itself which houses the chapel is a temporary home, being a converted room -- something you can see in the background of these photos as well. The fact that this is not what one's attention is drawn to (either in this or in previous instances) is a testimony to the importance and the power of qualitative, noble and tasteful liturgical appointments.

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