Saturday, April 16, 2011

NLM Quiz: Can You Guess What This Is? (The Answer)

Can you guess what this ecclesiastical item is? (Please give your answer in the comments, and give whatever detail you can about what you think its use was and its context.)

Here's one side of it:

Here's the other:

The Answer:

The context for this item's use is found at the conclusion of the Solemn Papal Mass after the final blessing as described by Archdale King in The Liturgy of the Roman Church:

"...When the Pontiff has received the tiara, gloves and ring, the archpriest of the basilica, accompanied by two of the canons, presents himself before the Pope, in order to give him a purse of silk embroidered with gold in which there are twenty-five jules of ancient papal money. The archpriest, as he presents the honorarium, says: Beatissime Pater, capitulum et canonici hujus sacrosanctae basilicae, Sanctitatae [sic] vestrae consuetum offerunt presbyterium pro missa bene cantata. Then the hand of the Pope is kissed by the archpriest, and the foot by the two canons. The Pope gives the purse to the cardinal deacon for his train-bearer, who in his turn takes it to the canon sacristan of the basilica, receiving in exchange five ecus, which was about twenty-seven francs before the first World War."

Congratulations to all those who correctly identified this rarely seen item from the papal ceremonies of the usus antiquior.

(As a point of comparative liturgical interest, Archdale King also gives an interesting footnote on this, commenting that in the Lyonese Pontifical Mass, "the canons of the primatial church give an honorarium to the archbishop after the censing of the oblata at the offertory in the pontifical Mass". We thus see a similarity here. Incidentally, some readers may recall that we have shown some illustrations and historical photographs from the venerable pontifical rites of Lyons -- of which we have more; you are yet owed the second part of that series which I have not forgotten.)

Great responses in the combox folks.

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