Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pentecost Varia

Holy Name, Manchester, UK
Imperia, Italy
Genoa, Italy
Philadelphia, USA

12th Century Vestments of St. Thomas à Becket, Treasury of Sens Cathedral

By way of a reader, I came across the very interesting website of Dr. Genevra Kornbluth which, amongst other treasures, contains her photographs of vestments which are said to have been used by the 12th century saint, Thomas à Becket, and which are housed in the Treasury of the Cathedral of Sens.

Some of you will have no doubt seen some images of a reproduction of this particular chasuble, but these are the first high quality images I have seen of the original itself -- not to mention photographs of other period medieval vestural elements as well.

I am pleased to reprint them here with the kind permission of Dr. Kornbluth. (Please click each image to enlarge them for more detail.)

The chasuble with its famous orphrey pattern

A more detailed view of the orphrey

Alb. Take note of the ornamental apparel as well as the ornamental cuffs. 

The apparel which would have attached to the amice.

Maniple and stole. The cuffs and apparels on the alb are also more visible here.

Pontifical Sandals

You can see more details here.

Photos reprinted with permission.

Visitation Tapestry

The Burrell Collection in Glasgow is an astonishing collection of over 8000 objects amassed by a wealthy Glaswegian shipping magnate from c.1875. In 1944 he donated his collection to the city of Glasgow. This collection, which includes much medieval ecclesiastical art, is now housed in a purpose-built museum opened in 1983.

Shown here is a section of a tapestry made by a Dominican nun in Switzerland, c.1450-75. The entire wool and linen tapestry includes scenes of the Nativity of the Lord, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Presentation in the Temple. However, for today's feast of the Visitation, I would highlight the depiction above of Our Lady and St Elizabeth. Many artistic representations of this scene have the two women in red and blue garments, and almost invariably Our Lady is shown in blue. However, in this tapestry Our Lady is unusually depicted on the right in red as she sings her Magnificat.

It is thought that the good sister who wove this tapestry included herself in the work, and she is shown below.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Vestment Work

We have been endeavoring to show various examples of new vestment work in various styles and cuts lately and I am pleased to present some more new work, this time coming from a private maker in the United States (who wishes to remain anonymous).

Many of our readers will have seen his work before as it is often featured in photos coming from the Oratory of SS. Gregory and Augustine -- examples which usually feature conical chasubles with appareled albs and amices. (Here, for example, is one of his solemn vestment sets.)

That said, he also tries his hand at other styles. Here is one of his latest creations.

Cardinal Burke at the London Oratory

The formal photos are now in from Cardinal Burke's Pontifical Mass, celebrated at the London Oratory on the occasion of St. Philip's Day -- St. Philip Neri, of course, being the founder of the Oratory.

The full text of the Cardinal's homily has been published by the Catholic Herald here: ‘Never cease to centre your lives in the Sacred liturgy’.

In that homily, Cardinal Burke commented upon St. Philip's love of the sacred liturgy, and the attention to beauty in the sacred liturgy and liturgical arts: is important to underline one aspect, that is, Saint Philip’s attention to the beauty of the Sacred Liturgy, of the art and architecture of churches and chapels, and of everything employed for the worship of God. Saint Philip understood that our lives are first and foremost centered upon Christ, firmly and fully grafted into His Life, by means of Sacred Worship. For Saint Philip, everything about Sacred Worship must point to the beauty of Christ alone and of the eternal salvation which He has won for us. It is not by accident that the first two chapters of the original Constitutions of the Congregation of the Oratory treat, first, prayer and the oratory as primarily the place of prayer, and, second, the church and Divine Worship. Before the daunting challenges of Christian living in our time, let us never cease to centre our lives in the Sacred liturgy handed down to us in an unbroken tradition from the Apostles. Let us always discover anew the beauty of our life in Christ in the immeasurable beauty of His life with us through the Sacred Liturgy.

Chartres Pilgrimage 2012: Official Photos

The official photos of the "Pèle" (as the Chartres Pilgrimage is affectionately known in France) are now in, and as usual, we want to provide some highlights from the three day event. We begin in Paris and we conclude, by the end of these photos, in Chartres.

See the full photo album.

We might have more to say, and more coverage, in coming days.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: