Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Basilica of Our Lady in Fribourg, Switzerland

The subject of our most recent quiz was an item from the Basilica of Our Lady in Fribourg, Switzerland, which was entrusted to the care of the Fraternity of St Peter in 2012 by His Excellency Charles Morerod, O.P., Bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg. The church was originally constructed in the 12th century, but has subsequently undergone a number of rebuildings and redecorations; its current appearance is mostly from the late 17th century, and it was given a thorough restoration done between 1990 and 2011. It is also the seat of a confraternity originally known as the Confraternity of the Assumption, founded in 1582 by St Peter Canisius, who lived in Fribourg for the last 20 years of his life. (He died there in 1597, and is buried in the city’s Jesuit church of St Michael.) Subsequently, it was united to other confraternities and pious associations under the title “Marian Congregation (Congrégation Mariale).”

As a reminder, this is also one of the four churches from which Mass is broadcast live every day on the Fraternity’s LiveMass website: The previous Sunday’s sung Mass is always available to watch, and the choir in Fribourg is really excellent.

The Asperges before the Sung Mass on Sunday, December 31st. The church has a large crew of young servers, and there are many young families with lots of children, singing along well and enthusiastically!
The basilica’s processional umbrella, also known as a “synnichium” in Latin. Back in the days when canonical chapters were required by diocesan custom or statute to participate in certain processions, they were usually also obliged to carry their umbrella and “tintinnabulum”, a bell suspended on a frame which is mounted on a pole, with them.
The tintinnabulum is seen on the far left of the Gospel-side choir stalls; the frame in which the bell is suspended is small and not very attractive. The two other objects mounted in the stalls, the candle stick in the middle and the pole on the right, can also be carried in procession.
The Epistle side choir stall, with the same processional objects.
The pulpit, which is being still used for preaching.

This plaque on the inside right wall lists the various confraternities and pious associations established within the basilica, and records that it was elevated to the status of a collegiate church on January 24, 1798.
A stained glass window of St Peter Canisius.
To the right of the main sanctuary. a fragment of the church’s older medieval structures serves as a Lady Chapel.
A very nice rosary hung as an ex-voto on the wall.
A 17th-century lockbox for donations, no longer used.
Some of the vestments from the treasury.
The ovals on the left and right are two of a set of fifteen, each of which represents one of the Mysteries of the Rosary. These could be mounted on poles and carried in processions, which were clearly a very important thing in Fribourg!
Some of the reliquaries.
A stained glass version of the seal of the Marian Confraternity.

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