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Monday, October 29, 2007

No Mere Decoration

In Sacramentum Caritatis Pope Benedict XVI wrote, "Beauty, then, is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation." Again, "Special respect and care must be also given to the vestments, the furnishings and the sacred vessels, so that by their harmonious and orderly arrangement they will foster awe for the mystery of God, manifest the unity of the faith and strengthen devotion."
As examples of the these principles being put into practice, here are a few photos of the sacred vessels used for the Pontifical Mass yesterday, together with an image of the cathedra.

This chalice from 1894 was commissioned by Dr. Stephen Reville OSA, second bishop of Sandhurst, and made in Paris. Details for this ciborium could not be obtained but it probably dates to about the same period as the chalice.

A range of ewers and basins for the ceremonial washings throughout the Mass. On the right is a holy water bucket and sprinkler.

The cathedra or bishop's throne was carved from Austrian oak and installed in 1914. It features carvings of Sts. Augustine and Patrick, in honour of the first two bishops of Sandhurst who were Augustinians from Ireland.

Finally a photo of my fellow servers - Dane, Omar and John Paul - making one of many toasts at the table during the dinner following the Mass. The evening will be particularly remembered for a speech from one of our chaplains, who was also an organiser of the first Christus Rex pilgrimage, in which he presented a very brief history of the early years of the pilgrimage and then expressed his amazement at how it has grown in nearly twenty years. He also called upon those present to pass on to future generations this history, which is just as important as the pilgrimage itself.

Comments [1]

Blogger Perpétua:

How splendid, Jude! Thank you for posting those. I was under the impression that the cathedra was not the cathedra, but a remnant of the old high altar! I was mistaken.

Go and have a look at the NLM!

Happy Feast!!

Wed Oct 31, 11:40:00 PM GMT  

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