Sunday, March 30, 2008

I vote McCain...

Always interesting news from Rome:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080330/ap_on_re_eu/vatican_muslims

And hope from the New World:
http://www.johnmccain.com/

God bless America.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

FSSP Roman Easter Vigil...


As seen nowhere else on the globe in stile italiana...

FSSP Roman Easter Vigil...


There are two altar frontals on this rock. During the Mass the black antependium was taken down to reveal the white one put up for Easter.

FSSP Roman Easter Vigil...

Here's an example of how it's done in Rome, folks.

Let's reproduce this for our children and grandchildren as is done in Urbe.

FSSP Roman Easter Vigil...


FSSP Roman Easter Vigil...


Here's an example of a cross veiled in Rome.

FSSP Roman Easter Vigil...


Atop the cobblestones and under the pines of Rome...

FSSP Roman Easter Vigil...


Italians like to use pine cones when they make fires. Last years palms work great, too. Then the true test is if you can light it with flint and steel.

Catholic culture: blessed lamb on Easter...


On Holy Saturday you can buy your lamb at the macelleria (butcher). This year we just got ours at the SMA in the basement of the Lombard College.
At the church your parish priest can then bless it. In the Roman Ritual we see blessings for lamb, bread, beer, oil, eggs, wine, etc. In the photo we see the benedictio agni. In this way your whole Easter lunch/dinner is then sanctified in a special manner and this is a witness to your kids and guests, too. It's what we do every year!

How to dispose of last years palms...


Pieces of Catholic culture are passed on from parents to children. From the time we were just little children my parents always instructed us kids that palms, as blessed objects, are to never touch the ground.
They also instructed us on how to braid them and to place one in each room. Finally, they taught us kids that after each Palm Sunday the old palms from the previous year are to be, in a reverent manner, burned.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Interesting story from Rorate Caeli...

Unauthorized Episcopal Consecrations in Ukraine

News is now spreading of the consecration shortly before March 23 -- Easter Sunday according to the Gregorian Calendar -- of four Ukrainian Greek Catholic priests as bishops, without being nominated by the Major Archbishop of Kyiv and head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), Lubomyr Cardinal Husar, and without receiving the necessary Papal blessing.The UGCC has issued a communique condemning the consecrations. Strangely enough, secrecy and uncertaintly currently cover the identity of the consecrating bishop, and there are questions over whether this bishop was a real, validly consecrated bishop in the first place.This comes a little more than four months after the excommunication of Fr. Basil Kovpak, founder and head of the Society of St. Josaphat (SSJK), a Ukrainian Greek Catholic society of priests which is currently associated with the Society of St. Pius X. Fr. Kovpak was excommunicated by Cardinal Husar for attending the ordination of two SSJK priests and five SSJK deacons by SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson.While the two events do not seem to be related, both have their roots in the same controversies now shaking the UGCC. In their Open Letter to the Holy Father the new "bishops" profess filial devotion to Rome while justifying their consecration as a necessary action in the face of the alleged modernism and hyper-ecumenism of the current Major Archbishop. In particular, they denounce the Balamand Agreement of 1993, which rejected Uniatism as a model for the future. They also condemn what they consider to be the "schismatic" and "apostate" attitudes of the Cardinal Husar and of the UGCC hierarchy, as well as the negative attitude being shown within the UGCC to Latin devotions such as the Rosary, Way of the Cross, Devotion to the Sacred Heart, etc. The letter also alleges that theological modernism is beginning to pervade the UGCC and even speaks of its "practical schism" from the rest of the Catholic Church. The letter, thus, reveals a theological and spiritual position nearly identical to that of the SSJK.These consecrations seem to be the latest sad chapter in the theological and liturgical debates currently besetting Ukrainian Greek Catholicism (as well as certain other Byzantine-Rite Catholic Churches). In a nutshell, the debates revolve on whether the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church must return to a purely Byzantine liturgy and theology and should attempt to be as close to Eastern Orthodoxy as possible (even sharing the same theology -- a position that Cardinal Husar has publicly endorsed while expressing his belief in the necessity of communion with Rome), or whether it must keep the "traditional" Latinizations of UGCC liturgy and spiritual life, and focus on emphasizing its distinctively Catholic identity vis-a-vis the Orthodox Church.More analysis of this event can be found here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The family tomb of Pope Pius XII...


The next time you find yourself in Rome be sure to spend an afternoon during riposo (siesta) at the Rome cemetery called the Campo Verano (Line B on the metro to Policlinico stop and then walk there). Afterwards you can visit the Basilica of San Lorenzo next door.
Just inside the main entrance of the cemetery you will find this, the family tomb of the Pacelli clan. During the bombing of the San Lorenzo quarter during WWII the family tomb was even damaged. Ten of them are buried in this vault. May they pray for us.

The glorious sedia gestatoria...!


From the museum at the Lateran Palace here we see a sedia gestatoria, one of many which were used to carry the Popes until 1978.
When one sees it in the museum one can almost (almost!) hear the signature theme music from Patton.
As a layman who was still in the womb of my mother the last time this chair was used, I think of all the times I've felt frustrated while at Papal events only because I simply could not see the Pope at all during the processions...and to think that this simple chair is the answer to that problem!

Eternal Rome: sediari pontifici...



This is the burial chapel in Rome's Campo Verano of the old sediari of the Popes, the men who carried the famed sedia gestatoria. Some are buried here, members of the Venerable Archconfraternity of Sant' Anna de' Parafrenieri.

I made the trip to their tombs today to ask for their intercession for the return of the "triumphal chair." The Lord of History answers every prayer and we'll see what happens as the story didn't end in 1978.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Eternal Rome: sediari pontifici...


Sixties hogwash was always against the sedia gestatoria.
Today, people are getting more realistic about these things - we see a new blossom of respect for custom, tradition and common sense, etc.
Anyways, this Rome parish was and remains the home of the sediari men. They belong to the very active and very much alive Venerable Archconfraternity of Sant'Anna de'Parafrenieri, located here.
This parish is across the street from the Venerable English College, near Rome's Palazzo Farnese. While there I met one of them, Maurizio Guazzaroni. He started as a young sediario pontificio carrying Pope Paul VI in the seventies. He talked about the last time the sedia was used when they carried Pope John Paul I in 1978.
Then there was the young Pope of fifty-eight years who was eager to mix with the crowd so as to endear himself to the Romans and the like as he was the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years. Thus the last sedia was then later sent to the museum, at the Lateran Palace. Is this the end of the story? Maurizio, vogliamo la sedia gestatoria subito, ti prego!

Eternal Rome: sediari pontifici...


As a kid my Catholic parents explained to me the custom on Holy Thursday of visiting different churches to pray and admire the decorations of the altars of repose.
In Rome everybody does the same on the evening of Holy Thursday, the so-called "seven churches" of Maundy Thursday (as everybody here tries to visit at least that many that night and I heard the morning after, too). This year we saw nearly twenty.
At almost 11:30 p.m. I stumbled up this step for my last visit of the night. You never know what the Holy Ghost has in store for you. I got into the museum of the old sediari here in the sacristy which was great after seeing many times the museum in the Lateran Palace of the old Papal Court where one can see a real sedia gestatoria, albeit a few of them.

Eternal Rome: sediari pontifici...


Liberal gnats, modernists and hippies might be furious to know the old sediari are still around. Sounds like there's a chance the good old days might return? See their great site in English:
Would be nice if somebody has the time, interest or energy to put this up on Wikipedia.

Eternal Rome: sediari pontifici...


It was explaind that there are two seperate styles here as one was for summer use while the other was for winter use.

Eternal Rome: sediari pontifici...


The sediari pontifici trace their roots back hundreds of years. The one I met, Maurizio, explaind to me that his father as well as grandfather, etc. were all sediari, too. Some still live in the same Romean neighborhood, near the Venerable English College. They even have their own street named after them, the Via dei Sediari.

Eternal Rome: the sediari pontifici...


Today there are twenty-three of them left working in the Vatican. God bless the sediari for their service at the throne of Sanctvs Petrvs!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BENEDICTVS PP. XVI


As we witness the downturn of the sixties thrust we are now seeing a revival of many things Catholic and here is an example.
Here we see a splendid rendition of the arms of our new German Pope from the hands of our Italo-American friend, MB. Unique in that we see here an early version of the tiara (this is not a mitre).
Some have suggested it would have been more appropriate to have gone back to this version instead of just doing away with the tiara all together in the spirit of the age.

BENEDICTVS PP. XVI


Lots have been asking for this and so here it is, now gloriously reigning! Save it for your pc screen saver, parish bulletin, web site or whatever.
Our dear Italo-American friend, MB made it. He's an artist and drew the inside, while the rest is from, as I recall, a seventeenth century pen and ink arms rendition.

Friday, March 21, 2008

FSSP Good Friday in Rome...


From Santissima Trinita' dei Pellegrini...

FSSP Good Friday in Rome...


Here on the dalmatic we can see the arms which read: S.P.Q.R.

FSSP Good Friday in Rome...


On the printed schedule of the Triddum rites the FSSP had this nice coat-of-arms.

Rome veils...


Here's a sample of a few antique veils used to cover crosses in church during the last two weeks of Lent. They're faded, but one can still get an idea of what they look like so as to reproduce them.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wikipedia...

Is there some kind Christian with the time or interest to put some of these photos on Wikipedia? I just don't have the time or energy to post any of them there.

I, JPSonnen, took all these photos myself and I give permission for them to be used in any way on the internet.

Thanks for doing this.

The custom of different missals...


The custom of the moiré fascia...


The custom of the train...


The custom of the starched cotta...


The custom of the simple mitre...


The custom of clergy shoes...


Buckled shoes can be purchased at Ditta A. Gammarelli on the Via Santa Chiara, 34 for about 200 euro (or so I was told).

The custom of the clergy hat...


The custom of palms...


The custom of the tonsure...


The custom of the folded chasuble...


In Rome there are two types of folded chasuble in which I've seen. There is this one where it has clearly been cut by the tailor as it was being created and then the other where it is actually folded up in the front and buttoned on the inside.
This is custom...
From Fortescue and O'Connell:
"On certain days the deacon and subdeacon do not wear the dalmatic and tunicle. Instead of these, in greater churches, they wear folded chasubles. The chasubles are now generally folded up in front about half-way and so fixed."

The custom of the moiré fascia...


The custom of veiling our images for two weeks...



We do this because it is our custom and not because we think it can or should be done only if there is a written law which requires it to be done.

We also kneel when we recieve Holy Communion because it is our custom and not because we think it can or should be done only if there is a written law which requires it to be done.

Etc.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The customs of our rites...


Liturgical custom is a great joy.
Some things are done in the liturgy because of "custom" (ex consuetudine...) or "traditional usage" (ex instituto). As any Thomist knows, strict legalism is not Catholic. So the Catholic liturgical reach includes ex more (that which is habitually/acording to custom) because consuetudo pro lege servatur (custom is held as law).
Here are some Rome lines that reflect liturgical custom:
Mos majorum (ancestral custom), nil consuetudine majus (nothing is greater than custom), ad usum (according to custom), mores (customary usages/unwritten usages), mos pro lege (usage has the force of law).

Catholic knighthood and the like...


"A knight there was, and that a worthy man,
That from the time that he first began
To ridden out, he loved chivalry,
Truth, honor, freedom and courtesy.
And though that he was worthy, he was wise,
And of his port as meek as is a maid.
He never yet no villainy had said
In all his life, unto no manner wight.
He was a very parfit gentle knight."
Chaucer: Canterbury Tales: Prologue (14th cent.).

Catholic knighthood and the like...


Catholic knighthood and the like...


"Ah, see the fair chivalry come, the companions of Christ!
White horsemen, who ride on white horses, the knights of God!
They, for their Lord and their Lover who sacrificed
All, save the sweetness of treading where He first trod!"
Lionel Johnson: Te Martyrum Candidatus (19th cent.).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday in Rome...

The FSSP notice all the details and just do darn good work. Support them today so as to increase their reach:
http://www.fssp.org/ .

Palm Sunday in Rome...


Outdoor Palm Sunday processions are always a treat.

Palm Sunday in Rome...


Palm Sunday in Rome...


A great experience to hear the Passio chanted in Latin by ordained clerics.

Palm Sunday in Rome...


In Rome olive branches are usually used rather than palms.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Rome FSSP Holy Week Schedule 2008



Everybody has been asking for the FSSP Rome Triduum schedule so here it is for a.D. MMVIII:

Palm Sunday:

9 a.m. at San Gregorio dei Muratori.

Maundy Thursday:

6:30 p.m. at Santissima Trinita' dei Pellegrini.

Good Friday:

6:30 p.m. at Santissima Trinita' dei Pellegrini.

Holy Saturday:

10:30 p.m. at Santissima Trinita' dei Pellegrini.

Easter Sunday:

9:00 a.m. at San Gregorio dei Muratori.

N.B. This schedule in Italian and English can be seen here: http://www.fsspinurbe.blogspot.com/

Carmelite vestments in Rome...


See these great Carmeites here and support them with your generosity:

Carmelite vestments in Rome...


The good old Ordo fratrum Beatæ Virginis Mariæ de monte Carmelo!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Stational Mass at San Nicola...


On Saturday, March 8, Archbishop Luigi De Magistris sang Pontifical Mass in the Classical Rite at the Roman Basilica of San Nicola in Carcere.
The Mass was well attended and began with an outdoor procession of clergy and faithful with banners and the chanting of the Litany of Saints.

Stational Mass at San Nicola...



Great to see vestments from the reign of Pius IX still being used.