Monday, 5 April 2010

Getting it rite II

An unexpected highlight of the Triduum came not from the exhausting, though highly rewarding, round of services but from a perusal of the Internet after checking emails.

The photograph above is from a celebration of the authentic Roman rite for Good Friday in 1959 and shows Pope John XXIII venerating the Cross as it lies on a veil, upon a cushion, on the altar steps. Carlos Antonio Palad has written a characteristically interesting post on the Rorate Caeli blog describing how John XXIII celebrated the traditional rite for Good Friday in 1959, three years after it was supressed. Of course there were a significant number of other clergy who quietly ignored the novelties emanating from Rome at the time but for the pope to celebrate thus just a few months after his predecessor's death...

Back to these shores and some photographs, below, of another, almost, traditional celebration from the church of St. Magnus the Martyr, London via the Ex Fide blog.

The Cross laid out for veneration (c.f. with above). From earlier in the same service a photograph of a set of newly-made black planetis plicatis.

(Note that the single altar cloth should have been folded longitudinally so that it only covered the back of the mensa at that point in the service, but an excellent effort nonetheless.)

I may be wrong but I believe the last time black folded chasubles were used in this Realm was by the SSPX, in the days when they used the traditional rite, back in 1983 at their, then, newly acquired chapel in North London. The MC of that celebration later recounted to Rubricarius an amusing anecdote. The late Fr. Michael Crowdy was one of the sacred ministers. At the vesting press he paused in some astonishment on seeing the black folded chasuble laid out before him. Eventually he stammered "At the Oratory [Fr. Crowdy was a member of the Congregation of the London Oratory] we had a set of folded chasubles that were most singular in their ornamentation yet I see an almost identical vestment before me." After more of the same the celebrant, not known for his patience, snapped "For Heaven's sake! They are from the Oratory. Now put it on.."


Anonymous said...

I also remember Fr Crowdy at Highclere celebrating the (NEW) old rite of Holy Saturday,(probably 1987 ??)in the afternoon. Most things had been ill (non)prepared and at last someone found a box of candles for the laity.These were handed around,mostly stubs of old candles including a number of Unbleached ones, one of which was given to Miss Penelope Reynold who eyed it with silent disgust. That very dear priest also shocked people by reading a selection of Prophecies in English. Later I remember Fr Crowdy disappearing to bring in the Blessed Sacrament but in confusion had mistaken a Tabernacle Veil for a humeral veil and thus it was that I saw - for the first time- a priest wearing a tabernacle veil. A Joyful and happy Easter to you.
Alan Robinson

Rubricarius said...

Dear Miss Reynold...

Fr. Crowdy was not, by any stretch of imagination, liturgically minded but I had not heard the story about him wearing a tabernacle veil, thank you for sharing it.

A very happy Easter to you and your family too.

Antonio said...

Do we know if the photo of John XXIII is of him actually celebrating the pre-55 Good Friday or just him incorporating a rubric into what is essentially the Pius XII/Bugnini Holy Week?

I hear John XXIII once did not take kindly to a cardinal acrh-deacon who used the old Good Friday prayer for the Jews and interuppted the ceremony to make him repeat it again. So much for ignoring novelties from Rome.

Rubricarius said...


Well perhaps one should have written 'appearing to celebrate' in the absence of further photographs or reliable testimonies.

As to ignoring novelties it is always a sensible course of action.