Friday, 5 April 2013

Some Paschal Octave musings

The blogger The Rad Trad has made some interesting comments here of late. I would urge readers to view some of the recent posts on his own blog. In particular I would draw readers' attention to Palm Sunday: An Excercise in Ignorance; Good Friday: Mass of the Pre-Sanctified and Holy Saturday: Anticipation. The Rad Trad has collated numerous photographs of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest from a decade or so ago when it was more interested in liturgical orthopraxis - well worth a look. The Rad Trad's image at the head of his post on Holy Saturday shews the scene in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, in the rotunda around the Aedicule - the structure that houses the Tomb of Christ. Every NOON on Holy Saturday, to this day, fire is miraculously produced within the Aedicule that is distributed to the faithful and flown to various destinations across the globe.

In one of his comments on this blog The Rad Trad mentions the peculiar practices of using 'saints' relics as a bookstand' and 'worshipping the Paschal Candle'. For the benefit of readers not familiar with some of the horrors of the committee-work fabrications of the 1950s here are some useful diagrams.

Above is a photograph from J.B. O'Connell's 'The Ceremonies of Holy Week', Burns Oates, 1957 (Third edition). This shews the simplex form of the novel 'Vigil' with the Paschal Candle on its 'temporary' stand in the middle of choir. Here it is censed, with the celebrant/deacon going around it, sung to and, in the diagram, has the blessing of waters done versus populum on a table in front of it.

As to relics of the Saint's being used as a book stand a diagram from the same work illustrates this perfectly (below):

The book is bang in the centre of the altar, the bottom of its pages parallel with the edge of the mensa. When in the history of the Roman liturgy did this ever happen? The worst of false archaeology and committee work, inorganic , fabrication in praxis. On the other hand, thank God old Pius XII didn't mandate the celebrant sitting on the relics of the Saints, only a book. If you doubt me good readers, it has happened:

Let us hope the chap sitting on the mensa used wet-wipes otherwise the sacristans might have had a most unpleasant task laundering the altar cloths.


The Rad Trad said...

Thank you for your kind comments, Rubricarius.

If I may, would you be able to identify an odd (French?) vestment? I saw this some time ago when reading about Abbé Michel's saga in Thiberville. I saw many images of male parishioners wearing these vestments that appear to be giant Roman maniples, though worn as stoles:

Thank you again for your remarks and the reference to my own humble blog!

Rubricarius said...

Rad Trad,

You are most welcome.

I think the ceremonial sash is called something like charitere. It is worn by members of charitable guilds. Someone I corresponded with twenty-odd years ago, the late Fr. Quentin Montgommery-Wright, had lots of men wearing those at his parish for major functions. (He also had tunicled acolytes and cantors in copes but that is another point).

Anonymous said...

In response to Rad Trad, and having looked at the link to the photo, the laymen in the photo are generally called 'charitons'. These Confraternity of Charity are mainly present in Paris, the north of France, and Normandy. Their role is mainly to volunteer to assist with funerals or funeral processions. The members wear these sort of richly embroidered 'scarves' and they usually have a corresponding banner -- have a look at:érie_de_charité
Fr. Durham

Rubricarius said...

Thank you Fr. Durham. I thought it was something like that.

The Rad Trad said...

Fr Durham, thank you.