24 January 2011

Is there room for improvement here?

Well, the the efforts of the Archbishop of Saragossa and his team may have been capable of improvement, but the Pimpernel thinks that they are in a different league entirely to the liturgical arrangements for the recent blessing of the new Cistercian Abbot of the Abbey of Mont des Cats all the way over there in France by the Archbishop of Lille.

The Bishop of Arras, the Abbot, the Archbishop, the Auxiliary Bishop of Lille
Hey, what a crozier that Abbot has. He didn't get a mitre. The vestments are...just the ticket. There is a real feast of photographs from the celebration. They might even provide one or two suggestions for 'improvement'. Enjoy.

Oh, if you're interested, there's a picture of the Abbey church in former days here. Progress? Renewal? Continuity? Rupture? Discuss.


  1. Can anyone explain why several of these clerics are wearing their stoles ON TOP of their chasubles? Like the French tendency toward the asymmetrical placing of altar candles it looks - in my opinion- utterly barmy.

  2. Wreckovation.

    It is a table, not an altar. I wonder what Matthew Alderman would say??

    Does it inspire? Does it leave the worshiper with a sense of awe? Is God the central player?

    From the photographs, no, no, no.

  3. Wow, what a difference. It's quite sad, really. When I see priests and bishops wearing such ugly vestments I wonder if they a) know how ugly they are and b) could defend the modern vestments against the beautiful, traditional ones. I really would like to see someone put a priest or bishop on the spot and ask him to explain the thinking behind wearing modern vestments. I want to hear him justify modern vestments versus traditional ones. Take theology out of the equation for just a moment and think about this topic from an aesthetic perspective exclusively. Why would someone want to clothe himself in ugliness? There is a strange pathology involved here. The weird thing is that this is not just an American issue. It has infected liturgical vestment practices all over the world.

  4. I am from Minnesota. That is a hocky stick. I know. It was -14f when I got up.

    What impprovement. Is it the same buillding? Never has so much cloth been so abused.

  5. Oh. My. God.

    In reviewing the photos of the "abbatial blessing" it would seem that none of the abbots (ostensibly of his own congregation) are "mitered" abbots.

    But I'm undecided which Wows! me more - the hockey stick pastoral staff (alias "crosier") or the New Age "tabernacle" with the giant crystal leaping out of the top.

    I guess the monks of "Cat Mountain" are perpetually stuck in the 1970s. Well, at least they still wear traditional monastic habits.

  6. Pinheads or patriots? Pinheads for sure.

  7. In the pics of the ceremony there are several priests in wheelchairs. They are an adequate metaphor for this kind of liturgy: A crippled liturgy. I must admit that for the diocese of Lile this was rather a Catholic liturgy. My pastor who is originally from that diocese says that they practice another religion there: a human one.

  8. If these monks are Trapists, they have never used the abatial miter.

  9. Not so for all Trappists, anonymous 20:29

  10. It looks as if this archdiocese is completely immune from the Benedictine liturgical reforms.

  11. You can only respect the elderly priests. Could you imagine living through the liturgical upheaval and still staying within your community. Everything they professed to was completely changed. Perhaps I know myself too well, but if I had entered in the early '60s and then came to the '70s I would have hightailed it out of there.