14 January 2011

Something very wrong, or very right?

One of the more positive ‘signs of the times’ is the increasing number of diocesan bishops who are celebrating pontifical Mass at the throne in the old rite. Yesterday the New Liturgical Movement reported that His Excellency, The Most Reverend Glen John Provost, Bishop of Lake Charles, did just that on Sunday December 26th in his Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, assisted by his own clergy and seminarians. Seems like there's lots of good things happening down in Louisiana nowadays.

Bishop Provost is a fine successor of the apostles, and it's really great to see ordinary diocesan clergy doing this and reminding us that the old rites aren't copyright to some traddy group or other.
The pictures on his diocesan website show that a lot of care was taken to get everything right. The ceremony looks beautiful and they even remembered that a bishop doesn’t use altar cards. The Pimpernel is impressed.
But the Pimpernel’s interest has been piqued by this photograph of His Excellency leaving his Cathedral.

Either somebody got something very wrong, or very right. No, it’s not that they're all wearing the white of the 1962 calendar’s Sunday within the Octave of Christmas and not the red of Saint Stephen from obsolete calendars, and no, it’s not that they didn’t unvest in the sanctuary – they're allowed to do that in the sacristy. It’s something else. Suggestions in a comment please.


  1. Is the Bishop supposed to be wearing gauntlets? I thought they were only worn for the Mass of the Catechumens...but it's been a while since I've ministered at a Pontifical Mass.

  2. It's unclear from the picture, but has His Lordship removed the maniple before leaving the Sanctuary? Comparing this photograph with that of the blessing suggests to me that this may be the case.

  3. Indeed, the gloves are not worn after the offertory. There is one exception, however. If, by indult, the papal blessing is given after the Mass, the bishop assumes the gloves to do this. Perhaps this was the case, but it seems unlikely.

  4. I noticed the pontifical gloves. It was always the tradition that when the gloves were removed at the Offertory they stayed off. Only the Pope was allowed to resume the gloves at the end of Mass.

  5. The wreaths are up, so it's Christmas until Candlemas day.

  6. The sub-deacon is wearing the Tunicle over a cassock and cotta instead of an alb. Can't tell if the bishop is wearing Dalmatic and Tunicle under the chasuble...

  7. The cleric in cassock, cotta, and dalmatic is one of the assistant-Deacons at the throne - the other pictures show the Deacon and sub-Deacon of the Mass wearing albs. They also show that the Bishop is wearing the pontifical dalmatic - it's not clear whether the pontifical tunicle as well, but given the accuracy elsewhere I would guess that he did.

    Given the very wrong or very right - did the Bishop give the apostolic blessing? If memory serves me right he may do so at the end of Mass on a few occasions each year, and if he did so would remove the maniple and put the gloves back on before bestowing it.

  8. On balance, folks, the Pimpernel thinks that they got it all very right, that is if the bishop did give the Papal blessing after Mass.

    Can anyone confirm that?

    If so, how impressive in 2011. Well done Bishop Provost and team. Do you do seminars?