9 April 2011

Pontifical Mass

The Bishops of France, April 2011


  1. Eastward facing? Benedictine altar arrangement? What more do you want? ;)

  2. So there really is a shortage of chasubles in France!

  3. Does anybody with an ounce (or in this case mL) of fashion sense think a bald fat man in polyester looks good? For crying out loud--this is France, the fashion capital of the world! They should at least have sleek designer chasubles.

  4. Funny. I thought it looked like a Star Trek convention, until I realized nobody would go in half-costume to one of those events...

  5. This is at Lourdes. They actually have a Basilica and chapels there to celebrate mass in. Perhaps, mass in a Conference room is more pastoral: The fat old Bishops can't be bothered to walk to Church.

  6. Meanwhile, the évêques of Écône gleefully tally up the increasing number of Frenchmen that hear Mass weekly in their chapels ...

  7. Not to become too alarmed, but this kind of trendy stuff goes on all over Europe. The French just happen to be in the vanguard of it and you'll never know what liturgical practices you'll run into at a French parish, or in a church in one of France's former possessions. Quebec province has them by the hundreds today.

    Italy, outside of Rome, has them too, but I think France deserves the prize for the most "creative" liturgies. One never knows who or what the celebrant is giving public worship to. It is much like going to church only to find you're in the midst of a surprise party.

    University chapels, parishes which play to the "arty set", or the avant guarde small parishes the length and breadth of Europe and South America have a lot of these homey and folksy little liturgies like this all the time They've been having them for over 40 years. I well recall going to several myself before Vatican II ended in 1969.

    Welcome to Calvinist Catholicism, once practiced in the underground, but when you can get the entire French hierarchy to embrace it, you've really got something. Looks as if these bishops may have converted to the Huguenot church themselves sometime ago. Note, no miters. Amazing they even thought to put a chasuable on the celebrant.

    This is now all the rage in Benedict's church as Catholics in America leave the Faith in droves, the Germans are leaving by the thousands, and the Belgians and Austrians right behind them. Whoever said the next Reformation is a figment of one's imagination?

  8. Glad to see the bishops wearing the alb and stole. That has become, to an increasing degree, the choir dress of bishops throughout Europe and in much of Latin America too. No sense confronting them with the GIRM and the other church rule books, they give not "an oyster" for either the cloister, or the regulations.

    When the pope is around they wear the lace rochet with the purple mozetta, but when he gets back on the plane and returns to Rome, the bishops often revert to wearing just a purple stole, the alb, and pectoral cross--no birettas and no miters.

    When the cat's away, the bishops play.

  9. "before Vatican II ended in 1969"


  10. Was this a public or private Mass? If it were private (for the gathering of the French bishops), is it not similar to the Pope's daily concelebrated private Mass? His Holiness doesn't wear a miter, nor does he have assisting deacons or any of the other features of a pontifical Mass.

    The oval altar may be an unusual, and the cassock-albs a little cheap-looking, but there is nothing too wacky or crazy about the set up (nor anything illicit).

    If this is a private Mass at a conference centre for a bishops' meeting, it might actually be more diginified than pesimists might have expected.

  11. sortacatholic said...

    Meanwhile, the évêques of Écône gleefully tally up the increasing number of Frenchmen that hear Mass weekly in their chapels ...
    That's right. Whoever said the old Vichy French were nowhere to be found today.