What a cleric sees

… during Mass.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. arrin says:

    Notice the Jewish star of David in the lace and St. Andrews crosses.

  2. Nicko Acks says:

    Nice lace, but it would be nice for a better explanation for those less informed :-P

  3. I saw the Star of David immediately as well. Wonderful!

    Archeology is not my forte, but, as far as I remember, the first usage of the Star of David, with a round ball in the middle of it, is to be found along the remains of the Synagogue next to Simon Peter’s house, where our Lord preached and worked miracles for those who built the synagogue.

    Jesus is the Son of David, a title of faith accepted by our Lord, for He is the Son of David.

    That’s what this cleric sees!

  4. Claire Traas says:

    I can see everyone’s bald spot from the choir loft.

    Not like that’s what I focus on in my contemplation during the Mass or anything, but I’d assume most clerics have better things to ponder than geometric lace patterns as well.

  5. Father Bartoloma says:

    When I say Mass ad orientem I see the Crucifix for most of the Mass. When I say Mass versus populum I see the exit sign over the main doors of the church for most of the Mass. Personally, I find the crucifix more inspiring.

  6. elliot says:

    lighten up…I think Father was going for a little levity.

  7. Fr. Christensen says:

    Is there a stain on that lace?

  8. joy says:

    Is this cleric kneeling behind another cleric or altar boy? (you know, if you aren’t in the front of the pack, the view never changes…)

  9. inillotempore says:

    Is this an altar linen ? Most I have seen in over 30 years as an altar server are plain cloth.

    I’ve seen some lace ciborium covers and even surplices, but this picture really has me stumped.

  10. William of the Old says:

    If you don’t try and just let your imagination take over, the pattern takes on the appearance of, figures of…………people (souls?) At least to me they do.

  11. Bridget says:

    Does that mean he does NOT see my children squirming in the pew? I hope.

  12. variously curious says:

    You look at your sleeves all Mass-long?

  13. Jim says:

    Lace mantilla on extraordinary ministrix of the Holy Eucharist?

  14. Joanne says:

    “When I say Mass versus populum I see the exit sign over the main doors of the church for most of the Mass.”

    Just curious – do you not put a standing crucifix on the altar? The pastor at the church I attend puts a large crucifix on the altar when he offers the Ordinary Form Mass. Two summers ago, there was a visiting priest at the parish. I usually saw this particular priest in khakis and a button down shirt outside of the Mass, seldom in clerics. At any rate, one morning, the visiting priest came in to the church to offer the Mass and whipped the standing crucifix off the altar. He placed it on a side table. Not trying to be overwrought, but I almost felt like I felt it physically when he yanked the crucifix off the altar. What a bizarre thing to do.

  15. Roland de Chanson says:

    Patterns of course are in the eye of the beholder. If there are stars of David in the lace, they either overlap or are joined by extraneous bits of lace. The ambiguous nature of this symbol, namely its ancient Jewish origin, and its distinct though related provenance in Freemasonry, argues against the propriety of its incorporation into a Roman Catholic alb, the vestment which symbolizes not only the purity of the priest who wears it, but the purity of the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. The one represents an incomplete and superceded theology, as revealed by the life, death and resurrection of Christ; the other an inimical and amorphous deism which has infected the Church, il fumo di Satana entrato nel tempio di Dio as Papa Montini rued.

    I see another pattern: a reticulation of equilateral triangles joined at their apices. The meaning of the pattern is this: the triangles are the coequal hypostaseis of the Trinity. The upper triangle represents the Trinitarian formula ex Patre Filioque, the Holy Spirit proceeding from both Father and Son, represented as the upper two vertices. The bottom triangle represents the Father at the apex with the Son and Holy Spirit at the lower vertices. This is the formula ex Patre. But this latter is doubtful for there is confusion between begetting and proceeding.

    The first formula is the Roman Catholic modification of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed; the second is the Eastern Orthodox preservation of the original wording. Dogma develops naturally in response to challenges either to objective Truth itself or to the perfection of the expression of the Truth. That the Roman Catholic triangle surmounts the Eastern Orthodox is a symbol of the ascendancy of the completeness of the Perfect Truth in the Roman Church over the inchoate truth of Orthodox theology. The union of the triangles expresses the hope for the reunion of the Latin and Greek churches, the First Rome regnant, the Second Rome coadjutant: Petrus victurus.

  16. Ohio Annie says:

    Claire, That’s not a bald spot, that’s a tonsure. 8-)

  17. Sorry, Claire. I was distracted… but with good things! Yeah!

    Actually, I was hoping that someone with a little acheology could help me out with my distraction detailed above.

  18. Brian says:

    “When I say Mass ad orientem I see the Crucifix for most of the Mass. When I say Mass versus populum I see the exit sign over the main doors of the church for most of the Mass. Personally, I find the crucifix more inspiring.”
    LOL, if I were a priest I would have to agreee. (Although I would recommend the “Benedictine” altar arrangement for versus populum, with the crucifix at the centre of the altar with the corpus facing the priest during Mass.)

  19. dcs says:

    this picture really has me stumped.

    It looks like the bottom of Fr.’s alb.

  20. Claire Traas says:

    I wish they were tonsures :) never seen someone with a tonsure in person.

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