A beautiful mountain of violet silk

A great deal of interest has been expressed in a DVD of the Pontifical Mass celebrated on 24 April in Washington, DC for the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s pontificate.

As far as I know, this project is going ahead.  The organizers of the Mass, The Paulus Institute, have this firmly in their sights.

One of the things they hope to accomplish soon is make available high quality photos from the Mass itself and from behind the scenes.

Here is a sample sent to me by one of the organizers.

I find this shot particularly interesting in light of this.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. How did Saturday’s “solemn high pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form” bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced?…by lifting us up with our senses, by dignity, by reverence, by beauty.

  2. AnAmericanMother says:

    “All this time this song is best:
    ‘Verbum caro factum est.'”

  3. wanda says:

    Beautiful, goosebumps upon seeing this stunning image. Almost like a priest/bishop bending over the altar in veneration.

  4. AnAmericanMother says:

    Heather, I was alive for the event. I was a child of ten when my parents marched at Selma.

    With that said, I think it’s a bad idea to jump uncritically onto the MLK bandwagon. He had some very, very serious flaws and he was not the saint he is now made out to be. (Aside: at the last Diocesan Choral Festival I attended as an Episcopalian, we had to sing an anthem: “Holy Martin, Blessed Martyr”. Reason No. 4985 why I left that nest of loons.) King’s goal was laudatory but some of his tactics were reprehensible.

    The difference between the Catholic bishops in the South who were anxious about the confrontational approach to desegregation and the lukewarm Catholics on abortion today is fundamental: the Catholic bishops in the South actually took many concrete steps towards desegregation. They had the goal of desegregation; they simply disagreed about the best way to get there.

    I am afraid that far too many people who call themselves Catholics have no intention of doing anything about abortion and are perfectly o.k. with it. And a gradual approach to desegregation was far more defensible than such an approach to abortion. If segregation had resulted in the immediate death of 100% of the people upon whom it was practiced, it would have been a much more urgent issue.

    But the comparison is a good rhetorical device to attempt to get the folks over at America to look in the mirror, therefore I think it’s a great idea.

  5. AnAmericanMother says:

    Yikes, wrong thread. How did that happen? Sorry.

  6. irishgirl says:

    That is a stunning photograph!

    If this is a ‘sneak preview’ of what the Paulus Institute has in mind for the DVD, then I can’t wait to see it!

  7. Alohajoe5 says:

    May I ask, what exactly am I looking at? I’m having a hard time distinguishing the object draped on the Altar.

  8. Irish says:

    Father, does the cappa magna represent the blood the bishop is willing to shed on behalf of his flock and the faith? That’s what I thought of when I saw it.

  9. The red that cardinal’s wear is symbolic of a willingness to shed their blood for the faith and faithful. Remember that purple wasn’t originally worn by bishops. It was appropriated by them from the papal court (who wore purple livery because they were in the service of a pope who was also, at that time a king as well). Originally bishops wore GREEN. That’s why to this day the gat and tassels on their coats of arms are green. This is fun to keep in mind when someone tries to say that they find it silly that “monsignors dress like bishops”. Actually, the monsignori who are members of the papal household were wearing purple long before bishops were so it’s actually the bishops who decided to dress like monsignors!

  10. Meant to write Hat and tassels on their coats of arms…

  11. Thomas S says:

    Fr. Sylvester,

    When did the change from green to purple occur? And is it possible for a bishop to lawfully wear green today?

  12. Irish says:

    Fr. Selvester,
    Gat and tassels made me laugh. It reminded me of a time I was describing the good priests of the Institute of Christ the King to a younger cousin who only knew VCII. I described how one of the priests walked around the church carrying biretta, but he heard Berreta!

  13. jorgens says:

    I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and elevated: and his train filled the temple.

Comments are closed.