Pontifical Mass at Assumption Grotto

Getting ready in the sacristy.

Another brick for building the New Evangelization.






























About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Too cool! One detail I found interesting was the humeral veils on the altar boys who handled the crozier and the miter. That is something I’ve never seen before. Of course, our bishop uses a crozier that looks like something out of an eighth-grade Christmas play.

    We need to get back to (a) having special things look special, and (b) treating them accordingly.

  2. acardnal says:

    Beautiful – both spiritually and materially. Wish I could have been there. Must have been a most solemn and reverential worship experience that transported one to the heavens!

  3. JacobWall says:

    Yes, very beautiful!

  4. Liz says:

    Very neat pictures. I love the one with the blessing of the little altar boy. He is the bishop that recently ordained the (transitional) deacon that just baptized our new little one. :)

  5. irishthree says:

    I was fortunate enough to attend today, very reverent and moving. The orchestra helped too! Had hoped to head over to the gym for spaghetti but had to get home…sick kids… It’s was the first Pontifical High Mass for me and very cool. Grotto is also a gem and I’m blessed to live so close to such a church.

  6. amsjj1002 says:

    Beautiful and reverent, I’ll take this memory with me to church!

    Do we know if those items were hand-made? I’m OK with a needle, but not that nice!

  7. Trinitarian Dad says:

    My wife and I were blessed to be there too!

  8. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    Father Z – so glad you got those pics in the sacristy and from the sanctuary!

    I will have my photos up, hopefully tomorrow. I finally got my power back, but have some catching up to do.

  9. Spaniard says:

    Beautiful photos.

    Does anyone have a link to instructions for altar servers at a EF Solemn Mass? I´d be glad if you could post it.

  10. truthfinder says:

    Lovely pictures.

    @Miss Moore – these veils are called vimpla and are specially used for those servers who handle the crozier and mitre. I have seen them used by two separate archbishops in my former archdiocese in the OF, so they might very slowly be making a comeback. Someone can confirm this, but I once heard from a priest that technically the vimpla-wearers (vimplae??) are “invisible” and if necessary could even sit in the presider’s chair. Someone will know for sure.

  11. lizaanne says:

    It was such a wonderful blessing to have experienced this entire weekend. The Mass was spectacular!

    Thank you, Fr. Z, for coming to our humble little parish in “the D”. It was a pleasure to see you again.

  12. teomatteo says:

    The music will not be forgotten. Heavenly.

  13. AAJD says:

    Vesting of a hierarch at the start of liturgy is one of the most beautiful parts of the Byzantine tradition. I’m glad to see its return in the Latin tradition. Let us have more of this!

  14. Lucy C says:

    My husband and I went to the conference on Saturday, and then the Holy Mass at Grotto on Sunday. What an experience! It was truly a blessing to have been there.

  15. relee54 says:

    The whole weekend was most exceptional. All very powerful speakers at the Call to Holiness Symposium. A most inspirational after dinner talk last night by Father Z on how to make your own year of faith a rich and rewarding one. An awe inspiring, breathtaking liturgy today with exceptional music from Fr. Perrone and the Grotto choir and DSO musicians. An outstanding sermon by Bishop Sample. All in all, the only way the weekend could have been better would have been if Father Z had the time to sneak in a blognik with his many Detroit supporters!

  16. Hey everyone, just curious. Can anyone explain the last two pictures as to the Bishop blessing the kneeing boy? What is the bishop doing generally? What is the bishop blessing specifically? Is he blessing a boy to “handle” sacredly an object that normal lay ministers/people CANNOT touch else they are sacrilegious? (e.g. crozier, Mitre>?). I’d love an explanation please.

  17. acardnal says:

    Looks to me like he is blessing a rosary held in the server’s hand and then blesses the server himself as he kneels. Just my guess.


  18. Clinton R. says:

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos, Father. Our Catholic Faith is so beautiful, more beautiful than anything this side of Heaven. May the TLM be restored as the ordinary rite of the Mass. +JMJ+

  19. ghp95134 says:

    Who did the embroidery on the pillow and pall? Fabulous depiction of living heraldic art.

    –Guy Power

  20. MattH says:

    On the close-up of the cassock, I think I see the neck decoration for the Order of Malta, the Pilgrim’s Shell of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Star of the Constantinian Order. Anyone know if I have that right?

  21. Gulielmus says:

    In pre- and just-post-Vatican II Washington, I was an altar boy at the cathedral who frequently wore the veil to carry mitre or crozier– but hadn’t ever heard the term for it. One thing that was always the case was that the two boys thus assigned came last in the procession, following the bishop/archbishop/cardinal. We never sat on the throne, however!

  22. TanyaRichelle says:

    The pictures are fantastic.
    I am giving out the link tomorrow at the RCIA meeting so that those who haven’t been to your site can do so. I had forgotten where you where located til I saw the Liturgy of the Eucharist being performed. You are so blessed to still have the ‘old ways’. I have been trying to teach myself Ecclesiatical Latin for sometime now- it’s very hard, but not impossible- because I hope to one day go to Roman. I had also wanted to be able to follow along better at a Traditional Mass at my new church one day- that I figured would happen before I’d got to Rome- yet after my talk with the priest last week Rome will most surely happen first. Here is why you are blessed Father.
    At RCIA last Tuesday, the topic of the Year of Faith was brought up and how we could go about celebrating it-things were tossed around and I ask Father if maybe a Traditional Sunday would be okay. First, let me say that after the look father gave me I swore I’d never go back, because he looked at me as if was satan himself. He then told me that the only reason people want the ‘old way’ is because of feelings of nostalgia- I hadn’t thought I seeing I was born in the late 60’s. I asked if we could anyway, here are his words- no one wants to bring up things from the past, they are better left where they are, especially when things are so much better the way they are. and once more he gave me the look.
    I actually wasn’t going to go back to that church, and thought about writing Pope Benedict for help as to how I should deal with one of his men, but figured he was to busy. But seeing those pictures changed my mind- now I think I’ll take my laptop and show everyone the pictures right under his nose. It may be with an attitude that I say this, but not a bad attitude- I lost respect for him- and showing those pictures to the new rcia group is actually feeling like the right thing, as I don’t think their priest would ever show them something he seems so set against-then I won’t go back. I just cannot go to a church with a priest I don’t respect.

  23. Andy Milam says:

    For those who are asking the questions about the “humeral veils,” the altar boys are wearing, they are not humeral veils. They are called vimpae. Vimpa in the singular. They are specifically used so that the mitre and the crozier are not directly touched by the boy.

    In my earlier days, I served many a pontifical Mass while living at St. Agnes in St. Paul. We had so many prelates celebrate pontifical Mass that Mons. Schuler had his own set commissioned for the parish, in the late 1980s (Fr. Z should be able to confirm the timeframe, more or less).

    I wish that more bishops would insist upon their use. I wish that more priests would support their use. They are important visual cue as to the sacral nature of the bishop and his accoutrement.

  24. acardnal says:

    Andy Milam: I think truthfinder above answered that.

  25. Brendann says:

    Thank you for being at the conference Father, it was truely a blessing.

  26. Brendann says:

    Andy, I have seen vimpas used in Tanzania as well.

    Our parish has a ‘sister’ parish in Kagongwa, Tanzania. We have been funding the construction of a new parish church, rectory, convent, school, village well and medical dispensary.

    The pic below was taken in our 2010 visit, when the local bishop celebrating a welcome Mass for us.


    The picture shows the altar boys with our pastor. The Church itself was completed last Oct, and I had the privilege of being present for the parish Consecration Mass ( with rivals the Pontifical High Mass for rubrical compexity :) )

  27. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    Here is my photo post with pics taken mostly from the balcony…


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