Of the dropping of rose petals

Some years ago I posted photos of the Roman firefighters on top of the Pantheon (I shot them from my apartment’s window) as they prepared to drop rose petals through the oculus on Pentecost. HERE It’s a great custom.

I received a note from one of the guys at St. John Cantius in Chicago. Not to be outdone by the gang at the Pantheon…

And go look at the great photos of people reacting to the rose petals!  HERE

A Shower of Rose Petals

I wonder if they will drop white rose petals on 5 August.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    How very gracious and beautiful!

  2. In the picture, study closely the faces of the little girl and boy. How often is Rudolph Otto’s “awe and wonder” at the Holy (tremendum et facinans) visible on the face of young congregants? When it came to evanglizing young people through the Mass, Bugnini threw away the baby with the bathwater.

  3. SaintJude6 says:

    The picture of the baby covered with rose petals brought tears of joy to my eyes. So beautiful.

  4. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Smells and rustling petals. How amazingly gorgeous.

  5. Giuseppe says:

    That would never happen in a NO mass without an announcement by the mistress of ceremonies asking all who have allergies or potential allergies to take cover.

  6. LA says:


    In the above picture, one can see what a “tongue of fire” on someone’s head would look like.

  7. Kathleen10 says:

    Oh I just love the photos! To see a little wonder and amazement on the faces of people, the children! The beautiful children seeing something lovely and to them, magical. Adults and children alike, we all could use some consolation and something lovely these difficult days. It must have been sheer bliss. Even the still shots are so moving.

  8. Nat says:

    Our family started celebrating Pentecost with an actual feast a few years ago with 13 candles (12 Apostles, 1 for the Blessed Mother)….12 fruit salad, 3 roasted birds, red table cloth, relatives are invited…the whole package, in order for our kids to truly feel like this feast is on par with Christmas and Easter in a tangible way. Because of this, my kids know exactly where Pentecost is on the calendar. We need to bring these things back, too!!! When did celebrating Pentecost in families and homes disappear?

  9. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Giuseppe – I’m sure they made a bulletin announcement. And I’m sure that allergic people can scoot.

    I had a rose/geraniol allergy pretty bad for a few years, although it’s faded to nothing now. (Having it pass runs in my family, too.) One day I got super-sick from the smell of real rose-scented incense. But it was my own fault for not vamoosing. (We were visiting from a choral workshop and singing in choir at that Mass, and my work ethic overwhelmed my good sense. Also some of my family was sitting on the other side, and I didn’t want to worry them. Of course, I ended up worrying them more! Heh!)

    Oh, well. If your throat doesn’t close up and it’s not life-threatening, you learn something from it. You learn to make your problems not be other people’s problems, by noticing faster! :)

  10. Pingback: Evangelizing young people: The power of liturgical signs and symbols… | The American CatholicThe American Catholic

  11. KateD says:

    In San Francisco, at the Mission Delores Basilica, I believe they still drop rose petals for the Las Mananitas (early morning) Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12). Some protestant friends…descended from one of the original Spanish-Catholic families to arrive in California…attend this Mass each year and told me about it. It must be absolutely gorgeous to bring them back into the Church for the day! We hope to make it to this Mass in December.

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