D. Madison: Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool for Assumption of the Blessed Virgin

From yesterday’s Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool for the Feast of the Assumption at St. Mary’s in Pine Bluff, WI.  His Excellency Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino (aka the Extraordinary Ordinary) was the celebrant.  Most the seminarians of the diocese were there, either in liturgical roles in the sanctuary or in choro, some with their new birettas from the biretta project!

Confessions were heard during Mass.

People were asked to pray in a special way for an increase in vocations to the Holy Priesthood.








The bishop is incensed.





The Subdeacon, fulfilled by Msgr. Bartylla, Vicar General, heads to his place for the singing of the first reading.



Note that the Deacon and Assistant priest are in the act of putting on their birettas.




We had a traditional blessing of flowers and herbs, fruits and vegetables before Mass.  Flowers went to the main altar, St. Joseph and, of course, the Blessed Virgin.  Alas, people are so used to seeing flowers on the altar itself, they put the flowers on the mensa of the side altars rather than the gradins.



We have good congregational sung responses.  The choir did a fine job with De Victoria’s Missa Quarti Toni, Gregorian chant, and motets.

It was a beautiful Mass in honor of Our Blessed Mother, who, as daughter of her Son, always redirects our gaze back to the Lord, at whose side she is Queen of Heaven, Queen of the Clergy.


More photos are coming.






About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    The Tait!

  2. Phil says:

    Father, is your cassock not black? Why is that? Great pics, by the way.

    [I was the MC. Clerics who are MC for Pontifical Masses use the magenta or paonazza cassock.]

  3. Clinton R. says:

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. Thank you Father, for sharing these pics. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should reflect the Majesty of Our Lord and the glory of Heaven. This is quite evident in the pictures of the Mass. May God bless you Father, and may faithful men heed the Lord’s call to His Priesthood. +JMJ+

  4. Michelle F says:

    Fr. Z: Thank you for explaining the color of your cassock as MC of a pontifical Mass.

    In the 7th and 8th photos, Bishop Morlino has a cloth which looks like a corporal in his lap. What is it, and why does he have it? [That is called a “gremial”. It is often made of silk, though ours is not. It is laid upon the lap of the bishop when he is seated. Other times the gremial is used with when the bishop uses oils, as when confirming and ordaining. It helps to keep vestments clean. Bishops are messy! Lots of incense, oils, stuff like that. We figured out ways to keep them clean. “Gremial” comes from the word for “lap, bosom”. It comes up in the Aubrey/Maturin books, as a matter of fact. In the first book, Master and Commander, before the doctor and the captain know each other well, Stephen says to another of Jack that they are not “gremial friends”. They will be! Just not yet.]

  5. Widukind says:

    Caption: “The bishop is incensed.”

    How incensed was he?
    I see a few wisps of smoke barely
    arising from his head, so I guess
    he was not quite smoking hot at
    that point. Is he incensed often?

    This was just too punny to resist.

  6. Elizabeth D says:

    Fr Z looked just like Monsignor Marini in his purple cassock.

    The seminarians I talked to afterward were enthusiastic about the beautiful Mass. I asked one of them what happened that was interesting during the seminarian gathering. He said there was a game of soccer and a seminarian (whom I had noticed wearing a bloody bandage on his forehead at Mass) and a priest ran into each other head on. I said, good, no girly men here. (they appeared to be okay)

    Part of the homily was against cremation, emphasizing that the Church’s funeral rite prepares the body for future resurrection.

    Not mentioned in the picture labels, there were also women present.

  7. acardnal says:

    Fr. Z, I have seen Pontifical Masses wherein the servers sit at the foot of the bishop in his chair while he gives his sermon. At what type of Mass does that occur? “at the Throne” perhaps?

  8. momoften says:

    Thanks for the eye candy. Is the surplice yours? The lace is beautiful on that surplice, and the alb The Bishop has on….

  9. tioedong says:

    For your readers: Canadian writer David Warren posted this link to pre Vatican II books on the liturgy.

    some good pre Vatican II books are also found on internet archives…


  10. al007italia says:

    I was at the Mass, it was beautiful. The 2 things missing with pictures is no smell of the incense or the sound of the Sacred Polyphonic Music.
    A friend with me had one question. Why was the simple miter used at homily instead of the precious miter? I didn’t know so told her I would ask you.

  11. Robbie says:

    Beautiful Church. Beautiful pictures. Madison is very lucky. Fortunately, the vocations springing forth from Madison and Bishop Morlino will eventually benefit all of us.

  12. DianeKor says:

    Wow. Now that is an awesome sight to behold. Beautiful liturgy, and beautiful photography capturing it. <3

    I just uploaded some photos, and Fr. Perrone's homily from yesterday.


  13. Gratias says:

    Thank you Father Z for your service to the Church.

    May I also thank Elizabeth D for her always informative posts?

  14. Bea says:

    I’ve noticed in the past that bishops were the white gloves with a design on them at pontifical Masses.
    What is the design and is there a special symbolism to them?

    Thanks for posting these lovely pictures.

    Our parish has the same St. Patrick statue on the first right column of the church (minus the shamrock).
    There was a Spanish/Mexican custom that some young single girls would ask St. Anthony for a boyfriend. If he took too long in answering their request, they would ransom the child Jesus from his arms and return it to him when they got their boyfriend, well, the St. Anthony/child Jesus statue was all of one piece so they took to taking St. Patrick’s shamrock. I guess someone never got the boyfriend as his shamrock was never returned.

  15. Sonshine135 says:

    Happy to see that the Knights were there too Father. I would have loved to have had my Knights at our Mass with the Bishop here.

  16. Titus says:

    OK, I’ve got my low Mass and Missa Cantata down pat and know my solemn Mass pretty well, but I’m not up to speed on my Pontifical Mass: His Excellency clearly has two mitres here. Why, and when does he change?

  17. Maynardus says:

    Got to thinking as I looked at the photo with your annotations: once upon a time this was, well, fairly ordinary… and maybe before our days are done it will once again be less-than-ordinary! I am of course speaking mainly about the roles and titles of the priests acting as AP, deacon and subdeacon – how wonderful it is to see some of “the bishop’s men” willing and able to participate.

    We would do well to reflect whether this would be possible or even likely without Pope Benedict and/or Summorum Pontificum… I think not, and my gratitude to – and for -PBXVI is renewed!

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