ASK FATHER: “Beer?” “No. Beir!” “Beer?” “BIER! BIER!”

Every one please mark your calendars: 9 September is International Buy A Priest A Beer Day.   Okay?  Got it?

From a reader…


Bier Plans

Not beer plans, although completing this project may take a certain amount of beer also.

I have been charged with building a bier on which to transport a statue of our Lady of Fatima during a rosary procession to be held on October 15th.

First I have searched the web and have not been able to find any plans or really any close up photos of one. They are few and far between in our N.O. churches as any external sign of Catholicism has been mostly removed, so I don’t even know where to find one to view in person.

If you or any of your readers could provide some examples it would be much appreciated.

I know a platform with four poles does not seem complicated thing, however how to attach the statue is important to me, and safely transporting the Blessed Virgin Mary carries a bit of stress and a lot of responsibility. I don’t want to mess it up.

Great!   I am all for processions.  We need more processions.  As a matter of fact, we need to revive all kinds of our beautiful devotions which don’t require Holy Mass: everyone can participate in the same ways and some don’t risk profanation of the Eucharist. Devotions can warm cold hearts.   Anecdote:  One day in May I was hanging around outside the Paul VI audience hall (Vatican) during a plenary of the Italian Bishops Conference waiting for my bishop to emerge, chatting with fellow journalists and the bishops’ drivers and secretaries a couple bishops who had simply fled the hall in desperate boredom.  I had just been to a Eucharistic procession the day before held by the Teutonic College that went through the Vatican gardens, Swiss Guards carrying the canopy, … stunning.  Deep in his chest this one old bishop rumbled “Meno chiacchiere – più processioni. … Less jabbering – more processions.”

Okay, the other day I posted the thing about shoes and you readers came up with good stuff.

How about it?

And, keep in mind that it won’t have to be this big.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Dear “I have been charged with building a bier”. Woodworker here; if you would care to email me at Kerry(at), I can help with the how to do it’s, and other things, and any questions. If it’s a platform with handles, it may be reasonable simple. (No secret mitered half-blind dovetails, eh?) Kerry

  2. APX says:

    I have no pictures, but we have two of these. One was custom built to accommodate the the St. Anthony Statue at the time the statue was carved by the carpenter. For that one, the statue screws on.

    For the Marian one, the statue that is used has a hole in the bottom and the bier has a wooden dolling peg that the statue is placed on top.

  3. JARay says:

    When I was a boy (eons ago) we always had a May Procession through the streets outside the Church and we always had a Corpus Christi procession around the church through the same streets. The police helped with traffic diversions also. Everyone around the church knew that the Catholics had these processions. They were part of the normal order of life. Now, there are none!

  4. michael de cupertino says:

    You can see two different ones at 0:55 in this video

    the video is from a Rosary Procession in Half Moon Bay, California.

  5. Former Altar Boy says:

    Contact St. Anne (all-Latin-all-the-time) church in San Diego. They have a Running of the Saints every year with St. Michael and St. Anne on pillars on biers. See photos at

  6. majuscule says:

    I was going to suggest finding a parish with Portuguese and looking at their statues and biers but michael de cupertino beat me to it.

    There is a longer video of the Half Moon Bay procession of Our Lady of the Pillar parish with a better look at the Our Lady of Fatima statue at about 1:17 and 2:56.
    Those sticks the men are carrying actually hold the bier when they are standing for a period of time. You can see this around 3:40 when they are standing behind Father as he gives his speech and blessing.

    (Some of the statues are from the Mexican community as well as the Portuguese. That was a great procession right down Main Street! And what about Father’s biretta!)

  7. says:

    Build a tight square or well of two 2×4’s stacked upon each other to set the base of the statue within it. You can fill up the base of the entire bier with flowers to cover up this common protective barrier. This way the bier can be decorative as well as protective too. You might also want to consider installing some lightening amongst the flowers to illuminate the statute too! Battery operated of course.

    Good luck and congratulations on continuing a very religious and noble tradition of processing with our Blessed Mother. Please say a prayer to her for me while you are in procession!

  8. Someone please be the Garrigue says:

    Exodus 25:10-16 can easily be adapted to the Mystical Rose, Ark of the Covenant.

  9. John Grammaticus says:

    I once visited a museum in Valencia where you could see the Biers that were once used for the Corpus Christi processions……. rather large but fantastic all the same

  10. Dan says:

    Thank you for the responses! I had originally asked Father about this and am very grateful that he put it out to all his readers. Father I will owe you a beer for your trouble I am not to far from St. Paul so if you are ever back at your old stomping ground at St. Agnes and want one, let me know. :-)

    Here is a very very very rough idea of what I am sort of thinking, I am not an artist, but I am not really a wood worker either. I think a better wood worker than artist through.

    Kerry, thank you for the offer I will definitely be reaching out to you to ask some advice. And will for sure owe you a beer for the bier help as well.

  11. jlmorrell says:

    Take a look at this video, which includes the bier we use in our Lenten Pilgrimage.

Comments are closed.