Pontifical Mass at the Throne in Madison – PHOTOS

Last night, 31 May, His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison and Extraordinary Ordinary, celebrated a Pontifical Mass at the Throne at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Monona for the Feast of the Queenship of Mary.  The Mass was in the Roman Catholic Church’s Traditional, Extraordinary Form.

A lot of preparations go into these Masses.  There are a lot of moving parts.

Speaking of moving parts… the construction of the portable throne.

In attendance were many priests, seminarians and faithful.  The Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchure of Jersusalem processed in with the bishop as Knights of Columbus provided the Honor Guard.  The music included lovely Marian hymns such as Ave Maris Stella, Regina Coeli and, with a great thunder of pipe organ, Hail, Holy Queen Enthroned Above for the recessional.  The Ordinary of the Mass was the Missa Prima by Fr Michael Haller (+1915) and the Proper in Gregorian chant.

During his sermon, Bishop Morlino, who observed his anniversary of ordination, spoke in a special way about the priesthood.

The Mass was also the occasion of the first use of the new set of white vestments from Rome, embroidered with the coat of arms of both the Diocese of Madison and of Bishop Morlino.   The vestments are intended for these complex Pontifical Masses and for ordinations to the diaconate and the priesthood.

This is the church back in the early 1960s, for a Pontifical Mass in the presence of the bishop.


Getting ready to vest the bishop for a Pontifical Mass at the Throne on another occasion:


Here is last night, from about the same angle.


It would have been fun to recreate that old photo!

This, however, is how we set up the altar.


Some shots.

The deacon reverences the bishop before returning to the altar to fetch the Evangelarium.




Hanc igitur



The Second Confiteor


An afterward.


After the Mass the clergy and seminarians piled into the rectory for a splendid supper and celebration of the bishop’s anniversary.

Have you ever seen a biretta cake?

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Wonderful photos!! The vestments are lovely, they are such a heavenly pearl color.

    Hats (birettas? ;-) off to the cake decorator! Wonderful looking anniversary cake.

  2. acardnal says:

    I wonder if the red biretta on the cake portends anything in Bp. Morlino’s future??

  3. GM Thobe says:

    Ad multos annoy indeed.

  4. GM Thobe says:

    *annos, that is

  5. lmgilbert says:

    “During his sermon, Bishop Morlino, who observed his anniversary of ordination, spoke in a special way about the priesthood.”

    At least in my experience for the past forty years or so, any prelate speaking about the priesthood to the faithful is a rare event indeed. One could hope that his remarks were captured and will show up here in print or in a podcast. In my experience in other dioceses (two), it was not uncommon for the bishop to make appeal to all the faithful of the diocese at Sunday Mass for support of the annual Bishop’s Appeal by means of his recorded voice. It was always awkward and seemed somewhat tawdry, and what was crucially important to the bishop leapt out at one. There was never the same urgency or address on any other topic, much the less the priesthood.

    There is, of course, a steady drumbeat to pray for vocations, and one increasingly hears of the vocations crisis and of the need for priests, but as for the glories of the priesthood, its necessity, its eternal reward, nothing, and I mean NOTHING.

    Perhaps this is due to a species of false humility in which priests would seem to be ( and are afraid to seem to be) implying the following syllogism: “The priesthood is the greatest vocation available to a human being; I am a priest; therefore I am among the great.”  

    Yet, we had an old German monsignor at St. Petronille’s in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, Monsignor Eugene Luke who amused my parents and others greatly by saying from the pulpit more than once, “I am the greatest man in Glen Ellyn” (population 22,000).  In my mind now there is no doubt about it.  So he was.  And perhaps it was that very exalted notion of the priesthood that was the catalyst for fourteen vocations to the priesthood in the course of his long pastorate there, roughly 1945 to 1973. 

    Of course, the call to priesthood is a call to service, a point re-iterated ad nauseam in my opinion, but will no one dare to say that it is also a call to greatness? Did not Our Lord say that those who keep the commandments and teach others will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven? Our Lord obviously is not adverse to calling people to greatness, why should bishops, directors of vocations and priests be so timid about this?.

  6. Boniface says:

    acardnal – the biretta on the cake is the violet color of a normal episcopal biretta, that which Bishop Morlino already wears. Perhaps its hue of violet appeared more cardinal on your computer screen?

  7. Tony Phillips says:

    Clearly the bishop had promised to eat his hat.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  8. JonPatrick says:

    In the pictures there seems to be 6 people wearing vestments of some type. I understand celebrant, deacon, and subdeacon, but what are the other 3?

  9. Martin_B says:

    Actually there are 7 vested Clergy present:
    the celebrating Bishop (in chasuble)
    the Deacon of the Mass (in dalmatic)
    the Subdeacon of the Mass (in tunic)
    the Priest Assistant (in Cope)
    two personal assisting Deacons (in dalmatic without alb)
    the personal assiting subdeacon (in tunic carrying the processional cross)

  10. frjim4321 says:

    I like that church … any idea of the maker and size of the pipe organ?

    [Sorry, I don’t know. I’ll send a note to the pastor.]

  11. ThePapalCount says:

    Surely, this is how Holy Mass should be celebrated.
    The NO though valid and at times, depending on the priest, rendered reverent still pales to
    the TLM. Even the NO celebrated facing the Liturgical East surpasses the current penchant for worship in a circle. kumbaya indeed

  12. Papabile says:

    Why is the tabernacle light lit?

    [Just a guess: So you can see it more easily.]

  13. Fr. Kelly says:

    Papabile says:
    Why is the tabernacle light lit?

    Someone who was there could answer more completely, but I would have to guess that it is lit because the Blessed Sacrament was left in the tabernacle. This is not usual at a Pontifical Mass, of course, but if there is no other suitable place to place Him. …

    We faced just that same situation at the FSSP ordinations in Lincoln a week ago. There was no other suitable repository for the Blessed Sacrament, so He remained present in the tabernacle for the Mass. It makes for more reverences, but it can be done.

  14. Papabile says:

    Fr. Z, Fr. Kelly,

    I know you are right about being able to. It was just noticeably missing in the old photos, vs. the new ones.

    I guess I was just making an assumption same conditions applied.

  15. jaykay says:

    Papabile, do you mean the sanctuary lamp? no, I think it’s clearly visible (and seemingly lit) in the 60s pics, especially the first one where it’s highlighted against the darker door recess beside the throne.

  16. Fr. Kelly says:

    Looks to me like conditions are the same and it is the same sanctuary lamp.
    If anything, it is more obviously lit in the old black and white photos than it is in the new color photos.

  17. Ben Yanke says:

    One thing I just noticed, looking back: the new pontifical set matches very well with the vimpae!

  18. Iustinius Defensor says:

    Fr. Gregory Ihm, one of the kindest men I have met, told me how much work he puts in to these [Ordinary Form] Masses for His Excellency. [Yes, the Ordinary Form Masses, for which he is the MC, are also a great deal of work and he does it well. He has lent a good hand also to the EF Masses.]I am glad that his work is paying off! It is beautiful to see the incardinated clergy turning the tide. The FSSP and other imported priests to do the EF does not seem sustainable to me in the long term. I am glad to see these positive developments. [I strongly agree with this. The real reform will take off more swiftly when more diocesan initiatives are taken by the diocesan clergy.]

  19. Papabile says:

    Jaykay, I’m looking at the photos again, you’re obviously right. Somehow, that seem to fade away for me I looked at them the first time. It must have been the angle of the original photos and the levels of the Lamp was hung at in comparison to what very brightly stands out in the new photos.

  20. Matt R says:

    All priests & deacons, and historically all tonsured clerics, are incardinated somewhere. By this I take to mean diocesan clergy. One problem that I have noticed is that unless a veteran priest such as Fr. Z. is around, the quantity (and gravity…) of mistakes increases, which can be frustrating, and the quagmire of 1962 is a risk. Happily, Madison is getting folded chasubles, so that’s not a risk!

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