Terrific photos of traditional rite ordination in England!

At the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald there are lots of great photos of the recent priestly ordination of a young man in the FSSP at Warrington in England by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool.

Really… the photos are amazing. They document in high quality the whole ritual, from the vesting of the bishop,

…through the Mass.

The sight of an ordaining bishop, using the traditional Roman Rite, and wearing the pallium is quite something.

And I am sure that the haters will love to hate the cappa magna.

What’s with all the fancy gear?

The priest and bishop are our mediators for the one Mediator. They are, during Holy Mass, both priest who offers the Sacrifice, and also the Sacrificial Victim.

The lambs prepared under the old covenant for the day of sacrifice were taken great care of and fussed over… right up to the time the knife slashed their throats open.

When you see the priest and bishop in fine vestments, remember the love and gratitude and care with which we treat sacred things and persons and places. We look to them and through them as Moses look, straining, to glimpse the Mystery as God passed by on the other side of the cleft in the rock (cf Exodus 33). They are signs that facilitate the encounter with mystery that is simultaneously frightening and alluring, hard to prepare for and yet vital for our spirits. They help us to prepare, through their beauty and challenge for our own deaths.




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  1. lfandrew says:

    There are even more photos (400+) on the FSSP England Flikr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/138056205@N08/sets/72157667970978197

    They also have a flikr album of Fr. Phipps first Mass (the next day – external Solemnity of the Sacred Heart) – https://www.flickr.com/photos/138056205@N08/sets/72157667970978197

  2. HyacinthClare says:

    On May 26, we attended the FSSP ordination at the cathedral in Omaha, Nebraska, for TEN… TEN! young men giving themselves to God’s holy priesthood in the extraordinary rite. We were there particularly for two who came through our little parish in Phoenix, Mater Misericordiae, and a third who had served us as deacon last summer. We arrived at 8:30 for a 10:00 starting time and barely found seats. There is so much hope in ceremonies like this.

  3. Lepanto ! says:

    We were fortunate and blessed to have then Rev. Mr. Phipps with us this past Holy Week to assist in the pre-1955 rites. Sharp, humble and so personable. He will be an exceptional priest.

    May his and all of the vocations of the newly ordained be guarded, guided and protected through the intercession of Our Lady and St. John Vianney.

  4. Andrew says:

    The haters will love to hate the cappa magna.

    While they might speak in glowing terms of a twenty-five-foot wedding dress train worn by a certain royal bride.

  5. LeeGilbert says:

    IMHO exponents of beautiful liturgical vestments miss a bet by not emphasizing the Scriptural origins of glorious priestly vestments, for their origins are divine:
    “And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.” Ex 28:2.
    “For Aaron’s sons you shall make coats and sashes and caps. You shall make them for glory and beauty.” Ex 28:40.

    Again, the word of God celebrates this beauty at Sirach 50. Putting these beautiful vestments in their liturgical context surely shows that the Lord is far from being adverse either to them or to liturgy beautifully executed. Here, you might say, we have the pre-Christian solemn High Mass:

    Simon Son of Onias
    The leader of his brothers and the pride of his people[a]
    was the high priest, Simon son of Onias,
    who in his life repaired the house,
    and in his time fortified the temple.
    2 He laid the foundations for the high double walls,
    the high retaining walls for the temple enclosure.
    3 In his days a water cistern was dug,[b]
    a reservoir like the sea in circumference.
    4 He considered how to save his people from ruin,
    and fortified the city against siege.
    5 How glorious he was, surrounded by the people,
    as he came out of the house of the curtain.
    6 Like the morning star among the clouds,
    like the full moon at the festal season;[c]
    7 like the sun shining on the temple of the Most High,
    like the rainbow gleaming in splendid clouds;
    8 like roses in the days of first fruits,
    like lilies by a spring of water,
    like a green shoot on Lebanon on a summer day;
    9 like fire and incense in the censer,
    like a vessel of hammered gold
    studded with all kinds of precious stones;
    10 like an olive tree laden with fruit,
    and like a cypress towering in the clouds.
    11 When he put on his glorious robe
    and clothed himself in perfect splendor,
    when he went up to the holy altar,
    he made the court of the sanctuary glorious.

    12 When he received the portions from the hands of the priests,
    as he stood by the hearth of the altar
    with a garland of brothers around him,
    he was like a young cedar on Lebanon
    surrounded by the trunks of palm trees.
    13 All the sons of Aaron in their splendor
    held the Lord’s offering in their hands
    before the whole congregation of Israel.
    14 Finishing the service at the altars,[d]
    and arranging the offering to the Most High, the Almighty,
    15 he held out his hand for the cup
    and poured a drink offering of the blood of the grape;
    he poured it out at the foot of the altar,
    a pleasing odor to the Most High, the king of all.
    16 Then the sons of Aaron shouted;
    they blew their trumpets of hammered metal;
    they sounded a mighty fanfare
    as a reminder before the Most High.
    17 Then all the people together quickly
    fell to the ground on their faces
    to worship their Lord,
    the Almighty, God Most High.

    18 Then the singers praised him with their voices
    in sweet and full-toned melody.[e]
    19 And the people of the Lord Most High offered
    their prayers before the Merciful One,
    until the order of worship of the Lord was ended,
    and they completed his ritual.
    20 Then Simon[f] came down and raised his hands
    over the whole congregation of Israelites,
    to pronounce the blessing of the Lord with his lips,
    and to glory in his name;
    21 and they bowed down in worship a second time,
    to receive the blessing from the Most High.

  6. Elizzabeth says:

    It was a beautiful and uplifting event, and the wonderful photos were taken by a young Catholic photographer called John Aron, of johnaronphotography.co.uk

  7. Veritatis Splendor says:

    I was blessed to meet Fr. Phipps when I visited the Fraternity Seminary in the fall. I was on his team for the daily, and extremely competitive, soccer game during recreation. He was extremely good. I was not. He nevertheless had mercy on me.

  8. nemo says:

    The entire ordination Mass can be viewed on the livemass vimeo channel here. It is about 3.5 hours long.

  9. gio says:

    I am not a fan of open sided,flapped sleeve dalmatics. On the other hand on the subject of the cappa magna. How come nobody complains about byzantine bishops wearing the long mandyas with train bearer in tow?

  10. Simon_GNR says:

    Great photos. It’s good to see this sort of Traditional Catholic ritual being performed in England. I met Archbishop Malcolm McMahon a few years ago when he was Bishop of Nottingham and had a brief conversation with him. He struck me then as being sound on doctrine and liturgy etc, and the pictures of the recent ordination confirm the impression I got then. I’d like to think that he might be the next Archbishop of Westminster and be made England’s cardinal, but I think he’s about the same age as Cardinal Nichols who is several years off retirement age, so it’s probably rather unlikely.

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