Thursday, June 24, 2010


These two "spirit of Vatican II" liturgies with gloriously simple vestments and costumes are to be preferred over the images that I have at the bottom of this post. Yes or no? What feelings do you experience looking at these photos and the photos at the bottom?

When post "spirit of" Vatican II Catholics who embrace all kinds of liturgical novelties and gimmicks see the vesture below, they nearly blow their stack! Now I must say that the cappa magna does elicit from me a mixed reaction. But I must say that my reaction is an uninformed one as I don't fully comprehend styles from the Renaissance period enshrined in the liturgical practices of the Church prior to the Second Vatican Council.

This is one thin skinned and outraged response from a modern Catholic who attended the first EF Mass celebrated by a bishop at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. You can read his non-triumphalism open mindedness HERE.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The cappa magna (literally, "great cape"), a form of mantle, is a voluminous ecclesiastical vestment with a long train, proper to cardinals, bishops, and certain other honorary prelates.

The cappa magna is not strictly a liturgical vestment, but only a glorified cappa choralis, or choir cope. That is to say, it is not used when vested as a celebrant at a liturgical service. It is worn in processions or "in choir" (i.e., attending but not celebrating services). Its colour for cardinals is ordinarily red and for bishops violet. Cardinals and papal nuncios are entitled to wear a cappa magna of watered silk.

The cappa magna is ample in volume and provided with a long train and a disproportionately large hood, the lining of the hood used to be of ermine in winter and silk in summer, and was made in such a way as to completely cover not only the back, but also the breast and shoulders. The hood is functional and in earler times was often placed on the head and covered with the galero. This used to be the custom when the pope created a new cardinal at a consistory. Nowadays, the hood is normally worn over the head only during penitential rites. Previously, cardinals who were members of specific religious orders would wear a cappa magna in the color of their order. Nowadays, all cardinals wear red.

It is now rarely used, since the 1969 Instruction on the Dress, Titles and Coats-of-arms of Cardinals, Bishops and Lesser Prelates lays down that:

The cappa magna, always without ermine, is no longer obligatory; it can be used only outside of Rome, in circumstances of very special solemnity. (§ 12)

However, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem still uses the ermine-lined winter cappa, because he is bound by the complex and unalterable rules of the status quo, an 1852 Ottoman firman which regulates the delicate relations between the various religious groups which care for the religious sites in the Holy Land. This anomaly is most evident at the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem. The cappa magna is also still used among groups using the Tridentine Mass.

After viewing the photos below, what do you think about these oddities?
This is from a recent celebration of Confirmation in the EF tradition by a bishop in a very poor African community. The Church is quite run down but all of the vestments from altar servers to bishop are exquisite. Many scoff at scenes like this.

This is called the cappa magna and you can see why, it has had a rebirth with the EF Mass being liberated from the chains of suppression:

This head gear was not suppressed and likely won't be:

Papal Tiara suppressed by Pope Paul VI


Seeker said...

The modern or progressive "catholycs" just don't get it. They are so far ahead thinking only of themselves that they can't see the evil which is before them. Treading through life without this Great Sheild. The Church needs this return to its roots. We should utilize all of our senses at Mass in a respectful way and give all the Glory to God.

Paul said...

IF the priest celebrating on a bale of hay was fleeing persecution or ministering to soldiers before a battle, his choice of altar (assuming it had a licit cover) could be excused. Not so much the chalice. Even at that, I'm guessing he was neither in danger of life or serving those who were.

Thecla said...

Should this be "return to (t) Tradition" as our "roots" are from a man who encouraged the poverty of a tunic and sandals.

Anonymous said...

Was the Tiara "Suppressed" formally or simply not worn. I believe that Pope Paul VI left instruction that his successor was to be crowned using the Tiara. The confusion is all too widespread. Paul VI chose, from a personal point of view to make a statement regarding giving away one Tiara. It was not binding legislation on the entire Church for the entire future. This would be a direct hermeneutic of rupture the Holy Father speaks about. In fact the Tiara should be brought back and worn on a few occasions, maybe the Easter and Christmas Blessings. Or placed on the Altar during the Pope's Mass. It should not have disappeared from sight, except for museums. That was not Paul VI's intention or he would not have instructed his successor to be crowned. All the pre Vatican Dress that was suppressed with haste should be allowed as an option. So many are ignoring the instruction anyway. So obviously Priests and Clergy feel his ruling was unnecessary, perhaps cold and unfeeling toward tradition. These items speak to us lay people as Catholics. It is part of what identifies out faith.

Alipius said...

"These two "spirit of Vatican II" liturgies with gloriously simple vestments and costumes are to be preferred over the images that I have at the bottom of this post. Yes or no?"


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, I love the photographic 'evidence' you provide. Thanks for a wonderful straw man argument.

pinanv525 said...

Anonymous...what "straw man" argument? Ignotus, is that you?

Anonymous said...

Earthenware makes the best vessels.

Tony from Athens said...

The suppression of the use of ermine as trimming for the cappa is clear and incontrovertible evidence of the intrusion of the "Six Protestant Ministers" (shudder!) who were plainly more than just "observers" at the Second Vatican Council. Now we know their real intentions - to destroy the Catholic Church by making us change our Holy Traditions!

Oh Tempura! Oh Morays!

Pater Ignotus said...

I have this great little book: "Costume of Prelates of the Catholic Church" written by Fr. John A. Nainfa, SS, published in 1909 and bearing the Imprimatur of Jacobus Card. Gibbons. Cool!

If we are going to discuss the cappa magna, let us not forget the essential requirements for the train-bearer: "The train-bearer (caudatarius) may be a Seminarian, or a member of the Prelate's household, or an altar-boy; but there should be only one. The Pope having only one train-bearer, no other Prelate is entitled to have more. The dress of the train-bearer varies according to the different occasions on which he performs his duties. When accompanying a Cardinal to the papal "chapel," he vests in a purple cassock of silk, with trimmings and buttons of black velvet; he wears a purple silk cincture and a purple collaro; over the cassock, he puts the crocia, a surtout of peculiar shape, made of purple cloth or serge, lined and trimmed with purple silk.

When the Pope officiates, the Cardinals vest in the sacred vestments of their orders - cope for Cardinal-Bishops, chasuble for Cardinal-Priests and dalmatic for Cardinal-Deacons; the train-bearers then put a cotta over the crocia, and throw on their shoulders the vimpa, a long humeral veil of light silk with which they hold the Cardinals' mitres.

When a Cardinal officiates outside of the papal "chapels," his train-bearer does not wear the crocia, but the cotta over his purple cassock; and when the Cardinal assists in cappa magna at a ceremony, the train-bearer wears over his purple cassock the ferraiolo of black silk. The train-bearer of the diocesan Bishop does not wear the crocia, which is a garment used only at papal "chapels;" but he wears the purple cassock with the black ferraiolo when the Bishop is vested in cappa magna, and the cotta over the purple cassock when the Bishop is dressed in his pontificals. In no case should he wear gloves or a biretta."

And lest we forget: "The cappa, (not to be confused with the cappa magna)with an ermine cape, is a winter garment, as was said; therefore, Canons should not wear it in the summer, but should substitute the cotta for the cappa over the rochet, unless they have recieved the very explicit privilege of using a summer cappa, that is the same cappa with a cape of silk instead of fur; in which case they wear the cape of fur in winter and the cape of silk in summer."

And there is wonderment that some find the Old Ways just a bit . . . silly.

pinanv525 said...

Pater, nothing could be sillier than what is depicted in some of the posts on this blog showing Post Vat II notions of the sacred. I don't care if the seminarian walks on his hands while he bears the train...he still can't beat the dancers, satyrs, "virgins" (!), and other morons playing at liturgy.

Anonymous said...

We look, we laugh, we comment, we get angry, and yet all over the world it goes on. How does it stop? A Missal with tight rubrics and real action for Priests who continue to subject lay people to this scandal. Please Lord, where and when does it end. I pray our next Pope has the strength to use his influence to effect change that stops this. Another Pius X personality. Pope Benedict XVI had done much for the Church to clean it up, but I think he can not control the bigger picture. The next Holy Father has much to do to strengthen what Benedict has done and firmly make sure it is rooted into the future.

Templar said...

"Does the Church of God need this Pomp and Ceremony?"

God certainly doesn't need it, but it's not so much for him as for us. I don't mean it's a show for us, as in some sort of entertainment; but it's a visible manifestation of how we reverence God, and in the case of the Clergy, Christ's disciples. Clergy are not men like other men, they are consecrated and they should be set apart and held in high esteem.

Pater Ignotus said...

Templar - YOU are as much "Christ's disciple" as any priest. Or as much as any bishop, cardinal, or pope. The ordained have no corner on discipleship.

Clergy have a different vocation through which they are to grow in holiness by answering the call. The vocation of parenthood is as high and as "divine" as any call to priesthood. Good Father McDonald would not be here had his mother and father not answered that call.

Those called to be generous single people have, likewise, received a high calling. Through their generosity they answer God's call and, like priests or parents, make Christ present.

I do not suggest the calls are the same. The sacramental priesthood is different in kind, of course. But in and through each calling, the kingdom of God is built up and the world is called to grater holiness.