Liturgy – Holyart.com Blog http://192.168.99.122/com Holyblog Fri, 31 Aug 2018 14:37:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.14 http://192.168.99.122/com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/02/cropped-cropped-Holyart-Logo-32x32-32x32.png Liturgy – Holyart.com Blog http://192.168.99.122/com 32 32 Liturgical candles: when and why they are important http://192.168.99.122/com/church-supplies/liturgical-candles-important/ Thu, 30 Aug 2018 14:31:32 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=726 Light has always had a very deep and essential meaning for men. There is no religion that hasn’t made it a key element in its mythology, no civilization that hasn’t celebrated it as an assimilable, if not overlapping, element to the very concept of life. […]

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Light has always had a very deep and essential meaning for men. There is no religion that hasn’t made it a key element in its mythology, no civilization that hasn’t celebrated it as an assimilable, if not overlapping, element to the very concept of life. The reasons are obvious, and certainly deserve a more in-depth discussion.

We need to consider a particular kind of ‘light’ associated with religion, spirituality. We’re talking about liturgical candles.

Candles, since their creation, have appeared in the rites and ceremonies of many religions.

For example, in the Jewish religion, the lighting of candles on a Friday evening, to celebrate the beginning of Shabbat, or the Hanukkah Festival, the Festival of Lights, during which a candle is lit every night for eight consecutive days to commemorate consecration of a new altar in the Temple of Jerusalem after the freedom conquered from the Hellenic invaders. The Jews still have a custom of lighting a candle that lasts 24 hours to mark the anniversary of a loved one’s death.

Christianity has adorned candles and their light with an even more significant importance.

And God said: Fiat lux!, Let there be light.  And there was light.“(Gen 1,3).

This is one of the first things we read in the Bible, the creation of light by God the Father. This was his first gift for the world that He is creating, the first visible manifestation of His Will, of His Essence, for where there is God there can no longer be darkness. And that’s not all. It is light that allows us to see, to see the magnificence of the world created by God. Without light the Creation itself would have no reason to exist, it would lose much of its immense greatness. A world that cannot be admired does not exist.

From this moment on, then, from this first spark arising from an act of love and will, the idea of ​​God is constantly connected to that of light. A light that illuminates, warms, vivifies, nourishes and ‘infects’, improving the colours that are exposed, wrapped and fed by it.

Liturgical candles are linked to this idea of ​​God being understood as light, and above all of Jesus as the Light of God. In fact, Jesus is repeatedly defined in the Scriptures as the “light that enlightens the world”.

“In him was life; and the life was the light of men. The light shone in the darkness, and the darkness has not overwhelmed it” (John 1: 4-5)

“The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world“(John 1: 9)

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

The light in this case has an exquisitely spiritual value, of guidance in the darkness, of knowledge of God who, through His Son, descended on us, opening our eyes and making us worthy of His presence, and of His consideration.

Again, it was Jesus himself who told his disciples: “I am the true light” and later: “You are the light of the world … your light must shine before men so that they may see your good works and glorify the Father who is in heaven!” (Matt. 5:16).

It is therefore normal that in churches, candles are placed on the altar, or near the tabernacle, and are the protagonists of rites and celebrations.

Not only that, the church uses candles in almost all the sacraments, from baptism to anointing, as irreplaceable symbolic elements.

We want to try to understand and identify the various liturgical candles, to discover their meaning and their importance in the area of ​​the sacred rites.

Candle of baptism or baptismal candle

Baptism is the first sacrament imparted to the new Christian. Usually this happens when it is still a new-born, if it belongs to a religious family, but it can be celebrated at any age. It is fundamental and indispensable, because it is through this that Original Sin is washed away from the soul, making us pure and ready to welcome God into our lives.

baptismal candle
Baptismal candle in box

Besides the presence of a priest who pronounces the words of the ritual and the gestures necessary for the new faithful to begin his or her new life of faith, Baptism involves the use of some objects, which in this context assume a series of profound and symbolic meanings. There is water, of course, which washes away original sin; oil of the catechumens, applied on the chest as a shield against temptation and evil; the chrism, which consecrates God to the newly baptized; the white dress, a symbol of purity and rebirth; and, finally, the lighted candle, which is given to the godparents who accompany the new Christian, and symbolizes Christ, the light of the world.

The symbolism of the lit candle to fulfil the rite of Baptism has ancient origins and expresses different aspects of the spiritual life of the newly baptized.

First of all there is the wish on the part of those who love him that he or she can find the light in their own existence (John 8.12 – “I am the light of the world”). The desire is for a life with Christ and in Christ, therefore, illuminated by His presence, by His example. The fact that today the candle is handed over to godparents, is symbolic of their role. The candle delivered in their hands symbolizes the fact that the newly baptized will not have to carry out his own search for light alone, but that these strong and wise presences will guide him at all time, to help him, to advise him and to make him become a true Christian .

Secondly, the baptismal candle indicates that the newly baptised must become in turn a light for the world (Mt 5:14 – “You are the light of the world; a city placed on a mountain cannot remain hidden”) and to do so he must lead a life of industrious witness (Matthew 25.1-15 Parable of wise virgins and foolish virgins).

The baptismal candle accompanies the faithful throughout his or her religious life. In fact they must be reported to the Church on the occasion of the other sacraments. It is a sort of ‘identity document’ of the faithful, a passport that allows him to access the religious celebrations that accompany the most important moments of his or her life.

Easter candle

Easter candle
White Paschal Candle

The Easter candle is accessed during the Easter Vigil, the solemn mass celebrated after sunset on Holy Saturday and before the dawn of Easter Sunday, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. More than in any other situation therefore, the lighted candle symbolises, in this case, Jesus as the “Light of the World”, risen from the dead to enlighten the path of His Sons and ensure them of salvation.

The Easter candle is then left on at the altar throughout Easter time and is extinguished at Pentecost, when the Ascension of Jesus to glory in Heaven is celebrated. Usually it is a very large and richly decorated candle. Outside of Easter, it is kept in the Baptistery and lit at every baptism. Indeed, his flame will be used to light the baptismal candle which will be given to the godfathers of the newly baptized, as a wish for a life in faith and in the light of Christ. The Easter candle is also used on the occasion of a funeral, as a symbol of hope for resurrection and eternal life.

Votive candles

Votive candles lit by the faithful in front of an altar, or a statue of Jesus, of the Madonna, of a Saint, have a precise meaning. This is not simply an offer that the Christian makes to accompany his own prayer, to strengthen them or ask for a grace. The lighted candle symbolizes the Christian himself, his being a child of light, and therefore a child of God. Lighting a candle and offering it is a way to affirm one’s will to follow Jesus’ example of being “the light of the world”. Lighting a votive candle also expresses the desire to entrust one’s words and thoughts to the Lord, to Our Lady, to the Saints. It is a request for help, a light that illuminates our life from above, perhaps at a time when we are struggling in the darkness. Finally, the offer we leave when we light the candle is a sacrifice that accompanies our prayer with deeds and makes our intention of Faith tangible.

Votive candle
Votive candles (package)

Candle of the Tabernacle

The light that illuminates the Tabernacle is worthy of a separate discourse, indicating the presence of Christ within it. But it is usually a lamp, not a candle, so would be a little beyond our excursus. It should however be remembered that, of all the lights that illuminate our churches, it is one of the most important and precious, the burning flame that symbolizes Jesus and the faith of those who love Him, the inexhaustible light that remains lit for us even when we leave the church, promising us a safe place to return at any time.

Advent candles

The Advent wreath is a custom that developed in Europe, starting in the mid-1800s, to mark the weeks that are lead up to Christmas. It is composed of a wreath of evergreen branches intertwined with each other, holding up four candles. Every Sunday of Advent a candle is lit. Originally, the Advent wreath provided a candle for every Advent day, and often, in modern crowns, a fifth candle is inserted, which is lit at Christmas. The crowns are kept in the house and usually the task of lighting the candles is given to the youngest of the family.

Advent candle
Liturgical Advent kit

Each of the four Advent candles has a particular name and meaning.

  1. On the first Sunday of Advent the “Candle of the Prophet” or “Candle of Hope” is lit. It recalls the prophecies about the coming of the Messiah.
  2. On the second Sunday of Advent the “Candle of Bethlehem” or “Candle of the universal call to salvation” is lit. It reminds us of the city where the Messiah was born.
  3. On the third Sunday of Advent the “Candle of the Shepherds” or “Candle of Joy” is lit. Recalling the pastors, the first to worship Jesus. Usually it has a different colour than the others, because on the third Sunday of Advent the Liturgy says that the priest should wear pink rather than purple.
  4. On the fourth and last Sunday of Advent the “Candle of the Angels” is lit. To remind us that they were the first to announce the birth of the Saviour to the world.

Candlemas candles

Forty days after Christmas, the Presentation of Jesus is celebrated at the temple. This party is known by all as Candelora, and owes its name to the ancient popular proverb: ” Per la santa Candelora se nevica o se plora dell’inverno siamo fora “, which is linked to the celebrations of the end of winter in the same period, and to the many candles that are blessed and lit during the celebrations. Once again, the rite refers to Jesus as the light of the world. In the Gospel according to Luke, Jesus is led to the temple by his parents and Simeon affirms: “Now let the Lord let your servant go in peace, according to your Word, because my eyes have seen your salvation, prepared by you before all peoples: light to enlighten the peoples and glory of your people, Israel” (Luke 2: 25-35). The lighting of Candlemas candles is therefore a tribute to Jesus, the bearer of light and a gesture that expresses the will to drive out the darkness.

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The various meanings of liturgical clothing http://192.168.99.122/com/church-supplies/various-meanings-liturgical-clothing/ Thu, 09 Aug 2018 15:48:26 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=697 The term liturgical clothes, or  liturgical vestments, generally indicates the clothing used by priests of various ranks in the context of religious ceremonies and festivals. These clothes differ in various characteristics and, in particular, vary in colour, depending on the time of year and the […]

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The term liturgical clothes, or  liturgical vestments, generally indicates the clothing used by priests of various ranks in the context of religious ceremonies and festivals.

These clothes differ in various characteristics and, in particular, vary in colour, depending on the time of year and the ceremonies or holidays in progress.

But liturgical clothes are much more than simple garments, more or less ornate, worn by ministers. The mere act of wearing them has a very strong symbolic value, for both the priest and those who, seeing him so dressed, identify him as a representative of God on earth.

This is why liturgical clothing has to be unique, and differentiated from any other type of garment that a priest wears at times outside of that festival. These garments in particular belong to a sacred domain, no more or less significant than the prayers and gestures that make up the liturgy, and the many rites that characterise religious ceremonies

Liturgical clothing must be beautiful, well-made, and conspicuous. They in fact derive from the clothing worn by Greek and Roman dignitaries, who belonged to the wealthiest classes, and who also demonstrated it through their clothing. The excellency of the first Christian priests was, of course, entirely spiritual, but nonetheless, their garments had to express this greatness, to make their role more comprehensible and immediate to the faithful.

Some ecclesiastical garments are also used outside of liturgical celebrations. Here, we’re referring to the cassock and the skullcap, the ferraiolo, a light silk cloak used by Vatican diplomats, the saturno, a hat whose shape reflects the planet Saturn, in fact.

In general, however, the function of the liturgical clothes it becomes fundamental precisely in the sphere of religious celebrations, in which they symbolize on the one hand the detachment from everyday life, from the ordinary, on the other the transcendence of the priest, who by wearing those particular garments ceases to be a common man, and assumes in a certain sense the functions and identity of Christ. The very form of priestly garments, their being often broad, flowing, emphasizes their function of rendering formless, ethereal the wearer, depriving the body of substance, bringing it closer to the spirit.

The various liturgical garments

Amice: a rectangular or square cloth, which is fixed around the neck and at the waist by fabric ribbons. This is usually made of linen and is always white, and has to be worn underneath the priest’s habit. It is placed on the shoulders and tied at the waist.

Alb: a white gown with long sleeves that covers the entire body, down to the ankles. This is the basic garment for all officiators, not only of the celebrant priest, but all of those who participate in the liturgy. It is worn over the amice and fastened at the sides by a girdle.

Cincture: a cloth belt or girdle that is used to tightens the camice. Usually white, it can vary depending on the liturgical colour of the day.

Chasuble or Roman chasuble: this is the garment worn by the celebrant over the camice. It can be of various shapes and liturgical colours depending on the period and the occasion.

Liturgical surplice: a white surcoat with short, wide sleeves and a square neck, worn over the cassock. Unlike the camice that covers the whole body, this only reaches down to the knees. It is often decorated with embroidery.

Rochetto: a white surplus, similar to the cotta, but with more elaborate embroidery and often adorned by lace. It is worn by prelates. Made of linen, it has narrow long sleeves at the wrist and is internally lined in red or white. It is closed at the neck by a hook or a ribbon.

Dalmatic: a rich gown, used in Roman times, when it was embroidered with gold threads and adorned with pearls, enamels and precious filigrees. It expresses the solemnity of the celebrant’s role and is the richest and outermost garment he wears. It’s a long, knee-length tunic, with wide sleeves. The colour changes depending on the occasion and the day.

Mitre: headgear used by bishops, which in the past was often decorated with precious stones and gold, is almost pentagonal in shape, with two bands of fabric that fall over the shoulders.

Berretta or tricorno: a cube-shaped head-dress with three stiff wings and a bow on top.

Roman cope: a large cloak with a hint of a cap, floor-length, worn in place of a casula or pianeta for liturgical activities apart from Mass. When opened, it has a semi-circular shape. It is made in various liturgical colours and worn after the stole over the cotta or camice.

Tunic: similar to the dalmatic, it is worn by a deacon or sub-deacon, depending on how solemn the occasion is. It is made of precious fabrics, decorated with embroidery, and can be in various liturgical colours.

Pallium: a strip of white woolen cloth worn on the shoulders. Its shape and colour are supposed to represent the sheep worn around the neck when a shepherd carries them. It is reserved for the Pope and some bishops and archbishops.

Stole: a scarf of cloth, 200 to 250 centimetres long, decorated with three crosses, symbolising the sweet yoke of Jesus. Worn mostly by the bishop, it adopts various colours depending on the liturgical calendar.

Humeral veil: a piece of rectangular cloth with two ribbons at the centre to fix it, reflecting the embroidery and liturgical colours of the piviale.

The colours of liturgical clothes

Gold: the most solemn of colours, used all year round, even as a substitute for other liturgical colours

White: symbolises light and life, and because of this, is worn on the occasions of Baptism, at Christmas and at Easter.

Black: used above all for commemorations of the dead and for funerals.

Pink: used for the fourth Sunday of Lent and for the third Sunday of Advent.

Red: represents the colour of the blood of the Martyrs and the Holy Spirit. Used on Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Pentecost and festivals of the Holy Martyrs.

Green: the colour of renewal and life, worn every day.

Violet: symbolises hope and expectation. Used during Advent, Lent and in the liturgy of the dead.

The prayers that accompany clothing

When a priest dresses in liturgical clothes he is performing an actual ritual, which contributes to the process of ‘de-personalisation’, making the celebrant himself, as a common man, become, for the time of the liturgy, something other than himself, a sort of emanation of Christ.

The texts of these particular prayers are often found in the sacristy, even though most of them are no longer mandatory.

The dressing ceremony always begins with washing the hands, which pronounces a separation from all that is ordinary and profane, so as to approach a more spiritual and sacred dimension. The prayer that accompanies ablution of the hands is as follows:

Da, Domine, virtutem manibus meis ad abstergendam omnem maculam; ut sine pollutione mentis et corporis valeam tibi servire. (Give, Oh Lord, to my hands, the virtue that will erase all stains: so that I may serve you without a stain on my soul and body)

As we’ve already mentioned in relation to the list of liturgical garments, dressing proceeds gradually, by overlaying the various vestments according to rules that have been codified over the centuries.

Firstly, they put on the amice, the white linen cloth whose function is to cover the priest’s neck  if the gown does not. It is a sort of ‘protection’ from evil and temptation, a symbolic helmet. The prayer provided for putting on the amice is: Impone, Domine, capiti meo galeam salutis, ad expugnandos diabolicos incursus. (Impose, Lord, on my head, the helmet of salvation, to defeat attacks by the Devil).

Subsequently, the priest puts on the camice or alba, a symbol of purity and sanctity, an essential step for ascending to divine grace. On putting on the camice, the priest has to recite: Dealba me, Domine, et munda cor meum; ut, in sanguine Agni dealbatus, gaudiis perfruar sempiternis. (Purify me, Lord, and cleanse my heart, because purified in the Blood of the Lamb, I enjoy the eternal joy).

The gown is tightened by the waist girdle, which can be of various colours, depending on the liturgical time. The girdle symbolises the virtue of self-control, and the priest remembers it by quoting St. Paul: Praecinge me, Domine, cingulo puritatis, et exstingue in lumbis meis humorem libidinis; ut maneat in me virtus continentiae et castitatis. (Believe me, Lord, with the girdle of purity; drain from my body the sap of debauchery, so that the virtue of continence and chastity remain with me.).

The  sacerdotal stole distinguishes the celebrant more than any other liturgical vestment. Whilst wearing it the priest recites: Redde mihi, Domine, stolam immortalitatis, quam perdidi in praevaricatione primi parentis; et, quamvis indignus, ad tuum sacrum mysterium, merear tamen gaudium sempiternum. (Return to me, Oh Lord, the stole of immortality, which I lost because of the sins of the first father; and because I see my unworthiness of your sacred mystery, may I also achieve joy without end).

Finally the priest who is about to celebrate the Holy Mass wears the chasuble or pianeta. The prayer takes up the words of Jesus: Domine, qui dixisti: Iugum meum suave est, et onus meum leve: fac, ut istud portare sic valeam, quod consequar tuam gratiam. Amen. (O Lord, you said: My game is sweet and my burden is light: grant that I may wear this garment to achieve your grace. Amen).

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Thuribles in liturgical function http://192.168.99.122/com/church-supplies/thuribles-liturgical-function/ Wed, 18 Apr 2018 09:35:08 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=249 The term ‘censer‘ comes from the Latin thus, Thuris “incense.” This is also the origin of censer’s synonym is derived: it is sometimes called ‘incense‘. In Latin, it was also referred to as thymiaterium, incensorium, and fumigatorium. The thurible is a metal container, usually a […]

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The term ‘censer‘ comes from the Latin thus, Thuris “incense.” This is also the origin of censer’s synonym is derived: it is sometimes called ‘incense‘. In Latin, it was also referred to as thymiaterium, incensorium, and fumigatorium.

The thurible is a metal container, usually a vessel, equipped with a cover provided with openings. Inside the jar, on a thin layer of embers, is incense surrounded by grains. This causes the thurible to spill around a fragrant and aromatic smoke. This occurs during Catholic religious services, although the custom of burning incense or other fragrant essences always belonged to human religiosity, and similar objects to the thurible are present in many other cults and rituals.

Anciently thuribles were open, little more than boxes. They could be transported or hanged, but not shaken. Today there are fixed thuribles, also called incense burners: they are small open braziers or can be equipped with a perforated lid, but they can not be shaken. In the Ambrosian and the Eastern liturgy are still in use these thuribles.

The thuribles commonly used in Western religious services are equipped with four chains that make possible the suspension and ripple ritual with which they are shaken on the assembly of the faithful. Three of the chains are used to hold up the thurible, the fourth also serves to raise the lid and insert the incense.

The thurible is always accompanied by a further smaller vessel, the incense boat, which accommodates the incense stock. The altar boy clerk in charge of the thurible brings the latter in his right hand and the boat in his left hand, except he reverses his hands when presenting the two objects to the priest.

The thurible is used in some of the key moments of the Eucharistic celebration: the beginning, before the reading of the Gospel, during the Offertory, and at the moment of consecration.

During the funeral, the priest spreads the smoke of the thurible on the coffin containing the corpse to bless and purify it. Similarly, representations of the Virgin Mary and the saints are censered.

Censers and boats can be manufactured today with different materials, usually brass or bronze. They are often finely crafted, silver, gold, smooth, hammered, and decorated with high craftsmanship.

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The cassock in the Catholic Church http://192.168.99.122/com/church-supplies/cassock-catholic-church/ Wed, 28 Mar 2018 14:35:34 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=272 Religious clothes have always been considered a sort of ‘uniform’ requested to priests to differentiate themselves from the common people. This is because since the origins of religion, there was the need to identify members of their communities even based on specific clothing. In particular, […]

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Religious clothes have always been considered a sort of ‘uniform’ requested to priests to differentiate themselves from the common people. This is because since the origins of religion, there was the need to identify members of their communities even based on specific clothing.

In particular, male religious clothes make the priest instantly recognisable and make them a reference point for the faithful. Wearing a religious clothing, be it a cassock or a clergyman, it is a way to demonstrate their function, their vocation, with all the obligations, duties and responsibilities that it entails.

The male religious piece of clothing most used by Catholic priests is the cassock, a long black robe closed by buttons and usually worn outside of religious services. The pattern and color of the details changes depending on the degree of the priest, but generally, the male religious dress is black, enriched with different coloured bands, buttons and accessories, and accompanied by different elements depending on the circumstances (eyelets, buttons, borders, liners, red ferraiolo, and pectoral cross). Higher-ranking priests wear a cape on top of their cassocks called pilgrim, and seminarians, acolytes and altar servers can wear religious clothes, but only together with the surplice. A long coat, the greek, completes the religious clothing during winter months.

Today, the clergyman has replaced in many cases the cassock as main male religious clothes. It is a complete set of pants, shorts, shirt and jacket. The shirt has a stiff collar that incorporates the cassock. The collar can be of two types: “Roman“, i.e. a white plastic strap emerging from the black collar, or a simple white plastic insert tucked into the shirt collar with two slots in which the corners are inserted. The shirt can be long or short sleeved, depending on the season. The most common colours are dark grey, light grey, blue, white, and black.

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Candle holder http://192.168.99.122/com/church-supplies/candle-holder/ Wed, 07 Feb 2018 17:27:27 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=125 The candle holder is a church supply in every church and placed on the altar. It is a candle holder intended to support a single candle. Its use dates back to the very origins of the church, and is clearly linked and indissoluble to the […]

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The candle holder is a church supply in every church and placed on the altar. It is a candle holder intended to support a single candle. Its use dates back to the very origins of the church, and is clearly linked and indissoluble to the symbolism of light as an expression of Faith, Hope and Resurrection of Christ.

The candle holder was once placed on the ground, and only later on the altar before the beginning of the celebration: at the end of the Mass was being stored. In addition, alongside the candle holder, other candlesticks could be placed together in varying numbers and according to the ongoing festivities or celebration.

In the fifth century, the Statuta Ecclesiae antiquae decreed that the acolyte in the process of receiving the votes should have received in the hands a candle holder with the candle.

The Council of Trent established a precise coding for the altar service, consisting of six candlesticks to be used during Mass and seven candle holders for the Pontifical Mass of the Pope or the Bishop.

The candle holder shape derives from its original use as profane furniture, in pre-Christian times: one foot, a trunk, a plate for the wax and the tip on which to put the candle.

The candle holders, over time, have become increasingly large and with more care in the form and decoration. In addition, the materials have evolved over time, with wide use of gold, silver and other precious metals, but also of the most humble materials, such as brass or wood, depending on the possibilities of the church.

In the sixteenth century, other strict rules were coded about the candle holder: that its manufacture reminded that of the altar cross; that precious materials were reserved for official celebrations; that the style was simple, linear, with a round or triangular foot, the stem chiseled, the circular plate and the tip to the candle.

The candle holder has retained these features to date, with the inevitable artistic and formal variations related to different historical periods.

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Liturgical stoles http://192.168.99.122/com/church-supplies/liturgical-stoles/ Wed, 24 Jan 2018 15:08:07 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=107 The liturgical stoles are a vestment worn by deacons, priests and bishops just under the chasuble. In particular, the deacons wear the liturgical stoles on the shoulders, passing on the left shoulder and tying them under the right arm; priests and bishops wear them simply […]

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The liturgical stoles are a vestment worn by deacons, priests and bishops just under the chasuble. In particular, the deacons wear the liturgical stoles on the shoulders, passing on the left shoulder and tying them under the right arm; priests and bishops wear them simply around the neck, loose on the chest.

The liturgical stole stated itself as a typical vestment of the deacon, the priest and the bishop only in the 10th century. Originally, it was called “map” or “sudarium”.

The deacon liturgical stole would come from “map” which was brought by the ancient priests on the left shoulder and worn to serve during the pagan sacrifices.

The “sudarium” was instead a cloth that speakers wore around their neck to dry and wipe away the sweat during the oratorical disputes; later, the priests began to use some sort of shroud to protect the face from the cold in winter or to wipe away the sweat.

Both these vestments, in time, would take the typical form of a strip, typical of current liturgical stoles, about 200-250 cm long and 8-10 cm wide.

The liturgical stole is usually made of silk, but it can also be packaged in another fabric.

Before the liturgical reform, liturgical stoles had a cross in the middle and at the bottom of each strip. Very ornate and rich patterns existed. Today the liturgical stoles tend to be much simpler.

The color of the stole depends on the occasion and the celebrations and follows the liturgical colors.

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Processional crosses http://192.168.99.122/com/church-supplies/processional-crosses/ Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:05:28 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=61 Processional crosses are mounted on long beams, which allow you to carry them in procession; are carried by an altar boy or a minor priest and usually lead the procession. In most cases, once you enter the church and reach the presbytery, processional crosses are set […]

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Processional crosses are mounted on long beams, which allow you to carry them in procession; are carried by an altar boy or a minor priest and usually lead the procession. In most cases, once you enter the church and reach the presbytery, processional crosses are set aside, but sometimes they can replace the crucifix, where it is not present.

The use of processional crosses is very old and has its origins from the importance attached by the Church from its beginnings to the diffusion of the figure of the crucified Christ, symbol of Faith and Resurrection. At first processional crosses did not have any support, or were mounted on separable beams: they were kept in the hands of those who opened the procession, and once in the church, were placed on the altar and honored with incense and bowing.

The need for them to be clearly visible from all sides, from whoever followed the procession, has meant that from the beginning the crosses were decorated front and back with the image of Christ, but also with figures of Saints or the Madonna.

The importance of processional crosses is not only liturgical but also civil, as a symbol of the church or parish that uses them. A powerful symbol, which goes beyond the confines of the building, to take the streets, to be carried out before the eyes of the people, of the faithful and not, with a value that precisely transcends purely religious meaning, to embrace a higher and deeper sense of unity and sharing, which has roots in the territory and common history.

This value has meant that particular attention was paid to the choice of materials with which the processional crosses were made, and art dedicated to their creation. The crosses must capture attention the instant they appear, like headlights of the Faith.

Discover more than 30 models of processional crosses in the catalog Holyart.com.

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The host in the Eucharistic celebration http://192.168.99.122/com/church-supplies/host-eucharistic-celebration/ Wed, 06 Sep 2017 08:12:16 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=412 The host is the unleavened bread that symbolizes the body of Christ during the celebration of the Eucharist, the celebration which started by Jesus during the Last Supper. In fact, the host is not just a vehicle between us and Jesus, but, after the consecration it becomes […]

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The host is the unleavened bread that symbolizes the body of Christ during the celebration of the Eucharist, the celebration which started by Jesus during the Last Supper. In fact, the host is not just a vehicle between us and Jesus, but, after the consecration it becomes his body. During the Last Supper, Jesus offered his disciples bread and wine as his body and blood, inviting them to do the same in the centuries to come, to renew his sacrifice for the salvation of men. The Eucharist is therefore one of the fundamental celebrations of Catholicism, a moment when Jesus returns to become a man and to sacrifice himself for all his children once again. In Catholic and Orthodox Church the transformation of bread into the body of Christ is called ‘transubstantiation’, and in Protestant Christian Churches ‘ Consubstantiation’.

In Eucharistic celebration, the host is made of wheat, and is usually round. It takes its name from the Latin word ‘hostia’: a sacrifice to the gods. It is made with unleavened bread as required in the Exodus book. The Easter Jewish required unleavened bread and bitter herbs for dinner too, to remember the liberation from Egypt. Christian Easter, which resumes every Eucharistic celebration, marks the renewal of the new covenant through the body and blood of Christ.

Only in the Catholic Church the sacred bread becomes the Holy Eucharist and is offered to the faithful. The hosts left are kept in the tabernacle and can be regarded as Jesus himself.

Every Eucharist is a celebration of immortality and communion with Christ, who offers himself as nourishment to men and to the Church.

Thomas of Aquino wrote in the Sacramento Altaris that in every Eucharist some miracles were performed: bread is the true Body of Christ, equal to that born and to the spiritual body of the risen Christ; all the substance of bread has been transformed into Christ, therefore the bread as such no longer exists; the substance of bread is transformed into the Body of Christ, but the inconsistencies remain, the qualities of bread, which, however, does not duplicate or diminish, remains the same and intact, even when eaten by the faithful; bread as Body of Christ is present simultaneously  everywhere the Eucharist is celebrated.

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The feast of Corpus Christi http://192.168.99.122/com/church-supplies/feast-corpus-christi/ Wed, 12 Jul 2017 14:44:41 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=369 The feast of Corpus Christi (“Body of Christ”) ends the festival that follows after Easter. It is celebrated on Thursday after the celebration of the Holy Trinity, although in many countries it falls on the following Sunday. The feast of Corpus Christi celebrates the real […]

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The feast of Corpus Christi (“Body of Christ”) ends the festival that follows after Easter. It is celebrated on Thursday after the celebration of the Holy Trinity, although in many countries it falls on the following Sunday. The feast of Corpus Christi celebrates the real presence of Christ during the Eucharist, therefore opposing the theory of Berengario di Tours, who claimed that such presence was not real but merely symbolic. This commemoration was born in the 13th century after the visions of a Belgian mystic, Giuliana of Retìne, and commemorates the origin of the mystery of the Eucharist.

In the vision of Giuliana di Retìne, the moon was full, white and shining, with a shadowy area. The mystic woman interpreted that apparition as the lack of a celebration that commemorated the Eucharist in the Church at the time for what it really was: the incarnation of Christ in the bread of the last supper. Subsequently, as to give credit to this conviction, the Eucharistic miracle of Bolsena took place: blood-drops dropped from a consecrated host and spotted the corporal worn by the priest and some of the altar’s stones. From that moment, Pope Urban IV, Giuliana’s friend and confidant, ordained that the solemnity of the Corpus Christy was official and extended to the entire church.

The corporal of the Bolsena’s miracle is still a very important element for this celebration. Every year, on Sundays after the feast of Corpus Christi, it is brought to procession along the streets of Orvieto.

The feast of Corpus Christi celebrates the relationship between the Eucharist and the Church. The Eucharist represents as the body of Christ, the Church as its mystical body, which takes origins and its deepest meaning from the former.

Everywhere the feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated with commemoration and mostly processions in which a consecrated host is exhibited to the faithful, a symbol of Jesus made of flesh and blood who sacrificed himself for us all.

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Paschal candle: the light that frees us from darkness http://192.168.99.122/com/church-supplies/paschal-candle-light-frees-us-darkness/ Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:54:50 +0000 http://192.168.99.122/com/?p=324 The Christ-Light axiom is one of the most recurring in the Catholic religion. From the origins of the Liturgy, light from lamps and candles was used as symbol of light of the Resurrection of Jesus: a light, which can dissipate the darkness of the darkest […]

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The Christ-Light axiom is one of the most recurring in the Catholic religion. From the origins of the Liturgy, light from lamps and candles was used as symbol of light of the Resurrection of Jesus: a light, which can dissipate the darkness of the darkest night.

Firstly, God created light, and throughout the Bible, this is considered as a sign of God’s presence, and manifestation of His greatness.

But it was with Jesus that the symbolic value of light obtained its most important role.

Jesus speaks of himself as the true light, and of his disciples as the light of the world, which must “shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Mt 5:16).

In particular, the great Paschal candle lit on the Easter Vigil, placed in the baptistery and brought in solemn procession, has itself a strong symbolic value.

In the darkness that characterizes the Easter Vigil, the Paschal candle is lit by the priest in order to enlighten the dark abyss where men wander, deprived of light and hope for new life. This weak flame is needed to revive the hope to the faithful ones. In the glow of the blessed candle, the faithful ones recognize themselves as the children of light, in communion with God and with their brothers. The light from these candles, and in particular the one from the Paschal candle, affects everyone present with the splendor of Christ rising from the darkness of death and defeating the evil.

The night, no longer dark but illuminated by the presence of Christ, is filled with songs of joy and hope. Every guilt is washed, every sin forgiven, in this common rebirth.

The Paschal candle should be at the center of all celebrations for the fifty days of Easter. It will be consumed, just as Jesus was “consumed” before God, by the love for men, sacrificing himself completely. His sacrifice is renewed every year by the burning of this symbol of salvation and redemption;  the smoke, going up to the sky, reminds the rise of the One who came back from the dead, to bring light and peace to men until the end of time.

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