Thursday, December 28, 2006

Of popes and thrones and such

The first photo shows Blessed Pope John XXIII upon a familiar looking throne in front of the Papal Altar in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The second photo is of Pope Pius XII wearing the Tiara
being borne aloft in a sedia gestatoria flanked by the flabella.

The third photograph shows Pope John Paul II
wearing the fanon over a Roman chasuble and dalmatic.

Rummaging through the ecclesiastical vestry we find:

TIRA: The triregnum, or triple tiara, is the traditional crown of the Popes. It is a beehive-shaped ornament encircled by three diadems and usually surmounted by a cross. The last three Popes have not worn it.

SEDIA GESTATORIA: The sedia gestatoria is the portable throne on which Popes are sometimes carried. It consists of a richly-adorned, silk-covered armchair, fastened on a suppedaneum, on each side of which are two gilded rings; through these rings pass the long rods with which twelve footmen (palafrenieri), in red uniforms, carry the throne on their shoulders.

FLABELLUM: Two large fans (flabella) made of white ostrich feathers—a relic of the ancient liturgical use of the flabellum, mentioned in the Constitutiones Apostolicae, VIII, 12—are carried at the sides of the sedia gestatoria.

PAPAL FANON: the fanon is a Mass vestment worn only by the Pope during Solemn High Mass. It resembles a shoulder cape with stripes and is worn over the chasuble. The white woolen pallium is arranged over top of it. While no longer an obligatory part of papal vesture, the fanon was never abolished.

CAPPA MAGNA: The cappa magna (literally, "great cape") is a voluminous ecclesiastical garment with a long train, proper to cardinals, bishops, and certain other honorary prelates. No longer mandatory (and therefore rare), the cappa magna was never abolished and still appears in the Ceremonial of Bishops. Ordinarily scarlet for cardinals and purple for bishops, the garment dates to the first millennium and its train has varied in length over the ages. Traditionally, one can distinguish between the normal (or "summer") cappa magna, and the "winter" version, which has the upper portion covered in white fur. The latest regulations abolished the winter version.

FERRAIUOLO: The ferraiuolo is a formal cape worn by the clergy over the non-choir cassock on special, non-liturgical occasions. From the time of Bl. Pius IX (I believe) until the 1969 revisions of Paul VI, it was required of any cleric received in audience by the Pope or attending a non-liturgical function at which His Holiness was present.

The ferraiuolo comes in three colors: black, purple, and red. Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church wear red, bishops and the highest ranks of honorary monsignors (now only the upper eschelon of the Roman Curia and protonotaries apostolic -- although, before, prelates of honor also had the privilege) wear purple, and everyone else wears black. Cardinals and others directly representing the Pope may use watered silk as the material.

GLOVES: Episcopal gloves, also called episcopal gauntlets, are liturgical gloves used by bishops in the traditional Roman Rite of the Mass. Following Vatican II, a number of traditional items of vesture were abolished, but the gloves seem merely to have stopped being mentioned.

Thanks to the Rev. Fr. Jim Tucker for most of these definitions from his Dappled Photos site.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr. Jim Tucker does a nice job with his blogs.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Jose W. said...

I agree.

11:09 PM  

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