LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

And the Answer is . . .

That it's probably the only liturgical implement for which (as far as I can find) there is no proper name !

In fact it is the implement in which - as I think Sirian perhaps guessed, but didn't explicitly say - flax is burnt before the Holy Father en route to his Coronation (in the days when Holy Fathers were crowned, that is !).

For those who are not familiar with this little ceremony, you can see it - and see the implement in use - during the Coronation ceremonies of B. John XXIII on YouTube here. (The best view is from 4'57" to 5'28", when you actually see the ceremony itself.)

Three times during the procession the Holy Father, seated in the Sedia Gestatoria, stops for a moment whilst a fragment of flax is burnt before him, to the accompaniment of the words 'Pater Sancte, sic transit gloria mundi' - to remind him that all the glory with which he is surrounded is as fugitive and transient as the piece of flax, which flares up, and then instantly disappears.

(Incidentally, I think the prize for ingenuity has to go to Fr Tim . . !)


  1. I was going to make a comment and mention the flax and the "Sit transit" etc but unfortunately, I was on a coach, and Blogger wouldn't let me post a comment using my iPhone!

  2. Uh...dude? I think it's called a BRAZIER.

    [Don't overthink this....] ;-D