Friday, May 14, 2010

Yards and yards of it

In a big Church you need something to make a bishop seen.
I have to admit it I love a Cappa Magna, it is so wonderfully absurd!
I remember an old bishop who said, "Wearing it reminds me I am nothing but a walking clothes horse, it is not me it is the office." I paraphrase him of course but their is a truth here of course, it makes the man unimportant, almost rediculous and points us to what he is for Christ.
It is Bishop Slattery celebrating Pontifical Solemn High Mass in Washington DC.
Thank you to Hugo for sending me the link.


gemoftheocean said...

Well, and then sometimes it looks like a bride who just went a little overboard on all the trimmings. Guess it depends on the bishop.

My elderly priest friend, the sainted Fr. Shipley, tells me that in the late 1950s a priest friend of his used to often assist at the bishop's high Masses as MC. Let's just say there was a lot of stress on this priest. Primarily due to the bishop at that time considering himself "the last of the great 'kiss the ring' in *not* a necessarily nice way" types. The bishop had a tendency to have a hissy fit if one of his assistants, for instance didn't do some little thing or other "just so" at the right angle the bishop liked it at. Such things as helping him off or on with a cappa magna. One one notable occasion, he took it off his own shoulders and threw it on the ground after someone didn't adjust it - who'd had less skill than the "Amazing Kreskin." In the first ever televised midnight Christmas Mass in the San Diego diocese (some 50 years ago now) -- then LIVE, the MC relayed to my priest friend that the only way he was able to keep the bishop in check was to constantly hiss in the bishop's ear "the CAMERAS, the CAM-ER-AS!!!"

Any CM this long makes me question the guy's sanity! I know, but as THEATRE, you've "got a show."

Richard said...

Wow - I hadn't realised that it is actually a huge cape, rather than just a cape with a huge train. I mean the train is an extension of the sleeves as well as just the back (watch the start of the video).

gemoftheocean said...

Well, Richard, I have to say, this *particular* CM looks, how shall I put it? Something Howard Crabtree would have been comfortable wearing as a matter of course.

There is a line between "dressing to suit the occasion" and flaming over the top.

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