Saturday, April 14, 2007

Papal Pallium

The following article had a great beginning, but some parts throughout may be offensive to devout Catholics. The first part is quite nice, however, please read. This is an article I found at the following address:

Some Roman Catholic liturgical customs aestheticize human relations to the divine with exquisite sensibility: the pope's slippers, for example, were made in a shell-like shade of pink, and his pallium, a long white band worn over the pope's shoulders, is woven from the first shearings of lambs that have been blessed on Jan. 21, the feast day of St. Agnes, in Rome's Sant'Agnese Fuori le Mura (St. Agnes Outside the Walls), where the saint is buried; the lambs are then raised in the papal summer palace of Castel Gandolfo until their wool is ready, at which point Benedictine nuns in a convent in Trastevere work it into the papal vestment. I chanced upon the ceremony several years ago, and saw two of the new year's lambs, garlanded with white and red roses, trot up a scarlet carpet (symbolizing martyrdom) to the altar where the priest, in full fig, awaited them. I almost expected the little creatures to kneel down.