Rorate Caeli

Catafalque of the Queen of Heaven

Here are two of the pictures of the Catafalque of the Blessed Virgin Mary that the F.SS.R had set up during their Triduum in honor of the Assumption. This is also known as the "Tomb of the Virgin" in some of the few churches and chapels that continue the tradition. One custom associated with it is for children to go in procession to the empty tomb, where they leave their posies in honor of the Virgin.

For more photographs of this magnificent custom in honor of Our Lady, please go to the Papa Stronsay blog, and don't forget to leave a comment thanking the Fathers for their work for Tradition.


arturovasquez said...

Seems like a tradition of Byzantine origin to me. I know because I was a monk in a Byzantine rite monastery, and we would put out a "winding sheet" with an image of the Virgin lying in repose as the festal icon, similar to the winding sheet (epitaphion) used in Byzantine services during Holy Week that has a picture of Christ in repose on it. I knew in some places in the Western Church they had a burial of Christ. It is interesting to see a "burial of the Virgin" service. Do you know what country this has historically been done in?

Anonymous said...

How prevalent was this custom prior to Vatican II? And after? What is the nature of the triduum they held? -- Tobias

Fr. Gary V. said...

In the Philippines, every Good Friday
every parish have the procession around town of the Holy Sepulchere. The high point of Holy Week.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...


I have no idea too, but as with things like this, I'd look into Spain and Poland.

Dear Fr. Gary:

Yes, but we are discussing the Virgin's sepulchre here. I don't think it was ever done in the Philippines.

Confiteor said...

Rumors of the F.SS.R.'s abandonment of Tradition are greatly exaggerated. God bless these holy monks.

Castor said...

in Sardinia, a a sleeping-virgin statue is used. Some Ukrainians use a dormition shroud or icon.