Sunday, August 18, 2013

Treasures of Detroit’s Blessed Sacrament Cathedral

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (August 18, 2013):

In preparation for the upcoming Tridentine Mass at Detroit’s Blessed Sacrament Cathedral on Friday, August 30 at 7:00 PM, we explored the cathedral’s inventory of supplies. Most visitors to the cathedral are struck by the architectural changes installed in recent years. However, if you take a look beneath the surface, you’ll discover some amazing gems.

For many years, we have heard rumors of an impressive collection of historic vestments in storage at the cathedral. We can finally confirm those rumors...those vestments exist! There are solemn vestment sets, including dalmatic and tunicle for deacon and subdeacon, and matching humeral veils for the subdeacon to wear, in the liturgical colors of green, gold, red, black (without humeral veil), and rose. Yes, that rarest of rare sightings, a rose solemn vestment set, usable on only two days of the liturgical year.

The vestments are immaculately preserved, largely because they are not on hangers, but rather stored flat, in large, rotating drawers. Best of all, these aren’t just museum pieces – they’re still used. In fact, through the kind permission of Cathedral Rector Msgr. Michael LeFevre, the gold set was loaned to Windsor’s Assumption Church for use in today’s Solemn High Mass.

Vestments and vesting are apparently taken quite seriously at the cathedral: in the sacristy, the Latin prayer for washing hands is framed above the sink. High up on the wall is an enormous mural of the Tridentine vesting prayers which the priest prays before Mass. Why are the prayers so large? Most likely so that a large gathering of priests could pray them at roughly the same time.

Visitors’ eyes are drawn to the new pipe organ installed where the high altar used to be. Not to be overlooked is the historic Casavant organ installed in the choir loft. Unlike many pipe organs, this instrument is not ornamented with decorative pipes and woodwork; its workings are concealed behind the side walls of the loft. The sound emanates from grilles opening into the gallery. This very organ will be used for our August 30 Mass. We hope you can join us for the historic return of the Traditional Latin Mass to Detroit’s mother church.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 08/19 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. John Eudes, Confessor)
  • Tue. 08/20 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot & Doctor)
  • Sun. 08/25 12:00 Noon: High Mass at St. Albertus (Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for August 18, 2013. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]


RFGA, Ph.D. said...

I haven't been this excited about an event since the Who played the Silverdome in '75.

Melancholicus said...

All I can say is, wow.

I'm amazed they never threw all these vestments away when the revolution hit.