Theophoric procession

The author of the picture of the arundina serpentina posted previously in our Sabbato Sancto post has managed to capture on video the Theophoric Procession which takes place on Good Friday, at the End of the Mass of the Pre-Sanctified.

According to many, this procession is unique in the Catholic Church. Should anyone have any information regarding the validity of this claim, please let us know.

About Br. Gregory

Benedictine oblate, husband and father of 3, enamoured with the Liturgy, Fathers, and Sacred Scriptures. Trying to persevere through the "dura et aspera" while de Dei misericordia numquam desperare."
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7 Responses to Theophoric procession

  1. I think it’s highly likely that this is unique in the Catholic Church today. In the middle ages though, there were similar ceremonies for the Triduum in other cathedral uses of the Roman Rite, before the Reformation or adoption of the Tridentine use. In England, in the Sarum use (of the cathedral of Salisbury) for example, a probably similar procession took place on Good Friday where the Lord was entombed in the Easter Sepulchre, which could have been a temporary wooden structure, but was often a more elaborate stone architectural feature, many of which survive still (in churches that are today Anglican however). It is amazing that the Bragan rite kept this alive into the 20th century and now seemingly into the 21st. It is a real treasure.

    Thank you for keeping this blog. I have enjoyed learning about the rite of Braga. I had until recently been under the impression that no secular (non-monastic) uses of the Roman Rite had survived besides the Tridentine. Is there regular celebration of Mass according to the Bragan rite today in Portugal?

    • marcodavinha says:

      Sadly, there is no regular celebration of the Bragan rite in Portugal, at least not that I’m aware of. If any religious house celebrates it, they probably do so in private. The current “specialist” on the Bragan rite in Portugal (a priest from the archdiocese) says that there’s no justifiable reason to continue having books proper to the archdiocese nowadays ( Given the general opposition to the traditional Roman rite in Portugal, such a claim is not news.

      I’m still trying to figure out what are the pre-requisites for the celebartion of the rite: is its celebration restricted to clergy ordained in the archdiocese, or may any cleric of the Roman Church be given permission to celebrate?

      • That is a shame. But perhaps more and more priests will begin to take an interest in the remarkable symbols and expressions of faith that processions like this once embodied.

        Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to this. It might be worth contacting someone who celebrates the Ambrosian rite in its traditional form. I think canonically it would be a similar situation.

      • Jonas says:

        It can only be celebrated within the limits of the diocese.
        The pre-requisite is geographical, not personal.

      • marcodavinha says:

        Not that I’m doubting you, but where can I find the regulations for this?

  2. liturgia says:

    In Paris, this rite was stopped in the 1870′, after Paris took the Roman books. And of course, it used to be done everywhere in France during the Middle Ages.

    • liturgia says:

      And of course the rite exist in the Byzantine rite (both catholic and orthodox): After vespers of Good Friday, a procession with the Shroud is made to the tomb. The Shroud is removed before the Easter procession, which takes place before the Easter Matins.

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