Tuesday, 13 February 2007

The Crypt Store

The Cathedral does not have a large crypt, but close to it lies this store, where rare items are kept. Twice a year we hold a 'secret tour' of the Cathedral when visitors are shown these nether regions. Above, you see the large candlesticks (over six feet tall) that were used for a Cardinal's funeral. In previous existences, the crypt store was used for storing coal, and during World War II it was an air-raid shelter.

6 comments:

st columba said...

Regarding the six foot tall candles... Can one still obtain candles tall enough (wide enough?) to fit them?

Administrator said...

Yes, but at a huge price! For a Cardinal's funeral, the candles used to be unbleached - that is, a brown colour. I am not usre where one would abtain those these days.

Liadnan said...

I have seen unbleached candles but not of that size. Are they roughly the same size as the Big Six/Seven above the High Altar? Presumably the stands were not used for Cardinal Hume's funeral? I have to say they look a bit too florid and baroque for my tastes in the photograph.

Administrator said...

Liadnan
They are slightly larger than the Big Six/Seven above the High Altar. I think the last time they were used was for Cardinal Heenan's funeral in 1975. Although they are rather overhwelming close up, in the large space of the Cathedral nave, I imagine they register well.

Andrew said...

Wow, I think they're beautiful! They sure don't make them like them used to.

And to think we're privileged to see what only a few have seen through the special tours.

Thank you, Father.

Anonymous said...

The Brompton Oratory has a chapel where the candles are unbleached. Talking of which, with Lent approaching, do you know why Catholic Churches have never adopted the use of unbleached off white altar frontals such as are used at Westminster Abbey?