Incorporating the Shroud and the Sudarium in the Mass

Sudarium/Helen Simonsson

German journalist Paul Budde discusses new research suggesting that the burial cloths of Jesus have been central to the Roman liturgy for more than a millennium, with Edward Pentin at the National Catholic Register.

A German theologian and friend of Benedict XVI, drawing on the writings of a 9th-century bishop, appears to have made a historic and fascinating discovery, revealing how the Shroud of Turin and the sudarium (the Veil of Veronica) were central to the Roman liturgy from as far back as the Carolingian times, most probably before. The two relics and their inclusion in those early liturgies also point to the Real Presence.

The discovery has only now come to light, after debate over the burial cloths has intensified over the past 10 years and interest has developed regarding their authenticity.
German journalist Paul Badde has been following the discovery closely and is an authority on the Holy Face of Manoppello, which many believe to be the true sudarium, to find out more.

Could you tell us more about this discovery and the significance of it?

The discovery was made by Klaus Berger of Heidelberg, a German theologian, an old friend of Joseph Ratzinger and New Testament scholar, who is carrying out detailed research on the Apocalypse of St John.

During his studies, he came across one of the great commentators on the Apocalypse, Amalarius (775-850), a liturgical expert from the Carolingian times. Amalarius, who used to be bishop of Metz in France and archbishop of Trier in Germany, was a great liturgist of the Carolingian age, whom Pope Sergius II made a cardinal. Even in those times, he said the cloth of the altar resembled the shroud and the sudarium, found and discovered first by the apostles Peter and John in the empty holy sepulcher the first Easter morning.

But we have an enormous gap in documented records from the first Easter morning in Jerusalem and the moment when they first appeared in public. We know that the sudarium appeared in 1208 in Rome in public, when Pope Innocent III put it on public view, and the shroud appeared in 1355 for the first time in the West in Lirey in the Champagne area of France.

But we can be sure that the two cloths have always been part of the "memory of the liturgy," even though their presence arrived later. Amalarius may have witnessed seeing them there [in Constantinople], and it's important to note that their presence in the liturgy didn't begin in Carolingian times, but [they] were probably used from the very beginning.

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Liturgy of the Cloth: How the Early Church Incorporated the Shroud and Sudarium in the Mass

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Helen Simonsson/Flickr

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