Umbrellino & Tintinnabulum
The feast of Sts. Peter and Paul will be celebrated at the Basilica Shrine of St. Mary the weekend of June 28th with a special procession at each of the weekend masses.
The new umbrellino and tintinnabulum will be carried in and take their place on the altar as a visual reminder of the privilege and honor bestowed on our church by being named a basilica.
Both gifts have been generously donated by Dr. Ted Gasper and his family. The umbrellino is given in honor of Sr. Isaac and the tintinnabulum is given as a memorial to Dr. Mary Dix McDuffie Gasper who passed away almost a year ago.
The Umbrellino (“little umbrella”) is a distinctive symbol used in basilicas throughout the world. Designed with stripes of yellow and red (traditional papal colors), the silk canopy is a symbol of the Pope’s authority. During the Middle Ages, the Umbrellino would be carried above the Holy Father during processions.
Once placed, the Umbrellino remains partially open in as a symbol of readiness to welcome the Holy Father. The panels along the bottom display the Coat of Arms of the Basilica Shrine of Saint Mary, as well as the Coat of Arms of Pope Francis, the Coat of Arms of the Bishop of Raleigh, and the Coat of Arms of the Raleigh Diocese. These designs have been embroidered on the beautiful silk fabric. The following gallery shows how it was created:
The Tintinnabulum, like the Umbrellino, indicates that the Basilica Shrine of Saint Mary has a special relationship with the Holy Father. The Tintinnabulum, a bell mounted on a pole, is placed in a Roman Catholic Basilica to signify the church’s link with the Pope. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the Tintinnabulum was used to alert the people of Rome of the approach of the Holy Father during papal processions.
The Tintinnabulum consists of a small gold bell within a hand carved wooden frame accented with gold leaf surmounted by the Papal Tiara (the crown traditionally worn by the Pope) and the Papal Keys (see Matthew 16:13-19). Above the bell is a hand carved Coat of Arms of the Basilica Shrine of Saint Mary. The reverse side of the Saint Mary Coat of Arms medallion is a hand-carved figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary as she appears above the altar of the basilica. The photos below show the stages of hand-carving and craftsmanship involved in creating this beautiful piece of art.