Wow! A Drum Roll and Taps!

Historical research often yields surprising tidbits, helping to bring those rosy thoughts of the past into line. 

In a report about a “Pontifical Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament” in 1940 at the Cathedral in St. Augustine, Florida, I read:

“At the elevation of the Host in the gold monstrance, a roll of drums were played, and after the Host was reposed again in the tabernacle, a bugler sounded Taps.”
Yowzah! Bet it knocked their socks off! 
And in the presence of the Apostolic Delegate Giovanni Cicognani, no less! 

6 Replies to “Wow! A Drum Roll and Taps!”

  1. At Benedictine High School, a military HS in Richmond, VA, circa 1969, we had High Mass for the entire Corps of Cadets 2 or 3 times a years, and at the Concecration the Battalion Staff would stand in the sacristy and hold up their drawn sabers while the drummers played a drum roll and punctuated it with a the bass drum. I don't recall whether there was a trumpet or not. Goolge shows several instances of a "Military High Mass", including one last December at BHS. No idea how wide spread it would be.

  2. There are historic accounts of these Pontifical Military High Masses here in Charleston and Savannah. It is not an abomination, but rather a very reasonable way of marking what is happening during the Mass with the best musical instruments available for the scenario. I have been searching for more information on these Masses, and I suspect that military color guards and sword salutes were incorporated, much like the Knights of Columbus.

    "While elevating the Host and the chalice the pope turned in a half circle towards the Epistle and Gospel sides, respectively, as the "Silveri Symphony" was played on the trumpets of the Noble Guard (an honorary unit which was abolished in 1970). Eight prelates held torches for the elevation, but no sanctus bell was used at any time in a Papal Mass." (” target=”_blank”> (

  3. This event described wasn't Mass.

    But I do recall the confirmation at which the Knights of Columbus at the church entrance drew swords. It alarmed one of the confirmands, judging from the scream of surprise from the young woman at the head of the line.


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