A fan made of leather, silk, parchment, or feathers intended to keep away insects from the Sacred Species and from the priest

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

     Catholic_Encyclopedia Flabellum
    The flabellum, in liturgical use, is a fan made of leather, silk, parchment, or feathers intended to keep away insects from the Sacred Species and from the priest. It was in use in the sacrifices of the heathens and in the Christian Church from very early days, for in the Apostolic Constitutions, a work of the fourth century, we read (VIII, 12): "Let two of the deacons ( see Deacons ), on each side of the altar, hold a fan, made up of thin membranes, or of the feathers of the peacock, or of fine cloth, and let them silently drive away the small animals that fly about, that they may not come near to the cups". Its use was continued in the Latin Church to about the fourteenth century. In the Greek Church to the present day, the deacon ( see Deacons ), at his ordination, receives the hagion ripidion, or sacred fan, which is generally made to the likeness of a cherub's six-winged face, and in the sacrifice of the Mass he waves it gently over the species from the time of the Offertory to the Communion — in the Liturgy of St. Basil only during the Consecration. Among the ornaments found belonging to the church of St. Riquier, in Ponthieu (813), there is a silver flabellum (Migne, P. L., CLXXIV, 1257), and for the chapel of Cisoin, near Lisle, another flabellum of silver is noted in the will of Everard (died 937), the founder of that abbey. When, in 1777, Martène wrote his "Voyage Littéraire", the Abbey of Tournus, on the Saône in France, possessed an old flabellum, which had an ivory handle two feet long, and was beautifully carved; the two sides of the ivory circular disc were engraved with fourteen figures of saints. Pieces of this fan, dating from the eighth century, are in the Musée Cluny at Paris, and in the Collection Carrand. The circular disc is also found in the Slavic flabellum of the thirteenth century, preserved at Moscow, and in the one shown in the Megaspileon monastery in Greece. On this latter disc are carved the Madonna and Child and it is encircled by eight medallions containing the images of cherubim and of the Four Evangelists. The inventory, taken in 1222, of the treasury of Salisbury, enumerates a silver fan and two of parchment. The richest and most beautiful specimen is the flabellum of the thirteenth century in the Abbey of Kremsmünster in Upper Austria. It has the shape of a Greek cross and is ornamented with fretwork and the representation of the Resurrection of Our Lord. A kind of fan with a hoop of little bells is used by the Maronites and other Orientals and is generally made of silver or brass.
    Apart from the foregoing liturgical uses, a flabellum, in the shape of a fan, later of an umbrella or canopy, was used as a mark of honour for bishops and princes. Two fans of this kind are used at the Vatican whenever the pope is carried in state on the sedia gestatoria to or from the altar or audience-chamber. Through the influence of Count Ditalmo di Brozza, the fans formerly used at the Vatican were, in 1902, presented to Mrs. Joseph Drexel of Philadelphia, U. S. A., by Leo XIII, and in return she gave a new pair to the Vatican. The old ones are exhibited in the museum of the University of Pennsylvania. They are splendid creations. The spread is formed of great ostrich plumes tipped with peacock feathers; on the sticks are the papal arms, worked in a crimson field in heavy gold, the crown studded with rubies and emeralds. St. Paul's Cathedral, London, had a fan made of peacock feathers, and York Cathedral's inventory mentions a silver handle of a fan, which was gilded and had upon it the enamelled picture of the bishop. Haymo, Bishop of Rochester (died 1352), gave to his church a fan of silver with an ivory handle.
    ROCK, Church of our Fathers (London, 1904), II, 209; DU CANGE, Glossarium (Niort, 1885); STREBER in kirchenlexicon, s. v.; KRAUS, Gesch. der kirchl. Kunst (Freiburg, 1896), I, 552.
    Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • FLABELLUM — Le nom latin de l’éventail, flabellum , sert au Moyen Âge à désigner un éventail liturgique porté au dessus de la tête de certains dignitaires de l’Église, cet usage ayant déjà existé chez les Égyptiens. Primitivement fait de plumes de paon, il… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Flabellum — Fla*bel lum, n. [L. See {Flabel}.] (Eccl.) A fan; especially, the fan carried before the pope on state occasions, made in ostrich and peacock feathers. Shipley. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flabellum — (lat.), Fächer oder Wedel von dünnem Pergament, Pfauenfedern oder Leinwand, womit beim Meßopfer die Fliegen von dem geweihten Brot und dem Kelch hinweggescheucht werden; Flabellation, Lüftung eines gebrochenen Gliedes …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Flabellum — Flabellum, lat., Fächer, Wedel; in der Chirurgie Kühlung eines gebrochenen Gliedes durch trockene, kühle Unterlagen; flabelliren, fächeln …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • FLABELLUM — inter ministeria sacra Eccl. Rom. habetur, apud Hariulfum l. 3. c. 3. Efficitur id e pavonum pennis, illuqueve Diaconus utitur, vel potius duo diaconi, ut habetur l. 8. Constit. Apost. c. 19. ex utraqueve parte altaris, ut dum sacra peraguntur,… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • flabellum — [flə bel′əm] n. pl. flabella [flə bel′ə] [L, a fan, dim. of flabrum, a breeze < flare, to blow < IE * bhlē : see BLAST] 1. a large fan carried by the pope s attendants on ceremonial occasions 2. Zool. a fan shaped organ or structure of the… …   English World dictionary

  • Flabellum — Ancient Egyptian flabella (top center) and lotus motifs. 1868, NYPL picture collection A flabellum (plural flabella), in Catholic liturgical use, is a fan made of metal, leather, silk, parchment or feathers, intended to keep away insects from the …   Wikipedia

  • Flabellum — Le flabellum (pluriel : flabellum, flabellums, ou flabella) est un grand éventail, monté sur des hampes. Ce mot emprunté au latin veut dire « éventail ». Sommaire 1 Égypte antique 2 Église catholique 3 Voir aussi …   Wikipédia en Français

  • flabellum — n.; pl. la [L. flabellum, fan] 1. Any leaflike or fanlike process. 2. (ARTHROPODA: Crustacea) The thin distal exite of a branchiopod; or epipodite of a thoracopod. 3. (ARTHROPODA: Insecta) A transparent distal lobe of the glossa of bees; bouton …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • flabellum — /fleuh bel euhm/, n., pl. flabella / bel euh/. 1. a fan, esp. one used in religious ceremonies. 2. a fan shaped part. [1865 70; < L flabellum fan, dim. of flabra breezes, equiv. to fla(re) to BLOW2 + bra, pl. of brum n. suffix of means; see… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”