These candlesticks are a set of 6, sent as a gift to St. Michael’s Parish in 1769 by Mr. Laurence Carew, a Waterford Émigré in Cadiz in Spain. The Carew family, who established themselves in Cadiz, set up the Carew-Langton Charity in St. Patrick’s Parish to provide housing & support for the poor. They also endowed St. Michael’s Parish Church with a silver crucifix reliquay in 1752. The candlesticks are each 5kg in weight and 67cm each in Height. They are white metal with silver content.
This gilded Ciborium, dated 1629, is from St. Patrick’s Church, Waterford. The existence of Church plate of this quality suggests that the Catholic religion was practised openly and was flourishing during the reign of Charles I. The Ciborium weighs 900 grams and stands 41 cm in height.
This is an important Reliquary of Silver and bears the inscription: ‘Ista Particula Sacratissime Crucis Pertinent Ad Ecclesiam Cathedralem Sanctissime Trinitatis Waterfordie HIS MAR 1620’
Translation: ‘This particle of the Most Holy Cross belongs to the Cathedral Church of The Most Holy Trinity Waterford Jesus Mary 1620’
The Case or Shrine, in the shape of an Archiepiscopal Cross, measures nearly 9 inches by 2.5 inches. In its bed within the shrine rests the particle of Sacred Wood in the form of a double-armed Cross. On one of the silver clips at the side is an inscription, obviously very old: ‘Lignum de Vera Cruce’ (Wood of the True Cross). There is no evidence as to the provenance of this relic. It certainly was revered in Waterford long before the Reformation of the 16th century. One writer suggests that it might perhaps have been a companion of the Relic in Holy Cross Abbey and have come from King Muircheartach O’Brien of Munster who had received it from Pope Paschal II (1099 –1118). King Muircheartach O’Brien was closely involved in the appointment of Waterford’s first Bishop in the 11th century.
During the early days of the 18th century when Bishop Richard Pierse was forced to go into exile he is reputed to have entrusted the Sacred Relic to the Aylward Family of Cross in Co. Waterford. A member of this family, on her death, passed it on to Brother Joseph Murphy of Mount Sion in 1840. Brother Murphy was uncle to Margaret Aylward, founder of the Holy Faith Congregation. In the present century Mount Sion returned the relic to the Cathedral Parish.
The reliquary, now vacant, presumably was intended to enshrine a fragment of the True Cross. The inscription reads: “Pray for Mr. Laurence Carew 1752”. The Crucifix, made by Francis Dearens in 1751, is silver and stands 62 cm in height and weighs 3.75 kg.
The set of Vestments comprises: Four Copes; Two Dalmatics; One Chasuble; Accompanying Stoles and Maniples.
Experts consider that they were probably made in Flanders in the latter part of the 15th century. The material is Genoese or Florentine velvet. Each Vestment is inset with human figures and New Testament pictures, all wrought in what is technically known as opus plumorum, of gold and coloured threads. Each Dalmatic, for instance, has panels of Saints and other figures about 7 inches high. The Ophreys of the Copes are very rich – embroidered with Gospel incidents such as the Annunciation, the Adoration of the Magi, the Presentation, the Crucifixion. Despite their heavy weight the Vestments were used on special occasions even into the present century. They can be seen on display in the National Museum. (The Magi Cope is currently on display in the Museum of Waterford Treasures at the Granary)