"Introibo ad altare Dei": Mulligan’s first words initiate a mocking parody of the Catholic Mass, though in retrospect the stage has been set by his “stately” appearance carrying a bowl on which a mirror and razor lie “crossed.” In his mock ritual, the shaving bowl represents the chalice (or ciborium, or pyx) that holds the wine which will become changed into the blood of Christ. The Latin phrase means “I will go up to the altar of God.”

JH 2011

The Ardagh Chalice, an 8th century masterpiece of Celtic metalwork unearthed from a potato field in 1868, held in the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin. Source:

Approach to the altar in Cobh, Ireland (formerly Queenstown).

Approach to the altar at St. Thomas' in Lodz, Poland, with chanting of the Introibo. Source:

Giovanni Vianini, director of the Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis, Milan, Italy. Source: