Thursday, March 27, 2014

SPEAKING OF BLING!


How much is too much for our Catholic churches, art and vestments? Do we buy ugly or do we try to be modest in what we spend.

I've always seen the church building as belonging to the parish. But in the case of St. Joseph Church here in Macon, it belongs to the city and is opened to anyone for personal prayer everyday. This church belongs to those who had the foresight to envision it but never saw it completed. It belongs to all subsequent generations and many more to come.

We must be good stewards of church property and spend in a way that preserves it for the present and future.

So how much is too much? Too much goes beyond what the parish can support. So if the parish is willing to put forward $5 million than $5 million it is. But all has to be above board and some people will give more generously than others and some, no matter what, will say that the money should be given to schools and the poor. That's a fact of life and they make us think of our priorities.

As far as vestments, I have always purchased vestments for the church, meaning from the church's budget. I have very, very few personal vestments and some of these go back to 1980 and are 1980's dated vestments.

I do not spend lavishly, but I have good vestments. I usually purchase from Gaspard and Sons which has quality merchandise at a good price. These vestments are not sumptuous though, nor are they overly ornate.

My personal tastes for vestments is not baroque. I would feel very uncomfortable in these. If a parish had them, I'd use them for special solemnities and feasts.

I think we should always buy good, solid and tasteful accoutrements for the church. I think what is chosen should match the style of the Church building.

What do you think?

13 comments:

John Nolan said...

The top two pictures show the P. Marini style, no doubt expensive but tasteless, which is the definition of bling. The bottom two show that good taste can cost nothing, since these vestments were bought and paid for years ago.

Benedict XVI, whose humility led him to accept hand-me-downs and embrace recycling!

Henry said...

Some from afar have looked through our photo gallery

http://www.knoxlatinmass.net/gallery/gallery.htm

and suggested that our Knoxville Latin Mass community has some pretty fancy vestments for an ordinary backwater parish in this country. Be that as it may, not a dime of any parish money was spent on any of these vestments, all of which were donated privately. I myself am looking forward to seeing again this coming Laetare Sunday our nice rose vestments

http://www.knoxlatinmass.net/gallery/3Advent2011/Rosacea.htm

that were made by a member of our community.

Henry said...

"Benedict XVI, whose humility led him to accept hand-me-downs and embrace recycling!"

Whereas country singer Dolly Parton remarked about her appearance when once speaking to the U.S. Congress, "You might be surprised to know how much it costs to look this cheap and trashy!" (No allusion to any recent pope intended.)

Anonymous said...

Sheesh...I can't imagine how a grown man would not be really embarrassed to go out in public in an outfit like that.

Veritas said...

Father Kwiatkowski should be put in charge of vestments for the Diocese. What he wears would be wonderful benchmarks for all Clergy.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, that blue thing is unimaginable and so far from the Roman tradition of the Latin Rite, which the gold embodies.

Joe Potillor said...

I believe because it's for God, no expense is too much. I like ornate and beauty because it's beyond what we experience in a normal basis, and God is Beauty itself.

I think it's a bit judgemental of people (pun completely intended) to look at things and think, this too much. Why is it that so often the poorest places in the world build such "lavish" parishes? They give their best to God, and should we not as a virtue of justice towards Him do the same?

Giving our best to God (Good Liturgy) is a matter of justice. Vestments and parishes are most definitely a part of this. My style is Russian from the east, and Baroque from the west, the more ornate the better....and so often times, the most ornate vestments have been donated privately, or the parish already has something beautiful, so no cost to the parish...

It would cost the Vatican less to use the old vestments from previous popes vs flying in whole new vestments, so by all means recycle and use the old stuff.

Anonymous said...

In the big picture of the Church, the Roman tradition of the Latin Rite is shrinking, shrinking, shrinking. Here come the Hispanics and the Africans. New costumes are just around the corner. The times, they are a'changin'.

Anonymous said...

Only the best is adequate for the celebration of the Holy Mass. Not only should the very best be used by the priest but the laity should wear their best clothes and their best manners for the celebration of the Mass. Why is this even an issue. Up until Vatican II nobody thought anything was wrong with beauty in the Church's worship.

Gene said...

Can you say "egalitarianism?"

Anonymous said...

Gene and I believe in the survival of the richest.

JBS said...

Anonymous said, "...the Roman tradition of the Latin Rite is shrinking, shrinking, shrinking. Here come the Hispanics and the Africans." Are you not aware that Hispanics are long part of the Roman Use of the Latin Rite, and that the Spanish Empire spread the Roman liturgical tradition around the world, from Mexico to the Philippines?

Anonymous said...

JBS...Google "Pope Benedict wearing sombrero". That's what I'm talking about.