Not long ago, after Solemn Mass at the London Oratory, a lady approached one of the Fathers in high dudgeon and complained about the opulence of the vestments and the richness of the sacred vessels. Surely the money could have been used for more worthy causes?The priest explained to her that although the vestments looked fine at a distance, close up they showed the wear and tear of over a hundred years of use. They had been the gift of a pious benefactor, long since dead. As for the chalice, ciboria and cruets, they had been purchased in the 1850s when Bavarian rococo was so unfashionable it could be had at knock-down prices.Somewhat mollified, the lady left in a new car which another of the Fathers (who knew about these things) estimated to have cost £80,000.
I like Roman vestments but I have to be honest and vote they are too busy. It’s a miss for me.
A polite bite at Fr Z dear Father, this is from his bloghttp://wdtprs.com/blog/2019/04/tmsm-holy-thursday-mass-with-the-new-vestments/he seems quite proud of them, either way sure beats the bags that our parish uses as vestments. BTW his deacon looks big enough to take care of himself, tell him he lifted the chasuble too high
Yes, that deacon came down from the beanstalk!
Pride is the downfall of liturgists in the ef or of.
John Nolan,Ah, the lady is just another limousine liberal. Did she ever consider that the vestments and chalices represented JOBS for certain artisans? Would she prefer they lose their trade and go on welfare?
Father McDonald,Would you prefer a burlap chasuble? A glass chalice? An altar which is painfully plain?Please drop Father Z a note, I am sure he will appreciate your thoughts.
Why is the chasuble lifted in the first place? Is it too heavy? If so, wonder if that has some impact on a cleric (hunching over or slouching). I never see it lifted in an OF Mass.Our Holy Thursday---Christ the King in Atlanta---featured Latin mixed with English with the soon to be departing archbishop presiding. Foot-washing too (which I suppose is not done at every parish).
The "sackcloth"/"whitewashed" mentality has been so ingrained for so long; beauty, particularly beauty that glorifies our Lord, makes us uncomfortable. I don't accept the notion of "the money should have been used to feed the poor" either. That, to me, is an excuse to progressively sackcloth/whitewash the churches when people, generally, wouldn't live that way at home when they don't have to.
Lifting the chasuble is a reminder of the time when heavy, conical chasubles made it difficult for the priest to elevate Host and Chalice when elevations were introduced in the second millennium. Chasubles were then cut back so we have the Roman style which leaves the priest's arms free.So lifting the chasuble no longer has a practical purpose. However, reducing the liturgy to what is merely utilitarian and functional has left us with the dull, wordy 'liturgies' which to many characterize the Novus Ordo.This particular custom is frequently carried over into the OF Mass when it is celebrated ad apsidem rather than versus populum.
Conical chasubles or heavy fabric were common in many places in Europe where, among other things, they helped keep the priest warm. Lifting the hem was truly a help to the priest who was elevating the host or chalice. The same was true for holding the edges of the cope away from the arms of the wearer while he was blessing the people or carrying some item or incensing something.Since the extra help is no longer needed given the shift to non-conical vesture and lighter fabrics, the hem lifting remains as a quaint anachronism.
Bee here:I recognize the photo as from St. John Cantius. Fr. Phillips (when he was there) took in whatever older vestments, altar linens and frontals, and artifacts from Catholic churches that were closing. So, although I'm not 100% certain, I am guessing these vestments were not purchased, but were saved from a dumpster (or the flames to burn them) from some parish that closed.In addition, as John Nolan noted above, many of these old vestments look fabulous from afar, but close up they are missing much embroidery and are often threadbare in spots. That's because the embroidery was usually done in silk thread and silk degrades over time.That's where we ladies of the St. John Cantius St. Martha's Guild come in. These vestments are often in our workshop for restoration. Our Lord also blessed us with finding a local company (that purchases items from buildings being torn down) that purchased a large lot of silk thread on spools from a factory that made tassels (for pillows and draperies). So we have thousands of yards of silk thread in many colors that we got very cheaply to use for these restorations. And ours is a labor of love. We are volunteers, and we do the work only for the love of God.The truth is that not many are making this sort of vestment anymore. Most of this work had been done by orders of nuns, who have now stopped making elaborate vestments either due to lack of vocations or because there are so few churches who want to purchase them. We would love to find a group of sisters nearby who are doing this sort of work so we could learn from them.As for the deacon's lifting of the chasuble, I agree, it's too high. Normally this is done correctly at St. John's. Perhaps this deacon was a "guest." I don't recognize him.God bless.Bee
Whew, Egyptian, those new vestments are really busy! Fr. Z does love his fabrics...
Honestly if I would a mass like portrayed in those "cartoons" you posted in a church today I'd faint from joy
The first 'cartoon' is incorrect in that it appears to show the paten placed on top of the corporal.Fr Z's new vestments would look great in a more spacious setting, e.g. the London Oratory. There are too many people in what is a rather cramped sanctuary, which adds to the fussiness. Do we really need four torchbearers?Also, if the MC assists the deacon in lifting the chasuble he can lift his side to a more reasonable height and the deacon (if he is paying attention) will follow suit.
I have been viewing photographs and videos of the various Holy Week processions that are taking place in Southern Italy . To me, they illustrate the religious oppression in this country. Fr. Z’s over the top blatantly Catholic vestments are a hit. His Church and Altar are obviously Catholic without a hint of Protestantism. They are also an in your face assault against secularism. Perfect!
Bee here:I followed the link given by The Egyptian to see more, and realized it is NOT St. John Cantius as I had thought, although the cropped photo of the altar looks very similar to St. John's. I also thought one of the older altar servers looked like one of the seminarians at St. John Cantius, and that from the back the priest resembled one of our priests.So sorry, now I realize this was Fr. Z's Holy Thursday Mass. But I like the new vestments. They are beautiful.God bless.Bee
What religious oppression have you suffered from in this vountry?
I have suffered religious oppression at the hands of "tolerant and inclusive, liberal" clergy
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