Tuesday, December 1, 2020


 Don’t get me wrong, I think there should be attention to detail in the liturgy. Vestments should be tasteful and classical. I prefer simplicity in classical vestments to include the alb. 

I have never liked wearing the amice as it bothers my neck and it never looks right on me. Thus I buy albs that hide the clerical collar and do not need an amice. 

But there is an element in the recovery of tradition that disturbs me. It is a preoccupation with the frillyness and gaudiness of some traditional vesture.

This is one such story:

The Use (Or Not) of Lace in Penitential Times

The Use (Or Not) of Lace in Penitential TimesFrequently when penitential seasons roll around (or, for that matter, when a requiem happens) if clerics are seen wearing a lace alb the argument is made that lace is not supposed to be worn in times of penance or mourning. (The implication being, it would seem, that lace i… 


Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, let us now worry about lace... Heaven knows, there's nothing else on which to expend our time and energy.

Jacob said...

At my traditional parish (in union with Rome) and it is a wide spread custom in the traditional church in the USA, we do not use lace in penitential times , but we understand this is merely custom, but it is noticeable by the Faithful.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

As you recall, Bishop Lessard wore the amice perfectly. I was always amazed at how neat and virtually invisible is ended up. I see some priests wearing them now that appear to have large hankerchiefs wrapped haphazardly around their necks.

When his body arrived in Savannah from Florida, the first thing I checked was to see if those who dressed him had put the amice on right. They had, and I am sure he was grateful - and pleased.

Anonymous said...

Like I tell my kids when they ask if they can wear a polo and slacks to daily Mass: sure, as long as you can give me a compelling reason. Is your dress shirt/tie dirty? Do we not have time to iron? Are we onto another function immediately after Mass without any practical way or time to change outfits? Such reasons to me, are worth considering.

Not worth considering is: well, it’s not Sunday Mass and nobody else is dressing up, etc.

The Mass is the Mass regardless of the season or day of the week. The Liturgy of the Eucharist is still the un-bloody representation of Our Lord’s passion, death and resurrection. The true presence is the true presence. The King of Kings is still humbling Himself for our benefit. So, why wouldn’t we wear our best available clothes? Jesus is present. Added due diligence if the kids reflect the Liturgical season or feast day with certain colors or ties, to honor martyrs, saints, Mary, etc.

That’s a laity viewpoint on how our family approaches dressing for each and every Mass. I would expect clergy to do the same: best available and appropriate dress for the day. And I would expect the parishioners to take notice and in cases where there is an obvious deficiency, offer to help buy the usually expensive priestly garments to assist the priests. Alternately, we could just send the priest into the Holy of Holies with a rope tied around his ankle... what an amazing responsibility to offer/pray the Mass!

Oscar de la Renta said...

I suspect the King of Kings, who was known to hang out with ragamuffins, prostitutes, tax collectors, the poor, the outcast, the hated, isn't not the least impressed with sartorial finery.

Now, if you are concerned about what the others in church think of the way in which you are dressed.....

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

ODLAR, Did Jesus give you a private gnostic revelation about satoriol finery, cuz I can’t find his words on the temple dress snd ceremonies in Scripture or Tradition. Or did you make it up to fit your meme?

Anonymous said...

I am all for the churches being as beautiful as possible, the rites as beautifùl and trending the heart to God in love as possible (the entire point of the religion), and this would include vestments.

The qualification of "as possible" for individual parishes. Polyester potato sacks do not qualify, even as any manner of absorbent rag.

Obsessing over lace is a rich man's idle, and utterly insane in poorer parishes with ugly churches indistinguishable from airport terminals and office complexes. Build the beautiful churches, practice beautiful rites of any approved flavor and outfit celebrants in the best you can afford.

But the religion is all about inspiring love of God above any and all things, first and primarily, and any priest not doing that, even while wearing $10,000 worth of finery is a failure. Their main function is to lead flocks to unqualifoed union with God.

Oscar said...

"Satoriol." Is that animal, vegetable, or mineral?

Anonymous said...

Father Allan at 6:52PM

I think you may have been a little harsh with Oscar D LA.......he was trying to make a point.......gnostic is a little rough even if you don't agree with him.

Anonymous said...

Dear Father McDonald,

Thank you for this post. It seems to me that a lace surplice is most useful in the summer, given the reduction in heat retention afforded by the design. I'd same the same for "Roman style" chasubles.

In Christ,

rcg said...

The wedding guest got tossed, in part, for improper attire.

For some wearing lace might be a penitential act.

Willis Haviland Carrier said...

Dialogue -

You might consider: The Cool History of the Air Conditioner

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

But Dialogue, with lace/see-through albs, you need a cassock underneath it and that really makes me feel the heat. I seldom if ever wear a cassock under my alb as I find it entirely too hot and I am criticized as it is for keeping the church so cold in the summer where the laity have to wear sweaters!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

But isn't neo-gnosticism rampant in the Church today. It is all about what I like or what I feel or what I believe regardless of how contrary it is to the Church's teachings. To say that Jesus would condemn lace on a modern priest is pure Gnosticism. Now I happen to believe that Jesus would not wear lace, but that's my opinion and yes it is Gnosticism because I can back it up with the facts and it hasn't be formally revealed to the Church. I don't like lace particularly. But do I have to find support for my dislike of it in Jesus of his earthly ministry or what the Risen Lord now thinks about it?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I can't

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Neo-Gnosticism is rampant on our society, let alone our Church. Take for instance the "Stop the Steal" crowd who "know" that voting machines were manipulated, who "know" that ballots were either 1) lost, or 2) invented from nothing, or those who "know" that we never walked on the moon (they saw a 3 minute YouTube video explaining that), or those who "know" that vaccines cause autism.

The entire Mormon religion is in many was a neo-Gnostic undertaking, inasmuch as it is based on the "secret" knowledge revealed to Jospeh Smith.

I think much neo-Gnosticism, in religion and elsewhere, is based on a very dangerous level of ignorance and a similarly dangerous level of hubris.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Aristotle in his Nichomachean Ethics speaks of the virtue of "magnificence." (Please look it up. My brief description of it here isn't fully adequate.) It is connected to the virtue of "liberality" in the sense of generosity. Magnificence means doing something great, especially in the service of religion, for noble purposes and has an aesthetic component. A magnificent person knows that an expenditure should be large but appropriate to the person spending, the circumstance, and the object of the expense. It is a virtue of the wealthy because it is the spending of wealth without much regard for the cost, to do something great and/or beautiful. It is the virtue of bringing about tasteful, costly beauty.

St. Thomas Aquinas saw in Aristotle a substantial foundation for describing and defining virtue. Aristotle's ethics is a basis for Thomas Aquinas' Summa. Our Protestant brother Luther and many other founders of Protestant traditions, in their rejection of Aquinas, also rejected the Aristotelian basis for fundamental theological reasons. And so they rejected magnificence as a virtue.

However, the Catholic Church encouraged the practice of the virtue of magnificence, at least we did more so in recent memory, before the upheaval of Vatican II. Hence prior to Vatican II we saw ornate and beautiful churches, vestments, altar vessels, and artwork and even pageantry. It was (is) a virtue.

It's often said Vatican II was a "Protestentation" of the Catholic Church. Perhaps that claim is most clearly seen not in words spoken and professed by the post-Vatican II Church, but in actions taken in many areas, but especially with regards to the loss of the practice of the virtue of magnificence.

Interesting, no? :-)

God bless.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Excellent points Bee. My 70’s seminary liturgical experience was not based on our ideas of the beauty of the Eternal Heavenly Feast of the Lamb. It was pedestrian and meant to point to the poor in the here and now, not eschatological in any way or capturing the true beauty of a redeemed monarchy and the splendors of earthly kingdoms for all people rich or poor, royal or not. In Christ’s kingdom we are all royalty.
That is lost today and Pope Francis is of the 70’s school of thought that appreciates the pedestrian in liturgy rather than the redeem royal.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

It should be noted that "magnificence" is an attribute of God Himself... :-)

God bless.

Anonymous said...

"Father" Kavanaugh,

I see you are still a card carrying member of the Abortion Party so once again you are compelled to interject politics into this thread. You are also living in an alternate world of reality. The Abortion Party is a crime organization masquerading as a political party, a power mad group, I would add

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:49 - I see that, despite your assertion to the contrary, you are not ignoring and shunning Fr. Kavanaugh.

Hehehehehe, I would add.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Father K.
Did you see the video of the TRULY gnostic suitcases of votes being added after watchers sent home?
Wow, ruined THAT secret and hidden knowledge, for sure.
Of course, this could never have ocurred to the mind of ANYone else in same party in same party strongholds. This was OBVIOUSLY a one-off super-genius at work.

Violated any social diatancing lately at any protests regarding meth-heads croaking from cardiacs while being restrained by police to prevent harm to self or others while awaiting paramedics?

Just as a memory jog to those CPR classes you surely took, one thing somebody choking surely can NOT do is speak. That is why the universal sign for choking is to grab throat, since, unable to breath, no air can be forced through vocal cords.


Fr. Michael Kavanaugh said...

Anon 5:53 - Yes, I saw the "suitcase" video. Did you see the reaction of the REPUBLICANS in Georgia responsible for running elections?

"A video Donald Trump’s campaign alleged was “smoking gun” evidence that secret “suitcases” of ballots went counted without observers, has been dismissed by Republican election officials."

It is 100% baloney.

The rest of your post is nonsensical.

Anonymous said...

Father K....nonsensical? Folk were outraged claiming he was choked to death by a lawful, safe and effective, authorised restraint method. He clearly could breath and videos show him saying the same "i can't breath" prior to restraint. He had lethal levels of drugs in his system according to autopsy, and any photos show him with purple around eyes and mouth, a sure sign a cardiac waiting to happen, which is exactly what happened while being restrained.

The coronor ruling the restraint was cause of death was clearly a political pressure thing to sacrifice good cops doing as trained and authorized, in a vain attempt to forestall what happened anyhow, a coronor clearly ignoring toxicology reports the man had LETHAL levels of drugs in his system and was a dead man walking minus immediate medical intervention.

And he was attempting to drive, a deadly danger, while totally wigged out on drugs and after trying to pass counterfeit currency, a federal offense, where it was imperative in either case that he be restrained.

SOP in case of such obvious drug induced danger is restraint until paramedics arrive.

But, you were too busy virtue signalling to pay attention to such things as science and actual law, or even common sense.

As for nonsense, I would rate in THAT class most of your covid posts and then violating your own statements by participating in protests while busting social distancing and mask wear. It certainly gives at least the appearance of virtue signalling phonyism to the casual observer.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"As for nonsense, I would rate in THAT class most of your covid posts and then violating your own statements by participating in protests while busting social distancing and mask wear."

I have been to exactly ONE protest in the last year. ONE.

I carefully maintained social distancing, staying on the edges of the crowds and wore a mask the entire time I was there.

Where you get the idea that I did otherwise I don't know. If you are a casual orberver, I suggest you make your observations with greater factual rigor.

The suitcase video has been dismissed by REPUBLICAN election officials in Georgia. You can choose to believe otherwise, but you do so without any factual basis.

Anonymous said...

A priest who votes for the Abortion Party has zero credibility and is not even conversant with the “truth.” That election claim has not been debunked except by the corrupt media

Anonymous said...

That election claim has been debunked by REPUBLICAN officials in Georgia.

The REPUBLICAN Sectreary of State in Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, said, "Nothing we have learned from the independent monitor or our investigation have suggested any improper ballots were scanned."

REPUBLICAN Gabriel Sterling said, Trump's team is "...intentionally misleading the public about what happened at State Farm Arena on election night."

Your man is toast. Happy Safe Harbor Deadline Day.

Anonymous said...

And, of course, there's the newest tomfoolery - a lawsuit from Tejas trying to overthrow Georgia's election results.

“With all due respect, the Texas attorney general is constitutionally, legally and factually wrong about Georgia,” said Katie Byrd, spokeswoman for REPUBLICAN Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr.

“Texas alleges that there are 80,000 forged signatures on absentee ballots in Georgia, but they don’t bring forward a single person who this happened to. That’s because it didn’t happen,” Fuchs said. Fuchs is the REPUBLICAN Deputy Secretary of State.

These spurious claims HAVE been debunked by REPUBLICANS, not by anyone in the media.

Your man is toast.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I am not sure how this post evolved into political tom foolery but I would say at this point, just as in the Catholic sex abuse scandal, where there is smoke there if fire. Maybe the Supreme Court will upend things. But then prepare for riots and Armageddon! It is amazing to me that Catholics even in the political realm are so naive about corruption in elections, especially this one with Trump and Biden. Absolutely amazing. I am sure these same people defended the Church when the sex abuse scandal began to be revealed and said there's nothing to see here, the media is toast.

Anonymous said...

"...where there is smoke there if (sic) fire."'

Bunk, utter bunk.

THIRTY-FIVE lawsuits brought by the Trump side have been tossed. What is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING is that anyone with half a brain - that's you, not Anonymous TJM - could give the least credence to them.

The MEDIA has not debunked any claim in this frivolous lawsuit fandango. As posted over and over, REPUBLICANS have stated the claims are false.

Fanning the flames is dangerous. As Governor Kemp, he of the infamous pointing-a-shotgun-at-a-teenage-boy campaign ad, is now discovering, when you advocate violence it will come back and bite your precious derriere.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

You are such a political democrat hack and so naive. I suspect you support abortion on demand and making the Catholic Church and her insurance companies pay for it. That tells me all I need to know. You are really naive or ignorant as well about political corruption no matter the party.

Anonymous said...

And I suspect you kill your pets - that tells me all I need to know.