Sunday, March 25, 2007

Liturgy and beauty - Vestments

This post will heard me finally quoting official documents of the Church to make my opinions and suggestions to Priests, Liturgist and concerned Catholics.

“The beauty of the liturgy is part of this mystery; it is a sublime expression of God's glory and, in a certain sense, a glimpse of heaven on earth. The memorial of Jesus' redemptive sacrifice contains something of that beauty which Peter, James and John beh

eld when the Master, making his way to Jerusalem, was transfigured before their eyes (cf. Mk 9:2). Beauty, then, is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself an

d his revelation. These considerations should make us realize the care which is needed, if the liturgical action is to reflect its innate splendor. SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS (Beauty and the liturgy [35]

A very interesting paragraph from the recent exhortation on the Eucharist by the Pope. Basically it re-states and confirms what faithfully Catholics, Liturgist and Priest have been saying ever since the church ventured out of the catacombs, th at the liturgy Must be beautiful!

Beauty in the liturgy can be achieved with the harmonious use of beautiful vestments, reverence, servers and Music.

First off vestments. So often in the church these days, priest, servers and liturgist constantly use ugly vestments or skip on a few important vestments. To ach ieve beauty with albs, use traditional one, with a cinture, amice and cassock underneath.

Take a look at this example. Jerad and myself are wearing a cassock, amice (using it as a hood) alb and cincture. Soft people would complain that it's too hot for all those vestments up here in this climate, well offer it up I say to those people! Now back to the vestments, the base vestment the cassock, it provides a shape, a form and a creates a better effect then someones favorite Pokemon shirt.

****Caution*** The Cassock can only be wore by Males Servers, due to it being clerical Choir dress. If a female server wore one , no matter if with an alb or surplice, it would be a serious crime against the Church, Tradition and show that the person just sees empty ceremonies, with out seeing the theology or belief. ****Caution***

Next comes the amice, basically it covers the collar of the cassock, or when not wearing a cassock prevents a persons T shirts or shirt collar from being seen. The alb is worn over the cassock and or amice, it is the meat of liturgical dress. The alb with the proper vestments underneath looks far better then the new fangled cassock-alb monster most priests and servers wear.

The cassock-alb monster is plain ugly and the only reason that It was invented was so Father Bob could vest quicker , allowed him to not wear a cassock and surplice and allowed him to use altar girls with out them looking like cross dressers.

A traditional alb can easily be decorated with lace (a post on lace is in the works), apparels or can quite stunning by it's self. But an alb must be worn with a cincture others wise it will look like a sack rather then a liturgical garment. The cincture with an alb on it's own or an alb, amice and cassock will a nice dividing effect and prevents the server/priest form tripping over it. Finally the cincture hides the beer gut and I and most priest have.

Let's keep moving, the chasuble and stole. The first ground rule is the stole is worn under the chasuble, for one simple reason, the chasuble represents charity , while the stole represents authority, thus charity covers authority, see simple. Modern chasuble as just too plain and ugly, I recommend throwing most of them out and replacing them with traditional chasubles, such as the ones above (minus the blue one). They look simply stunning with the cassock, amice, alb and cincture combo. Finally a this applies to the deacons out there as well, modern dalmatics do look too plain and ugly use traditional ones!

Your probably siting there thinking do you think parishes are made of money, well no I don't think that at all. On my site a bunch of good vestment makes advertise through ad sense and they make awesome vestments on a budget! Susan maria and luzar vestments are the two best vestment makes I have seen so far, please do go and see their awesome line of vestments!
Finally Queenslander will find this link to an e-bay store most helpful in finding local producers of awesome vestments

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Having a cassock underneath would certanly make the alb sit better. I will discuss it with my own team.

The other idea with the cassock is that it returns to Mediaeval tradition. The cotta evolved from the alb simply getting shorter over time.

The other thing is to make the cincture sit horizontal and tight around the waist (it is supposed to be a symbol of mortification after all). This makes the alb also flare out and make it look a bit more elegant.

The pics that you had in a previous post showing the Altar servers of Westminster Abbey (for the wedding of George Duke of York to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon) is very much the ideal in style.