Sunday, February 17, 2008

A reflection on gloves

Ah yes, gloves, I once was very keen on gloves. Gloves in the liturgy are the domain of the episcopacy, namely the pontifical gloves. Although servers may use gloves, i do not promote or recommend it anymore. The normal server, such as the acolytes or the thurifer would have no need to handle sacred vessels. The Master of ceremonies, the deacon and of coarse the priest handle the sacred vessels. The rubrics suppose the Master of ceremonies is in holy orders. If a layman would perform the function (such as me) he merely would handle the vessels with due reverence and with the use of a cloth, such as a purifier.

In the extra ordinary form, the sub deacon would actually use a humeral veil to transfer the chalice from the credence to the altar.
As seen above the sub deacon (yes i know it's the Dominican rite) handles the chalice through the humeral veil, proper reverence shown to the vessel. Due to not being able to have a humeral veil to move the chalice, the server would simply hold the chalice by the purificator.

The sacred vessels should be treated with reverence and not handled by just anyone, but of coarse people have to face facts sometimes. Gloves are something I'll wear when I'm a bishop (please God no), but not when a humble server.

Pontifical Mass celebrated by Bishop Peter Elliot / _DSC0023
Copyright 2007 John Casamento Photography

On a curios side not about gloves, the symbolic meaning of the bishop's gloves is the purity of his hands, to let nothing ungodly stain them, the argument for the use of gloves by the servers is quite the contrary, that the server's have stained hands, thus they need to wear gloves, very interesting.


Anonymous said...

But who today remembers that an ordinary person shouldn't handle sacred vessels and uses a purifier? That is why I like the use of gloves because it makes the act obviouse and also it makes people think. Gloves are very much visible, while if a server were to just use a purifier who would notice such a small and short act?
That's just my opinion.

Summa Theologica said...

The people who notice it most in my experience are children. Parents always say that their children were "fascinated" by the gloves. At least it does a lot of good.