The Armchair Liturgist: Chasuble as the New Suit Coat

armchair1.jpgI’ve been meaning to post on this for a while. Some time back, I saw a priest wearing a pin on his chasuble collar. You’ve seen it I’m sure: the pair of infant feet of a fetus.

What do you think? A good expression of individual belief? Inappropriate on a liturgical vestment? By the way, how many of you are seeing stoles inside chasubles these days? If you were a lay parish liturgist, sitting in the big purple chair, how would you approach your priest about liturgical dress?

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Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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6 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Chasuble as the New Suit Coat

  1. For a number of years we distributed on Ash Wednesday (in addition to signing with ashes)
    a round pin-on button with an image of an ash-smudged cross on it, inviting folks to wear or keep it in some fashion as a reminder of Lenten prayer/fasting/almsgiving. I pinned one on my (outside the chasuble) and kept it there for the season of Lent.

    I have a number of my own vestments, partly because I’m a taller/larger man than standard
    vestments sometimes provide for. Most, but not all, of my vestments include an overlay stole.

    How to approach the pastor? I suspect it depends on the relationship the lay parish liturgist and the pastor already share and the amount of give-and-take they have on issues. You might begin with a general conversation on vestments – perhaps the inside/outside stole question, or the possibility of ordering/retiring some new/old
    vestments. In that larger context you might drop into the conversation something like, “What do you think of ornamenting vestments? I notice you wear that pin…”

  2. Liam says:

    I guess I don’t understand the idea of an “overlay stole”: is the stole woven into the chasuble on the outside? Unless that’s the case, there’s nothing preventing the stole from being worn properly, under the chasuble.

  3. Anne says:

    Regarding pins (especially for controversial or political matters) worn at mass by the priest or anyone else…Why would we need more symbols at our liturgies? Aren’t there enough already? Liturgy,ritual, symbols have the power to form us, to teach us how to live. They can motivate us. Maybe we simply are not good enough with catechesis in this area.

  4. Thom says:

    Vestments are supposed to “shield” the ordinary world; we enter an extraordinary world during the liturgy, a meeting of heaven and earth and the whole communion of the saints. Vestments aren’t uniforms or billboards. Stoles, pectoral crosses, pins, leis, shirt collars– none of these are appropriate. Even a cursory reading of the GIRM or the Ceremonial of Bishops should make this evident. The liturgy isn’t ours to tinker with.

    (And no, I’m no traddy, but I dearly love the liturgy.)

    My 2p.

  5. Tony says:

    Was he wearing it on Respect Life Sunday?

  6. Gavin says:

    I agree completely with Thom for the same reasons.

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