Redemptionis Sacramentum 121-123

RS 121-128 discusses what clergy wear:

[121.] “The purpose of a variety of color of the sacred vestments is to give effective expression even outwardly to the specific character of the mysteries of faith being celebrated and to a sense of Christian life’s passage through the course of the liturgical year”.[GIRM 345] On the other hand, the variety “of offices in the celebration of the Eucharist is shown outwardly by the diversity of sacred vestments. In fact, these “sacred vestments should also contribute to the beauty of the sacred action itself”. [GIRM 335]

It’s important to remember that the Church’s prescriptions on color extend to vestments, but not officially to things like interior design of churches: permanent or temporary decorations.

How to get dressed:

[122.] “The alb” is “to be tied at the waist with a cincture unless it is made so as to fit even without a cincture. Before the alb is put on, if it does not completely cover the ordinary clothing at the neck, an amice should be put on”. [Cf. GIRM 336]

Interesting. Do you suppose Cardinal O’Malley’s brown robes aren’t considered “ordinary”?

Stole under chasuble, not over:

[123.] “The vestment proper to the Priest celebrant at Mass, and in other sacred actions directly connected with Mass unless otherwise indicated, is the chasuble, worn over the alb and stole.” [Cf. GIRM 337] Likewise the Priest, in putting on the chasuble according to the rubrics, is not to omit the stole. All Ordinaries should be vigilant in order that all usage to the contrary be eradicated.

And bishops should watch their priests carefully.

Someone told me once that the Roman practice of wearing a stole was like the handkerchief: a Roman would blow his nose, wipe his glasses, and clean his cell phone with the stole.

But seriously: any comments?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Redemptionis Sacramentum 121-123

  1. Liam says:

    FWIW, the fine points about albs appear to be widely ignored in the Northeast USA. The cincture is typically omitted (it’s not clear to me that the albs of the kind for which it is not needed) and the amice omitted even where non-liturgical vestments are quite visible through the neck of the alb.

    Then there’s the issue of how to wear the stole underneath the chasuble: the traditional way in the Roman rite for priests is crossed through two loops formedd by the cincture, not hanging straight above the cincture.

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