Regrettable Vestments

traditional vestmentsGod ordained that clergy and lay ministers should be properly attired during celebration of the liturgy. For priests, that’s cassock, alb, amice, girdle, and chasuble. Yes, chasuble even when it’s hot. I think I can join in the modern trend of being a bit loosy-goosey when it comes to the maniple.

Of course, God didn’t stop at specifying which vestments to wear. God has spoken about the quality of vestments. Back when I was getting my start, the only pressing questions about chasubles were in which colours one might wish to see one’s orphreys. Damask was assumed. Long before the era of the felt dove, Percy Dearmer had few occasions for turning over in his grave.

bad chasubleAlas, things have gotten grim. We are experiencing an era of bad vestments unprecedented in the whole of Christian history. Fortunately, there are a few guardians of all that is noble, true, and good. I invite you to turn your gaze to the Bad Vestments Blog. Chroniclers of the absurd, these people aim to cast the light of truth onto the darkness of poor taste.

I freely concede that this is not a fundamental issue for one’s salvation. Usually. But why risk ruining the celebration of the Eucharist by donning a mitre that is bound to distract from our worship? I urge you to have a chat with your priest if you see him or her wearing regrettable vestments. Tell them you expect your bonbons at coffee hour, not as ornaments on a tasteless stole.

Yours in the Lord,

Oscar Late +


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Oh dear. I did not realize you could cut a hole in a picnic tablecloth, pull it over your head, and call ir a “vestment.”

Comment by Susan Wessells on July 21, 2010 6:32 am

Regrettably, this is so. Generally, I find that any vestment made from material procured from Michael’s (The Arts & Crafts Store) is an abomination in the sight of God.

Comment by oscar on July 21, 2010 9:30 am

My persistent problem with the bad vestment blog is that I find them to be spiteful and mean. I thoroughly enjoy your “Bad Window of the Day” posts because while you offer critique you keep it light-hearted and witty. I find their commentary (and their commentors!) to be spiteful and mean. An example was a post not too long ago, “[Name of Church] has been a hotbed of goofball pseudo-Christian liberalism for some time so I guess this isn’t that much of surprise.” Sure there are some things that are truly bad, but is the point of that blog bashing people and outlooks or finding bad vestments?

Comment by Joseph on August 4, 2010 10:37 pm

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