Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Albe

The importance of a graceful albe in clothing the ministers of the altar cannot be overestimated.  Frequently albes are seen about our altars which are dirty or ragged, or too short: all very unseemly. Assuredly, moreover, there never was a chasuble or dalmatic whose appearance has not been cheapened by the excessive use of lace.

A beautiful vestment can only be fully appreciated when worn with a well-presented albe.

There are several different styles of albe presently available commercially, but the style made by the Saint Bede Studio is that style which was common throughout the Mediaeval period and through into the Renaissance.

It has no fastening at the neck, but a circular yoke, which goes over the head quite easily.  Its sitting away from the neck is a real an advantage in keeping the neckline clean.  These albes are well-gathered at the yoke and fall in graceful folds, rather than being stretched over the wearer in a skimpy manner.

Their sleeves are close-fitting, as albes have traditionally had. Too frequently now we see the modern albe with cuffs injudiciously wide : both ungainly in appearance and inconvenient when ministering at the altar.

Whenever possible, albes made by the Saint Bede Studio are of pure linen, although the weight of the linen we use varies according to our customer's needs.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.