Friday 5 November 2010

The ancient form of chasuble

Adjacent is a photograph of a conical chasuble recently completed by the Saint Bede Studio for a priest in the United States.   This chasuble is made from dupion silk and is ornamented with a very simple form of the "tau" Cross.  It is fully lined.

For readers who may be unfamiliar with this style, the shape of a conical chasuble is very similar to that of a bell. Consequently, in order for the wearer to use his arms, the conical chasuble must be pulled up at the sides and the fabric allowed to rest in the small of the arms. When this happens, the vestment folds upward from the bottom in a manner quite distinctive.  Many illustrations, statues and monuments from late Antiquity to the Middle Ages regularly show vestments with precisely these folds.

The conical chasuble is the most ancient form of Mass vestment, dating back to the earliest days of Christianity.  It continued to be the usual form for the chasuble until the late Middle Ages, when various modifications to the shape began to take place.

For a history of the chasuble, go here.

A conical chasuble is not for celebrants who like to wave their arms around a lot, but it is quite manageable if the arms always remain extended or joined. Unlike the more commonly-found chasubles, the conical chasuble must be tailored to the shape of the wearer's shoulders, otherwise it fits very ill.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.


Thursday 4 November 2010

Feast of S' Charles Borromeo

Coinciding with the Feast of S' Charles Borromeo (4th November), the Studio has completed a new set of vestments in the Borromeon style.  The vestments are made from crimson-red silk damask, ornamented with a brocade of dark burgundy and gold and outlined with a galloon in the Roman style.

Please click on the image for an enlarged view.