Friday, 18 May 2018

Festal Dalmatic

Recently, the Saint Bede Studio completed a chasuble and dalmatic based on the style of the 16th century for a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre (New York state). In this post, we feature the dalmatic, which is made from ecclesiastical brocade and ornamented with a narrow galloon in the Roman style.

From the 16th century onward, the manner of decorating dalmatics changed from the earlier ornamental schemes. From earliest time until the present day, dalmatics have typically been decorated with two strips of ornament called clavus (plural clavi) running parallel to each other down the full length of the vestment.

From the 16th century, the clavi, which had been paired typically at a distance of approximately 30 cm (12 inches) or less, came to be separated much more widely. The apparels - being fabric ornaments which linked the two clavi together,  generally positioned below the neckline of the dalmatic - were also greatly enlarged in size; we might say disproportionately so. In subsequent centuries these ungainly apparels were abandoned and only their outlining galloons remained as the typical form of decoration of the Roman dalmatic.

This simple dalmatic has the widely-spaced clavi, with the apparel being indicated by an outlining braid.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.