23 February 2017

KNEES

It is the custom in Anglican Catholic churches, when the priest or ministers are sitting at the sedilia during readings or singing, for the priest to turn back the foot of the chasuble on his lap so that he then rests the palms of his hands on the lining, and not on the fabric, of the chasuble. Deacon and Subdeacon do the same with dalmatic and tunicle. Thus sweat (or, at the blessing of incense before the Gospel, incense or charcoal) cannot not mark the embroidery of the vestment. My recollection is that this goes back to preconciliar custom; evidence is available in the ancient marks of two sweaty hands on the linings of the vestments in High Mass sets in sacristies all over England.

I have never seen this done in RC Masses, whether OF or EF. Is it an Anglican idiosyncrasy?

25 comments:

Adrian said...

Surely the proper thing is to put the hands on the knees under the chasuble/dalmatic/tunicle and directly on the alb – thus ensuring the vestment remains neither stained nor creased.

Romulus said...

The practice is seen at St Patrick's in New Orleans -- where, however, the pastor comes from the Anglican tradition.

At various times and places one sees photos of Catholic ministers supporting the ends of a cope by draping it over the forearm, the hand hidden within the fold pressing the lining against the supporter's chest so that the exterior fabric is not touched or, even worse, pinched. This practice strikes me as both elegant and sensible, and I've always tried to encourage it.

Paul Hellyer said...

Christianity is on the back foot. Churches are emptying. Have you nothing better to do than waste space on such a triviality. Who cares if the chasuble is folded over!! What would Jesus think ? Why don't you use your talents more efficiently, more manly, in HIS service?

Matt said...

I just noticed our priest do that this past Sunday. But then, it's an Anglican Use parish of the U.S. Ordinariate.

The Fact Compiler said...

I think the correct spelling of 'idiosyncrasy' is #Patrimony.

Charlesdawson said...

That's interesting. When I was a young student nurse, in the days when female nurses still wore starched white cotton or linen pinnies (over which they tied a plastic pinny while working) always automatically folded them over and inwards from the two bottom corners when they sat down. Presumably it's a habit inculcated in those wearing easily-marked fabrics? But I can't imagine why the RC wouldn't.

Thomas Beyer said...

Jesus would say, "Let [him] alone: against the day of my burying hath [he] kept this."

(In this analogy, you're Judas.)

Fr. Frank said...

"What would Jesus think ?"
Why, He would think exactly what *you* think, of course! (That's what people who ask such stupid questions really have in mind, isn't it?) Perhaps you may not have noticed that the title of Fr. Hunwicke's website is *Liturgical* Notes.

William said...

What an unhinged reaction from Mr Hellyer. Fr H wasn't suggesting that we should "care", but merely observing the difference in practice. Granted that there are matters of far greater import, does that mean that no other matters should even be mentioned? I wonder how far Mr Hellyer would wish to push that. Are all questions of liturgical and ritual practice a "waste [of] space"? Should we be burning our copies of Fortescue/Ritual Notes – and probably our vestments too – in order to "use [our] talents more efficiently"?

PS. On the internet, there is no such thing as "wasting space". The space available is for all practical purposes unlimited.

Br G-M said...

Quite common in both RC ( and other Catholic churches ) as well as Anglican - even today !

Banshee said...

Paul Hellyer: Someone who loves is interested in everything connected with the Beloved.

Unknown said...

Why Father ! The answer to that question is easy.. Anglican vestments whether post reformation or Medieval, are made of the finest silks, linens, and costly embroideries (opus anglicanorum) where as in the Church of Rome polyester rules the day! A fabric that has many uses and is easy cleaned, wash it, wear it! Use it as fuel for a flare or to heat an industrial building.. possibilities are endless.

Protasius said...

There are several ways to obviate staining the vestments: I have frequently seen priests who held their hands under the chasuble when sitting at the sedilia; also there is the custom of the gremiale in the Dominican rite and in the Pontifical mass; but folding over I cannot remember to ever have seen.

Simple Simon said...

Paul, from your comment I suspect that you are not a regular reader of Fr.H. I believe that he has shown himself to be a very valiant courageous and oftentimes wonderfully brilliant defender of the faith handed down to us from the Apostles. Read and be mightily heartened.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf o{]:¬) said...

Hmmm... I may try this. Mutual Enrichment, right?

Scott said...

Anglo-Catholic here. We fold it up when seated. Easy to do and keeps hands off the fabric.

Grant Milburn said...

I think the Temple liturgy in Jesus' day was quite elaborate and precise, and I don't recall that He ever criticized this in itself.

Br. Gabriel Thomas, OP said...

The older tradition is the use of the Mappa or as it's called in Pontifical Masses, the Gremial. However, that fell out of favor at some point for Masses with just a priest. It has retained its use in the Dominican Rite at Solemn Masses. The custom you describe is what I was taught to do.

As for Mr. Hellyer, I'd suggest that Our Lord would be grateful that we would care so much about the right care of vestments so that unnecessary cost on their repair and replacement would not be made when simple precautions like this can be done to care for the patrimony of the Church. After all, such care is a species of rightly ordered poverty. However, if Mr. Hellyer is willing to purchase costly jars of ointment to be poured out upon the feet of our Lord every Sunday, then such delicate care for silken vestments might no longer be necessary.

Paul Hellyer said...

Yes Fr Frank. You are quite right. This blog is all about the liturgy not about our main task which is to convert England. Conversion comes first, the liturgy follows.

Paul Hellyer said...

William. Thank you for your comment. Yes the liturgy is very important and that's what this blog is all about. Liturgy. But but what about the poor person who needs to hear about Christ? Does the priest 'pass on the other side'? Or is he hiding in his ecclesiastical bubble? When did a priest ever visit your home? All this concentration on minutiae seems to me far from why and for what a man is ordained a priest.

Paul Hellyer said...

Yes Banshee. You are right. But there is a heireachy of priorities. I leave it for you to rank them.

Paul Hellyer said...

Yes Simon. You are right he is a great defender of the Faith.

eulogos said...

You have not heard,"Save the liturgy, save the world!"?

Paul Hellyer said...

Dear Br. Gabriel. Your comments are for the uber over religious. Where is your concern for the single mum on the council estate? Do you ever see the working class in church on a Sunday? The churches are full of the educated middle classes. The clergy should get out of their protected bubble and do some evangelising. Instead they tread water and give feminised sermons. Your worship of the liturgy is the problem. The Catholic Church should start being great again. Start converting the protestants and the Muslims. Ecumenism should be abandoned. It has only done us harm.

Br. Gabriel Thomas, OP said...

Mr. Hellyer,

Either you presume too much or too little, I'm not sure which. My parish is not only filled primarily with the working class, but it also strives for the exposition of that great virtue of religion, rightly practices, and generously serves those in need. We are known for the fierceness of our preaching and for the tireless labor with which we dispense the Sacraments, educate the faithful, and promote the general Christian welfare of our people in every manner of our competence. But, this is unimportant to the point. I would also suggest that your have become worldly (unintentionally so) in your concerns. I say this because the first duty we have is, to attend to justice done toward God, that is acts of the virtue of religion. After this, and only after this, as our Holy Father, Pope Francis, reminded the American Bishops when he visited our shores, all the other works with which we are engaged are to be attended to. I'd note that a priest is ordained for two purposes as indicated in the Rites under which he is ordained: First, he is to offer the liturgy worthily and faithfully according to the rites outlined by the Church; and second, to govern the Church in union with the Bishop. But, you are quite right, the effeminization of the clergy is a terrible tragedy. However, you are fighting the battle in the wrong direction. It is the function of the priest to organize you, as the Second Vatican Council recalls, to evangelize the world. Our function is to education you, and discipline you, for the sake of that mission. Similarly, as I was taught in my training to be an Officer of Marines, a platoon leader does not carry a rifle into combat. To do so would be to betray his function of remaining aloof from the battle so that he can guide it to a successful completion. The worker priest model to which you are, intentionally or unintentionally alluding, is a disaster for the furtherance of the Gospel. However, I will concede that if I were free from parochial obligations (as was traditionally the case for all Dominicans) I would have the freedom to fight along with you as, say, a Warrant Officer, neither fish nor fowl, in our Lord's army. Alas, once the demands of parochial responsibilities are placed upon the head and shoulders of a priest, he must rely on those he serves to carry out the mission to the world lest he neglect the grave obligations that come with the terrible responsibility with which he has been entrusted.