Sunday, December 15, 2013

GAWDETE SUNDAY SURVEY: It's a matter of taste.

Did you see any gawdy, gaudy, or gawd-awful vestments this Gaudete Sunday?  Send me you pictures ( or leave a link in the combox.

I tend toward the noble simplicity school.  I thought that this was a very tasteful vestment, even though the "rose" was a bit too pink.

 This may have been THE simplest vestment Pope Benedict wore his entire pontificate.

Of course, there will ALWAYS be those who think the more ornate they vest, the more they glorify God. 

While I think the picture below shows a very good, meet and right shade of rose, if you cast your serene and kindly gaze upon the details of this set, I think you will see that the damask cloth combined with the decorative orphrey bands is too much. If the base material is ornate, simple orphrey banding is in order.  If the base material is plain and unadorned, then perhaps a more intricate trim is in order.

I remember a married Byzantine Rite professor who owned three sets of vestments and frequently stated that was all that one really needed for the Byzantine Rite. 
White for almost every Sunday of the year. 
Dark Purple (almost black) for Lenten Weekdays and Funerals.
Gold & White for the most solemn feasts of Christmas, Easter, Ascension, etc.
I met a missionary priest from Africa several years ago who owned one white set and one purple set of vestments.  Used when they were given to him, they were worn and tattered, lovingly repaired and mended many times.  A couple of us offered to chip in and buy him a couple new sets, he refused and insisted that if we had the money to buy him vestments that he would much rather take that cash and use it for his people, many lacking basic necessities. 

There is a time and a place for everything. Perhaps this is a good day to ponder this quote from saint John Chrysostom.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + Do you wish to honor the body of Christ? Do not ignore him when he is naked. Do not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk, only then to neglect him outside where he is cold and ill-clad. He who said: ‘This is my body’ is the same who said: ‘You saw me hungry and you gave me no food’, and ‘Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did also to me’… What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices when your brother is dying of hunger? Start by satisfying his hunger and then with what is left you may adorn the altar as well.
 (Saint John Chrysostom)


  1. i like things gaudy (rococo is my favorite, fabulous right?) but that chapel and those vestments hurt my eyes, usually im not too into liturgical fashion (which I tend to think is almost as riduclous as liturgical dance, no not spandex wearing girls, but Tridentine Masses with more choreography than a broadway show) UNLESS the liturgical fashion is distracting from true worship, such as the case here, for me at least

  2. This is so ridiculous. Get rid of the damn pink vestments. They're a total distraction from the real point of Christmas which is---gasp, hold your water you Catholics---Christ!

  3. How about not taking offense at a color of vestment which is legitimately permitted by the rubrics of the Roman Rite? Sure, there are different styles of vestments, and some we may prefer more than others. If Pope Francis is counseling us toward charity and greatness of spirit, is complaining about vestments (pro or con) congruous with that?

  4. Just because we can doesn't mean we should. Pink is pink and rose is pink. Catholics may be used to this and even like it, but 90% of the rest of the world sees a guy wearing a pink dress. We might want to think about that.