Thursday, November 09, 2006

What not to wear with what...

That was the title of a segment the old "Glamour" magazine used to publish...

Does the Holy Father have to wear what the sacristan lays out?

Maybe there is some excuse...maybe people from Bavaria have no taste. I don't know, but whoever the Vatican designer is should certainly be fired.

It's the most hideous vestment and mitre ensemble I have ever seen - it's worse than what the Holy Rood Guild at Spencer Abbey creates.

John Paul II wore some pretty creepy designs as well - like the 'invisibility cloak' cope he wore to open the Holy Year of 2000. Very theatrical - sorry the photo is so pix-elated - it wouldn't look any better in a perfect photo. The cope 'shimmered'. (I overlooked the ugly vestments as I thought it was because John Paul II was Polish, and that was his taste.)

Either "Ugly Betty" is picking out the designs for the Holy Father, or there is a gay costume designer in the Vatican. The guy better go back to work at La Scala.

Many Novus Ordo vestments are rather awful - that's all I can say. I'm embarrassed for the Pope. Don't wear that stuff!


  1. ROFL! That mitre! Managgia! Poor Holy Father! I agree, Terry, with your take on the papal ensembles. I even think that they have gotten worse in this pontificate. That Kool–Aid Green chasuble is frightful. The theme for the mitre? Key–Lime Pie.

  2. Heeeey!

    What's with that crack about his being Polish?


  3. Rhapsody - Sometimes my foot gets in my mouth...ahhhhhhhhhhhhh...remember I did a post about glitz and schmaltz...Jewish taste and Polish taste? It's not PC but it's the only way I have to express the look. Shiney, bright things. I'm not explaining it any better am I.

    Having said that, the novelties of liturgy JPII permitted carried over into vestments and continues into this pontificate, placing sacred vestments and liturgical functions on the same level as Hollywood Academy Award celebrations, opening themselves to 'red carpet' critique of the current fashion in liturgical attire every time the Pope appears in something novel.

    The liturgy and the Church is neither about fashion or novelty...yet some of the vestments are consstructed of fabrics one might see in the fashion house of Milan - or at La Scala. I don't understand the desire for inovation in liturgical vestments.

    My apologies for calling it Polish.

  4. Well... okay...


    I confess, I'm rather adept at sticking my foot in my mouth- on a good day I can do it more than once, & sometimes I can manage BOTH feet...

    Of course, I do know what you mean... is "tacky" a good word?

    I also confess- I used to not like the "gilded" look- although when done right- (in small doses, artistically)- it can be kind of nice...

    That said, I did not realize that these vestments weren't standard issue- & I agree with your assessment of them.

  5. However . . . I admire the humility of the celebrant, bishop or priest, or vests in what the sacristan has laid out for him. I also confess to not having that humility. I have been in places (usually convents!) where the chasuble looks as if it were made for the Infant of Prague and where the velcro on the collar of the alb wore out in 1969. I have been known to ask, "Uh . . . would you possibly have anything else?" I remember that in one place, the sacristan said, "We have these sets but most priests don't like to wear them." They were splendid chasubles made in a Benedictine Abbey in Holland in the 1940s, full cut, hand embroidered in a noble way, right out of the old, old issues of Art Sacré. One never knows what treasures lurk in sacristy closerts.

  6. little freak10:17 AM

    It is sad. The vestments make him look silly. Unfortunately, to an outsider this might make the pope appear corny and silly. I think what you wear makes a big impression on how seriously people take you. I hope Benedict is not affected in this way.

  7. Of all the people in the universe to take a crack at for being Polish!

  8. Terry: I see you have already been called to task for your Polish comment so I, granddaughter of a Polish immigrant, will leave it alone.

    One unfortunate ensemble does not fashion victim make.

    I think B XVI attire has been very well done. His hats, his casual suit he wore when he visited his brother, his shades, his shoes. Really, how much can he WEAR. He's sort of forced to be well accessorized as the Supreme Pontiff.

    Though I admit in that photo he looks dreadful.

    If there is a gay fashion consultant in the Vatican, he's clearly not doing his job on that day. He must have been in Jerusalem protesting the fact that he can't have his parade.

  9. John Paul II always loved telling Polish jokes and often agreed with me that the Irish really have the worst taste in the world. (I loved his Irish jokes!)

  10. Terry!


    Me too, again!

    You are SO not pc...

    (but I am- LOL!!! inside joke:)

  11. cichx002@tc.umn.edu12:34 PM

    Some of these new vestments are awful. I especially don't like some of the new stoles that come to a point at the nape of the neck. They all have that "protestant look".
    Terry, are those photos from the Leaflet Mussal collection?
    For beautiful ,conservative vestments check out Mass at St. Agnes in St. Paul. (Some of their older :fiddlebacks" are aging a bit.)
    Some how St Agnes came up with enough black vestments for 5 priests and 2 deacons for the All Souls Day solemn Highmass.

  12. Jack - Leaflet does not carry vestments like these or those from the Holy Rood Guild - we can order them however. Our vestments are from France, Belgium and Italy and are very nice.

  13. Anonymous2:02 AM

    Protestant, Catholic, or Jew, irish, polish, german or what, That color green? is not Natural, there is Nothing in the entirity of "G-ds" creation that is that color, except that thing Benny's wearing. GaaaGaaa.


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