Sunday, July 10, 2011


A friend reminded me of Bad Vestments, so I was reminded of this:

Of course, I think every single fiddleback in the world should be put on Bad Vestments, but that's a debate for another time...


Thom, SFO said...

Agreed. I dislike "fiddlebacks" and apron chasubles with a passion.

A Sinner said...

"Apron chasubles"! Ha!! I've heard them called sandwich boards, but never that. I'll have to use that more!!!

Miles said...

It's a question of taste. Personally, I hate mexican ponchos disguised as chasubles.

latinmass1983 said...

Why would this be? Fiddlebacks were, at one point, the only acceptable forms of the Chasuble.

In fact, the "gothic" Chasubles were officially forbidden in the Latin Church!!! I have a whole dissertation on that I found on the American Ecclesiastical Review from the 1800s.

I dislike (very strongly) what passes for gothic or semi-gothic Chasubles since the 40s. I dislike the conical ones as well. But more than that, I dislike the people who think that they are the more perfect shape or form of the Chasuble just because it is older and covers more. This touches on the "antiquarianism" that is simply stupid.

But I would be happy to have an explanation from you guys.

A Sinner said...

"Fiddlebacks were, at one point, the only acceptable forms of the Chasuble."

Ah, but, "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."

It seems this principle works both ways, and that the Roman authorities were being anti-traditionalist by trying to ENFORCE their minimalist forms by banning the fuller and more ancient expressions.

It is not "antiquarianism" but I do admit an aesthetic preference for the medieval and for FULL expression rather than the lazy minimalism that came to characterize the late-traditional Roman Rite.

latinmass1983 said...

I do not have time (right now) for a full answer to the issue of the fiddle back or why it was forbidden. But the real reason was not that Rome was tryign to be intolerant of older practices, but the motives behind those trying to revive them.

As to the "FULL" stuff, well, what you might be referring might be the medieval form of it and not the original, primitive, Chasuble. People always get this wrong, so that it shows that they do not really know what they advocate for.

All the Vestments have been "minimalized" to a great extent and some even almost disappeared - we don't see anyone trying to bring those back!

More on this later.

latinmass1983 said...

O.K. Now that I have more time, I have to give more examples of why it seems inconsistent to advocate for the "FULL" form of the Chasuble:

As said earlier, there are many, many things in the Liturgy or related to it that are not the way they used to be. That, however, was just a wide development that occurred without being forced.


1) The Chasubles. The cutting away of the Chasubles was not because an order came from the Vatican that they had to be done away with. It was not also out of hate for the fuller forms (mediaeval or gothic), but because those longer ("fuller") forms became somewhat inconvenient.

It was not also that the fuller versions of the Chasuble were not considered sacred, but since the Roman cut Chasubles were just as sacred and as useful (and usually much more beautiful), these were the ones that were kept. In fact, the form of the Chasuble was the only one used in Roman, so much so that it became known as the Roman Chasuble. The Popes all used it almost exclusively.

2) The Corporal (as mentioned in another comment) used to be big enough to cover the Altar. Should we go back to that? Why just the Chasuble?

3) The Paten and the Chalice were much bigger and wider and somewhat different in shape than the ones we use now. Should we also attempt to go back to the older versions of these sacred vessels? In fact, they were so sacred then that that's when the practice of covering them started. Were they more sacred because they were bigger?

4) The Pope (in the traditional Liturgy) used the subcinctorium, which in some places was used by other Bishops but eventually came to be reserved only to the Pope. Should we go back to the practice of having more Bishops use them? The same could be said for the Fanon (which practically only the Pope used -- and one or two Patriarchs. I know that the Patriarch of Lisbon used and I have pictures to prove that). Now, should we have all the Bishops use the Fanon?

5) Going back to the Chasuble:
The real Gothic Chasuble is the one that covers everything. In shape and length, it would resemble more the ones used in the New Order. It is not the one seen in most traditional circles (the one that goes down around the knees and falls down on the writs. The real gothic Chasuble should cover all the other Vestments. Is this what you specifically want back? Or did you mean the one that does not cover everything?

This form of Chasuble fell into disuse on its own without any push from Rome. In fact, I believe that the prohibition to go back to it came waaaaaay after it had stopped being used. This is why it was not a problem when it was prohibited.

6) The revived interest in the gothic Chasuble was based on the interest of what the early Church did/had/practiced. This was usually accompanied with a taint of disdain for "truncations," unnecessary pietism, and the good old antiquarianism that led to the strong dislike of the Roman Chasuble EVEN in the Vatican. The shocking thing about this was that the Roman Chasuble was discouraged even though people still remembered it being used (this did not happen with the gothic Chasuble).

In the 50s, John XXIII gave permission to the Bishops to allow the longer Chasubles as long as they did not create problems/scandal (admiratio). Before this, those forms of Chasubles were forbidden by the Congregation of Sacred Rites and other decrees because they had not been used in such a long time that their reintroduction could cause confusion among the faithful.

There are many other examples of things that we could go back to, not just the fuller form of the Chasuble. The Papal Tiara could also be one of them - at first there was none.