Vestments for Ash Wednesday
As part of the Oratory’s commitment to fostering the liturgical arts, this Ash Wednesday marked the first appearance of a new set of Solemn Mass vestments, made by our Brother Sacristan. Inspired by the shape and cut of vestments from the Italian and Spanish cinquecento, they harmonize beautifully with the classical style of the church and sanctuary. Made from contemporary damask fabrics, trimmed in braided gold galloon and lined in a greenish gold taffeta lining, the refined elegance of these arrestingly solemn vestments befits the celebration of the holy mysteries during Lent. Of special note are the apparelled collars on the dalmatic and tunicle, as well as the humeral veil that the subdeacon wears while holding the paten during the Canon of the Mass. This humeral veil features an embroidery of the instruments of the passion at the center of a large sunburst. One symbolic interpretation of the subdeacon’s veiling and concealment of the paten is that he represents the apostles who hid themselves during the Lord’s passion.