Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The Abbesses ceremonial shoes....

The New Liturgical Movement has developed an Imelda-esq obsession with shoes and stockings of late, which I have to admit really don't interest me that much.

I do however enjoy stories about those over-weaning abbesses of earlier times, who acquired the right to pontificals (pectoral cross and crozier), in some cases had considerable jurisdiction (secular and ecclesiastical), and generally kept a high profile. I can never quite decide whether they were the would-be womyn priests of their time, or the answer to them, by providing positive models of women in positions of authority within a particular sphere. Now I mostly tend to the latter view, but every now and then one has to wonder given some of the stories...

So I couldn't resist this picture of ceremonial shoes, clearly in imitation of the (righfully neglected in my view!) episcopal and pontifical regalia NLM has been filling us in on, made for an eighteenth century abbess of St Marienstern. Presumably the theory is that if the boys can play dress-ups, so can the girls.... and wouldn't you like to see the rest of the regalia that I'm betting goes with the shoes!

In any case, the monastery is a Cistercian women's monastery in Germany that has operated continuously since 1248. It evidently has a wonderful treasury of liturgical objects, so do go over to NLM and have a look at the pictures of the nice nuns and their monastery.

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