Saturday, 19 July 2008

Papal mass vestments for today

Terra is finally back in the comfort of home, so will provide some more impressions of events forthwith. But first the papal fashion parade!

In a nice coup for Australia, the vestments for the Pope and deacons at today's Papal Mass at St Mary's Cathedral, which were made by Michael Sternbeck's (pictured above) St Bede's Studio....including some hard work by Terra's friend Louise from Canberra.

In March, the Saint Bede's Studio was contacted by the Archdiocese of Sydney with a request
to submit designs for sets of vestments for the Papal Mass. St Bede's advises that designs in three different styles were offered - Gothic Revival; Carolingian; and Roman. The latter style was chosen.

St Bede's prepared the chasuble and stole, Pontifical dalmatic and mitre, as well as three dalmatics for the deacons assisting at the Mass.

The design for the chasuble was apparently inspired by a 16th century painting of Saint Martin of Tours, but with the shape and dimensions based upon the measurements set down in the same century by Saint Charles Borromeo. The fabric was silver and gold silk damask in the Italianate style of 18th century. The front of the chasuble is decorated with the “tau”. The ornament of the chasuble, Pontifical dalmatic and dalmatics of the three deacons is in yellow silk, trimmed with a 2cm wide braid of red and gold. All the vestments are lined in crimson-red silk and bear the Papal coat of arms.

The mitre is made from cloth gold upon which is embroidered mediaeval scrollwork in gold,
silver and crimson thread. These embroideries are based upon the historic mitre of Saint
Thomas Becket (12th century) kept at the Sens Cathedral. The lappets of this mitre are also
embroidered with scrollwork and bear the Papal coat of arms.
Nice to see the elements of tradition returning and being made a living tradition! You can read more on Michael's blog.

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