Monday, May 12, 2008

Hides, but no, it reveals

It has been said that vestments were worn by preachers in the good old days to hide them, so that the people do not get to focus on them while they preached. That is, so that they do not attract attention to themselves.

Hmmm, tell me if a vestment so elaborate will not gain attention. Look at the sample here, look at the gold and glits.

Actually vestments may not hide the preacher, rather it reveals his character, it invariably speaks of his personality. When a preacher is more interested in what he should wear on Sunday, (s most high church nuts are like that) rather than what he is supposed to say, it does not hide his character, it actually reveals it.

Take the cue from Balaam's ass. The smelly ass had more sense and truth to say compared to the falsehood spewed out by the prophet.

I am glad PB (you know who you are) is not obsessed with what he should wear but worries more as to what he should say. God bless you bro.


steve martin said...

I am all in favor of vestments. But I do think one can carry it a bit too far.

The symbolism is always there. A simple vestment reflects servitude and the covering that is Christ.
A bejewled vestment reflects power and authority direct from God, into the person of the Pope.
I don't buy it. But then again...I'm a Lutheran!

- Steve M.

Past Elder said...

The chasuble for most of its history reached to the ground, as a sign of what we call the Office of Holy Ministry, as Steve says, servitude to Christ.

Which is why we retain them.

That said, who would seriously suppose Peter would see such a picture, or perhaps see it along with a collection of figures from other religions in their get-ups, and say That's my successor, right there!

That also said, the opposite point is not necessarily made by conducting services in a T-shirt and jeans, or slacks and a sweater (jumper), either.

Nor do I see the slightest difference between what is pictured and mega-church pastors in expensive suits and ties and rings and hair-dos.

I would suggest there is also no difference in obsession about these things between those who are into it as a sign of Christ and those who oppose it as a sign of Christ.

L P Cruz said...


For me the problem with the guy wearing the Hawaiian shirt is not the shirt, it is what he is saying.

Grab a copy of the PDL, and it is once again. What he is saying (teaching) is horrible compared to his shirt.

There are a lot of things we can forgive in the pulpit, but when the preacher is preaching works rather than Christ and him crucified for us sinners, we can not forgive that, can we?

You are right, it ain't here nor there.


Past Elder said...

The problem is, what the preacher wears isn't entirely disconnected from what he preaches. The Hawaiian shirt isn't the message per se, but it reflects the message, part of which is that concern with the historic aspects of the faith is just irrelevant. In a very real sense, the Hawaiian shirt IS his vestment.

The problem doesn't end there. Then you get the guys who want to preach the historic faith and think it will go over better in Hawaiian shirts, the guys who think if you wear traditional vestments you're traditional on faith too. On and on.

Necessary but not sufficient, as one says in philosophy. We retain the usual customs and practices because of what they come from, but the customs and practices are hollow and void apart from what they come from. One does not insure fidelity to what they come from by putting them on any more than not putting them on.

On another note, Herr Schuetz has issued a warning to me, to stop arguing like the serpent in the garden with repeated mixtures of truth and lies, or he will begin to delete my comments. I think I'll just quit posting there. I resolved to do it once, and came back only because his call to Pastor Weedon to convert just pissed me off (as I recall, pissed in Australian means drunk, whereas here it means angry and that's what I mean!). It's OK to tell us to come in but not OK for us to tell them to get out, I guess. You can do or say anything as long as you allow the only real god of the Roman Catholic Church, itself, pride of place.

Any more, these guys are all Newmanised dolts anyway. Newman didn't believe anything on the basis of Scripture, went from this to that, and finally gave up on the whole thing until he found an authority he thought cleared it up for him, the RCC. So there's only two positions he/they think exist -- agnosticism or Roman Catholicism, and one will be one or the other if one really thinks it though.

Well, to use my absolute favourite Aussieralian expression, pig's bum! (Bum here is derogatory expression for an unemployed homeless person, also used in reference to umpires with whose calls you disagree in our stylised cricket called baseball, truly the mind of God at sport, and as a general derogatory expression for anyone you wish to derogate. Judas, Winter's coming on there and the drains drain backwards -- how are the Runzas doing?)

L P Cruz said...


I think I'll just quit posting there. I resolved to do it once, and came back only because his call to Pastor Weedon to convert just pissed me off (as I recall, pissed in Australian means drunk, whereas here it means angry and that's what I mean!). It's OK to tell us to come in but not OK for us to tell them to get out, I guess. You can do or say anything as long as you allow the only real god of the Roman Catholic Church, itself, pride of place.

Frankly I am quite un-impressed at Shuetzies move on that one. You are right, how come he can call someone to come in, but you can not call some one to come out?

Heck, we can disagree in a lot of ways P.E. and we can disagree furiously at the same time don't take the fun out of it.

Well to quote Randy Newman (Toy Story)

You got a friend in me.

Oh yeah, you reminded me of the runzas -- I will tell the missus to serve it for our Friday night catechism study (we are doing Large Cath by popular demand ;-)


Augustinian Successor said...

The chasuble is about the Incarnation - God Who so humbled and emptied Himself ... it's a down-to-earth sign of what HUMANITY *truly* means. So, the chasuble embodies Jesus who is the true human and we are not. He DIED FOR US. HE SACRIFICED FOR US. HE OFFERED HIMSELF FOR US SUFFERING AGONY AND DEATH. It is truly an eschatological sign. In short, the chasuble points to the PERSON of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

For the papist, the chasuble is a sign of "divinisation", i.e. that which SETS APART the priesthood of the Melchizedek from the lay-priesthood. The idolatrous desire to reach heavenwards and claim divine role for himself - an ontological sign. In short, the chasuble points to the priest(!!!) who SHARES in the work of redemption. This is why, 2 Thessalonians 2 prophesied that the Antichrist sits in the tmeple of God claiming that he is God! The priest claims he is Christ doing the work of Christ.

Oh no ... not in a million years ... the priest is not the vicar of Christ. His place has ben used up ... He DIED in our place. No more ... will that place come up to claim us. And we DIED IN HIM. That is the meaning of the exchange.

But no, the priest vested in his chasuble, the true Catholic priest, go forth as an extension of Jesus's ministry here on earth, in the forgivness of sins, that is the absolution, the giving of the bread and wine in the Supper and baptising sinners in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

In other words, the Catholic priest does not, emphatically doex not usurp, replace Christ on earth, rather he extends Christ in time and space ... this is the meaning of being authorised by the crucified and risen Christ to do the ministry of reconciliation.

And just so that the chasuble is not seen as something sacred in its own right, it was originally a secular cloak borrowed from the Romans. The Romans you might recall were the ones under Pontius Pilate who crucified Christ and put Him to death.

The chasuble becomes the INSTRUMENT of salvation, you see, just as the flesh of Our Lord and Saviour became the means in which we are redeemed from our sins. The chasuble looks forward to the time when the secularrr aeend the sacred are no longer separated, but joined and united in Christ who is the Head of the New Creation of the New Heavens and the New Earth.

The chasuble is the sign that you HAVE BEEN redeemed. PERIOD. No ifs, no buts ... You have died. The old has passed and the new has arrived.

Be joyful by faith and in thanksgiving. And so, as you come to eat of the bread and wine, do recall the blessed inheritance of the western Catholic Church which is the chasuble, the mark of the ever-blessed Gospel of JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE.


Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto; sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in secula seculorum.

L P Cruz said...


Indeed Jesus is the true human, the second Adam not tainted with sin so he is the one real human, our humanity is flawed.

The amazing thing is that some high church folk think that they have not really ministered right nor the people have really worshipped rightly if their vestment and liturgy do not follow the tradition to the tee.

I learned a lot from that explanation of the chausible. They indeed help us reinforce what we have received in Christ. It can be a source of blessing to know what it means. However, they do and can have a life of their own. It is when they propel a life of their own that is when works gets into the back door once again.

For example should the minister cross the stole or just let it hang and inserted within the rope? That sort of business.


Augustinian Successor said...

Amen to you, Big Brother!

Doorman-Priest said...

My mother gave those curtains to OXFAM in good faith.

David said...

Yes DP I was thinking of curtains as well.

I think these two woodcuts by Lucas Cranach the Elder says it all comparing Christ with the antichrist.

L P Cruz said...


We should now be careful what we give to St. Vincent de Paul and such organizations, look where your curtains might wind up?

It might wind up on the shoulders of the Pope.


J. K. Jones said...


Watch out for a coming White Horse Inn ( episode on formality in worship.


L P Cruz said...


Will do, I already have some brain cells jogged up by their last program.


Past Elder said...

Judas, the stole hangs straight down! End of story!

After Trent, Roman pastors would cross the stole if it were worn underneath a chasuble, but they don't since Vatican II. At least they got that right. Wish they got what it means right. Oh well.

L P Cruz said...


Crikey, was that in canon law?

Which reminds me when I was a kid, the priests knew more about Teilhard de Chardin than anything else, I doubt if they knew canon law stuff.


Past Elder said...

Don't know and don't care if it's in canon law. It's like any other garment. You learn how it's worn. Put your coat on back to front and you look silly, like your mom (mum) never showed you how to put on a coat. So mother church shows one how to put on a stole. (The real mother church, not "Mother Church" the impostor whore.)

FWIW, and I almost don't want to say it, but I like Teilhard. Like, of course, does not mean agree with. Not saying that. But frankly, I'd much rather re-read the Divine Milieu than the Documents of Vatican II!

L P Cruz said...


real mother church

And which one might that be in your book? Pre-Vat 1? Catholicism pre 600 AD?

I am interested.


Past Elder said...

The one in the Creed.

L P Cruz said...

Do you know when that church in the Creed started introducing the chausible?


Past Elder said...

Yeah, somewhere about 400 or so. It was an adaptation of the standard outer garment -- coat, if you will -- of the lower class. In Latin the name is casula, little house, and it was kind of like a big poncho. The shortened stylised chasubles we know now came along about a millenium later.

With the exception of the stole, all of the now liturgical garments are simply holdovers from ordinary clothing in the Roman Empire, as originally ordinary clothing WAS liturgical garments -- ie there were no specific ones.