Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,649 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

vestment & divestment

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 06, 2007

At yesterday's Chrism Mass, Pope Benedict made use of liturgical vestments as catechetical tools to remind priests of the meaning of their vocation:

In administering the sacraments, the pope said, the priest "no longer represents himself and no longer expresses himself," but speaks and acts for Christ. For that reason, he said, priests must continually configure themselves to Christ, something that is symbolized in the liturgical vestments they put on.

The amice, which traditionally covered the shoulders and head, reminds priests to concentrate on the celebration of the Mass and on the figure of Christ, and not to let their thoughts wander, he said.

The amice? Didn't that go out with Fish-on-Fridays tribal Catholicism?

Today's thinking Catholics generally embrace a more inclusive and machine washable model of church. The Velcro collar strap on Father's Linen-Lyke alb, accordingly, symbolizes a fully adaptable approach to full-time ministry.

(A fuller account of the Holy Father's homily is available here.)

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($124,738 to go):
$150,000.00 $25,262.05
83% 17%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2007 10:30 AM ET USA

    Our pastor wears an amice and on Holy Thursday, ties is around his waist and uses it to dry the feet of twelve men. On the flip side, at the parish I work at as music director, two priests wash the feet of a deacon and his wife, who then wash the feet of the priests and anyone else who wants to come up -- no amice is used. Plastic dish basins, plastic beer pitchers, a roll of paper towels, and hand sanitizer round things out.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 06, 2007 4:47 PM ET USA

    The amice went out with the sacred vessels and following rubrics.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 06, 2007 12:46 PM ET USA

    The vestments metaphor makes obvious the strength of the Church’s traditional bond between “lex orandi” and “lex credendi.” It’s amazing to me, then, that the bishops refuse to acknowledge the virtual absence in the Novus Ordo liturgy of rubrics that demonstrate that bond. A palpable example is the now-common twin practices of communion-in-hand and communion under both species, both of which belie the theology of the Real Presence that was clearly defined by the Fathers of Trent.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Church Moves On, Slowly October 24
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? October 24
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6