Father Claude Williams, of the Norbertine Abbey of St. Michael in Orange County, California, has sent us come great pictures of a new set of green vestments, commissioned and paid for by the parishioners of the nearby church of St. John the Baptist in Costa Mesa. (This church has been under the care of St. Michael’s Abbey for the last 10 years.) The vestments were used for both a Mass in the Extraordinary Form, and another Spanish-language Mass in the Ordinary Form.
A set of green Solemn-Mass vestments was blessed and worn for the first time on Sunday (January 26th) at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Costa Mesa, California. Many selfless donations from parishioners and friends made this precious purchase a reality.
The initiative was completely driven by the regular attendees of the weekly Mass here in Costa Mesa, who first approached us requesting new sacred vestments, and offering to donate, and pray for this necessary cause. With a view to increasing the number of Solemn High Masses offered at the parish, the Norbertines soon judged it best to plan for complete sets in each liturgical color.
The olive-green fabric chosen for the first solemn set is a contemporary reinterpretation of a 17th-century style brocade. The colours, elegant in their unity and tone, complement our bright Southern California landscape and the artistic elements present in our Sanctuary. The Damask pattern offers many symbolic references to Our Saviour. The cut is “New Florentine,” essentially, a Roman chasuble, but slightly longer, with a stylized neckline and a few slight adaptations for St. John’s aesthetic.
Keenly aware that the Liturgy takes place in a local context, we decided to have these vestments made locally, choosing nothing “off the rack”, or from non-local businesses. The French-loomed fabric, for example, was purchased through local merchants. The consultant, Heritage Liturgical, is based in the Orange Diocese, and the tailors, too, are from Chagall Design here in Los Angeles County.
The extraordinary hours involved in the production of these vestments speaks to their dignity . . . the dalmatics alone took two weeks of hand work to complete! At every instance, all care has been taken to create the most worthy and noble sacred vestments available with the given means. (All photos by Mr. Rick Belcher.)
|At the beginning of the Asperges|
|Preparation of the altar by the deacon|
|The second Mass, in the ordinary Form - mutual enrichment!|