Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vestments for the Feast of the Assumption, Tongerlo Abbey, Belgium

Frater Anselm Gribbin, O.Praem, of Tongerlo Abbey, Belgium, sent in the following quick report for NLM readers this past Sunday, the feast of the Assumption, which focuses on some of the vestments of the Abbey -- but it also provides a tiny glimpse into the liturgical life of Tongerlo itself.

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Mass of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Tongerlo Abbey
August 15, 2010

by Frater Anselm Gribbin, O.Praem

Today we celebrate the Assumption of Our Lady, our patronal feast. Yesterday we had abbatial First Vespers, and this morning abbatial Lauds, with Second Vespers this evening, with four cantors in copes. There was much work for our sacristan today, as you can see.

The mitre worn by our abbot (see below) for the feast was made for Abbot Jozef Bauwens (d. 1955), who was a canon of Tongerlo and prelate of Leffe. The vestments used for Holy Mass and the divine office, were made for Abbot Emiel Stalmans (d. 1953), in the 1940s. The ‘story goes’ that some of the material used for the vestments was given to the abbey by Abbot General Noots – also a canon of Tongerlo – and came from Italy. Abbot Stalmans gave a large order to A.E. Grossé of Brugge, the firm that made the vestments, in order to avoid workers being sent to work in factories in Germany during World War Two. We still use part of this large pontifical set on great feast days.

Mitre made for Abbot Jozef Bauwens (d. 1955)

Abbatial heraldry of Abbot Stalmans on the stole belonging to a cope

I took the following photographs from behind the abbot – with his permission - in order to show the beauty of the vestments, and because I walked behind him as ‘minister ad mitram’.

Father Abbot in the procession to the abbey church for the Missa Summa

Detail showing Chasuble

Detail showing Dalmatic

These vestments were the same used for the televised Christmas Midnight Mass in the 1950s which I wrote about this past December. We still have the matching mitre which Abbots Stalmans and Boel wore with this set, but it now requires alteration for use.

A very happy and a holy feast day to all the readers of NLM from the abbot and community of Tongerlo.

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