Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Short Phelonion in the Byzantine East

Recently I re-posted a research piece I wrote in 2009 on the topic of the planeta plicata -- or folded chasuble. In response to this piece, one of our Eastern Christian readers sent me the following note:

It may be of interest to you that in the Orthodox Church a "short phelonion" (i.e. one especially made shortened or a usual one pinned up) is used in the tonsure of Readers as they now hold the "first step of the priesthood." It is never used after this service.

Here are three images which show the short phelonion -- or short chasuble.

Of course, the natural question which follows from this is whether there is any co-relation or not to the Latin folded chasuble -- and if so, what is the nature of that relationship?

I have not had time to research the question myself (except for briefly browsing Taft and a few other Byzantine historical sources -- which turned up no reference to the matter), but I offer it here for you consideration and invite any readers to comment with any historical information they might be able to offer.

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