DRESS-UP

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 | Uncategorized

One of the reasons for my inclination toward Puritanism is the ludicrously awful taste in modern liturgical vestments.  Better not to wear vestments at all than to wear the appalling “LOOK AT ME!!” crap that Brian Thom, the Episcopal Bishop of Idaho(left), got himself consecrated in a while back.

This is not to single out the Episcopalians; horrifying taste in vestments extends pretty much across the Christian vestment-wearing spectrum.  But the Episcopalians seem to have a bit more of a flair for making sartorial jackasses of themselves as Mrs. Schori legendarily demonstrated a couple of years ago.

Anyway, some new vestments have been created specifically for GenCon.  I guess they’re based on that Real African WordTM symbol of theirs.  But as soon as I saw them, they reminded me of something else but I couldn’t immediately put my finger on it.

Then it hit me.

49 Comments to DRESS-UP

Janjan
July 16, 2009

Cirque D’Episcoley

FenelonSpoke
July 16, 2009

In the picture from “EpiscopalLife” online, the vestment on the left (I’m not sure what the official name is-chasubule?) looks like something the kids in the church I serve are using for a pretend parchute type game during Vacation Bible School. It works better as something pre-schoolers to third graders run in and out from under while giggling than as something an adult would wear for religious occasions, IMO.

Sasha
July 16, 2009

Absolutely ridiculous!!!

Yes, I’d rather have no vestments at all than what I’ve been seeing so many “prelates” (most of them heretics and apostates à la Ingham, Schori-Jefferts, Crawley, etc.) flaunting as if on an exhibition!!!

For me, a good but plain-looking suit (for my tastes, black would be my preference!) with a black clerical collar upon a white or black shirt would be more than fine. For those who’re “high-church”, it would be sufficient to have a white or cream-coloured mitre (I’ve no love for anything elaborate!!) plus plain robes with only a very discreet emplacement of a Biblical motif – e.g., a X-P. [Generally the last two Popes have displayed pretty good tastes that way.]

Yes, sometimes less CAN be more…

Sasha
July 16, 2009

The mitre I hate the most of all is that “rainbow” Schori-Jefferts is touting as a symbol of her probable sodomitism…

P. McGrath
July 16, 2009

OK, people, what do you think of this (see the full album here)?

Or perhaps the stuff from Tridentinum or Charbel or Luzar?

When you hang out at the NLM every day, you get used to liturgical eye candy.

The Bovina Bloviator
July 16, 2009

You need to be more broad (church?) minded Christopher. True, Bishop Thom’s vestments are a tad less than fortunate but if you were see those colors on a pizza it would be very tempting indeed!

cheyan
July 16, 2009

I… I have to admit, I kind of like that stole. Just the stole, I promise! I’m so embarrassed.

On the other hand, the idea of “designing vestments along with the service” really makes me twitchy. What’s wrong with designing something that might ever get used in a parish? Wouldn’t it be neat if a parish could say, “Yes, we just got a new set of red vestments that the bishop wore at [insert bishop event here]?” And that way someone could still feel good about themselves for donating vestments… and I bet if they just went for “vestments that might ever willingly be used again” they could make more than five stoles, three chasubles, and two dalmatics for the same amount of “time, talent, and treasure”….

Jeffersonian
July 16, 2009

Is Schori holding a pistol against his ribs in that pic to keep him from tearing off that preposterous smock?

cheyan
July 16, 2009

Also, does Canonical know that not only are the Episcopalians using the word “ubuntu”, their logo is almost the same colors as the Ubuntu logo and also represents a circle of people holding hands?

Matthew
July 16, 2009

Well, when one has jettisoned Scripture, tradition and reason, what’s left other than bad fashion sense?

Matthew
July 16, 2009

cheyan, they know. Apparently it’s just far enough away with a limited impact (ie Linux geeks are rarely progressive Episcopalians).

cheyan
July 16, 2009

Fair enough, I figured they wouldn’t care about the use of the word, since it’s a word, but the logo makes me wonder if someone didn’t go “Hey, we need a logo to go with our Real African Word™,” used Google, and saw all the results for the Linux distro’s logo…

midwestnorwegian
July 16, 2009

The leather and bondage alb can’t be far off. Coming to an Almy booth at a convention near you…

Christopher Hathaway
July 16, 2009

I think I would like these if they were, say, on fire.

Yes. I think I would really like that.

Paula Loughlin
July 16, 2009

What is the sense of being an all inclusive Church if you don’t at least snag some guys with fabulous fashion sense?

Laura R.
July 16, 2009

Good question, Paula Loughlin!

Also — the more I see that picture of the Bishop of Idaho, the more it looks to me like he either ran smack into a very large pizza or had a bad accident with a bottle of ketchup.

dwstroudmd
July 16, 2009

I’m thinking a new reality show: can your get any more execrable than these? The weekly lead in would be the two signature bad taste outfits our host has posted. The goal would be to make “vestments” more tasteless than these. Since it is not possible, the awards would have to be closest approximation to this bad and could, perhaps, be 0.7% of the Most Distasteful Garment actual cost. I’m guessing the awards would run into tens of pennies.

If nothing will attract gays to the Episcopal Church, including the implosion of the Anglican Communion on their behalf, then surely we have in front of us the REAL cause of their refusal to participate.

They usually have some sense of fashion.

Christopher Johnson
July 16, 2009

Funny you should mention pizza, Bloves. I did a little digging and discovered that the Bishop of Idaho was consecrated using a special alternate Episcopal consecration liturgy. That picture was probably taken shortly after the Anointing with Marinara Sauce Ceremony which I understand is supposed to be quite moving.

The Little Myrmidon
July 16, 2009

Aren’t these also the Burger King uniform colors?

TLDillon
July 16, 2009

ROTFLMBO………LOLOOLOL! Thank you Chris… I so needed this laugh today.

Jill C.
July 17, 2009

“Then it hit me”

“We will, we will rock you . . !”

Danby
July 17, 2009

You, Sir, owe the Vancouver Canucks an apology. Their Uniform, while garish, is actually a garment. It serves a purpose besides displaying horrible taste and absorbing money that would be better used for most anything else (including heating fuel.)

Clown Celebrant
July 17, 2009

I can’t remember why priests and bishops dress up in gowns and funny hats anyway. Anyone remember why that’s so important?

JM
July 17, 2009

Watch what you ask for. I don’t want to know what some of these people look like without vestments.

And I thought all those gay guys flocking to TEO would bring a certain taste in fashion with them.

Peter C.
July 17, 2009

P. McGrath, while I definitely saved the three vendors’ links to distribute to some of my Western Rite Orthodox brethren, a question did arise when I surveyed the blog entry to which you linked. Is Bp. Elliott in Australia linked in some way to the Forestry Service or does it just appear that way from his vestments?

Don Janousek
July 17, 2009

The only possible caption for the bottom pic of Her Imperial Bishopess is “Do you want to ‘biggie’ those fries?”

Athanasius Returns
July 17, 2009

From the Episcopal Life/Pravda article: “One of the great mysteries of an event like General Convention is: Where does all the “stuff” come from?”

Well, we here at MCJ are glad you asked that question, Binky!

Our answer to your excellent question: It certainly doesn’t come from the LORD, and if it doesn’t come from the LORD, therefore it must come from…[mic with echo effects turned up to 11]…wait for it…wait for it…Satan…

Ed the Roman
July 17, 2009

Some people might ask why the color of the season wouldn’t do.

These remind me of Griffindor Quidditch robes, actually.

Varbissene Punim
July 17, 2009

When Griswold was in Chicago, I thought I’d seen the all-time nadir in sartorial taste. I guffawed outright at the sight of his prissy old lady-face in granny glasses surmounting a sea of orange, magenta and forest green.

I realize now that I hadn’t seen anything yet.

Why do these staid, timid, middle-class people, of middling intelligence, mediocre skills, and only average curiosity, all need to dress up like Timothy Leary’s subconscious? What is it that they’re not dealing with on a regular basis?

Is this another manifestation of the pandemic narcissism in Episcopal clergy culture? Is it some pathetic latter-day hippie impulse to Deny the Inner Caucasianness, or sumpthing?

And they dare to spend money on vestments AT ALL, given our “dire” situation? Why don’t they just borrow some tatty old things from a local parish–it should bloody well be good enough for them.

Old John Fisher of Rochester said it well: nowadays be many chalices of gold, but few golden priests.

God almighty. The church has been destroyed by a spoiled bourgeois feminist brat in a rainbow oven mitt. An EXPENSIVE rainbow oven mitt.

Athanasius Returns
July 17, 2009

All this sartorial nonsense brought this to mind:

Wouldn’t surprise me in the least to hear that the few orthodox attendees in Anaheim will, at closing of convention today, receive a gift packet that will contain a bumper sticker, a coffee mug, a ball cap, and a proposed BCP – 2010 – beta edition, each of which will be inscribed, printed, and/or embossed with: “TEC – General Convention 2009 – Thanks for the Memories, Now Don’t Let the Door Smack You on the Way Out”.

Therese Z
July 17, 2009

Handmade of shimmering dupioni silk, the chasubles and other elements feature deep reds and golds. “The lightweight, radiant fabric lights up under the stage lights against the dark background,” said Stephen Fendler, CM Almy president. “In such a large hall, the design objective is for the colors to pop.”

—–Whoopsy me, I thought the vestments were to subsume the personality of the priest into the mystery of the Mass, so he can be an alter Christi without people looking at HIM.

Wade has heard from a number of worship-goers that the design met its objective. “One woman came to the Episcopal Church for the Visual Arts [ECVA] booth at convention in tears over how beautiful the reds and other colors came together.”

—–That woman must have been STONED. I would have done that too, for one brief summer THIRTY YEARS AGO.

David Wilson
July 17, 2009

For the record KJS’s rainbow miter when first unveiled was immediately dubbed “The Oven Mitt”

Arthur Glass
July 17, 2009

The Feast of All Hallows is still on Nov. 1, is it not? And All Hallow’s Eve is thus still on Oct 31.

I inquire because it would seem, from the liturgical get-ups exhibited, that Halloween came in July this year.

I laugh to keep from crying: Quomodo sedet sola Ecclesia Anglicana, Mater Sanctorum?

Verger
July 17, 2009

I’m waiting for the first TEO bishop to wear vestments fashioned from black leather with shiny metal clasps and studs all over it. Perhaps a crosier with a leather flail on top instead of a godly cross! I think God every day that I am now in the Southern Cone and soon to be in the ACNA.

Katherine
July 17, 2009

Right, Ed the Roman. I thought vestments were colors to match the liturgical season or occasion. What season is orange and yellow? Is it their flaky new “Creation Season?” No, surely that would be green — except that’s already taken in the church year.

goddessoftheclassroom
July 17, 2009

Everyday my senses and sensibilities are attacked with the reality of the present–taste, behavior, fashion, art, music, etc.

I truly need a place to worship that is UNCHANGING. I need to connect across time and leave the secular world outside the door.

I do not want the world in a church; I live there the rest of the week.

Brian
July 17, 2009

Clown Celebrant, good vestments add beauty to worship, continuity with the past and an emphasis on the *role* rather than the *individual*. Of course, these DayGlo atrocities do the opposite of all three.

I blame versus populum celebrations!

Allen Lewis
July 17, 2009

All of these garish creations scream “Look at me! Look at Me! Look at MEEEEE!”

As others have pointed out, one of the functions of the vestments was to “equalize” the different celebrants so that no class distinctions could be made based on the vestments.

If I recall correctly, the chasuble is symbolic of the seamless tunic which Jesus wore – which is why the soldiers were casting lots for it. The maniple (not all priest use this) represents the towel which Chirst put on at the Last Supper to dry the disciples feet after he washed them. The stole, I think, represents the Yoke of Chirst.

As Therese Z points out, these simple vestments are made to mask the individual priest and serve as an icon of Christ presiding at the altar.

This narcissistic fashion parade is what we get when we take our eys off of Christ and look at ourselves. It is also what we get when people are not properly catechized on the meaning of the symbols which liturgical worship uses to deepen the meaning of the pageant which is celebrated with the Eucharist.

But this is what we get when we focus on the Creature rather than the Creator. It is all in St Paul’s epistles. Why anyone should be surprised at this is beyond me. But then I am forgetting that most Episcopalians are woefully ignorant of what the Bible actually says. This is particualarly true of the “priests” which the new, improved seminaries are cranking out these days.

The Episcopal Church likes to claim that “you don’t have to check your brain at the door.” But if one is going to believe the “interpretations” of Scripture that now run rampant in TEC, I think it requires a frontal lobotomy to buy into most of them.

But then, I was raised in the 1928 Prayer Book tradition. My parents (especially my mother) made sure that I understood the symbols and their meaning. We read one of the daily office lessons before breakfast each morning and read the commentary about it. Of course this was before Forward Day By Day became just another revisionist propaganda booklet.

Leave it to the Episcopal Church to sully and stain another piece of liturgical tradition.

Sinner
July 17, 2009

Wow!

IF I wanted to design vestments to communicate the absolute fact that I am going to burn in Hell for all eternity I couldn’t have done better myself.

The Gold and Scarlet of the shimmering dupion silk vestments mirror the key spiritual principles of TEC. Gold – obviously for the money, tithes, and properties kept by the church! Scarlet – for the scarlet sins, particularly of gayness and abortion, that cries out to the heavens to be avenged
And most of all, the gold and scarlet mirror the colours of the flames of hell
where all wearers of these vestments shall surely find their rest!

Mark Windsor
July 17, 2009

Katherine – these do reflect the liturgical season. The Season of the Sun! Cue “Let the Sun Shine In” by the 5th Dimension. C’mon everybody, sing along…

:)

Bill (not IB)
July 17, 2009

For the past 12 days I’ve been in Italy, seeing St. Peter’s in Rome (and the Sistine Chapel is far more impressive than any picture can ever portray; although even it is dwarfed by the frescoes of some lesser-known churches), the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, the Duomo in Milan, San Damiano (home of St. Claire) and many, many other Christian places. I can’t explain the feeling of humility and sanctity I got when I viewed the cross of San Damiano – the one which St. Francis was praying in front of when he was called to his vocation. There was holiness and sanctity everywhere I turned.

And then – I return to the effluent produced by GenCon. I haven’t even tried to read it all; just the adoption of C056 and D025 pluges the final nails into the coffin of TEC. All that remains now is a zombie; the “living dead”, the “undead”, warped and twisted spectres and shadows of Christianity.

It’s a tragedy. But I can’t find it in me to cry – I prefer to exult in the many expressions of Christian holiness and gospel teaching that can still be found all around us. When it’s dark, turn to the light – it will refresh you, and help you to see. I’ll be ignoring most of the TEO follies from here on out; there’s little point in “beating a(n) (un)dead horse)”. Instead, I’ll aim at finding ways to bring hope to people struggling to escape the darkness – and supporting the faithful expressions of the Anglican Catholic tradition. (Although I may still find time for an occasional snark/jab…..)

R. Scott Purdy
July 17, 2009

The Bish of Idaho is modeling the “Fires of Hell Vestment Series”.

Seems apt.

JM
July 17, 2009

People, please look on the bright side. TEO vestments are God’s way of telling us that cyclists’ uniforms really aren’t that garish, after all.

dwstroudmd
July 17, 2009

This really creepy. I find myself in synch with Sinner’s last, even if only in a metaphorical kind of way, since I think that the creation components forced into this “duty” will be redeemed at the Last Day. The souls? They are on their own recognizance with God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But the atoms constituting the fabrics will be redeemed. Hallelujah.

June Fremont
July 17, 2009

Re the vestments for GenCon in second picture: I am reminded of “Saruman of Many Colors” (apologies to JRR Tolkien). Why doesn’t everyone just call the PB “Sharkey”? (Is the other bishop in the first picture “Wormtongue”?) She seems to be angling for the title…

P. McGrath
July 17, 2009

Peter C:

Bishop Elliott is from Australia, so I suspect that the rich green of the Ordinary Time vestments he and the other clergy are wearing may have been derived from the rich green chlorophyll of eucalyptus leaves.

However, he is best known in the Catholic Church as the author of Ceremonies oof the Modern Roman Rite, the handbook that all Catholic Churches should be using. (The link describes him as a Monsignor, but he has since been promoted.)

Think of Elliott’s “Ceremonies” as the polar opposite of whatever liturgical handbook the Squid-Bishopess might be using.

Peter C.
July 18, 2009

Thanks for the info, P. McGrath. I’ve just started delving into my new copy of Ritual Notes (Ninth Edition) from Lancelot Andrewes Press. Unfortunately, my only experience seeing the Novus Ordo done with any sort of decorum is the televised Christmas Mass from St. Peter’s in Rome. Other than that, it’s always involved guitars and bad translations.

diane with small d
July 18, 2009

P. McGrath: I think Peter was referring to the green-and-brown combo (the colors of the forest, more or less). I thought it was rather well done myself…the green-and-brown theme was even carried to the altar. Green, of course, is the liturgical color for Ordinary Time, and brown is simply a neutral, so brown trim does not strike me as some sort of ghastly faux pas. But that’s just me. ;)

diane in nc with a small d
July 18, 2009

Unfortunately, my only experience seeing the Novus Ordo done with any sort of decorum is the televised Christmas Mass from St. Peter’s in Rome. Other than that, it’s always involved guitars and bad translations. [emphasis added]

You need to get out more! LOL!

Diane, wondering where people get this stuff

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