TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Monday, January 25th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Most people remember where they were and what they were doing when they first saw this now-legendary picture of Katharine Jefferts Schori’s most famous bad vestment display.  No doubt, phrases like, “Welcome to Episcopal Burger, may I take your order?” and “The Presiding Bishop’s head is currently experiencing technical difficulties, please stand by,” among a great many others, immediately ran through your mind.  You probably think that the Presiding Bishop reached the apogee of horrible liturgical vestment taste here and that she cannot possibly outdo herself.

But if you think that, you’re wrong.

UPDATE: Cut her some slack, Johnson, it’s not that bad.  You’re quite correct.  It’s WAY worse.

47 Comments to TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Daniel Muller
January 25, 2010

Looks like a regimental stripe. Just think of all the four-in-hands that gave up their lives so that that chasuble could come into existence.

Barney
January 25, 2010

I have seen drag queens who wouldn’t wear that…

Barney
January 25, 2010

I sorry… that was insulting to drag queens… not a one would even think of wearing that… and to think… she is considered a leader of a major league church!

Bill (not IB)
January 25, 2010

I would really like to walk up and ask, “So, what’s the liturgical season? Aquarius? Disco? Rainbowtide?”

Jim the Puritan
January 25, 2010

What has been seen cannot be un-seen.

The Little Myrmidon
January 25, 2010

Makes us all long for the oven mitt, eh? OK, maybe not.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
January 25, 2010

Well, why should her rags reflect religious symbolism that she does not believe in?

Dale Matson
January 25, 2010

I think she paid for those garments otherwise she would have had to “rent” them.

Jeffersonian
January 25, 2010

My dog sicked up something like that once, after he got into the pinata candy.

Dale Matson
January 25, 2010

CJ,
“…bad vestment display.” I always though BVD stood for undergarments. I am edified.

Paula Loughlin
January 25, 2010

Somewhere a there is a very angry hot air ballooner wondering who the hell stole his envelope.

Clown Celebrant
January 25, 2010

It’s ugly, but it’s not funny ugly like the oven mitt. No, this is more like, “I’m feeling nauseous, how would I depict this in liturgical garb?” Or, “Dear God, if you’ll get me through this toilet hugging puke session, I’ll be a missionary to the Taliban in Helmand Province in Afghanistan or in Pakistan’s Waziristan region wearing a robe looking kind of like this…” I’m glad you called it to our attention, CJ. Let it be a lesson to us. But, it’s just not in the same class with The Mitt.

Amy P.
January 25, 2010

I have seen drag queens who wouldn’t wear that…

No, drag queens have taste. All Schori has is…color blindness. Or at least I wish I did.

Michael D
January 26, 2010

Cut her a break. She was at the beige hotel restuarant and accidently picked up a Hyatt-folded beige napkin instead of her miter. It was early, OK, and the coffee has not yet cut in.

Sheesh.

Christopher Johnson
January 26, 2010

By the way, I’ve proposed yet another theory Mrs. Schori seems intent on proving.

Niall Mor
January 26, 2010

Am I correct in assuming that this rainbow-flavored horror of haberdashery is intended to demonstrate TEC’s solidarity with gay, lesbian, and transgendered, left-handed wombats or something?

Allen Lewis
January 26, 2010

Hey, Niall!

Leave off the left-handed class, OK? We have enough trouble coping in a right-handed world without being included in condescending remarks.

The PB is just dressing as the chief representative of a busted flush denomination that insists on parodying itself.

Athanasius Returns
January 26, 2010

Why didn’t the PB wear the oven mitt with that cope??? The mitre she has on clashes. Now I really need a visit to my ophthalmologist as my retinas have been etched with these images… Thanks a whole lot…NOT!

Don Janousek
January 26, 2010

What’s the big deal? Nothing new here. I saw this once in the ’60′s while listening to Hendrix do “Purple Haze” on a couple of hits of sunshine acid. While it was groovy and far out back then, causing me to say “Oh, Wow!” several times, it is now very “over.” I mean, “Peace and Love” has long been replaced by “Gnome sane?” Dig it?

midwestnorwegian
January 26, 2010

Sclamori breaks another glass ceiling and auditions for the lead in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. Donnie Osmond, watch your back.

Fuinseoig
January 26, 2010

Michael D, the mitre is actually not too bad. Yes, it’s beige and yes, it’s very hand-woven, doubtless to match her ‘chunky whole meal loaf’ notion of the Eucharist, but it is unobjectionable.

That cope, on the other hand – it drags on the ground, it’s all the liturgical colours and then some, and it just looks like a deflated hot air balloon. Surely there must be some half-way decent vestments tucked away in a cupboard in New York somewhere? What happened to all the ones belonging to previous Presiding Bishops?

If you guys want to borrow our Msgr. Marini, I’m sure something can be arranged?

;-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NhGUMv7gmg

Michael D
January 26, 2010

Thanks, Fuinseoig, I was just explaining why the hotel restaurant now has a rainbow potholder that looks remarkably like the mitre pictured above. That was what struck me about the new (linked) photo – how the mitre did not match the rainbow groove of the rest. As Athanasius points out, clearly the above rainbow was the mitre that goes with the linked photo.

She’s looking old and tired in the photo. Or maybe she never got that second cup of coffee.

As for rainbow robing, my current disfavourite is the white robe (alb? cassock?) with vertical rainbow worn by the liberal bishop in Normandy as he tells the overflowing parish church that he is removing their priest (who is conservative and under whom the parish has become vibrant). From Stand Firm .

Undergroundpewster
January 26, 2010

I like the subtitle to the blog:

“Because Christian worship is not supposed to be about you.”

Michael D
January 26, 2010

Chris, I read with interest your Grand Unified Theory of Inappropriate Clothing. You seems to be assuming a closed clothing universe, ending in a Big Crunch. Many of us are of the opinion, however, that it could be an open universe “for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction.” and that heat-death is far-off.
In that case, your previous work on Episcopal entropy would be appropriate, and hence is often referenced.

While we are on the topic, do you think bad taste is ergodic? That is, given infinite time, would all manner of bad taste eventually be visited? Or, like a dog to its vomit, are we drawn back over and over again to the same bad choices?

Smurf Breath
January 26, 2010

The mitre looks like it had been used by Paul Bunyan as a cup sleeve for his venti latte. As for the rest of the outfit … I do believe Paula has nailed it again.

Dale Matson
January 26, 2010

I think the photo itself deserves a caption. How about “What page are we on?” or “Hey, I want the tenor part!”

Patrick
January 26, 2010

She does like playing at bishop, doesn’t she? Too bad your average Barbie doll has more dignity.

Midwestern Episcopalian
January 26, 2010

She says things that sound like she believes that Christianity is a joke…and now she’s dressing the part…

Dr. Mabuse
January 26, 2010

She reminds me of the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, acting all regal as they wait outside the Wizard’s hall. Remember? He drapes a carpet over his shoulders and starts singing,

“If I…Were King…Of The Fore-e-e-e-e-e-est
Not Queen, Not Duke, Not Prince
My Regal Robes of the Fore-e-e-e-e-e-st/
Would be satin…not cotton…not…chintz”

Now all we need is someone to smash a flowerpot and she can wear it as a crown.

Fuinseoig
January 26, 2010

Michael D, the rainbow mitre with the rainbow cope would have resulted in the creation of a black hole of vestment awfulness. Maybe it’s been retired? Did the sacristan “accidentaly” leave the iron on too hot when ironing it and tragically it has been lost to posterity? Has anyone seen it in action since its heyday?

;-)

Fuinseoig
January 26, 2010

Swerving off on a tangent, can anyone explain why the consecration was held in a convention centre?

I’m pretty sure there must be some church in the diocese they could have used; did they expect more numbers than the churches could handle? It didn’t look to me like there were that many in excess at the thing, but then I’m useless at judging numbers.

It just seems odd that they were able to bring in the altar and the chairs and the organ for pete’s sake – surely it would have been easier to keep it in a church?

CS Baillie
January 26, 2010

Niall Mor, no, I think it’s with Goodwill household-linens bins – after they’ve been picked through.

And I say this as a seasoned bin-diver.

someone
January 26, 2010

Ok, I have not mentioned this before because I thought it might be taken in the wrong way. The fact is this: I have a cover for my teapot that is exactly the same as her hat (crown, whatever). Yup, the stripes are the same color and the width of the stripes are the same and the padding is the same–the only difference is that my teapot contains something truly refreshing–I don’t think her dome covers a container that contains much of anything!

Therese Z
January 26, 2010

The later photos show men and women in white albs with stoles crossed over their chests from shoulder to hip. In the RCC, that would mean they were deacons, usually permanent deacons. Same for the EC? Or have the vestments devolved into meaningless decoration at that level, too?

That picture of her is risible, yes, but it’s really just sad. To have taken all the meaning out of the color, and the cut, and the sex of the person wearing it. To have it decorate the person instead of subsume them into the Mystery they consecrate. Sad.

Michael D
January 26, 2010

Wow, that updated picture is, uh… Remarkable. That’s ah… a lot of … gulp… cope.

‘Scuse me… gotta run.

Midwestern Episcopalian
January 26, 2010

When I look at that picture the first thought that came to mind was…Behold the Great Western Heresy…

FW Ken
January 26, 2010

why the consecration was held in a convention centre

The Catholic diocese here uses secular facilities fairly often. Our bishop was ordained in the basketball center at Texas Christian University and we had our 40th anniversary Mass in the Tarrant County Convention Center. We do this because there’s not a parish church large enough. We had an ordination of 4 men to the priesthood last year held in the cathedral, but I watched in CCTV in the Convention Center across the street.

The Episcopalians here would be in the same boat and I doubt the Episcopalians in Georgia have a large enough parish church, either.

I’m curious who those Catholic bishops might be; the archbishop of Atlanta is black, which is not true of the purples in the pictures. I would note that our Bishop Vann attended the ACNA organizing conference, and Bishop Iker participates in our special Masses. At the 40th anniversary Mass, Bp. Iker was there with 20 of his priests. Relations between the local dioceses have not always been that cordial.

Peter C.
January 26, 2010

Bill (not IB), these days, it’s always Rainbowtide in TEO.

The Little Myrmidon
January 26, 2010

OK, I just can’t cope with this any more.

C-3PO Mary Tweedle Dee (not dumb) rocking horse Dodo Bird
January 27, 2010

I can tell she’s not had her colors done. Is she a summer, a spring, definitely not a winter? Ditto with “The Little Myrmidon”.

Fuinseoig
January 27, 2010

FW Ken, okay, that’s an explanation.

So you noticed our guys there too, huh? I did notice them and wondered who they might be. Georgia is divided into two Episcopalian dioceses, so maybe these were from the half that corresponds to the new bishop’s diocese?

Or on the other hand, they might just have been in the vicinity on the day and wandered in for the buffet.

;-)

Fuinseoig
January 27, 2010

Wow, talk about six degrees of separation!

FW Ken, you mentioned the Catholic archbishop of Atlanta is black, and I see by the website of the archdiocese that he attended St. Carthage Grammar School in Chicago.

St. Carthage is one of the patron saints of my diocese! Now, I just have to figure out how a Chicago school was under the patronage of a saint from Lismore – then again, the Daleys (sic) are from my neck of the woods so obviously there is a Waterford influence in the place.

:-)

bob
January 27, 2010

Thank you Someone. Presiding Tea Cozy. Perfect.

William Tighe
January 27, 2010

One of the Catholic prelates present has been identified as the Bishop of Savannah, J. Kevin Boland; he has been bishop of that diocese since 1995. Wikipedia writes: “Boland was born in Monkstown, County Cork, Ireland in 1935. [He] attended Christian Brothers College in Cork and All Hallows Seminary in Dublin. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 14, 1959, for the Diocese of Savannah by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid of Dublin.”

Jesusland
January 27, 2010

Is she with Rainbow Push? Or is that gay pride.

someone
January 27, 2010

I’m sorry–can’t help myself. For years, I have kept that dang thing on the windowsill–I know it well–and it doesn’t do what it was proclaimed to do! It just collects dust!! ;-)

Fuinseoig
January 28, 2010

Thank you, Dr. Tighe. So it sounds like the Catholic bishop of Savannah was invited to the consecration of the new Episcopalian bishop of Savannah as a matter of ecumenical courtesy, which is fair enough (we’ve invited the Church of Ireland Dean of Lismore to openings of new schools and educational centres round here).

I thought it might be something like that, but it was unusual to see the black-clad and obviously Catholic clerics amongst the mixed bag of cope-wearers (whoever the black Episcopalian bishop was, he was the only guy who looked like he knew the appropriate vestments to wear and how to wear them properly).

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