Monday, July 24, 2006

My general opinions on lace surplices

This post was inspired by the reply to this post here.

Alb and cincture vs soutane and surplice for servers can be a highly contentious issue at some parishes. I’ll be upfront. I much prefer alb and cincture for the acolytes and thurifer IF the albs are apparelled and the cincture matches the colour of the day.

Onto surplices. I hate mountains of lace. It drives me nuts when wearing it and it’s really rare to find a nice pattern. They tear easily, rarely match and are just icky in general.

These surplices are quite nice.

But these are the types I despise especially on altar boys. (They don't look too bad on the episcopate classes when they want to play dress-ups!)

I also don’t mind gothic surplices. Usually left to the choir now-a-days, they give you a monastic feel and are generally quite comfortable with their wide and long sleeves and ample folds.

So lets leave lace to ladies underwear and the 1950s!

Side note 1: I go to the cathedral on occasion and I get really freaked out when I see an altar girl (aka serviette) wearing a soutane and surplice. Altar girls irk me enough as it is let alone seeing them in a soutane!

Side note 2: Ever seen a modern day priest wear one of these? They are okay if they have a cassock underneath. The priest I served for unfortunately only had black trousers!!


elderly_relative said...

At the risk of sounding picky, some of these garments, the ones with a square yoked neck, are not surplices but cottas.

Lactantius said...

The Delphic Oracle had inscribed on it the words "In all things moderation" and it especially applies to lace on vestments.

I have never liked vestments such as the one in the last photo. It reminds me of one of those skimpy little outfits which you see women wearing on the street. Again when worn, the cassock will show through too much and let us not forget the cassock is meant to be the priest's ordinary dress.

Likewise I am not a fan of the vestments depicted in the third photo because they remind me of curtains or tablecloths, particularly in their ornateness.

Just give me something simple yet dignified like your first two photos.

On the issue of serviettes, I agree wholeheartedly that seeing them in vestments is a freaky experience, just like seeing priestesses in cassock and collar.

JPSonnen said...

like they say in rome: "more lace, more grace!"

A.J. Motte III M.C. said...

I am one of the you could say "part-time" Master of Ceremonies' for His Excellency Daniel Cardinal DiNardo. I agree with Albs and Cinctures for acolytes and thurifer.
Like JPSonnen said "Like they say in Rome 'more lace, more grace'.
When it is an appropriate design it is a work of art, adn through many ways of art we worship God.
And if it were to tear it would most likely be the one who's wearing, it, would be their falt for not being careful or not paying attention.
I do agree that those 'cottas' in the third picture are a bit 'out there'. But they were not made and are not meant for altar boys.
The regular parish priest in America would not wear an alb like the one in the forth picture.
Usally only those who DO wear them are the elderly priest that own one or the Church's Hierarchy like Bishops, Cardinals, and His Holiness the Pope.
God Blessings

DefensorFidei said...

In the Philippine setting, albs are reserved only for those seminarians who were installed as acolytes. We find albs for servers inappropriate here. Our servers wear surplice over cassock.

AND many priests here DO WEAR LACE ALBS OVER THEIR CASSOCKS, especially the younger ones! There's nothing wrong with lace.