I am not particularly fussy about the cut
of vestments I use. Most priests in the TAC wear both Roman
(fiddleback) and Gothic styles, depending what a given church
has in its sacristy. Nearly all my vestments are fiddlebacks,
but I do have a couple of Gothic-shaped chasubles - one
rather nice one in black with red orphreys and a simple
yellow set I usually use with my travelling Mass kit.
Until recently, I would simply say that I
use what I've got, even though my altar is in medieval
English style. Then, I was flabbergasted when one of my
Use of Sarum list members came up with something
on his blog Medieval
Ecclesiastical Art - an English medieval chasuble that
is almost identical in cut to a 19th century French chasuble
like the one I wore for our Christmas Mass (shown above).
Here it is:
This is a very glorious fourteenth century
Constable chasuble, a wonderful example of the Opus Anglicanum
embroidery English needleworkers were famous for. See this
entry of my friend's blog. It can thus be said that
fiddlebacks were worn in the days of riddel posts and hanging
pyxes, and would thus perfectly fit in with the English
tradition. They are not to be stigmatised and associated
with a particular theological tendency within late Anglo-Catholicism.
I appreciate order and discipline in the liturgy.
Dom Bernard Botte once said that one has to incense an altar
somehow, and it doesn't hurt to be told how to do so. However,
good liturgical practice should not degenerate into pharisaical
rubricism, extending to the cut of vestments, just as long
as they recognisably conform to traditional standards, whether
they are fiddleback or Gothic.
I hope soon to produce a page with images
of all my vestments, including dalmatics and copes. I have
two chalices, two ciboria and a fine early 19th century
baroque monstrance. The only thing I am still looking for
is a pax brede (instrument of peace).