27 April 2009

What is the really High Church way to wear a stole?

I have been to see the Baroque exhibition at the V & A; I hope shortly to do a post on the gross ignorance on show in the labelling of the ecclesiastical items and in the glossibuch that goes with the exhibition. But briefly ...

... the book has picture of a stole made in Rome (part of a sumptuous commission from the King's Majesty of Portugal) in the middle of the 18th century; it seems to show three ribbons attached to the stole, each with an exotic bobble at the bottom of it. One ribbon is affixed to the middle of the stole; the other two some way down each of the ends.

Does this mean that the stole was worn with the midpoint, where the cross is, well down the back, and with a ribbon securing it to the girdle? My old edition of O'Connell says that auhorities differ about how far down the back the stole should go, and I believe sometimes it was, if long enough, tucked into the girdle. There is a photograph of Fr Hope Patten vesting for Mass in the Sacristy at Walsingham, and with the stole a long way down his back.

I habitually wear the stole like this; but it does leave the stole at risk of slipping off one's collar bone and down one's shoulders. Perhaps the other two, shorter, ribbons are to prevent that?

4 comments:

rev'd up said...

I thought I alone suffered this indignity...

Truly, it is very provincial, gauche, improper, "novus ordo," etc. for the back of one's stole to show above the chausible. Unfortunately, properly made stoles that hang down the back but will not slip off the shoulder are hard to come by. One clever trick(I think this comes from the East) is to have a cross piece of fabric sewn above the "+;" this cross piece then rests on the back of the neck forcing the "+" to hang hidden below the neckline of the chausible.

It reminds me of something from Cranmer's book: "In the midst of life, we are in wardrobe failure." The biggest problem is that it always happens *after* the consecration...

rev'd up said...

Sorry to post again about this topic. Take a look at these pictures of modern Popes and note the difference in stole position.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Benedict_XVI

http://www.vocations.ch/le-pape-paul-vi-et-l-identite-du-pretre-article174.html

http://orbisenterprises.com/Musy_-_Gruyere/Jean-M-1/Meyer-1/Pius_X/pius_x.html

Fr.Ogs said...

Doesn't The Blessed Percy Dearmer conclude that stoles were only dipped and tucked at the back in the Baroque era of the cutting down (or cutting up)of earlier Vestments, a ruling having been given that the ends of the Stole should not protrude beneath the bottom of the Chasuble?

Fr.Ogs said...

... and, of course, an apparelled Amice covers up all that bunched up linen, and obviates glimpses of Stole...