Have you ever taken the time to look at the designs, and the details of ancient Liturgical Vestments? Or, have you ever thought to yourself, after seeing the intricate details, how and who made this?
My grandmother used to make folk costumes for her native town in Slovakia. She made her own lace, and embroidered her own cloth. She brought that talent of her’s with her, when she immigrated to the US. Unfortunately, her talent and techniques were not passed on to the next generation and the mystery of how she did it, making her fabric artwork, is gone with her. I do however have a full folk costume she had made along with some doll clothing, which were made for dolls to be given to all her grandchildren girls.
The detail in her work is amazing (photo above). The time she took to make her own lace alone, to add to the beautiful ribbons and fabric, created a work of art that no mass production assembly line could ever dream of recreating. I do remember the time, when my doll was being worked on. My mom told me that my grandma was getting older and her hands couldn’t do the work like she used to. Grandma stopped the production of her work, and reluctantly turned to local fabric stores as the source of materials for her design. I never really thought about it at the time, but as I see it clearly now, it truly was the end of an era as the Artist was putting down her brushes for good. Little did I know, that my grandmother would hand down to me, the love in her heart for the beautiful attention put into this art and the spark to see these same details created in love, it in our Church, in the Priests Sacred Vestments.
There is a story out, about how the Vatican has lent the Met in New York, some of our Churches Sacred Vestments to be on exhibit entitled The Met and Heavenly Bodies.
Here is a snip from the Met
The Costume Institute’s spring 2018 exhibition—at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters—will feature a dialogue between fashion and medieval art from The Met collection to examine fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism.
I wasn’t exactly sure how to take this story. My thoughts drifted to the child in me. When we love, we seek to protect. Its often been the case, in which anything Catholic these days hits the circuit that it ends up getting the same treatment as that child in JR High, constantly being picked on by the school bullies. The Fashion Industry bully wants to see my prized toy? Well okay, but don’t break it. A lot of this insecurity came from false media reports, about how the “evil Vatican” is lending vestments for UN-ORTHODOX people to design vestments for WOMAN. Also, one other false story, stating they will be used for a fashion show. Spare us O Lord.
I am so happy to say, my initial idea as to how this is taking place, is a little selfish. Why not share the beauty and details of the sacred Vestments? Its art. Sacred Art that draws souls in and doesn’t push away. Igniting the soul to ponder.