Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Deacon and dalmatics and things

Happy St Stephen's Day

This might be a tangent, but look below Cardinal Castrillon de Hoyos is wearing a dalmatic, the vestment of a deacon and a mitre.

The old custom was that Cardinal Deacons dressed like this but I haven't seen it happen in this pontificate before, not even at the Inaugural Mass; it is a first. If you can supply a picture of it happening I would be interested, it certainly happened during the previous reign. In the Old Rite priests would regularly function as priest, deacon or sub-deacon, nowadays most sacramental theologians and liturgists would regard this as not quite in keeping with the Concilliar theology of Holy Orders. It is for this reason that some bishops refuse to follow the instruction in the Ceremonies of Bishops to wear the dalmatic under the chasuble, expressing the fullness of their orders, especially for ordination, a rather misplaced understanding, I think.

Pope Benedict chooses not only his words carefully but also his actions and increasingly his liturgical signs.

There is a serious anomaly between the modern and traditional theologies on this matter. Simply put the ancient idea was that the priesthood held the fullness of orders, but was "bound", symbolised by the crossed stole, bound in place by the cincture; at Episcopal Ordination, once generally referred to a Consecration, his authority was unbound, as was his stole.

In the rumoured document it seems it is the priest not the bishop who will decide what rite to use. Mmmmm!


Az said...

For photos of cardinals in dalmatics, see:

Urbi et Orbi, Christmas 2005

Good Friday Liturgy 2006

Urbi et Orbi, Easter 2006

The Fotografia Felici should have some bigger & clearer pictures of the aforementioned events:

Fr Ray Blake said...

Many thanks, I was wrong!

Henry said...

I hope all the vestments are in matching colours. Different shades of green are especially dreadful when put together.

Andrew said...

Priests choosing the rite instead of bishops?!!! Hell will freeze over!