Apart from the things in the missal I am supposed to talk about I am going to preach about vestments tonight. To be precise the stole, the symbol of priestly power and authority, and to shock the more liberal of my parishioners, the maniple.
Why the maniple? Because the maniple is the descendant of the Roman nappa, a ceremonial towel, it is a symbol of service and hospitality. It is the waiter's napkin, the slave's towel. It is the vestment of the foot washer, Maundy Thursday's vestment.
Yes, I am going to wear one too.
Why has this symbol of the servant been quietly dropped from the list of vestments the priest should wear?
More worrying why do some priests just wear the stole the sign of authority and power?