Thursday, March 20, 2008


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?


JARay said...

It is very interesting that the Maniple is descended from the Nappa. I haven't seen any priest (except the SSPX priest) wear a Maniple in the last thirty years at least. What a good idea to speak of it on Maundy Thursday.


Anonymous said...

It was good to hear about the origin of the maniple this evening and you are not 'eccentric' to want to wear one, Father. Your beautiful vestments remind us what we have lost over the years when we became used to the 'Bedouin birthing tents' and polyester horrors.
Thank you.

nickbris said...

Excellent service tonight Father and very good homily.

The choir is really great,it is getting just like the old days.

Volpius Leonius said...

I wish I lived in your parish Father, in mine on a weekday we are lucky if the Priest wears a alb with just a stole over the shoulders.

Emőke said...

Hello, I'm a new here, a catholic woman from Hungary. :)
I'm looking for Easter Mass times, but I did't find.
In my country we have a mass and procession at saturday night and here what is the custom?

We would like to go to the Easter Mass and Procession to Brighton.

Many thanks,

Fr Ray Blake said...

Telephone me, 01273 326793 there are 12 parishes in Brighton.

Anonymous said...

No maniple, no Mass!

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