Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Gothic Apparelled Amice...not gothic: Gothic.

Today, when the word "gothic" is used, it refers to the art and architecture of the 12th thru 16th centuries - rose windows and turrets, gargoyles and peaked arches.  But there was a different Gothic before that - and this is a prime example of it.

This is an appareled amice we've made with the favourite motif of Recceswinth - better known as FLAVIUS RECCESWINTHUS REX GOTHORUM who ruled the Gothic Kingdom of Toledo over what is today Spain, Portugal, and Southern France between the years 653 and 672 of our common era.

This motive is repeated in a church he ordered be erected in honour of Saint John the Baptist after being healed by the waters of the locality; also, on his crown gifted ex voto to God, and a processional cross which are both today on public display by the Spanish State after being found buried in Guarrazar.   A set of matching book-cover plates on an early version of his Liber Judicum, illuminted with the same motif on all pages with headings, and a signet ring with his effigy are also extant in the patrimony of his descendants.

The amice apparel, really a stiff liturgical collar, we've made in blue and white recalling the sapphires and pearls of the jeweled pieces available from the Gothic King.  Furthermore, it is embellished with small pearls, since it is a most festive garment to be used in a chapel of white marble, lapis lazuli and gilt-wood.

As you may notice, it resembles the appareled amice of St. Thomas Becket at Sens.   Some version of that is hopefully - forthcoming.
Any takers?  We do like a challenge!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


This is a wider-than-usual stole used to give blessings at Weddings, Baptisms and other sacramentals outside of the Mass instead of the usual stole and chasuble. This vestment is worn directly above choir dress, as opposed to the regular stole which is vested over at least the alb.

It is also donned to impart a blessing on pilgrims of faith received in audience by a prelate or when a priest or bishop will bless a home, agricultural field or village on his journeys. For this reason, sometimes it is referred to as a Blessing Stole.

The Pope uses his to receive Catholic heads of State, and also to impart his Urbi et Orbi Blessings from the Balcony on Easter and Christmas Day. All priests - from the local curate to the Bishop of Rome himself, make use of these.

This particular Pastoral Stole in Liturgical White we've made for a Bishop - hence the green lining, proper to that dignity. His arms and other devices embroidered will be featured at a later post - after he receives it later this month from a grateful member of his congregation.

Who knows? Maybe the recipient is you! If you're a bishop. Otherwise, you could always have one made by contacting us - perhaps as a gift to your local priest or friend in the episcopate.