A few Anglican and Roman Catholic priests and bishops
are wearing their stoles outside rather than beneath their
chasubles. Is there some reason for this?
There has been a steady but significant change in the shape,
design, and fabric of modern vestments, and this includes the
stole: it has become a matter of considerable aesthetic interest,
and these developments have had an impact on how stoles are worn in
relation to other eucharistic vesture.
Distinctive weaves on much wider stoles, with intricate
ornamental patterns, have added to their artistry, to invite
attention and be shown off rather than hidden from view. This has
led to diversity of practice in the modern Church. Use of specially
tailored chasuble-albs has been popular in some instances, enabling
decorative stoles to be displayed, and for which the Roman Catholic
Church has been known to make concession.
Quite otherwise is the novel custom to which this question
refers, of wearing stoles outside the chasuble. For RC priests,
this completely contravenes clear instructions that celebrants must
always wear their stoles underneath the traditional chasuble. (See
General Instructions of the Roman Missal, no. 299, and Ceremonies
of Bishops, nos. 66 and 126).
In addition, deviations from that norm seriously spoil and
overthrow accepted symbolism in vesture.
The stole has always represented the sacramental and teaching
authority of ordained ministry, and likewise the chasuble has been
regarded as a sign of the charity of Christ, which "covers all
things". When a bishop or priest presides at the altar, vested to
celebrate the eucharist, it is important that the overall charity
and love of God is given visual expression to take precedence over
the sacerdotal authority, as when the chasuble covers the stole in
the traditional way.
For these basic reasons, the trendy fashion of a few bishops and
priests has little to commend it.
(Canon) Terry Palmer
If a lay canon takes Holy Orders, does the canonry
Probably the constitutions of all cathedrals are very different
in their content, but, after looking at Chelmsford Cathedral's, I
discovered that it was silent on this point. I have concluded that
there was probably an expectation that any lay person adjudged to
have given "distinguished service to the Diocese or Cathedral"
would be of an age when he or she would not be expected to
contemplate training for Holy Orders.
The cathedral constitution provides, however, for a canonry to
last for five years, then being renewable. Clearly renewal will not
happen should the person be in Holy Orders at that time.
Another thought is that surely the lay canon would resign
voluntarily on taking Holy Orders.
Harry Marsh (Lay Canon)
What is the origin of the beautiful traditional names
Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima for the Sundays before
Lent, and why were they dropped?
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