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chasuble buying guide
Choosing the right Chasuble can often be confusing, especially for those who do not have so much knowledge of the colours, styles and designs that are available and/or those that are wishing to buy the Chasuble as a gift, perhaps for an ordinand or other special occassion.
Here at North East Church Supplies we offer an extensive assortment of Chasubles in a wide variety of fabrics, colours and styles. When you are looking for chasubles, it can sometimes be overwhelming. We hope that this simple guide below will give you an idea of what to look for and what to expect when you buy your garment from us.
There are a number of different styles of chasuble available: Fiddleback (Roman style), Semi Gothic, Full Gothic, modern and Monastic, to name just a few.
Often associated with the Pre-Vatican II Tridentine (Latin) Mass, Fiddleback chasubles were developed in the late 1500s when heavy fabrics and beautiful, ornate embroideries made the chasuble very stiff. To help with the movement of the celebrant around the altar and so forth, the front of the vestment was cut away from the arm areas which gave it the distinct fiddle-like shape (And hence the name Fiddle-back). Fiddleback chasubles made today are generally as comfortable as the other types of vestments but are still often decorated with gold orphreys and made from fancy brocade and jacquard fabrics.
The more ample Full Gothic and Semi-gothic chasubles actually pre-date the Fiddleback style vestments but did not regain popularity until much later, in the twentieth century. They can often be recognised by “Y-Shaped” front and rear Orphreys, jacquard, damask and/or brocade fabrics (Although not restricted to these styles)
Most commonly used in the Mass is the “modern style” chasuble which is not too dissimilar from the Gothic or Semi-gothic styles but employs a greater variety of orphrey designs, woven panels and colours.
When looking for your chasuble you will see that we offer a huge variety of styles and colours and this, for some, may be confusing. Let us clear up the general guidelines on colour as follows:-
Used for feasts of Christ, except those of His Passion, feast of Our Lady, and feasts of non-martyred saints. Sometimes white is also used for funeral Masses.
Used for feast of Our Lord's Passion, Feast Days of martyred Saints, and Feasts of the Holy Spirit.
Used during ordinary time in the church’s liturgical year.
Used only on two occasions in the church’s year. Gaudate Sunday (The third Sunday of Advent) and Laetare Sunday (The fourth Sunday of Lent).
Violet or Purple
Used during Advent, Lent, and often at Funerals
Can be used at Funerals or Feast of All Souls.
What about the other colours offered?
Gold and Silver may be worn on Solemn Feasts. May also be used for celebrations such as Marriage where cream/white would normally be worn.
Sometimes worn to celebrate Marian Feasts (Feast Days associated with Our Lady) – Marian Vestments.
The above creates a guide to buying only and is created to assist you in making your choice of beautiful chasuble.